Wednesday, October 29, 2008

On the radio tonight!

I will be on the Frank Pastore show--KKLA Los Angeles during their 6:00 PM hour to talk about The Kingdom of the Occult. If you're interested, you can listen to it live online here:

Thanks for the prayers. :)

Monday, October 20, 2008

So much of our culture today has been influenced by Hinduism, and its commercially successful offspring, Buddhism. I wish I had a dollar for every time I heard on TV or in real life, "Karma will get you!" Karma--the great equilizer in life--will make sure we get what's coming to us. What goes around comes around . . . .

Whenever I hear something like this, I just have to say (in a loving way of course), "Sorry, there is no such thing as karma. Only God."

But whether we like it or not, Buddhist/Hindu beliefs permeate our society. They're here to stay, and we had better be ready to answer them:

Under Hinduism, the lot of the masses was poverty and despair, and the wheel of reincarnation or samsara loomed constantly before them like a never-ending nightmare of suffering and death. Discontent grew among the people and many searched for something to break the relentless hold of Hinduism.

There seemed no escape from the fate of having to endure an endless succession of painful lives before one could be freed to merge for eternity with the “World-Soul”—a state known as Nirvana.[1] Into this religion of strict castes and oppression was born the son of a minor Rasha or King sometime between 490 - 410 B.C. E..[2] His philosophy of life would impact the world for centuries to come.

Gautama Buddha, founder of the Buddhist religion, was the son of Suddhodana, a chieften reigning over a district near the Himalayas in what is known today as the country of Nepal. At an early age, Siddhartha Gautama,[3] his true name, observed the many contradictions and problems of life; he abandoned his wife and son when he felt he could no longer endure the life of a rich nobleman, and became a wandering ascetic in search of the truth about life. Buddhist historians tell us that after almost seven years of wan­dering, inquiring, meditating and searching, he found “the true path,” and “great enlightenment,” under the legendary Bo[4] tree (tree of wisdom), and thus attained Nirvana.

* Siddhartha Gautama taught that he followed the paths of previous “buddhas,” or enlightened ones until he discovered the Middle Road, the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path, and achieved enlightenment.

* Buddhism shows a heavy influence of Brahmanism--Hindu gods and goddesses--in Buddha’s history and teachings; its description of a universal cosmic consciousness is that of a non-personal essence, sometimes called the Void.

* The Pali Tripitaka text is considered by many to be the most reliable teachings of Buddha, although Mahayana Buddhism and other sects add to it.

* Man suffers because his desires are fixated on the illusion of self, which confines him to non-permanence within the laws of karma and reincarnation.

* Self-salvation is achieved by following the Middle Path, the Four Noble Truths, and the Eightfold Path. The ultimate goal is to reach the state of Nirvana, where the self becomes extinguished in the Void.

And so, this is the best Buddhism/Hinduism can offer you: multiple lifetimes of suffering and searching until with any luck you reach enlightenment and become absorbed by the cosmic consciousness.

But God's Truth teaches exactly the opposite:

Scriptures teach that man is not eternal. He is a direct creation of God (Psalm 139:13; Genesis 1:26-27). He is not incarnated successively, forced to physically atone for his sins of a previous life that he does not remember. Hebrews 9:26-27 categorically denies such ideas and instead asserts the justice of God: “Just as it is appointed unto man once to die, and after that the judgment.”

Christians do not look forward to reincarnation; we look forward to resurrection, when Christ will return and clothe us with glorified bodies so that we may eternally serve and worship God (1 Corinthians 15:5). Our glorification is not accomplished by our own efforts, but by the “victory though our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57). Christians have the assurance from God’s Word though the Holy Spirit that “He who raised up Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit, who lives in you (Romans 8:11).[5]

History proves that Christianity has always been unique among all the religions of the world. The Bible reveals a loving God, sacrificing Himself for every single one of His unique children; forgiving them, redeeming them, longing to be with them throughout eternity. This is our rich heritage in Christ.

Why would anyone wish to sacrifice infinite love like this for mere absorption into the cosmic void?

[1] Joseph Gaer, What Great Religions Believe, (Signet, The New American Library: New York, 1963), 30.
[2] This date is approximate as there are no written historical records from the time of the Buddha.
[3] Siddhartha Gautama Buddha. Buddha is not his name, although today he is addressed as such, it is a title of enlightenment. The family name is Gautama (excellent cow or best cow) and his given name was Siddhartha (one who achieved his goal). Buddha is also known as Sakyamuni "Sage of the Sakyas" (his tribal ethnicity, where his family dwelt in northern India near Nepal).
[4] Also spelled Bodhi Tree (Wisdom Tree), which is a fig tree located at Uruvela (State of Bihar, India), under which Siddhartha Gautama meditated for 49 days until he attained enlightenment, or Nirvana.
From Kingdom of the Cults - Buddhism.
[5] The New Cults, 370-375. Researched by Cal Beisner.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Back by popular demand, another exerpt from The Kingdom of the Occult:


The contemporary evidence for psychic activity can be spotted all over the landscape: in homes, libraries, lighthouses and ships—any earthly place where man dwells—spirits will eventually try to make contact. Poltergeists, also known as familiar spirits, have even infiltrated the realm of television and movie stardom with shows like the cable Science Fiction Channel’s Ghost Hunters, and movies like Poltergeist. Their “entertainment” resume is lengthy and quite successful.

Poltergeists (demons masquerading as humans) are usually imaginative in creating their manifestations: they slam doors, walk up steps, throw objects around a room, moan, cry, touch people and materialize as dark clouds, red eyes, figures or colorful moving orbs of light. If they succeed in catching someone’s attention, they often speak to the targeted individual audibly or through digital recorders, Ouija Boards, or automatic writing, crafting tales of tragedy and woe designed to foster sympathy in the hearts listeners. In some cases, foul smells or ice cold temperatures manifest along with other phenomena.

People involved in psychic phenomena refer to these poltergeists as “memory imprints” of dead people searching for peace. Hans Holzer, the famous ghost tracer observed that, “Not all temporary separations of the body and etheric* self include a visit to the next world. Sometimes the liberated self merely hangs around to observe what is being done with the body.”

The world persists in its definitions, but the biblical revelation stands: poltergeists are demons, not lost human souls caught between this world and the next. They are not ghosts a la Patrick Swayze in the romantic tearjerker, Ghost. Demons enjoy playing games with human beings, and they have had centuries to perfect their technique.
[3] This phenomenon is well known throughout the world, accepted by millions as fact, and now documented by various media programs. It is authentic.

Poltergeists are far more than the “mischievous spirits” that psychics portray them to be. Fallen angels can never be friendly spirits no matter how pleasant and charming they appear. If challenged in the name of Jesus Christ they inevitably reveal their identity: demonic beings powerful enough to penetrate the dimension of earth. Their purpose is to deceive men and women by use of creative storytelling and parlor tricks such as vibrating tables, flying pictures, and apparitions; all meant to destroy human lives. The enemy is clever, powerful and sadistic, and they have had centuries to perfect their stories and games.

The Scripture teaches that at the end of the ages the Church should anticipate the outgrowth of great spiritual darkness. This is a work of the devil, and if Christians remain silent in the middle of an entire generation given over to the pursuit of occult Psi phenomena—a generation making a concerted attempt to take over the word of God and use its terms to describe satanic phenomena—then today’s Christians will bequeath chaos to the Church of tomorrow. A clear delineation must be made: someone must say, “Here is God and here is Satan.”

[1] Anytime the media is involved in paranormal programs, it is always wise to be suspicious of their results. Some may be legitimate; some may be orchestrated for ratings sake. Independent of obvious television drama, however, there are many reliable accounts of poltergeist experiences from sober-minded people who are not seeking the limelight and have no motive to fabricate their stories.
[2] Holzer, Ghosts: True Encounters with the World Beyond, 21. *Etheric is a New Age term referring to the human “aura” or the energy body, also called the life force.
[3] See Chapter 14, Demon Possession and Exorcism.

Monday, October 06, 2008

The Kingdom of the Occult should hit the bookstores by mid-October. For those of you who would like an exclusive advance peak at the manuscript (available only on my blog), here you go:

Chapter 1

The Kingdom of the Occult

It is a sad and frightening fact that people are fascinated with the secret or “occult” things that God has condemned.
[1] One cannot see a movie like Harry Potter or read The Exorcist, which presents Satan unvarnished and portrays the truth about demonic possession in terms everyone can understand, without being plunged into the core of the occult. Today there is a tremendous fascination with the mysterious and the unknown. The great scholar, C. S. Lewis wrote, “There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them. They themselves are equally pleased by both errors, and hail a materialist or a magician with the same delight.”[2]

The modern age is strong proof of this unhealthy fascination. People are attracted to evil and captivated by it. They are vulnerable to temptation because of a growing revolt against science and technology that, for all their efforts, cannot meet man’s spiritual hunger. People are asking, “If science and technology are supposed to produce all the good things, why haven’t they accomplished it?” Instead, there is a continuous degradation of personality. People are not treated as human beings anymore but as computer data, numbers assigned from womb to tomb.

Today, a terrible spiritual vacuum exists in which people are forced to live because they turned from the living God and tried to fill the resulting emptiness with physical pleasure. Man crowds into this vacuum all the moral and ethical values attached to the material world. Again and again people protest, “There’s got to be something more than this, because we’re not satisfied.” Satisfaction has not come through the dollar sign. Satisfaction has not come through the pill. Satisfaction has not come through economic aggrandizement, or political conquests, or military supremacy. Lost in a spiritual void, the human heart searches for some kind of reality apart from God and His Word, and discovers the occult reality from another dimension.
The Dimension of Darkness

The Bible is a dimensional book in the sense that a dimension is a realm of reality, sometimes imperceptible, but nonetheless genuine. Human beings live in a dimension subject to the five senses, and they tend to make the mistake of believing that anything beyond the realm of those senses simply is not there. To accept such reasoning would be a fatal mistake from a biblical perspective.

Even as people live in the dimension of earth, so the Bible says there is another dimension of heaven, where God reigns as Sovereign. This second dimension of heaven or the throne of God Himself, is more real than human senses can perceive; it is a dimension that was bridged when God chose to become man in the Person of Jesus Christ. Because of Him, mankind now has access to a realm of infinite power, indescribable love, and cosmic justice.

The third dimension is one of spiritual darkness, controlled by Satan and his hosts. The Bible describes it as hell, or the alienation of the spiritual nature of man from fellowship with his Creator. It belongs to the “prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience” (Eph. 2:2). This dimension is portrayed in Ephesians 6:10‑12, where the warning is given that it is the domain of the forces of incalculable wickedness, presided over by the one whom the Bible designates as “the ruler of this world” and “the god of this age” (John 14:30; 2 Cor. 4:4). This domain is described variously in the Bible as “outer darkness” (Matt. 8:12; 22:13; 25:30), “fire” (Matt. 5:22; 13:42; 18:8, 9; 25:41; Mark 9:22-49), “suffering” (Jude 7), consciousness of separation from God and fear of others suffering the same (Luke 16:19–31), “prison” (1 Peter 3:19), and, metaphorically, a vast lake of molten sulfur, from which there is no deliverance (Rev. 19:20; 20:10, 14, 15; 21:8).

Perhaps this dimension is best described in terms of the condition of its occupants, who are portrayed as “wandering stars for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever” (Jude 13). The apostle Peter indicated that some of the fallen angels were already chained in the darkness of hell, awaiting judgment: “God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment” (2 Peter 2:4). It is possible, then, that hell may be one dimension with many levels, some restrictive and some not, since Satan and an unknown number of his demons are still free to roam the earth.

All 752 pages coming soon to a bookstore near you. :)
Let me know what you think!

[1] Deuteronomy 18:9–12
[2] C. S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters, preface. The Exorcist, DVD, directed by William Friedkin (1973; Burbank, CA: Warner Home Video, 2000).