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We know that voices that speak to you can cause havoc in your life. The stories fly in from media sources of those who “hear” voices telling them to do awful things like kill people or to harm oneself. We rightly determine that the source of these voices are evil and demonic.

Christians however often believe themselves protected from such deception. This is far from the truth. Our adversary the devil disguises himself as an angel of light. 2 Corthinians 11:14.  He knows that his true identity needs to be hidden or else be outright rejected.

The problem is that Christians are often no longer satisfied with walking in faith and Sola Scripture. They are lured into seeking experiences. Meditative practices offer such spiritual delusion.

I speak from past experience. I was drawn into pentecostal theology of receiving personal “words”. It was pleasant.  I was filled with joy at being used by the Lord. I wept with gratitude and humility. But something was wrong and I knew it. Nagging thoughts sent red flags.

I started praying for truth no matter how hard it would be to my pride. And it was pride. My thoughts got twisted. Surely the Lord would use me in this way because of my deep humility.  I was led to 1 Samuel 15:23.

“For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry.  Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, he has rejected you as king.”

This verse cut to my very soul and my sin was exposed. The scales fell from my eyes.

Please read:

Encountering voices in contemplative prayer . . .

An updated article by Pastor Larry DeBruyn*
“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 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 ispositiveand 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.

Finish article HERE 

Part 6: The Physics of Heaven
A Serial Book Review & Theological Interaction

Read Part 1: “The Physics of Heaven”
Read Part 2: “The Power of the Zero-Point Field”
Read Sidebar: “Jesus’ Lesser Works”
Read Part 3: “Extracting the Precious From the Worthless”
Read Part 4: “Vibrating in Harmony With God”
Read Part 5: BILL JOHNSON: Squandering Our Spiritual Inheritance

Unsagacious: having or showing no acute mental discernment and no keen practical sense; not shrewd; not wise.

 

Review of Chapter 5 authored by Jonathan Welton,
“Authentic vs. Counterfeit”
[1]

“I have found throughout Scripture at least 75 examples
of things that the New Age has counterfeited,
such as having a spirit guide, trances, meditation, auras,
power objects, clairvoyance, clairaudience,
and more.
These actually belong to the church,
but they have been stolen and cleverly repackaged.”
—Jonathan Welton, The Physics of Heaven, p. 49, emphasis added

Thesis
Ironically, this chapter, “Authentic vs. Counterfeit” by Jonathan Welton,[2] proposes that Christians should pursue separating the true from the false in New Age Religion, and reclaim the truths that religion stole from the church. The chapter’s “most important point” is,

If there is a counterfeit, there is an authentic that we need to find and reclaim. Every time we see a masquerade, we need too look closely to properly discern what is being counterfeited, because a counterfeit is evidence that an authentic exists. (TPOH, 42)

“Resistors” and “Fearers”
To advance his bold thesis, Welton needs to discredit conservative Christian critics who question the legitimacy of such a reclamation project and therefore states, “The way that God moves in power looks a lot like the New Age, and this has scared many Christians away from the operating gifts of the Holy Spirit.”(TPOH, 45) So he breaks down the way religious people view the supernatural into 3 Groups—

  1. Those who operate in the supernatural realm authentically (i.e., the signs and wonders crowd of the New Apostolic Reformation);
  2. Those who operate in the supernatural realm fraudulently (i.e., New Agers, Buddhists, Hindus and Occultists); and
  3. Those who view the supernatural realm skeptically.

Welton perceives Group 3 to be comprised of “fellow Christians who believe false doctrines regarding the operation of supernatural power.”(TPOH, 48) In contrast to the charismatic crowd that embraces the supernatural under the “the lordship of Jesus Christ,” Group 3 is comprised of those who fear supernatural phenomena, and presumably do not live under the lordship of Jesus Christ.

Welton bio on TheElijahList, 4/27/12


The New Normal
Welton compares these “resistors” to the Pharisees who after they observed the miracles Jesus worked by the Spirit, blasphemed the Holy Spirit by ascribing Jesus’ miraculous power to have been Satan’s (Luke 11:14-15). (Note: Unlike the Sadducees, the Pharisees were not anti-supernatural.)[3] To Welton, the new Christian normal involves free operation in the supernatural realm, performing signs and wonders at will. Yet upon their seeing miracles performed by manifest sons of God, Welton states that, “There will always be those who resist the Holy Spirit,” and “what may surprise you (as you become normal) is that the strongest resistance does not come from the sinner but from the fellow saint.”(TPOH, 49) Therefore, “Being a normal Christian” Welton informs, “is not for the faint of heart.”(TPOH, 49) So we turn to give attention to some of the spiritual activities which will comprise the new normal, activities which it is surmised, originally belonged to the church but were stolen by the New Age Movement. Welton writes:

“I have found throughout Scripture at least 75 examples of things that the New Age has counterfeited, such as having a spirit guide, trances, meditation, auras, power objects, clairvoyance, clairaudience, and more. These actually belong to the church, but they have been stolen and cleverly repackaged.” [Emphasis added, TPOH, 49]

We turn now to deal with the “things” Welton claims belonged to the church but were stolen, repackaged and used to promote New Age spirituality.

 

Continue HERE 

As you know I love posting personal testimonies – This one is from  – “For the Author”

A PERSONAL TESTIMONY: WHY CHRISTIAN LEADERS SHOULD NOT PROMOTE HENRI NOUWEN

Please read the important article at Lighthouse Trails
Why Christian Leaders Should Not Promote Henri Nouwen
that inspired the diatribe which follows:

I became a big fan of Henri Nouwen after discovering him on the reading list of the Spiritual Formation syllabus at a seminary where I took a few classes a couple of years ago. As an author, I found him to be warm, honest and engaging. He appealed to the scholarly side of me as well. I ended up choosing to write one of my papers for the Spiritual Formation class about two of the books he wrote. (It was a required class – I was enrolled in the Marriage and Family Counseling program).

Finish the article here

Who’s Laughing Now?

by Bud Press, Director

Christian Research Service

www.christianresearchservice.com

September 9, 2008

 

But they mingled with the nations and learned their practices, and

served their idols, which became a snare to them (Psalm 106:35-36).

 

Years ago, many parents laughed when their children were introduced to Yoga, Transcendental Meditation, relaxation, and visualization techniques in the secular schools and YMCA. Many school teachers and principles shrugged their shoulders and thought the techniques would help develop calmer, better behaved students.

 

On the job-site, professing Christians participated in company-sponsored “Stress Reduction” seminars. They laughed under their breath and refused to speak out against it–for fear of losing their jobs. Now, many companies across the nation offer Yoga, Tai Chi, Reiki, and other New Age practices as regular motivational courses for employees. 

 

Despite the complaints and concerns, many bookstore managers and officials within the “Christian bookstore” industry laughed and continued to advertise and promote books written by New Age authors. The “bottom line” (money) was more important than the spiritual welfare of the innocent and unwary.

 

With the husband off to work, a professing Christian woman turned to a video tape and spent and hour-per-day practicing Yoga. She laughed when her three year old child watched and imitated her moves.

 

Across the nation, and in many parts of the world, certified Yoga instructors cashed in on the booming Christian exercise craze and introduced churches and denominations to “Christian Yoga.” The postures were the same as Yoga, they said, but it had nothing to do with Hinduism. They laughed all the way to the bank.

 

During a church-sponsored “Christian Yoga” class, an instructor began bowing to the “god” within her students, and offered the Hindu Sanskrit salutation, Namaste. The students laughed, rolled their eyes, and bowed to the instructor. 

 

Along with Hatha Yoga, a church offered a Labyrinth walk, a Buddhist Teachings and Meditation group, and Yoga for children. During the children’s Yoga class, the adults smiled and laughed when their toddlers tried to perform the Yoga postures.

 

Average church members laughed when New Age techniques and practices were introduced during church-sponsored retreats, outings, and seminars. They sang the praises of books written by New Age authors, and passed the books around like tea and crumpets at a social event. Those who refused to laugh were encouraged to leave and find another church.

 

Christian colleges and universities weren’t immune to the New Age Movement. Many presidents and faculty members openly welcomed Kundalini Yoga and other New Age practices as an on-and-off campus course. Students laughed as they performed the Cobra pose, the Scorpion pose, and the Corpse pose in their classes, gyms and dorms.   

 

Many pastors across the land laughed, compromised, and turned a deaf-ear to the “Stress Management” and “Christian Yoga” courses being taught in their own churches. It is just a harmless form of exercise, they said. However, some pastors stopped laughing when they noticed a change-for-the-worse in the attitude and spirituality of some of their members.

 

In his spare time, one pastor practiced Yoga. Along with regular Yoga classes, the pastor’s church offered a gentle form of Tai Chi. The pastor’s congregation expressed an ever-present joy over his open-mindedness.

 

Across the world, professing Christians laughed when they were warned about the spiritual, mental, and physical dangers of practicing Yoga and its demon inspired postures. In their stubborn pride they continued to purchase New Age materials and promote New Age practices to untold numbers of men, women, and children.

 

Years ago, many laughed and brushed-off the New Age Movement as a mere fad that would eventually fade away. But behind the scenes, it slithered into every strata of our society–homes, elementary and high schools, bookstores, jobs, colleges, universities, churches, and pulpits.

 

But 2,000 years ago, the Apostle Paul refused to laugh when confronted with the New Age Movement of his day. Under divine inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Paul provided the following remedy:

 

Many also of those who had believed kept coming, confessing and disclosing their practices. And many of those who practiced magic brought their books together and began burning them in the sight of everyone; and they counted up the price of them and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver. So the word of the Lord was growing mightily and prevailing

(Acts 19:18-20).

 

God expressly forbids the practice of New Age techniques and the promotion of New Age materials.

 

Who’s laughing now?

 

Related reading:

 

This article first appeared as a post on the DiscernIt blog, and has been revised.

 

 

 

lurtoplogo.jpg 

http://www.letusreason.org/Default.htm 

Mike Oppenheimer of:

Let Us Reason Ministries

MY TESTIMONY                         

I was brought up Jewish, went to Shabbat quite faithfully each Friday and celebrated the holydays at the temple and with family. Our family like many others, gathered together on the high holy days in observance. I attended Hebrew school twice a week and learned the language and eventually was Bar Mitzvahed and confirmed. While attending classes I asked a lot of questions about God the Rabbi could not answer. Though I continued each year, mainly to please my parents, I became less interested in the traditional religion of my parents and feeling hindered in my spiritual development, leaped head first into my own brand of freestyle spirituality after graduation.

By my own search in reading and attending lectures and gatherings I got involved in the New Age Movement, became a vegetarian and for 15 years practiced yoga and meditation. I ended up using psychedelic drugs for a time (LSD, mescaline etc.), as part of my regular religious observances and smoking “pakalolo” (pot) became part of my normal lifestyle. During these times I also experimented with various religions and the occult. I felt they each contained some part of the truth of the one “true” religion, just as Rosicrucianism teaches all religions are petals on the same flower.

I studied about the Ancient Masters of the East, learning about Buddhism and Zen I picked up on a number of the practices. I had a number of spiritual experiences which at the time I was sure were from God and leading me to a greater knowledge of myself and Him. I discovered and believed in the Ascended Masters that were guiding our world into a greater evolutionary path. I was involved with UFO’s and channeled messages. I was sure I was on the right spiritual path because of the various signs things just fell into place. At the same time I also read the Bible (even the New Testament), not denying my Jewish roots. I began reading over 50 books a year, having an insatiable spiritual appetite, but God was working on my exit out of this spiritual bondage.

I had also started to surf before beginning my spiritual pilgrimage. I fell in love with the sport and began traveling, surfing and entering contests. Surfing became my livelihood after I learned to shape surfboards for a living. I became the NY champion for a number of years and eventually the eastern surfing champion for two years. Hawaii proved to be an irresistible attraction due to its fantastic surf. I moved permanently to Hawaii with my girlfriend Kathy in the mid 70’s. This gave me more freedom to pursue both my first love of surfing and my freelance spirituality. We thought we were becoming enlightened. Reading books about the Ascended Masters involvement and “learning” about Earth’s past history on Lemuria and Atlantis. We desired to become servants of the New age movement, convinced that if we all united we could usher in an age of spiritual cooperation and enlightenment that so many were talking about. After nine years my searching came to a head when my girlfriend Kathy and I started to pursue our spiritual hunger more seriously and became involved in the “I Am Movement” (the Saint Germaine Society of the Ballard’s). Through calling on angels and powers unknown to us and by “decreeing” and using the Violet Consuming Flame to eradicate past life karma, we were learning to become active in the New Age Movement. At the time, Kathy was practicing affirmations, mantras, studying herbology, polarity therapy, kinesiology and learning about the supposed spiritual energies of the body. She also was a manager of a health store on the Island of Oahu.

At the same time, the Lord started moving ahead with His rescue plan and during one week we had two friends over who had recently became Christians. One was also a surfer that I knew from New York. We talked about end-time events for hours. Since I was familiar with, as I had been reading the Bible for years, and was especially fascinated about the end of the age. (At that time we both thought Christians were very narrow minded about their view of the Bible, God and the world. Kathy and I used to laugh about how the New Age was coming in without Christians even being aware of it, and were still trying to live in the old traditions and were not going to be part of it). Later that week my friends invited us to a seminar that just so happened to be on the New Age Movement with speakers Dave Hunt, Johanna Michaelson and Hal Lindsey. Talk about timing! It was also during that same week that I heard an audible voice say, “I am the Lord your God, you shall not want.” I recognized this was from Psalm 23 from my Jewish upbringing and had never experienced anything like it. Inside I knew this was the God I was searching for but still did not know. It was only later I would understand why this voice was outside and not from inside me.

I attended the Christian conference on Bible prophecy and the New Age Movement that week while Kathy stayed home doing her New Age affirmations. She wasn’t feeling well that day and unknowingly had really been going through a spiritual battle all that week. At the conference, I was shocked to hear the other side of the story. The information I heard seemed incredible. The speakers knew all about the occult techniques Kathy and I were following and practicing, and about the New Age Movement’s master plans. I spoke to Dave Hunt briefly during a break and he answered a number of important questions. One was why Jesus said, “why you have forsaken me?” Though I was reading the Bible all these years I could not understand the gospel contained in it. I was blinded by the viewpoints ingrained from the New Age influences. I was also challenged by Dave on the occult practices in which I was personally involved practicing. He was aware of the “I am societies” practices. One question he asked was, “If you’re God did you create the universe? I had never thought this through. If I’m trying to become god through all these New Age techniques, how could this be possible, when God was always all knowing and all powerful (according to the Scriptures and what I had heard through their speaking that night). It was through this question that a chain of events led to the Lord really ministering the truth to my heart and mind. When the conference resumed Johanna spoke and I was relating to a lot she had experienced, especially in regards to the Ascended Master “Jesus”. Then she spoke about another Jesus – the true Jesus of the Bible, which came as a total shock. I never thought there could be false Jesus’ parading around as the real one. They were only Jesus by name but not the One who is God come in the flesh. It all made sense. When she prayed my heart was pierced, I knew I had heard the truth, but the question was; what would I do about it?

All the way home I wrestled with the realization that I had wasted the past 15 years believing and doing the wrong things. (Prior to this I thought Christians were very narrow minded but now I had to reconsider that I was too open-minded and had bought into a lie.) I asked my friends who took me to the meeting numerous questions that were running through my mind. Being new Christians, they could answer only a few of them. They just kept saying to me, “we know the Bible is God’s Word and Jesus is the truth.”

Kathy was waiting up for me when I got home. It was late and she was actually scared that I would come home a Christian from the meeting! As I came in a peace came in the house and on her, as I sat her down and shared about how the Christians viewed the last days and how it wasn’t anything like what we were being taught in the New Age Movement. It was then that the Holy Spirit revealed to Kathy that not only were we following the wrong Jesus (2 Cor.11:4), but that we were worshiping Satan, and that he is a real being. Then the fear of God fell upon us and for the first time we got down on our knees and prayed to the true living God to forgive us for the occult beliefs we had been deceived into practicing. The Lord got the last laugh, but it was a pleasant one of victory.

The next morning we both went to a Christian church and the pastor got to the pulpit and said that he was told to change the sermon. He spoke on sin, Satan and Jesus Christ, we thought our friends had tipped him off but it was the Lord. We heard the gospel explained and dedicated our lives to the Lord, repenting and asking Christ to forgive us. Thank the Lord He intervened. We were saved together in the year 1986. It was later that week I found out that it was on the 20th anniversary of my confirmation day when God spoke that previous week to me Psalm 23. The last thing I read in front of the congregation in the temple 20 years before had been Proverbs 4:1-2 “Hear my children, the instruction of a Father, and give attention to know understanding. For I have given you good doctrine, forsake not my law.” Unfortunately, I did forsake His Law, for 20 years- but God brought me and my soon-to-be wife back. Five weeks after our spiritual birth Kathy and I were married and today have a 15 year old son who has been learning and become very interested in the debate of creation versus evolution among other interests.

Immediately, I began to study the Bible and learn apologetics in order to give answers to those who ask why we believe in Christ and why Jesus is God in the flesh. Since 1988 I have continued teaching on the cults and aberrant world views including how the cults deny grace and opt for works to be accepted by God. These include the Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormonism, and also the occult (New Age world view) which is now very present inside the Church.

By the grace of God I have had the privilege to have taught at Hope Chapels, Calvary Chapels, Church of Christ, Youth With A Mission, United Methodist Church, Grace Brethren, Assembly of God and various other Hawaii congregations. I have also had the opportunity to share in small group studies around the Island and have been involved in a number of debates. The Lord has currently provided us with the opportunity to host a TV program and had live call-in broadcast called “Let Us Reason” on a local Christian station as well as featured on several other live radio broadcasts in Hawaii. I am currently a missionary for Witness Inc., the world’s largest counter cult ministry reaching out to Jehovah’s Witnesses.

In 1994 Let Us Reason Ministries was founded as an up-to-date apologetic resource center to instill both confidence and a desire to lead others to Christ. This is done by helping equip believers with both Biblical, and logical answers for their Christian faith. I have learned many things along the way that need to be passed on to others to encourage as well as equip them in their witnessing. It’s my hope that this ministry will be able to prompt believers to personally meet and evangelize people who are in cults and false religions as well as discern and call attention to false doctrine within the Church.

Mike Oppenheimer

 

(used with permission from Let us Reason)

 

 

Here is another testimony that you might like to read.

kim

https://kimolsen.wordpress.com/2007/12/25/a-testimony-of-a-former-new-ager/

and another

https://kimolsen.wordpress.com/2007/09/13/the-toronto-deception-by-former-tacf-pastor-paul-gowdy/

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Ten people were shown walking the Labyrinth at the Harmony Hill Retreat Center for cancer patients. The picture I copied from the newspaper website is not the same labyrinth they showed in the actual paper. They have three you know. 

A cancer retreat.  What would you be looking for in a retreat if you were dying of cancer?

 This is from the article in Sunday’s newpaper:

Harmony Hill is a nonprofit retreat center with its roots dating back more than 20 years when founder Gretchen Schodde first visited the area.

The center’s 12 acres incorporate healing gardens, labyrinths, walking and hiking trails and beach access into its purpose of helping people find “emotional, spiritual and physical healing in the face of cancer.”

“In 1985 I came to St. Andrews Episcopal Church retreat center for a woman’s retreat, which is next door to Harmony Hill,” Schodde said. “I felt like I was coming home. The idea of creating an educational, recreational and therapeutic center started coming back to me.”

Today the property has been developed to accommodate the various cancer retreats, private parties, yoga lessons and gardening workshops.  Surrounding the buildings are gardens, trails, labyrinths and views of the Olympic Mountains and Hood Canal.

Schodde lives in an apartment on the property, and absorbs the healing powers felt by retreat participants on a daily basis. Six years ago she drew heavily on those experiences when she was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Schodde underwent treatment and was cancer free for five years, but recently had a reoccurrence. Drawing on the strength of the hundreds of cancer patients who have walked the gardens of Harmony Hill, Schodde is proof of the center’s purpose.

During retreats, yoga and meditation classes are held to help manage stress, a chef prepares vegetarian meals using local organic foods and attendees break into groups facilitated by staff to discuss their experiences.

I am sure this is a wonderful facility.  But..if I were dying of cancer….I would not be walking a labyrinth, or doing yoga. I would be on my knees praying for strength from the Lord to sustain me for His purposes, or I would be found curled up in a chair, reading my favorite passages in Ephesians. 

What was curious was the reference to the church but never mentioned was the strength and courage that comes from walking with the Lord Jesus Christ.

How sad….people at this retreat are possibly facing death……and they seek to walk a labyrinth for healing and comfort.

Zec 10:2

For the idols have spoken vanity, and the diviners have seen a lie, and have told false dreams; they comfort in vain; therefore they went their way as a flock, they were troubled, because there was not a shepherd.

2 Cor 1:3

Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort.

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