“…the righteous will flourish like the green leaf.”

This diseased leaf is from a live oak tree infected with the deadly Oak Wilt fungus. While in the Texas Hill Country, I learned that this reddish pattern is one of the ways to detect the fatal disease. It is an outward manifestation of an otherwise invisible, usually fatal, malady.

When I saw this, I was immediately reminded about what King David wrote in Psalms 1 concerning the righteous man who meditates on the word of God:

“And he will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers.”

King David uses a tree planted by a streams of water as a metaphor to describe a person who meditates on God’s word. Notice as a result of meditating on God’s word, the tree is firmly planted and its leaf does not wither.

The tree is not blown over by the wind. The person who meditates on what God says is not carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming (Ephesians 4:14). Because he knows God’s truth.

The word of God is like a river of life bringing spiritual “nutrients” to us as we sink our roots or thoughts into it. Because “the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword (Heb. 4:12), it can change us, bringing refreshing where there is drought! The Holy Spirit uses it to “judge the thoughts and intentions of ” our hearts bringing revival to us as we deal with what He reveals, good or bad. He wants to restore us to fellowship with the Son and the Father “…so that our joy may be made complete (I John 1:4).

Proverb 11:28 says

“He who trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will flourish like the green leaf.”

Are we spiritually dry today? Do we feel like our spiritual “leaf” is not flourishing but withered; evidence of an invisible disease eating away at our soul? Has the wind of life blown us over or broken part of our values?

Maybe we are feeding our souls too much on the “bread” of the world, the words and images that constantly bombard us during a typical day. Words and images that may even tickle our fancy and offer a distraction from the abrasion of the world but, when it comes to feeding our human spirit, that which communes with God’s Spirit, it is just vanity….nothingness. Like eating sugar all day; sweet but does us no good.

If this is you, I encourage you to plug into His streams of water today. Pick a scripture from the word of God and meditate on it for five minutes or through out the day. Use your mind to dissect the verse and get all of the “water” out of it you can. You will be surprised what His Spirit will show you. Let it free you from the things that choke out the word of God IN YOU: the worry of the world and the deceitfulness of riches (Matt. 13:22). The things that bring drought to your soul, paralyzing your mind, making your will passive and depressing your emotions.

May we let the abundant life Jesus talked about begin to flow out of us as we meditate on His Word. May His word reorder our priorities, expose the enemy’s snares, reveal sins that have defiled us, renew fellowship with Lord Jesus and Father God. He will pour His peace and joy into your spirit which will change the state of your soul!

Lord Jesus said

“It is written, ‘MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE, BUT ON EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDS OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD.’ ”

Let us not try to feed our spirits with the world’s “bread” but with His Truths revealed in the Holy Bible.

Blessings and peace to you in Christ Jesus.

Carl

Who Goes There?

by Pastor Larry DeBruyn for Contemplative Spirituality, Spiritual Discernment

Encountering voices in contemplative prayer . . .

“We are from God; he who knows God listens to us; he who is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.”
—The Apostle John, 1 John 4:6, NASB

Introduction
Through practicing the discipline of solitude and silence, contemplative spiritualists hope to hear God personally speak to them. As one nationally known personality stated on the Be Still DVD, “intimacy automatically breeds revelation.” [1]  But if a voice speaks, there is some question regarding its identity. Therefore in the video’s same segment, “Fear of Silence,” Richard Foster offers advice about how to discern who might communicate in the stillness. He said:

Learning to distinguish the voice of God . . . from just human voices within us . . . comes in much the same way that we learn any other voice. Satan pushes and condemns. God draws and encourages. And we can know the difference. [2]

Though there could be others, Richard Foster admits to a cacophony of possible voices that might speak: first, human voices within and without (a source that could involve hearing oneself speak, in which case, contemplators would be listening to themselves); second, the voice of Satan or demons; and third, God’s voice.

Who’s Voice?
In order to determine whose voice might be speaking, Foster provides criteria. If the voice is positive and reaffirming, then the voice is God’s. If however the voice is negative and that like a bully who “pushes and condemns,” then the voice must be that of Satan. To discern whether or not the voice is human, Foster offers no advice.

So if the voice is human, one is left wondering, why go into a meditative trance to hear yourself or another human speak? After all, in the normal concourse of life people talk to themselves and listen to others all the time, unless contemplators feel so isolated and alone, or unless in accord with the eastern monistic worldview, meditators believe they are gods so that when they listen to their voice, they are listening to god’s!

Yet Foster is of the opinion that the voice could be God’s. He errs however, by asserting that the divine voice invariably “draws and encourages.” Scripture does not record that God exclusively speaks in that manner. Yes, God encourages. To disobedient Israel he said, “I have loved you with an everlasting love” (Jeremiah 31:3). But God can and often has spoken negatively. Speaking for God, the prophets of Israel called the sinful nation to repentance as they warned the people of coming wrath and judgment. Of the prophets who droned on and on with their “encouraging” message even in the face of Israel’s utter moral and spiritual collapse, the Lord said, “The prophets are prophesying falsehood in My name. I have neither sent them nor commanded them nor spoken to them; they are prophesying to you a false vision, divination, futility and the deception of their own minds” (Jeremiah 14:14). In light of God’s manner of speaking through the prophets, can biblical Christians legitimately dismiss negative messages as being from Satan?

In his classic work on the subject of holiness, German theologian Adolf Köberle countered the significance of the negative criteria Foster mentions. He wrote:

The clear-cut difference between mystical piety and that of the Bible can be seen most clearly in the attitude towards prayer. All mystical prayer . . . becomes a blissful absorption into divinity, where personal consciousness ceases, like the impassible, dreamy rest of Nirvana. The experience of all Biblical suppliants stands in direct contrast to this beatific transcendence. When anyone has really encountered God Himself and not merely a higher ego or an imaginary, fantastic portrayal of God, he is roused from dreaming to watchfulness, from an impure approach to a terrified retreat, from the familiar confidence of bombastic prayers to words that express a real feeling of awe towards the One Who is so far above the suppliant himself. [3]

Köberle then cites Isaiah’s response to his beatific vision and communication he had of and from the Lord as his response was: “Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I live among a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts” (Isaiah 6:5). Can Isaiah’s beatific experience accurately be described as one of being drawn to and encouraged by the Lord? If not, then to use Foster’s expression, was Isaiah being “bullied” by Satan?

Assuming that God speaks Soul to soul today, what if Foster’s paradigm for determining the supernatural communication’s origin was reversed, that the negative voice is God’s and the positive is Satan’s? It happened that way in the Garden. God warned Adam and Eve that for disobedience to God, “you shall surely die” (Genesis 2:17), but Satan reassuringly told Adam and Eve, “You surely shall not die!” (Genesis 3:4). The point is that when engaging in meditative spirituality, the contemplator or mystic can never be certain who will speak, and as a consequence, the experience can become the spawning ground for myriads of flashy ideas based solely upon, he or she “heard this or that.” At the juncture of such hearing, Christians and the church will have turned aside to the hearsay of “myths” (2 Timothy 4:4).

We live in the age of the Holy Spirit and His spiritual communion and communication with the human soul. But the Spirit’s communication is not always pleasant. Of the Holy Spirit Jesus predicted, “And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin, and righteousness, and judgment” (John 16:8). Even the Comforter does not always comfort. Sometimes He convicts, and conviction of soul is not pleasant to experience. It upsets. We do not like to be told we are wrong. Yet without the voice of the Spirit’s conviction, we would continue in sin, pursue unrighteousness and deny we are accountable to God for our behavior. So when for legitimate reasons the Spirit’s conviction comes over them, will Christians be so deluded by the positivity and feel good message that saturates today’s evangelical church that they will ignore the Spirit’s conviction; or worse, in a turnabout, they will assign the criticism to be the bullying voice of Satan?

None of us likes criticism. Never is it pleasant, especially if deserved. Instinctively, we become defensive. Nevertheless, the Holy Spirit is not only the Comforter of believers, He is also their critic. As we might indulge the fleshly inclinations of our hearts, the Spirit brings feelings of guilt to bear down upon us. He calls us to repent of sin and return to God’s righteousness. Again, should believers rightfully assign all guilt feelings to Satan? If the message of the plethora of positivity preachers who dominate evangelicalism is to be believed, then the answer would be, “yes.” Negativity is satanic. But if the Bible’s standard of spirituality is believed, the answer is “no,” for one mark of spirituality in the Bible is a person’s sensitivity to sin (See Genesis 18:27; Job 42:5-6; Isaiah 6:5; Luke 5:8; Romans 7:14-25; etc.).

A Warning
That contemplative spiritualists engage in practices that by their own admission expose them to the influence of Satan’s voice is troubling. Scripture admonishes believers, “Neither give place [i.e., an opportunity] to the devil” (Ephesians 4:27). But in his advocacy of contemplative prayer, Richard Foster admits that Satan may seize the silence as an occasion to speak. He states:

I also want to give a word of precaution. In the silent contemplation of God we are entering deeply into the spiritual realm, and there is such a thing as supernatural guidance that is not divine guidance . . . there are various orders of spiritual beings, and some of them are definitely not in cooperation with God and his way! [4]

How to Contemplate
In the first edition of his book The Celebration of Discipline (1978), Foster proposes “four forms” of meditation. [5]  The first involves two activities: one, in yogic style, sitting for about five to ten minutes with your palms down (consciously letting go of your problems—release it) and then with your palms up (silently waiting for God’s peace—receive it); or two, concentrating on breathing (exhaling worries, fears and concerns, inhaling God’s peace).

The second involves meditating on some aspect of creation because if we will but listen, God as Foster quotes Agnes Sanford (1897-1982), “still speaks to us through the earth and the sea, the birds of the air and the little living creatures upon the earth . . .” [6]

The third involves meditation for an extended period of time on a particular Scripture during which time the contemplator can “actually encounter the living Christ . . . be addressed by His voice and be touched by His healing power.” [7] In contrast to imagination that might happen during meditation, Foster writes that with Jesus “it can be a genuine confrontation” and then adds, “Jesus Christ may actually come to you.” [8] Meditators can, it appears, stimulate their own personal and private Parousia, Presence or Second Coming (Matthew 24:30), and this despite the fact that Scripture declares the event will be public (Revelation 1:7).

But Foster describes yet a fourth type of meditation, one he calls “the Mt. Everest of the soul,” one that “has its objective to bring you into a deep inner communion with the Father where you look at Him and He looks at you.” [9] And this can happen despite Jesus’ testimony that He alone had visage of the Father; He said, “Not that anyone has seen the Father, except the One who is from God; He has seen the Father”; and despite the Apostle John’s statement, “No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him” (John 6:46; 1:18; Compare 1 Timothy 6:16.). But go for it anyway.

Going OBE (Out of the Body)
As contemplators climb smaller meditative peaks, and meditatively gaze at the sky above, they may sense a desire to go higher. [10] Foster describes an exercise of meditation that can induce and transport the contemplator’s soul to experience another dimension of reality. “After awhile” wrote Foster, “there is a deep yearning within to go into the upper regions beyond the clouds.” [11]  So to climb the highest peak, Foster tells readers,

In your imagination allow your spiritual body, shining with light, to rise out of your physical body. Look back so that you can see yourself lying in the grass and reassure your body that you will return momentarily. Imagine your spiritual self, alive and vibrant, rising up through the clouds and into the stratosphere. Observe your physical body, the knoll, and the forest shrink as you leave the earth. Go deeper and deeper into outer space until there is nothing except the warm presence of the eternal Creator. Rest in His presence. Listen quietly, anticipating the unanticipated. Note carefully any instruction given. With time and experience you will be able to distinguish readily between mere human thought that may bubble up to the conscious mind and the True Spirit which moves upon the heart. Do not be surprised if the instruction is terribly practical and not pointed if no words come; like good friends, you are silently enjoying the company of each other. When it is time for you to leave, audibly thank the Lord for His goodness and return to the meadow. Walk joyfully back along the path until you return home full of new life and energy. [12]

Question: In light Scripture’s admonition to “resist the devil” (James 4:7), why should Christians flirt with a spiritual practice that might expose them to hear Satan or a demon speak?

Conclusion
The fact that contemporary evangelicals seek “fresh” revelations from and experiences with God, even to go “out of the body,” indicates that they no longer consider Holy Scripture to be sufficient and authoritative in matters of faith and its practice (Contra 2 Timothy 3:16.). Yet if the Bible is no longer considered sufficient, hearing another voice give a revelation raises the following conundrum:

If a voice repeats what’s in Holy Scripture, then the word is unnecessary. If a voice intuition or actual speaking contradicts the Word of God, then what it says is heresy. If however, the voice supplements the Word of God, then the fresh revelation points to Scripture’s insufficiency, and regarding this last point Proverbs warns: “Add thou not unto his [God’s] words, lest he [God] reprove thee, and thou be found a liar” (Proverbs 30:6, KJV).

So the Apostle Paul warned the Colossians against the folk religion that was leading them astray from the faith:

“Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize by delighting in self-abasement and the worship of the angels, taking his stand on visions he has seen, inflated without cause by his fleshly mind, and not holding fast to the head, from whom the entire body, being supplied and held together by the joints and ligaments, grows with a growth which is from God” (Emphasis added, Colossians 2:18-19).

One of the marks of spiritual defrauders is, as Paul points out, that they take their “stand on visions they have seen.” Would it not also be a legitimate application of Paul’s words to think that spiritual defrauders might also take their stand upon voices they have heard?

___________________
Endnotes
[1] Michelle McKinney Hammond, “Fear of Silence,” Be Still (DVD © 2006 Twentieth Fox Home Entertainment LLC).
[2] Ibid: Richard Foster segment.
[3] Italics mine, Adolf Köberle, The Quest for Holiness, John C. Mattes, Translator (Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg Publishing House, 1938): 35-36.
[4] Richard J. Foster, Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home (San Francisco, CA: Harper San Francisco, 1992): 157.
[5] Richard J. Foster, Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth (San Francisco, CA: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1978): 27-28. In the books 10th Anniversary revision, Foster still advises the same formats for meditation, but eliminates much of the advice and goals of meditation evident in the first edition. See Richard J. Foster, Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth, Revised Edition (San Francisco, CA: Harper & Row Publishers, 1988): 29-32. Christianity Today, the magazine of evangelicalism, has called the book, having sold over a million copies, one of the top ten books of the twentieth century. This raises the question, How many copies of the 1978 edition are still in circulation as used books? If they are still circulating, then the issues raised deserve continuing address for the mystical path Foster promotes is even today being followed and experienced.
[6] Ibid: 25. During the 60s thru the 80s, Sanford was a charismatic leader of the Inner Healing Movement.
[7] Ibid: 26.
[8] Ibid.
[9] Ibid: 27.
[10] As they climb the “mystic mountain,” contemplators may at hear and experience “attendant voices and visitations.” See Ray C. Petry, Editor, Late Medieval Mysticism: The Library of Christian Classics, Volume 17 (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 1957): 21. Other experiences may include body illumination and levitation. Other experienced paranormal phenomena (PSI) can include clairvoyance, clairaudience, precognition, prophecy and so on. See Herbert Thurston, S.J., The Physical Phenomena of Mysticism, J.H. Crehan, Editor (Fort Collins, CO: Roman Catholic Books, 1951); Montague Summers, The Physical Phenomena of Mysticism: With Especial Reference to the Stigmata, Divine and Diabolic (London, GB: Rider & Company, 1950); and Raynor C. Johnson, The Imprisoned Splendor: An approach to Reality, based upon the significance of data drawn from the fields of Natural Science, Psychical Research and Mystical Experience (Cambridge, GB: University Press, 1989).
[11] Foster, Celebration of Discipline (1978), 27.
[12] Ibid: Emphasis added. In a bibliographical note regarding the first edition of Foster’s Celebration of Discipline (1978), Christian philosopher Arthur Johnson stated: “In an attempt to provide advice on living the Christian life, Foster promotes a very mystical view of Christianity.” Therefore Johnson concluded that, “Much of what the Protestant Reformers opposed is promoted by Foster.” See Arthur L. Johnson, Faith Misguided: Exposing the Dangers of Mysticism (Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1988): 153.

Knock, Knock! Who’s There? That Is The Question In Yoga, Meditation, Mindfulness and Contemplative Prayer.

Some Christians today, in their desire to have a closer walk with the Lord or for some health reason,  have turned to meditative practices rooted in eastern mysticism such as Yoga, Mindfulness, Meditation, Contemplative Prayer, etc. The goal being to reach a passive state of “silence” or “stillness” where all mental thoughts cease and the ‘Lord’ can be heard.  While it is noble to want a closer walk with the Lord Jesus, a person must be careful how he goes about seeking this intimacy, because a sincere motive is no protection from deception.

In Watchman Nee’s 1927 book, The Spiritual Man, he discusses how we can discern if the Lord Jesus or evil spirits are communicating with us. Following are some quotes from the section entitled, The Mind A Battlefield, where he compares the different mental conditions through which the Holy Spirit works versus the mental conditions through which evil spirits work.

At the end of his comments, we have quotes from Quaker Richard J. Foster, an advocate of these practices, and a former Yanamamo witchdoctor.

I hope you find the material enlightening.  Thank you for your time.

Carl

“God creates man with a mind to be used —“he who hears the word and understands it” (Matt. 13:23). God desires man to understand His Word  with the intellect, from whence the emotion, will and spirit are reached.”

“In their desire to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit many of the Lord’s people feel they do not need to measure, investigate, and judge by the light of the Bible all thoughts which seemingly come from God. “

“The passivity of the mind is due to a misconception of the meaning of consecration and obedience to the Holy Spirit. Many take for granted that the thoughts in their head hinder their walk. They do not perceive that it is a brain which ceases to function or which functions chaotically that hinders spiritual life, whereas, one which functions properly is not only profitable but also essential. Such a mind as this can alone cooperate with God.”

Let us pursue one step further this matter of passivity as a condition for the operation of evil spirits. We are aware of one class of people who especially relish communicating with these spirits. People usually do not hanker to be demon possessed, but this special class craves to be so possessed. These are the soothsayers, the augurs, the mediums, the necromancers. By accurately observing the cause of their possession we may come to understand the principle of demon possession. These people tell us that in order to be possessed by what they call gods (who actually are demons) their will must present no resistance whatsoever but be favorably disposed to accept whatever comes upon their bodies. To render their will completely passive their mind must first to be reduced to blankness. A blank brain produces a passive will. These two elements are the basic requisites for demon possession. Hence a necromancer who is waiting for his “god” to come to him lets down his hair and shakes his head for a continued period until it is dizzy and his mind completely out of action. As the latter is turning blank his will naturally becomes immobile. At this point his mouth begins to move unconsciously, his body gradually trembles, and before long his “god” descends upon him. This is one way of becoming possessed. Although there may be others, the principle for the spiritist is the same: to achieve passivity of will through a perfectly blank mind; for all spiritist agree that when spirits or demons alight upon them their heads can no longer think and their wills can no longer act. They are unpossessed until this state of an empty mind and an inert will is reached.

Today’s (1927) so-called scientific hypnotism and religious yogi, which enable people to possess the powers of telepathy, healing, and transforming, are in reality founded upon these two principles. Using the argument that certain methods can be beneficial to mankind, those of this class who perform such techniques as focusing one’s attention, sitting silently, contemplating and meditating, are actually employing these devices to reduce their mind to a blank condition and their will to passivity so as to invite supernatural spirits or demons to supply them with many wonderful experiences. Our purpose here is not to inquire whether or not these people realize they are inviting evil spirits to come; we merely wish to observe that they are fulfilling the requirements for demon possession. The consequence is grave; perhaps later they shall awaken to the fact that what they have welcomed are indeed evil spirits.

Our intention here is not a full treatment of this subject. We simply wish to acquaint the Lord’s children with the principles behind the practice of the black arts: which are a blank and passive mind and will. Evil spirits are overjoyed should these conditions be present, as they can immediately commence to do their dark work.

It is well for every Christian to always bear in mind the one basic and crucially important distinction between the working of evil spirits and that of the Holy Spirit: the Latter works when man fulfills His working conditions, while the former work when man fulfills their working conditions. If man, even though he may appear to be seeking the Holy Spirit, meets the requirements for evil spirits to operate, God’s Spirit will never operate. The wicked spirits wait tirelessly for the opportunity to act. Should anyone be incompetent to distinguish what is truly of God from what is a counterfeit, he need only ask himself one question: what kind of condition was he in when first he experienced such phenomena? If he had fulfilled the prerequisites for the Holy Spirit’s activity, it must have been from God; but had he met the necessary conditions for evil spirits to work, then what he encountered must have been the evil spirit. We do not reject every supernatural phenomenon; what we simply and earnestly desire to do is to separate what is of God from what is of Satan.

The basic distinction between the operating requirements of the Holy Spirit and the wicked spirits can be summarized as follows:

  1. All supernatural revelations, visions or other strange occurrences which require the total cessation of the function of the mind, or are obtained only after it has ceased working, are not of God.
  2. All visions which arise from the Holy Spirit are conferred when the believer’s mind is fully active. It necessitates the active engagement of the various functions of the mind to apprehend these visions. The endeavors of evil spirits follow exactly the opposite course.
  3. All which flows from God agrees with God’s nature and the Bible.”

The Spiritual Man – Watchman Nee  ( Part Eight – The Mind A Battlefield – selections from pages 21-27.  Emphasis- mine.)

In addition to what Nee said the dangers of a blank mind and passive will, the Quaker Richard J. Foster, an advocate of “Christian” contemplation, expresses his concerns about who is speaking in the “silence” when he says

“I also want to give a word of precaution. In the silent contemplation of God we are entering deeply into the spiritual realm, and there is such a thing as supernatural guidance that is not divine guidance…there are various orders of spiritual beings, and some of them are definitely not in cooperation with God and his way!  (Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home)

In other words, there are other dangerous spirits in this “silence” that can do you harm. Shame on Foster for encouraging innocent people to expose themselves to such danger. In the, Be Still, DVD he offers advice about how to discern who might be communicating in the “silence” or “stillness”:

“Learning to distinguish the voice of God….from just human voices within us…comes in much the same way that we learn any other voice. Satan pushes and condemns. God draws and encourages. And we know the difference.”

He admits to a chorus of voices that might speak in the “solitude” and “silence”: God, satan, or even other human voices. To show how naïve Foster is, in telling people how to discern God’s voice from satan’s, listen to what the former witchdoctor has to say about what he experienced while in the “silence” and focusing.

Chief Shoefoot, a Yanamamo shaman or witchdoctor, in the DVD, I’ll Never Go Back – A Shaman’s Story, describes the multitude of spiritual beings (demons) that are in this “deep spiritual realm” that Foster encourages people to go into, with blank minds and passive wills.   The Chief begins by relating his initiation into shamanism. How he, after having drugs blown up his nose, was told by the head witchdoctor to sit in “silence” and “focus” only on him (the witchdoctor). Then the “good” and “bad” spirits materialized, a vast mass swirling around the teacher, beautifully attired in tropical bird feathers,  and certain “good” ones entered his chest where, he said,  they built their houses and invited other “good” spirts.  There were other “bad” spirits that were not to be accepted since they caused jealously, murder, etc.

These evil “good” spirits brought bondage,  eventually causing him to think  he was losing his mind. He said the spirits were “deceivers and loved to deceive.” It was at this point that he met a missionary who helped him understand why God sent his Son to earth. He was born again and delivered from all of the evil spirits.  To the anthropologist’s argument that these primitive tribes should be left alone, Chief Shoefoot says he never wants to go back to living a life dominated by the forces of darkness.

In conclusion, Watchman Nee shares that a blank mind and passive will are a welcome mat for evil spirits to enter a person, that the voice one hears in this “silent” state, which is the goal of all eastern mysticism meditation, is NOT God’s but deceiving, evil spirits.  Even the advocates of these practices, like Richard J. Foster, admit that a person is exposing themselves to deception by these evil beings when in this state.  Finally, the  error of Foster’s advice on how to discern God’s voice  from satan is revealed by Chief Shoefoot’s testimony.  From this once professional witchdoctor we see that there are “good” spirits that do good things and “bad” spirits that  do evil things.  So in this meditative state you can have a wide range of feelings, from being “drawn and encouraged” to being “pushed and condemned” depending on the evil spirit.  Feelings are a dangerous yardstick for WHO you are hearing in this mentally blank and passive state.

He said these spirits were beautiful in appearance but that they all deceive and love to deceive.

If you are a Christian or a non-Christian who is involved or considering trying these eastern meditation methods, I strongly suggest you stop these practices or never get started. God never asked you to seek Him in such a way that exposes you to demonic possession. Use your mind to meditate on His Word found in the Bible and let the truths therein bring practical righteousness to your daily walk and overflowing joy into your life.

The Lord Jesus said He came so that you could have abundant life.  Don’t settle for a counterfeit.

“Now to Him is able to keep you from stumbling and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy,

To the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen     (Jude 24 -25)

Carl

Meditation! Pathway To Wellness Or Doorway To The Occult?

meditation

By “meditation” we are not referring to normal meditation where thoughts fill our mind.  This article refers to “meditation” that originates in eastern influences and requires you to create a mental void, stillness or silence.  Also when the author uses the word “metaphysics” in this context, it means the occult. Similar articles addressing the New Age Spirituality can be found at Lighthouse Trails.  Enjoy.  God Bless.  Carl

by Ray Yungen

“In the West, mysticism always used to be restricted to a tiny fraction of the population (i.e., shamans, esoteric brotherhoods, and small spiritually elite groups). Never before has there been a widespread teaching of these methods to the general population. Now, mysticism pervades the Western world. How did this happen?
The first such book to reach a broad audience was Creative Visualization by Shakti Gawain. This book could rightfully be called a practical mystic’s “Bible.” Many people can trace their first involvement with metaphysics to this book. Since its publication in 1978, it has sold millions of copies and has influenced the fields of psychology, health, business, and athletics.
This book became so popular because it addresses such topics as creativity, career goals, relationships, better health, and simple relaxation and peacefulness. Who wouldn’t want to have all this, especially if all it takes is engaging in a simple practice?
Gawain spells out very clearly what that practice entails. She teaches her readers:
Almost any form of meditation will eventually take you to an experience of yourself as source, or your higher self . . . Eventually you will start experiencing certain moments during your meditation when there is a sort of “click” in your consciousness and you feel like things are really working; you may even experience a lot of energy flowing through you or a warm radiant glow in your body. These are signs that you are beginning to channel the energy of your higher self.1”

Click here for the rest of the article.

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