Statement Charismatics- why there are no truths in the New Age that we need as Christians.
A long, long time ago, in a beautiful garden, there was a tree more beautiful and magnificent than all the others. It bore juicy fruit that was a delight to the eye and aroused desire.
God said that this tree was his. It was forbidden for people, those whom he loved so much, to taste the fruit of this tree.
Eve reveals something that leaves us a little puzzled:
She tells the serpent that not only were she and Adam forbidden to eat the fruit, but even to touch it. Well, of course God never said that, they were allowed to touch the fruit, smell it - but it wasn't stupid either. What Eve instinctively added was the fact that when you touch something that looks so beautiful, you are tempted to eat it. If you look at something intensely, you want to have it. Better safe than sorry, right? If you're not supposed to do something, keep your hands to yourself.
Did God create this tree?
Of course he did, and even the destroyer, the ravager and the serpent (in the original text the serpent is male) is a creature of God and not a counterpart, as magic likes to suggest.
We live in a modern age where a lot of knowledge is flooding in:
We are finding out that the human brain works differently than we thought. We are finding out that people, like Pavlov's dogs, are deeply conditioned and that reward systems can make people almost will-less and addicted because the reward kick always makes us feel good.
We find out that colours and sounds affect our moods, and we wonder why and how it works.
We find out that God's creation obviously goes far beyond what we can see - and that other cultures, other religions, work with concepts that seem promising - aura, chakras, energy flows, meridians. Meditation techniques that shut down waking consciousness. All of this shimmers as colourfully and rainbow-like as a juicy, red-cheeked apple.
The advertising industry, advertising psychologists, motivation coaches and management consultants have long since embraced these concepts.
How does this work?
By putting the brain into certain states that, semi-hypnotically, shift waking consciousness in favour of a trance-like state of receptivity.
What happens to us then?
Well, we are no longer in a position to control what we are receiving, but we are being given, as it were, an advertising slogan, a jingle, that is planted deep in our memory without us wanting or being able to influence it:
"Come on over, have some fun, dancing in the morning sun, look into the bright blue sky, come on, let your spirit fly..."
What was that again? Oh, right, the Bacardi feeling...
Even decades later, the whole commercial is still in our minds, like a memory written deep into our history. Some of us say it's the repository of useless knowledge in the brain that you just can't get rid of. "I didn't want to know that, but now it's stored."
The technique used is called Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP). Combined with certain sound frequencies, colours, image associations and distances, this creates desire and deep internalisation. This state of discreetly dumbed-down consumption is called the "alpha state". Critical thinking is no longer possible.
Why am I telling you this?
Because these methods are also used in esotericism/New Age to awaken certain situations, emotions, desires. And because these methods, combined with partly spiritual, partly psychological techniques from the borderland of so-called dark psychology (influencing, manipulating, intervening in personality areas, consciously controlling the other person through secret techniques), are used by the New Age to change situations to one's own advantage.
Now, opinions on this point are very divided in the Christian scene. "Good is what is useful," say those who believe that God does not give knowledge without allowing us to use it. "Demonic, forbidden, sinful" is the view of those who see something unpredictable and dangerous in it - or who argue that what is not in the Bible cannot exist.
But let us assume that chakras, for example, really do exist. Let's ...ponder about it.
David may have had not only a symbolic, but an actual soul tie with Jonathan that worked on a spiritual level. Let us further assume that the sealing with the Holy Spirit is real. And let us further assume that the roar of Satan coming to kill and destroy is also real. Let us who believe in salvation through the death on the cross and the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who bless and pray and intercede and hopefully repent occasionally, not do so just for the fun of it, but because there is a living God who has had fellowship with us since the veil of the Holiest of Holy was torn. Let us assume for a moment that we have the help of the Holy Spirit in our lives and that the spiritual gifts are real. Or to make a long story short:
Let us believe for a moment what the Bible says is true.
Then we cannot avoid the fact that there is a spiritual world.
A world that is largely beyond our perception. We can't help but believe that Satan and his minions are doing everything they can to lead us astray. And we cannot help but walk half blind through this spiritual world full of demons, angels, connections, principles and whatever else. Because - the world is fallen and the new kingdom is not yet here.
We read that we are anointed and sealed with the Holy Spirit until the last day. Right?
We are sealed in God Himself, we have His seal - all who confess Him with their mouth and believe with their HEART. All of us.
Why are we sealed and why does Paul exhort us to put on the armour of Ephesians 6?
So, to be authentic and honest, to be aware of the righteousness of Jesus, which is like an armour around us, to be ready to preach the Gospel, and not only to have the sword of the word, of truth, but also to know how to use it. And all this in the knowledge that our names are written in the book of life?
Because the spiritual world out there is no walk in the park, and it is not something you enter unprepared.
It is not something we are safe in, and it is not something we can calculate. The principles that rule there are higher, and God's thoughts, God's ways are even higher. He overlooks this world, and because we are chosen through Christ, we are preserved in the Holy Spirit, in God Himself. He himself gives us gifts, he himself teaches us what to do and what not to do.
Now, of course, many of the principles of the spiritual world are handed to us on a silver platter: Aura readings, Kabbalah protection rituals, the law of attraction, the creative power of the word, positive thinking, chakra work, meridians, oh, what else do I know! Angels appear, gems materialise, the world doesn't seem far away. Isn't it obvious to study it in order to develop more sovereignty?
Well, the problem is that in order to study this world, we have to open ourselves to it.
And this opening breaks the seal that is given to us to protect us from all the influences and lies of Satan.
So when we open our chakras to allow more energy to flow, we are doing nothing more than living in the middle of New York, nailing a sign on the open front door saying 'Come in all, but only the nice ones please', picking all the security locks and then trusting that only the nice people will really come. No one who would cheat us, lie to us, mislead us, harm us, etc.
Wouldn't anybody, but apparently the vast majority of charismatics are more than willing to do just that on a spiritual level. What could happen? It is incomparably reckless and an invitation for Satan to come in. So why doesn't God protect us? Yes, my goodness! Because we voluntarily leave His domain! Because we break down our own protection to let ourselves be occupied! Because we interfere with his secret principles, and because we presume to have all the power that we in fact do not even begin to have.
Satan is the father of lies, and so he will use everything to deceive:
He'll send his minions posing as saints, he'll get fallen angels to pose as archangels, he'll cleverly twist the truth, deceive, bind and lie for all it's worth. Satan has no morals, and we must remember that.
But what about all these practices?
Can't they be put to good use for Christians?
That's what the Nicolaitans thought. In fact, the Nicolaitans thought that sacrificial meat could be "purified" and then consecrated to Jesus. Jesus says of such practices that he hates them. ( Revelation 2).
The problem with these methods is this:
They are all manipulative.
One's own perception is placed far above the truth of God, and one tries to transform one's own faith by one's own creative power. To transform oneself. The methods used in worship, in light shows, in video jingles, etc., lead to manipulating others, to provoking emotional states and feelings of holiness that are "bound to the flesh".
But we do not need to provoke experiences of God, nor do we need to control our own destiny.
We learn from Psalm 139 that we are safe in God's hands. We learn from 2 Corinthians 3:18 that Holy Spirit guides and perfects us. And we also know that Holy Spirit Himself teaches us. We do not need to break the seal, nor do we need to use Satan's methods, which are ultimately based on gaining power, taking control and creating our own reality.
When we are sealed and anointed in the Holy Spirit, it means that this anointing is placed on us forever. We do not need more than God's presence, nor more intense anointing. We are led by the Holy Spirit, and His gifts are His fruits that He makes available to us when He wills.
The fact that we do not read that Paul was sent by God to y on day x to bring salvation and healing to that very beggar does not mean that Paul acted as he pleased. Again and again we read that we are not to think beforehand how we are to act or speak, but that the Holy Spirit will teach us the right thing to do at the right time. Again and again we read that we are to flee from Satan and submit our will to the will of God.
In the book of Jude we read that even the (true!) archangel Michael did not dare to rebuke or pursue Satan, but only said, "God rebuke you!" There is no usurpation of authority in the Kingdom of God.
God is completely sovereign, and to influence situations in our favour and according to our will - that is magic/sorcery. If we try to rule by mystical knowledge, without the Holy Spirit working through us, then "In the name of Jesus" degenerates into a magic formula beyond compare.
No one needs to be manipulated into worshipping.
The Holy Spirit Himself leads us into worship, and this can happen quite directly.
The Holy Spirit convicts us - and this can happen between the second roll and the breakfast egg, or through a sermon. God is perfectly clear in His words - and when He speaks, it has such a resonance of truth that we don't have to programme it into us - because usually we learn His commandments through experience, through situations, not like a vocabulary. We learn that we are seen because Jesus has miraculously delivered us from hopeless situations. We learn that stealing is bad when we are robbed or when we look with a guilty conscience at the object in our hand that does not belong to us. We learn that lying is really pointless when we are exposed or when we see what a supposed white lie has done to others. We learn here and now, really and concretely, and we are sanctified by it.
Oh, and one more thing: this juicy apple of the knowledge of good and evil:
Who said that nakedness was bad? To this day we think that Adam spoke the knowledge of God.
But God had created Adam and Eve naked, and he found them so wonderful, he even found them "very good". That is our judgement, it was Adam's judgement and it was also his decision to change the situation in his own way.
Magic manipulates, Satan manipulates and demands power and godliness. He is the one who convinces us that we need to influence, control, act in our favour and he is also the one who encourages us to constantly judge situations as good or bad, right or wrong - so that we do not ask God for His opinion. Magic tries to change from the bottom up, magic tries to ascend, to initiate, to go higher, faster, further. Magic wants to travel to the heavens and see God before the time is there. Magic wants to make God answer, magic commands forces and insists on its own right to rule. And magic believes that the end justifies the means and that there is no tree from which one may not eat.
But the Holy Spirit seals and protects. He teaches and guides and directs our lives. He makes us grow from glory to glory, which means crossing many a desert and sea along the way. He reveals Jesus to us, loves and comforts us and does everything, creates all the situations we need to grow towards Jesus - in all our humanity.
And little by little, on this path of sanctification, God writes his laws in our hearts, deeply and irrevocably. With the armour of God and in his truth, in his laws, we accept whatever he gives us and we recognise his love in it. We endure suffering, we are comforted, we grow and find Him, we come to know the Father's love and we know that we are safe.
But when we decide that we would rather explore the spiritual world on our own, and when we believe that techniques of power and manipulation of others are expedient, then we leave that guidance and security.
And I can tell you this from painful experience:
What we find then makes us self-centred, narcissistic, aggressive, arrogant, cold-hearted and elitist. And it leads us deep, deep into a spider's web of lies and illusions.
Do you trust God to sanctify you?
Do you want to be sure you hear His voice?
Then don't follow those who erase the cross and claim that angels serve them. Angels serve Jesus. And if we want their protection, we had better ask him for it. For he is our King.
Ah: may we contemplate these principles?
Yes, rejoice in them!
See how perfectly God has created principles to ensure that we are nourished!
Know his greatness!
Rejoice in him!
Can we touch them? Well, it's not forbidden, but most of the time it's not.
Should we use them to glorify God?
No, because God glorifies Himself.
Let us let Him decide what happens when and how, let us let Him decide what is best for us - and let us remain free from dependence... on other people.
Christ's blessings upon you,