T. A. McMahon
The Berean Call
PARTS 1 – 3
Part I – October 1, 2016
Undermining sound doctrine is Satan’s primary goal in his attempt to shipwreck the faith and fruitfulness of believers. The strategy involves corrupting the Word of God by adding to it or subtracting from it. Thus the Scriptures are distorted through the input of fallen, finite man and the contributions of seducing spirits and doctrines of demons (1Tm 4:1). Such modifications demolish the objective truth of Scripture. The Bible no longer stands as God’s Word when “adjustments” are made by other sources. This is taking place today in unprecedented fashion, especially through the introduction (or re-introduction) of mysticism.
The antithesis of the objective Word of God, mysticism is defined by The Merriam-Webster Dictionary as “the belief that direct knowledge of God, spiritual truth, or ultimate reality can be attained through subjective experience such as intuition or insight,” and adds that it is “vague speculation, a belief without sound basis.” Google gives this definition: “belief characterized by self-delusion or dreamy confusion of thought, especially when based on the assumption of occult qualities or mysterious agencies.” A mystical worldview, which is intensifying in both the world and its religions, will be foundational to the coming one-world religion.
. . . In order for mysticism to become the foundational belief system of the one-world religion, it must include all the world religions. With rare exceptions, the religions of the Far East are fundamentally mystical, so little change is necessary for them. But what of the law-oriented religions of Roman Catholicism and Islam? Their combined numbers exceed two billion followers, so they must be included in the religion of the Antichrist. Yet they are both legalistic—Catholicism with its canons and decrees, inquisitions, and obligations, and Islam with its Sharia laws. Obviously this must change in order for them to fit in with the necessary ecumenism of the one-world religion.
Such a change will likely be facilitated by the roots of mysticism that have been a part of both religions for centuries.
Read article HERE.
Part II – November 1, 2016
As noted in part one of this series, there is a coming world religion (CWR), and it is advancing rapidly. One of the significant elements that expedites its growth is mysticism, which is a belief system that ultimately rejects teachings that involve objective laws, rules, requirements, obligations, dogmas, doctrines, and the like, in favor of subjective experiences and intuitive feelings. The goal of the CWR (also known as the religion of the Antichrist) is to bring all religions under its patronage and control. Since all religions have doctrines that separate them from one another, even to the point of hostility in some cases, their doctrines must be compromised or altered in order to be acceptable to all—or they must be removed altogether. Mysticism facilitates doctrinal compromise because of its subjective nature. In other words, the objective meaning of a doctrine must give way to one’s subjective interpretation, i.e., how one feels about it. When such a belief system is in place, there can be no absolute truth; so-called truth is whatever an individual feels it is. It’s in the mind of the beholder.
. . . The various exercises of mysticism are similar throughout the world, even where there has been no connection between the cultures or people groups. Sufi meditation and yoga employ the same lotus sitting position and a hasta mudra (with the thumb curled and touching the tip of the forefinger). Sufi whirling has the same effect as the uncontrollable shaking in the Dynamic Meditation practiced by the followers of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. The Sufi Shaykh is similar to the guru in yoga in terms of the practitioner’s absolute submission to him and obedience to the guidance given. In some practices, the Shaykh is a transcended spiritual entity channeled by the meditator. The Encyclopedia of Islam lists a number of manifestations found within the meditation practices of Sufism, e.g., “barking and howling” (MacDonald, D. B. “Darwish (Darwesh),” Encyclopedia of Islam, Second Edition, edited by: P. B. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C. E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel and W. P. Heinrichs, Brill Online, Augustana, 21 Sept 2009), behavior that was also exhibited through the so-called impartation of the Holy Spirit in places such as the Toronto Airport Vineyard, Pensacola and Lakeland, Florida, International House of Prayer (IHOP), and Bethel Church in Redding, California, among numerous others. These experiences taking place throughout the world should give one more than a hint that spirit entities, contacted through altered states of consciousness and meditation, as well as some people’s faith in the false signs-and-wonders methods, have been facilitating Satan’s goal of seducing and controlling the consciousness and beliefs of mankind. “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” (1 Timothy:4:1).
Read article HERE.
Part III – January 1, 2017
What lies ahead, according to the Scriptures, regarding the increasing development of mysticism today has been addressed in the previous two articles presented in October and November. That’s one of the purposes of biblical prophecy: to have believers “take heed.” But being aware of what’s coming is only part of what God would have us know. There is also the “what we are to do” part. And the good news is that He enables us by His grace and His Holy Spirit.
How we go about our life in Christ is critical. Whether in peace or persecution, in poverty or prosperity, in sickness or in health, our condition cannot determine a response that keeps us from being fruitful, productive, and pleasing to the Lord. That certainly makes no sense to the world and, sadly, many Christians are confused by it. Yet that’s the gist of John:10:10: “I [Jesus] am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” How can persecution, poverty, and sickness equate with an abundant life? That doesn’t seem right, but perhaps one’s definition of “abundantly” inhibits a correct biblical understanding of the word.
If we’re thinking that the abundant life is one filled only with the physical pleasures and provisions of life to the suspension of things not so pleasant or seemingly favorable, we’ve misunderstood John:10:10, as well as other verses throughout Scripture. That erroneous mindset cannot reconcile the joy indicated in verses such as 2 Corinthians:7:4: “…I am filled with comfort, I am exceeding joyful in all our tribulation,” and 2 Corinthians:8:2: “How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality.” Words such as “tribulation,” “trial of affliction,” and “deep poverty” seem at odds with “abundance” and may lead a person to a misunderstanding that could play havoc in a believer’s life in Christ.
Read article HERE.