Posts Tagged ‘health’

Update on Warren Smith

As you will recall from a previous post, on Sunday, May 21st, Warren B. Smith suffered a heart attack. We wanted to give an update and also thank the hundreds of people who have e-mailed, called, or left messages on Facebook saying they are praying for Warren. Warren underwent another procedure today, and though he does have some complications after today’s procedure, the doctor is hopeful and optimistic that these will be cleared up in the next day or two. We spoke with Warren and his wife, Joy, today, and they asked us to thank all those who have been praying for him.

 

Warren B. Smith Suffers Heart Attack on May 21st – Please Pray for Him

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. (Philippians 4:6)

Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16)

Now I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ’s sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in your prayers to God for me. (Romans 15:30)

On Sunday afternoon (May 21st), Lighthouse Trails author and co-laborer in the Gospel Warren B. Smith had a heart attack and has been admitted to a hospital where he is undergoing emergency stint surgeries and other procedures to remove artery blockages. We know so many of you have come to care for Warren as you have watched him give of himself sacrificially in the defense of the Christian faith these past several years. As the Scriptures above instruct us, as believers, please pray for Warren during this time  – that the surgeries and procedures will be successful and that he will recover fully.

Warren submitted his latest booklet in his Through It All series – Sound Doctrine Through It All – on Saturday, and we are posting it below. Warren began his Through It All series about a year ago, and since then, he and his wife have undergone some very difficult trials, including a house fire last year that has prohibited them from living in the house until the restoration is complete (hopefully in August). He has also written some outstanding and important refutation articles on The Shack since that movie came out in March. We at Lighthouse Trails have been grateful for the ministry of this man who was brought out of the New Age and into the arms of Jesus and has been warning the church ever since about the New Age/New Spirituality that has entered the church unbeknownst to many.

We cannot explain in human terms why there have been so many losses (including the passing of Ray Yungen and Caryl Matrisciana last fall) and unusual trials among many in discernment this past couple of years, but we ask those who have been helped by Warren and others in discernment to faithfully remember these servants in prayer.

Thank you so much.
From the Editors
www.lighthousetrails.com

Sound Doctrine Through It All

By Warren B. Smith

Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth. My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass. (Deuteronomy 32:1-2)

How precious is the Book divine, by inspiration given! Bright as a lamp its doctrines shine, to guide our souls to heaven.—John Fawcett, How Precious is the Book Divine (1782)

Doctrine and Dogma

It is not very popular these days, but the Bible tells us to study and to rightly divide the Word of God:

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15)
Scripture tells us that the Word of God is “quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword”:
For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)
Scripture assures us that God’s Word really is God’s inspired Word, and that it is profitable for doctrine:
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
But in the deceptive times in which we live, doctrine has become, for many, a harsh and even hated word. Yet, according to Strong’s Concordance, the word doctrine in Greek simply refers to “instruction” and “teaching.” Webster’s New American Dictionary defines doctrine as “something taught as the principles or creed of a religion, political party, etc.; tenet or tenets; belief; dogma.” The word dogma also takes a bad rap and is similarly defined by Webster as “a belief or set of beliefs that is accepted by the members of a group without being questioned or doubted.” These definitions are very straightforward, but the words doctrine and dogma still carry heavy negative connotations—even in the minds of many believers. If someone holds to doctrinal truth and refuses to compromise, they are frequently regarded as being too “dogmatic” and “hung up on doctrine.”

Spiritual Experiences

Today, spiritual experience is taking precedent over sound doctrine, and it is leading to great deception in the church. Having an “encounter” with God has become more of a priority than knowing and rightly dividing the Word of God. And in the process, deceptive spirits have moved into the lives of undiscerning believers as they temptingly offer counterfeit spiritual experiences—all in the name of “God,” “Jesus,” and the “Holy Spirit.” And this is exactly what the Bible said would happen in these last days:
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)For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. (2 Timothy 4:3-4)
The word doctrine is specifically cited in the New Testament forty-nine times. Any teaching—especially whatever comes through personal experience as seemingly “new revelation,” “new truth,” or “new doctrine,” must always be measured by God’s Holy Word (Acts 17:11) and spiritually tested for truth and authenticity (1 John 4:1-3). Not every spiritual encounter is from God. There is a deceiver. The following selected Bible verses underline the importance of sound doctrine and the necessity of keeping, abiding, and holding fast to God’s Word.

God’s Bible Doctrine

All Scripture is Profitable for Doctrine
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
Jesus Taught Doctrine
And he began again to teach by the sea side: and there was gathered unto him a great multitude, so that he entered into a ship, and sat in the sea; and the whole multitude was by the sea on the land. And he taught them many things by parables, and said unto them in his doctrine. (Mark 4:1-2)
And he said unto them in his doctrine, Beware of the scribes, which love to go in long clothing, and love salutations in the marketplaces. (Mark 12:38)
The high priest then asked Jesus of his disciples, and of his doctrine. Jesus answered him, I spake openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort; and in secret have I said nothing. Why askest thou me? ask them which heard me, what I have said unto them: behold, they know what I said. (John 18:19-21)
People Were Astonished at Jesus’ Doctrine
And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. (Matthew 7:28-29)
And the scribes and chief priests heard it, and sought how they might destroy him: for they feared him, because all the people was astonished at his doctrine. (Mark 11:18)
And came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and taught them on the sabbath days. And they were astonished at his doctrine: for his word was with power. (Luke 4:31-32)
Jesus’ Doctrine Was God’s Doctrine
Now about the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple, and taught. And the Jews marvelled, saying, How knoweth this man letters, having never learned? Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. (John 7:14-16)
God’s Doctrine was Delivered to the Church
But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. (Romans 6:17)
God’s Doctrine is Good Doctrine
Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding. For I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law. (Proverbs 4:1-2)
God’s Doctrine is to be Understood and Learned
They also that erred in spirit shall come to understanding, and they that murmured shall learn doctrine. (Isaiah 29:24)
Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little. (Isaiah 28:9-10)
God’s Doctrine Nourishes
If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained. (1Timothy 4:6)
God’s Doctrine Edifies
How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying. (1 Corinthians 14:26)
Laboring in Doctrine is Honorable
Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine. For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward. (1 Timothy 5:17-18)
Good Works Come From Good Doctrine
In all things showing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine showing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity. (Titus 2:7)
We Are to Attend to Doctrine
Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. (1 Timothy 4:13)
We Are to Speak Sound Doctrine
But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine. (Titus 2:1)
We are to Exhort with Sound Doctrine
Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers. (Titus 1:9)
Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. (2 Timothy 4:3)
We Are to Adorn Doctrine in All Things
Not purloining, but showing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things. (Titus 2:10)
We Are to Teach No Other Doctrine
As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine. (1 Timothy 1:3)
We Are to Beware of the Doctrines of Men
Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees. . . . How is it that ye do not understand that I spake it not to you concerning bread, that ye should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees? Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees. (Matthew 16:6, 11-12)
Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, (Touch not; taste not; handle not; Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men? Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh. (Colossians 2:20-23)
We are Not to Teach the Doctrines of Men
Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. (Matthew 15:7-9)
We Must Beware of False Doctrine
Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple. (Romans 16:17-18)
Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine; According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust. (1 Timothy 1:9-11)
We Are to Continue in Doctrine
Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. (Acts 2:41-42)
Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee. (1 Timothy 4:16)
We Are Not to be Carried Away with False Doctrines
Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. (Hebrews 13:8-9)
That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive. (Ephesians 4:14)
We Must Remove Ourselves From Those Who Teach False Doctrines
If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself. But godliness with contentment is great gain. (1 Timothy 6:3-6)
Sound Doctrine Will Not be Endured
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. (2 Timothy 4:3-4)
We Must Not Give Heed to Seducing Spirits and Doctrines of Devils
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)
We Must Abide in the Doctrine of Christ
Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds. (2 John 1:9-11)
We Must Beware of Doctrines of Vanities
But they are altogether brutish and foolish: the stock is a doctrine of vanities. (Jeremiah 10:8)
We Must Repent of False Doctrines
But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication. So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, which thing I hate. Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth. (Revelation 2:14-16)

Conclusion

In a period of time when the Word of God is being discounted, denigrated, and deconstructed, it is especially important that we hold fast to the Word of God and the doctrines it espouses. The Bible states that “blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it” (Luke 11:28). The Bereans were commended by the apostle Paul because “they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily” to see whether the things they were being taught and told “were so” (Acts 17:11). May God bless and keep you as you search the Scriptures and endeavor to stand fast on the Bible’s inspired teachings and inspired sound doctrines.

Prayer

I will not forget thy word. Deal bountifully with thy servant, that I may live, and keep thy word. (Psalm 119:14-17)

To order this booklet, please click here.

Other Titles in Warren B. Smith’s Through It All Series
Rejoicing Through It All
Praising God Through It All
Trusting God Through It All
Being Thankful Through It All
Remaining Hopeful Through It All
Blessings Through It All
Remaining Faithful Through It All
Standing Fast Through It All
To see a list of all Warren Smith’s books, booklets, and DVDs, please visit his website at www.warrenbsmith.com.

Letter to the Editor: BlueCross BlueShield Health Insurance Now Offering Mindfulness

To Lighthouse Trails:

BlueCross BlueShield Health Insurance is now promoting mindfulness.

Anthony

LT Note: Below is the e-mail Anthony received from BlueCross Blueshield. While this particular ad is from BlueCross BlueShield North Carolina, we checked other states, and it appears that the insurance company is offering or promoting mindfulness in most, if not all, states in the U.S. Click here to read a Lighthouse Trails article explaining what mindfulness is.

Because health is a big deal.™
This Week’s Deal: eMindful
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Read More

 
 
  Experts say just 20 minutes a day spent meditating can improve health.  
 

Update on Ray Yungen

We want to thank our readers who have been praying for Ray Yungen during his 7-day cancer treatment in the hospital, which we wrote to you about last week. He is finishing that treatment up today and will be released by tomorrow morning. During the treatment, Ray’s white blood count plummeted, and he had to have three blood transfusions. But overall, he did well with the treatment. And with the 98% success rate for people with this kind of leukemia and with so many people praying for him, we are looking forward to seeing Ray’s health greatly improve over the next few weeks and months. Ray is 64 years young and has a lot of motivation to continue on with his ministry for some time to come.

While Ray was in the hospital, he had something happen that has raised that motivation even higher. Here is a synopsis of what happened by a Lighthouse Trails reader who was visiting Ray this past weekend. We think you will understand why it affected him greatly:

Ray Yungen

Ray Yungen

Dear Lighthouse Trails:

I saw Ray yesterday.  He is still managing the chemo well but having difficulty sleeping at night.  No nausea, just sleep deprivation is making him feel a little off.

Shortly after I left yesterday, he called, quite distraught that a woman volunteer had walked into his room and offered to do Reiki on him.  It shook him up considerably.  In his words, “she might as well have been coming at me with a machete.”  Adding to that, when he realized that this woman was free to move about the hospital and offer Reiki to the unsuspecting and vulnerable, it brought him to tears. By contrast, he noted, if someone else was to ask to go room to room and offer to pray with patients, that would not be allowed.  Reiki is no less spiritual, but because it is seen as only therapeutic and not the dangerous spiritual practice that it is . . . it marches in, uncontested. It took him back because he assumed that it might be a “service” that a patient could request, but he was not prepared to have her march right into his room unannounced.  On Tuesday, he hopes to be more prepared to have a conversation with the main organizer.  They show up 2 or 3 times a week. Please pray for him as he is given this opportunity.

By the way, I work in the office of a Christian school.  As I was going through the catalogs that come our way, on the ACSI catalog  (Assoc. of Christian Schools Intl.) in a bold title across the top read “Spiritual Formation.”  I took it to Ray yesterday, and he read it cover to cover and is dismayed that it has reached the elementary schools.  Of course, old news at seminaries, colleges, churches, but now the elementary Christian schools. He acknowledged it is the subject of an upcoming booklet.

___________

Related Information:

Yungen Interview – 2 Million Reiki Channellers in the US Alone! – Millions of Americans Affected

BOOKLET: The Truth About Energy Healing

Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) Sticks With Contemplative After All

Is Pilates OK?

By Caryl Matrisciana
Caryl Productions

bigstockphoto.com

bigstockphoto.com

I’ve had several emails asking about Pilates as a form of exercise and if it’s connected to a spirituality as yoga is? While on the subject of exercise related questions I’ve also addressed some of your inquiries about worship music accompanying fitness programs, mind control and focused breathing practices, tapping into “oneness” and “God-power”, holistic ideology and “God-glorifying exercise videos and fitness programs! A LOT of topics so let’s begin with Pilates….

Pilates gets its name from its originator and founder German born, Joseph Pilates. It’s a workout program incorporating many elements he drew from his studies into Eastern (Yoga and Zen) philosophies and Western (Roman and Greek) forms of physical fitness. He called his regime “controlology,” which he claims is the “science of control”, and borrowed some basics from Hinduism’s Yoga which is foundational to Hinduism’s religious philosophy.

Similar to Yogic practice, Pilates emphasizes the importance of focused breathing patterns and intense concentration and mind control as integral to the Pilates regime. Exercises are given names like “elephant” and “swan” much like yoga positions, or asanas have names like camel, cat and cobra.

I realize this can sound like hair splitting: what’s wrong with giving names to exercises and emphasizing mind concentration? Well, is mind concentration really physical exercise? Is self-hypnosis and visualization part of physical wellbeing? Physical and mental lines are getting blurred as body-mind-spirit ideology is accepted as legitimate!

Hinduism claims yoga is a science which becomes confusing, as the true meaning of true science is being redefined. Its original function is the systematic study of the physical and natural through controlled observation and experiment. When a philosophy or mind-control technique claims to be scientific, it shifts the true meaning to now embrace the subjective study of a philosophy based on metaphysical and supernatural aspects which must, by definition, be open to another type of observation into the spirit world, and spirits and their behavior which can’t be controlled. (For further explanation about shifting science and its behavioral ramifications to society read my book The Evolution Conspiracy)

Yoga’s basic premise is that focused breathing patterns are essential for both physical and spiritual wellbeing and the benefits of breathing correctly can be used to “invoke” better wellness all round, physically and spiritually. Invoke, obviously is a type of prayer and appeal to the spirit world which brings with it powers and experiences which, from a Biblical point of view, come with dangers because their source is corrupt. Within Eastern thinking such invocations to the spirit world are of good advantage and beneficial. Eastern philosophy teaches the mind must vacate the body (stop thinking, still the mind, go into neutral) for the spirit within to be awakened. The Bible teaches the mind must be harnessed to God’s Word for protection against spirits who want to take possession of the body and the heart must be guarded for the same reason. To continue reading, click here.

NEW BOOKLET: Ten Word of Faith Doctrines Weighed Against Scripture

Introducing the newest Lighthouse Trails author, Danny Frigulti and his Ten Word of Faith Doctrines Weighed Against Scripture Lighthouse Trails Booklet The Booklet is 16 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 Ten Word of Faith Doctrines Weighed Against Scripture, click here.

 Ten Word of Faith Doctrines Weighed Against Scripture

bkt-df-wf-4By Danny Frigulti

Since the 1970s, a growing and captivating faith-teaching movement has saturated the world. This movement continues to emphasize “faith Scriptures” as a foundation for encouraging Christians to have strong and unwavering faith when speaking, confessing, or declaring God’s Word for health and wealth. Most people refer to this faith movement as the “Word of Faith,” and many use Romans 10:8 and 17 to lay a foundation for their faith belief. These read:

But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach.

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

In this booklet, we will look at some common Word of Faith teachings and compare these with Scripture to discern the definition of their doctrines. This will verify whether any person or ministry is preaching doctrines of truth or false doctrine. Some faith-teaching ministries do not claim to be Word of Faith ministries but still teach false faith doctrine. Therefore, our focus will also be on refuting ten common false faith teachings found worldwide.

1) Identifying the Sources of Sickness and Disease

Word of Faith teachings promote the belief that all sickness and disease is from Satan and his demons. Therefore, God has not and will not chastise His people with sickness. They also say that no Christian should be sick, and if sickness happens, it is because of 1) sin in your life; 2) weak faith; or 3) you are not walking in love. We will first look at various Scriptures to see if demons are responsible for all sickness and disease. Also, we will view Scripture to find the Lord’s role in any area of sickness. Then we will look at verses where servants of God were sick and see if sin, weak faith, or lack of love are mentioned as the cause of their ailment.

A verse Word of Faith teachers distort and use to convince themselves and their followers that all sickness comes from demons is part of Matthew 18:16 which reads “…that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.” Jesus is quoting from Deuteronomy 19:15. The obvious context is two witnesses who confirm testimony about sin, not testimony of sickness. Frederick K. C. Price ignores what Jesus teaches about trespass/sin in Matthew 18:16. He selects two passages where demons cause affliction (Acts 10:38; Luke 13:11-14) and says, “I am perfectly convinced, from these two scriptures, that sickness and disease is of Satan.”1 Acts 10:38 is to be understood as Jesus “doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil.” This is not a verse that teaches all sickness and disease are from the devil because forthcoming Scriptures in this section will prove otherwise.

Others who teach that all sickness is from Satan are: Larry Huch, “All sickness, no matter where it comes from—birth, inheritance, injury—is from the devil;”2 Guillermo Maldonado, “According to Scripture, every sickness is directly related with demon activity;”3 and E. W. Kenyon (1867-1948), “Every disease is of the Adversary.”4 Though the Bible does cite instances where demons are shown to be the cause of different physical problems (Matthew 12:22; 17:14-21; Mark 5:1-16; Luke 4:40-41), Scripture also reveals other sources of sickness that are not from demons, as will be shown.

In Matthew 8:1-4, a leper comes to Jesus to be cleansed of the disease. Jesus does not rebuke or cast a demon out of the person. The Law teaching about leprosy in Leviticus 13-14 never states that all leprosy is caused by demons. Matthew also mentions the mother of Peter’s wife was sick with a fever, and Jesus “touched her hand, and the fever left her” (verses 14-15). This Scripture says “the fever left her.” A demon did not leave her. More scriptural proof that some diseases are not demonic are Matthew 9:27-30 and Mark 7:32-35; 8:22-25.

There are several biblical examples of God directly using disease/sickness to chastise His people, if needed, as cited in Leviticus 26:15-25; Numbers 11:33-34; 12:1-15; Deuteronomy 28:15-29; 1 Chronicles 21:1-14. Also, the New Testament confirms that God uses sickness, and even death, to punish Christians who choose to sin (Acts 5:1-11; 1 Corinthians 11:20-32). And because of sin, our corrupt/cursed creation is another source of sickness (Romans 8:20-22). Excessive sun exposure causes skin cancer. Air pollution causes respiratory ailments. Contaminated water and food cause various physical ailments and sometimes death. From the Bible, we have proof that demons are not responsible for all sickness.

Furthermore, the teaching that sin, weak faith, or not walking in love are the reasons Christians get sick is unscriptural as verified in Philippians 2:25-30; 1 Timothy 5:23, and 2 Timothy 4:20. None of these false faith beliefs/teachings are found as causes of the ailment/sickness in these verses. Still, Creflo Dollar writes, “Have you noticed that every time God deals with sickness and disease, He deals with sin as well?”5 Jesus never taught the sin of an individual always caused every disease but actually refuted the idea in John 9:1-3.

2) Discerning True Faith

Hebrews 11:6 states that “without faith it is impossible to please [God],” with the remainder of the chapter describing biblical characters as examples. These examples show that His servants had knowledge of His will and trusted and obeyed Him of whom some were “destitute and afflicted” (vs. 37). Where false faith followers create worldwide deception is found in their improper belief of verse 1 which reads, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” They believe faith is a spiritual substance Christians can speak into existence and direct, and the “faith substance” of their belief will cause the Lord to give them the content of their words, such as healing and money. The Greek word for substance is hupostasis and translates: assurance, confidence, substance.6

When studying the verses in Hebrews 11, it is obvious that the people mentioned did not “speak by faith” and declare their will to be done as the substance of their belief. The substance of their belief was obedient response to God’s will as revealed personally or through His messengers of choice. They followed God’s spoken/written Word with confidence and assurance. God didn’t follow their spoken word. This is where false faith believers are deceived, because they insist if you have faith without doubt, God must honor your faith. No verse teaches the Lord is obligated to man’s faith level (Isaiah 64:8). Our faith in God should accept His will for us whether or not it means health, success, and prosperity; Paul is an example of one who knew “both how to be abased and . . . how to abound . . . to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and suffer need” (Philippians 4:12).

I will list some faith teachings from Word of Faith teachers/authors, and you will see that their personal definitions of faith are not supported by Scripture:

Have or receive God’s faith. This is the same faith that God Almighty used to create the universe.7

Each time God spoke, He released His faith—the creative power to bring His words to pass.8

Every born-again believer has the faith of God in him NOW.9

You can’t build without substance. He took words; faith-filled words were God’s substance . . . God filled His words with faith. He used His words as containers to hold His faith and contain that spiritual force and transport it out there into the vast darkness by saying, “Light be!”10

Such ideas and beliefs are not found anywhere in Scripture. Teaching that God needs faith to create strips Him of His sovereignty to simply speak anything into existence as He wills. The word “faith” is never mentioned in Genesis 1! God speaks. It is done (Isaiah 44:24; 45:12).

However, misled Word-Faith people insist when Jesus said, “Have faith in God” (Mark 11:22), He meant “Have the faith of God” or “the God kind of faith.” They teach this to convince people to believe they can call miraculous things into existence like God does (Romans 4:17). A look at the Greek will show the correct translation is “Have faith in God.” Renowned Greek scholar A. T. Robertson taught the Greek word structure for “Have faith in God” (echete pistin theou) is translated “Have faith in God” because of what is called an objective genitive in the Greek.11 An objective genitive means the noun (in this statement, theou) is the object of the action. God is the object of faith in Mark 11:22, not your faith, and “the God kind of faith” is the kind of faith that is focused on God. Your faith is never to be the object of your faith. Jesus didn’t teach “Develop faith in your words”12 as some have done for years. Such a belief leads to word-faith idolatry.

To follow unbiblical faith (i.e., God always responds to your words of faith for what you claim) is to embrace presumption—a disastrous false faith belief. Concerning presumption, the psalmist said:

Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression. (Psalm 19:13)

Notice the words “great transgression.” This sin has serious consequences. Presumptuous sins were punishable by death in the Old Covenant (Deuteronomy 17:12-13; 18:20-22). In 2 Peter 2:10, presumption reveals those who are self-willed, not God-willed. Presumption graphically describes the heart of false Word of Faith belief because it sets itself against the true faith of Scripture. True biblical faith always submits to God, trusts in His guidance, and never speaks presumptuously, and is rooted in Scripture.

3) Jesus and the Teaching of Positive Confession

A popular Word of Faith teaching is “positive confession,” also called “confessing God’s Word,” “name it (what you want from God) and claim it,” “confession of the Word brings possession of what your faith believes,” “faith decrees and declarations,” and “You can have what you say.”13 The last sentence gives “positive confession” its definition. Obviously, this doctrine has nothing to do with biblical prayer. It’s all about finding verses you believe God has already ordained for you or a specific need you believe you’re entitled to claim. Then you “confess” your faith claim out loud. Common “positive confessions” usually refer to physical healing and money because Word-Faith people believe the shed blood (death and resurrection of Jesus) guarantees them not only the forgiveness of sins but also health and wealth. This heretical atonement belief will be refuted later.

Though the word confess indicates a strong conviction in what one believes, there is no citation in the New Testament where Christians are encouraged to use “positive confession” for healing or money. First Timothy 6:12-13 and Hebrews 3:1; 4:14; 10:21-23 refer to a Christian’s confession of Jesus as the Son of God, High Priest, or holding on to the faith. None of these verses teach “positive confession” for speaking forth healings, miracles, or prosperity.

Some unbiblical “confession” teachings for health and wealth circulating the world are:

“If you want to change your life, you have to change your confession. The miracle is in your mouth” (John Osteen 1921-1999).14 Miracles are by God’s will, not man’s mouth (1 Corinthians 12:10-11).

“Confession is to your faith as thrust is to an airplane.”15 No verse proof is given.

Yet, Word of Faith believers proclaim “positive confession” for health, wealth, and miracles, because Jesus said “he shall have whatsoever he saith” in Mark 11:23:

For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.

In this verse, Jesus did teach you can have what you say if you do not doubt in your heart and believe what you say will come to pass. However, there are scriptural guidelines that always pertain to answered prayer or miracles. Jesus said, “he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone: for I do always those things that please him” (John 8:29). Jesus did only as directed by His Father (John 5:19-20) so He withered the fig tree (Mark 11:20-21). We must ask according to His will (1 John 5:14-15). Miracles happen according to God’s will, not our faith-determined will (1 Corinthians 12:10-11).

Mark 11:23 is not a step-by-step formula for daily miracles. It must be the Holy Spirit’s will for the miracle to occur. Exodus 14:14-22 is an example of “You can have what you say.” Moses first heard from God, and then he told the sea to part. It obeyed Moses because God had willed this to happen in advance.

Finally, two things are important to remember 1) the words “positive confession” are not found together in the Bible; and 2) Jesus never used “positive confession” when teaching us to pray, request, do miracles, ask, or call upon God for anything. Obedient Christians will not use “positive confession” because it is unbiblical.

4) Creative Visualization

For decades, Word of Faith people have taught “creative visualization” to enhance a Christian’s prayer life where a person is encouraged to create a picture or image (also called mental imagery) in their mind as if it has already happened as they desire and seek the help of supernatural power to make their created vision manifest/happen. This is combined with “positive confession” to activate the supernatural spiritual realm. When done, these two components of visual and verbal effort have the spiritual potential to connect users to the wrong spiritual realm, a realm where demons are found.

Normal visualization imagines pictures of events in our mind that have occurred or might happen (daydreaming). Athletes picture or imagine, with concentrated focus, the free throw going into the basket or picture the body movement needed to perform in a specific event. These everyday examples of picturing something in the mind are simply ways of thinking something through and do not engage supernatural powers for something to become a reality.

David Yonggi Cho, a Korean pastor, teaches “Through visualizing and dreaming you can incubate your future and hatch the results.”16 Charles Capps (1934-2014) taught, “The best way to get the image in you of the thing hoped for, is with your own words.”17 “Creative visualization” is actually an occultic practice (secret, hidden things) that is commonly used in magic as shown in the following references:

“What is the purpose of creative visualization? . . . creative visualization is a key component to making magick.”18

“Creative visualization is one of the Most Occult Spiritual practices in the world.”19

Creative Visualization is the name for a Magical-Occult-Operation.20

These three sources show the occult/demonic nature of “creative visualization.” “Prayer picturing” (creative visualization) is not biblical prayer; it’s occult prayer. Christians are to pray (ask) in Jesus’ name (John 14:13) and in accordance with God’s will (1 John 5:14-15), not in accordance with our pictured and positive confession will.

5) Financial Angels

Angels are a common Word of Faith topic. Many believe we can use Hebrews 1:14 to command the angels around us to get money for needs and ministry. This verse says angels are “sent forth [by God] to minster.” God sends them “to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation” (emphasis added). Therefore, they listen to “the voice of His Word” (Psalm 103:20-21), not man’s word. Here are some unbiblical teachings about money angels at your verbal command from Kenneth and Gloria Copeland:

In the name of Jesus, I take authority over the money I need . . . I command you to come to me…Ministering spirits, you go and cause it to come.21

The angels are in the earth to prosper you.22

Your words put the angels to work on your behalf to bring to pass whatever you say. . . . The angels are waiting on your words.23

[W]hen you use the Word in the name of Jesus, they are obligated to follow your command.24

Even the late Kenneth E. Hagin (1917-2003) was convinced angels are for gathering money. He declared that Jesus personally spoke to him25 and said the following: “Claim whatever you need or want. Say, ‘Satan, take your hands off my finances.’ Then say, ‘Go, ministering spirits, and cause the money to come.’”26 This couldn’t have been the real Jesus who spoke to Mr. Hagin because the real Jesus knows the context of Hebrews 1:14 and also knows angels are subject to Him only (1 Peter 3:22). His chosen apostles didn’t have this convenience, and Jesus didn’t tell angels to get Him money during His ministry.

6) Seed Faith for $

In the last few decades, there has been a significant increase in televangelists devoting more air time to preaching faith in financial prosperity rather than faith in the true Gospel. Financial “seed faith” planting is preached constantly. These false preachers proclaim that if you plant a “seed faith investment” in their ministry, God will bless you with a financial return if you have faith to receive it. Here’s the problem; Jesus and His disciples never taught the Gospel was a financial system where money given to the work of the Gospel guaranteed your money back and even more, if you have faith. In 2 Corinthians 9:10, Paul says the seed sown (money) is multiplied for Gospel use, and increases “the fruits of your righteousness.” Paul does not say the “seed faith donation” will be money multiplied back to the givers if they have enough faith.

Still, some insist that if you plant a seed of financial faith in their ministry, “you can receive a 30, 60, or 100 fold financial blessing.”27 They set up the unlearned listener by combining Mark 4:20 which states seed sown on good ground “brings forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred” with Mark 10:29-30. These verses cite various blessings, including persecutions but do not talk about exchanging faith for money. The seed is the Word of God (Luke 8:11).

7) 3 John 2—Health and Wealth?

Globally, false prosperity preachers insist 3 John 2 is God’s will for all to prosper financially. John writes directly to Gaius (verse 1), not all Christians. The King James Bible is commonly used in Word of Faith congregations. They should remember that when “Thou” is used, as in 3 John 2 in reference to Gaius, it is in the Greek singular, not the plural. John wrote this verse to Gaius only. This means any who teach 3 John 2 is God’s will for all Christians to be financially prosperous and healed are wrong. Dr. Floyd Nolen Jones explains the singular/plural use in his book Which Version is the Bible?28 Dr. Jones explains in his book how the following authors mislead people by teaching that 3 John 2 assures health and/or wealth for all Christians:

Rod Parsley—Your Harvest Is Come, 1999, p. 26.
Benny Hinn—Rise & Be Healed!, 1991, p. 66.
Gloria Copeland—God’s Will is Prosperity, 1978, p. 45.
Guillermo Maldonado—Jesus Heals Your Sickness Today, 2009, p. 28.
Joseph Prince—Healing Promises, 2012, p. 61.
Charles Capps—The Tongue—A Creative Force, 1995, p. 66.
Joyce Meyer—Prepare to Prosper, 1997, p. 46.

8) Abraham’s Covenant

Concerning Abraham’s covenant from God, Gloria Copeland writes:

When the Church received spiritual redemption, she let go of the rest of the blessing of Abraham. Prosperity and healing became a lost reality. The Church took spiritual blessing and left the prosperity and healing portions of the promise.29

This doctrine is incorrect. A careful reading of chapters 12-17 in Genesis will reveal Abraham’s covenant was about his seed, land rights, and circumcision. Though Abraham was wealthy, nowhere in these chapters is physical healing and wealth promised to all future New Covenant believers.

Luke 1:67-79 mentions Abraham’s covenant. Health and wealth are not recorded. Romans 4:1-5:2 cites several references about Abraham’s blessing and does not teach this covenant provides health and wealth for all New Covenant believers. Galatians 3:8 explains God’s plan to justify the heathen through faith. Verse 14 reveals the blessing of Abraham for the Gentiles; they would “receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.” According to the apostle Paul, who was inspired by the Holy Spirit to write Romans and Galatians, Abraham’s covenant guarantees forgiveness (justification), not money and healing.

9) the Curse of the Law

Galatians 3:13 says “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us.” Kenneth E. Hagin taught the curse of the Law is threefold: Christ redeemed us from sin, sickness, and poverty.30 Frederick Price also believes we “have been redeemed from the curse of the Law, which is poverty, sickness, and spiritual death.”31 Both of these authors confuse the various curses (plural) in the Old Covenant (Deuteronomy 28:15; 29:20-21) with the specific curse of the Law. Galatians 3 contains information which defines the curse of the Law. Paul never writes Jesus redeemed us from the “threefold curse of the Law,” and Paul received the Gospel by revelation from Jesus (Galatians 1:11-12). The curse of the Law was that no one could keep the entire Law (Galatians 3:10-11), therefore, all were under the Law’s curse of sin. Christ kept the entire Law and never sinned (1 Peter 2:22). His perfect blood sacrifice redeems us from the death penalty of unforgiven sin.

More proof that the curse of the Law doesn’t guarantee physical healing and prosperity for all is found in Galatians 2:10 where Paul records he was aware of their poverty. If Christ’s sacrifice removed poverty from the curse of the Law, Paul would have told them in this epistle, and Jesus would have reminded His followers in Revelation 2:9 that they should not be in poverty. It is unscriptural to teach that Christ’s shed blood guarantees health and wealth throughout our life. Clearly, redemption from the curse of the Law is redemption from the penalty of all our sins. The totality of our redemption (complete curse removal) will be finalized as recorded in Revelation 21:1-5; 22:1-5.

There are serious consequences to indoctrinating people into believing that the atonement guarantees health and success; people who have been taught this often lose heart and possibly even deny the faith when they are unable to attain these goals.

10) Guaranteed Physical Healing Through Christ’s Atonement

When teaching on healing, Word of Faith healing ministers repeatedly declare throughout the world, “Isaiah 53:5 says by His stripes you are healed. Jesus died to physically heal you. Your healing has already occurred at the cross. Just claim it by faith, and you will be healed!” First Peter 2:24 is often combined with Isaiah 53:5 by faith healers. A few atonement healing advocates are the following:

Joyce Meyer—Be Healed in Jesus’ Name, 2000, pp. 16-19.
Rod Parsley—At the Cross Where Healing Begins, 2003, pp. 37-39.
Joseph Prince—Healing Promises, 2012, pp. 17-19.
Kenneth Hagin—Plead Your Case, 1979, p. 28.
Kenneth Copeland—You are Healed! 1979, pp. 9-12.
Frederick K. C. Price—Is Healing for All? 2015, pp. 120-121.

The context of Isaiah 53:5 reveals whether physical or spiritual healing is emphasized. As you read, notice the words in italics:

But he was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed. (emphasis added)

The words “transgressions,” “iniquities,” and “peace” all refer to the condition of our spiritual relationship with God. Christ’s purpose for being wounded, bruised, and chastised for us on the Cross was to reconcile us through His forgiveness that we would have peace with His Father in heaven. The healing that Isaiah describes in this verse is spiritual healing. The Messiah forgives so we can be reconciled to Almighty God. Isaiah is foretelling the Lamb of God will be the propitiation for our sins (1 John 2:2; 4:10). Physical sickness and financial poverty are not mentioned in Isaiah 53:5 because these problems do not separate us from God, as sin does. Isaiah 53 vividly directs our focus on the Suffering Servant who atones for the sins of the world.

An argument from Isaiah 53:5 false faith healers have used to convince people to have faith to receive healing is: “The word for healing in Isaiah 53:5 is râphâ, and it means physical healing.” Yes, râphâ can mean physical healing, but it also can mean spiritual healing, and it does not have to mean both: Psalm 41:4; 147:3; Isaiah 6:10; Jeremiah 3:22; Hosea 7:1; it can refer to the healing of water, 2 Kings 2:21-22 and the healing of the land, 2 Chronicles 7:14. Therefore, the context of Isaiah 53:5 determines what type of healing the Holy Spirit is referring to. In this case, the context is spiritual healing (forgiveness). Also, Isaiah 61:1 is a prophecy describing the Messiah’s ministry and gives clarification to 53:5. It says:

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; He hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound.

Jesus reads this messianic identity prophecy in Luke 4:18 and says, “He hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted.” Jesus does not say He was sent to heal all sickness and disease, though He did heal multitudes due to His great compassion for them: “Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick” (Matthew 14:14, emphasis added). But He also “withdrew Himself” from multitudes (did not heal them) who wanted His healing (Luke 5:15-16), and He was selective in healing only one in a multitude who continually sought healing (John 5:1-9). Concerning atonement healing, Isaiah 53:4 is a final verse needing explanation from an apostolic observation.

Matthew 8:1-16 cites miraculous healings and deliverance from demonic spirits while verse 17 comments, “That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias [Isaiah] the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.” Verse 17 is quoting from Isaiah 53:4 where it says “He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.”

Isaiah 53:4 appears to be a verse referring to Christ’s time on the Cross (“smitten of God”). But Matthew records these healings as happening during Christ’s ministry, not linking them to the atonement. If Matthew had wanted to teach guaranteed physical healing through the atonement, he would have followed verse 17 with “and with His stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5). But he didn’t, and a crucial Greek word he uses in verse 17 shows what he was taught by the Holy Spirit when recording Scripture to ground us in truth.

The Greek word for “bare” (our sicknesses) is bastazō and is never used to describe atonement bearing of sins or diseases in the New Testament. It directs our focus to everyday bearing of burdens and sufferings borne on behalf of others.32 If Matthew had wanted to teach guaranteed atonement healing in verse 17, he would have used the word anapherō, which “is used twice of the Lord’s propitiatory sacrifice, in His bearing sins on the Cross, Hebrews 9:28 and 1 Peter 2:24.”33 On the Cross, Jesus does bear the sins of the world and all the problems sin has created, so in the future all the consequences of sin will be removed (Revelation 21:1-5; 22:1-5). Until then, we seek the Lord for healing as He wills (1 Corinthians 12:9, 11), ask for the elders to pray (James 5:14-18), and read His Word to strengthen the inner man daily (2 Corinthians 4:16). Those who teach that physical healing is guaranteed for all through Christ’s atonement are teaching false doctrine.

Take the time to read every Gospel message preached in the Book of Acts, and you will see the apostles never preached “Jesus died to heal and prosper all,” and they never used “by His stripes you are healed” in any Gospel presentation. First Peter 2:24 is the only time Isaiah 53:5 is used in the New Testament, and it refers to spiritual healing. Furthermore, if healing was guaranteed through Christ’s atonement, there would be no need for the gifts of healing (1 Corinthians 12:9).

Response Needed to Glorify the Real Jesus

If you will look back at the various Word of Faith doctrines that have been exposed, you should scripturally discern the real Jesus didn’t teach any of these, nor did His apostles. These false faith doctrines are rampant worldwide. If you are involved with believing any of these unscriptural doctrines, you need to repent by renouncing them and exposing them. The leaven of false doctrine (Galatians 5:9) inflates deception which impairs abundant life in Jesus (John 10:10). False teachers and false prophets (Matthew 7:15-23) proclaim doctrines and a gospel not taught by the real Jesus (2 Corinthians 11:4, 13-15).

Luke 24:45-48 teaches exactly which Gospel Jesus wanted preached. His true Gospel does not include guaranteed atonement healing and prosperity for all. Not preaching the true Gospel is working against God’s Holy Spirit of truth (John 15:26; 16:13) because it redefines Jesus and His atonement. Jesus prayed that we would be sanctified in truth (John 17:17). True doctrine glorifies the Lord Jesus; false doctrine does not. We are to treasure God’s Word in our heart that we might not sin against Him (Psalm 119:11). Receiving and confessing the true Son of God as Lord and Savior (Romans 10:9-10) establishes the assurance of eternal life in one’s heart (1 John 5:11-13). Make sure you have eternal life.

To order copies of Ten Word of Faith Doctrines Weighed Against Scripture, click here.

Endnotes:
1. Frederick K. C. Price, Is Healing for All? (Los Angeles, CA: Faith One Publishing, 2015), p. 7.
2. Larry Huch, The 7 Places Jesus Shed His Blood (New Kensington, PA: Whitaker House, 2004), p. 41.
3. Guillermo Maldonado, Jesus Heals Your Sickness Today! (Miami, FL: ERJ Publications, 2009), p. 23.
4. Don Gossett & E. W. Kenyon, The Power of Your Words (New Kensington: PA: Whitaker House, 1981), p. 63.
5. Creflo A. Dollar Jr., How To Obtain Healing (College Park, GA: Creflo Dollar Ministries, 1999), p. 16.
6. James Strong, The New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance Of The Bible (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Inc., 1996), p. 94.
7. Bill Winston, The God Kind Of Faith (Oak Park, IL: Bill Winston Ministries, 2014), p. 13.
8. Kenneth Copeland, The Power Of The Tongue (Fort Worth, TX: Kenneth Copeland Publications, 1980), p. 5.
9. Kenneth Copeland, The Force of Faith (Fort Worth, TX: Kenneth Copeland Publications, 1992), p. 13.
10. Charles Capps, Faith and Confession (England, AR: Capps Publishing, 1987), p. 25.
11. A. T. Robertson, Word Pictures in the New Testament, The Gospels According to Matthew and Mark, Volume I (Nashville, TN: Broadman Press, 1930), p. 361.
12. Charles Capps, Faith and Confession, op. cit., p. 255.
13. Kenneth E. Hagin, “You Can Have What You Say!” (Tulsa, OK: Rhema Bible Church, 1979), pp. 1-6.
14. John Osteen, There is a Miracle in Your Mouth (Houston, TX: Lakewood Church, 1972), pp. 42-43.
15. Charles Capps, Faith and Confession, op., cit., p. 78.
16. David Yonggi Cho, The Fourth Dimension, Volume One (Alachua, FL: Bridge-Logos Publishers, 1979), p. 32.
17. Charlie Capps, Faith and Confession, op. cit., p. 22.
18. http://www.wicca-spirituality.com/creative-visualization.html.
19. http://web.archive.org/web/20160327163131/http://www.iam-tunes.org/pages/Simple-Visualizations.html.
20. Ophiel, The Art and Practice of Getting Things Through Creative Visualization (San Francisco, CA: Peach Publishing Co., 1968), p. 1.
21. Gloria Copeland, God’s Will is Prosperity (Fort Worth, TX: Kenneth Copeland Publications, 1978), p. 63.
22. Ibid., p. 117.
23. Ibid., p. 121.
24. Kenneth Copeland, The Laws of Prosperity (Fort Worth, TX: Kenneth Copeland Publications, 1974), p. 102.
25. Kenneth E. Hagin, How God Taught Me About Prosperity (Tulsa, OK: Rhema Bible Church, 1985), p. 23.
26. Ibid., p. 18.
27. Gloria Copeland, God’s Will is Prosperity, op. cit., pp. 70-71.
28. Floyd Nolen Jones, Which Version is the Bible? (Humboldt, TN: Kings Word Press, 2014), pp. 78-79.
29. Gloria Copeland, God’s Will is Prosperity, op. cit., p. 25.
30. Kenneth E. Hagin, Redeemed From Poverty, Sickness, and Spiritual Death (Tulsa, OK: Rhema Bible Church, 1983), pp. 1-2.
31. Frederick K. C. Price, Three Keys to Positive Confession (Los Angeles, CA: Faith One Publishing, 1994), p. 59.
32. W. E. Vine, An Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words (Old Tappan, New Jersey: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1966), pp. 100-101.
33. Ibid., p. 101.

To order copies of Ten Word of Faith Doctrines Weighed Against Scripture, click here.

Other Related Booklets from Lighthouse Trails

“I Just Had a Vision!” by Kevin Reeves
False Revival Coming: Holy Laughter or Strong Delusion by Warren B. Smith
The New Age Propensities of Bethel Church’s Bill Johnson by John Lanagan
10 Questions for those who claim The “Supreme Beings” of the Nations Are the True God by Sandy Simpson
IF it is of God: Answering the Questions of IF:Gathering by Cedric Fisher
Slain in the Spirit: Is it a Biblical Practice? by Kevin Reeves
The Perfect Storm of Apostasy: The Kansas City Prophets and Other Latter-Day Prognosticators by Mary Danielsen

To order copies of Ten Word of Faith Doctrines Weighed Against Scripture, click here.

NEW BOOKLET: Meditation! Pathway to Wellness or Doorway to the Occult?

NEW BOOKLET: Meditation! Pathway to Wellness or Doorway to the Occult? by Ray Yungen is our newest Lighthouse Trails Booklet.  The Booklet is 14 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 Meditation! Pathway to Wellness or Doorway to the Occult?, click here.

Meditation! Pathway to Wellness or Doorway to the Occult?

rp_RY-MED.jpgBy Ray Yungen

In the West, mysticism always used to be 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 the general population. 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 with 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.

This 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.1

There were 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 needed to do was develop yourself, not change your religion.

Today, sales of this book and others like it have exploded in the Western world. 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 Neal Donald Walsch, the channeler of Conversations with God, a surprising seven million.

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 dressed in orange and 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.

Shakti Gawain says any form of meditation will work, but what she really means is that any form of a particular type of meditation will work. She is not talking about the kind of “meditation” in which one ponders on or considers a certain topic. The type she practices and promotes involves stopping the normal flow of human thought. You can’t get the “click” she speaks of unless you go all the way by emptying the mind versus simply just sitting and thinking. Merely pondering does not suffice. To meditate “successfully,” you must employ a specific method which produces a void referred to by many New Age practitioners as “the silence”—or “the voice of the silence.”

But how does one engage in the actual practice of New Age meditation? For starters, one begins by repeating a single world or short phrase for a minimum of twenty minutes (once a meditator is good at meditating, he can even shorten that time). But if for some reason, the meditator finds himself given to active thought again, he must revert back to repeating that same word or phrase. This word or phrase is what is referred to as “the mantra.” A similar method involves focusing on the breath for the same amount of time. Yet another method, commonly found in Shamanic cultures, incorporates the use of both chanting and drumming. Alongside of this, there exists an even more subtle “Christian” form of meditation, which employs the use of biblical phrases, a single word such as “Jesus,” and spiritual-sounding phrases such as “Maranatha,” “Abba Father,” “You are my Lord,” and “Here I Am.”

Meditation has always been the precursor to mysticism, and this especially applies to the underpinnings of far-eastern religions in particular (e.g., Hinduism, Buddhism and Taoism). We are all familiar with the stereotype of the Hindu guru or the Buddhist monk depicted in the lotus position, but this stereotype no longer is reflective of what meditation has come to mean in our post-modern or pseudo-modern society.

Meditation as we know it to be now has literally busted out from its foundational origins into a wide array of options and expressions. Undoubtedly, the most common way in which most encounter meditation is within the therapeutic realm. Many are incredulous when they discover meditation is not just for stress reduction but possesses a definite mystical component, irrespective of one’s intent. We will now examine in more depth the existing evidence which bears witness to this.

Stress is believed to be one of the leading causes of illness in America today. Millions of people suffer from disorders such as headaches, insomnia, nerves, and stomach problems because of excessive stress in their lives. In response to this situation, an army of practitioners have come forth to teach relaxation skills and stress reduction techniques to the afflicted millions. A newspaper article proclaims:

Once a practice that appealed mostly to mystics and occult followers, meditation now is reaching the USA’s mainstream. . . . The medical establishment now recognizes the value of meditation and other mind-over-body states in dealing with stress-related illnesses.2

Does all meditation lead to New Age mysticism? Can a person meditate without having a metaphysical motive? Can it be done just to relax and get rid of tension without any spiritual side effects? These are legitimate questions. Suppose a company brings in a stress specialist to give a seminar and all employees are required to attend. What if a doctor prescribes meditation to relieve migraine headaches? Say an aerobics instructor has participants of the class lie on their backs, close their eyes, and do breathing exercises. Is there such a thing as neutral meditation?

I once asked John Klimo (who wrote what has been called the definitive book on channeling) if the millions of people meditating for stress reduction could become transformed as a result. His response almost sent me through the ceiling! “Most certainly,” he replied with marked enthusiasm. Being a channeler himself, he viewed the possibility of this with great expectation.

His optimism was well-founded. When the meditation techniques used in stress reduction are compared to the meditation used in New Age spirituality, it is clear to see they are basically the same. Both use either the breathing or mantra method to still the mind. A blank state of mind is all that is necessary for contact to occur.

Some well-known channelers became so because meditation catapulted them into the world of spirit entities. Jach Pursel, who channels the immensely popular “Lazaris,” explains how this entity first came to him:

Early evening. Sitting on the bed, plumped up in pillows, I am preparing to meditate (ha!). I am going to seek insight (ha!) to help guide our lives. . . . Two hours later, Peny [his wife] didn’t hear my sheepish apology for having dozed off. She was excitedly tumbling over words trying to tell me that an entity had spoken through me. She thought I had fallen asleep again, too. This time, however, my head didn’t bob, so she waited. Some minutes passed, and then a deep, resonant voice began where mine had left off. The answers, however, were powerful, not of the caliber of mine. She listened. She wrote as fast as she could. . . .

The entity explained that he was Lazaris! . . . Lazaris requested two weeks of our time to finalize the necessary adjustments so he could “channel” through me. He provided Peny with a simple, but detailed, method I should use to enter trance more easily. He assured her that this experience would never be detrimental, that although he had neither a body nor time, he appreciated that we did, and he would never abuse either.3

Kevin Ryerson (featured in Shirley MacLaine’s book and television movie Out on a Limb) also got into channeling by accident. He joined a meditation group hoping he could tap into some inner reservoir of creativity just as many in the business world are now doing. He relates:

When I entered this group, I had no intention or expectation of becoming a trance medium. But after six months, in the course of one of our sessions, I entered into a “spontaneous channeling state,” as I refer to it now.4

John Randolph Price, founder of the Quartus Foundation and instigator of the World Healing Day Meditation, also became involved in metaphysics through this route. He reveals:

Back when I was in the business world, the American Management Association put out a little book on meditation, which indicated that meditation was a way to attain peace of mind and reduce stress in a corporate environment. So I decided I’d try it. . . . I learned that I could go into meditation as a human being, and within a matter of minutes, have transcended my sense of humanness. I discovered how to come into a new sphere of consciousness. Consciousness actually shifts, and you move into a realm you may not have even known existed.5

So, can meditation be done without potential spiritual side effects? For those who still say yes, give ear to the following:

In alpha [meditative state] the mind opens up to nonordinary forms of communication, such as telepathy, clairvoyance, and precognition . . . In alpha the rational filters that process ordinary reality are weakened or removed, and the mind is receptive to nonordinary realities. (emphasis mine)6

You must be willing to slow down, to stop and just be quiet. It is into this quiet space [meditation], not the noisy one, that Spirit enters. Make a sacred space for your Higher Self to enter by being silent and willing to listen, willing to simply BE. This attracts your superconscious essence like a magnet.7

First and foremost, almost all mediums agree on the significance and the importance of regular daily meditation. This single practice, above all others, is no doubt the very shaft that drives the wheel of development.8

Even though meditation can bring you seeming peace of mind and improved health, I believe it is evident, by the accounts just given, that those who engage in it may find themselves in similar circumstances. According to New Ager Betty Bethards, “Meditation can, and does, change your life because it changes you.”9 Ken Wilber, another New Age writer and expert in the field of higher consciousness, aptly puts it:

If you’re doing meditation correctly, you’re in for some very rough and frightening times. Meditation as a relaxation response is a joke.10

I understand the bizarre implications of what I am trying to convey and certainly can see where a skeptic might laugh at such accusations. But evidence to the contrary is abundant. In 1996, Time magazine actually did an article on just such a reality. The article called “Ambushed by Spirituality” was written by a Hollywood studio executive and producer who described himself as “the last guy you’d figure would go spiritual on you.”11 Marty Kaplin explained how he “stumbled” onto “meditation” to keep from grinding his teeth when he became stressed. The following account backs up my bold assertion:

I got more from mind-body medicine than I bargained for. I got religion. . . . The spirituality of it ambushed me. Unwittingly, I was engaging in a practice [meditation] that has been at the heart of religious mysticism for millenniums. . . . Now I know there is a consciousness that transcends science, a consciousness toward which our species is sputteringly evolving.12

Nathaniel Mead, another authority that was honest and open about the side effects of simple meditation practice, echoed what Ken Wilber warned about. In a natural health magazine, Mead states:

One source of meditation problems comes from the attempt to turn a powerful, psychological technique into a simple physical therapy. When a meditator is led to expect stress reduction and instead comes face to face with his true self, the result can be anything but relaxing.13

But in spite of the dangers and risks, meditation continues to be promoted by those in the alternative health profession. The prestigious and highly respected Mayo Clinic has put its stamp of approval on meditation as well in its book The Mayo Clinic Book of Alternative Medicine. The book gives the green light by stating:

Today many people use meditation for health and wellness purposes. In meditation, a person focuses attention on his or her breathing, or on repeating a word, phrase or sound in order to suspend the stream of thoughts that normally occupies the conscious mind. . . . Meditation may be used to treat a number of problems, including anxiety, pain, depression, stress and insomnia.14

The book then devotes an entire page with step-by-step instructions on how to meditate. These instructions are the exact same type of meditation you have been reading about in this booklet (i.e., focus on the breath and repetition of words and phrases). The Mayo Clinic’s acceptance of Eastern-style meditation is an excellent barometer for how widespread meditation has become in respectable and mainstream society. And with the explosion of stress and anxiety in Western culture and the promotion of meditative techniques by such reputable institutions as the Mayo Clinic, this will neutralize any opposition people may have to meditation based on the perception of it being unorthodox. In essence, meditation is now for the masses!

Meditation has found its way to the masses through many routes—a primary one of which pertains to physical fitness in the form of Yoga. The very word “Yoga” means union with the god of Hinduism, namely Brahman. Meditation is the vehicle by which to accomplish this union. Vedic, which is Hindu literature, is filled with references to Yoga in this context. Although, in America, Yoga has erroneously been looked upon as just a series of simple stretching exercises, the mystical aspects are clearly evident if one takes the time to look into the matter more deeply. A considerably high percentage of those who are drawn to Yoga, roughly thirty percent, delve into the religious aspects of Yoga eventually. Yoga’s popularity is to spirituality, what a gateway drug is to harder drugs; and it has laid the groundwork for an acceptance of meditation that wouldn’t otherwise exist.

In recent years, a type of meditation known as mindfulness has made a surprising showing. Based on current trends, it has the potential to eclipse even Yoga in popularity. You will now find it everywhere that people are seeking therapeutic approaches to ailments or disorders. True to its Buddhist roots, mindfulness involves focusing on the breath to stop the normal flow of thought. In effect, it acts the same way as a mantra; and as with Yoga, it is presented as something to cure society’s ills.

You will recall my mention of Marty Caplan who said he was ambushed by spirituality. This means there was someone or something that did the ambushing. The apostle Paul identifies these ambushers when he writes:

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. (1 Corinthians 10:20)

These religions of which Paul speaks are the source of the modern meditation movement. It is not hard to find examples of this in various accounts of meditative experiences.

Lori Cabot, in her book Power of the Witch, actually backs up the apostle Paul’s assertion, but instead of calling them devils, she refers to them as “spirit helpers.” In her chapter on meditation (which she refers to as alpha—the brain waves level when one is in a meditative state), she makes the following recommendation:

Establish a reciprocal relationship with your spirit helpers from the start. Be aware of how you fit into their mission and purpose, and do your best to be a partner or companion to your spirit guides.15

In the Western world today, meditation has become a kind of cure-all for all manner of mental and physical problems, for both young and old alike. Most people in the modern world see meditation as more of a therapeutic practice than a spiritual one. But as I’ve illustrated in this booklet, intent is not the main factor in determining the outcome of meditation practice. Before you or a loved one accepts the premise that meditation is a pathway to wellness, please give the contents of this booklet your most serious consideration.

For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it. (Proverbs 8:11)

To order copies of Meditation! Pathway to Wellness or Doorway to the Occult?, click here.

Endnotes:
1. Shakti Gawain, Creative Visualization (Novato, CA: Nataraj Publishing, 1983, 9th Printing, p. 57.
2. USA Weekend Sunday Supplement, July 24-26, 1987, p. 12
3. Jach Pursel, “Introduction from the Sacred Journey: You and Your Higher Self,” taken from Jach Pursel’s website, http://www.lazaris.com/publibrary/pubjach.cfm.
4. Mark Vaz, “The Many Faces of Keven Ryerson” (Yoga Journal, July/August 1986), p. 28.
5. “Two Billion People for Peace,” Interview with John Randolph Price (Science of Mind, Aug. 1989), p. 24.
6. Laurie Cabot, Power of the Witch (New York, NY: Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing, 1989), p. 173.
7. Kathleen Vande Kieft, Innersource: Channeling Your Unlimited Self (New York, NY: Ballantine Books, third printing, 1989), p. 114.
8. Zolar, Zolar’s Book of the Spirits (New York, NY: Prentice Hall Press, 1987), p. 227.
9. Betty Bethards, Way to Awareness: A Technique of Concentration and Meditation (Novato, CA: Inner Light Foundation, 1987), p. 23.
10. “The Pundit of Transpersonal Psychology” (Yoga Journal, September/October 1987), p. 43.
11. Marty Kaplan, “Ambushed by Spirituality” (Time magazine, June 24, 1996, http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,984754,00.html).
12. Ibid.
13. Andrea Honebrick, “Meditation: Hazardous to your health?” (Utne Reader, March/April 1994), citing Nathaniel Mead (Natural Health, November/December 1993, taken from the Transcendental Meditation Ex-Members Support Group, TM-EX Newsletter at http://minet.org/news94sm.dtp.0.html).
14. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, Mayo Clinic Book of Alternative Medicine (Time, Inc., Home Entertainment Books, 2007), p. 90.
15. Lori Cabot, Power of the Witch (New York, NY: Bantam Doubleday, 1989), p. 198.

To order copies of Meditation! Pathway to Wellness or Doorway to the Occult?, click here.


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