Meditation and Yoga

Recently, on a morning news show, the host interviewed a company whose sole purpose evidently is to promote meditation. Their website’s homepage simply states “Meditation made simple.” The interview revolved around the fact that the company will be applying for U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for their meditation app. With this approval, a medical doctor could prescribe meditation according to their app. If I understood correctly, this would be a first-of-its-kind government approval. Though it was not revealed on the show, my research revealed that one of the company founders is a former Buddhist monk. Their website just states he is a former monk.

I find it very interesting that in the future, if the company is successful in their attempt to gain FDA approval for their app, your doctor may be able to prescribe meditation for its alleged benefits, based on this app.

With this in mind, I want to share a quote from The Kingdom of the Occult by Walter Martin.

“The New Age movement today must be recognized for what it is: the ancient world of the occult presented in new terminology. ”

(Note: the term “New Age” is also expressed by the terms “spiritual” or “spirituality” in today’s culture.)

” The New Age movement has mushroomed throughout the world, particularly in the United States. Cloaked in acceptable and seemingly harmless terms, such as the widespread exercises of yoga and meditation, is the hidden agenda of the occult. When one meditates or practices yoga, the mind is said to be emptied to allow the person to become one with the universe, but this is where the person opens the mind and heart to false spirits that await every opportunity to invade a soul that is normally guarded.”

“Noted German authority on the occult Dr. Kurt Koch states the following about the occultic side of yoga: “This technique of relaxation and these ’emptying exercises,’ so highly spoken of by the yogis lead to the inflowing of another spirit—other spirits. The students of yoga did not notice it.” Similarly, Dr. Koch, who has compiled volumes of case studies on people involved in the occult, wrote the following about meditation: “My counseling work in East and West has given me insight into the nature and practice of meditation…I am totally opposed to meditation in the Far Eastern pattern… We cannot empty ourselves by means of techniques and postures—-then other powers flood in.”

“It is difficult to find any New Ager who does not practice either meditation or yoga, but Dr. Koch’s warning is clear: if one empties the mind, it becomes an open vessel for other spirits.”

“It is important to note what Jesus said concerning spirits, particularly demonic spirits that invade human bodies: ‘When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. Then he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order. Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first” (Matthew 12:43-45).”

“From Jesus we learn, then, that demonic spirits can inhabit human beings. Rather than experiment with the occult and New Age practices, where the person unwittingly opens the soul to demons, it is much better to close the door and refuse participation.”

As you can see, the practice of yoga and Far Eastern meditation, can open a person up to demonic spirits. And Dr. Koch said the participants never noticed the demonic spirits entering them.

Think about that for a moment.

Jesus spent time in His earthly ministry casting demonic spirits out of people. The number of evil spirits in people varied. One boy had one demon. When Jesus confronted a demonic mad man, He asked him “What is your name?” . The demon said ” ‘Legion’; for many demons had entered him”, i.e. the man. (Luke 8: 26-33) A “legion” of Roman soldiers consisted of 5000 soldiers. Scripture does not say it was that number of demons but understanding that fact adds weight to “many”.

As far as alleged benefits, the Dalai Lama, a Tibetan Buddhist, said if we would start teaching meditation to every 8 year old, in one generation we would have a peaceful world. Researchers in New Zealand, The Netherlands and the UK found out that meditation does not change how adults behave toward others. To find the whole article, search for “Meditation DOESN’T make you a calmer person – The Berean Call”.

We encourage you to keep away from any occult practices and keep the door to your mind and soul closed to all except Jesus Christ and His Holy Spirit. And never participate in any practice that requires you to empty your mind. Biblical meditation does not require an emptying of the mind.

Thank you for your time and may God richly bless you in wisdom and understanding.

Carl

To Yoga or Not To Yoga

Following is a question and an answer about yoga from The Berean Call. I hope you will find it informative.  Remember, Lord Jesus said the mark of the end times would be great deception.  God bless you and yours.  Carl

Question: Recently I joined a yoga class for fitness and relaxation. During the class, mantras are used. The teacher explained the meanings such as “all is truth.” Is it wrong to participate in these mantras? Can I just substitute Christian words such as “Jesus”? Or should I not participate in the class at all? Everyone I have asked seems to think there is no problem with this but I feel uncomfortable and do not know why.

Response: I am glad that you feel uncomfortable about being involved in yoga. Drop the class immediately! Yoga is the very heart of Hinduism. It is sold in the West as science but in fact is religion. It is promoted in the West as beneficial to health, but in the East it is a technique for dying. The goal is to reach moksha, allegedly escaping the world of illusion (maya) of time and sense into liberation from the endless cycle of birth and death and rebirth through reincarnation.

The latter is another of Satan’s appealing lies that offers endless chances by denying God’s declaration that it is “appointed unto man once to die” (Heb:9:27). Many Roman Catholic priests and nuns practice yoga, and some who have become deeply involved in Eastern mysticism of various kinds, such as Thomas Merton, are highly honored among Catholics.

Yoga is a sanskrit word that means “yoking” and refers to union with Brahman, the ultimate god in Hinduism. The goal of yoga is “self-realization,” to realize that atman, the individual soul, is identical with Brahman, the universal soul, i.e., that you and god are one; indeed, that you are god but just don’t know it and need, through yoga, to discover this great “truth.”

Your yoga teacher will probably deny all of this, but he (or she) cannot deny that this practice comes from Hinduism. It was not invented in the West. Yoga was introduced by Lord Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita as the sure way to the Hindu heaven. Shiva, one of the most feared Hindu deities, known as The Destroyer, is addressed as Yogeshwara, which means “Lord of Yoga.”

Hatha yoga, known as physical yoga, is alleged to be devoid of the mysticism in other forms. Not so. One of the most authoritative hatha yoga texts, the fifteenth-century Hathayoga-Pradipika, declares that Lord Shiva was the first hatha yoga teacher. As for the mantras, if one of them means “all is truth,” that should give you the pantheistic Hindu connection. You know that all is not truth; indeed, this very idea is a satanic lie!

Substitute “Jesus” as your “Christian mantra”? No! Any mantra (like the Catholic rosary) violates Christ’s command to “use not vain repetitions as the heathen” (Mt 6:7). I don’t know what mantras you have been taught, but the fact is that true yoga mantras are all the names of Hindu gods. Furthermore, the greatest yoga teachers all declare that the repetition of a mantra is a call to that god (i.e., the demon it represents) to come and possess the meditator. I have interviewed people who became demon possessed through yoga. The great yogis all warn of the grave dangers involved, even though at the same time they promote the alleged benefits.
Yes, you could benefit physically from stretching your muscles, etc. However, the spiritual price you pay is not worth it. If you are interested in physical fitness, then practice exercises designed for that, not those designed specifically for achieving union with Brahman!

One of the most popular forms of yoga in the West is Transcendental Meditation (TM). Maharishi Mahesh Yogi at first introduced TM to the West as a Hindu religious practice. He openly taught that its purpose was to produce in the meditators’ bodies “soma,” a legendary substance that would allegedly feed and awaken the pantheon of Hindu gods. But when TM was excluded from public schools and government funding, Maharishi quickly and dishonestly deleted all reference to religion and began presenting TM as pure science. Such deliberate deceit says much about Maharishi’s integrity. Nothing was changed except the labels.

Former TMers have filed lawsuits asking millions of dollars in damages because of the traumas they suffered through the practice of TM. More recently, TM has practically taken over the town of Fairfield, Iowa, where Maharishi University of Management is located.

The latest push in the promotion of TM comes from television personality Dr. Mehmet Oz. This protégé of Oprah Winfrey is a national spokesman for Transcendental Meditation, as well as being a medical advisor/teacher in Rick Warren’s “Daniel Plan,” an alleged biblical health and fitness program begun at Saddleback Church. The curriculum features occult meditation advocated by Oz and two other medical consultants.

The Berean Call – T.A. McMahon

Two Wrong Assumptions About Deception

“Paul warned that Antichrist’s

…coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, and with all deception of wickedness… (2 Thessalonians 2:9-10)

This puts in a very vulnerable position, those Christians who accept anything that seems to be miraculous, as coming from God.

Although miracles are important, we must beware of placing greater emphasis upon them than Scripture supports. Jesus Himself said of John the Baptist that there was no greater prophet born of women (Luke 7:28), and yet we are told that John “did no miracle” (John 10:41 KJV). And of Jesus it is said, though He did so many miracles, yet the Jews still did not believe on Him (John 12:37). The Bible does not teach that the great need today is for a miracle ministry, as is so heavily emphasized on much Christian television. Rather, it warns us that we need discernment to know the difference between what is of God and what is of Satan.”

(The Seduction of Christianity – Dave Hunt – emphasis added)

In Kingdom of the Occult, Walter Martin states another mindset that causes the unsuspecting to be snared:

“The modern age, with its wealth of occult material, is proof positive of this fascination. People on the lookout for something real no longer pause at the brink of satanic reality —they plunge into the depth of it, secure in their mantra: if it’s real, it’s right. People are enthralled by evil, and this false sense of security is the catalyst that propels them right over the edge of the abyss. Satan has always offered real experiences with evil spirits, and they are not only wrong but lethal to the soul. The only thing new about the power of the occult is its modern-day audience, a fresh hunting ground at the mercy of a seasoned hunter.”

These two godly brothers warn us about two wrong assumptions:

1. We should not believe that just because it seems to be miraculous, it is from God.

2. We should not believe that since some occult experience is or seems real, that it is right.

When Christ was asked about what would be the sign of His second coming and the end of the age, the first recorded words out of His mouth were

“See to it that no one misleads you, for many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ’ and will mislead many.”

He is saying that the end times will be characterized by deception. There will be many false “Saviors” or “Messiahs” deceiving the masses. They are here now.

They are all over the world as I type this post and they will increase in number as the end times draw nearer. Some are using false signs and wonders and occult miracles (demon empowered) to deceive people. Others are deceived by eastern mysticism or the New Age movement, thinking that they are a god, can become a god or can become one with the Universal Mind or Force. The media is keeping the door to sorcery wide open 24 x 7. It is calling out to your sons and daughters. And it is only going to get worse.

Therefore, be sure your heart is not going after signs and wonders or men. May your heart only go after the biblical Jesus and the truth of His word. May you be led and empowered by His Spirit. May He give you a spirit of discernment as you live in these wicked days. As Paul said

“Therefore, be careful how you walk, not as unwise men, but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil.”

Redeem the time.

Tell someone (about Jesus).

Carl

SELF

“And you were dead in your trespasses and sins,…”  Ephesians 2:1

The opening scripture is describing our condition prior to finding forgiveness for our sins in Jesus Christ, our great Savior.  We were dead to God. What an awful thought.

Concerning this “dead” relationship to God, I want to share the following statement from William Law (1686-1761).  Law was a devout Christian Englishman who, through his writings, attempted to wake up the sleeping church in his day. He wrote the following about Self:

“Men are dead to God because they are living to Self. Self-love, self-esteem and self-seeking are the essence and the life of pride; and the Devil, the father of pride, is never absent from these passions, nor without an influence in them. Without a death to self, there is no escape from Satan’s power over us….

To discover the deepest root and iron strength of pride and self-exaltation, one must enter into the secret chamber of man’s soul, where the Spirit of God, who alone gives humility and meek submission, was denied through Adam’s sin…

Here in man’s innermost being, self had its awful birth, and established its throne, reigning over a kingdom of secret pride, of which all outward pomp and vanities are but its childish, transitory playthings….

Imagination, as the last and truest support of self, lays unseen worlds at his feet, and crowns him with secret revenges and fancied honors. This is that satanic, natural self that must be denied and crucified, or there can be no disciple of Christ. There is no plainer interpretation than this that can be put upon the words of Jesus, “Except a man deny self, and take up the cross and follow me, he cannot be my disciple.”

The Seduction of Christianity – Dave Hunt & T.A. McMahon

I have read this statement numerous times and each time I see something else about my Self.  May you linger over it until the Holy Spirit has shown you everything He wants to show you concerning your Self.

May we evaluate our discipleship in the light of the words of our Lord. Is our discipleship genuine according to His statement in Mark 8:34 or is it just a religious facade like the Pharisees had. Jesus described them as whitewashed tombs, pretty on the outside but full of death or Self on the inside.

Heavenly Father, God of all wisdom, please open our understanding to how deadly Self is. In Jesus’ precious name we ask this. Amen.

We believe in and therefore choose to walk in Paul’s words:

“…knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, that our body of sin might be done away with , that we should no longer be slaves to sin…” (Romans 6:6)

Take up the Cross,

Carl

Snakes and Self

One Saturday years ago, when our four children were still at home, we decided to clear the forest between the front yard and the creek that was on the edge of our property. With our Aussie, Katy, watching over the kids and my wife and I, we began to cut down the small trees, underbrush and the vines that grew around everything.

After we had worked for awhile, someone noticed that we had a visitor . A harmless, slender, green snake had appeared in one of the small trees and seemed to be watching us. The vibrations we were creating in the forest canopy had gotten his attention and he descended, hoping to find an injured bird or insect, an easy lunch for him.

Instead of finding a meal, he became our captive and we were sidetracked from our work, letting the kids examine him. After a period of time, we let him go. Then it was back to working and sweating in the Louisiana humidity and heat.

The Holy Spirit reminded me of this event recently.  Just as that earthly snake came to check out the vibrations, the devil’s snakes always show up when we cause “life giving” vibrations in his kingdom of darkness and death.

The satanic messenger‘s goal is to divert our mind from being an obedient disciple of Christ and onto Self.

Self is the “old man” or “old self” that was crucified with Christ on the cross (Romans 6:6) and must be reckoned or considered dead if we are to be true disciples of Christ. Jesus said the following in Mark 8:34:

“If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross, and follow me.”

Self is an endless vacuum that is never satisfied and is a constant slave to sin, seeking its own will and not the will of the Father.   There is a list of Self fruit in Galatian 5: 19-21.

To get us focused on Self, the snake uses sickness, fatigue, hopelessness, busyness, sleepless nights, worries, fears, relationships, imaginations and a host of other things.  Anything to distract us from dying daily (“take up his cross” ) and living in the power of the Lord’s Spirit. The Lord told us the following about this:

“And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and THE WORRY OF THE WORLD, and THE DECEITFULNESS OF RICHES choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.” Matthew 13: 22 (emphasis added)

Recently, I realized I was spending too much time thinking about my Self. I therefore decided that every time I find myself in this state, I would repent and pray for the persecuted church in the earth. So far I have prayed for the church in Spain, Portugal, and Ecuador.

If you are focused on Self as you read this, I pray that the Lord will open your understanding to see how you got there and you will repent and return to fighting the good fight of the Faith. God bless you as you put the snake to flight and continue to march forward with your cross.

Let us remember:

“Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interest of others. Have this attitude in your selves which was also in Christ Jesus….”

Be a witness

Carl

The Narrow Way

48514-straight2bgate

“Enter by the NARROW gate; for the gate is WIDE, and the way is BROAD that leads to destruction and many are those who enter by it. For the gate is SMALL and the way is NARROW that leads to life and few are those who find it.” Jesus Matthew 8: 13-14. (Emphasis added)

Notice that Jesus said a narrow gate.  Jesus further described this narrow gate when He said to the disciples:

“I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.”

The biblical Jesus is the narrow gate, the small gate. And I stress it is the “biblical” Jesus. He is the only way to God.  This is why everyone needs to read the Bible. Salvation is not through a denomination or a specific church.  It is only through Jesus Christ who died for our sins.

There are other Jesus’s in the world. Paul warned about them:

“But I am afraid, lest as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your mind should be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ. For if one comes and preaches ANOTHER JESUS whom we have not preached, or you receive a DIFFERENT SPIRIT which you have not received, or a DIFFERENT GOSPEL which you have not accepted….”. Apostle Paul II Corinthians 11: 3-4 (emphasis added)

The Mormons have their Jesus, who they declare is Satan’s brother. Islam has a Jesus which is just a great prophet and not the Son of God. New Agers have a Jesus that is their spirit guide and just one of many gods. Occultists have a Jesus that approves of their occultic practices and is not the Jesus of the Bible who condemned their practices.  There is the Jesus of Roman Catholicism that is mean and unapproachable therefore you need to go to his mother Mary and ask her to intercede for you. There is the Jesus of the immoral who, despite their lifestyle of fornication, adultery, homosexuality or lesbianism, they erroneously believe He is pleased with them.   Jehovah Witnesses have a Jesus who they believe was God’s first creation instead of the eternal existing Son of God. And their are many more.

I tell you there is only one Jesus and He is revealed in the Bible and all others are deceptions of the evil one who has deceived the whole world. Much deception is cloaked in religion, intellectualism, rituals and things that are highly prized by mankind.

Make sure you are entering by the narrow gate and not the wide gate that leads to destruction. For

“Many will say to Me on that day. ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles? And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’ ” JESUS Matthew 8: 22-23.

Carl

Snares, Predators and Spiritual Truths

“Our soul has escaped as a bird out of the snare of the trapper; the snare is broken and we have escaped.” Psalm 124:7 NASB

A snare is a device used to trap animals or birds. As young boys and aspiring Boy Scouts, we built snares to catch rabbits, in my Grandfather’s briar patch. Needless to say there was no fear of us, in the rabbit community.

Fifty-five years later, I finally saw how deadly snares could be. We frequently visit a whitetail deer and exotics ranch, in the Hill Country of central Texas, where they use snares to control the predators (coyotes, foxes, etc.) that kill fawns and young deer.

The snare is four or five foot long cable, small in diameter. There is a loop on one end, which is placed in front of the predator’s access hole, under the high fence. A short lead on the opposite end of the snare, is then securely attached to the fence or the steel post. When the animal sticks his head through the hole, the forward motion of his body causes the noose to tighten around the neck. Since the lead is short, he cannot get enough speed to attempt to tear the end loose from the post or fence. No matter how much the animal fights, it cannot gain its freedom.

The final result is not a pretty site. A desperate struggle takes place in the dust to gain freedom, followed by suffocation or a slow death from starvation and thirst, in the Texas heat.

With this life and death scene in our mind, let us briefly look at spiritual snares that capture Christians.

Paul told Timothy in II Timothy 2: 25-26, concerning people who are in opposition to the gospel, the following:

“…if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the SNARE of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.”

To use the example of the ranch, Carl, the Christian, can stick his head under the fence of godliness to get into the devil’s ranch and be snared. The devil’s snare has a long lead which allows Carl to enjoy the pleasure of sin for awhile, until he hits the end of the lead. Hitting the end of the lead causes me to realize that I cannot get free from what I now realize is evil and is now controlling me. This is the wake up call. In my life, it is now as Paul said in Romans 7:19:

“For the good that I wish, I do not do; but I practice the very evil that I do not wish.

At the end of the lead, Carl can twist, turn, struggle in the dust of my making and bemoan my lack of willpower to overcome the evil practice in my life, but it is too late. Satan’s snare is controlling my suppose-to-be-dead, sinful nature and me. I, a Christian, will be under the control of Satan’s snare until there is true, deep repentance. This will lead to “the knowledge of the truth” and a “coming to their senses” which empowers us to forsake our sin and escape from the devil’s snare.

How do we escape? After repenting, we yield ourselves to God, afresh and anew. This “yielding” comes with a mighty promise:

“Thus, also, as for you, you be constantly counting upon the fact that, on the one hand, you are those who have been separated from the sinful nature, and, on the other, that you are living ones with respect to God in Christ Jesus. Stop therefore allowing the sinful nature to reign as king in your mortal body with a view to obeying it [the body], in its passionate cravings. Moreover, stop putting your members at the disposal of the sinful nature as weapons of unrighteousness, but by a once-for-all act and at once, put yourselves at the disposal of God as those who are actively alive out from among the dead, and put your members as weapons of righteousness at the disposal of God, FOR [THEN] THE SINFUL NATURE WILL NOT EXERCISE LORDSHIP OVER YOU…” (Romans 6: 11-14. Wuest Expanded Translation. Emphasis added)

Unlike the Texas predators, there is hope for repentant saints. If Carl wants to be stubborn, which in God eyes is equivalent to idolatry, Carl will remain snared. On the other hand, if I am repentant, though the devil means it for our destruction, God will teach me something, if I will listen.

The Apostle John tells us in I John 1 that our fellowship is with the Father and Son. In Revelation 3, our Precious Savior says that He is knocking at the heart of the believers and wants to come in and fellowship with us. Maybe you, like me in the past, are fellowshipping with something evil in God’s eyes. You need to experience God’s grace of repentance and restoration, to His fellowship. If you feel the Holy Spirit convicting, don’t take it for granted. Turn now. We are praying for you.

The Pure Creator of the universe longs to fellowship with you, His child. Don’t settle for something evil and base.

May the following be said of us:

“Our soul has escaped as a bird out of the snare of the trapper; the snare is broken and we have escaped. Our help is in the name of the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.” Psalm 124: 7-8 NASB

Carl