EndTime Issues ...

Why We're Getting Close to Christ's Coming

"Christian" Mysticism - Part 1

[for PDS click here]

“Christian” Mysticism

(Part 1)
 

The Bible warns that shortly before Jesus returns truth will be abandoned for “experiences” foreign to God’s divine purpose. Many will give “heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils” (I Timothy 4:1) “with all power and signs and lying wonders” (II Thessalonians 2:9).

  • Guidance from the Holy Word of God will be replaced by mystical thinking and seductive rites.
  • Man will seek his own path to spiritual fulfillment, which God addresses as “abominations” (Ezekiel 8:3-18).

A global “spirituality” then emerges (Revelation 13:3, 6-8a, 12, 13).

  • As this apostasy accelerates and molds the religious experience –
  • Christians will be deceived, assuming “doing good” permits abandoning God’s Biblical mandates!
    • “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity” (Matthew 7:22-23).
    • Claiming the name of Jesus will not cover the neglect of divinely ordained mandates.

Paul passionately warned:
 
“Be careful not to allow anyone to captivate you through an empty, deceitful philosophy that is according to human traditions[or] the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ (Colossians 2:8 – NET).

  • A religious philosophy captivates the mind – but if it is not according to Christ’s thinking, example and directives, it has no merit.
  • The late Charles Colson noted: “The enemy is in our midst. He has [so] infiltrated our camp that many simply no longer can tell an enemy from a friend, truth from heresy.”[1]
  • The greatest enemy infiltrating the body of Christ is redefining God through a new paradigm of worship. Through alternative states of communication a new and captivating “connection” is being tried.

This emerging religious “experience” is a shift from a Spirit-driven friendship with Christ, from a rational response to truth, into the realm of mysticism.[2]
 
Satan’s Secret Weapons
 
Anciently, as the Church of Rome reduced Christian thought into the depths of spiritual darkness and primitive forms of worship rites, Christ’s transforming righteousness was nearly obliterated from humanity (cf. Amos 5:7).

  • God then oversaw the rise of the Protestant Reformation.
  • It began to liberate the hearts of those enslaved by the monopoly of Rome over religion and spiritual thought.
  • Rome’s suppressive religion was quickly seen in its true light.

The authority of the Catholic church was on the verge of obliteration when from obscurity came Ignatius Loyola (1534). He launched a new Catholic order called the “Company of Jesus” – later, the “Society of Jesus.”

  • His Satan-driven genius proposed a Counter Reformation.
  • Three weapons were developed:
  1. The priestly body called Jesuits – a sinister secret force that would do anything to elevate the name of Catholicism
  2. The Inquisition – persecution and death to neutralize the opposition
  3. The Council of Trent (1545 – 1563) to define/re-define truth

The Council announced that any person who believes even one of the Protestant doctrines at variance with Rome, is “anathema” (officially and ritually cursed by the Catholic Church).
 
It also defined Catholic doctrines, detail by detail, and declared that anyone who denies even one of these positions is, again, anathema – is a criminal destined to hell. These included the authority of the pope, the practice of indulgences, veneration of Mary and the saints, and the use of statues. Summarily, the Council of Trent anathematized all Protestants.
 
This quickly led to a reinterpretation of prophecy by Jesuit Franciso Ribera, establishing “futurism.” This neutralized a Catholic connection to end-time apostasy.
 
The power of the Jesuits quickly matured through three major strategies:

  1. Promoting a massive educational system, opening unprecedented opportunities for anyone to advance.
  2. Focused interest in geopolitical affairs.
  3. Unified core thinking through spiritual exercises – a compulsory hypnotic “devotion,” calling on the “higher self.”  The sinister techniques gave the Jesuits a unified militant boldness to coerce and force their will on others.

All this was done under a pious, religious guise.
The Religious Disguise of the Jesuits
 
To appear as a “Christian representative,” they were told:
 
“You have been taught your duty as a spy, to gather all statistics, facts and information in your power from every source: to ingratiate yourself into the confidence of the family circle of Protestants and heretics of every class and character, as well as that of the merchant, the banker, the lawyer, among the schools and universities, in parliament and legislatures, and in the judiciaries and councils of State, and to ‘be all things to all men,’ for the Pope’s sake, whose servants we are unto death.”[3]
 
“You have been taught to act the dissembler among the Roman Catholics, to be a Roman Catholic, and to be a spy even among your own brethren: to believe no man, to trust no man. Among the reformers, to be a reformer; among the Huguenots [French Protestants] to be a Huguenot: among the Calvinists, to be a Calvinist: among the Protestants, generally to be a protestant: and obtaining their confidence to seek even to preach from their pulpits, and to denounce with all the vehemence in your nature our Holy Religion and the Pope; and even to descend so low as to become a Jew among the Jews, that you might be able to gather together all information for the benefit of your Order as a … soldier of the Pope.”[4]

The virtues of deceit were embedded into their thought. A Jesuit could even falsely swear that something was true and not sin. They called it “mental reservation” or “equivocation.”
 
“It is permissible to swear to anything which is false by adding in an undertone a true condition, if that low utterance can in any way be perceived by the other party, though its sense is not understood.”[5]

 
“All of their rules, all of their great doctrines, can be summed up in this one phrase, ‘It is lawful if the end is lawful or if the intention is good.’ This includes all that decent men call crime; and of course, the lawfulness of the end is always at the Jesuit’s discretion. Thus the Jesuit may always justify his actions: for it is their gospel that ‘the end justifies the means, and that the intention is what matters, not the deed itself.’ With this ‘two-edged sword, the Jesuit cannot fail to cut his way wherever he has a mind to go – right on through all the codes of earthly jurisprudence, or even the statute book of Heaven.’”[6]
 
“Finally, when we are in danger of having our projects disturbed, by the busy fanatics who watch us with the perseverance of bloodhounds … act with caution. Betray no passion, nor conscious guilt. Though caught in the act, even in the act flagrant, give the lie to the very evidence of your enemies’ senses! Deny everything, admit nothing! And when the worst comes to the worst, assume the touching attitude of injured innocence, and raise the hue and cry of persecution for our holy religion! ... Mental reservation can prevent any damning guilt in these lies: or absolution can be readily obtained at the holy and refreshing confessional! The end always justifies the means. And a few lies for the benefit of our suffering Holy Mother will never damn any man; or even incur the fires, and steam of purgatory! The Pope hath said it!”[7]
 
With such virtue from hell, might any crime be justified?

  • The killing of a heretic is not murder.[8],[9] A slanderer you “may kill secretly, if the calumniator (slanderer) should first be warned that he should desist from his slander.”[10]
  • “It is not mortal sin for parents to wish the death of their children – nor to desire the death of any one who troubles the Church.”[11]

The historical Jesuit documents, justifying evil, terror, fornication, murder and stealing, are protean.

  • Within that “moral theological” tyranny, another power was tapped.
  • Ignatius de Loyola was involved with spiritualism through a sect call Alumbrados. It was outlawed, but the mysticism and communication with a “higher source” influenced the development of those spiritual exercises.
  • Through these, a sinister force, perhaps supernatural, has been pervasive in Jesuit activity!

Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises
 
Loyola developed these “steps” in the presence of an unamed spiritual guide. They would result in:

  1. Conquering oneself (total discipline)
  2. Regulate one’s life through control of each conscious act (giving unfettered confidence) (total discipline)
  3. Gain inward peace through self-conquest and self-government (total discipline)[12]

At first blush this sounds elevating. But – how can self be disciplined when it is inherently evil? Where is the “God factor?” Where is the Holy Spirit’s elevating and transforming influence?
 
These exercises had as their ultimate purpose to create a cadre of men who would unflinchingly counter any Roman Catholic opposition and be in command of doing anything to achieve that objective!
 
The force of conquest was strengthened through a spiritual guide during these exercises, focusing on the unique power of self. Though it claimed that these exercises were to achieve purification of self, it put them under the control of a power foreign to God!

  • This “guide” bound the deepest and most private emotions to another person. That was claimed to lead them[13] into a “way of perfection” and “eternal welfare” of their souls. It was, on the contrary, a break in the moral rectitude of the will!
  • This “training” is called by Rome a “psychological masterpiece.”[14]
    • A “plan of interior discipline,” which allegedly changes a sinner into a “faithful servant of Christ … [takes] less than four weeks.”[15]
    • The outcome organizes “the moral life,” it is claimed, and the individual “realizes the most perfect balance of the mind [under Jesuit control].”[16]

Fast Foreward – Protestant Interest
 
When the charisma of Pope John Paul II started to sweep the world, Protestants began to develop a penetrating interest in spiritual exercises, appealing to the disciplines of Loyola.

  • Easier than faith (which believes in the unseen – Hebrews 11:1, 7; I Peter 1:8)
  • One can have a “god experience” through a self-driven “rite” or “discipline.”

Paul warned that when Christ’s coming was at hand (II Thessalonians 2:1-2), the antichrist would make himself manifest (2:7-10a). Then he commented on those who would be deceived by the antichrist’s teachings:

  • “They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie (II Thessalonians 2:10b-11 – NIV).
  • A strong delusion would sweep the world.
  • Its inhabitants would then be vulnerable to “religious disinformation” (implied).

“The lie” would take on many forms: One is distinctly introduced by Daniel as the “transgression” that God later calls an “abomination” (Daniel 8–9, 11–12).

  • But there is another “preparatory” apostasy under the guise of “spiritual formation.”
  • Exercises that develop confidence in the “infinite human potential” –
  • Elevate the belief that within man is moral integrity that can be cultivated.
  • Faith in the gospel power of Jesus Christ (external reliance) is supplanted with
  • Acceptance of a god-like power within us (internal reliance)

This religious deception is penetrating the world’s (Christian and non-Christian) thinking (though it is borrowed from ancient pagan rites, and eulogized by the Jesuit Loyola).

  • Ultimately, the end result of any form of worship that focuses on self
  • Honors the “god” power in us – a form of pantheism.
  • That harks back to Satan’s original premise that “ye shall be as gods” (Genesis 3:5).
  • It is satanic!

Jude exhorts us to “earnestly contend for the faith … delivered to the saints” (Jude 3). Then he tells us one reason why:

  • Certain men (leaders) of apostasy have penetrated the church.
  • Who have changed God’s grace into license to sin and denial of the sovereignty of Christ.

When self is tapped into, morality can be early redefined as “desire.”
 
New Age – New Thinking
 
In the 1975–1980 window pantheistic thought began to be promoted in the “Christian world.”

  • 1977 – Robert Shuller, in Peace of Mind Through Possibility Thinking,[17] recommended all forms of Eastern meditation (TM, Zen, Buddhism, Yoga) as valid ways to harness “God’s divine power.”
  • 1978 – M. Scott Peck published The Road Less Traveled (1978). It propounded a mystical spiritual experience that could lead one to be wholly god.[18]
  • 1978 – Archbishop Tutu (South Africa) noted that the Holy Spirit was ever working within the Hindu faith and its rites.[19]
  • 1978–1980 – Rodney R. Romney, First Baptist Church in Seattle, began to teach that everyone is a god who is capable of receiving messages from a “higher source,” that is a “sacred place of your inner knowing.” He later published his “convictions” (back cover of Mission: To Find God. Method: By Finding One’s Self)[20]
  • 1978 – Evangelical Richard Foster published Celebration of Discipline.[21] Christianity Today noted that that was one of the top fifty books that shaped Evangelical thinking.[22]
    • Millions of copies since have been sold.
    • He urged all Christians to engage in contemplative prayer.
    • This was replicated from the rites of Eastern mysticism, claiming similar power.
    • The parallels to Loyola’s spiritual exercises were uncanny. An “altered state” of mind must be experienced to discover the “path of reality” (through silence or a mantra)!

Of deepest concern: This isolates a thought to the language centers of the brain and disconnects the areas of association, discrimination, perception and spiritual understanding.

  • Peck noted that Christians are tired of fundamentalism (sola scriptura).
  • That contemplative prayer would create maximum awareness of God. [23]

Do you see the psychodynamics? When the higher centers are put at “rest,” the will is vulnerable to sensory influences. That can take on many forms, captivating the soul. This is mysticism and is invading Protestantism.
 
We reflect on an author of another century:

“The Protestants of the United States will be foremost in stretching their hands across the gulf to grasp the hand of Spiritualism; they will reach over the abyss to clasp hands with the Roman power.”[24]

 
Also, hitting the press in 1978 was Shakti Gawain’s book, Creative Visualization.

  • Millions were sold.
  • Many individuals can trace their first involvement with “metaphysics” to this document.[25]

Gawain notes:
 
“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.”[26]
 

This mystic experience “brings with it a curious kind of knowing that there is someone else there with you; you are not alone.”[27] Who might that be? Minimizing Scripture and maximizing self-actualization means that it can be no other than evil angels. This is spiritualism.

 
“Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I am the LORD your God” (Leviticus 19:31).
 
This worship of self with a sense of an unseen power mocks Scripture.

  • Jesus Christ – our Maker – came to redeem man from the moral degradation of self, universal to all.
  • Of Him it is said: “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace” (Ephesians 1:7; cf. Ephesians 2:8-9).

This “New Age” thinking buries Him and raises a god within us whose origins are satanic. It is a modern guise for pantheism – an “omega apostasy.”

“Kneel to your own self. Honor and worship your own Being. Chant the mantra always going on within you. Meditate on your own self. God dwells within you as you.”[28]

 
If a belief system does not preach the Cross, it is not the power of the Creator God (I Corinthians 1:18).

  • Yet, many Christian churches are minimizing the Bible, the Cross, doctrine and salvation
  • To embrace this mysticism

An Episcopal priest and teacher noted:
 
“Meditation is a process through which we quiet the mind and the emotions and enter directly into the experience of the Divine.… there is a deep connection between us ... God is in each of us.”[29]

  • Only through Jesus, our Savior and Creator, are we “complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power” (Colossians 2:9-10). The head even of self.
  • What are the mystical tools that Satan has introduced?

Tools of Satan – Under Disguise

  1. Contemplative Prayer

This practice is rapidly becoming a popular way among Protestants to “communicate” with “God.” Another term often used is “centering prayer.”

  • The practitioner positions himself/herself in a relaxed “prayerful position.”
  • A word or phrase is chosen.
  • It is repeated over and over in rhythm with the breathing cycles.
  • The meaning of the words chosen is not to be reflected upon.

The objective, as outlined by a mystic:

“When one enters the deeper layers of contemplative prayer, one sooner or later experiences the void, the emptiness, the nothingness … the profound mystical silence … and absence of thought.”[30]

 
Again, this disassociates areas of the brain – the higher levels where the Holy Spirit works. The Bible tells us to “think:”
 
“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things” (Philippians 4:8).
 
“Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD” (Isaiah 1:18).
 
In contemplative prayer:
 
“The premise … 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. Practitioners of this method believe that if the sacred words are Christian, you will get Christ – it is simply a matter of intent even though the method is identical to occult and Eastern practices.”[31]

  • The problem? This type of praying focuses on self – one’s “quiet space” – the power in us.
  • The ultimate experience is an attempt to discover a “god power” within.
  • These techniques – no matter the mantra (even using the name of Jesus) – is, once again, a form of pantheism.
  • It is a “mystical stream” established by Jesuit Loyola.
  • It is similar to the trance of autohypnosis.[32]

The deceptive power in this is profound. The suppliant is working with himself, he is “doing something” to contact a “higher self” and he is engaging in a practice where religious affiliation and doctrinal conviction are immaterial. It is a way to “bond” between atheists, mystics, those of Eastern religions, Catholics and Protestants.

  • Everyone has “a self.”
  • Many Catholics and Evangelicals are calling on that “power!”
    • “The God who dwells in our inner sanctuary is the same as the one who dwells in the inner sanctuary of each human being.”[33]
    • “Deep within us all there is an amazing inner sanctuary of the soul, a holy place, a Divine Center.”[34]
    • “[Even people,] ‘who have yet to turn their lives over to Jesus Christ – can and should practice them [spiritual disciplines].’”[35]
  • “It is a glorious destiny to be a member of the human race … now I realize what we all are … If only they [people] could all see themselves as they really are … I suppose the big problem would be that we would fall down and worship each other … At the center of our being is a point of nothingness which is untouched by sin and by illusions, a point of pure truth … This little point … is the pure glory of God in us. It is in everybody.” – Thomas Merton[36]

Really? – Not according to the Bible! Paul noted that nothing good dwelt within him (Romans 7:14-21).
 
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9).
 
Suddenly we discover a contemplative “rift.” Is this movement sympathetic to Satan?
 

To be continued.
 
Franklin S. Fowler, Jr., M.D.
Prophecy Research Initiative – non-profit 501(c)3 © 2013
EndTime Issues…, Number 156, August 1, 2013
Click here to go to PRI’s website: endtimeissues.com

 

References:
 
[1] Deception in the church.com/ditc14.htm
[2] Kimball, Dan; The Emerging Church (Grand Rapids, MI, Zondervan, 2003, p. 60).
[3] Sherman, Edwin A.; The Engineer Corps of Hell, First ed. (San Francisco, 1883), pp. 118-124. Kessinger Publishing reprints. http://www.scribd.com/doc/138881250/Edwin-A-Sherman-The-Engineer-Corps-Of-Hell
[4] Ibid.
[5] Alpnonsus de Liguori, (in the Latin text), Tractatus de Secundo Decalogi Praecepto; an English translation of the above statements is found in Father Charles P.T. Chiniquy’s Fifty Years in the Church of Rome, op. cit. (1985 ed.), Chap. XIII; and in Protestant Magazine, April, 1913, p. 163 [Textual emphasis supplied].
[6] Wylie, James Aitken; The Jesuits: Their Moral Maxims and Plots (London: Hamilton, Adams, & Co., 1881), p. 23 – as quoted in Codeword Barbelon, P. D. Stuart, Lux-Verb Books, vol. 1, p. 60.
[7] Leone, Jacopo M. (The Abbate.), The Jesuit Conspiracy: The Secret Plan of the Order, Detected and Revealed (M. Victor Considerant, 1848/London: Chapman & Hall, 1989), p. 148. http://archive.org/details/jesuitconspirac00leongoog
[8] Aquinas, Thomas; Summa Theologica, ii. Q. xi. Article III, 5,6. http://clc-library-org-docs.angelfire.com/summa.html
[9] Jure Canonico, cited in Charles Paschal Telephore Chiniquy (Charles P. T. Chiniquy), Fifty Years in the Church of Rome: The Conversion of a priest (London: P. L. Depository, 1886, 1884), p. 694; and by F. H. Revell Co., uneditied 1886 edition. Quote taken from the abridged version published by Chick Publications; Ontario, California (1985), p. 314.
[10] Wylie, James Aitken; History of the Jesuits, op. cit., quoting from, Cursus Thol., tom. 5, disp. 36, sec. 5, n. 118; Cens., pp. 319, 320 – Collation faite d la requite de l’U’niversite de Paris, 1643; Paris, 1720. http://www.scribd.com/doc/90487587/James-Aitken-Wylie-The-History-of-the-Jesuits
[11] Fegeli (Francois-Xavier), Practical Questions.Pars4, Cap. 1, Quest. 7, Num. 8 (Fribourg, 1690), p. 285; see too, F.C. Wilson, Secret Instructions of the Jesuits (Philadelphia, 1844), p. 65.
[12] http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14224b.htm
[13] Shipley, Orby; Preface, edited, English Edition of the Spiritual Exercises (London – 1870). www.beutel.narod.ru/write/covert.htm
[14] L’Allemagne et al Reforme, Fr. Ed., IV, p. 402 – as quoted in Stuart, P. D.; Codeword Barbêlôn (Lux-Verbi Books, London – 2009).
[15] Edinburgh Review, November 1842, p. 29402 – as quoted in Stuart, P. D.; Codeword Barbêlôn (Lux-Verbi Books, London – 2009).
[16] Revue occidentale, 1 May, 1894, p. 309402 – as quoted in Stuart, P. D.; Codeword Barbêlôn (Lux-Verbi Books, London – 2009).
[17] Shuller, Robert; Peace of Mind Through Possibility Thinking (Fleming H. Revel – 1977) pp. 131-132.
[18] Peck, M. Scott; The Road Less Traveled  (New York, NY: Simon & Schuster – 1978), p. 283.
[19] St. Alban’s Cathedral; Pretoria, South Africa; November 23, 1978.
[20] Romney, Rodney R.; Journey to Inner Space: Finding God-in-Us (Abingdon – 1986), 26,121.
[21] Foster, Richard, Celebration of Discipline (San Francisco, CA: Harper & Row – 1978 edition), p. 13.
[22] The Top 50 Books That Have Shaped Evangelicals” (Christianity Today – October 2006). http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2006/october/23.51.html
[23] Ibid., New Age Journal, December 1985, pp. 28-30.
[24] White, Ellen G.; The Great Controversy, p. 588.
[25] Yungen, Ray; A Time of Departing (Lighthouse Trails Publishing, MT – 2002, 2006), p. 19.
[26] Gawain, Shakti; Creative Visualization (Novato, CA; Naturaj Publishing – 2002 – 9th printing), p. 57.
[27] Butler, W. E.; Lords of Light, p. 164.
[28] Muktananda, Swami – quoted in: Eastman, David; Kundalini Demystified (Yoga Journal, Issue 64, September/October 1985), p. 43.
[29] Kaisch, Ken; Finding God: A Handbook of Christian Meditation (New York, NY: Paulist Press – 1994), p. 283. Quoted in Yungen, op. cit., p. 29.
[30] Newport, John; The New Age Movement and the Biblical Worldview (Eerdmans Publishing – 1998).
[31] Yungen, op. cit., p. 33.
[32] Small, Jacquelyn; Awakening in Time (New York, NY: Bantam Books – 1991), p. 262.
[33] Nouwen, Henri J. M.; Here and Now (The Crossroad Publishing Company, New York – 1994).
[34] Kelly, Thomas, as quoted by Richard Foster in Streams of Living Waters, op. cit.
[35] Foster, Richard; op. cit.
[36] Yungen, op. cit., Five Things You Should Know About Contemplative Prayer (Lighthouse Trails Publishing , MT – 2013), p. 8.


 

Related Information