Biblical Meditation vs. The “Mystical Silence” June 16, 2008Posted by Watchman in Christian, Spiritual.
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This article came from the Lighthouse Trails Newsletter, which you can subscribe to here.
Does God Sanction Mystical Experiences? Lighthouse Trails Research by Ray Yungen June 16, 2008 – For many years during my research, I would come across the term contemplative prayer. Immediately I would dismiss any thought that it had a New Age connotation because I thought it meant to ponder while praying–which would be the logical association with that term. But in the New Age disciplines, things are not always what they seem to be to untrained ears. What contemplative prayer actually entails is described very clearly by the following writer:
When one enters the deeper layers of contemplative prayer one sooner or later experiences the void, the emptiness, the nothingness … the profound mystical silence … an absence of thought.1
To my dismay, I discovered this “mystical silence” is accomplished by the same methods used by New Agers to achieve their silence–the mantra and the breath! Contemplative prayer is the repetition of what is referred to as a prayer word or sacred word until one reaches a state where the soul, rather than the mind, contemplates God. Contemplative prayer teacher and Zen master Willigis Jager brought this out when he postulated:
Do not reflect on the meaning of the word; thinking and reflecting must cease, as all mystical writers insist. Simply “sound” the word silently, letting go of all feelings and thoughts.2
…One of the most well-known writings on the subject is the classic 14th century treatise, The Cloud of Unknowing, written by an anonymous author. It is essentially a manual on contemplative prayer inviting a beginner to:
Take just a little word, of one syllable rather than of two. With this word you are to strike down every kind of thought under the cloud of forgetting.3
The premise here is that in order to really know God, mysticism must be practiced–the mind has to be shut down or turned off so that the cloud of unknowing where the presence of God awaits can be experienced…. So the question we as Christians must ask ourselves is, “Why not? Why shouldn’t we incorporate this mystical prayer practice into our lives?” The answer to this is actually found in Scripture. While certain instances in the Bible describe mystical experiences, I see no evidence anywhere of God sanctioning man-initiated mysticism. Legitimate mystical experiences were always initiated by God to certain individuals for certain revelations and was never based on a method for the altering of consciousness. In Acts 11:5, Peter fell into a trance while in prayer. But it was God, not Peter, who initiated the trance and facilitated it.
By definition, a mystic, on the other hand, is someone who uses rote methods in an attempt to tap into their inner divinity. Those who use these methods put themselves into a trance state outside of God’s sanction or protection and thus engage in an extremely dangerous approach. Besides, nowhere in the Bible are such mystical practices prescribed. For instance, the Lord, for the purpose of teaching people a respect for His holiness and His plans, instated certain ceremonies for His people (especially in the Old Testament). Nonetheless, Scripture contains no reference in which God promoted mystical practices. The gifts of the Spirit spoken of in the New Testament were supernatural in nature but did not fall within the confines of mysticism. God bestowed spiritual gifts without the Christian practicing a method beforehand to get God’s response.
Proponents of contemplative prayer would respond with, What about Psalms 46:10? “Be still and know that I am God.” This verse is often used by those promoting contemplative prayer. On the surface, this argument can seem valid, but once the meaning of “still” is examined, any contemplative connection is expelled. The Hebrew meaning of the word is to slacken, cease, or abate. In other words, the context is to slow down and trust God rather than get in a dither over things. Relax and watch God work…. This isn’t talking about going into some altered state of consciousness!
It should also be pointed out that being born again, in and of itself, is mystical. But it is a direct act of God, initiated by Him–the Holy Spirit has regenerated the once-dead spirit of man into a living spirit through Christ. Yet, we notice that even in this most significant of experiences when one is “passed from death into life” (John 5:24), God accomplishes this without placing the individual in an altered state of consciousness.
We can take this a step further by looking at the day of Pentecost recorded in Acts, chapter 2 where those present were “all filled with the Holy Spirit” (vs. 4). Notice that they were “all with one accord in one place” (vs. 1) when the Holy Spirit descended on them. From the context of the chapter, it is safe to assume this was a lively gathering of believers engaged in intelligent conversation. Then, when those present began to speak in other tongues, it was not an episode of mindless babbling or vain repetition as in a mantra. Rather it was an event of coherent speech significant enough to draw a crowd who exclaimed, “we hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God” (vs. 11). Other observers who suspected they were in an altered state of consciousness said, “They are full of new wine” (vs. 13). Notice that Peter was quick to correct this group in asserting that they were all fully conscious. Would it not then stand to reason that their minds were not in any kind of altered state? Next, Peter delivered one of the most carefully articulated speeches recorded in Scripture. This was certainly not a group of men in a trance.
History Repeating: Mankind’s Fall of Pride November 14, 2007Posted by Watchman in Apostasy, New World Order, Spiritual.
I found this while reading about Nimrod (from the writings of Josephus) on the Wikipedia post.
“Now it was Nimrod who excited them to such an affront and contempt of God. He was the grandson of Ham, the son of Noah, a bold man, and of great strength of hand. He persuaded them not to ascribe it to God, as if it were through his means they were happy, but to believe that it was their own courage which procured that happiness. He also gradually changed the government into tyranny, seeing no other way of turning men from the fear of God, but to bring them into a constant dependence on his power…Now the multitude were very ready to follow the determination of Nimrod, and to esteem it a piece of cowardice to submit to God; and they built a tower, neither sparing any pains, nor being in any degree negligent about the work: and, by reason of the multitude of hands employed in it, it grew very high, sooner than any one could expect; but the thickness of it was so great, and it was so strongly built, that thereby its great height seemed, upon the view, to be less than it really was. It was built of burnt brick, cemented together with mortar, made of bitumen, that it might not be liable to admit water. When God saw that they acted so madly, he did not resolve to destroy them utterly, since they were not grown wiser by the destruction of the former sinners; but he caused a tumult among them, by producing in them diverse languages, and causing that, through the multitude of those languages, they should not be able to understand one another. The place wherein they built the tower is now called Babylon, because of the confusion of that language which they readily understood before; for the Hebrews mean by the word Babel, confusion…”
As I read it, I kept thinking of the humanist world we live in today. It seems true today as well that mankind is elevated in the minds of prideful men beyond where it should. The method to get us here has worked over long periods of time and through many influential people, but the end result is the same and pride comes before the fall. Mankind is turning from God and will continue to do so until God’s wrath is revealed from heaven. Even then they will blaspheme and hate Him rather than repent of their wickedness. Even the way the world views Christians as weak-minded for clinging to our belief seems to parallel.
The New World Order is attempting to bring about the same kind of reliance of the people upon government while using the education system and media to remove God from the consciousness of the people. The more this happens, the further the world gets from God. Out of sight, out of mind. As Christians, we know what the Bible says regarding the end result of this global governance being formed as you read this. One man will cave to the offer of power that Yeshua resisted in His temptations in the wilderness. Lucifer offered Yeshua the world and was rebuked. He will make that offer to the man of sin and for 3 1/2 years the holy people will be given into his hands to destroy them, the great tribulation. During this time, those without faith in the promise of life everlasting by accepting Christ’s sacrifice for sins will be faced with a choice of joining the antichrist or death. Those who choose life here and now will lose it eternally.
I just thought it was interesting and wanted to share. Don’t fall for the lie of human superiority. We are a fallen race of people who require the shed blood of the Word made flesh to enter the kingdom of heaven. We fight against principalities and powers, spiritual darkness in high places. So don’t be fooled by these immensely superior spirits who have thousands of years of experience in deceiving naive people. We have at most 120 years of experience and that is unheard of today, we are no match without the Word of God on our lips. Yeshua rebuked the temptation with the Word of God, so let us study His Word more so that we are not left defenseless against our superior enemy that lies and tricks with flattery and pride.
Witchcraft By Another Name August 22, 2007Posted by Watchman in America, Medicine, New World Order, Spiritual.
I feel led to point out something important that most Christians do not know or realize. The understanding of this begins to reveal how the pharmaceutical companies are assisting in the fall of America and the world.
Many may not realize it, but through the attempts to adjust body chemistry through foreign drugs put into the system, we only cover up what is there to tell us something. And beyond that, it affects our minds and attitudes assisting in the lulling to complacency.
Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
That’s pretty serious, but what does it have to do with the drug companies of today? Did you know that the word “witchcraft” used above is actually the Greek word pharmakeia G5331? It means, “the use or the administering of drugs, poisoning, sorcery, magical arts, often found in connection with idolatry and fostered by it.” In researching the problems of today, much of it stems from the widespread use of drugs made by pharmaceutical companies who make billions of dollars selling these drugs, many of which are abused to dull the senses and mind.
AP: Pain medicine use has nearly doubled This works perfectly with the New World Order, who want an ignorant population so they can go about their business of creating the global governance for their future leader of the world. Minn. law sheds light on drug companies This story is a perfect example, “A groundbreaking Minnesota law is shining a rare light into the big money that drug companies spend on members of state advisory panels who help select which drugs are used in Medicaid programs for the poor and disabled.”
Not all medicine is bad and some can be helpful in dealing with pain in the short term for instance. It’s when it becomes a lifestyle that the negative impacts may show themselves and addictions are problematic for many.