Archive for the ‘Paganism’ Category

World in Crisis: ‘Community Beyond Belief’ Follows Church Model Without Religion

LTRP Note: One of our readers sent us this article today. We have posted it for informational and research purposes only and not as an endorsement.

By Katherine Burgess
The Wichita Eagle

People at Wichita Oasis start showing up at around 10 on Sunday morning, drinking coffee and chatting before the music begins.

Once children are safely in the large playroom – complete with a chalk wall, a tent and plenty of toys – the adults and youths find their seats, ready for music and announcements.

But when the music starts, the songs aren’t about Jesus. And when the speaker begins, he or she doesn’t read a Bible verse.

Although Oasis follows a Sunday morning structure similar to many Christian churches, it calls itself a “community beyond belief,” focused on atheists, humanists and agnostics.

“When you move, it’s so nice to just be able to go to a church of your denomination, make friends there, network there,” said Alexandra Simmons, president of Wichita Oasis and a humanist. “I love being able to provide that for people. Just to have a nonreligious place to get together.” Click here to continue reading.

Letter to the Editor From Japan: After An Unusual Childhood Surrounded by Mysticism, She Finds the Truth

bigstockphoto.com

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LTRP Note: Please pray for Yoko, the woman from Japan who wrote this letter to us. We have been in correspondence with her this past week and have e-mailed her a copy of Dr. Harry Ironside’s booklet called Redemption. She told us after reading it that she particularly liked this sentence from the booklet: “Do not forget that new birth is something more than just accepting certain doctrines. It is receiving Christ and believing the Gospel, as a result of which we are created anew in Christ Jesus, and we receive eternal life with all its new and godlike desires.” Let us also remember to pray for the people in Japan that many would come to know the Lord and believe in His Gospel.

To Lighthouse Trails:

Hello, my name is Yoko, and I’m from Tokyo, Japan.

I’d like to thank Ray Yungen for his books A Time of Departing and For Many Shall Come in My Name, which I bought earlier this year through Amazon and also for his talks on YouTube that I’ve downloaded as mp3 files and listen to them like almost every day I must confess.

You may think of Buddhism and Shinto religion when you hear the word Japan, but my background is quite unusual in that my mother was hugely influenced by the QUAKERS when she was a teenager, because of the Quaker Girls School that she went to from 13 to 19, which gave her silent worship opportunities every single morning. She then went on to become very much into metaphysics and western philosophy. She would often sit quietly doing nothing when I was a child, and she would tell me that Jesus was one of those people who had psychic powers to heal the sick. But I was little and I had no idea what kind of thing my mother was trying to convey or teach to me.

I had a chance to live with a Christian family in the UK when I was 18 as an overseas student, but I then I went on to join the Quaker meeting in London for a short while, and later the Quakers in Tokyo, which led me to join all sorts of leftist political activities.

And then I learned of the New World Order on the Internet lately, and while I was researching the NWO, I heard of the name Alice Baily, Madam Blavatsky etc. I then realized what the battle really is. At first, I didn’t know who Richard Foster was but I now do . . .

Ray’s books and talks are immensely helpful for someone like me, so thank you very much.

It is still very sad and confusing for me that my mother who loves me still hasn’t changed at all since I was a child.

Another unusual background of me is that my aunt was married to an author and researcher who was very much into Zen and helped popularized Tofu in the US in the 80s. So, as a child I always knew there are some Americans who are into eastern stuff but again, I didn’t have the dots connected.

By the way, most Japanese regard themselves as atheists, but many people would want to marry in a church because it looks fashionable; they would worship Shinto shrine on New Year’s day and go get buried inside your traditional Buddhist tomb along with your ancestors.

They are, of course, stressed out from working overtime and from living in a crowded environment (thankfully I’m not though!).

Zen meditation or mindful meditation is not so popular in Japan yet, but as in the west, Yoga has gained huge popularity in the last 10 years or so. Fitness clubs everywhere now have Yoga classes. Things like music festivals or mountain climbing tours, or surf retreats for the young people now have Yoga exercises added to them. It is now hip and cool to do Yoga, especially for the women who want to be beautiful and healthy. If something is hip in NY, Tokyo must hurry up and copy it.

Reiki is not at all well-known among ordinary Japanese, but I saw it advertised from people who are very much into environmental issues and social activism for “peace” etc. But it is still very minor.

I’m just writing this very casually. I haven’t researched the situation in Japan deeply or anything . . . but thank you for letting me notice these things.

I’d had a Japanese-translated Bible, but recently I bought a King James Bible, and I believe the Word of God is giving me strength every day.

Thank you very much.

Best regards

Yoko

LTRJ Comment: Yoko later wrote a postscript to us, and we thought it was very insightful in light of the fact that the leading pioneer of the contemplative prayer movement, Richard Foster, is from a Quaker background.

P.S. From Yoko: I knew that Quakerism that I’ve been familiar with for a long time in my life isn’t Christianity at all but it is in fact occultic, and you reminded me that the real Christianity is nothing like it.

No one in the Quaker camp that I knew of talked about Jesus Christ as the Saviour and no one talked about Satan’s deception (because the Quakerism itself is his deception) and certainly not about being born again. I don’t remember them talking about us as sinners and that we need to repent, so it is a satanic religion I’ve now come to think. They may be panenthiestic like the new agers but it is, like Ray has written in For Many Shall Come in My Name, a bundled package and a subtle one  too. They don’t actually state that God is in all things, but they manifest it as radical environmental activism etc.

As you know, they are obsessed about the Inner Light in every man and woman.  I couldn’t really understand there was any Light inside of me but I tried to think that way while I was there ! At times, I did experience some mystical strange energies flowing about in their meeting too. I don’t know what realm I was put into then.

Cutting-Edge Christianity or Shamanism?

By David Dombrowski
Editor at Lighthouse Trails Publishing

I find it rather interesting how God has orchestrated things in life, which demonstrate His great love and ongoing mercy to ordinary people like myself. But, more specifically, I am thinking right now about how years ago I happened to come across a copy of a nearly forgotten book at the university library while working on a project. I still find it amazing that this secular humanistic library even had a copy of Stories from Indian Wigwams and Northern Campfires – a book written by a missionary to the Canadian Native peoples of the 1800s sharing not only his life among them but the amazing stories they would tell him as they would warm themselves before a fire. This book is a treasure of the long-forgotten heritage of the Cree and Saulteaux tribes and how their lives were wonderfully transformed through the proclamation of the Gospel.

Though I first read that book over thirty years ago as a young university student, in 2010 God put it in our hearts here at Lighthouse Trails to publish this nearly forgotten book; then, when we were preparing to release it for publication, Nanci Des Gerlaise, a Canadian Cree, contacted us about a book she had written titled Muddy Waters. The great surprise was that Nanci, whom we then sent a review copy of the Wigwam manuscript, recognized in it the name Mask-e-pe-toon as being the name of the best friend of her great, great grandfather. Nanci agreed to write the forward to that book. We also agreed to publish Muddy Waters. Later we added a DVD (not our own) titled I’ll Never Go Back!: The Testimony of Chief Shoefoot. In this film, Chief Shoefoot shares his own story of what life has been like for him both before and after he received the Gospel, hence his words “I’ll never go back” became the title of the video. Chief Shoefoot is a member of the native people known as the Yanomamo. The Yanomamo reside in a northern region of South America bordering Venezuela and Brazil. Hearing that Chief Shoefoot is part of a Yanomamo tribe especially caught my interest because I remembered studying these people in an anthropology class back in 1972.

Chief Shoefoot

Chief Shoefoot

Anthropologists have been studying the Yanomamo for many years now, and the typical reaction by many anthropologists to missionary outreaches to these people is that they would have been better off if they had been left alone. Granted various missionary efforts were probably not conducted as they should have been, the fact remains that Jesus commissioned the Gospel to be shared with the whole world. What makes this video unique is that it is the testimony of an actual member of the Yanomamo tribe sharing his viewpoint and his side of the story, and his conclusion is an emphatic yes to having received the Gospel. Contrary to what these anthropologists are saying, Chief Shoefoot makes it clear that his life has been forever changed for the better.

Today, even much of the mission field has been marred by the mentality that we should be less intrusive about sharing the Gospel (see New Missiology). Now don’t get me wrong; it’s true that there may be many non-spiritual aspects of a culture that don’t need to be changed, but the Gospel is very intrusive in calling all people everywhere to repent and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus came as Savior to the whole world, and people from all tribes and nations are offered one way to God. But today organizations, like YWAM, have been taking a more politically correct approach in assuming that every culture already has within their religious traditions an acceptable pathway to God, and our only duty is to encourage them in what they already believe and are already doing with little more than perhaps an occasional reference to the Jesus Christ of the Bible. The sad truth and reality is that, although many peoples and cultures may believe in some type of supreme being and do have a sense of right and wrong, the Gospel is unique in that it is God’s revealed Word and offer of salvation based on grace through faith alone as opposed to a gospel of good works based on a belief in the innate goodness of mankind and God’s willingness to accept any and all man-made plans of salvation.

The truth is that God has declared in his Word that all are sinners and in need of a Savior. So while it may be true that God has not called us to impose European customs on the indigenous peoples of the world, the Gospel is God’s “culture” for all mankind in that it calls all people to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. All I can say is that I personally am so glad that God “imposed” Himself on me when I received Christ as my Savior; and in both Muddy Waters and in the I’ll Never Go Back video, you will witness the powerful and convincing testimony of two people – a medicine man’s daughter (in the book) and a former shaman or witchdoctor (in the film). Their stories are evidence that knowing Jesus Christ as Savior is more precious than anything the world has to offer and does require us to forsake those things that are displeasing to Him.

So, while it may be true that people from all over the world have a sense of right and wrong, the spirituality of all tribes and nations must give way to the truth of the Gospel rather than trying to reshape the Gospel to make it more palatable to any culture. After all, what part of the Gospel would we change? The fact of the matter is that the “preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God” (1 Corinthians 1:18). Thus, it remains that the Gospel will always be offensive and politically incorrect to the unbeliever regardless of cultural setting. The Gospel is offensive not because it is the “white man’s religion” (which it never was) but because it is the way God chose to redeem mankind – which appears foolish to the carnal mind. But as Scripture declares, “the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men” (1 Corinthians 1:25).

Now, let me share something that caught my attention as I was watching the I’ll Never Go Back video. I was listening to Chief Shoefoot share how he became a shaman or witchdoctor and about  the spirituality that ensued, and I was amazed by the realization that as he was describing his spirituality as a shaman, he was describing the spirituality that is being promoted in the church today as “cutting-edge Christianity.” In fact, Chief Shoefoot’s spirituality was far ahead of contemplative spirituality and the New Age of today. Furthermore, they were already incorporating spiritual disciplines into their meditative practices. When I realized this, I listened to Chief Shoefoot very attentively and with much interest because I understood then that they had been practicing “contemplative spirituality” and the “spiritual disciplines” probably for many centuries – perhaps even longer than the Desert Fathers. In listening to him describe his spirituality as a shaman, I also realized that he was at the same time describing where the spirituality of contemplative prayer, the New Age, and the spiritual disciplines will be in the future.

So, while the meditative practices and disciplines of the Desert Fathers phased out to near extinction after the Middle Ages and is being resurrected today, the Yanomamo have preserved and developed these practices and brought them to full fruition. In other words, as the church and the New Age movement are in unison developing these practices, they will in time become like the Yanomamo.

In the film, Chief Shoefoot describes how he was introduced to shamanism at an early age because he was far advanced for his age in spiritual acuteness. Like contemplative prayer and New Age meditation, connection with “God” is accomplished by going into an altered state of consciousness (i.e., the silence). A drug is used for this purpose along with chanting (mantra), rhythm, and dancing. Spiritual disciplines – to include the withholding of food and sleep (i.e., fasting) – were also used to make the spiritual senses more acute. Chief Shoefoot, as I listened to him describe his story, was much more advanced than the mystics and contemplative prayer leaders of today. He literally saw into the spirit world and beheld various spirits which the Yanomamo even had names for.

The Yanomamo shaman recognizes the spirit world as a reality, not a superstition. According to Chief Shoefoot, spirits of various sorts are seen as desirable and are invited to “get inside your chest” while others are avoided as being evil. I am reminded how contemplative leader Richard Foster warns his students to beware of dangerous spirits when they practice contemplative prayer. In Faith Undone, Roger Oakland talks about this:

Proponents of contemplative prayer say the purpose of contemplative prayer is to tune in with God and hear His voice. However, Richard Foster claims that practitioners must use caution. He admits that in contemplative prayer “we are entering deeply into the spiritual realm” and that sometimes it is not the realm of God even though it is “supernatural.” He admits there are spiritual beings and that a prayer of protection should be said beforehand something to the effect of “All dark and evil spirits must now leave.”1

What Chief Shoefoot realized too late is that none of these spirits are good and those considered to be evil cannot be avoided either. He learned that once a person enters into the occultic or contemplative realm, he becomes subject to the spirits that inhabit that realm. Christian mystics who engage in contemplative prayer think they are encountering the Holy Spirit, but Chief Shoefoot literally saw that this realm is inhabited by nothing more than demons who in time also made their habitation in him (and in other members of the tribe).

Understandably, much of the activity of the tribe was marked by immorality and violence. Even anthropologists who are unsympathetic to the Christianizing of these tribes recognize that there is a problem in their social and domestic interactions. Consider, for example, the following quote from an anthropological source regarding the role and treatment of wives in Yanomamo culture:

It is interesting to watch the behavior of women when their husbands return from a hunting trip or a visit. The men march slowly across the village and retire silently into their hammocks. The woman, no matter what she is doing, hurries home and quietly but rapidly prepares a meal for her husband. Should the wife be slow at doing this, the husband is within his rights to beat her. Most reprimands meted out by irate husbands take the form of blows with the hand or with a piece of firewood, but a good many husbands are even more severe. Some of them chop their wives with the sharp edge of a machete or ax, or shoot them with a barbed arrow in some nonvital area, such as in the buttocks or leg. Many men are given to punishing their wives by holding the hot end of a glowing stick against them, resulting in serious burns. . . . It is not uncommon for a man to injure his errant wife seriously; and some men have even killed wives. Women expect this kind of treatment. Those who are not too severely treated might even measure their husband’s concern in terms of the frequency of minor beatings they sustain. I overheard two young women discussing each other’s scalp scars. One of them commented that the other’s husband must really care for her since he has beaten her on the head so frequently! . . . Some men . . . seem to think that it is reasonable to beat their wife once in a while “just to keep them on their toes.”2

For lack of space, let me just say that the interactions of men with each other both within and between tribes is often not peaceable either. But, in any case, Native Spirituality plays a highly significant role in the happenings of these tribes.

Now, I imagine my statement made earlier that those who practice contemplative prayer or New Age mysticism will eventually become like the Yanomamo must now sound too extreme or at least a tongue-in-cheek statement. Actually, it would bring me much comfort if I were to know that I am completely wrong in this assertion. But I am deeply concerned about people, many of whom are Christians, delving into contemplative prayer, eastern meditative practices, and New Age mysticism thinking that they will better themselves by doing so. All of these are occult practices that will tie the user in with the demonic realm though he may think he is connecting with “good” spirits or the Holy Spirit.

It is not unusual for people to join the New Age movement or engage in Yoga or meditative practices like contemplative prayer to reap health benefits to include higher levels of relaxation or to live a more victorious life, but, all the while, they are being introduced to something demonic both in origin and operation. The Bible makes a clear statement about occult or mystical practices in Deuteronomy 18:9-12 by sounding the alarm that these practices are “an abomination unto the Lord.” Then, too, Jesus warned against praying as the heathen do by using “vain repetitions” (Matthew 6:7), which is a clear indictment against chanting or the mantra-like words and phrases used in contemplative or meditative prayer.

Yet, more and more Christians are joining in contemplative or mystical prayer, thinking it will make them stronger spiritually when the opposite is the case. In fact, what Christians are being drawn into is very antichrist in nature. Our research shows that those who engage in contemplative prayer in time see less and less relevance to the Cross (the atonement) to where it becomes unnecessary. The reason for this is quite simple: contemplative prayer makes a person feel one with and a part of God to where a sacrifice for sin no longer makes any sense.

Contemplative prayer is one and the same thing as New Age or mystical prayer; both are occultic practices in that they bring the practitioner into the demonic realm though he believes all the while that he is connecting with God. Then when I heard Chief Shoefoot’s testimony, I realized that shamanism is one and the same thing as contemplative or New Age mystical prayer as well. As one adherent of mysticism explains, “The meditation of advanced occultists is identical with the prayer of advanced mystics.”3 Thomas Merton, a Catholic monk, who helped pioneer the modern-day contemplative prayer movement identified with Buddhism (saying he “intend[ed] to become as good a Buddhist as [he] can”)4 because he realized that the prayer of the Buddhist monks was the same as his. Alice Bailey, whom I consider the mother of the New Age movement, predicted that New Age (or occultic) spirituality would not go around the Christian church but rather through it. She called it the “the regeneration of the churches.” In explaining this, Ray Yungen says:

[I]nstead of opposing Christianity, the occult would capture and blend itself with Christianity and then use it as its primary  vehicle for spreading and instilling New Age consciousness!5

In other words, occultic prayer all over the world is coming to a head and bringing about the great falling away that the Bible predicts will happen. Modern day proponents refer to it as quantum spirituality; and through borrowing terms used in physics, they tell us that if enough people meditate at the same time, we will achieve a critical mass, and we will then witness the dawning of the age of Aquarius where peace will guide our planet. However, Alice Bailey and New Age leaders who have followed her see Christians who do not practice New Age style meditation as in the way because they are not being “vibrationally sympathetic.” Such people, they maintain, will have to be eliminated! Having come from the New Age movement, Warren Smith has been warning Christians about this for some time. New Age leaders speak of love, but those who have birthed and perpetuated the movement have something much more sinister in their hearts.

We at Lighthouse Trails, as do other ministries like ours, have a sense of urgency to call all Christians to return to their true roots – namely the Gospel. Our loyalty needs to be with our Savior and not with the traditions of men. Whether we are Native American or of any other descent, Jesus Christ needs to be more precious than any of the things that would make us appear politically correct or gain the favor of men.

Notes:

1.  Roger Oakland, Faith Undone (Eureka, MT: Lighthouse Trails Publishing),  p. 99.

2.  Napolean A. Chagnon, Yanomamo: The Fierce People (New York, NY: Holt, Reinhart adn Winston, 3rd edition), pp.112-113.

3.  Richard Kirby, The Mission of Mysticism (London, UK: SPCK, 1979), p. 7; as cited in A Time of Departing, p. 32.

4.  David Steindl-Rast, “Recollection of Thomas Merton’s Last Days in the West” (Monastic Studies, 7:10, 1969), as cited in A Time of Departing, p. 78.

5. Ray Yungen, A Time of Departing (Eureka, MT: Lighthouse Trails Publishing, 2nd edition), p. 124.

Note: To access information about the books and DVDs we mention in this article, click here.

I’ll Never Go Back – DVD

Understanding Shamanism

LTRP Note: For those who think that shamanism is a far cry from the contemplative mysticism being practiced in the church today and that this warning has nothing to do with Christians, think again. The realms reached are the same, and the results can be the same too.

By Nanci Des Gerlaise
(author of Muddy Waters: an insider’s view of North American Native Spirituality)

Basically, shamanism is the belief system that utilizes shamans in order to make contact with the spirit world. According to the Encyclopedia of New Age Beliefs, traditional shamanism “is where the shaman functions as healer, spiritual leader, and mediator between the spirits and people.”1

Shamanism is found in most cultures. In Western society, Native Spirituality is the main venue, but it is not confined to Native Spirituality. The New Age movement began incorporating shamanistic rituals into their own New Age spirituality:

New Agers have felt attracted to shamanism for a variety of reasons. A major factor in this attraction is that, while the shaman is a kind of mystic, the focus is on the forces of nature rather than an otherworldy mysticism. . . . Other attractions are the use of mind-altering drugs, including peyote, and the romanticized images of nature. 2

Within Native Spirituality, shamans depend heavily upon drumming, singing, dancing, and chanting in order to get spirits to enter them and to help them. What many people probably do not realize is that shamanism is very dangerous.

Photo of Chief Shoefoot, a former shaman turned believer in Christ.

Photo of Chief Shoefoot, a former shaman turned believer in Christ. (see video below)

In biblical terms, shamanism is the use of supposed spirit guides to attain spiritual power, knowledge, and healing, but the cost is ghastly, and the “dangers of shamanistic initiation”3 are many. Some of these dangers and symptoms would be identical to what happens in Kundalini, which is a dangerous and powerful energy coming from deep meditation. This list shows what can happen when demonic realms are accessed through deep meditation practices in Native Spirituality, shamanism, and the New Age movement. Shockingly, Christians are now practicing this occultic meditation through the contemplative prayer movement:

Burning hot or ice cold streams moving up the spine.
Perhaps a feeling of air bubbles or snake movement up through the body.
Pains in varying locations throughout the body.
Tension or stiffness of neck, and headaches.
Feeling of overpressure within the head.
Vibrations, unease, or cramps in legs and other parts of the body.
Fast pulse and increased metabolism.
Disturbance in the breathing—and/or heart function.
Parapsychological abilities. Light phenomena in or outside the body.
Problems with finding balance between strong sexual urges, and a wish to live in sublime purity.
Persistent anxiety or anxiety attacks, due to lack of understanding of what is going on.
Insomnia, manic high spirits or deep depression. Energy loss.
Impaired concentration and memory.
Total isolation due to inability to communicate inner experiences out.
Experiences of possession and poltergeist phenomena.4

Other dangers would include insanity and psychosis. What’s more, the use of shamanism in contemporary culture is widespread and the results are often devastating:

[S]hamanism often involves the shaman in tremendous personal suffering and pain (magically, he often ‘dies’ in the most horrible of torments) . . . it often involves the shaman in demon possession, insanity, sexual perversion, and so on.5

Such a terrifying perversion of God’s merciful ways is completely unnecessary, for Christ gives the Holy Spirit—the Spirit of love and goodness—to all who call upon His name and put their trust in Him (Romans 5:5).

Colossians 2:9-10 states the truth for Christians:

For in him [the Lord Jesus Christ] dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power.”

(To understand more about the contrast between Native Spirituality and the Gospel of Jesus Christ, read Nanci’s book, Muddy Waters and watch the film I’ll Never Go Back by former shaman, Chief Shoefoot. Many Christians are involved with this same kind of occult practice through the contemplative prayer movement.)

An excerpt from I’ll Never Go Back:

Notes:

1.. John Ankerberg and John Weldon, Encyclopedia of New Age Beliefs (Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 1996); (taken from http://www.ankerberg.org/Articles/_PDFArchives/new-age/NA3W0801.pdf).

2. John P. Newport, The New Age Movement and the Biblical Worldview (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdman’s Publishing Co, 1998), p. 34.

3. John Ankerberg, John Weldon, Ankerberg Theological Research Institute (http://www.ankerberg.org/Articles/archives-na.htm, scroll down page to section on Shamanism – 8 parts).

4. “Kundalini, Short Circuits, Risks, and Information” (http://kundalini.se/eng/engkni_1024.html).

5. John Ankerberg, John Weldon (Ankerberg Theological Research Institute, http://www.ankerberg.org/Articles/archives-na.htm) quoted from Joan Halifax, Shamanic Voices, (New York, NY: Penguin, 1979), pp. 7-27.

Aliens, UFOs, & a (False) New Age Christ

bigstock--125723432By Berit Kjos

The invasion of monsters began decades ago, and it quickly transformed the world of entertainment. With little resistance, an army of cute-ugly creatures swept into toy stores, television, and movies. They now adorn children’s clothes, bedding, wallpaper, lunchboxes, and books. And many have pushed their way into children’s hearts on the backs of seductive and misleading fables that mold their thoughts and manipulate their imagination.

Some of these monsters are crude and cool like Stitch, Shrek, and the serpentine aliens of Men in Black. Others appear wise and honorable like Yoda in Star Wars. But the creatures that win the prize for thrills and chills are the dark and deadly looking ones like Darth Maul, Tolkien’s Orcs, and the ominous aliens in Signs.

They all serve a set of strategic social and spiritual goals: They entertain. They shift a person’s attention from the real world to a more titillating realm created by those who write the myths and steer the imagination. They tempt Christian fans to re-imagine or reinvent both God and themselves in the new context—thus bending the old realities to fit the re-envisioned ones. They desensitize their fans to mystical images and symbols of evil. And they stir a craving for more intense excitement of the same kind.

Eventually the real world of nature, families, work, and biblical truth becomes too boring to be enjoyed. Who cares about truth and facts when folklore and fantasies seem far more titillating and exciting?

Today’s techno-progressive mystical-oriented world has little tolerance for biblical watchfulness. Instead, it embraces its mythical heroes with a driving passion that often eclipses both family and reality. The more shocking, crude, insidious looking, and ugly, the more cool and captivating the product. Hollywood and toy makers know that well.

Perhaps you remember the Madballs from the late eighties. The grotesque bouncing heads bore matching names like Wolf Breath, Swine Sucker, and Screamin’ Meenie. With shrewd foresight, their inventor, Ralph Shaffer, suggested that his successful minispheres would “take the world of cute-ugly into a new direction.”1

He was right. The horrific-ugly as well as the cute-ugly began turning a corner and pulling Western culture along with it. Grotesque, demonic-looking creatures with fiery eyes infiltrated toy stores and sold like hotcakes. Many were mutants—part animal and part human, or an admixture of animal and monster. And most could wield the kind of supernatural power featured in their respective legends and stories.

They won incredible popularity. Children quickly overcame their natural aversion to scary images and learned to treasure these ugly, hybrid, mutant supernaturals. Few noticed their resemblance to the demonic creatures described in the Bible.

One of those early creatures of darkness, Black Star, would ride on a green horse with huge bat-like wings and a long dragon tail. Its eyes were glowing red and a long tongue dangled from its mouth. Another popular invader, Dark Dragon, had black wings and a huge tail with red scales along the sides. Hiding a skull in its chest, it had a lion’s mouth, teeth, and claws. Its eyes were glowing red, and out of the center of its forehead shone a large, green third eye.

In a lecture titled, “The Rising Interest in the Supernatural,” Larry McLean, coauthor of The Early Earth, compares today’s grotesque toys to historical images representing ancient gods:

These [creatures] that show up in archeology and what we would call mythology were not just figments of the imagination. They were . . . represented as part human and part animal in their characteristics like this bird-human of the Assyrians. [They can be] horse-and-human like centaurs. Or fish-and-human like the god Dagon of the Philistines . . . or part jaguar and part human.

Notice that tongue hanging out over the chin—which is a universal symbol of demonic possession. . . . One of the most popular combinations is human and serpent. . . . It’s not surprising that pagan religions worshiped serpents and dragons, for the Bible tells us in Revelation 12 that the old serpent, the dragon, is Satan the devil.2

Nor should today’s growing popularity of devilish images surprise us. The Bible prophesies that demonic activities will escalate before and during the reign of the Antichrist. Could the multiplication of demonic-looking, alien images be part of Satan’s plan to prepare us for these awful future events?

Don’t laugh. There is plenty of evidence that a sizable percentage of UFO sightings, alien abductions, crop circles, and other extraterrestrial manifestations fit into the realm of the supernatural. According to John Ankerberg and John Weldon’s book The Facts on UFO’s and other Supernatural Phenomena:

[F]ew unbiased researchers can logically deny that UFO experiences are of an occult nature. If we catalog the basic characteristics of the occult and compare them to UFO phenomena, we discover an essential similarity. . . .

After 20 years of research, we believe that the demonic theory dovetails extremely well with the totality of UFO phenomena. . . . In fact, we know of no UFO contactee who is not basically a spiritistic medium. In addition, we have read hundreds of articles from the oldest and most respected UFO journal, the British Flying Saucer Review, that indicate the psychic and/or non-extraterrestrial aspects of UFOs which, given their actions and messages, indicate probable demonic origin.3

These threats have not escaped notice. According to “Above Top Secret: The Worldwide UFO Cover-up” by Timothy Good, “the ubiquitous UFO phenomenon . . . [is] a phenomenon that has caused grave concern at high levels of many of the world’s governments, despite their statements to the contrary.”4

Ankerberg and Weldon arrived at the same conclusion. They found that “in the U.S. alone, tens of millions of dollars have been spent in official UFO investigations by the CIA, FBI, U.S. Army Intelligence, Naval Intelligence, and other organizations.” They quote astrophysicist Dr. Jacques Vallee who describes the UFO event as “a bizarre, seductive, and often terrifying phenomenon reported by many witnesses as contact with an alien form of intelligence.”5

Naturally, many UFO enthusiasts and New Age leaders would disagree. Some began to circulate the far-out notion decades ago: A group of benevolent aliens or ascended masters would suddenly appear on the earth and cleanse it from all who resist its spiritual evolution toward global oneness. At the same time, they would prepare humanity to receive the prophesied New Age “Christ.”

Maybe not so far-out after all, at least according to one major New Age figure, Barbara Marx Hubbard. Marx Hubbard believes there will indeed be a cleansing of all those who resist the coming together of all humanity and rejection of its “Christ.” She calls this process of cleansing the “Selection Process.” Listen to a few quotes by Marx Hubbard as she describes this cleansing. Keep in mind while reading these that Marx Hubbard is not some glassy-eyed spaced-out hippy from the ’60s living on an isolated mountainside. As a matter of fact, she was instrumental in forming a lobby group in Washington D.C. to create a “U.S. Department of Peace.” This organization, called The Peace Alliance, has worked with willing Congress members and other influential figures (such as the late Walter Cronkite) to bring about this Peace plan.6 From Marx Hubbard’s book, The Revelation, she quotes from her “Christ”:

Dearly beloved, I approached the crucifixion far more easily than I approach the selection. The crucifixion was done unto my body. The selection will be done unto yours.7

The decisive moment of selection has almost come. The judgment of the quick and the dead is about to be made. The end of this phase of evolution is nearly complete.8

By your acts you shall be judged as to whether you can evolve, or must be “cast into the lake of fire,” which is the second death.9

The selection process will exclude all who are exclusive. The selection process assures that only the loving will evolve to the stage of co-creator.10

The end is near. The old play is almost over. Suffice it to say, that if you do not choose to evolve into a wholesome, co-creative human, then you shall not.11

In former New Age follower Warren B. Smith’s book, False Christ Coming: Does Anybody Care?, Smith unveils Marx Hubbard’s “Selection Process”:

Hubbard’s “Christ,” while describing the “birth experience” and professing his love for all mankind, nevertheless warns that there will be no place in the “New Jerusalem” for those who refuse to see themselves and others as a part of God. He describes, therefore, the necessity of a “selection process” that will select out resistant individuals who “choose” not to evolve. This “selection process” is a “purification” that will be accomplished through “the shock of a fire.”12

Marx Hubbard likens those who resist this “co-creative stage of evolution,” to a “lethal cancer cell in a body: deadly to itself and to the whole.”13 She explains:

The surgeon dare leave no cancer in the body when he closes up the wound after a delicate operation. We dare leave no self-centeredness on Earth after the selection process.14

Regardless of how this apocalyptic scenario will play out, be it with the supposed and added element of “aliens” or “ascended masters,” or not, these demonic beings will no doubt come as “angel[s] of light” and “ministers of righteousness” (2 Corinthians 11:14-15) illustrating “the beautiful side of evil” rather than the grotesque images of occult idols in order to “deceiveth the whole world” (Revelation 12:9). These “masters” represent a hierarchy of warring demons that match the warning in Ephesians 6:12, which tells us that our battle is not against “flesh and blood” but rather against the “rulers of the darkness of this world” and “against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

Different versions of these seductive deceptions have spread around the world through the writings of countless occultists. Their numbers include the infamous Satanist Aleister Crowley as well as the occultic “prophetess” Alice Bailey, whose channeled messages from spirit guide Djwhal Khul inspired United Nations and many education leaders.

But God’s Word shows us the truths behind those illusions. Revelation 9:1-11 foresees a day when the Abyss (the bottomless pit where Satan will be cast) will open with a burst of smoke and release an army of powerful deadly creatures onto the earth. They will look like a mixture of man, horse, and locust with wings. They will have stinging “tails like unto scorpions,” and their commander will be Satan himself. Our God will allow it; for man’s evil—as in the days of Noah—and God’s eternal justice will call forth His judgment.

Though children are born with a natural fear of hideous, shocking, and evil-looking creatures, this God-given protection has been dulled by the Western world’s mass-media marketing system. Children are being conditioned to embrace demonic manifestations, whether they come as beings with superior intelligence from outer space to rescue planet Earth or as evolved mutations from earth itself. Why wouldn’t they accept these lies?

Unless we teach them otherwise, today’s postmodern anti-biblical beliefs in both physical and cosmic evolution lead most of them to trust in deceptions. Of course—they are told—life had to have evolved on other planets! If there really is a God, He wouldn’t have created the whole universe just for earthlings, would He?

Yes, He would. Why shouldn’t our God, who sent His own Son to die for us, create such a universe? Why not make it so vast that man’s ego would be humbled by such might? Maybe He did it to show us the immeasurable greatness of His magnificent, incomprehensible creative powers and the infinite width, length, height, and depth of His magnificent love. I believe He did.

O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? . . . For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. (Romans 11:33-34, 36)

Endnotes:

1. Stefan Kanfer, “In All Seasons, Toys Are Us” (Time magazine, June 24, 2001), citing Ralph Shaffer, former director of new-product development at General Mills Toy Group who worked with Bernard Loomis who conceived the idea of sets of action figures “with lots of characters and a story tying them together.” Promoted through television, these toys required little personal imagination since they came with built in myths and pre-designed personalities. Read the interesting history by David Owen in “Where Toys Come From” (The Atlantic Monthly, http://www.theatlantic.com/past/docs/issues/86oct/owen.htm, October 1986).
2. Larry McLean, from tape of lecture titled, “The Rising Interest in the Supernatural” given at the Seventh Mid-America Prophecy Conference, Oklahoma City, July 27, 1988.
3. John Ankerberg and John Weldon, The Facts on UFOs and Other Supernatural Phenomena (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 1992), pp. 14-15.
4. Ibid., p. 6, citing Timothy Good, Above Top Secret: The Worldwide UFO Cover-up (New York, NY: Morrow, 1988), p. 12.
5. Ibid., pp. 5, 18.
6. For detailed information on Barbara Marx Hubbard’s Peace Plan, please read Mike Oppenheimer’s article titled “The Plan” online at: http://www.letusreason.org/NAM20.htm.
7. Barbara Marx Hubbard, The Revelation (Belvedere Tiburon, CA: Nataraj Publishing, 2nd ed., 1995),  p. 197.
8. Ibid., p. 189.
9. Ibid., p. 254.
10. Ibid., p. 303.
11. Ibid., p. 195.
12. Warren B. Smith, False Christ Coming: Does Anybody Care?, op. cit., p. 28.
13. Barbara Marx Hubbard, The Revelation, op. cit., p. 255.
14. Ibid., p. 240.

Spiritual Warfare: The Unseen Foe Behind Rising Evil

By Berit Kjos
Kjos Ministries

Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron…” 1 Timothy  4:1-2

We don’t hear much about spiritual warfare these days. Most churches seem to ignore the reality of Satan and the evil he inspires. God’s warnings about fellowship with the world’s alluring thrills doesn’t fit the contemporary image of Jesus as a tolerant, easy-going friend.

Since the 18th century’s birth of the “Age of Reason,” an increasing number of “enlightened” Western leaders and influential “change agents” have tried to discredit the Bible and silence believers. More recently, a vast number of politicians, media masters and educators have joined this war against biblical truth and Christian values.

No wonder our public schools are becoming bastions of atheism, immorality and — spreading fast — the promotion of Islam. Like the persecuted Jews during and after Hitler’s holocaust, today’s Jews and Christians are facing hatred and rising persecution for standing firm in their faith.

It’s no secret that Satan’s lies have sparked wars and cruelty through the ages. Ever since Eve chose to follow her own feelings rather than God’s wise guidelines, humanity has faced assaults from “the evil one” — often through his willing pawns. Call him the Devil, Deceiver, Satan, or serpent; it doesn’t matter. It’s all the same ruthless oppressor:

“And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world…” Revelation 12:9

From the beginning, this invisible fiend has been seeding doubt, depravity, despair and death. Through the ages, he has inspired idolatry, witchcraft, deadly curses and magical arts that were used to control people and corrupt cultures. He lost some ground during America’s Christian era, when — by God’s grace — our nation was relatively free from such dark forces. But our times are changing fast, and once again the captivating forces of evil are mesmerizing vulnerable children as well as adults.

In 2014, Fox Network launched a new TV series that glorifies Lucifer; marketed with pro-Satan tweets:

“The more subtle side of satanism in Hollywood entertainment is now a thing of the past, as primetime television airs blatantly evil shows like the upcoming Fox drama Lucifer, which glorifies the goings about of the ‘lord of hell’; after he fictitiously leaves the lake of fire and retires to Los Angeles.

“The premise behind the absurd drama, which is set to release in 2016, centers around so-called ‘Lucifer Morningstar’ and his new life as the owner of Lux, an upscale nightclub located in the City of Angels…. ‘It’s only fitting, then, that this modern-day show produced by satanists would portray Lucifer as a type of benevolent god… to take the place of the real God…. Whether you believe what the Bible says or not, this is the clear-as-day implication of this upcoming show that will soon be watched by presumably millions of people.”[1]

This world is changing fast, and we must prepare for the challenges ahead. Our children need to know and remember warnings like these:

“There shall not be found among you any one that…  that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer….  For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord…”  Deuteronomy 18:10-12

Satan knows well that no nation can maintain true freedom apart from God’s moral law. Quenched by propaganda, hedonism and distorted views of God’s Truth, the biblical values that made America kind, generous, honest and successful are now fading fast — even in churches. Some years ago a youth pastor sent me this conflicting message:

“I am a strong Christian and love the Lord with all my heart. The problem is I really enjoy reading the Harry Potter books and nothing about them conflicts with my spirit…”[2]

A young woman who called herself “a solitary witch” wrote this revealing message:

“I am a Harry Potter fan for several reasons. … You are not just drawn into the story but into that world. Then through talking about them with fans you fall further and further in love with the characters, you analyze them and worry about them until they feel real to you. Then you have, in a way, become a part of that shared universe, and it is a wonderful place to be.”[3]

What a cruel illusion! When a nation turns from God’s ways to decadence and imaginary thrills, our Lord withdraws His blessings and protection. And when Satan has his way, calamity reigns. Remember, the evil one rules a hierarchy of like-minded demonic beings:

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers , against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God , that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”  Ephesians 6:12-13

That “evil day” may already be upon us. It’s beginning to bring fear and oppression to wayward America — as it did to the persecuted Christians in the Middle East. And now, with today’s massive movement of migrants who — like some of our leaders — despise both Jews and Christians, our world is changing faster than ever. What’s more, Western countries like America, the UK and Germany are still hosts to unthinkable occultism and secret societies. Some of those empowered servants of darkness may well join tomorrow’s tyrants.

Are we prepared to “stand firm” in Jesus Christ, wearing His Armor  as we face the challenges ahead? Can we count on our Lord and King to win this battle on behalf of His people?

Yes we can! God always wins — even when the victory looks more like defeat to us! He is the sovereign Lord and King over all, and His wisdom and long-range plans for our lives far surpass our finite understanding. Everything is under His command:

“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me you might have peace. In the world you shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

With our limited insights into His heavenly plans, we may be tempted to complain. To resist that lure, we need to trust God, know His Word, and remember His Wonderful Promises.  No matter what challenges we face, He is with us – strengthening our faith and training us to endure! For,

“…in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us.” Romans 8:37

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil….  

“Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness; and shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all,  taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

“And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit…”   Ephesians 6:10-11, 14-18.

  1. Fox Network launched a new “TV series that glorifies Lucifer; marketed with pro-Satan tweets.”
  2. This was a personal note from a private person.
  3. This was a personal note from a private person.

Used with permission from Kjos Ministries.

 

Kyle Odom, the Man Who Shot Idaho Pastor, Says Meditation Started it All

LTRP: A “manifesto,” written by former Marine Kyle Odom, the 30-year-old man who shot Idaho pastor Tim Remmington, reveals that his life started to change drastically when he began doing meditation while in university to relieve stress. The meditation experiences led him to come into contact with familiar spirits (which he thought were aliens) and eventually led to two suicide attempts and then the shooting of Pastor Remmington.

While Lighthouse Trails is not saying that every person who practices meditation is going to go crazy and start shooting people, we stand by our warning of 14 years that meditation does introduce meditators to demonic realms. For most, this realm seduces people into a complacent deception, and they may even appear more peaceful. For other meditators, like the student at Le Tourneau Christian University who graduated and told his parents he was now an atheist, they turn away from their Christian faith. Satan has many different methods of stealing a soul. And for some, these demons torture and torment a person, until they can eventually become like Kyle Odom.

The occult (Satan’s domain) is not to be tampered with. When you consider that over 90% of the Christian colleges and seminaries are introducing contemplative spirituality (a belief system that incorporates meditation) to the lives of their students, it should make every Christian shudder and every Christian leader repent for allowing this into the church (not to mention how it has entered secularism even more so). Remember when Richard Foster told his contemplative followers that they needed to say a prayer of protection before practicing contemplative prayer. Why would one need to do that . . . unless he is entering demonic realms? Meditation leads one to believe that God is in everything and all is connected together (this belief is an anti-christ religion, and that is why when people practice meditation, they are going to be influenced by familiar spirits).

Today, we received a phone call from a reader who told us that her pastor, whom she said has often preached the Gospel and taught the Word, recently recommended to his congregation Richard Rohr (mystic meditator and panentheist). How can these things be so? Next time you hear your pastor or Bible study leader recommend a meditator, remember Kyle Odom and remember that Satan is a liar, and he is seeking whom he may devour. Do not allow these things in your church any longer. Speak up and share the truth. At Lighthouse Trails, our hearts are breaking because of what is happening in the church. Kyle Odom is one more painful reminder of how blind so many people are.

As we read the following news story about Kyle Odom today, we were reminded about contemplative mystic, Thomas Merton, who likened a contemplative meditation experience to an LSD trip. Odom’s manifesto expressed many experiences that sounded just like a bad LSD trip; but it wasn’t LSD—it was meditation, the very thing that most of your Christian leaders are either promoting or remaining silent about.

Kyle Odom

“Kyle Odom’s Martian manifesto is a window into an unravelling mind”

By Michael E. Miller
The Sydney Morning Herald

Washington: On Tuesday evening, as tourists snapped photos in front of the White House, a young man with blond hair and blue eyes approached the black iron fence.

Kyle Odom wasn’t there to take pictures, though.

He was there to deliver a message to the President.

A Secret Service agent saw Odom tossing something over the fence and approached him. When the agent ran his name through a law-enforcement database, a red flag popped up: an arrest warrant issued just two days earlier on the other side of the country.

The charge: attempted murder. Click here to continue reading.

LTRP Note: Let us remember to pray for both Kyle Odom and Pastor Tim Remmington, one for deliverance and freedom from Satan (may he surrender himself to the Lord Jesus Christ)  and the other for his physical healing and restoration after the shooting.


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