Burning Bibles

“When they burned the New Testament they pretended a zeal very fervent to maintain only God’s honor, which they said with protestation, was obscured by translation in English, causing much error. But the truth plainly to be said, this was the cause why they were afraid, least laymen should know their iniquity”.

A Lollard (a follower of John Wycliffe’s teaching, circa 1450)

There was a time when the New Testament could only be read in Latin or Greek. It was men like Wycliffe who dared to make a translation in the mother tongue of the layman. He once told a monk that if he, Wycliffe, had his way the ploughboy would know more about God than him.

Needless to say, Wycliffe was very unpopular with the Pope and, though the Pope could not have him put to death due to his supporters, they dug up his bones years later and burned them for translating the New Testament into the English language.

As you read this, you may think this practice of burning Bibles is only confined to the timeframe of the Middle Ages. But it still occurs today in parts of Mexico and Central and South America. A friend recently returned from Honduras where several years ago they passed out Bibles to every home in a certain village. On this trip he was informed by a native who is a former catholic that the priest had made each family give him their Bible and then he burned them.

Wonder what the priest was afraid of?

Carl

Making Life Meaningful

A good friend recently sent me a copy of To End All Wars by Ernest Gordon. It is Gordon’s account of the true story behind the Academy Award-winning film The Bridge on the River Kwai. During World War II he was a member of the Scottish 93rd Highlanders captured by the Japanese and put in a POW camp in Thailand. They, along with other allied troops and indigenous people, were used as slave labor to build the infamous bridge and railroad for a future Japanese invasion of India.

He describes the horrible living and work conditions and hopelessness that they had to endure daily. Death was everywhere, with many good men dying. Interpersonal relationships were almost non-existent; it was basically every man for himself.

After almost dying of multiple diseases brought on by the non-stop hard work, poor diet and extreme climate, Gordon and some of the other men, at the bottom of the abyss of human existence, stripped of all human comforts and status, began to experience revival. A turning from despair, selfishness, greed and loneliness to serving their fellow prisoners with the love that only God could put into a human heart yielded to Jesus Christ.

Following is a quote from the book that sums up his experience. I strongly recommend this book. Courage to you. Carl

“We had two alternatives: we could choose the way of men, based on the sovereignty of the natural order, closed, sealed and impersonal; or we could choose the way of Jesus Christ, free and personal, based on the sovereignty of God the Father.

The wind of the spirit had blown upon us; we could not prove how or whence it had come. But our experience pointed to a source beyond ourselves. We knew personal fulfillment, love, joy, peace, wholeness, as we committed ourselves to the One who had called us. Only as we responded to this Word did we receive the power to progress towards true humanity. Our life on the horizontal plane was made meaningful at the point where it was met by the vertical. At the point marked by the Cross we found ourselves. “

Ernest Gordon – To End All Wars (emphasis added)

New Orleans Atheist Changes His Mind

Desmond Boudreaux was bitter from past church experiences as a child and eventually became an atheist as a young adult. He helped form a Marxist group in New Orleans which he hoped would help silence Christianity.

He said,

“The group I was with hated churches and Christianity. Once I got into it, I realized there was no peace in what I was pursuing. That’s when I met Justin and found Christ. The whole time I was searching for peace and truth, but could never find it. Whenever I found Christ, that’s when I truly found what I was looking for.”

The person who lead him to Christ was Refuge Church Pastor Justin Haynes. It was Christian love displayed by Pastor Haynes and other members of the church that caused a change of heart in Desmond. On April 8th, he was plunged beneath the baptistery waters to publicly display his newfound faith.

(Condensed from Baptist Message)

Bravo for Brother Desmond! Another soul rescued from the snare of the devil.

Maybe you, like Desmond, are looking for peace and truth; rest for your soul. The Risen Lord makes the following offer to you today:

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.

Take My yoke upon you , and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and YOU SHALL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS.

For my yoke is easy, and My load is light”. (Matthew 11:28-30)

Carl

Not Enough Air

I’ve taken up cycling again for the 4th or 5th time in my life. At my age, it is taking considerably longer to “get in shape”. Bought a used hybrid bike and started riding with my wife who has been riding while I walked for exercise.

Made the mistake of going to Covington, LA and riding on the Tammany Trace, an old railroad corridor converted to a hiking and cycling asphalt pathway. I thought it would be okay when I saw that you could call 911 from the Trace and the paramedics would respond. After I made it to the Rusty Pelican in Mandeville for lunch, I thought I could keep up with my wife and my fifteen year old grandson on the twelve mile return. Not true. They left me in their dust but were gracious when I finally caught up with them at the truck.

Now this bothered me. I was running a 51.7 second quarter mile when I was seventeen….. of course, that was 49 years and 82 additional pounds ago.

This week, after still struggling on rides with my wife, I finally discovered the problem. I had erroneously assumed that the technician at the bike shop had maxed out the air pressure in my tires but instead of 85 pounds, there was only 35 pounds. The bikes are designed to operate most efficiently with high pressure tires. My old road bike operated at 115 pounds.

Not enough air. I felt 15 years younger when I fixed the problem!

My Christian life is sometimes like this cycling experience. A lot of effort, little visible results. Just as the under inflated tires created too much road drag and laborious pedaling, too much Carl and not enough daily reliance on the Holy Spirit creates drag in my spiritual life and causes diminished or no results. Just as the bike designers design road bikes to operate with high tire pressure, our Designer designed born again people to operate by His Spirit, not Self.

That is why the early Church was so effective in spreading the gospel without radio, TV, internet or the printing press. Pliny, The Younger, a pagan Roman official (circa 100 AD), reported to the Roman emperor that the pagan temples were almost deserted in his providence. Due to so many people being converted to Christianity, the sale of animals for idol sacrifices plummeted. The Holy Spirit was working through these “primitive” people. (It’s always interesting when a commentator speaks about the early Church as the “primitive church”. My how we need the primitive church today!)

To bring it closer to our time, in The Shantung Revival Dr. C. L. Culpepper, a Southern Baptist missionary, tells how dead the Christian churches were in north China in the 1920s and early 30s. He goes on to describe how the Lord brought the missionaries to surrender to the control of the Holy Spirit and then He could work through them to bring amazing revival to the Church in Northern China and Korea. Untold thousands were born again and the church was strengthened for the coming of communism.

Why? Because people surrendered to the Holy Spirit.

Listen to what Dr. Culpepper in 1968 said about the problem and the solution:

“Most of the things that took place in Shantung are as foreign as Chinese in American churches today, mainly because of resistance to the Holy Spirit. ”

“In his defense before the council, Stephen said, “Ye do always resist the Holy Spirit.” The charge remains true to this day. Actually this resistance is usually disguised by a professed aversion to “Pentecostalism”, but it’s becoming more and more evident as nothing more than resistance to the Holy Spirit.”

” The writer has used these expressions to designate the experience of total surrender to the Holy Spirit, resulting in a dramatic experience of Christian joy.”

The problem – resistance to the Holy Spirit.

The solution – total surrender to the Holy Spirit.

How about you? How is your tire? Properly inflated or under inflated?

Full of Self or Full of the Holy Spirit?

Carl

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