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Ray Yungen, a Christian author and lecturer, presents an interesting lecture on how the Contemplative and Centering Prayer movement has made great inroads into many mainstream churches. As an expert in the field of religious movements he sheds great light into what is happening in the apostate church. He states that society is being restructered along mystical lines. It is part of a larger plan. We know this is true when we consider the end times in which we live. He then proceeds to lay out the path that this movement has taken.
Please hear the rest of this in part 2 by clicking on the link above: APOSTASY
This is Sue Monk Kidd. In Ray Yungen's expose above he mentions this lady here at minute 9:54. I have included this short interview with her as an example of what can happen when other entities are allowed to be placed along side of the cross. You can hear for yourself how far she has strayed from the cross of Jesus Christ. She does not mention the importance of the blood of Christ for the salvation of mankind. She states that comtemplatives and prophets are "joined at the hip" at minute 1:12. She now speaks about her Contemplative Life. Her encounters with "the Divine" are what is important to her now.
Praying to the Unknown God
Can we still touch the heart of God and move mountains with our prayers? Yes, but now more than ever before it must be an individual thing. We cannot always depend on just others or the church. God loves you personally. He will hear you personally and answer you personally. Our God has not changed but it is through Jesus Christ alone that we have access to the throne. For believers who join together in prayer and hold each other up to the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, He is there. Jesus said to His followers:
Matthew 18: 19
“Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.”
In the apostate church body itself, there seems to be an eerie spiritual silence that is covered up by false doctrines and by false prophets. A new god for a new era is in the making. This is an apostate church preparing for a false prophet. And so men strive to come up with all sorts of gimmicks to touch the Divine. The one world religion is on the rise and many do not see it because they are becoming a part of it.
The end times are upon us. As I mentioned last time, with our country and the world for that matter suffering more and more every day, many people believe that our very existence is in trouble. This summer continues to be very, very hot. In the United States continuing severe drought will probably begin to drive prices up soon in an already fragile economy as certain commodities become scarce at harvest time. The Midwest has much of the crops that feed our meat-producing cattle. A very close relative of mine, who is a City Manager, had to mandate a water restriction for his town to prevent severe shortages. Gas prices bounce up and down like a yoyo as many oil producing nations teeter in uncertainty. The Middle East is a hotbed. Just this week Egypt suffered a major power blackout causing more unrest as their country continues to flounder in its new radical leadership. Thousands continue to die in Syria and Israel is threatened by her nemesis, Iran. Islamic terrorists are bent on the destruction of Israel and are ever pressing for entrance into the Sinai region. With all of this unrest everywhere, many would say that isn’t it about time for God to intervene?
Meanwhile there is plenty going on spiritually as well. Behind the scenes, the enemy of our souls is busy at work chipping away at the church of the Living God. He certainly has had enough help in the process. His plan to undermine the Bible as the only true written Word of God continues. Other religions are now given equal value thus diminishing the sovereign work of Jesus Christ on the cross. We are told in His Word that we are all sinners and need a Savior but sin is no longer sin to many people. In an age of tolerance and compromise, what constitutes sin in the eyes of many has changed. The Biblical foundations of the need for true repentance are beginning to crumble as we accept sinful practices as the norm. We are still “religious” however but our religiosity is one of spiritual compromise at the highest levels of leadership. It now demands the intense scrutiny of each believer to examine the faith of those He hears, know the Word of God enough to be able to do so, and be willing to go against the grain when needed.
1 John 2:27
“But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.”
It does not mean that we should never listen to anyone who is preaching the Word. Know your Lord and Savior so that you will be able to “smell a rat”. The Antichrist spirit always challenges the claims that Jesus Christ is the only way to be saved. Some False Prophets have claimed extra Biblical revelations in order to promote their claims. If you want a “word from God”, it is for sale here on the internet at the Elijah’s List, which is a mish-mash of extra Biblical revelations by many prophets. The book mentioned in the video above on contemplative prayer, “The Way of the Heart” by Henri Nouwen is available on Elijah’s List along with many others that will bring utter confusion to your soul. Would you like to be a prophet in your own right? You can even send Elijah’s List your own “word”. There are many false prophets that have introduced pagan and new age practices into Christianity in an attempt to reach God. Perhaps there are even some in your own particular surroundings. This conglomerate is marching toward a world religion. This confusion is affecting the prayer life and the daily walk of many people.
Matthew 24: 3-5
“And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.”
In these end times, various religions have a global agenda to convert the world to their belief system. Many Christians also want to become part of a global agenda to take over the world for Christ. Religious dominionism is part of the great apostasy and a lie from Satan. Mankind is incapable of fixing the world because of his sinful nature and that is why he needed a Savior. This is a time when we need to become closer to our God. The true believer must know who Jesus is and understand how he intends to fulfill His plans or he runs the risk of being swept away in the chaos. We cannot deviate away from Scripture, the divinity of Jesus Christ, and salvation through Him alone. We will never be good enough to heal the world. Jesus will come back to rule and reign. He has told us how he intends to come back as well:
Acts 1: 11
“Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.”
For the Christian, until the return of Jesus Christ, the Word mixed with prayer is the main source of communication with our risen Lord. The Bible tells us:
1 Thessalonians 5: 17
“Pray without ceasing.”
As Christians we should always be in communion with the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. True prayer is a walk and a talk with God that allows room for none other. It will not compromise that sweet communion that is so special. It will not “fill in the blanks” with a new extra-Biblical revelation when the answer is not imminent. True prayer can take waiting for the right scriptural answer because you know your God and you trust in His Word. True prayer accepts “no” when it happens because the believer wants God’s will and not his own. True prayer produces a child-like faith that follows the Lord even when we do not understand what we are going through. True prayer says to God, “I love you with all my heart.”
Philippians 4: 6-7
“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
Thus stated, true prayer should produce peace in the life of the believer. It relies on the one and only God who is worthy of all of our praise.
The church world has become very “religious” in these end times. Some years ago new ways to pray began to creep into the church. I feel that it bears some discussion because there is so little discernment being utilized and a whole lot of compromise by those in positions of influence. With a desire to be closer to God, some Christians have gone astray by not accepting God’s Word, the Bible, as their only spiritual authority. It should always be the primary means by which we hear His voice. In an age of compromise, many are willing to allow other people (and their voices) from other faiths to give them “pointers” on how to reach God. The problem is that these others do now know the true God and His Son Jesus Christ. If that is true, according to the Word of God, then who is it that is giving those from other religions their directives? Where do these inner "voices" come from? They are bringing into the midst of the believer’s life “doctrines of demons” as the Bible predicted would happen in the last days. Adding to the confusion and seduction, the prayer methods are sprinkled with scriptures.
1 Timothy 4: 1
“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;”
When a person doesn’t really know the Lord Jesus Christ or for some reason he doesn’t believe that the Bible alone is adequate, he is open to all sorts of spiritual entities and their antichrist infuences.
It seems like everyone who believes in a god prays in some manner. Some use mantras or chanting. Some people believe one posture works above another. Some try prayer labyrinths walking through a circular path and praying to gain union with God. They even include the Lord’s Prayer in these rituals. The Word of Faith movement believes that faith is a force and can be used to create what the scriptures promise, thus not always considering the will of God in a matter. In fact God is somehow subject to this faith force Himself. This gives prayer a whole new meaning. Some preachers hand out prayer cloths that they say have been prayed over in order to elicit a response from God. (Of course, you are nudged to give some money.) Prosperity preachers encourage giving money to their ministry to get your prayers answered as they pray as men of God for this hour. People use these various methods to gain access to the throne of God. There are so many “spiritual hat tricks” available from which to choose but none of them touch the heart of God like the simple prayer of faith from one of his children.
Matthew 6: 7
“But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.”
In trying to reach God, New Age mystical methods of prayer and communication have also been adapted into a form of Christian usage and practice by those professing to be Christians. Centering prayer is a method of seeking the presence of God by closing your eyes, assuming a comfortable posture, embracing silence, and choosing a meaningful sacred word that facilitates welcoming a presence. These repetitive Christian mantras can be spiritually uplifting words such as Jesus, Abba, love, just to name a few. Like a New Age or Eastern mantra, it will open you up to be aware of the Divine, of a spiritual presence, but what presence? This is an inward approach focusing on preparing yourself for the "experience of God". It will not base itself on the true and living God if the person has never known God to begin with. It doesn’t demand a person to be born again by having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. A person that claims to be born again should never ever practice this at all. This prepares you to receive God as an “experience” and not depend upon the person of Jesus Christ. Again, this prayer is subjective and not based on the truth of the Word of God but on experiences. Therefore, these experiences are actually not from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. And if the experience you encounter is not God, then it can only come from one other spiritual source. Centering is the step that opens one up to deeper contemplative prayer and all that it unlocks. Sometimes it is used interchangeably with the term Contemplative Prayer. Contemplative prayer is a method of prayer that is definitely non-Biblical at its very core. In this form of prayer, the person must empty out the mind completely transforming it into a blank slate in order for it to be filled again by who knows what. It produces an altered state of consciousness that opens the mind to any form of spiritual entity in the universe. Any entity that is not the God of the Bible is Satan. Satan wants to be worshipped. Satan offered Jesus all of the kingdoms of the world if He would fall down and worship him. (Matthew 4: 8-9) Soon the false prophet will help facilitate that worship.
Isaiah 14: 12-14
How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For you have said in your heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the farthest sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.”
In the day and age in which we live, most people do not know Jesus Christ. Many people do not want to know Him or acknowledge Him as Lord. Because of this lack of knowledge or their personal refusal to accept Him as God in the flesh, when people pray they are praying as the heathen. According to verse above in Matthew 6, they think that they will be heard for their steadfast continual praying: their mantras, their posturing, their candles, their devotion to a God unknown to them. Here is what Paul stated:
Acts 17: 22-23
“Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars' hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you.”
Paul, of course, preached Jesus Christ to them and declared The Unknown as now known to all humanity. Paul declared only Jesus Christ and Him crucified. Paul said in the Bible:
1 Corinthians 9: 16
“For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!”
A good example of twisted devotion is the rigorous demands of Islam. A Muslim prays five times a day and yet not even the prophet Mohammed could tell his followers that he or they had the assurance of eternal life in heaven. It is too bad that he didn’t know Paul who could have helped him know who the Unknown God really is. Mohammed promised nothing of eternal life in heaven to those who were faithful but assured them of hell when they died with the hopes of being pulled out somehow. In the Quran he wrote about his own wonderful “blessed hope”.
Sura 3: 185
“Every soul will taste death, and you will only be given your [full] compensation on the Day of Resurrection. So he who is drawn away from the Fire and admitted to Paradise has attained [his desire]. And what is the life of this world except the enjoyment of delusion.” (Sahih International) Quran.com
I guess the religious Muslim world (as well as the rest) must “enjoy their delusion” for now. So, with so much sadness and uncertainty in this religion of Islam, as well as no hope for eternal life in the rest of the religions, why are some Christians being seduced by all of the offerings of the gods of this world? It is that spirit of Antichrist. We have the hope and answer for all of mankind because there is salvation in no other name but Jesus. The apostate church body as a corporate entity has left its first love and opened wide their gates for that final deception. I believe it is because we live in a global society that is seeking to create a unified world where we all travel in the same direction. It seems that the common thread in most world religions is some form of mysticism.
Mysticism is defined as “the knowledge of, and especially the personal experience of, states of consciousness, or levels of being, or aspects of reality, beyond normal human perception, including experience of and even communion with a supreme being.” (Wikipedia)
Sharing prayer methods is the most obvious form of mysticism in which we all travel toward a Divine encounter. Buddhists, Hindus, Sufis, Emergent believers and the New Apostolic Reformation all seek supernatural experiences in one form or another. The powerful Roman Catholic church is providing a stamp of approval on mystic priests and is a leading proponent of contemplative prayer. Contemplative prayer puts the participant in that mystical altered state of consciousness. Elijah’s List sells all sorts of mystical works, as stated before. Regardless of who puts it out , they seem to be open to any experience from “god”. There is no such thing as discernment. After all, God is a lucrative business. It will take a lot of money if you are a dominionist and intend to take over the world some day.
Just a few final thoughts. My favorite story in the Bible is about Elijah, the prophet. Israel had sunk so low that there were over 850 false prophets milling around the country and not much being done about it. Most of them were from Baal. (1 Kings 18:19) Jezebel had killed many prophets of the Lord. There were still some intimidated prophets in hiding somewhere because Obadiah, the governor of the king’s house, had hidden some in a cave feeding them. Today there is plenty of religion around and also intimidation aimed toward the true believers. (Remember, our president said we are no longer a Christian nation.) There was a severe drought in the land then. Sound familiar? Elijah called for the prophets and the people to gather at Mount Carmel. He asked them how long they were going to waiver back and forth between the true God and Baal. Israel had become tolerant and compromising. The prophets of Baal built one altar and Elijah built the other one. Please note all the unusual methods used and how the prophets of Baal attempt to pray to their god to call fire down from heaven:
1 Kings 18: 25-26 and 28-29
“And Elijah said unto the prophets of Baal, Choose you one bullock for yourselves, and prepare it first; for you are many; and call on the name of your gods, but put no fire under it." And they took the bullock which was given them, and they dressed it, and called on the name of Baal from morning even until noon, saying, O Baal, hear us. But there was no voice, nor any that answered. And they leaped upon the altar which was made.” (25-26)
“And they cried aloud, and cut themselves after their manner with knives and lances, till the blood gushed out upon them. And it came to pass, when midday was past, and they prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that there was neither voice, nor any to answer, nor any that regarded.” (28-29)
In their communication with God, please note what they sincerely did. They prepared the altar similar to the prophet of God. Then in mass they prayed to their God for hours from morning to noon. They leapt upon the altar. (That leaping was like dancing according to a commentary.) Then when there was no answer they spilled their own blood. All afternoon until evening they prophesied. God remained silent. There was no fire. Why? Because it does matter to whom you pray.
The rest of this passage in 1 Kings 18, verses 30-40 show how Elijah builds his altar and what follows. Please sometime read this whole chapter as it is so rich and such a blessing in these hard times. Elijah’s altar was built lovingly while the people watched. Please note what Elijah did first.
1 Kings 18: 30
“And Elijah said unto all the people, Come near unto me. And all the people came near unto him. And he repaired the altar of the LORD that was broken down.”
After the altar was repaired, it was then prepared in a manner pleasing to the Lord. The fire fell. The sacrifice was consumed. The false prophets that were destroying their souls were slain and the people who had been brought to utter confusion recognized the true and living God. Elijah then prayed for rain and the Bible says that there was “a great rain.”
With Love In Jesus name,