Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tribulation is Not the Wrath of God - Part 1

"But I will tell you what is noted in the scripture of truth." Daniel 10:21

Shortly after the earthquake in Japan, in March 2011, I began to seek the Lord in a very definite and specific way, asking Him to make clear to me end-time events through the Scriptures and to give me understanding of things that are currently happening in the Earth. At that time I began by daily reading Matthew 24, beginning with prayer. I did not ask the Lord, nor was I focusing on the timing of the rapture or the Day of the Lord (nor had I ever had a real interest in such things), but was simply asking for Truth and understanding regarding the times we are in. According to Daniel 10:21 all Truth is found in "the Scripture of Truth."

It was during one of these times of reading and prayer that the Holy Spirit highlighted a portion of Scripture to me that had been traditionally taught in the Church for years to support the Pre-Tribulation Rapture theory. I am referring to Matthew 24:36-44. Beginning in verse 36 and 37 Jesus tells us, "But of that day (the Day of the Lord) and hour (when He returns the second time) no one knows....But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be." In other words, He is saying just like it was in the days of Noah, it will be just like that when He returns. Verses 38-39 tell us that in those days people (the wicked or unbelievers) were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark, and did not know (or understand) "until the flood came and took them all away."

The flood in Noah's day was judgment and the question here is, who was taken away in the flood? It was the unbelievers, of course.  Jesus drew a direct comparison between the days of Noah and the time of His second coming in verses 37 and 39 when He said, "...so also (just as in Noah's day) will the coming of the Son of Man be." In verses 40 and 41 the Lord then gives us the parallel picture of the future and says, "Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and the other left."

Question: Who was taken in judgment in the days of Noah?  It was the unbelievers, those who were outside the ark, who were taken away.  And who will be taken in judgment on the Day of the Lord's return? Just as in Noah's day it will be the wicked or unbelievers who are taken away in judgment. 

For many years most of us have heard these Scriptures taught in reference to the rapture of the Saints or catching away (taking away) of the Church before the period we call the tribulation begins. However, the opposite is clearly true. It is the unbelievers who were taken in the days of Noah and it is the unbelievers who will be taken on the Day of the Lord.

To show that Jesus is referring to the Day of the Lord or the Day of Judgment, we can look at the similar passage of Scripture in Luke 17:20-37. Here, Jesus is teaching on the Second Coming or the Day of the Lord. This is clear from verse 30 which says, "Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed." If Jesus was speaking about a pre-tribulation rapture, He would not be telling us that the Son of Man will be revealed, for we have always been told that the rapture will be a "secret" catching away of the Saints, and if this were the case, the Son of Man will not be revealed at that time.

There is a key to the timing of the events in verses 34-37 of Luke 17. Again, Jesus says, "I tell you, in that night there shall be two in one bed: the one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding at the mill...one will be taken and the other left. Two will be in the field...one will be taken and the other left." Next in verse 37 the disciples asked Jesus, "Where, Lord (where will they be taken)?" Then Jesus answers them, "Wherever the body is, there will the vultures be gathered together." This is an amazing verse of Scripture, for Jesus is referring, not to the taking away of the saints in a "secret" rapture, but to the "supper of the Great God" in Revelation 19:17-18.

"Then I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather together for the supper of the great God, that you may eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, both small and great."
 
All truth is found in the Scriptures and Scripture confirms Scripture. This revelation of scriptural truth as given by the Holy Spirit, is enough for any Believer to begin to question the false rapture teaching (traditionally taught for hundreds of years) and to look into the Word of God for themselves. In Part 2 of this teaching I will show, through the Word itself, how Scriptures traditionally thought to be referring to the rapture, are in fact referring to the same event, the Second Coming of Christ, also known as the Day of the Lord.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Branch Life: A Vital Message of Rest and Faith Found in the Teachings of Andrew Murray
The first Andrew Murray book I ever read was Reaching Your World for Christ. I stumbled across the book one day in a very unlikely place, while browsing through a downtown clothing boutique in Boone, North Carolina. The book was sitting in a small spindle rack with many other books that were all marked down to one dollar. Out of all the books on the rack, the title of this one caught my attention because of its theme on evangelism. I have always had a strong desire to reach others with the message of Salvation: God's love, grace and forgiveness of sin through the sacrifice of His son, Jesus Christ. I believe this passion to spread the "good news" was born from my past experience in the occult world and my brief glimpse into the true nature of Satan and the demonic realm. These deceiving spirits are evil beyond the comprehension of the natural man and for many years I was blinded to their deceptive tactics and the lengths to which the enemy will go to in order to keep an individutal from seeing his or her need for salvation.



After purchasing Reaching Your World for Christ I laid it aside for a time with all my other books because I expected it to be like any other book on evangelism, focusing on the need of the individual to be saved while giving touching antidotes, formulas and programs for getting Christians "pumped up" and organized to hit the streets. When I finally got around to reading Murray's book, I found that it was different than any other book I'd read on reaching the lost. The book (like every other book by Andrew Murray) had a continuous theme running through it that put the focus on the supernatural ability and willingness of God to "will and to do" all that His Word promises for the believer - and the Church - who will take God at His Word, lose his own life, and pray in faith according to the promises that are given. Murray calls it "the life that can pray*." It is the life of one who is totally given over to the will of God and the mind of Christ, just as the branch exists for no other reason than to bring forth the fruit of the vine through the care and work of the vinedresser, who does it all.


With a passion and faith that is tangible, Murray brings to light the truth that "it is God who works in you both to will and to do according to His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13)." Sadly, the power of these words remains hidden from most believers, as they strive in the natural, by their own strength, to bring about the vision God has placed in their hearts. Our God is a supernatural God. John 4:24 says, "God is a Spirit." As believers we live in two worlds, the natural and the supernatural, or spiritual. All that we do in the kingdom of God must be by the Spirit, as demonstrated by Jesus. As soon as we are born again by the Spirit, we enter into a battle that is spiritual, according to Ephesians 6:12. It is a battle which can never be won in the natural through new methods or modern techniques.


Today we are told we must "engage" the culture where they are and "re-think" what the Gospel of the Kingdom really means. Unfortunately, this can sometimes lead to a compromise in our walk, not to mention a compromise of the Word of God. It is true that times change, that outward trends change with each generation. It is also true that technology and science are changing the way we think about the world we live in. But two things that will never change are the Word of God and the fallen condition of every soul born into this world of sin. Malachi 3:6 says, "I am the Lord, I change not." The Gospel is still the Gospel and it must be presented in the power and demonstration of the Spirit of the living God, "not of the letter, but of the Spirit: for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life (2 Corinthians 3:6, John 6:63)."


It was in reading the anointed writings of Andrew Murray that I received from the Spirit of the Lord the truth and understanding that the same God who worked the miraculous in Moses and the prophets, in Christ Jesus and in the apostles, is the same God who is willing and able to do the miraculous through His children today. Moses was a man who saw his own weaknesses and inability to deliver his people from the slavery of a wicked ruler. He knew the call and vision God had put in his heart, but tried to accomplish it in his own strength. He was only able to do what the Lord had created him to do after he received this liberating revelation: that it was God - not man - who would deliver the Children of Israel from Pharaoh's clenching grip. Only then could he say, "And the Lord brought us forth out of Egypt with a mighty hand, and with an outstretched arm, and with great terribleness (awesomeness), and with signs, and with wonders (Deuteronomy 26:8).



The lack of spiritual power in the Church today does not fall on God's unwillingness to give us what is needed. Nor does it fall on the shoulders of those who are lost in an everchanging world system, blinded by an unseen force that all the technology in the universe will never detect: the god of this age, Lucifer, the fallen angel of light. The responsibility falls directly on believers, who themselves fail to see the truth that it is God, the Almighty, the same yesterday, today and forever, Who does it all, if we will only align our hearts and minds with His will; and even this is a gift of grace that must be sought after through intimate worship and the prayer of faith. In Psalm 40:7 it is written of Jesus Christ, "Behold, I come; in the volume of the book it is written of me, I delight to do your will, O my God." This was the purpose of our Lord and it is also our purpose. This was the secret to Jesus' authority and it is the secret to ours.


"Open my eyes..." Psalm119:18

"Teach me..." Psalm 119:26

"Make me understand..." Psalm 119:27

"Strengthen me..." Psalm 119:28

"Enlarge my heart..." Psalm 119:32

"Give me understanding..." Psalm 119:34

"Make me walk in the path..." Psalm 119:35

"Incline my heart..." Psalm 119:36

"Revive me in Your way..." Psalm 119:37

"Establish Your word to Your servant..." Psalm 119:38

"Revive me in Your righteousness..." Psalm 119:40


Truly, as Andrew Murray said, "it is the life that can pray*." To the one who is completely dependent on the promised power of the Holy Spirit, God will hold nothing back (Luke 11:9-13). Jesus said in John 16:8 of the promised Helper, "and when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment." This is the true meaning of the words in Zechariah 4:6, "Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord of hosts." This is the promise to the man or woman of faith who will put their trust in God, knowing that their only purpose in this life is to know Him and to do His will. As the branch is to the vine, receiving the life-giving sap that brings forth the fruit, so are we to be towards Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father in this life.

It is said that we are now living in a post-modern generation and that what worked for the Church in the past will no longer work today. If we are depending on programs, formulas, and man's agenda for church growth to reach the lost, then this statement is true. But if we are depending on nothing but the supernatural delivering power of the Holy Spirit, the only One Who can destroy every yoke of bondage, then the above statement is the most subtle of lies from the enemy of our souls and an attempt to lead us from our true source of life and power, Jesus Christ. In timeless words of the Spirit, the Lord Jesus still says to us, "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you (Luke 11:9)." As our example and as our Lord, He assures us that when we enter into our closet and shut the door, praying to the Father in secret, then the Father Who sees in secret will surely reward us openly (Matthew 6:6). May our prayer be one of total surrender, complete consecration and faith that says:


Heavenly Father, Your Word is Truth. Just as You were the Deliverer in days of old, so are You still the Deliverer today and always. It is You who will break the chains of darkness off the lost. It is You Who will convict and convince the lost of their need for salvation through Your Son Jesus Christ. It is You Who will pour out and give the power of Your Holy Spirit to Your people to be a witness of Jesus Christ, whose Life is the Light of all who come into the world, and Who died as a sacrifice for all humanity. Thank you, that it is not by might, nor by power, but by Your Spirit that we shall claim all the promises of Your Word, because it is You Who works in us, both to will and to do of Your good pleasure. For Your glory we pray, in the name of Jesus, Amen.


*Andrew Murray, Prayer and the Coming Revival (Ambassador Publications, First published as The Ministry of Intercession, This edition 1999), p. 47


To read more about the inspiring life of Andrew Murray and the call of God on his life go to www.healingandrevival.com/BioAMurray.htm.

Friday, February 11, 2011

An Open Letter to Pastors Regarding Leonard Sweet's Quantum Christ and the New Paradigm of Oneness

The following is an open letter that was sent to the nineteen Pastors and Christian leaders who endorsed the book, Jesus Manifesto, written by Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola which was released in the summer of 2010. I wrote the letter as a response to this book which I believe promotes "another Jesus, another gospel and another spirit," as warned about by Paul in 2 Corinthians 11:3. The letter is not meant to be a critique of Jesus Manifesto but is intended to document clearly the spiritual position of Leonard Sweet based on his previous writings in an earlier book, Quantum Spirituality.


Like every free agent on this planet, Leonard Sweet is entitled to believe whatever he desires in regard to who Jesus Christ is (who he equates to Kali and Krishna) and with regard to the person and work of the Holy Spirit (who he equates to an energy or force). But to present himself as a follower and disciple of Jesus and His Word is an affront and a deception to the Church and to the world, as he promotes many practices and teachings that are strictly forbidden throughout the Bible for our own protection. For example, Sweet quotes David Spangler, a long-time New Age leader and student of Theosophy whose writings echo those of occultist, Alice Bailey. For thirty years Bailey channeled a demonic spirit named Djwhal Khul, a member of the spiritual "hierarchy" who claims to be guiding humanity on the path of human evolution into "godhood." Under demonic inspiration, Bailey wrote over twenty-four occult books on the coming Age of Aquarius, the New World order, and the One-World religion. Her teachings form the foundation for what is now being called "The New Spirituality" (formerly the New Age Movement) as well as many aspects of the Emerging Church.
Ephesians 6:12 and Revelation 12:11 both reveal a longstanding spiritual battle with a "hierarchy" of fallen angels and demonic spirits under the rule of Satan who will stop at nothing to deceive Believers and lead them away from the "simplicity of faith" in Christ Jesus that is the core of the true gospel. This Hierarchy and their plan of end-time deception and infiltration of the Church are plainly laid out in the writings of Theosophists Alice Bailey and David Spangler. In her book, Initiation, Human and Solar, Bailey writes, "Initiation, or the process of undergoing an expansion of consciousness, is part of the normal process of evolutionary development. In these days of the shattering of the old form and the building of the new, adaptability is needed." Bailey then lays out the plan to bring this initiation process into the Church. "Before many centuries pass the old mysteries will be restored, and an inner body will exist in the Church...wherein the first initiation will, before so very long, be the most sacred ceremony of the Church (pp. 2, 9, 12).
The goal of all occult mysticism is to experience a "paradigm shift" through an altered state of consciousness, that all is One and all is God. The New Age agenda for the initiation and transformation of the Church and the world has begun. Advocates of the New Spirituality agree that the New Paradigm for the 21st Century is Interconnectedness and Oneness. This is the "New Gospel." The subject of the following letter is only one example of how THE LIE of Genesis 3 and 2 Thessalonians 2 - "the mystery of lawlessness" - has been repackaged and is now rapidly making its way into the Church.

AN OPEN LETTER TO PASTORS



Dear Pastor,


I am writing this letter out of a deep concern regarding your recent endorsement of Leonard Sweet's book, Jesus Manifesto, co-authored by Frank Viola. The Word of God warns in 1 Timothy 4:1 that in the last days many will be deceived and turn from the faith as they follow after seducing spirits and demonic doctrines. And so I must ask you, are you aware of Leonard Sweet's spiritual views and teachings as revealed in his previous writings? Jesus Himself tells us in Matthew 24 that, if possible, even the very elect will be deceived in the last days by the rise of false prophets and ministers who come in Christ's name. As one who departed from, and then returned to, the Christian faith I can personally testify to the truth of this and other Scriptures that warn of a great falling away.


As a young girl I was raised in a Christian home and made a true profession of faith in Jesus Christ, but later turned from the faith and spent eleven years in the occult, studying and practicing various forms of New Age spirituality and Eastern mysticism. Many of these same practices that I experimented with are now making rapid inroads into the Church, including yoga, Eastern Meditation techniques like Contemplative or Breath prayer, astral projection, also known as out-of-body experiences, and unsanctioned third-heaven encounters; all ancient forms of divination used in shamanism for centuries. In addition, my involvement in the New Age Movement extended to a deep study of Hinduism with a strong belief in reincarnation. In 1987 I participated in the first worldwide "Harmonic Convergence" in which many "Light Workers" gathered together to meditate and visualize world peace. The ultimate goal of this event was to usher in the "Emergence" of a New Spirituality of Unity and Oneness for the planet.


Just one year later, in 1988, the Lord Jesus Christ saved me and set me free from occult deception. Since that time I have maintained that the New Age Movement will play a major role in the last days and that the underlying "Oneness" doctrine will be the new "paradigm" that pulls all faiths together in the religious deception described in Revelation 17:5. By "Oneness" doctrine, I refer to Panentheism: the belief that man and the created universe are one with God because God is immanent within His creation, a false doctrine as brought out in Romans 1:25. Also, the word "paradigm" implies a shift or "transformation" in one's spiritual beliefs and worldview that occurs when the human mind is under an altered state of consciousness; what long-time New Age leader David Spangler refers to as the "Luciferic initiation" on page 45 of his book, Reflections on the Christ. I reference this "Luciferic initiation" because Leonard Sweet acknowledges David Spangler four times and expresses gratitude for Spangler's spiritual insight in his previous book, Quantum Spirituality.


Because of my own experience in this type of deception, I have spent the last twenty-two years researching New Age trends and have watched steadily as the terminology and teachings of this movement have entered the Church and are now becoming common place at a rate that surpasses anything I have seen in the last two decades: words like Convergence, Paradigm Shift, Christ Consciousness (the divine Christ nature within all beings), Critical Mass, Quantum Physics, and the ancient Egyptian occult invocation, "As Above, So Below," which has been inserted into the Lord's prayer in The Message Bible. Because of my own research I am well acquainted with and recognize the names and teachings of many New Age leaders who are on the forefront of what has come to be known today as the "New Spirituality."


It has not been difficult to trace Leonard Sweet's writings to many mystics, occultists, gurus and New Age proponents of "social transformation" through Eastern meditative techniques and/or the use of mind-altering drugs; men like Aldous Huxley, Ralph Metzner, Carl Jung, Ken Wilbur, and Willis Harman. In Quantum Spirituality, Leonard Sweet refers to these men as "New Light" leaders and uses an abundance of New Age terminology to introduce the demonic doctrine of "quantum connectedness" or Oneness through the energy of the "god-force" (p. 78). Sweet references all of the above New Age/Occult leaders (plus many others) in a very positive context. He acknowledges and gives thanks to the "New Light leaders" in his book as those who have taught him "how to catch the tail winds of energies whooshing from new spiritual jet streams (p. ix).


In a chapter titled Logos, an expose on the fusion and oneness of spirit and matter (a common goal in all forms of divination and alchemy), Sweet writes of going into the depths in order to have "light-fire" experiences, as he equates the "energy" of light or Logos with the Spirit of God (p. 60, 92). He references psychedelic guru, Ralph Metzner's book, Opening to Inner Light: The Transformation of Human Nature and Consciousness. On his website, Green Earth Foundation, Metzner offers an Alchemical Divination Training Program that teaches students to "channel light-fire" through yogic meditative techniques by entering the depths of "non-ordinary states of consciousness." Sweet goes on to compare the Spirit of the Living God with "the flow of "Kundalini's fire" and "Muhammad's light-filled cave," as he calls for "Leadership toward the light" while pointing out the "surprisingly central feature of all the world's religions (p. 236).


In addition, Sweet refers extensively to the teachings of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, who foretold of the Emergence of a Universal Christ (Consciousness) who must adapt to the requirements of an ever-evolving humanity and who will appear at a time of Critical Mass which he called the "Omega Point." Sweet also favors mystic priest, Matthew Fox, who presents a false Christ, denies original sin, and praises "Mother Earth" in his book, The Coming of the Cosmic Christ.


The subtitle to Jesus Manifesto reads, Restoring the Supremacy and Sovereignty of Jesus Christ. However, considering Sweet's prevous writings, one cannot help but draw the conclusion that Sweet is subtly introducing people to another Jesus, another gospel, and another spirit (2 Corinthians 11:4). On page 130 of Quantum Spirituality Sweet states, "One can be a faithful disciple of Jesus Christ without denying the flickers of the sacred in followers of Yahweh, or Kali, or Krishna," as he assures readers that, "Just as physicists cannot understand truth by one model alone...so one model may not suffice to understand God completely."


The Apostle Paul told the Church to "hold fast" to sound words, to that which is good, for "the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine." Through my past experience in this area, I can tell you that Sweet's teachings are no different from the concept and goals of the "Light Workers" of the 1987 Harmonic Convergence; global New Age gatherings which continue today for the purpose of world spiritual unity. Leonard Sweet's writings are full of subtle demonic doctrines that mislead the believer and oppose the authority of the God's Word, and yet, Jesus Manifesto has been endorsed by nineteen "Evangelical" and Charismatic leaders in the Body of Christ.


Is it any wonder the Bible speaks of a coming great apostasy and of imposters who will rise up from within the Church? And so again, my question to you as a leader in the Body of Christ is two-fold; are you aware of Leonard Sweet's spiritual views, and just how much is the Church to compromise before it runs the risk of "strong delusion" that inevitably follows when we will not love God's Truth? If you understand the true nature of our enemy as revealed in Ephesians 6, then you understand this is a spiritual issue with "seducing spirits and doctrines of demons" working towards an antichrist agenda. What can this mean for the Church but a spiritual transformation with an Emerging new "paradigm" and an "initiation" of Oneness with a false Christ who will deceive all nations?


If you really care about the "supremacy and sovereignty" of Jesus Christ, if you love His truth and care about His people, I ask that you would greatly consider the truth and publicly withdraw your support and endorsement of Leonard Sweet and Jesus Manifesto.


With Sincere Concern,


DeAnne Loper




Please see the attached list below of occult references from Quantum Spirituality, by Leonard Sweet, who expresses concern that the names and writings of psychics and esoteric scientists "never appear in the Church's continuing education brochures (p. 234)." This is only a partial list of world leaders and teachers who "honor the god of forces (Daniel 11:38)."



A LIST OF OCCULT REFERENCES FROM QUANTUM SPIRITUALITY
BY LEONARD SWEET
  • Thomas Merton - Sweet refers to Merton as the "contemplative/bridge between East and West Thomas Merton," then quotes Merton, "We are already one. But we imagine that we are not. And what we have to recover is our original unity."
  • Matthew Fox - Episcopal priest/author of Original Blessing and The Coming of the Cosmic Christ; teaches that all people possess the divine nature of God within
  • David Spangler - Sweet thanks this long-time New Age author/leader who has a spirit guide named John. Spangler also received transmissions from a presence who identified itself as "Limitless Love and Truth" and calls for a "Luciferic Initiation" into the coming New Age in his book, Reflections on the Christ
  • Carl Jung - psychologist/philosopher who studied Tibetan Buddhism and taught visualization as a doorway into the psyche or "collective unconscious" mind. Jung communicated regularly with his spirit guide, Philemon
  • Willis Harman - New Age pioneer/futurist, author of Global Mind Change, a book which sets forth the "new" scientific paradigm and coming worldwide shift in consciousness toward Oneness
  • Aldous Huxley - philosopher/occultist; author of The Doors of Perception, (about his "enlightening" spiritual experience on Mescaline) and The Perennial Philosophy; promoted "social transformation" through hallucinogenic drug use
  • Ralph Metzner - Author of The Psychedelic Experience; promotes the use of LSD and other mind-altering drugs for consciousness transformation and offers training in alchemy/shamanism on his website, Green Earth Foundation
  • Pierre Teilhard de Chardin - Jesuit priest and paleontologist who believed in a Universal/Cosmic "Christ" for an evolving humanity. Sweet calls de Chardin "Twentieth-century Christianity's major voice." (p. 106, Quantum Spirituality)
  • John J. Heaney - psychic; author of The Sacred and the Psychic: Parapsychology and Christian Theology; Sweet says of Heaney's book, "This is the most balanced and astute book on the parapsychological available today." (p. 338, Quantum Spirituality)
  • William James - psychologist/philosopher/psychic; founder of The American Society for Psychical Research, still in operation today
  • Fritjof Capra - physicist and New Age author of The Tao of Physics: An Exploration of the Parallels Between Modern Physics and Eastern Mysticism
  • Soren Kierkegaard - philosopher/psychologist/father of existentialism, the belief in no absolutes; i.e. whatever is true for the individual is truth...
  • Dalai Lama, David Bohm, Rupert Sheldrake - As quoted by Renee Weber's Dialogues with Scientists and Sages: The Search for Unity
  • Sri Aurobindo - yogi and author whose writings expound on the divine nature of man
  • Karl Rahner - Jesuit priest/theologian; known for his quote, "The Christian of the future will be a mystic or (he or she will be nothing at all) will not exist at all."
  • K. Ramakrishna Rao - author of Parapsychology: Implications for Religion and Science; Sweet quotes Rao in the context of the Church's (negative) unwillingness to delve into the areas of psychic research and parapsychology. (p. 234 Quantum Spirituality)
  • Roy Rustum - author of Experimenting With Truth: The Fusion of Religion With Technology Needed for Humanity's Survival
  • Ken Wilbur - New Age leader/futurist; proponent of "Integral" (Oneness) Theory

Sunday, January 23, 2011


RICK WARREN'S NEW AGE TIES: A LOOK AT NEW AGE AND OCCULT TEACHERS PROMOTED IN THE PURPOSE DRIVEN LIFE

MARILYN FERGUSON is the author of the bestselling book, The Aquarian Conspiracy. Published in 1980, The Aquarian Conspiracy is considered by many in the New Spirituality and the occult to be a blueprint for the coming spiritual transformation of our society. USA Today called it “the handbook of the New Age.” The book openly admits that there is in fact a conspiracy for the emergence of a One World Religious System, but presents it in a positive light. In the book, Ferguson quotes Aldous Huxley, William James, Carl Jung, Willis Harman, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, and Thomas Merton, just to name a few. To those who are in the New Age movement, these are household names. However, it is doubtful that the majority of Christians who read and signed the 40-day “Covenant” in The Purpose Driven Life were aware of the occult nature of the teachings of those who are referenced by Rick Warren for spiritual inspiration.

In his book, The Purpose Driven Life, Rick Warren quotes some of these same New Age leaders. While leaving out their occult roots and teachings, Rick Warren also presents these leaders and their writings in a positive light. Though Rick Warren seems to make several good points in regards to purpose and knowing God, there is clearly a lot of double-talk. On page 20 he says, “To discover your purpose in life you must turn to God’s Word, not the world’s wisdom. You must build your life on eternal truths, not pop psychology…” Yet, in his book, he gives reference to no less than 13 of the world’s mystics, philosophers, psychologists and New Age leaders to support his message of “Purpose.” On page 90 he correctly tells readers they cannot know God without knowing His Word and makes a distinction between true Biblical meditation and Eastern meditation. However, on the previous page he gives reference to Benedictine Monks who practice ritualistic Eastern meditation, while chanting mantras on an hourly basis. Then on page 30 Warren says, “Without a purpose, life is trivial, petty and pointless…We were made to have meaning. This is why people try dubious methods like astrology or psychics, to discover it.” But on the very next page he quotes Dr. Bernie Siegel who openly claims to have a spirit guide named George and recommends yoga to his patients to connect with the Kundalini life force, the energy that is believed by those in the occult to bind everything together as One.

Why is Rick Warren introducing Christian readers to occult philosophies and New Age teachers? While it is not for us to judge anyone or their motives, it is our responsibility to “judge all things” in light of scripture and to question leaders who teach or give reference to sources that are blatantly contrary to the Word of God. Hosea 4/6 says, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” As Believers it is imperative that we fully understand the beliefs and teachings of those who are considered leaders and shepherds in the Body of Christ. Below are just a few of the people Rick Warren references in The Purpose Driven Life, along with several of their own quotes. Sources are taken from their own books or via the internet.

BERNIE SIEGEL – P. 31
On page 31 of The Purpose Driven Life, Rick Warren quotes Dr. Bernie Siegel in reference to “hope” and “purpose.” Bernie Siegel is a physician, author and prominent New Age leader who communicates with a spirit guide named George, and who also teaches guided imagery and meditation techniques to his patients. In his book, Love, Medicine & Miracles, Siegel describes his encounter with this spirit guide during a workshop he attended that taught guided visualization. In relating the story, Siegel says, “George was spontaneous, aware of my feelings, and an excellent advisor. He gave me honest answers…All I know is that he has been my invaluable companion ever since his first appearance (p. 19, 20).” Writing on guided visualization in the same book, Siegel explains, “The goal is to reach a light trance state, sometimes called the Alpha State which is the first step in yogic meditation, and most related forms of mind exploration. With guidance and practice, meditation can lead to breath-taking experiences of cosmic at-oneness and enlightenment (p. 147-149).” Siegel also has close ties with New Age leader, Neale Donald Walsch, author of the “Conversations With God” books, a series of teachings channeled from a demonic spirit claiming to be God, and which are completely antichrist in their content (Source, http://www.berniesiegelmd.com/)

ALDOUS HUXLEY – P. 248
But Warren does not stop with Siegel. On page 248 he quotes Aldous Huxley in the context of “experiences” and sharing those experiences with others. Having researched the New Age Movement and its agenda for over twenty years, I consider this to be one of the most serious implications of an emergent church leader bringing eastern mysticism into the Body of Christ. Aldous Huxley was an author, a philosopher and an occultist. In literary circles he is widely known for his book, Brave New World. But to occultists and those in the New Age movement Huxley is best known for his book, The Doors of Perception, an account of his mystical experience on the psychedelic drug, Mescaline. Huxley already had a bent for the spiritual philosophies of the east, but it was during his drug experience, under an altered state of consciousness, that a transformation or paradigm shift occurred in his mind and he became enlightened to the unity of all things and to the energy that binds everything together as One with “the All” (Doors of Perception p. 14). Huxley referred to this “unifying energy” as the “Perennial Philosophy” from the title of his book by the same name. He states, it is “…the psychology that finds in the soul something similar to, or even identical with divine Reality.”

Aldous Huxley believed in human evolution and the need for “social transformation” (a transformation in the way people think as a whole) and propagated the use of mind-altering drugs as a doorway to spiritual enlightenment, along with other eastern practices like yoga and shamanism. He also believed that “religious revival in the United States would begin with drugs, not evangelists,” as quoted by Marilyn Ferguson in The Aquarian Conspiracy, p. 375. Many in the New Age Movement believe the influx of LSD into America in the 1960s was a fulfillment of Huxley’s vision. Aldous Huxley is also quoted extensively in the New Age book, As Above, So Below, and by many adherents of the New Spirituality. And so one has to ask, why is Rick Warren, an “Evangelical” pastor and teacher of the gospel, referring readers to Aldous Huxley?

HENRI NOUWEN – P. 108
On page 108 of The Purpose Driven Life Rick Warren quotes Catholic priest and mystic, Henri Nouwen in the context of “periods of seeming separation” from God. Nouwen promoted eastern spiritual disciplines like repetition of mantras and contemplative prayer to connect with “the active presence of God,” what Rick Warren calls “breath prayers” on page 89 of The Purpose Driven Life. There, Warren instructs readers to “…choose a brief sentence or a simple phrase that can be repeated to Jesus in one breath…Pray it as often as possible so it is rooted deep in your heart.” This spiritual discipline of breath prayer and the emphasis of one breath is not taught anywhere in the scriptures, but can be traced back to the age-old practice of shamanic breath control, a technique used for thousands of years by shamans of indigenous cultures to connect with their spirit guides, as shown in the following definitions.

Shaman – Medicine-man or priest-doctor of preliterate societies in northern Asia and…the Americas; a specialist in archaic techniques of ecstasy…naturally catalyzed by entheogenic plants (hallucinogenic plants), later…induced by secondary techniques like drumming, chanting, fasting, breath control, etc. (Modern definition of the word shaman by Jonathan Ott, The Age of Entheogens & the Angel’s Dictionary, quoted in Astrotheology and Shamanism: Christianity’s Pagan Roots).

Shamanism – A worldview within which mediation between physical and spirit dimensions becomes possible through *ecstatic states of consciousness (Entheogen: Awakening the Divine Within, a film by Critical Mass Productions, Google Videos, http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=825942553983229569#docid=-820206505264515422). *Ecstatic/Ekstasis (Greek) – to step outside one’s self.

And yet Jesus states in Matthew 6/7 & 8, “And when you pray do not use vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Therefore do not be like them.” At the end of his life and ministry, Henri Nouwen openly taught that there were many ways to God. Here are several quotes from his writings.

“The quiet repetition of a single word can help us to descend with the mind into the heart ... This way of simple prayer ... opens us to God’s active presence” (The Way of the Heart, p. 81).

“The God who dwells in our inner sanctuary is the same as the one who dwells in the inner sanctuary of each human being” (Here and Now, p. 22).

“Prayer is ‘soul work’ because our souls are those sacred centers WHERE ALL IS ONE ... It is in the heart of God that we can come to the full realization of THE UNITY OF ALL THAT IS” (Bread for the Journey, 1997, Jan. 15 and Nov. 16).

“Today I personally believe that while Jesus came to open the door to God’s house, all human beings can walk through that door, whether they know about Jesus or not. Today I see it as my call to help every person claim his or her own way to God” (Sabbatical Journey, New York: Crossroad, 1998, p. 51).

WILLIAM JAMES – P. 285
William James is known as the “father of American psychology” and was one of the founders of the American Society for Psychical Research in 1885. Still in operation, the website for this organization says, “The American Society for Psychical Research is the oldest psychical research organization in the United States. For more than a century, its mission has been to explore extraordinary or as yet unexplained phenomena that have been called psychic or paranormal…” Then asks the question, “In what unexplained ways do we interconnect with the universe and each other?" (Source: http://www.aspr.com/who.htm)

Is this the purpose and meaning of life, to connect with the “Universal Mind” through mysterious psychic and paranormal channels? And yet Rick Warren says we are not to depend on pop psychology or “dubious” psychic practices, as he quotes psychic, William James on page 285 of The Purpose Driven Life.


In Conclusion

Most Christians would not recognize or question the above names cited in The Purpose Driven Life because they are trusting of Rick Warren and his teachings, and this is exactly what the real enemy is counting on. Regardless of the context in which these men are quoted, neither they nor their teachings should ever be promoted or endorsed by a true minister and servant of the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul did not promote the teachings of Simon the Sorcerer in his letters to the Churches. Nor did Moses recommend the mystical practices of Pharaoh and his magicians.

Advocates of the New Spirituality agree that the “New Paradigm” or "New Gospel" for the 21st Century is Interconnectedness and Oneness and this concept is built upon the ancient occult teachings of alchemy and sorcery; the merging of spirit and matter. And while it may appear to be the latest and greatest movement in spiritual renewal, the rapid rise of shamanism in the earth, and the turning of the Church back towards the primal practices of the mystics is nothing less than the beginning of the fulfillment of Mystery Babylon and the formation of the Harlot Church as foretold in Revelation 17/5, leading to the deception of all nations through the satanic power of sorcery (Revelation 9/21, 18/23).