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Dangers of Occultism, Inner Healing, Visualization and Guided Imagery

http://chrislawson.libsyn.com/dangers-of-occultism-inner-healing-visualization-and-guided-imagery

(2016 Sanctuary Conference – The Christianising of Occult Techniques)

In this teaching session, Chris Lawson exposes the dangerous occult practices of visualization, guided imagery and inner healing, its implications and how it is influencing the church.Originally published on Sep 10, 2016, The Sanctuary Conference. http://www.sanctuaryconference.org

Chris Lawson
Jude 3

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.

 

 

 

This was taken from the International House of Prayer’s website.

*****

4/18/11 update 

I see that the link below has been broken and that IHOP has pulled this information from their site. If another link can be found I will post it.  Please know that this was copied word for word from their site.

*****

Contemplative Prayer—–Communing with the Holy Spirit who lives within you

I. Know He Lives Inside of You
II. Pray the Scripture

The goal is to search for the Spirit of Jesus in the Word and have depth, not necessarily length, in understanding the passage. Jesus is the Word (John 1) and we want to know Him, the Truth. In Him is life; it is His Spirit who gives life. The words of Scripture are Spirit and they are life (John 6:63). The entrance of the Word gives light and life (Psalm 119:130). As the Word of God enters your heart, the Spirit of God who raised Jesus from the dead will give life to your mortal body (Romans 8:11).

Make sure you are searching for the Spirit of Jesus, not just searching for knowledge. Just pray the Scriptures. In simple terms, prayer is turning your heart toward God. In John 5:39, Jesus said to the Pharisees, “You do not have His Word abiding in you … you search the Scriptures for in them you think you have eternal life, and these are they which testify of Me. But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.”

Method #1

Choose a short phrase in Scripture.

Begin slowly praying the Scripture in silence.

Focus your prayer toward the Spirit who lives inside you (John 7:38).

Remain on the phrase as long as you feel the Lord’s presence on it. Then move with Him, slowly praying through the passage phrase by phrase.

Method #2

Choose a short story in Scripture.

Read through the story several times silently.

Close your eyes and acknowledge the Spirit who lives in you.

Use your imagination to imagine yourself as one of the story characters or as an onlooker.

Play out the story in your mind applying all five of your senses.

Method #3

We call this “Beholding the Spirit Within.”

The goal is to search for and feel God’s presence inside you, not necessarily to gain more understanding in God’s Word as with the first two methods.

Begin by gently praying a short passage of Scripture in silence while focusing on the indwelling Spirit. The Scripture is used to quiet the clamoring of your soul and draw you to God. It is the connection point, the springboard into the spiritual realm.

Once you feel God’s presence, focus on it in a concentrated way.

You will be able to notice His presence now; He has always been there, but now your attention is on Him within you. The outward senses are quiet and your surface thoughts are gone. You are beginning to be consumed by the Spirit.

In this time, feel the freedom to stay quiet. Silently ask the Spirit to show you a vision, or slowly and silently say to Him, “I love You. I love You. I love You.”

Overcoming Distractions

 

Your mind will have to be trained in practical ways to not wander and think on other things. To overcome a wandering mind, simply begin thinking on the Scripture you have been meditating on, and focus your prayer to the Spirit within you. The Lord sees your heart as it searches for Him, and He is smiling upon you. You may become sleepy during prayer. To overcome, sit up straight instead of slouching and do not lie down. You can also begin speaking the Scripture you are meditating on under your breath until you feel the drowsiness subside, then return to the silent prayer.

Diligence in Prayer

In time these methods of praying will become easy. You will find the Spirit who lives in you if you search for Him with all your heart, but it will require time and your whole heart.

Keys to Progress

 

Humility-the high and lofty One dwells with the lowly in heart (Isaiah 57)

Disciplined life of prayer, fasting, giving and loving your enemies (Matthew 6)

Total abandonment in love to Jesus and loving nothing of this life (Matthew 7:14)

http://www.ihop.org/Publisher/Article.aspx?id=1000000385


                                                       The New Age and Christianity


“Occultism has always involved
three techniques for changing and creating reality:
thinking, speaking, and visualizing.”

(Dave Hunt – Occult Invasion)
* * * *

“…imaging and visualization are increasingly appearing as Christian meditation, “mind-stretchers,” or a consciousness-awakening experience in Christian workshops, and you’d better believe that visualization as a cultivated exercise comes with all sorts of metaphysical and spiritual baggage in tow.”
Visualization and Imaging, Jon Trott

****

“It’s not difficult to trace the practice of meditative imaging and visualization back to the mystics.” Visualization and Imaging, Jon Trott
                                                                 ****
 Jon Trott is correct here. If anyone has started to indulge themselves  into meditative practices, just ask them what books they are reading.  

Christians are being duped into mysticism because a sentence has the word Jesus in it or there is a phrase of scripture.

The well-known catholic mystics are Brennan Manning, Henri Nouwen, Richard Foster, Thomas Merton, and Matthew Fox. If these authors are in your library then you know that you are entering a mystical realm that will only draw you AWAY from Jesus Christ. They want you to focus on a centering prayer which will invite a feeling of divinity within yourself. This is the lie, that you are divine. You may not think that this is where they are leading you, but this is what Eve thought when the serpent suggested, that “You will be like God.”  Watch out for the new charismatic coined term of DNA which actually means “Divine Nature Activated”

Contemplative prayer sounds so biblical, but it is a dangerous occult method of contacting the spirit world, which is off-limits to the Christian. Visualization is a technique that speeds up the process of reaching into another dimension to either experience visions or transport oneself.

Christian beware, the wolves are telling you that you are divine and holy.  What does the Bible say?

Jeremiah 17:9

The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked. Who can know it?”

So why should we center ourselves on our own heart looking for our divinity? We shouldn’t.

Instead…..we can have righteousness through faith….

Romans 3:21

“But now a righteousness from God, apart from the law, has been made known to which the Law, and the prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.”

These phrases from the IHOP article bother me.

“Make sure you are searching for the spirit of Jesus.”

Jesus wasn’t and is not a spirit. He came to earth as fully man and fully God, but He never came as a spirit.  But those who meditate using TM methods often contact a spirit guide named “Jesus”. This is deceiving spirit because Jesus is now at the right hand of the Father.

“Play out the story…apply all five senses”

This is an exercise in guided imagery. Read what Dave Hunt says about this:

“Visualization and Guided Imagery have long been recognized by sorcerers of all kinds as the most powerful and effective methodology for contacting the spirit world in order to acquire supernatural power, knowledge and healing. Such methods are neither taught or practiced in the Bible as helps to faith or prayer.” (The Seduction of Christianity)

Yet here we see it openly being taught and embraced.

“Begin by gently praying a short passage of Scripture in silence while focusing on the indwelling Spirit.”

How can you do these two things simultaneously?  Actually the Scripture becomes meaningless as one focuses on something else entirely.

“The springboard into the spiritual realm.”

What is the springboard?…it is the silence, the quiet. They are trying to fool you into thinking it is the scripture, but this is not the case here. The silence is a void used in eastern meditation to stop you from thinking or concentrating.  So now what spiritual realm have you just entered? You have entered a void. It is this void that allows you to enter a spiritual realm that is forbidden in the Bible. This is the realm where the white light enters, and if you know your Bible, then you know that this is Satan. He comes with joy and peace and fills you with ecstasy. If he came any other way he would be instantly rejected.

“Your surface thoughts are gone”.

The Bible never tell us to quit thinking or to empty our minds. In fact we are told the quite the opposite.

1 Peter 5:8

“Discipline yourselves, keep alert. Like a roaring lion your adversary the devil prowls around looking for someone to devour.”

“Ask the spirit to show you a vision.”

This is exactly how those involved in TM ask to be shown their demonic spirit guides. Exactly. This is so dangerous……

The section describing how to overcome distractions is the same method chanters use when meditating. If they actually have…a thought…oh no…start the chant again to empty the mind.

Anyone who does not see the eastern mysticism in this occult prayer method…does not want to see. Even a cursory study of meditation easily shows the parallels but people aren’t listening, or they don’t care, or maybe they hate to admit they have been deceived. This pride is fateful. It is eternal. It keeps you in touch with the New-Age Jesus, (who does not exist) and separates you from the true Jesus Christ in the Bible.

“It is not an advanced spiritual state, but one that is primitive and regressive, and consequentially results in bondage to spiritistic powers.” ( Encyclopedia of New Age Beliefs) Ankerberg and Weldon  pg. 238

How is it that the church has fallen into such a sad state of affairs? It is simple. The gospel of Jesus Christ is not being preached anymore. Without repentance, without turning away from sin, without faith, there is no conversion.

The unconverted are hungry for God because they have no way to be sanctified. So in order to hear from God, in order to fill the void, they need to resort to false fire. Gnostic strange fire. This spiritual false fire replaces a true move of God which would cause conviction and make us fall on our faces and weep. We would weep because when the holiness of God shines His light on our sin, magnifying our true nature, it is unbearable. This in turn causes us to hate our sin, and search the Word for how live a holy life pleasing to the Lord.

When the Word of God is not enough, when it is not sufficient, the alternative is deception.

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