To the teaching and to the testimony! If they will not speak according to this word, it is because they have no dawn. (Isaiah 8:20)

A Nice, Or Good, Experience Doesn’t Insure That It’s From God

The following incident, which Bob DeWaay shares in his fine scholarly work The Dangers of Divination, proves to be an excellent illustration of what I’m taking about here.

DeWaay tells us that a “former missionary” had “recounted a story that illustrates the reality of the spirit world.” Then he writes:

Here is the story in his words:

A twelve-year-old boy in Taiwan was having strange experiences. He felt as though someone was often following him but when he turned around, he saw no one. Often in the morning after a fitful sleep he would have bruises and tell his parents that someone had been hitting him in the night as he slept. His parents took him to medical doctors who could find nothing wrong with the boy. Finally, they took him to a blind fortune-teller – one who had a reputation for his effectiveness in perceiving the spirit world.

This fortune-teller told the boy and his parents that the boy was born as a twin and that the other twin had died at birth. This was of course known to the parents, but few other people knew about this as they had kept it a secret. The fortune-teller went on to say that the boy’s problems were caused by the spirit of the deceased twin who was angry about being neglected. His parents had not been faithfully worshiping him and providing for him in the spirit world. Therefore, this spirit was punishing them by harassing their son (his twin). The solution was to set up an altar for the spirit of the deceased twin, worship him with food and incense, and burn spirit money on his behalf. When the family did as they had been instructed, the boy’s strange experiences ceased.

One might ask, “How can it be that this worked”? The answer is that Satan has good reasons to make it work. The spirits tormenting the child were doing what evil spirits delight to do. The fortune-teller is connected to real spiritual knowledge. The spirits told the fortune-teller of the twin. The spirits gave him the “prescription” and other spirits quit their tormenting because by doing so, they have immersed that whole family in the animistic beliefs of spirit worship. Imagine how solid would be their beliefs and how unlikely would be their turning to Jesus Christ. Divination and spiritism work — that is what makes the danger so great. Deceptions that do not “work” have a short shelf life. (Online source)

Speaking of deceptions, the emerging rebellion against the Bible referred to as the Emerging Church aka the Emergent Church—with its postmodern version of liberalism i.e. Emergence Christianity (EC)—certainly does not speak in accord with Isaiah 8:20, and has called us to return to the Egypt of the spurious spirituality of apostate Roman Catholicism. It’s crystal clear to those of us whom God has sovereignly, and graciously, given eyes that see this current fad of Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism (CSM) is a revival counterfeit form of Christianity and therefore cannot be a genuine move of the Holy Spirit. But that does not, however, rule out CSM producing very real, and very pleasant, experiences. Here’s where it’s so critical to keep in mind now what Bob DeWaay was said above: Deceptions that do not “work” have a short shelf life. Make sense now.

We must also come to realize that a lot of what e.g. I’m covering here at Apprising Ministries these past five plus years is, in fact, interrelated because they are moved by the very spiritual seductions of deceitful spirits who’ve been known right in the pages of Scripture for duping people with “nice” experiences. Haven’t you ever read of those — who say to the seers, “Do not see,” and to the prophets, “Do not prophesy to us what is right; speak to us smooth things, prophesy illusions” (Isaiah 30:10). Or when God said — “They have healed the wound of my people lightly, saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ when there is no peace” (Jeremiah 6:14). Now quite obviously these very real, smooth, i.e. nice, pleasant, and peaceful things—referred to by the Lord as illusions—weren’t blessed by God.

You need to come to realize that neither is this syncretistic Emerging idea of learning truth about God from other religions. Only the really spiritually obtuse and/or unregenerate could miss what the Lord has said with crystalline clarity here — No, I imply that what pagans sacrifice they offer to demons and not to God. I do not want you to be participants with demons (1 Corinthians 10:20). Well, here’s a real blast from the past for you: Adam and Eve themselves even tried to learn about God from a demon—in fact, from the very prince of demons—and you might recall, it really didn’t work out too well. The time to take Scripture at face value again has arrived; and we need to, Resist the devil (cf. James 4:7). There’s an old adage that fits here: He who has dinner with the Devil should use a long fork.

For now, concerning this Sola Scriptura-canceling CSM—such as that currently being perpetrated e.g. by Living Spiritual Teacher and Quaker mystic Richard Foster, along with his friend and spiritual twin SBC minister Dallas Willard, as so-called Spiritual Formation (SF)—I prayerfully leave you to contemplate the following from God’s Word. As we meditate upon the isssues touching on CSM, and its Crown Jewel of transcendental meditation in an altered state of consciousness, which is known as Contemplative/Centering Prayer (CCP)—we’ll see they involve spiritual deceptions that are well beyond man’s intellect. This is why no one should venture into the spiritual realm without the protection of God the Holy Spirit. But this is precisely what the unregenerate and ignorant engaging in CSM are, in very fact, doing.

Now notice in the following passage of God’s Word that we’re told in verse 9 to expect the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders; in other words, all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders:

The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12)

One of the major didaskalia daimonion means doctrines, teachings of demons (cf. 1 Timothy 4:1) advanced by these deceitful spirits before the very gullible evangelical public right now is that if someone has a “nice” and/or “good” experience of a supernatural sort, then it’s automatically assumed to be of God. Wrong; spiritually dead wrong. In verse 9 above we find very good reason to be fearful — The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders. In this generation, you’d best be sure that you really do have a relationship with God through Christ Jesus because these counterfeit miracles, false signs, and wonders, will look exactly the same as the true miracles, signs, and wonders, done by the original Apostles.

As a matter of fact, the very same Greek words are also used by God in Scripture regarding the signs and wonders and various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit (Hebrews 2:4) performed in the first century! And common sense will tell you that the closer to the original a counterfeit would look, the more effective it’s going to be. So you’d better know what the text of the Bible says, and remember that just because something appears to work; or feels good, or seems so “loving,” it most certainly does not necessarily mean it really is of God. Therefore, it really doesn’t take a degree in theology to understand how spurious spirituality always ends in deadly deception; and with this CSM, the visible church has been there, and done all of that, before. It wasn’t of God then, and it’s not2

See also: