Revealing Quotes by Influential Contemplatives

These revealing quotes are from well-known figures who have significantly influenced the religious landscape in today’s culture. Sadly, they have helped to mislead millions with their promotion of contemplative prayer (a mystical, panentheistic-rooted practice).

Shalem Prayer Institute
“This mystical stream [contemplative prayer and other monastic traditions] is the Western bridge to Far Eastern spirituality.”—Tilden Edwards, Spiritual Friend, p. 18.

Gerald May/Brother Lawrence
“. . . a little phrase that Love inspires,” letting a word, phrase or image repeat itself quietly deep inside us as we go through our daily activities.”—Gerald May, quoting Brother Lawrence – “Contemplative Spiritual Formation: Going Deeper”

Rick Warren
“With practice, you can develop the habit of praying silent ‘breath prayers'” – Rick Warren, from his book, The Purpose Driven Life (p. 299)

“[U]se ‘breath prayers’ throughout the day, as many Christians have done for centuries. You choose a brief sentence or a simple phrase that can be repeated to Jesus in one breath.”—Rick Warren,
Purpose Driven Life, p. 89.

Ken Blanchard
“Does Buddha have anything to offer non-Buddhists in the workplace? My answer is a wholehearted, ‘Yes.’—Ken Blanchard, co-author of the One Minute Manager, from the foreword and front cover of What Would Buddha Do in the Workplace?

Bruce Wilkinson
“We have promoted an unbiblical message that becoming born-again is the answer to everything. It’s not. It changes your eternity, but it doesn’t change your sexual behavior, for instance. The gospel does not always have the answer for modern-day dilemmas.” – JOY! magazine, the South African counterpart to Charisma, in April 2004

From Youth Specialties
“I built myself a prayer room—a tiny sanctuary in a basement closet filled with books on spiritual disciplines, contemplative prayer, and Christian mysticism. In that space I lit candles, burned incense, hung rosaries, and listened to tapes of Benedictine monks. I meditated for hours on words, images, and sounds. I reached the point of being able to achieve alpha brain patterns…”—Mike Perschon, Youth Specialties Magazine, December 2004

“Choose a sacred word or phrase. Consistently use the same word throughout the prayer. Begin silently to repeat your sacred word or phrase.” – Mark Yaconelli, Youth Specialties National Pastor’s Convention (source)

Charisma Magazine
“Spiritual ecstasy. The third phase of contemplative prayer … a supernatural trance state …” – Charisma magazine, Oct. 2004

Brennan Manning
“Contemplative prayer is nothing other than coming into consciousness of what is already there.” – Brennan Manning, Signature of Jesus, p. 197

Larry Crabb
“Brennan (Manning) is my friend, walking ahead of me on the path toward home. As I watch him from behind, I am drawn to more closely follow on the path…” – Larry Crabb, endorsement of Abba’s Child (source)

Henri Nouwen
“Today I personally believe that while Jesus came to open the door to God’s house, all human beings can walk through that door, whether they know about Jesus or not. Today I see it as my call to help every person claim his or her own way to God.” – Sabbatical Journey (the last book Nouwen wrote), p. 51, hardcover edition

“The quiet repetition of a single word can help us to descend with the mind into the heart.” – Way of the Heart, p. 81.

Ruth Haley Barton
“Ask for a simple prayer to express your willingness to meet God in the silence … a simple statement …such as “Here I am.” … Help yourself return to your original intent by repeating the prayer that you have chosen.” – Discipleship Journal, Vol. 113 1999

John Michael Talbot
“I began practicing meditation, specifically breath prayer, once again. I integrated the use of Tai Chi and yoga.” – John Michael Talbot, Interview with Christianity Today 10/22/2001

Shakti Gawain
“Its [visualization] effect is to dissolve our internal barriers to natural harmony and self realization.” – Shakti Gawain, Creative Visualization, p. 6.

Richard Foster
“[Y]ou and I may have strong opinions on double predestination, supralapsarianism, and biblical inerrancy, but these should not be considered evangelical essentials.” – Streams of Living Water, Kindle location 3914

Matthew Fox
“We need to become aware of the Cosmic Christ, which means recognizing that every being has within it the light of Christ.” – Steve Turner interviewing Matthew Fox, “Natural Mystic?” (Nine O Clock Service, March 1995)

“Everyone is born a mystic and a lover who experiences the unity of things and all are called to keep this mystic or lover of life alive.” (source)

Beth Moore
“[I]f we are not still before Him [God], we will never truly know to the depths of the marrow of our bones that He is God. There’s got to be a stillness.” – from the Be Still DVD, an infomercial for contemplative prayer (source)

Jack Canfield, Chicken Soup for the Soul
“What works for me is a combination of disciplines: I do yoga, tai chi which is a Chinese martial art and three kinds of meditation—vipasana, transcendental and mantra (sound) meditation.” – from Choosing to be Happy

Thomas Merton
“Isn’t it a pity that people are going into LSD to have spiritual experiences, when we have a tradition in the Church [contemplative prayer] which no one knows anything about?” (source)

M. Basil Pennington
“When we go to the center of our being and pass through that center into the very center of God we get in immediate touch with this divine creating energy … that the divine energy may have the freedom to forward the evolution of consciousness in us and through us, as a part of the whole, in the whole of the creation.” – An Invitation to Centering Prayer

Thomas Keating
“My acquaintance with eastern methods of meditation has convinced me that … there are ways of calming the mind in the spiritual disciplines of both the east and the west [and] many serious seekers of truth study the eastern religions.” – Open Mind, Open Heart, p. 29

Pope John Paul
“Pick out a word or two. Tell your children to sit quietly and repeat the word in their heads—not thinking about the word, just repeating it.” – Everyday Catholic newsletter, Nov. 2001

The Emerging Church
“The first time I introduced this, the kids came in, and I had a candle going and a little incense burning and some Gregorian chant music on the CD player” – Tony Jones, from interview with editor Jeff Bailey, Cutting Edge magazine, pp. 15-22.

“Some of the values of the emerging church are an emphasis on emotions, global outlook, a rise in the use of arts, and a rise in mysticism and spirituality.”—Josh Reich, Youth Specialties, “Creating Worship Gatherings for the Emerging Church” 

“We’re rediscovering Christianity as an Eastern religion, as a way of life.”– Rob Bell, “The Emergent Mystique,” Christianity Today, Nov. 1, 2004

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10 PRACTICAL THINGS ABOUT LIGHTHOUSE TRAILS YOU MIGHT FIND USEFUL

10 things you might find useful about the practical aspects of Lighthouse Trails Publishing & Research Project:

1. WEBSITES—We have two main sites: www.lighthousetrails.com, which is the publishing site and store that sells all our products and www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com, which is where our news blog is located as well as the main research site. The blog has thousands of up-to-date articles, and the research site has hundreds of archived pages of the research we have done since 2004 (the year our research project went online). The store site, the research site, and the blog each have their own search engine you can use to find materials and information.

2. AUTHORS—Lighthouse Trails represents over 35 authors throughout North America and the UK. You can read about each author on our author page and see what kinds of material they each provide.

3. LIBRARIES—Our books are now in hundreds of libraries across the U.S., and if you would like to get some of our titles into your own local library, it’s easy and doesn’t cost you anything. Just call or visit your library, give the librarian the title and/or the ISBN of any title and ask her to bring that title into circulation. Tell your librarian that our books can be ordered through Baker & Taylor, which is the main distributor to U.S. libraries.

4. BOOKSTORES—All of the Lighthouse Trails books and DVDs (the ones we publish ourselves) are carried by national mainstream distributors including Ingram, SpringArbor, Baker & Taylor, and Anchor. This means that virtually ANY bookstore (with the exception of LifeWay which will not carry or order any LT products) in the U.S. can easily order any of our titles. Many times people call us and tell us that their local bookstore has told them they cannot get our books. But actually, they can! Even if a bookstore can’t buy through these distributors for some reason, the bookstore can always buy at wholesale prices directly from us.

5. ONLINE BOOK OUTLETS & MINISTRIES—All of the Lighthouse Trails books and DVDS (the ones we publish ourselves) are available to the general public through numerous online outlets including Amazon, Barnes and Noble, CBD, etc. Ministries such as The Berean Call, Understand the Times, Scripture Truth, Faith View Books, and several others each carry a number of our books and booklets as well.

6. NEWSLETTERS & JOURNAL—Lighthouse Trails has both an e-newsletter, (see archives) which is delivered to readers’ e-mail boxes two to three times a month. We also have a low-cost subscription-based print journal, which is 32 pages and sent to homes, churches, and offices every other month. Many of our readers are getting both the e-newsletter and the journal, while some prefer just one option. We encourage our readers to get the print journal, regardless of whether they get the e-mail because it is great for sharing with others and also very convenient.

7. E-BOOKS & BOOKLETS—Lighthouse Trails books, booklets, and now print journals are also available in both e-pub and PDF formats. Use e-pubs if you have an e-reader, and use PDFs if you don’t and just want to read on your computer or print the document. You can purchase our e-books, e-booklets, and e-journals directly from our website, or you may buy them from Amazon’s Kindle program or Barnes and Noble’s Nook program.

8. SPEAKERS/LECTURERS—A number of our authors are available to speak at your church, conference, radio program, or group: Warren B. Smith, Roger Oakland, Chris Lawson, Anita Dittman (in MN only), Carl Teichrib, Cedric Fisher, Greg Reid, Jim Fletcher, Lynn Lusby Pratt, Mary Danielsen, Mike Oppenheimer, Tony Pearce (in the UK), and Sandy Simpson. You may acquaint yourself with these authors by reading their materials. Several of them have LT author websites where you can read articles and get contact information. Visit this page here to see our list. These are wonderful brothers and sisters who are committed to the Lord, to His Word, and to defending truth.

9. INTERNATIONAL MISSIONS—In 2010, Lighthouse Trails began supporting the mission work of the Bryce Homes Program, homes for needy Christian families now located in several different countries under the leadership of Understand the Times. Since then, Lighthouse Trails readers have contributed substantially to this Gospel-focused missions effort.

10. TENT INDUSTRY—In 2010, Lighthouse Trails started a small division called The Shepherd’s Garden and created our very own line of organic Bible-verse tea. We now have 6 different blends plus a sampler box. We started this side industry as a way to help keep Lighthouse Trails financially stable. Lighthouse Trails is not a non-profit, and thus, we don’t get the number of donations that a 501 (c) 3 organization would get. The tea is a great way to give us a boost without having it be labor intensive, which would draw us away from the work we do at Lighthouse Trails. Since The Shepherd’s Garden began, many many LT readers have purchased the tea and tell us they love how it tastes and love the little KJV verses on a tag on each bag of tea.

 

(photo used from bigstockphoto; used with permission)

 

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The Impact of Practical Mystics versus Cults

By Ray Yungen
(Author of A Time of Departing)

Evangelical scholar David L. Smith correctly assessed the powerful, yet subtle, impact New Age spirituality is having on society when he made the following observations:

Not since Gnosticism at the dawn of the Christian era has there arisen a philosophy as pervasive and threatening to orthodox Christianity as the New Age movement . . . It would be difficult to find any area of life, which has not been touched or redirected to some degree by the concepts of this movement.1

bigstockphoto

Smith recognizes that, rather than just a small segment, the overall social fabric of society is being impacted. This movement has clearly evolved well past the subculture stage into something much more dynamic and sophisticated. This stunning change has been brought about by the rise of a new breed of mystic—one that presents mysticism as a complement to secular goals and one that is adept at easing the public’s natural impulse to reject the strange and unfamiliar. Some examples of this are:

A prominent, influential speaker and seminar leader, Brian Tracy, promotes the use of the “superconscious mind” (i.e., the higher self), “to improve productivity, performance and output” in the corporate world.2

An article in one major Pacific Northwest newspaper features a large color picture of a local university professor in a classic Zen Buddhist meditation pose. He has not joined the Buddhist religion but is trying to reverse his heart condition through Eastern meditation.3

A popular morning talk show entices viewers with the promise of “how to get along with your spouse.” The show then features popular New Age author Wayne Dyer exhorting viewers to “go into the silence for guidance” when they get angry with their mate[s].4

These are just a few examples of what could be called secular mysticism or generic mysticism, meditation practiced not for religious reasons but as a tool to improve life. Many Christians have a difficult time comprehending this concept. They have been trained to think in terms of cults such as the Mormons (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) or the Watchtower Society (Jehovah’s Witnesses). But these groups are rather limited in their impact because, even if they become sizable, they remain only isolated islands in society. The advantage practical mystics have is that they only have to piggyback a seemingly benevolent meditation method onto whatever programs they are promoting—in other words, they do not have to proselytize people to a dogma, only a practice.

New Age publisher Jeremy Tarcher spoke of this challenge in an interview. Speaking of practical mystics he explained: “They have to learn to present their perceptions in appropriate language and actions that don’t arouse fear or resistance.”5

Because of their success at this effort, one writer declared that interest in meditation was currently exploding. This explosion in Western culture is unprecedented and very real.

In the West, mysticism had always been restricted to a tiny fraction of the population (i.e., shamans, esoteric brotherhoods, and small spiritually elite groups). Never before has there been a widespread teaching of these methods to everyone. Now, mysticism pervades the Western world. How did this happen?

The first such book to reach a broad audience was Creative Visualization by Shakti Gawain. This book could rightfully be called a practical mystic’s bible. Many people can trace their first involvement in metaphysics to this book. Since its publication in 1978, it has sold millions of copies and has influenced the fields of psychology, health, business, and athletics.6

The book became so popular because it addresses such topics as creativity, career goals, relationships, better health, and simple relaxation and peacefulness. Who wouldn’t want to have all this, especially if all it takes is engaging in a simple practice?

Gawain spells out very clearly what that practice entails. She teaches her readers:

Almost any form of meditation will eventually take you to an experience of yourself as source, or your higher self . . . Eventually you will start experiencing certain moments during your meditation when there is a sort of “click” in your consciousness and you feel like things are really working; you may even experience a lot of energy flowing through you or a warm radiant glow in your body. These are signs that you are beginning to channel the energy of your higher self.7

There had been books like hers before, but those appealed to people already in the New Age subculture. This wasn’t true of Creative Visualization. This book had just the right secular slant on something inherently spiritual. Gawain believed that one could stay a Jew, Catholic, or Protestant and still practice the teachings of the book. All you were doing was developing yourself, not changing your religion.

Gawain was merely the forerunner of what has become a flood of such books. A more recent book, The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, which is about the “spiritual path to higher creativity,”27 has sold over two million copies.

A good example of this approach was a business in a major West Coast city that sold books, tapes, and videos on stress reduction. The owners were very active in their community. Doctors, therapists, and teachers came to them for help. They gave talks to school faculties, major corporations, and all the major hospitals in their city. Their clientele tended to be affluent, well-educated professionals and business people who were interested in personal growth.

Yet, along with stress reduction and self-improvement, another element was subtly present—spiritual awareness. One of the owners wrote how she attended a powerful workshop with “Lazaris” and discovered that his techniques were “practical and useful.”8 That does not sound too extraordinary at first glance—however, Lazaris is not a person but a spirit guide!

Because of the stereotypes about people who gravitate toward mystical experiences (such as counterculture types), we may tend to assume people associated with these practices have strange personalities or are in other ways offbeat. On the contrary, these individuals are professional, articulate, conservatively dressed, and above all, extremely personable. They are positive and likeable. A newspaper reporter who did an article on one of them told me, “She is one of the most calm, serene persons I have ever met.” The reporter added, “People want what she has!”

The health, self-help, and recovery sections of secular bookstores are now saturated with New Age metaphysical books. Christian columnist Terry Mattingly summed up the situation brilliantly when he observed: “The New Age didn’t crest, it soaked in . . . It is now the dominant theme in commercial bookstores.”9 If the self-help and personal growth sections of most secular commercial bookstores were examined, the only conclusion to come away with would be that New Age mysticism is the prominent spiritual viewpoint of this country.

A case in point: One day while strolling through a shopping mall, I noticed a New Age bookstore and a secular bookstore just around the corner from each other. Upon examination, it was clear the secular bookstore had far more New Age books than the New Age bookstore did—hundreds more. Moreover, the vast majority were not in the New Age section but in the self-help, health, and other sections. Thus, New Age bookstores have almost been rendered obsolete by the explosion of practical mystic books stocked in traditional bookstores.

This is not an understatement or scare-tactic conjecture. Take a look at book sales for some of the major New Age authors around today. Just the top two, Wayne Dyer and Deepak Chopra, have sold fifty million books between them. James Redfield, the author of The Celestine Prophecy, can boast of a staggering twenty million books sold, and Neale Donald Walsch, the channeler of Conversations with God, a paltry seven million.10
The basic message of these books and hundreds of others like them could be reduced to one simple word, a word that cries out a uniform consistent theme—meditate! That is to say, you’re not going to get anywhere in this life unless you get that “click” that Gawain spoke of earlier and to do it, you must meditate.

If you think the New Age movement is a colorful assortment of strange cults populated by free-spirited aging hippies and assorted oddballs who are being duped by money-hungry charlatans and egocentric frauds, then think again. We are not dealing with fringe religious groups or chanting flower-children anymore but with a broad-based concerted effort to influence and restructure our whole society. (Excerpt from A Time of Departing, chapter 1)

Notes:
1. David L. Smith, A Handbook of Contemporary Theology (Victor Books, 1992), p. 273.
2. Brian Tracy, Maximum Achievement (New York, NY: Simon and Schuster, 1993), pp. 179, 17.
3. “Change of Heart,” (The Sunday Oregonian, September 19, 1993), p. L1.
4. AM Northwest Morning Talk Show, KATU Channel 2, Portland, OR, Interview with Wayne Dyer, March 27, 1997.
5. Jeremy Tarcher, “Living with Vision” (Science of Mind, April 1, 1992), p. 44.
6. Shakti Gawain, Creative Visualization (Novato, CA: Nataraj Publishing, 2002), back cover.
7. Ibid., 1983, 9th Printing, p. 57.
8. Julia Cameron, The Artist’s Way (New York, NY: William Morrow Co., 10th Anniversary Edition), front & back covers.
9. What’s New at Stiles newsletter, 1985.
10. Terry Mattingly, “Marketplace of the Gods” (Christian Research Journal, May/June 1986), p. 6.

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Halloween! A Warning to Parents

 

LTRP Note: This warning by former New Ager Johanna Michaelsen is available as a Lighthouse Trails booklet, suitable to give to others.

Halloween! A Warning to Christian ParentsBy Johanna Michaelsen

It was the night of Halloween, and ironically, I was working on a chapter about Halloween for my book Like Lambs to the Slaughter: Your Child and the Occult when the doorbell rang. I was greeted by an adorable bunch of little kids doing their level best to look like gruesome Witches and vampires. I bent down as I distributed apples and oranges in response to lusty cries of “trick or treat!”

“You kids want to know something?” I asked very softly.

“Yeah!” came a unanimous chorus.

“With the Lord Jesus, there is no trick. He loves every one of you very much.”

Several little faces beamed up at me through their ghoulish makeup. “That’s neat!” exclaimed one little girl. “Yeah!” chimed in a few others.

“This is Jesus’ night,” I said. Why I said that, I’m not really sure. I was poignantly aware of the fact that it is a night the devil has made a point of claiming for himself.

“No it’s not!” snarled a hidden voice. “It’s Jason’s night!” A boy who was taller than the rest stepped out from the shadows. He was wearing the white hockey mask of “Jason,” the demented, ghoulish killer in the movie Friday the 13th and was brandishing a very realistic-looking hatchet. I have to admit that the boy gave me a start, but I stood my ground and dropped a banana into his bag.

“No, ‘Jason,’ this is still Jesus’ night!” I repeated. And indeed it is, even though it is most assuredly the night set aside for the glorification and worship of idols, false gods, Satan, and death. “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.”1

“Jason” evidently resented the competition, however, for he ripped our mailbox right out of the ground and left his banana squished on the stair.

PET GHOSTS?

Most of us in the United States have grown up observing Halloween in one form or another. From the time we are in preschool, we make drawings or cutouts of sinister black Witches—the haggier the better. We make paintings of gruesome black cats with gleaming, evil, orange eyes; we hang up smirking paper skeletons with dancing limbs; we glue together ghost and bat mobiles; and we design demoniacal faces for our pumpkins.

For several years, one thoughtful kindergarten teacher in Southern California even provided ghosts for her pupils to commune with at Halloween. I spoke with one of the mothers from that school who told me that her little boy was sent home with a note from the teacher informing the parents that their child would be bringing home a “special friend” the next day. The child was to nurture his “friend,” name it, feed it, and talk to it—all as a part of a special class project that was designed to “develop the child’s imagination.”

The next day, the little boy came home with a sealed envelope along with explicit instructions that his parents were not to touch it; only the child was allowed to open the envelope. Mom said, “You bet!” and promptly opened it up. Inside was six inches of thick orange wool string with a knot tied a quarter of the way up to make a loop resembling a head. The mimeographed “letter” that accompanied it read as follows:

Haunted House
001 Cemetery Lane
Spookville

Dear Customer,

Thank you for your order. Your ghost is exactly what you ordered. You will find that your ghost is attached to an orange string. Do not untie the special knot until you are ready to let your ghost go.

Your ghost will tell you when it is hungry and what it prefers to eat. It will sleep in the air beside you all day. It especially likes quiet places where there are cobwebs, creaky boards and corners.

If you follow the above directions, you will have a very happy ghost.

Yours truly,

Head Ghost

The mother, a Christian, didn’t approve of the idea of her son taking in a pet ghost, however housebroken. She was also a little suspicious of her six-year-old being addressed as “Dear Customer.” So she confiscated the thing and put it in the garage on a shelf until she could decide what to do with it. The next day, her sister was in the garage on an errand, unaware of the matter of the “ghost in the string.” Suddenly she was frightened by the sense of a threatening presence around her. She heard the sounds of a cat hissing in the corner and something like a “chatty doll” mumbling incoherently at her. Later that night they threw the “ghost string” into the garbage pail, prayed to the Lord to remove the entity, and were never bothered by the “presence” again. This family had no trouble whatever believing that a spirit had indeed been sent home with their little boy and that it didn’t much like having been assigned to a Christian household.2

The Halloween ghosts were given out again the following year by the same teacher. The Christian mother managed to get hold of the envelope, orange ghost-carrier and all, and sent it to me. It is possible, of course, that the teacher meant nothing sinister by it. Perhaps to her it was just a cute exercise in imagination for her kindergartners. Nevertheless, in light of the stated intent of many Transpersonal (i.e., a branch of psychology that focuses on mysticism and the occult in the search for transcendence) educators to introduce children to spirit guides, I can’t help but be a little curious about any teacher who sends the children home with “imaginary friends.”

CHURCH-SPONSORED HORROR

Even in the church, Halloween is a time of spooky fun and games. Any number of evangelical churches, ever mindful of their youth programs and ministries, will sponsor haunted houses designed to scare the wits out of the kids. From 1970 to 2001 in Bakersfield, California, Youth for Christ’s Campus Life was a co-sponsor of “Scream in the Dark,” an event that was held every night for about a week before Halloween. At least 20,000 people “brave[d] the chilly corridors and dark passages” every year to face ghoulish figures, terrifying tunnels, and screams in the dark.3

While many churches have switched from Halloween activities to alternative events on Halloween such as Harvest parties, countless Christians still allow their children to celebrate Halloween with door-to-door trick or treating and dressing up in scary costumes. Christian actor Kirk Cameron (Left Behind films and Fireproof) has come out publicly defending Halloween. In an interview in a popular online Christian magazine, Cameron stated that Christians “should have the biggest Halloween party on your block.” Cameron said he had no problem with Christians dressing up in devil, ghost, and other traditional Halloween costumes because they could do it as a way to witness to unbelievers.4

But is this church-sponsored horror a good idea? There are a number of reasons it is not. For one thing, terror can kill. When my husband was a teenager, the family next door to him lost their toddler one Halloween when the little one opened the door to trick-or-treaters. Their hideous appearance and shrieks so traumatized the child that he literally dropped dead on the spot. That may be a rare example, but the fact remains that terrorizing children is dangerous.

Church-sponsored horror isn’t a new phenomenon. My husband’s Lutheran church in New York always sponsored a “Chamber of Horrors” when he was a boy, complete with fluorescent skeletons, scary pop-ups, peeled grapes to simulate dead eyeballs, and a bowl of cold spaghetti that was supposed to be . . . well, you know. Anyway, they made you stick your hand into it, and any number of kids spent the rest of the night throwing up.

Halloween has become a full-fledged national children’s play day, but for hundreds of thousands of people in the Western world (and their numbers are growing steadily) Halloween is a sacred time, the ancient pagan festival of fire and death.

FESTIVAL OF THE DEAD

The origins and traditions of Halloween can be traced back thousands of years to the days of the ancient Celts and their priests, the Druids. The eve of October 31 marked the transition from summer into the darkness of winter. It marked the beginning of the Celtic New Year. The Feast of Samhain was a fearsome night, a dreaded night, a night in which great bonfires were lit, according to some pagan traditions, to Samana the Lord of Death, the dark Aryan god who was known as the Grim Reaper, the leader of the ancestral ghosts.5

On this night, the spirits of the dead rose up, shivering with the coming cold of winter and seeking the warmth and affection of the homes they once inhabited. And even colder, darker creatures filled the night: evil Witches flying through the night,6 hobgoblins, and evil pookas that appeared in the form of hideous black horses. Demons, fairies, and ghouls roamed about as the doors of the burial sidh-mounds opened wide,7 allowing them free access to the world of living men. These loathsome beings were usually not in a particularly good mood by the time they arrived, and it was feared that unless these spirits were appeased and soothed with offerings and gifts they would wreak mischief and vengeance by destroying crops, killing cattle, turning milk sour, and generally making life miserable.

So it was that families offered what was most precious to them: food—a “treat” which they fervently hoped would be sufficient to offset any “trick” which the ghostly blackmailers might otherwise be tempted to inflict.

The ancient Celtic villagers realized, however, that merely feeding the spirits might not be enough to speed them on their way. The ghoulies might decide it would be rude to eat and run, as it were, and might just be tempted to stick around.

That simply would not do. So arose the practice of dressing in masks and costumes: Chosen villagers disguised themselves as the fell creatures at large, mystically taking on their attributes and powers. The “mummers,” as they were called, cavorted from house to house collecting the ancient Celtic equivalent of protection money, and then romped the ghosts right out of town when they were through.

They carried jack-o’-lanterns to light their way—turnips or potatoes with fearful, demonic faces carved into them which they hoped would duly impress, if not intimidate, the demons around them.8

SACRIFICE AND FIRE

As a part of their ancient New Year’s ritual, massive sacred bonfires were lit throughout the countryside of Wales, Ireland, and France—fires from which every house in the village would rekindle their hearth fires (which had been ritually extinguished, as they were at the end of every year). The villagers would gather and dance round and round the bonfire, whose light and heat they believed would help the sun make it through the cold, dark winter.9

But the great fires served another purpose as well: On this night, unspeakable sacrifices were offered by the Druid priests to the Lord of Death. Lewis Spence in his book The History and Origins of Druidism says:

Certain writers on Celtic history have indignantly denied that the Druidic caste ever practiced the horrible rite of human sacrifice. There is no question, however, that practice it they did. Tacitus alludes to the fact that the Druids of Anglesea “covered their altars with the blood of captives.” If the words of Caesar are to be credited, human sacrifice was a frequent and common element in their religious procedure. He tells us that no sacrifice might be carried out except in the presence of a Druid.10

It is in his Commentaries that Caesar speaks of the great wicker images “in which the Druids were said to burn scores of people alive.”11

Some modem Witches may still deny that the Druidic religion, on which many of their beliefs and practices are based, ever practiced human and animal sacrifice as a part of their “peaceable nature religion.” But some noted Witches have indeed acknowledged the murderous bent of the ancient religion:

Propitiation, in the old days when survival was felt to depend on it, was a grim and serious affair. There can be little doubt that at one time it involved human sacrifice—of criminals saved up for the purpose or, at the other end of the scale, of an aging king; little doubt, either, that these ritual deaths were by fire.12

The Druids (from the Gaelic word druidh, meaning “a wise man” or “magician”13) would carefully watch the writhing of the victims in the fire (whether people or animals) and from their death agonies would foretell the future of the village. The Feast of Samhain was by no means the only celebration at which the Druids practiced human sacrifice. Sacrificial victims were also burned in their sacred fires during the spring festival of Beltane held on the eve of the first of May as part of their fertility rites.14 So it would seem, according to ancient historians, that human and animal sacrifice was a particularly noxious and pervasive habit among the Druids.

The Farrars, well-known authors and practicing Witches in Ireland, tell us that “Later, of course, the propitiatory sacrifice became symbolic . . .” but then mention that the royal sacrifice at Samhain may have lingered in the form of animal substitutes. The Farrars tell us of at least one animal sacrifice they knew of that took place in their village “within living memory.”15 We can only hope that “the old days when survival was felt to depend on human sacrifice” will never return.

THE SPIRIT OF HALLOWEEN

One Halloween several years ago, I watched a rerun of Garfield’s Halloween Adventure. Garfield was thrilled at the realization that Halloween was a night where he got to rake in free candy. “This is the night I was created for,” he exclaimed with as much enthusiasm as Garfield ever seems to muster.

He decides to sucker poor unsuspecting Otie, an exceedingly dumb (though endearing) doggie, into going with him so that Garfield could double his personal candy haul. Well . . . maybe he’ll give Otie one piece of candy for his troubles.

Then suddenly Garfield pauses in his Machiavellian musings and wonders, “Am I being too greedy? Should I share my candy with those less fortunate than I? Am I missing the spirit of Halloween?” Wouldn’t it be nice if that were in fact the spirit of Halloween! But nothing could be further from the truth.

The “spirit of Halloween” is more accurately discerned in the horror movies and DVDs traditionally released in honor of the season.16 Popular cinematic “treasures” like Halloween (and its three sequels), Friday the 13th (three of those), Halloweennight, Tale of Halloween, and any number of slasher, blood-and-gore, murder- and-terror flicks are truer to the original “spirit of Halloween”—the spirit of sudden death and murder—than is the sight of little Linus sitting all night in his “sincere” pumpkin patch waiting for the Great Pumpkin, or of Garfield in his relentless quest for candy.

SPIRITED COMMUNION

Modern Witches would vehemently deny that their celebration has anything to do with the demonic horrors depicted in such films as Friday the 13th. To them, Halloween is one of the four greater Sabbats held during the year. It is the time of Harvest Celebration—that season in which the Great Goddess goes to sleep for the long winter months, giving way to the Horned God of Hunting and Death, who will rule until her return on the first of May. It is a time of ritual and for ridding oneself of personal weaknesses,17 a time for feasting and joyful celebration. It is also a time for communing with the spirits of the dead.

Witches Arnold and Patricia Crowther say that—

Halloween has always been the Festival of the Dead and was believed to be the best time to contact those who had passed over. Today, spiritualists try to contact the departed by means of “spirit guides”—American Indians, Chinese men, nuns, priests and even little girls. Witches tried to make contact through the god of Death himself. So when the bonfire had burned down, the priestess, in her new role as the god, held a skull between her hands, using it as a crystal-gazing ball. This was the kind of necromancy practiced centuries before the Fox Sisters, with their poltergeist tappings, started the modern craze for spiritualism.18

The Celts, say the Crowthers, would sometimes lie on graves during Halloween, hoping to hear some word of wisdom from the spirits of the corpses beneath them. And the Crowthers boast that “the high priestesses were just as successful in contacting the dead as are our own mediums.”19 According to a longtime Witch with whom I once spoke, they still are. Communing with the spirits of the dead is a regular feature of their covens’ Halloween rituals.

Several years ago, an article in the Los Angeles Times featured a story on a certain coven’s celebration rituals during Halloween. The story described the ritual and then told that it “will be repeated throughout the Southland today as Witches celebrate their most important holiday, Samhain, or Halloween, when they believe the veil between the worlds becomes thin, making visits with spirits possible.” Some Witches will use the Ouija board to contact the dead. Others will use a darkened scrying-mirror into which they stare until the faces of their beloved departed supposedly appear. Others may use a crystal ball or “sit quietly round the cauldron, gazing into the incense smoke, talking of what they see and feel.”20

SATANIC REVELS

While the Witches are spending the Halloween season tucking in their Goddess for her long winter sleep and frolicking in joyful communion with the spirits of the dead, there is another religious group that is equally serious about its Halloween celebrations: the Satanists. Halloween to them is a more sinister and direct celebration of death and Satan. Unlike the Witches, of whom most do not even acknowledge the existence of Satan, the Satanists are quite candid about exactly who the dread “lord of death” happens to be, and they celebrate Halloween as one of his two highest unholy days.

As is the case among the Witches, different “denominations” of Satanists have their own peculiar traditions, beliefs, and practices on this night. For some of them Satan is not a real, specific entity but rather the personification of evil resident within all men, a “dark hidden force in nature responsible for the workings of earthly affairs.”21

Other Satanists however—cult Satanists—understand that Satan is very real indeed. To them, the sacrifices he demands are not symbolic at all.22 They believe that the blood sacrifice of innocence which Satan demands as the ultimate blasphemy and sign of devotion to himself must be very literal indeed. At various times during the year, but especially during the month of October, police across the country report finding the remains of animals—some with the blood drained, others with various organs missing, some carefully skinned while keeping the tortured creature alive. They are frequently found at sites which indicate that some form of ritual took place. When no altar or pentagram or other symbolism is in evidence, it is entirely likely that some neophyte or self-styled Satanist is simply practicing to make sure the “sacrifice” is letter-perfect for the ceremony.

Because of its innocence and frailty, a tiny child is viewed by these Satanists as the perfect sacrifice to their Master. The infant is seen as a representation of the Christ Child, and it is He whom they are blaspheming and symbolically destroying in the prolonged and brutal torture and slaying of the child. After the death of the baby, the members will all eat a portion of the little one’s heart and will drink its blood.

RECRUITERS FOR SATAN

Halloween is also a prime recruiting season for the Satanists. Much as the government will plant undercover narcotic agents in various high schools to find out who is pushing or using drugs on campus, so some Satanists may plant kids at the schools who are there solely for the purpose of discerning potential members or victims among the students. The Dungeons and Dragons clubs are key hunting grounds for them, as are other groups and clubs based on medieval themes.

Church-sponsored “haunted houses” are also fertile recruiting centers. The Satanists watch for those kids who show a marked bent for the macabre and the sinister, and they invite them to a “real good” party being held elsewhere, which proves to be a lower-level ritual held for the purpose of initiating these kids into Satanism.

IMITATORS OF GOD

So . . . should your family participate in the traditional Halloween celebrations? Absolutely . . . if you and/or your children are Witches, Satanists, humanists, atheists, pagans, or anything other than born-again Christians (or Orthodox Jews). For a true Christian to participate in the ancient trappings of Halloween is as incongruous as for a committed cult Satanist coming from a blood sacrifice on Christmas Eve to set up a crèche in his living room and sing “Silent Night, Holy Night” with heartfelt, sincere devotion to baby Jesus.

Ephesians 5:1 admonishes us to be imitators of God. Can you picture the Lord Jesus dressing up as Satan, or as one of the demons He cast out that week, or perhaps as a Druid priest, just because it was the Feast of Samhain and His disciples were giving a nifty party that night in honor of the tradition? Or can you see the apostles disguising themselves as temple prostitutes or as worshipers of the god Moloch, to whom the Canaanites (and even the Israelites in their darker days) sacrificed their children?23

Halloween is a day in which virtually every occult practice that God has called “abomination” is glorified.

When you come into the land which the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead.  For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord, and because of these abominations the Lord your God drives them out from before you. You shall be blameless before the Lord your God. For these nations which you will dispossess listened to soothsayers and diviners; but as for you, the Lord your God has not appointed such for you. (Deuteronomy 18:9-14, NASB*)

“But it’s only for one night!” some cry. “It’s only in fun for the children!” If this is how you feel, then you need to understand what the Word of God says to you:

Learn not the way of the heathen! (Jeremiah 10:2)

Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? and what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? and what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. (2 Corinthians 6:14-17)

But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, 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 Corinthians 10:20-21)

CREATIVE ALTERNATIVES

There are any number of creative alternatives that can be provided for children on Halloween without participating in the ancient religious traditions of the Witches and Satanists.

Some families view the occasion as a witnessing opportunity and handout Gospel tracts along with the treats. Some churches are now sponsoring “Bible Houses,” in which the kids go through and hear different Bible stories read or acted out—a godly alternative to the haunted-house routine!

Other Christian families choose to spend the night remembering the saints who have gone to be with the Lord during the year. Saints aren’t just those who have been canonized as such by some church. A saint, according to the Bible, is anyone who has believed in the Lord Jesus Christ as his personal Messiah. Perhaps you could spend this night talking about the martyrs who were willing to die rather than compromise their belief in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Christian parents can also make a difference in the way the schools their children attend celebrate Halloween. In Colorado, parents protested the traditional celebration of Halloween in several public schools, including at least one elementary school on the grounds that it is a “high holy day in the satanic religion, and as such is an inappropriate holiday for schoolchildren.”24 One mother said that she “would like to see the same measures applied to the Halloween parties as have been taken with the Christmas parties.”25 In light of the present distress, I fully agree. Since God and Jesus have been banned from Christmas, Easter, and Thanksgiving celebrations in most of our schools, why should the government-recognized religions of Witchcraft and Satanism get free promotion on Halloween from these same institutions?

One thing Halloween should not be for the Christian is a time of fear. It should be a time to rejoice in the fact that “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8)! Spend at least part of this night worshiping God by singing hymns. Above all, spend time in prayer and intercession for the children.

It is tragic that many people in the church have forgotten that “God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7), and that includes on Halloween! Too many of our children have been made vulnerable to a spirit of fear and to the occult where we allow faith in God to be extinguished by participating in the darkness of this world.

After the repeal of the Witchcraft Act in England in 1951, the Witches and Satanists experienced a revival which is currently in full swing. You might not know too much about Witches or Satanists, but I guarantee you that most kids do in today’s computerized, Internet, social-media world.

For ye were sometimes [formerly] darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light . . . And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove [expose] them. (Ephesians 5:8,11)

To order copies of HALLOWEEN! A Warning to Christian Parents, click here. 

Endnotes
1. 1 John 3:8.
2. Back in 1985, there was an outfit that called itself “Adopt-a-Ghost” based in Hollywood, California. For a paltry $10.00 to cover adoption papers and conjuring fees, you could adopt a ghost for your house, condo, apartment, or office . . . like a Cabbage Patch Kid, only cheaper and considerably livelier. Hauntings were guaranteed, and the ghost even came with written tips on ghost-raising to make sure it would stick around.
3. Connie Swart, “Event Still a Scream,” the Bakersfield Californian, October 16,1982, p. 13.
4. Emma Koonse, “Kirk Cameron on Halloween: ‘Christians Should Have the Biggest Party on the Block’” (Christian Post, October 20, 2014,  http://www.christianpost.com/news/kirk-cameron-on-halloween-christians-should-have-the-biggest-party-on-the-block-128345/#Jx3ZzPQLf0A8bigp.99).
5. Barbara G. Walker, The Woman’s Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets (San Francisco, CA: Harper and Row Publishers, 1983), p. 372.
6. Encyclopedia of Witchcraft and Demonology (London: Octopus Books Ltd., 1974), p. 166. Introduction by Hans Holzer.
7. Janet and Stewart Farrar, A Witches Bible, vol.1, The Sabbats (New York, NY: Magickal Childe Publishing, Inc., 1981, 1984), p. 122.
8. The lantern was also called a “corpse lantern” or”fairie fire,” or a will-o’-the-wisp, and numerous fascinating legends about its origins have risen up around it. Some thought it was the spirit of a child which had been buried in the swamp. Others thought it represented the lights fairies used to beckon fools to watery death in the swamps. Another legend tells of a clever fellow named Jack who got himself barred from hell as well as heaven for being something of a Faustian smart aleck and was doomed to run about earth for all eternity with the burning coal he snatched from hell itself with the turnip he was eating just before the gates slammed shut. This story makes little sense to me at all. I mean, would you be eating a turnip while standing at the gates of hell politely requesting admittance? Doubtful. One version of this tale found in an elementary school teacher’s “Halloween Fun” manual observes that the devil threw the burning coal at Jack to drive him away and that Jack caught the thing in his turnip. This makes more sense. Anyway, the Celts carved jack’o’lanterns out of turnips, nonetheless. They probably used turnips because they didn’t have pumpkins. They had to come to America to discover them, which they did during the mass immigration to America during the great potato famine of 1886. They soon realized that pumpkins are a whole lot easier to carve than turnips. They also make nicer pies.
St. James Church in the Los Angeles area held a “Pumpkin Mass” in 1987 in which the priest blessed the parishioners’ Halloween costumes (to be brought in boxes or sacks) and the pumpkins which were to be carved and placed in the sanctuary. The verse quoted for the occasion: “Ye are the light of the world. . . . Let your light so shine before men” (Matthew 5:14, 16).
9. Encyclopedia of Witchcraft, p.166.
10. Lewis Spence, The History of Origins of Druidism (Great Britain: EP Publishing Ltd., 1976), p. 104.
11. Ibid.
12. Farrar and Farrar, A Witches Bible, vol. 1 The Sabbats, op. cit., p. 122.
13. Raymond Buckland, Witchcraft from the Inside (St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn Publications, 1975), p. 16.
14. Lewis Spence, The History of Origins, op. cit., p. 105.
15. Farrar and Farrar, A Witches Bible, vol. 1, The Sabbats, op. cit., p. 122.
16. James Frazer records in The Golden Bough (New York, NY: Macmillan Publishing Co., Inc., 1922) that in some areas “people who assisted at the bonfires would wait till the last spark was out and then would suddenly take to their heels, shouting at the top of their voices, “The cropped black sow seize the hindmost!” The saying implies that originally one of the company became a victim in dead earnest” (The Golden Bough, p. 736). The “cropped black sow” was a representation of the Goddess Cerridwen in her dark aspect as the Crone, according to Welsh mythology (A Witches Bible, vol.1, The Sabbats, p. 125). She is still worshiped in that aspect by Wiccans today, as well as in her more appealing forms of Maiden and Mother.
As the Farrars point out in A Witches Bible, vol. 1, The Sabbats, p. 725), “All these victim-choosing rituals long ago mellowed into a mere romp, but Frazer had no doubt of their original grim purpose. What was once a deadly serious ritual at the great tribal fire had become a party game at the family ones.” They may have “mellowed in time,” in most places, but nevertheless, it was the terror of the original sacrifices and demons that most accurately represents the “true spirit” of Halloween. The true “spirit of Halloween” is that of sudden death and murder.
17. Raymond Buckland, Buckland’s Complete Book of Witchcraft (St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn Publications, 1986), p. 68.
18. Arnold and Patricia Crowther, The Secrets of Ancient Witchcraft with the Witches Tarot (West Caldwell, NJ: University Books, Inc., 1974), pp. 67-68.
19. Ibid., p. 68.
20. Farrar and Farrar, A Witches Bible, vol 1, The Sabbats, op. cit., p. 135.
21. Anton Szandor LaVey, The Satanic Bible (New York, NY: Avon Books, 1969), p. v of introduction.
22. Anton LaVey clarifies his position on human sacrifice on page 88 of his Satanic Bible, in which he says: “Symbolically, the victim is destroyed through the working of a hex or curse, which in turn leads to the physical, mental or emotional destruction of the ‘sacrifice’ in ways and means not attributable to the magician. The only time a Satanist would perform a human sacrifice would be if it were to serve a two-fold purpose; that being to release the magician’s wrath in the throwing of a curse, and more important, to dispose of a totally obnoxious and deserving individual.”
23. Ezekiel 16:20,21; Jeremiah 32:35; 2 Kings 17:17; Isaiah 57:5.
24 Rebecca Jones, “Halloween Parade Off” (The Eagle Forum, vol.8, no.4, Fall 1982), p. 17.
25. Ibid.

*Scripture verses in this booklet are taken from the King James Bible, except on page 14 where one verse is taken from the NASB. Scripture taken from the New American Standard Bible(R), Copyright (C) 1960, 1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975, 1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

To order copies of HALLOWEEN! A Warning to Christian Parents, click here. 

About the Author

Johanna Michaelsen is a noted author, lecturer, and authority on the occult. Her internationally best-selling autobiography, The Beautiful Side of Evil, tells the story of her involvement with the occult, Yoga, Silva Mind Control, a well-known psychic surgeon in Mexico City, and her eventual rejections of all such practices. Published by Harvest House in 1982, it has been translated into German, Dutch, French, Indonesian, Bulgarian, Polish, Chinese, Portuguese, Korean, and Spanish.

Her second book Like Lambs to the Slaughter: Your Child and the Occult (available through Amazon), also a best seller, clearly and extensively documents the invasion of occultism and dangerous religious practices into America’s public education system, movies, television, books, games, holidays, and more.

Since Johanna Michaelsen’s exit from the occult in November of 1972, she has devoted her time to studying current trends and occult practices for the purpose of warning and equipping the church in these last days. Her books, tapes, audio-book, seminars, and lectures have helped thousands find freedom and peace in Jesus Christ.

Johanna is available for interviews and seminars and can be reached at Johanna@michaelsenministries.org. You may visit her on the web at: http://michaelsenministries.com.

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Meditation’s Role in the End of the Age

Ray Yungen

By Ray Yungen

Throughout my Christian life I have periodically heard fellow Christians suggest we are in the last days. Often these comments were initiated from current cases of violent crimes, sexual perversions, war, or natural disasters. Since I knew history had repeatedly encountered these calamities, such predictions of Christ’s imminent return rang hollow.

However, in 1984 I had an unexpected encounter that changed my entire outlook. A newfound friend educated me about the New Age movement and its end-times implications. After a period of investigation, I came to believe this could very well be the time period the book of Revelation showcases. Instead of a vague and obscure manifestation of prophecy, I saw something distinct and pervasive happening in our churches and society. And incredibly enough, this shift has been predicted from both sides of the struggle.

Christians must remember that the authenticity of Christianity itself is predicated upon its prophecies coming to pass. Jesus Christ, the apostle Paul, and various apostles and prophets of the Old and New Testaments make clear and direct references to particular events occurring in the future. If these events are only fantasies, then everything else could be deemed equally fictitious as well. I believe current trends authenticate Jesus Christ’s and the apostle Paul’s prophetic claims regarding the end of the age. Upon examination of the evidence, it becomes clear that the course our society (and our churches) is taking has been foretold by the apostolic writings.

The apostle Paul spoke of the “day of the Lord” in reference to “the times and seasons” in the fifth chapter of 1 Thessalonians. He describes how God will intervene swiftly and without delay. Paul states:

But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.

For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.

But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. (I Thessalonians 5:1-6)

Paul is saying the end of the age will come upon the world like a thief in the night. In other words, it will actually sneak up on people. Then interestingly, the apostle contrasts two groups:  “But ye, brethren [followers of Christ] are not in darkness [people of ignorance], that that day should overtake you as a thief. [unaware]” (v.4). Here, Paul is saying believers in Christ will have the information (Scripture) available to them to prepare for “that day.”

Those who walk in the light can see both where they are going and what is coming up ahead. Paul then warns against spiritual slumber and drunkenness, which could lead to a person being overtaken by that day, unaware: “Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober” (v. 6). The word sober means be alert or aware. If we are instructed to watch and be aware, there must be something to watch for—otherwise, Paul’s admonition would be useless. But who and what are we to watch for? …

Interestingly, the apostle Paul declared one called “the man of sin” and “the son of perdition” would proclaim himself to be God (2 Thessalonians 2:3,4). I believe this coming Aquarian messiah will be the son of perdition spoken of by Paul in 2 Thessalonians. Furthermore, I am convinced the New Age movement is his spiritual platform. Too many things fit together for this to be just mere coincidence. Therefore, we must watch for the restructuring of our world by those who are preparing the way for his arrival and identity to be revealed.

Daniel 8:23 states this man will be a master of dark sayings. In Hebrew, this translates as one skilled in cunning and ambiguous speech. The world will see him as one who is distinguished and spiritually brilliant. Keep this in mind as you read the following description:

The coming one will not be Christian, a Hindu, a Buddhist, not an American, Jew, Italian or Russian—his title is not important; he is for all humanity, to unite all religions, philosophies and nations.1

The only one who could bring this about is the one who fits the description mentioned in Daniel. This explains the all-out effort by the New Age, which is saturating our society with meditation right now. When this man comes forward, all those who are in touch with their higher self, those who are awakened will clearly recognize him as their unifier and give him their allegiance. He will have a ready-made constituency (many in key positions) to help him reconstruct society. This will be the final culmination of the paradigm shift that is taking place.

Familiar spirits (fallen angels) will not just mislead a few individuals; they will deceive the whole world into embracing a new system. Satan (whose name means adversary) will be the power behind the “Coming One”—the great Antichrist. The origin of the Antichrist’s religious system is clearly revealed by the apostle John in Revelation 17:5:

And upon her forehead was a name written, Mystery, Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots and Abominations of the Earth.

Another word for Babylon in the Old Testament was Chaldea. The Chaldeans were renowned for their use of metaphysical arts. They began the first mystery schools. Daniel 4:7 says: “Then came in the magicians, the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers.” This Mystery Babylon, then, would be the original source or mother of what is now New Age metaphysics.

I believe the Bible contains an important passage, which clearly indicates a change of times and seasons may indeed be at hand. In Matthew 24:3-5, which is a chapter dealing with the tribulation period, Jesus spoke these words to His disciples concerning the signs of His coming and the end of the age:

And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?

And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many….

In light of the many who will be coming in Christ’s name, I also believe the occultist Alice Bailey prophecies can provide further insight into what the apostle Paul called in 2 Thessalonians the falling away. Bailey eagerly foretold of what she termed “the regeneration of the churches.”21 Her rationale for this was obvious:

The Christian church in its many branches can serve as a St. John the Baptist, as a voice crying in the wilderness, and as a nucleus through which world illumination may be accomplished.2

In other words, instead 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! The various churches would still have their outer trappings of Christianity and still use much of the same lingo. If asked certain questions about traditional Christian doctrine, the same answers would be given. But it would all be on the outside; on the inside a contemplative spirituality would be drawing in those open to it.

The world is opening its arms to wholly embrace a spirituality that will exist under the umbrella of mysticism. The correlating theme will be—we are all One. When the man of lawlessness does rise to power with a one-world economy and political base, he will seduce many into searching for their own Christ consciousness rather than the Messiah, Jesus Christ.

Notes:

1. John Davis and Naomi Rice, Messiah and the Second Coming, p. 150

2. Alice Bailey, The Externalization of the Heirarchy, p. 510

Ray Yungen (1952-2016) is the author of several Lighthouse Trails books, booklets, and lecture DVDs. He stood valiantly for the truth and issued warning to the church for nearly thirty years. 

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Cedric Fisher on Shining Light, Speaking Truth

Video exhortation by Cedric Fisher

Cedric Fisher has written many excellent and important articles on his TruthKeepers website and also three Lighthouse Trails booklets. To see his booklets, click here.  Lighthouse Trails Publishing will be releasing Cedric’s biography in 2018.

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NEW BOOKLET: Sound the Trumpet in the Midst of Apostasy: The Enemy is in the Camp

NEW BOOKLET: Sound the Trumpet in the Midst of Apostasy: The Enemy is in the Camp by David Dombrowski is our newest Lighthouse Trails Booklet. The Booklet is 10 pages long and sells for $1.95 for single copies. Quantity discounts are as much as 50% off retail. Our Booklets are designed to give away to others or for your own personal use. Below is the content of the booklet. To order copies of Sound the Trumpet in the Midst of Apostasy: The Enemy is in the Camp, click here.

Sound the Trumpet in the Midst of Apostasy: The Enemy Is In the Camp

By David Dombrowski

Over the past decade and a half, we have watched with a mixture of surprise and sadness how an apostate church has materialized before our eyes. It all began for us here at Lighthouse Trails when we met Ray Yungen in 2000.1 Though we were not publishers back then, he shared with us his manuscript for A Time of Departing, which spoke of a coming apostasy in the form of mystical practices and “spiritual disciplines.” Stirred by the content of that book, we agreed to help him find a publisher. But, at the time, we never imagined how relevant and prophetic that book would be nor how quickly this apostasy would flourish in the mainstream churches. Today, it is even difficult to find a church that has not been compromised by some form of eastern-style mystical practice or emerging church philosophy. Now e-mails, phone calls, and letters pour into our office telling how readers who either just discovered us or were at one time skeptical of our warnings are now shocked to see that these things have entered their churches.

How did this happen, and how did it happen so quickly? We think this can partly be explained by what we discovered years ago. After meeting Ray, we felt compelled to help him find a publisher for his book, but after contacting a number of Christian publishing houses, we soon learned that they were only looking for books that would sell well—and that meant books considered non-controversial and written by well-known authors. At that point, we prayerfully decided to start our own publishing house. But just the lack of interest that we saw in the publishers was indicative of what was to happen in the church.

Whether we realize it or not, there is tremendous spiritual warfare taking place in our world today. In numerous instances, we are hearing stories of young people going to Christian colleges only to have their spiritual lives shipwrecked. They may have been safer in secular colleges. At the same time, we know of countless numbers of Christians who have no church to go to because the ones that are available have abandoned the simplicity of the Gospel for a universal emerging “spirituality.” These believers are now witnessing the apostasy and are looking to ministries like ours for encouragement and help. In many cases, the only encouragement we can offer these people is to assure them that they are not alone in what they see.

As Canadian singer/songwriter Trevor Baker sings in his song The Lonely Road, committed Christians may have to endure much loneliness or isolation in the future for lack of genuine fellowship.

Please remember that while Jesus said we cannot know the day or the hour of His return, He also instructed us to observe the seasons. In saying this, Jesus was sharing a principle that is both profound and very simple:

Now learn a parable of the fig tree; when his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. (Matthew 24: 32-33)

In other words, Jesus was saying that various things must occur before He returns, and when they do occur, we can know that His coming is near. Today, the stage is being set for the fulfillment of the events described in Matthew 24, and in fact, things are moving at a highly accelerated rate. While the church has slept, tares have been sown into God’s wheat field (Matthew 13:25). The apostasy we see in the church today is the result of Satan sowing these “tares” in the church.

As we have watched events unfold in the apostate church in recent years, it has been very sobering to see how nearly identical its intents and actions are to that of the New Age movement in moving toward a one-world global order. As you are reading this, religious leaders are shaking hands with political figures in bringing about a more highly evolved society. The occultist Alice Bailey, who had much to do with the development of the New Age movement, with all its occult practices and mysticism, predicted that this movement rather than having to move around the church would move through it. In fact, she saw the church as helping to propel the world into this higher level of consciousness.2 Sadly, we are hearing almost daily of highly respected Christian leaders with large followings who are now embracing the writings of mystics and contemplative authors. Perhaps they do not realize that the contemplative prayer and mysticism they are now passing on to their followers is no different than the occult practices of Alice Bailey with a new “Christianized” twist. And as long as the name of “Jesus” is used, everything is O.K., they think.

Looking again at the fig tree, we can see that more fruit is developing and getting heavier. Also, as Rick Warren points out (and he himself promotes), we will see a blending of religious, political, and economic forces as future events unfold. Unity will be a key to the future and will be an increasing theme as the world awaits the Antichrist. Considering that we are even now moving toward a one-world order, let us look at our fig tree whose fruit is already there and beginning to get ripe; the events we already see, only to increase, are:

The unifying of the world’s religious thought where eastern-style mystical practice to include Yoga, contemplative prayer, and healing practices like Reiki are joining east with west.

The Purpose Driven P.E.A.C.E. Plan where political, economic, and religious forces are being brought together to form a unified effort.

Plans for a global currency paving the way to the use of the “mark.”

The accelerating significance of the United Nations leading toward a confederation of nations.

Increasing interest in the world in finding a Christ figure who can solve the world’s economic and political problems and unite the world in peace.

Increasing moral decay throughout the world to include abortion, violence, pandemic divorce, the dissolution of the family unit, homosexuality, and pedophilia.

Increasing hatred toward Bible-believing born-again believers.

The growth of a spirit of anti-Semitism throughout the world including in much of the organized Christian church today.

Increased natural disasters to include earthquakes, weather phenomena, and possible volcanic activity.

Intensifying of wars and rumors of war and man-made disasters.

Increased skepticism about the Lord’s return to include an abandonment of Bible prophecy.

The appearance of false christs culminating in the appearance of the Antichrist. As a result of mystical practices, to include contemplative prayer, people are already being conditioned to seeing themselves as having a “divine center” where the “Christ” or “I am” resides. Man has become divine.

An all-out effort to bring the “lost brethren” (evangelicals and Protestants) back into the fold of the Roman Catholic “Mother Church” by the papacy. We are witnessing this more and more today.

An increasing curiosity and dependence on signs and wonders rather than the Word of God. Signs and wonders will be seen in the future as the final proof of truth holding sway over many people. This will make it possible for the Antichrist to lead the whole world in a grand delusion as he will be a master at performing signs and wonders.

Let us pause to look at our fig tree again; I see a couple more figs developing there. One of them is called “the bridgers” and the other is called “the silencers.” Unfortunately, both of these figs are growing on the same branch—and the branch has a name on it—it says, “the church.” This is odd because these two figs look putrefied, yet they are growing on a branch that looks very healthy.

If you have followed Lighthouse Trails for some time, you may remember a number of years ago a radio interview between LT editor Deborah Dombrowski and radio host Ingrid Schlueter. The title of this broadcast was “Beware the Bridgers: Orthodoxy Is More Than A Doctrinal Statement.”3 This program talked about the emergence of what one might call a welcoming committee within the church where things God considers foul and unclean are invited in. Oddly enough, it is not the dissenters in the church who are doing this, as would have been the case fifteen or so years ago, but our pastors and Christian leaders—many of whom have had very large followings and been respected as being both conservative and of sound doctrine. But the problem is that these leaders are now gleaning from the writings of New Age, occultic, or mystical authors and quoting them to their followers, oftentimes with a word of recommendation if not persuasion to buy these writings and read them in their entirety. We won’t take time here to discuss God’s view on these things, but if you are curious, you might want to pause to look at Deuteronomy 18:9-14. The question is, why are pastors and respected Christian leaders promoting mystics and occultists? And we use the word “promoting” because this is more than the occasional slip of quoting someone for their clever or witty anecdote. These leaders are both bringing the nail and driving it in. However, in many cases these leaders are obscure as to whether they practice these things themselves; they seem content enough in bringing their followers to the bait, then leaving their followers to fend for themselves. Ingrid Schlueter coined the term “the bridgers” because these leaders in their obscurity seem quite innocent, yet due to their positions of respect and large followings, they are wittingly or unwittingly pulling large numbers of otherwise conservative followers into a trap that these followers would not have ventured to on their own accord. In other words, these bridgers are introducing the more conservative flock to what the Bible calls an abomination.

Then there is the other fig called “the silencers” that we mentioned a moment ago, and it is getting larger. It too looks putrefied though it is on a healthy looking branch labeled “the church.” This fig represents those in the church who regard themselves as having a special corner, and almost elitist attitude, on discernment. While they proclaim their humility, they also pride themselves as having the educational credentials and biblical know-how to steer the church on a straight course. They speak of the embarrassment other ministries are to the body of Christ who are not deemed worthy to hold the compass. A case in point was brought to our attention in 2011 when two Calvinist men stood before an audience and proceeded to praise each other as the purveyors of sound wisdom, discernment, and biblical scholarship. Then, in turn, they engaged in a joint attack of verbally punching down those they deemed unworthy of discerning the things of God. This ganged venture began when one of them made reference to “housewives and home-school moms” who have no business interfering in things they know nothing about. One referred to such women as “discernment divas” saying that their “greatest ability for [discernment] is not some rational understanding of doctrinal truths but an ability to use a really sharp tongue.” Both men maintained that such things belong to men of wisdom, like themselves. By the way, one of these two men is the “right-hand man” to one of the most popular Christian figures today.4

After the program, however, this same man, in realizing that he had put his foot in his mouth—figuratively speaking—proceeded to try to remedy the matter lest there be an influx of home-schooling moms and irate husbands knocking at the door. He attempted to remedy the matter by pointing out that he did not mean all home-schooling moms but two in particular—namely Ingrid Schlueter, former host of the Crosstalk radio program and Lighthouse Trails Publishing’s Deborah Dombrowski.5 Hoping to put out the spot fires he started, he referred to these women as discernment divas, then proceeded to provide his own derogatory definition of the term.

We must not forget the seriousness or the ramifications of what can happen when someone who is endeavoring to help the Body of Christ is knocked down, verbally or otherwise. Again, we are in a spiritual battle—very real, with its own victories and consequences.

The fact is that the darkness hates the light, and when you bring light where there is darkness, it means exposure. We live in a corrupt world where not even the organized church is willing to have the light shine in the dark corners.

But we at Lighthouse Trails were founded on the principle that there is a growing body of believers who have heard God’s heart cry to repentance. It is our belief that repentance is meant to be a part of the Christian life, and as we become aware of our imperfections, we endure rather than resist God’s refining process in our lives. When John wrote his letters to the seven churches, he did it with this in mind, but history tells us not all seven of them heeded his letters.

Here at Lighthouse Trails, we have endeavored to blow the trumpet over the years, sounding the call to repentance and to a return to the sound doctrine of the Bible. But many have become annoyed with the repeated blasts of the trumpet. All we can say to this is that the time is short, and we remember the words of Jesus when he said, “I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work” (John 9:4). We will continue to sound the trumpet for as long as we can while doors of opportunity are still open.

Some will say it is better for Christians to be silent and just let God take care of things. But it is through silence that the church in North America has lost so much ground. Rather than helping the process, silence accelerates the work of the enemy. It was through silence that a man called Hitler was able to come to power and murder millions of innocent people.

Keep praying and do what you can to help sound the trumpet. The enemy forces are advancing; in fact, they are within our ranks.

I set watchmen over you, saying, Hearken to the sound of the trumpet. But they said, We will not hearken. (Jeremiah 6:17)

Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. (Hebrews 3:12-13)

To order copies of Sound the Trumpet in the Midst of Apostasy: The Enemy is in the Camp, click here.

David Dombrowski is the co-founder and chief editor at Lighthouse Trails Publishing.

Endnotes:

1. For a history of Lighthouse Trails, read our article “The Story Behind Lighthouse Trails” online at http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=15423 or order it in the booklet format.
2. See A Time of Departing for more information on Alice Bailey’s “revitalization” of the churches.
3. Beware the Bridgers is available in CD through Lighthouse Trails. We would be happy to send a free copy of that CD to anyone who sends us a $3 check for postage.
4. The two men discussed in this section are Todd Friel and John MacArthur’s Executive Director Phil Johnson speaking at the 2011 Psalm 119 Conference in Keller, TX (you can watch this segment of the conference where “discernment divas” are talked about at: http://teampyro.blogspot.com/2011/10/first-blast-of-trumpet-against.html).
5. Though Deborah Dombrowski’s name was not mentioned, it was inferred by saying Lighthouse Trails Publishing as at the time, she was the only woman writer for Lighthouse Trails

To order copies of Sound the Trumpet in the Midst of Apostasy: The Enemy is in the Camp, click here.

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