By David Dombrowski
Editor at Lighthouse Trails
The expression “Where are we going?” is not an uncommon one, but whether it be a child asking a parent or a fellow traveler posing the question, it usually denotes a sense of being lost and one of concern. Then, of course, posing the question to a stranger could be one of much graver concern. But, in any case, it is a good question to ask because it signifies a desire for safety – to get going in the right direction toward the right destination. When a hunter or a hiker asks that question, it could actually be a matter of life and death; oftentimes, he may have nothing more than a map and a compass, but these tools of navigation can make all the difference when it comes to survival.
I thank God that He has given us His Word to enable us to navigate our way through life, for we are on a life and death journey, and our destination is of utmost importance. The Bible indicates that we are sojourners through life (Psalm 39:12), yet we need not be lost because the Psalms also declare, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Psalm 119:105). Have you ever been hiking when it was beginning to get dark? Hopefully, you got out in time before darkness set in, but this psalmist offers us a picture of someone walking along a path when darkness has already set in. Yet, he has the comfort of a lamp to light his way to safety. We can be encouraged by God’s Word that offers us both comfort and safety, because the fact is we live in a dark world, and the “god of this world” (Satan) blinds the eyes of the unbelieving (2 Corinthians 4:4). But today, it is more than just the atheist and agnostic who are in grave spiritual danger, as multitudes of proclaiming Christians are being blinded by what Scripture refers to as a time of strong delusion (2 Thessalonians 2:3) or as Paul says elsewhere:
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. (1 Timothy 4:1)
Unfortunately, for many of these people, they will all the while think they are abiding in the truth.
In another article I wrote titled “Shamanism or Cutting-Edge Christianity?,” I addressed the fact that mystical spirituality has been drawing multitudes of Christians away from the truth of the Gospel message. I also demonstrated that all these forms of mystical meditation are from the same source in that they connect the practitioner with the world of the occult – a realm that is populated exclusively by deceiving spirits and not shared by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will not inhabit a realm that God has declared to be “an abomination unto the Lord” (Deuteronomy 18:12). So whether an individual enters the mystical realm (“the silence”) through chanting, the mantra, rhythm, dancing, or focusing on the breath, and whether it be through Eastern mysticism, yoga, New Age meditation, contemplative prayer, Native Spirituality, or shamanism, in each case the practitioner is connecting with and drawing from the same source – an occult realm of deceiving spirits pretending to be “of God” but where in reality neither Jesus Christ nor the Holy Spirit can be found. Seeing that mystical meditation has become common place, I realize a very great number of people would see the statement I just made as fanatical or as a conspiracy theory. But the fact is that a conspiracy is already underway, instigated by Satan himself and performed by his vast number of demons. As Ray Yungen suggests in his book A Time of Departing, mysticism will have much to do with the great delusion that is already sweeping throughout the world. He points out that there is a mystical sector or element in the various religions of the world, so it would only make sense that if the religions of the world are to unite, mysticism will play a major role. Also, as I pointed out in that article, the Yanomamo shaman practices spiritual disciplines of self-denial reminiscent of the spiritual disciplines of the Desert Fathers. But, these practices, too, are being resurrected today as the latest in cutting-edge Christianity.
Now, as I suggested in that article, because the Yanomamo have been practicing mysticism and the spiritual disciplines for a very long time, it stands to reason that what they have brought to fruition will in time be the outcome of these practices that are sweeping through our churches today. So, without attempting to or pretending to be prophetic, we can forecast the outcome of these practices based on where these practices have brought the Yanomamo and other peoples who practice Native Spirituality. The reason why I can say these things is because when the Yanomamo shaman engages in mysticism, he enters the same mystical realm that Christians do when they engage in contemplative prayer. In both cases, they enter into the same occultic realm and put themselves at the mercy of the demons who inhabit that realm. Unfortunately, the demons are not merciful, but rather pose as angels of light or the Holy Spirit and lead the practitioner away from the simple truth of the Gospel. While promising much, they deliver what is ultimately harmful to the practitioner. Currently, contemplative or mystical prayer is sweeping the church with the sales pitch that it enhances physical, mental, and spiritual well being to include relaxation and a direct connection to hearing from God. But as we have been attempting to demonstrate over the past thirteen years with our books and articles, contemplative prayer and mysticism do indeed connect one with a spiritual realm, but that realm is not God, and it is not good.
And while the New Age movement promises an Age of Aquarius (or enlightenment) as an age of peace and oneness if we all engage in mystical prayer, the Bible indicates that the last days will be marked by unrest and war. And if we look at the Yanomamo, who have been practicing spirituality for centuries, we can see that the lives of these tribesmen and women are marked not by peace but by unrest and violence. If all that the mystics are saying were true, you would think that when the anthropologists discovered the Yanomamo peoples they would have discovered utopian bliss and celestial innocence; but rather violence and unrest was discovered. The Yanomamo have tried and proven that spirituality is not what sustains a people, but as Chief Shoefoot points out after his conversion, our hope is in Jesus Christ alone. It is tragically ironic that while a Yanomamo chief, like Chief Shoefoot, has time tested and proven that mysticism does not work and has now turned to Jesus, countless Christians are now turning to mysticism to find answers.
The only real difference between the mysticism or Native Spirituality of the Yanomamo and the “Christian mystic” of today is that the Yanomamo have a fully developed spirituality and are far ahead of the mystical leaders and contemplative prayer proponents of the present. An example of this is that the Yanomamo have developed a broader variety of techniques that enable them to enter “the silence” more quickly. For instance, a drug is used that quickly brings the participant to an altered state of consciousness. Interestingly enough, the Book of Revelation makes reference to the re-emergence in the last days of “that great city Babylon” (Revelation 18:21) which was in ancient times a center of idolatry and mysticism but in the end times will be the mercantile hub of false religion. Revelation 18 describes Babylon as “the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird” (Revelation 18:2). But how can it be that a city that practices contemplative prayer and mysticism can be frowned upon by God to such a degree? Is it not because the mystical or occultic realm is the habitation of devils? Chief Shoefoot says that it is so. Of further significance is verse 23 that states: “for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived” (Revelation 18:23). If we consult Strong’s Concordance, we find that the Greek word used for “sorceries” is pharmakeia (pharmacy) signifying medication and derived from the word pharmakon signifying drugs (i.e., spell-giving potions). It seems very possible, therefore, that the mystics of the last days will incorporate drug use into their mystical practices, and as indicated in verse 23 above, this may become a great merchandising endeavor where people all over the world will be using mind-altering drugs. Thomas Merton, who helped to pioneer contemplative prayer into our generation, said he felt sorry for the hippies of the ’60s who used LSD because, as he pointed out, they could have achieved the same result by practicing contemplative prayer. But the mystic of the end times may actually feel sorry for Thomas Merton because drug use could make the mystical state much more readily attainable by anyone. Contemplative prayer takes some effort by incorporating a mantra-like word or phrase to create a hypnotic state whereas, in the future, the same result could be achieved by popping a pill or inhaling the smoke of a drug – hence “instant” spirituality! Yet, all the while God’s statement about such practices will be, “for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived” (Revelation 18:23). Apparently, whatever happens will be a massive global effort and by it, people all over the world will be living in great delusion.
Perhaps “Babylon the great” spoken of in Revelation 18 refers to the re-emergence of a literal city of mystical practice and idolatry in the last days, but, at the very least, it must refer to a state of affairs that will sweep the world. Mysticism (i.e., occultism) will be practiced on a global scale. And, all the while, the masses will be thinking they are pleasing God by practicing mysticism, oftentimes with the aid of drugs.
Then, this chapter in Revelation brings out one final point where it says, “And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth” (Revelation 18:24). May I point out once again that mysticism (or occultism) connects one with a spirit world inhabited by demons posing to be angels of light. The occultist Alice Bailey, under the influence of her spirit guides, predicted that while New Age style meditation will be promoted and propelled by the apostate Christian church, Christians who will not forsake the fundamentals of the faith will be seen as being in the way of bringing in this Age of enlightenment – an age of peace where everyone sees his or her own divinity and oneness with all things. New Age leader Barbara Marx Hubbard suggests that these resisters of the new world/new reformation will be like a cancer that needs to be excised out of the earth. She calls this elimination the “Selection Process.”1 Now I ask, what can be more hypocritical and diabolical than to think that the annihilation of godly people will bring about peace?
What will be the end of this resurrected city of Babylon? Revelation says, “Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her” (Revelation 18:8), and again it says, “for in one hour is thy judgment come” (Revelation 18:10). Apparently, the judgment to come will be speedy and severe.
So, while we can only speculate on the details of what will happen, we can be sure that a massive delusion will encompass the world and that severe judgment will also take place. Just knowing this, let us, as believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, cling the more dearly to the Word of God and the Gospel message. Jesus died on the Cross to save sinners and rose from the dead to conquer death; our hope is in Him and nowhere or no one else. And while it is scary to think of persecution of the believers, it is more frightening to think of God’s judgment on those who abandon God’s Word for a lie. May we remember that no matter what we might suffer as Christians, the safest place to be is in God’s will. Knowing this, let us encourage one another with the comfort and hope that is in the Lord. And let us be assured that we know where we are going.
Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. Titus 2:13-14