By Ted Kyle
There is nothing new under the sun (Eccl. 1:9). Everything that man can do to man has been done before–and will be done again.
Especially is this true of false teachers and prophets leading the credulous astray. It was done anciently; it was done in the middle years; it is being done today; and it will be done in the end of days. More about the connection with today and the last days, after a bit of historical catching-up.
This trail of betrayal and delusion began with the first gathering of mankind together into a nation. That nation was ruled by Nimrod (Gen. 10:8; 1 Chron. 1:10; Micah 5:6), until his death; and in that same general time frame, God splintered the proto-nation into family (tribal) groups with the Confusion of Tongues at Babel.
But then, as Alexander Hislop (1807-1865) pieced pre-history together1, Semiramis, Nimrod’s widow, was the guiding (human) spirit behind a new religion artfully crafted to pull the tribes of man back into a new spiritual unity–and ultimately a political unity as well. Guiding the guide, of course, was Satan, ever intent on thwarting God’s plans for man and substituting his own.
So powerful was this pagan religion that it ultimately led very nearly the entire world into apostasy. It goes by many names and takes many forms in many lands. It pays homage to many gods. But their original impetus derived from the first delusion of a powerful leader (Nimrod) who was slain and who was believed to have returned to life as a great god
These related religions were known as “mystery religions,” for they were shrouded in mysteries revealed only to initiates. Hence there was a popular level of revealed pagan religion, into which the masses entered, and a higher level open only to a select few, who underwent initiation rites which they were sworn never to reveal.
How Did the Great Apostasy Happen?
Please recall that all this began just a few generations after the Great Flood. Nimrod was a great-grandson of Noah (Gen. 10:7)–and Noah was well acquainted with Jehovah God! Not only did Noah know God, he survived the Flood by 350 years (Gen. 9:28). So he was still very much alive when Nimrod flourished! (If you wish to delve into this complex web of false spirits and false gods for yourself, see footnote 1 for a source to begin.)
In view of the brief time frame and the overwhelming success of the mystery religions we must ask: How was it possible to pull the wool over almost the whole of mankind so thoroughly as to cause them to turn their backs upon the true God, who had so recently revealed His awesome power through the Great Flood?
There is a large clue in Deuteronomy 13:1-3. In this passage, which is included in Moses’ restatement and summation of the Mosaic Law, is a warning from God about false prophets: “If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the Lord your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.”
If a prophet gives a sign or wonder, and the sign or wonder comes to pass…. Think about that. God was warning the Children of Israel against genuine wonders–things that would really happen or at the very least would convincingly appear to happen–but they would be false signs. And God would allow this as a test to show who really loved Him–and who therefore would resist the tremendous temptation to follow the crowd, which was being swayed by what their eyes beheld or their hearts believed.
We are told by ancient historians Justin and Epiphanius that in the initiation rites the image of a god (Osiris, Tammuz, or Adonis–all of whom Hislop believed represented Nimrod) spoke to the candidates (Hislop, p. 67). We are also, however, given to understand that powerful drugs were administered to the candidates, and these may have be halucinatory. In any case, the candidates were convinced–not only of the truth of the vision but also that they would be forever lost if they revealed beyond the brotherhood what they had seen and heard.
A Three-Fold Deception
I believe that the appeal of this false religion was three-fold, relying on false signs, a false vision, and a false permissiveness. The vision centered, I am convinced, on a false messiah or savior, who offered devotees the salvation mankind has always yearned for. This false messiah was Nimrod or one of his many avatars.2 But this spiritual bait offered yet more–much more! Not only was a savior put forward, with the hope of eternal life, but men and women could have all this without giving up the sinful pleasures of this life. In fact, Semiramis, who was subsequently “deified” by this false religion, was known to be a lewd woman, reveling in orgies. She encouraged her devotees to follow her example–and perhaps this was the greatest lure of all!
Summing up, think of the great deception as a savior offered, with confirming signs, and “come as you are–stay as you are.” Small wonder that the bait was swallowed en masse!
Note especially that Satan put forward his own candidate for the Messiah many centuries before God, in the fullness of time, revealed Jesus Christ as the true Messiah (see Hislop, chapter 2, sub-section 5, p. 58 ff).
Demonic Influence Over Israel and the Young Church
I will not belabor this point, for it is obvious that the same seductive power which was exercised over all mankind shortly after the Fall was specifically exercised over the Children of Israel to lead them from worshipping Jehovah God to serving the false gods of surrounding pagan nations. Suffice it to quote a warning from God given shortly before Moses’ successor, Joshua, led the Israelites into the Promised Land.
Moses told the assembled people that after they crossed the Jordan, they would face blessings from Mt. Gerizim if they obeyed the Lord, and curses from Mt. Ebal if they disobeyed Him. The first curse pronounced was against setting up idols, which represented false gods: “Cursed be the man that maketh any graven or molten image, an abomination unto the LORD, the work of the hands of the craftsman, and putteth it in a secret place. And all the people shall answer and say, Amen” (Deut. 27:15). But despite their good intentions at that instant, the time came when “They sacrificed unto devils, not to God; to gods whom they knew not, to new gods that came newly up, whom your fathers feared not” (Deut. 32:17). The Old Testament goes on to record the dismal fulfillment of that curse and its consequences among the Chosen People.
That the apostasy was still a huge issue at the time of Christ, and spilled over into His young Church, is shown in Paul’s warning to the Corinthians: “What say I then? that the idol is any thing, or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is any thing? But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils (demons), and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils. Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils” (1 Cor. 10:19-21).
Demonic Power Is at Work Even Now
Is demonic power active in our present-day culture? Indeed it is, despite the fact that we live in a society that essentially does not believe in supernatural power of any sort. For this reason, Satan’s “powers of the air” tend to be low-key and at work behind the scenes, but they are present. For example, Mormon missionaries ask prospective converts to read the Book of Mormon and then wait for a burning in their breast, which, they say, will confirm the truth of the Book of Mormon. If they pray for it, they will generally get it!
Many New Agers look for the appearance of The Coming One prophesied by Alice Ann Bailey, who wrote books dictated to her by her “spirit master.”3 Ray Yungen (see footnote 3) notes: “To occultists, the significance of the Alice Bailey writings has heralded anticipation of a World Healer and Savior [author’s emphasis] in the coming Aquarian Age (the astrological age of enlightenment and peace). This savior would unite all mankind under his guidance. … This person was not to be the Lord Jesus Christ, of whom Christians await the return, but an entirely different individual who would embody all the great principles of occultism, chiefly the divinity and perfectability of man.”4
Yungen, in his book, documents the rapid expansion of New Age principles in the present day, including ominous inroads into the Church. But while the principles are purely New Age, they are being sold to the credulous as exciting revelations of new paths to spiritual growth for our time. And this is taking place not only in mainline denominations which have been drifting from biblical Christianity for decades, but also in Evangelical Churches.
Demonic Power Will Grow Stronger in the Last Days
I am convinced that the world is being prepared even now to accept and believe the witness of the sign when the false prophet will call down fire from heaven (Rev. 13:13). Note, for example, the unprecedented increase in emphasis on television on supernatural powers, ghosts, and spirits. These themes have been around for a very long time, but not since the superstitious days of the Middle Ages have they been accentuated so heavily. This build-up, I believe, is preparing the populace for Satan’s introduction of the Beast and his false prophet, who will deceive “them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast;” (Rev. 13-14).
Thus will the false prophet seemingly verify that the Beast that rose out of the sea (Rev. 13:1), also known as “the son of perdition” and the anti-Christ, is indeed the promised Messiah. Once again, God will be testing mankind by allowing these miracle-signs, to reveal the faithful remnant that will cling to the revealed Word and will not be snared by the Anti-Christ’s powerful delusion.
May all who read these words be among that faithful remnant!
1. Alexander Hislop, The Two Babylons, researched and first published as a book in 1858, currently available from Chick Publications. Note: While some of Hislop’s extrapolations and projections seem forced, his prodigious research into ancient sources cannot be written off, and I believe that his general conclusions are sound. It is obvious that something led the world rapidly away from God, and Hislopâ€™s explanation is the most logical description I know of.
2. Ibid., p. 59
3. Ray Yungen, A Time of Departing, 2d ed., Lighthouse Trails Pub. Co., Silverton, Or, 2006, p. 112 ff.
4. Ibid., p. 113.
New Ageism: A Vision That Will Usher in the End of History by Ted Kyle
“I Just Had a Vision!” by Kevin Reeves
by Bill Sizemore
Activist for the People
News With Views
I have fewer rights than a convicted felon
Let me make something clear right up front. Misleading press reports notwithstanding, I have never been convicted of a crime in my life. In fact, I have never been so much as charged with a crime. And I have never even got off on a technicality.
Someday, I may get the chance to stand before a jury and defend myself against some trumped up charge, but to date I have not been afforded that opportunity.
Even though I have never been charged or convicted of any crime, here is a list of the restrictions two Multnomah County Circuit Court judges (Portland, Oregon) have placed on me, my family, and on my business and political activities.
By order of the court:
I can never be a director, manager, or key employee of a nonprofit charity for the rest of my life. That includes churches, homeless shelters, and charities that do such things as feed the poor or fund missionary projects in the Congo.
I also cannot be a chief petitioner for a ballot measure unless a Portland judge, who by the way opposes everything I believe in, gives me permission to do so. Assuming it is possible to obtain the judge’s permission, to do so I must demonstrate a number of almost impossible things that no other ballot measure sponsor, including my political opponents, is required to prove or demonstrate.
I cannot run for public office without the judge’s consent and in order to win her approval I must again prove or demonstrate things no other candidate is required to prove or demonstrate. Click here to read this entire article.
Mission Network News – USA (MNN)–The U.S. House of Representatives passed a controversial Hate Crimes Bill late last week in a 281-146 vote, with 131 Republicans and 15 Democrats objecting to the measure.
The legislation adds sexual orientation to the list of groups under the protection of the federal law. It also gives states and local jurisdictions federal help in prosecuting hate crimes.
The bill passed the House in April as a stand-alone, but there was enough controversy surrounding it that passage in the Senate was not guaranteed.
Todd Nettleton with Voice of the Martyrs says, “They kind of went about it in a back door way. It does go to the Senate. Apparently, it will pass the Senate, from what we understand, partially because it’s attached to this Defense Spending Bill, and the President has said he will sign it.”
Nettleton clarifies that the Hate Crimes Bill is not the same as a Hate Speech Bill, but, “Is this the first step toward a hate speech bill that would then make it illegal to express Christian principles about some of these subjects?” Click here to read this entire article.
by Mike Stanwood
Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears. Acts 20: 28-30
This October Willow Creek continues to contribute to the wide spread influence of contemplative spirituality that is infiltrating mainline church denominations. Not only have they recently begun to sell Peter Scazzero’s contemplative materials 1, they are also promoting as one of their leadership training speakers Mindy Caliguire, the founder of Soul Care, a spiritual formation ministry serving church leaders. She is scheduled to speak on Oct. 24, 2009 as a ‘group life expert’ at a conference called This Changes Everything, (2) a one day satellite training event designed to bring small groups to a point of transformation and foster spiritual growth. 3
Mindy Caliguire will also be sharing the speaking platform this week (4) with contemplative Canadian pastor and author, Mark Buchanan, (5) at an Interactive Day for Leaders sponsored by Willow Creek Canada called Leading from a Healthy Soul–a conversation about the deeper things in life (October 6 in Mississauga, ON, October 7 in Calgary, AB, October 8 in Surrey, B.C.). 6
The kind of transformation and spiritual growth in these Willow Creek training sessions involves equipping leaders with spiritual practices that are said to bring life to a thirsty soul. But just what kind of spiritual practices are these?
One needn’t attend one of these sessions in order to see the kind of spirituality this particular speaker draws from. Upon closer inspection, we find that Mindy Caliguire is not only the founder and president of Soul Care (soulcare.com) but also the author of six Soul Care resources. These are books which Willow Creek Association sells (7), as does Willow Creek Canada Leadership Center.
While we are reminded that Soul Care’s home organizations are Willow Creek Community Church (www.willowcreek.org) and Willow Creek Association (www.willowcreek.com), the Soul Care website also recommends some ministries they work with as “some of our favorite places to go.” These include Renovare and Upper Room.
The Upper Room organization not only promotes contemplative prayer methods but encourages all types of eastern-style meditation and offers various programs based on mystical spirituality, including Walk to Emmaus, an adaptation of the Roman Catholic Cursillo Movement. 9
Also recommended by Soul Care as places to go on retreats (short or long-term) is Bellarmine Jesuit Retreat House in Barrington, IL, a place which “specializes in silent weekend retreats for men and women adapted from the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius.” 10
Caliguire also has a blog at Soul Care, which also reveals her contemplative leanings. 11
Another contemplative group Mindy Caliguire works with is the Spiritual Formation Alliance, a network of Christian organizations and individuals offering spiritual formation resources, as mentioned on her biography at Building Church Leaders. 12
With all these contemplative connections, it’s no surprise that Soul Care founder Mindy Caliguire’s teaching sessions are also based on contemplative spirituality and the spiritual disciplines. This is clearly evident if one listens on-line to her sessions. Caliguire is a good speaker, and she does quote and reference the Bible, but for those who understand and recognize contemplative spirituality, it becomes obvious in listening to her that Caliguire is in that camp.
In Practicing Silent Prayer, Caliguire teaches about mantras, silence, and finding a quiet place undistracted. She also mentions that this kind of prayer is “difficult to do. In Practicing Solitude Part 1, she teaches on how to prepare an undistracted quiet place or retreat, and explains what things to bring to connect with God. Oddly, she recommends bringing an alternative Bible translation that is less familiar to you, a journal, and The Way of the Heart by Henry Nouwen. The following is from Nouwen’s book:
The quiet repetition of a single word can help us to descend with the mind into the heart … This way of simple prayer … opens us to God’s active presence. (p. 81)
In 2008, Mindy Caliguire led an intermediate to advanced class at Willow Creek church that can be
During Soul Searching–Week 1, she told her class how she had drawn from Dallas Willard, loved Brian Mclaren’s book, quoted John Ortberg and Ruth Haley Barton, and Henri Nouwen and said that David (author of the Psalms) “got” the inner journey.
Some things she mentioned to her class were to not give each other advice or quote Bible verses, and that we’ve hidden ourselves for so long we hardly know our true selves anymore.
In Week 2 she began with a quote from Henri Nouwen by saying she was “the living reminder” tonight (as Henri Nouwen referred to himself). The class then discussed their stories about sensing an experience from God that week, to “let the real you be brought into community.” Then she taught them the Practice of Examen, providing Richard Foster’s explanation from his book on prayer. One barrier to going deeper with God, Caliguire said, is a lack of awareness of God’s presence.
She further explained how to do An Examen of Conscience and An Examen of Consciousness or awareness. She mentioned how Ignatius of Loyola was a rebel in the season when he was ministering and was a reformer that created a following called the Jesuits. Part of their way of deepening their relationship with God, she said, involved this form of prayer, part of their rhythm of life as a community, like the rule of life. She then explained essential steps to get into the pattern, or rhythm, and highly recommended it. Roger Oakland, in Faith Undone, says of the Jesuits:
Ignatius founded the Jesuits with a goal of bringing the separated brethren back to the Catholic Church. He and his band of ruthless men would do everything possible to accomplish this goal. (ch. 7)
Ignatius Loyola began the cruel order of priests, the Jesuits, who would use Ignatius exercises to meditate, put themselves into a trance and levitate. There are no scripture passages in the Bible that tell us we need to practice Roman Catholic methods, monastic rules of life to deal with our guilt ridden lives in order to experience God. The things that Caliguire is teaching ought to be setting off alarm bells within the Protestant church.
The “deep” prayer that Caliguire recommends practicing every day is centering prayer, a practice of silencing the mind that has led others into contact with spirit guides. In fact, Caliguire has been quoted to say that she has been led by “soul guides” in the fall 2004, Leadership Journal, in an article called “Soul Health”:
“Try centering prayer for about 20 minutes once a day for a week”
“Thankfully, I had a few soul-guides (in person and on pages) that led me into a new way of life that, while still a work in process, keeps me much more clear on my need for authentic connection to God, more than anything else in my life.”
In a Willow Creek magazine article, contemplative advocate Keri Wyatt Kent talks about the paradigm shift taking place through spiritual formation programs:
At first, many churches just wanted a program to ‘do’ spiritual formation at their church … Now, we’re seeing a shift as people start to get it–there’s a process, and it can’t be a separate program, it needs to be adopted systemically. WILLOW Magazine, Issue 4, 2007, “Rediscovering Spiritual Formation: From monastic communities to the emergent church, spiritual formation continues to shift and change a whole new generation of Christians” by Keri Wyatt Kent.13
It appears that the goal of not only Mindy Caliguire and Soul Care, but the contemplative prayer movement as a whole, is to bring this shift to the church leaders and then to their congregations. This is why we are seeing so many “conversations,” “discussions,” pastors retreats and training sessions like this one promoted by The Center of Congregations:
The Soul of Your Congregation looks at spiritual formation for the whole congregation. In April 2009, Mindy Caliguire from SoulCare and Lyle Smith Graybeal and Chris Webb from RENOVARE led participants through discussions and exercises to help them understand spiritual formation and how to incorporate it into all aspects of congregational life. 14
It is of great interest to note that The Center of Congregations is an ecumenical organization where together, the Catholics, Unitarian Universalists, United Methodists and Mennonites (all groups that heavily promote contemplative mysticism) are connecting and becoming one in environmental consciousness, with the help of a grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. Congregations Explore Sustainability and Earth Care
This kind of ecumenical spiritual training is very widespread. For example, Ascending Leaders is another leadership training organization that uses Caliguire’s materials, alongside resources that include Richard Foster, Spiritual Directors International, Renovare, Thomas Keating, Contemplative Outreach and various centering prayer links. 15
To conclude, Mindy Caliguire and her contemplative colleagues are moving full speed ahead to train others how to have healthy souls through the practices of contemplative spirituality. And now, thanks to Willow Creek and their far reaching membership promotions, the practices of these spiritual “soul care” trainers (John 10:12) will help to escalate this mystical spirituality. It may even be welcomed into your church to “shift” your congregation–beginning with your church leadership. Just like the “Emotionally Healthy Spirituality” resources that Willow Creek has recently begun to promote, this type of spirituality is not healthy or biblical, and may lead many sincere souls away from the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Instead of practicing the Ignatius Examen, it looks like many Christians desperately need to start “practicing” what the Bible teaches and examine what they are being taught.
by Cross Talk
During Banned Book Week, librarians go to great trouble to erect displays of all the books that have been banned down through the years and to hand out lists of all the censored books. But wait just a minute. Some books are still frequently banned in libraries, like books from former gays who have been set free from their deathstyle through Jesus Christ. So where is the uproar about those banned books? One group is raising that issue and is calling on the ALA to include books by ex-gays in their list of banned books. If censorship is always wrong, then these librarians who are so passionate about access to information need to let ex-gays have their say in public libraries as well. Hereâ€™s the release from PFOX.
CHICAGO, Oct. 6 /Christian Newswire/–In recognition of the goals of Banned Books Week by the American Library Association (ALA), Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays (PFOX) is requesting the ALA to include ex-gay books in its annual promotion of ALA’s “celebration of the freedom to read” program.
“For several weeks, PFOX has attempted to secure a statement from the ALA opposing the censorship of ex-gay books,” said Regina Griggs, executive director of PFOX. â€œAccording to Deborah Caldwell-Stone, director of the ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom, ALA policy recommends diversity in book collection development by libraries, regardless of partisan or doctrinal disapproval. However, Caldwell-Stone refuses to state whether that diversity policy includes ex-gay books.”
“Books about leaving homosexuality are censored in most high school libraries, although gay affirming books for youth are readily available,” said Griggs. “For example, Charlie Makela, supervisor of library services for Arlington County, Virginia public schools, rejected PFOX’s donation of ex-gay books although she accepts books from gay groups. Ms. Makela is also the chair of the ALA’s Supervisors’ Section of the American Association of School Librarians. Shouldn’t the ALA enforce its own diversity policy?” Click here to read this entire article.
Many, both here and abroad, are wondering now what will become of America. There’s a lot of intense speculation going on these days as to whether we should expect renewal, revival, revolution or the wrath of God.
People are losing their jobs, their businesses, their homes, their families, their pensions and everything they’ve worked a lifetime for. And because the problem is so profound and systemic, there’s really nothing the public or private sector can do to stop our economy from collapsing around us in spite of all the disinformation and outright propaganda to the contrary being manufactured by the government’s mainstream media machine and all those who have a vested interested in keeping the illusion of prosperity alive.
Even the money we use to buy and sell with–the world’s reserve currency–is an illusion that is quickly losing its appeal in the global marketplace. Americans may soon be the only people on earth that take U.S. dollars for goods and services–but for how long is anyone’s guess.
As I write, the Independent is reporting “the demise of the dollar”–that “Arab states have launched secret moves with China, Russia and France to stop using the US currency for oil trading.” Japan and Brazil are reportedly following suit. And, there’s no reason to believe it will stop there.
Because the dollar has long been the world’s reserve currency, most of it has been in circulation and in storage overseas. Imagine what will happen to its value when all of that unwanted currency comes back home to America from the countries that no longer want it or need it. Click here to continue.
SPECIAL NOTE: Learn more about the new spirituality coming in to the church through various avenues by reading A “Wonderful” Deception, A Time of Departing, and Faith Undone. (Click here for more information on this “New Spirituality Trio,”, exposing the truth in courage and strength.)
On Saturday, October 10, 2009, Warren B. Smith and Ray Yungen will be speaking in Atascadero, California from 9am until 3pm. They will be talking about the spiritual deception that has come into the church today through contemplative spirituality, the emerging church, the Purpose Driven movement, and more.
Warren Smith will be addressing several issues that he wrote about in his new book, A “Wonderful” Deception, including The Shack and the “new science” that is being brought forth to “prove” that God is in all things.
Ray Yungen will explain what contemplative spirituality (spiritual formation) is, who is promoting and teaching it, and why it a dangerous and unbiblical belief system.
The Saturday meeting is hosted by the Calvary Chapel church in Atascadero. There will be no charge.
We realize many who receive this email live too far away to attend this meeting, but we still wanted to let you know about it, hoping you would pray for those attending that many would come to understand the seriousness of what is taking place in the church today.
October 10, 2009 9am-3pm (no charge)
Calvary Chapel Atascadero, California
Catered lunch ($10)
6955 Portola Rd
Atascadero, CA 93422-3622
On February 27, 2010, Warren B. Smith, Ray Yungen, Johanna Michaelsen, and Chris Quintana will be speaking in Westminster, California. This will be a joint conference hosted by two Calvary Chapel churches: Calvary Chapel Cypress and Calvary Chapel Pacific Coast. More details to follow soon.