He who begins by seeking God within himself may end up confusing himself as God”.
God puts it this way, “It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man” - Psalm 188:8.
The word brainwashing came to be used in the United States in an effort to explain why, compared to earlier wars, a relatively high percentage of American GI's defected to the Communists after becoming prisoners of war in Korea.
Later analysis determined that some of the primary methologies employed on them during their imprisonment included sleep deprivation and other intense psychological manipulations designed to break down the autonomy of individuals. These same methods are used, as witnesses attest to, within PSI/EST seminars. Lack of sleep, inadequate food breaks, emotional unrest and exhaustion, are common problems voiced by many participants in attendance.
Robert Lifton, MD, is known for his studies and expertise pertaining to the psychological causes and effects of war and political violence and for his theory of thought reform.
In 2006, Lifton appeared with fellow psychiatrist Peter A. Olsson on the History Channel in a documentary of Cults, titled “Decoding The Past”. Lifton outlines 8 characteristics used in brainwashing techniques. I have included a summary of each of the characteristics according to his findings.
Author of the Book “Cults In Our Midst”, Margaret Thaler Singer writes, “The critical news is that you create everything. In short – you caused everything that has ever happened to you. Your loss of a job, your broken relationships, and your negative attitude – everything that you suffer from is your fault. You are responsible!
Essentially, your life is not working and you need it fixed! The answer is always the same. The seminar is your answer to every problem you have ever faced”
Having served on President Gerald Ford's Biomedical Research Panel she has won numerous awards including the Leo J. Ryan Memorial Award, for research on cults, from the Citizens Freedom Foundation, Research Scientist Award from the National Institute of Mental Health, Hofheimer Prize, American College of Psychiatrists, 1966, Stanley R. Dean Award from the American College of Psychiatrists, Research in Schizophrenia,
1976, Achievement Awards – Mental Health Association of the United States, McAlpine Award for achievement in Research from the Mental Health Association of the United States, American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy Award for Cumulative contributions to Research in Family Therapy. In 2004, the international Cultic Studies Association created the “Margaret Singer Award” in her honor. The American Psychological Association (APA) in 1983 asked Singer, who was one of the leading proponents of coercive persuasion theories, to chair a task force to investigate whether brainwashing or “coercive persuasion” did indeed play a role in recruitment by such groups The task force was title APA Task Force On Deceptive and Indirect Techniques of Persuasion and Control (DIMPAC).
In 1996, Landmark Education (an EST company), sued Singer for defamation. Singer mentioned Landmark Education in “Cults in our Midst; it was unclear whether she labeled Landmark Education as a cult or not.
Amanda Scioscia, 2000, reported in the Phoenix New Times that Singer never called Landmark a cult, but that she described it as a “controversial New Age training course”. She also stated that she would not recommend the group to anyone, and would not comment on whether Landmark uses coercive persuasion for fear of legal recrimination from Landmark.
On March 22, 1997, Marshall Herff Applewhite and 37 of his disciples decided the time had come to shed their bodies – mere “containers” - and be whisked up to a UFO trailing the Hale-Bopp Comet, en route to heaven's gate. So they put themselves to sleep by mixing phenobarbital into pudding or applesauce, washing it down with vodka, and then fixing plastic bags over their heads so they would suffocate in their slumber.
On that same day, a cottage in French Canadian village of St. Casimir exploded in an inferno, consuming five people – the latest of 74 members of the Order of the Solar Temple to have committed suicide in Canada, Switzerland, and France. All were hoping to be transported to the star Sirius, nine light-years away.
Sun Myung Moon's mixture of Christianity, anticommunism, and glorification of Moon himself as a new messiah attracted a worldwide following. In response to Moon's declaration, “What I wish must be your wish,” many people committed themselves and their incomes to the Unification Church.
In 1978 in Guyana, 914 disciples of Jim Jones, who had followed him there from San Francisco, shocked the world when they died by following his order to down a suicidal grape drink laced with tranquilizers, painkillers, and a lethal dose of cyanide.
In 1993, high-school dropout David Koresh used his talent for memorizing Scripture and mesmerizing people to seize control of a faction of a sect called the Branch Davidians. Over time, members were gradually relieved of their bank accounts and possessions. Koresh also persuaded the men to live celibately while he slept with their wives and daughters, and he convinced his 19 “wives” that they should bear his children.
Under siege after a shootout that killed six members and four federal agents, Koresh told his followers they would soon die and go with him straight to heaven. Federal agents rammed the compound with tanks, hoping to inject tear gas, and, by the end of the assault, 86 people were consumed in a fire that engulfed the compound.
Why would people be persuaded by cults or organizations that employ brainwashing techniques? What must a person do to safe-guard themselves from such destructive programing? Reviewing social psychology research provides clues into cult phenomenon and the people who are attracted to the dynamics they employ.
1st Corinthians 15:33, Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”
Ephesians 5:6-7, “Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God's wrath comes on those who are disobedient. (7) Therefore do not be partners with them.”
If this sounds familiar you may attribute these same sentiments to “The Secret Law Of Attraction” principles in the movie “The Secret” and book released by Australian author Rhonda Byrne. The movie claims in principal, like attracts like, choices both good and bad are fueled by our thoughts, everything that's coming into your life you are attracting etc. You are responsible for all that has happened in your life. Sounds like another documented quote from a PSI/EST seminar.
The law of attraction principles used within the movie “The Secret” came through spirit entities called “Abraham” channeled by Esther Hicks. The Abraham entities are referred to as “we are you in the future”.
God finds such demonic/occult practices detestable (Deuteronomy 18:10-16). For additional information concerning “The Secret” with Biblical insights you can reference my article, “The Secret Law Of Attraction – A False Reality Of A Conceptual Manner.”
The Ankerberg Theological Research Institute, John Ankerburg's website has an excellent reference article under new age; Is “The Secret” compatible with Biblical Christianity?
By staff correspondent A by ATRI, “Oprah guest and “Secret” promoter Michael Beckwith, founder and paster of Agape International Spiritual Center describes his theology as being in the “New Thought – Ancient Wisdom tradition of spirituality.
Russ Wise suggests he is the most troubling of the Secret teachers “because he represents a pseudo – Christianity. He has the greatest ability to be used to deceive those whom God has touched by His Gospel.”
The article goes on to give comment to a question on “The Oprah Winfrey Show”, when an audience member asked a question about heaven and hell. Beckwith responded, “Jesus the Christ said the kingdom of heaven is within. He didn't say it was out there somewhere – he said within. And so is it possible to consider that the kingdom of hell is within as well?..
The kingdom of God is actually in us, and what comes out of your mouth, what you think about, how you express- you're either participating in the realm of ever-expanding good or you're cutting yourself off from the realm.”
James Swan of Alpha and Omega Ministries explains the problem with one part of Beckwith's answer.
“Notice the context of the Biblical phrase kingdom of God was completely devoid from the answer. In Luke 17, the Pharisees wanted to know when the Kingdom would come. When would God's people see their prophesied theocratic leader? Certainly Jesus didn't believe God's kingdom was within these religious leaders. He considered them religious hypocrites.
In Romans 14:17, Paul states, “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit, because anyone who serves God this way is pleasing to God and approved by men.”
Jesus is actually rebuking the hypocrisy of the Pharisees, pointing out that the kingdom is an inner righteousness, not an outward righteousness of eating and drink, rules and regulations. We are given Christ's righteousness in justification. The Holy Spirit performs his work of sanctification, making our works pleasing to God.
The answer given by the Oprah show does more than misquote a Bible verse. It denies the Gospel.”
The Gospel, as any careful reader will discern, is not the only Biblical doctrine or claim that is denied. In his review of “The Secret”, Donald Whitney says, “It is no exaggeration to say that this book implicitly (and sometimes explicitly) denies virtually every major doctrine in the Bible.” B.B. Warfild once said:
He who begins by seeking God within himself may end up confusing himself as God”.
God puts it this way, “It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man” - Psalm 188:8. This is a long form text area designed for your content that you can fill up with as many words as your heart desires. You can write articles, long mission statements, company policies, executive profiles, company awards/distinctions, office locations, shareholder reports, whitepapers, media mentions and other pieces of content that don’t include anything related to your company – recent changes to operations, the latest company softball game – or the industry you’re in. General business trends (think national and even international) are great article fodder, too.
Mission statements – You can tell a lot about a company by its mission statement. Don’t have one? Now might be a good time to create one and post it here. A good mission statement tells you what drives a company to do what it does.
Company policies – Are there company policies that are particularly important to your business? Perhaps your unlimited paternity/maternity leave policy has endeared you to employees across the company. This is a good place to talk about that.
Executive profiles – A company is only as strong as its executive leadership. This is a good place to show off who’s occupying the corner offices. Write a nice bio about each executive that includes what they do, how long they’ve been at it, and what got them to where they are.
HAVE FAITH IN GOD, NOT FAITH IN YOUR FAITH
Positive Confession And Visualization - Occult Methods of Magick
"Magic Of Qabalah Visions of the Tree of Life," by occult author Kala Trobe:
"...a brief description of the Path by which one might mentally arrive at the desired destination, and information on the God names, angels, and symbols. Each chapter culminates
in a guided creative visualization."
Faith can be defined as a confidence or trust in a person, idea or thing. Hebrews 11:6, And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.
Through faith we accept Jesus Christ as Savior (Acts 16:31), and baptized in the Holy Spirit (Acts 11:15-17), receive divine preservation (1 Peter 1:5), inherit the promises which include healing and provision of material needs (Hebrews 6:12), and are motivated to witness of His mercy, grace and love (2 Corinthians 4:13).
Against all hope, Abraham by faith believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” He was fully persuaded that God had power to do what He had promised (Romans 4:20-24).
While faith is often thought of as a positive confession to many within the faith and prosperity movement, often times preaching only positive re-enforcement of faith leaves many to question God Himself when things go wrong in life, as they so often do. By placing faith above God's sovereignty, one develops a misguided approach to what faith in God truly means.
Romans 5:3-5, "Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; (4) perseverance, character; and character, hope. (5) And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us." The life of faith in God is the life of victory (1 John 5:4).
However, victory can be seen through the eyes of sorrow, pain, and even suffering. Having faith in God regardless of the situation we are faced with, speaks volumes to a world that is lost and in deep despair.
Despite our suffering, we as Christians can proclaim, “God is working to develop within us all, a greater cause, purpose, witness, and life of righteousness.”
"MYSTICISM AND THE NEW PHYSICS," BY METAPHYSICAL AUTHOR, MICHAEL TALBOT. BANTAM BOOKS, PAGE 151:
"As Blofied explains, 'The purpose of visualization is to gain control of the mind, become skilled in creating mental constructions, make contact with power forces (themselves the products of mind) and achieve higher states of consciousness in which the non-existence of own-being and the non-dual nature of reality are transformed from intellectual concepts into experiential consciousness - non-duality is no longer just believed but felt.
In short, visualization is a yoga of the mind. It produces quick results by utilizing forces familiar to man only at the deeper levels of consciousness,..."
God's Word Tells Us In Jeremiah 17:9 (KJV), "The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things, And Desperately Wicked: Who Can Know It?
The NET Translation:
Jeremiah 17:9 (NET), "The Mind Is More Deceitful Than Anything Else. It Is Incurably Bad. Who Can Understand It?"
NAME IT AND CLAIM IT !
Within the faith, favor, prosperity and increase movement are people who choose to believe in their "faith," rather than placing their faith in God.
This places man in the power position of using God, instead of surrendering himself to be used of God. With positive affirmations and confessions in action, and by claiming authority, many believe their mind power can compel God to act on their behalf, according to their will. This belief implies God surrenders His holy sovereignty, wisdom, purpose and plan.
FROM THE BOOK, "CHRISTIANITY IN CRISIS" BY HANK HANEGRAAFF WE READ:
Chapter 6, page 73: "In Faith theology, faith is a force. It is the stuff out of which the universe is made and is the force which makes the laws of the spirit world function. So how do you get the laws of the spirit world to function for you?
According to the Faith teachers, it is through the use of formulas. Not only do these formulas of faith cause the laws of the spirit world to function, but they also cause the Holy Spirit to function for you. God is demoted to the status of a mere bellhop who blindly responds to the beck and call of formulas uttered by the faithful. Faith formulas are the name of the game....
In the book titled "Two Kinds of Faith, E.W. Kenyon insists that it is our confession that rules us. Kenneth Hagin once complained that unsaved people were getting better results from their faith formulas than were his church members. And it dawned on him what the unsaved were doing, Having Faith In Your Faith."
WELCOME TO THE SECRET LAW OF ATTRACTION ACCORDING TO CHRISTIAN MYSTICS:
For more information about The Secret Law of Attraction, please reference on this website, the webpage article: "The Secret Law of Attraction - According To God".
Hanegraaff continues to relate this blasphemous false gospel in Chapter 12, "The Demotion of Christ," page 137:
"Almost all cults and world religions compromise the deity of Christ, and the Faith movement is not exception. So far we have seen the Faith teachers re-create man in the image of God, demote God to the status of man, and deify Satan as a god.
Now we will see them demote Christ to the level of a mere mortal. Consider this incredible statement by Kenneth Copeland:
'Adam was the copy, looked just like God. If you stood Adam upside God, they look just exactly alike. If you stood Jesus and Adam side-by-side, they would look and sound exactly alike. Here a leading Faith teacher claims no difference and no distinction between God and man. Upon being questioned about this blasphemy, Copeland replied, 'I didn't say Jesus wasn't God, I said He (Jesus) didn't claim to be God when He lived on earth.'"
"In John 10:30 Jesus says, 'I and the Father are one." Modern readers might misunderstand the significance of His statement, but the ancient Jews most certainly did not. They knew precisely what Jesus meant. they didn't even wait for further clarification. Immediately they picked up stones and denounced Christ for blasphemy, because they said, 'You, a mere man, claim to be God' (John 10:33). ....Incredibly, the very next verse of the same chapter (John 10:34) is precisely the one used by Faith teachers to prove that men are gods! In the space of two verses, Faith theology manages to make Jesus into a little man and man into a little god. Apparently, almost every one gets to be God...except Jesus."
Page 69-70: The Origin of the Faith Teaching:
Where do these guys get this stuff?
"...standard proof text used by the Faith teachers is Hebrews 11:1, which in the King James English reads, 'Now Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.'
"First, remember that Scripture must always be interpreted in light of Scripture. That being the case, faith cannot be rightly understood to mean 'the building block of the universe,' since it is never used in that sense in the book of Hebrews, much less the entire Bible.
Second, the word translated 'substance' in the KIV is more accurately rendered 'assurance' (see NASB). Far from being a tangible material, faith is a channel of living trust - an assurance - which stretches from man to God. ....Finally, consulting an interlinear Bible quickly demonstrates that the word translated 'substance' in the KJV is the Greek word hypostasis, which in the context of Hebrew's 11:1 means 'an assured impression, a mental realizing.'"
* ON A REALATIVE SIDE NOTE:
Deceived New Age 11:11 false awakening in unity and love consciousness, would read into "Hebrews 11:1" in the following divination formula / numerical way:
Hebrews is the 19th Chapter of the New Testament. Therefore: 1 + 9 + 1+ 1+1 = 1111 .
Reading into scripture is not of God. To repeat Hank Hanegraaff, (and I agree according to the divinely inspired word of God):
"Scripture must always be interpreted in light of Scripture."
POSITIVE CONFESSION AND VISUALIZATION ARE OCCULT METHODS
Confessing a life free from problems may positively feed the mind and spirit of people who are suffering in poverty, depression, despair, or a meager existence however, it is by no means the answer to their problems. It is a hyped-up, popular message, to think by planting seed money into a ministry you can sit back and get rich.
But this is not the message my Bible tells me. Would the faith and prosperity message of today hold truth in third world countries surviving in meager existence?
Persons practicing positive confessions and affirmations to change reality, are involved with occult magick of the mind. Which often includes creating through the usage of visualization, on what they term is the “astral realm.”
Such belief systems of thought are promoted by Oprah Winfrey and the movie, “The Secret Law of Attraction". These systems of willed intent and thought control are titled, “Creative Visualization,” and/or “Positive Affirmations.” Or a combination of both in the “Kabalistic System" of magick.
Included is often the addition of treasure maps (visual pictures of what you desire to obtain), which occult magick teacher - practitioner, Donald Michael Kraig, touts in his book, “Modern Magick – Second Edition – Eleven Lessons in the High Magickal Arts,” (pages 290-292)
Kraig writes concerning the “Kabalistic System” on page 293, “If you re-read some of the earlier material given in this course you will notice that in one place it is mentioned that the *astral plane, also known as the Yetziratic World, is related to the emotions. The secret is that the more emotionally involved you can become with your goal, the greater your changes for rapid success. 'Sort of ' wanting something will not have the success of 'gotta have' something.”
We are told in God's word, not to let the heart of our emotions get in the way of doing His will. “The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; Who can understand it?
I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give to each man according to his ways, according to the results of his deeds” (Jeremiah 17:9-10).
* The astral body and plane is defined in Nevill Drury's book, "The Dictionary of the Esoteric," page 20, "The double of the human body, usually regarded by occultitsts as its animating force, providing the body with"consciousness."
The astral body has a luminous, shining appearance, and is capable of passing through physical matter. The act of willed separation of the astral body from the physical is known as astral travel. Occultists believe that at death the astral body leaves its physical counterpart and finds a new existence on the astral plane."
Metaphysical, occult methods of affirmation (word power), and visualization, begin by utilizing the power of the mind and emotions, to create a thought empowered image within one's imagination. This in turn, with practice of will, creates on the emotional plane of the "astral."
"The Mystical Qabalah," author Dion Fortune writes (page 223-224). "It is very important that we should realize that these lower Sephiroth of the Plane of Illusion are densely populated by thought-forms; that everything which the human imagination has been about to conceive, however, dimly, has a form built about it out of the astral light, and that the more the human imagination has dwelt upon it to idealize it, the more definite that form becomes."
As Christians, we need not worry about attacks from the astral travels of dark esoteric - occult knowledge and practice of those who wish to do us harm, For God's word proclaims, "No weapon formed against us will prosper..." (Isaiah 54:17).
Salvation and the word of God protects us. The power of the name of Jesus - shields us, and His Holy Spirit guards us.
We also know to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord:
The apostle Paul tells us in 2nd Corinthians 5:5-11, "Now He who prepared us for this very purpose is God, who gave to us the Spirit as a pledge. Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord - for we walk by faith, not by sight- we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord.
Therefore also we have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ, that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
Therefore knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade men, but we are made manifest to God; and I hope that we are made manifest also in your consciences." - New American Standard
King James Version, 2nd Corinthians 5:8-11, "We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and present with the Lord. Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad."
Lest we forget, God is all powerful. He declares concerning those who follow wrongful motive and course, “Because my people hath forgotten me, they have burned incense to vanity, and they have caused them to stumble in their ways from the ancient paths, to walk in paths, in a way not cast up; To make their land desolate, and a perpetual hissing; every one that passeth thereby shall be astonished, and wag his head. Like an east wind I will scatter them before the enemy. I will show them My back not My face in the day of their calamity” (Jeremiah 18:15-17).
The law of attraction, visualization, and treasure maps creating your own astral reality, touted by occult practitioners of magick to form it's double "reality on the physical plane," will not still God's mighty hand of authority or providence!
"IMAGINATION AND VISUALIZATION" - BY DAVE HUNT
(from Occult Invasion, Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, OR, 1998)
Dave Hunt writes, "Occultism has always involved three techniques for changing and creating reality: thinking, speaking, and visualizing. The first one is the most familiar, having been promoted in the world and the church as "Positive Thinking" by Norman Vincent Peale and as "Possibility Thinking" by the late, Robert Schuller.
The second is mostly known among charismatics. It is the "Positive Confession" (or Positive Speaking) of the Faith Movement. The third technique is the most powerful. It is the fastest way to enter the world of the to enter the world of the occult and to pick up a spirit guide. Shamans have used it for thousands of years. It was taught to Carl Jung by spirit beings, and through him influenced humanistic and transpersonal psychology. It was taught by Napoleon Hill by the spirits that began to guide him. Agnes Sanford was the first to bring it into the church. Norman Vincent Peale was not far behind her, and his influence was much greater."
SEEK FIRST HIS KINGDOM AND HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS
We are told in Matthew 6:33, But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. By isolating scripture, sheep in “expensive” wolves clothing are preaching a different gospel. Many even charging hundreds of dollars for week-end seminars or words of knowledge and prophecy based on seed faith attraction, increase, and prosperity.
Professing a partnership with God many such ministries claim in seed, time, and harvest faith, a 100 fold return on the money given to their cause and ministry. Most often, they are the one's receiving the 100 fold return they arrogantly boast about.
“By their fruits you shall know them” (Matthew 7:20). These wayward preachers prey on the naive, poor, and innocent. Teaching them to give in order to receive.
Instead we are instructed in 2nd Corinthians 9:6-8, "Now this I say, he who sows sparingly shall also reap sparingly; and he who sows bountifully shall also reap bountifully. Let each one do just as he has purposed in his heart; not grudgingly or under compulsions; for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed..."
The apostle Paul gave us all an important principle of interpreting scripture in 1st Corinthians 2:13, This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught us by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words.
Consider everything God's word has to say on a subject. Only doctrine based on a “holistic” view of scripture follows this Biblical rule.
IN CHRIST, "WHEN I AM WEAK, THAN I AM STRONG"
Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 12:7-10,
“To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. (8) Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. (9) But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. (10) That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, than I am strong.”
Another Biblical example of man's weakness in a crisis and God's mighty strength can be seen in 2 Chronicles 20, when King Jehoshaphat admitted he had no might against an enemy alliance praying in verse 12, “O our God, will you not judge them? For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you.”
They did not claim their victory, they prayed to God admitting they were weak and powerless. God gave them victory in a time of crisis.
The disciples recognized and admitted they did not have enough to feed the multitudes when Jesus Christ provided an abundant supply (Luke 9:12-13). When the disciples admitted they had caught no fish, Jesus directed them to, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some” (John 21:6).
In every instance, they were “not” told to replace negative confessions with positive confessions. They were not admonished to ignore their trying circumstances and visualize, meditate, or confess a positive outcome.
By faith, they took their problems to Jesus, and trusted in Him to do what was best. They also put action behind their faith as they tossed their net on the right side of the boat. When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the huge capacity of fish.
MANS WILL REPLACING GOD'S WILL - THE SAME PLOY USED BY SATAN IN THE GARDEN OF EDEN!
When positive confession dictates a person's personal will instead of God's, he attempts to replace God's creation (man), above the creator (God). As if man could control what God could and could not do. God's will can be known and claimed by faith, however, God's ways are not always man's desire.
James 4:3, "When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures."
Before reaching Calvary's Cross, and ultimately fulfilling God's redemption plan for humanity. Jesus Christ, in the Garden of Gethsemane prayed to God, "if it were possible the cup might be removed."
In prayer, He recognized the will of the Father, but knew, as mortal man, His "Cross" would be difficult to bear.
Luke 22:42, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”
Jesus Christ gave us the lesson of obedience, despite painful circumstances. Jesus Christ died an unimaginable death on Calvary's Cross. His loving sacrifice, and obedience to God's will. provided all humanity salvation's redemption plan.
If Jesus were following the positive confession movement of many in the 21st Century, His prayer may have been, “I rebuke you Satan, and the plan you have made known against me. Man was not created by God to suffer, but to triumph!"
Ultimately, by submitting to God's will Jesus Christ did triumph over Satan, but this feat wasn't accomplished by usurping God's plan with His own. Nor did it come to pass without pain and suffering.
Christ suffering was a fulfillment of prophecy (Luke 24:25). Life on Earth includes pain and suffering.
However, we as Christians are to boldly consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us (Romans 8:17).
Paul was shown he would suffer (Acts 9:16). Yet in Colossians 1:24 he states, “Now I rejoice in what was suffered for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ's afflictions, for the sake of His body, which is the church.”
Paul speaks in Acts 20:23-24, “I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. (24) However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me – the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace.”
SOME OF GOD'S MOST FAITHFUL ENDURED TORTURE, TRIALS, AND TRIBULATIONS
As often in life, our problems are not always a result or an indication of a lack of faith. Some of God's most faithful endured torture and refused to be released, so that they might gain a better resurrection. Some faced jeers and flogging, while still others were chained and put in prison.
They were stoned; they were sawed in two; they were put to death by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated – the world was not worthy of them.
They wandered in deserts and mountains and in caves and holes in the ground. These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised.
God had planned something better for us that only together with us they would be made perfect (Hebrews 11:35-40).
"Blessed is the man whom Thou dost chasten, O Lord, and dost teach out of Thy law; That Thou mayest grant him relief from the days of adversity, Until a pit is dug for the wicked. For the Lord will not abandon His people, Nor will He forsake His inheritance." - Psalms 94:12-14.
"For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory..." - 2nd Corinthians 4:17
"But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings; By pureness, by knowledge, by long suffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned, By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand or on the left, by honour and dishonour, by evil report and good report; as deceivers, and yet true; As unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed; As sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things." - 2nd Corinthians 6:4-10.
UNDERSTAND WHAT THE LORD'S WILL IS
While it is true that Jesus said, “And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father" (Luke 14:13).
This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us – whatever we ask, we know that we have what we asked of Him (1 John 5:14-14). Paul speaks wisely in Ephesians 5:17, “Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is.”
By becoming obedient servants, yielded to the will of God , we are used by God even unto suffering, to serve His higher Holy purpose and plan. “ If any man would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me” (Mathew 16:24).
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says the Lord” (Isaiah 55:8).
Finally, one must ask themselves the following questions, “Could the prosperity, positive confession message be as effective in foreign countries as in our own nation?
Is it as effective in the ghettos, slums, and welfare lines, as in modern and prosperous metropolitan cities?
Could it be touted, accepted, and effective among deprived nations as well as affluent, and prosperous nations?” The answer to these simple questions is no, it is not, and to repeat the words of Christ himself, “There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your brothers and toward the poor and needy in your land” (Deuteronomy 15:11).
Jesus Christ's love is universal in its appeal, truth, and its testament. More important than physical and material prosperity, is the condition of the soul and its spiritual growth. Some of my souls greatest growth and maturity development came to pass after difficult and trying times in my life.
It is in our daily walk with God, that we become sanctified in the truth; and God's word is truth (John 17:17).
We do not know what tomorrow may bring. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that” (James 4:14-15).
Then have faith and trust in God alone to see you through (Psalm 62).
* Sacredpursuit.org - Is a ministry outreach presented by Synthiaestherministries.org. Reaching the world for Jesus Christ since 2007!
Trust in God, Christ Jesus alone. - Psalm 62. Not in false faith prosperity (Luke 6:20-26:9:23-24).
By Synthia Esther
Date Written: 3-3-07
There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed apart from the Lord's will.(1) Honest scales and balances are from the Lord; all the weights in the bag are of His making.(2) Despite what others may tell you... you cannot mentally attract or think your way to claiming victory, success, power, or influence. Nor can you attract personal property or possessions.
What you come to know as inspirational guidance, direction and influence is learned through your life's past and present circumstances and experience. How you allow your life experience to motivate and cultivate your destiny is a personal free will choice.
In God's sovereignty life is a divine trip filled with wonder and circumstance that He ordained and knew we would accomplish before time itself became a physical reality. In His hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.
Does not the ear test words as the tongue tastes food?
Is not wisdom found among the aged Does not long life bring understanding? To God belong wisdom and power: counsel and understanding are His. What He tears down cannot be rebuilt; the man He imprisons cannot be released. If He holds back the waters, there is drought; if He lets them loose, they devastate the land. To Him belong strength and victory; both deceived and deceiver are His. He leads counselors away stripped and makes fools of judges. He takes off the shackles put on by kings and ties a loincloth around their waist.
He leads priests away stripped and overthrows men long established. He silences the lips of trusted advisers and takes away the discernment of elders. He pours contempt on nobles and disarms the mighty. He reveals the deep things of darkness and brings deep shadows into the light. He makes nations great, and destroys them; He enlarges nations, and disperses them. He deprives the leaders of the earth of their reason; He sends them wandering through a trackless waste. They grope in darkness with no light; He makes them stagger like drunkards.(3)
We are the sum total of our circumstances and events in life (motive), unless we realize the spiritual significance behind the sum total of our life events (growth).
We are a product of our circumstances as well as our choices. God placed those circumstances in order before time itself so that all of humanity would be reconciled unto Him. God did not cause humanity to sin. We are each held responsible for our sin as well as our reaction to the sin imposed upon us.
God knew what our reaction to our life's circumstances would be. He knew those of us who would take the path of Cain instead of the path of Abel.
He knew if we would be one to retain our path of mental and physical experiences as knowledge to achieve our future eternal salvation or our future doom. Everything that happens within our life time is an opportunity to show who and what we are in spirit and in truth.
Despite God's omnipresent knowledge He still endowed us, His children, with the potential to change. We always retain our free will choice in life. While some may choose the path of Cain, there are others that cleave to the Father of all creation, God himself.
This may seem foreign to most of humanity but it was not foreign to God when He created us. We choose our path in life according to our choices, what we choose is our choice. If these statements seem repetitive they are meant to be so in order to over ride mental denial of personal will.
The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge; the ears of the wise seek it out.(4) Due to the path of evil resistance, and the path of Godly influence we are a product of our environment unless we choose to change our environment. We can limit ourselves with the path of self interest, or we can delve into the path of divine providence.
It is all a matter of personal and willful choice that will ultimately determine our outcome, not only in this present life but in our future eternal glory. How can one say He is right or He is wrong without the guidance of Biblical law and God's wisdom? To God belong wisdom and power; counsel and understanding are His.(5)
The Bible doesn't change, humanity does. The Biblical law within the context of human experience send forth the product of spiritual dissonance or the power of God's providential laws depending on our reactions to our human experiences. This is evident in all Biblical Scripture. Obey God's Holy Word and you experience His providence, prosperity and protection.
Like a bird who chirps in the morning sunrise so is a man who continues in endless pursuit of evil. He is a product of inherit nature. He does what he knows to do. To change the nature, one has to change the environment. To change the environment, one has to change their detrimental choices in life. We are who we are because of what we choose to think, do or say.
God knows those who will choose to change and those who will choose not to. He knows who will be repentant and those who will not. Many may ask if God already knows the outcome than why must we endure a life filled with experience. The answer to that is a simple fact: without life experience we do not have free-will choice. A person can love someone but they cannot “make“ someone love them. Love is a free-will, soulful, heart felt experience. God's desire is for all of humanity to be reconciled and in love with Him so He created us with a mind to freely choose.
The cause and effect of our life's experience and personal choices provides us with the evidence of who and what we are made of, iron sharpens iron. Those who delight and follow God's Holy Biblical laws are His children, as they meditate on the law day and night.(6)
They consider their life's journey as one of sacred pursuit.
Those who follow another path in life, belong to another father. While we may put on the mask of false persona God knows the spiritual condition of our soul. We cannot ever fool God. While we may fool the world we will never fool the creator of the world. While we may seem like a completely content human on the outside,
God knows our inner most being.
He knows who we are in spirit and in truth. The spirit searches all things even the deep things of God.(7)
While this may seem insignificant to most of the world, it is not insignificant. In fact, who we are in Christ is who God created us to be, a child of the King of kings and Lord of lords. Our motives and inner most secrets confirm this truth each and every day. What we do in secret is who we are. Who we are is what we do in secret. I repeat this point of reference only to make clear what is obviously true.
There is no secret in life that has not been disclosed. The secret law of attraction is a false reality of a conceptual manner. Life and its higher precepts and purpose would never be kept a secret by a God and Father who adores and loves His creative child.
To keep such a secret from His children would be the act of a merciless Father. A Father who condemned His children rather than watch them grow in faith beyond the limitations of their minds ability.
The song in a birds heart is a natural God created occurrence. So is humanities ability to choose. Man can and often does expand his abilities, with the help from the Holy Spirit as he grows in confidence. Like a bird who repeatedly pushes her young out of the nest to teach them to fly. What bird do you see that walks everywhere he chooses to go instead of flying there?
A bird can and does sometimes walk but it is his natural nature to fly. Once a bird learns of his ability to fly, he also knows there is a life of experience beyond his nest. Thus, he chooses to experience life. So it is with man who wonders from his place.(8)
He is the sum total of his circumstance and experiences in life, “unless” he realizes the spiritual inspiration and significance behind the sum total of his life experiences. Then like a bird, he flies naturally with the course of the wind, or the path of the river, for he knows his journey is God ordained serving a higher purpose and plan.
Humanity was created to be an extension of God's love. Above the Angels, in leadership and servitude to God Himself, created in God's image as a manifestation and representation of God's love. A love so consuming and encompassing that God himself took a back seat to His own creation. He became a mortal man named Jesus, to save man from himself.
It is incomprehensible to think of God's love as anything else. God loves humanity and it's earthly kingdom. His earthly kingdom is loved because it is creation. Why does He love His creation?
Because God is love!
God holds no secret. He holds no wayward path of redemption. God only holds love. Follow His heart of love, compassion, grace and mercy, and you follow His path to redemption. Depart from that path and you achieve man's view and opinion of success.
What is success without God?
The answer to that question lies in the seed of any secret. A simple man believes anything, but a prudent man gives thought to his steps.(9)
The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge.
There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. In the Heavens He has pitched a tent for the sun, which is like a bridegroom coming forth from his pavilion, like a champion rejoicing to run his course. It rises at one end of the Heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is hidden from its heat.
The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul. The statues of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes. The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever. The ordinances of the Lord are sure and altogether righteous. They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold, they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb.
By them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward. (10) The path for your life and how you spend eternity was laid out before you in Biblical Holy Scripture. It you choose another path, it is a path you choose.
The Secret Law Of Attraction both a book and feature length Internet movie release, is based on an age old secret, said to be 4,000 years in the making.
In ages past this secret law of attraction was supposedly known by a select few, but is now revealed to the world. The law of attraction was first brought into contemporary 21st century attention as Esther and Jerry Hicks publicized the teachings. Esther Hicks claims she channels “her future self” named as advanced entities called “ Abraham”. The channeled manifestation of “Abraham” has provided our world culture with the foundational occult message of the law of attraction. The jest of the foundational message in my opinion can be summed up as “what you can believe, you can achieve and thus receive!”
The so called “Abraham” entities channeled through Esther Hicks (written down by her husband Jerry), proclaim that “you” create your own reality and the universe is simply reflecting back to you the essence of how your feeling about it.
Your emotions provide the compass or GPS (Global Positioning System), for your life. On the Hick's website “Abraham” states, “We're wanting you to hear that there is no risk at all! Fantasize and watch what happens.”
Visualization and fantasy are occult techniques used by Shamans for thousands of years. Often called the minds eye or third eye by mystics, it is activated by the use of your minds imagination, visualizing what you desire.
The third eye was alluded to in the movie “The Secret” when the young man of ages past touched the female statue in between the eyes, creating a burst of light or energy.
It is also used by sexual addicts who visualize and fantasize to pornography, enforced by the anchoring and conditioning of masturbation (reference article: “Foolish Pleasure – The Love Story Of A Sex Addict, His Betrayal, And Crime”, and “Addiction Definitions And Hypothesis”). Narcissistic, psychopathic serial killers visualize and fantasize habitually, before, during, and after committing their crimes of horror. Ted Bundy, Jeffery Dahmer, and Dennis Rader (BTK killer), are three infamous examples.
We are to have faith in God and His word, not faith in our ability to visualize our own self-centered, self-serving desires.
Reference our website article: "Visualization, Positive Confession, Occult Methods Of Faith."
The law of attraction teachings grew in popularity after the website movie premier, “The Secret,” (executive producer Rhonda Byrne), promoted the “Genie In The Bottle” philosophy.
Jerry and Esther Hicks were consulted by Byrne, and were to be included in the original movie. The Hicks were later informed by Byrne that the original plans and format under contract had changed, at which time the Hick's were paid for their involvement and the demon entity “Abraham's” input concerning the law of attraction and the new planned Internet movie, “The Secret” proceeded as Byrne planned.
The attraction law is not new to humanity as the ideas and ideals have been touted within Gnostic philosophy for ages past. Philosophical mysticism is any philosophy that seeks to discover, reveal, or tap into the nature of reality through the process of thought or spiritual intuition.
The dualism Gnostic theory that there are two distinct principles or Gods of eternal and equal power at war with each other is one most (if not all), of humanity is aware of. In epistemology these two principles are idea and object, or thought and thing. In metaphysics these two things are mind and matter. In ethics, they are good and evil or absolute right and wrong. In religion, they are called God and Satan, or good and evil. In nature, they are called light and darkness.
The early Gnostic's held this view of two Gods in conflict in the universe and that this conflict is generally fought out in and among human beings.
This theory is contradictory to God's revelation of Himself in that He is clearly sovereign over all that opposes Him. There is no power equal to God. How can Satan, one of God's creations be stronger, more powerful or wiser than the creator Himself ?
The entire book of Job in Biblical Holy and inspired scripture shows that God indeed is sovereign over Satan and his attacks on humanities mind, spirit, soul and body. Satan must have God's permission to even touch a hair on one of His children's head ( Job 1:12).
Mysticism teaches that God is within. Pantheism teaches creation is part of God, and God is contained in creation. Monism teaches man and the universe are part of the same universal energy or life force.
Biblical scripture teaches the only way God can become a part of man is through salvation in Jesus Christ (John 3:16), by confessing and believing He is Lord (Romans 10:10), and accepting His free salvation gift (Romans 6:23).
While many within the metaphysical spiritual realm claim they hear from God (“ A Course In Miracles”, and “Conversations With God are two examples”), the voice or communication is heard through practices God calls detestable (Deuteronomy 18:12), occult manifestations of mediums, channeled spirits, guides, divination or sorcery signs and wonders. The messages given also contradict Biblical Holy Scripture.
“A Course In Miracles” was inspirited by a “voice” who claimed he was Jesus, channeled by Jewish atheistic psychologist Helen Schucman. The “voice of Jesus” Schucman heard was conversing with her to correct errors in the Bible. “The Course” reality manipulation includes denial of sin, death, and even Jesus body. All is and was an illusion according to “The Course”.
Neale Donald Walsch wrote the work “Conversations With God, Book 1: An Uncommon Dialogue”, sometimes referred to as “CwG”. His book (and many thereafter), according to Walsch on a Larry King Interview, came at a low period in his life when he wrote an angry letter to God asking questions about why his life wasn't working. He heard a “voice” state: “Do you really want an answer to all these questions or are you just venting?”
The voice said such things as; there is only God, and everything is God, we lack nothing, and if we choose to realize it, we have enough of whatever we think we need, or the means to create it. A few other claims by Walsh, “And so you have created in your mythology the being you call devil”, there is no sin, or hell or place of eternal damnation, reincarnation is true, and “if you want to know what's true for you about something, look at how you're feeling about it... hidden in your deepest feelings is your highest truth.”
Erroneous error blaspheming the word of God. What do Schucman and Walsch have in common? Their “God” is not the one true “God” as spoken of in Biblical Holy Scripture. We are warned by God in his word to watch out that we are not deceived. Matthew 7:22-23, “Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles? (22) Then I will tell them plainly, ' I never knew you. Away from me, you evil-doers!”
As for Christians who are ignorant of the word of God, falling for such blasphemous error... Paul states in Galatians 1:6-9, “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel – (7) which is really no gospel at all.
Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. (8) But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! (9) As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!”
There are those within the Christian faith who still hear from God. His voice is proclaimed loud and clear throughout the Holy Bible which is His primary method of teaching (2nd Timothy 3:16-17).
On rare occasions He speaks to His children personally through the power of the Holy Spirit. After being raised according to Biblical scripture all my life, saturated by the Holy Bible in principal and truth, what goes in, is what naturally comes out! Therefore the wisdom of God's word, which is living and active, has become my inspirited wisdom, truth and understanding. The words within this written message where also derived from by a voice, “God's voice and letter to all of humanity, The Holy Bible.”
The words I have written automatically came together dictated from within my spirit as inspired by the Holy Spirit. With no preconceived knowledge or assessment of final thought's of inspiration, this work literally wrote itself faster than my fingers could type out the message.
Within secular and occult traditions this is termed as automatic writing. The subjective difference is the Holy Spirit inspires messages that lead man back to God and His word for the finial authority and answers to their problems.
Other worldly message's discounting the word of God, inspiring man to look within himself as a “God” (same temptation and deception as in the garden of Eden, Genesis 3:5), for creativity, inspiration, guidance and direction, or from without at nature, animals, or a man made idol or golden calf (Exodus 32), are inspirited by another “voice”. That voice is a demonic entity masquerading as Jesus Christ himself!
“He who begins by seeking God within himself may end up by confusing himself AS God” - B. B. Warfield, Biblical and Theological Studies, Philadelphia: Presbyterian and Reformed, 1952. Inspired messages that contradict God's word are not from God (John 1:1).
To be wise according to God is to put his word into practice (Matthew 7:24). You have to know the fruit of God's word in order to differentiate His wise truth from deceptive erroneous error (John 15). Matthew 7:15-16, “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. (16) By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles?” So hear my “voice”...what kind of fruit cake are you listening to?”
21st CENTURY TECHNOLOGY CAN MIMIC THE VOICE OF GOD (V2K).
The New Age movement is empowered by the demonic. And coupled in joint accord with the dark side, are common men and women who chose deception over Godly wisdom.
World wide there are now thousands upon thousands of targeted Individuals (TI's), as witnesses who testify of hearing voices. One has to discerning, and ask, "Could many of these downloaded, seemingly channeled voices be technological in nature, in order to deceive?"
Yes, they can. So instead of having "conversations with God", one can be having conversations with the likes of an end age, last days, Anti-Christ beast system of deception. Visit: www.synthiaestherministries.org, to learn more about such "techchronicities".
Discerning the voice of God is of prime importance! - (Mark 13:5). Cling to His word, for it is the only voice and word, He claims is divinely true (John 1:1). To dismiss God's word is to dismiss God's voice. To dismiss God's voice, is to dismiss God Himself.
* FOR YOUR SPIRITUAL AND EDUCATIONAL KNOWLEDGE, I SUGGEST THIS ADDITIONAL LINK ARTICLE ON THE SECRET LAW OF ATTRACTION AS IT PERTAINS TO GOD'S WORD:
Seek first the Kingdom of God in righteousness. And God will take care of You! - Matt. 6:33.