Dangers, Toils and Snares: End Time Warnings
By Chris Lawson relative (9/26/11)
The 2011 Women on the Watch Conference entitled “Dangers, Toils and Snares in the End Times” was held in the middle of the southland on the border of Orange County and Los Angeles county, in the city of Cypress in mid-September. One would expect thousands of women to show up, but it was a small turn out with about 200 people. Speakers with pre-Christian backgrounds in the New Age/New Spirituality movement, witchcraft and the occult gave their testimonies and warned about how these things have not only crept into Christian churches, but are boldly and blatantly being accepted by many undiscerning people who attend these churches. This begs the question - Are Christians being deceived and falling away from Biblical truth?
Just about every speaker referred to the biblical account in Genesis where Lucifer (Satan), possessing a serpent, deceived Eve through dialoging with her and questioning God's Word. In Genesis three verse one, the serpent said, “Has God indeed said, You shall not eat of every tree of the garden?”. The major question being asked at this conference was are we listening to God or to the Serpent - the Devil? A personal friend from Scotland, Deborah Menelaws of Bethel Communications, was one of the guest speakers. She asked challenging questions like: Do we really believe we are in the end days? Are we really hearing the Word of God and responding properly? Are we relying on our pastor or husband or some other person rather than God? Are we relying completely on God and what He says? Do we know what God says and do we care?
As a person who is not a citizen of this country, our friend Deborah boldly asked, “Are you, as Americans, being duped into believing that America will stay strong and free? Do you believe that God will keep America strong even when America is no longer following Him as a nation? Are you prepared for the economy to totally crash and America to be devastated? In what (or who) do you put your trust? Do you truly trust in God regarding your country? Do you listen to man (and rely on man’s systems) or to God?
THE DANGERS OF SYNCRETISM AND THE WORLD OF THE OCCULT
Author Johanna Michaelsen, taking us on a journey through the Bible, addressed the growing global trend of religious syncretism - the blending of irreconcilable parties (worship of the Creator God with pagan practices), and showed the dire consequences of such. She explained how the Christianization of yoga, Hindu breath prayers, occult visualization, inner healing, altered states of consciousness, and spiritual chanting and drumming are all inroads to the world of occultism – into the mystery religions where seeking “the hidden things” [occult] is the root, and goal, of becoming “god,” the realization that “we are all gods.” She stated that New Age teachings such as the “Law of Attraction,” “positive confession, and “sending vibrations” are all rooted in occult [hidden] power. “To worship God as the pagans do is an abomination.” In other words God hates syncretism. She quoted several verses to back up the biblical principle of not mixing pagan worship practices with the worship of God.
When you come into the land which the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination to the LORD, and because of these abominations the LORD your God drives them out from before you. You shall be blameless before the LORD your God. For these nations which you will dispossess listened to soothsayers and diviners; but as for you, the LORD your God has not appointed such for you. (Matthew 9:14-18)
And when you pray do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words. (Matthew 6:7)
Rather, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice they sacrifice to demons and not to God, and I do not want you to have fellowship with demons. You cannot drink the cup of the LORD and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the Lord?s table and the table of demons. (I Corinthians 10:20-21)
Johanna went on to say, “Contemplative, Emerging, and New Spirituality claim to be authentic. It is authentic alright – authentic to the occult!” This comes from a woman who once was heavily involved in the world of the occult and demonic power. She explained that this is simply ancient Gnosticism revived for those seeking new knowledge, power, and experience. Johanna talked about an extremely problematic idea that is prevalent in our “politically correct” world today; that as long as we are sincere in our beliefs and practices, we are all right. She explained how this is nothing more than a lie from the Devil. Jesus says in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
She also pointed out in Genesis 3:5 where the foundation of all occultism and apostasy stem from. “For God knows that in the day you eat of it (the forbidden fruit) your eyes will be opened and you will be like God knowing good and evil.” It should be forever remembered that the quest for “knowledge” and “wisdom” apart from the revealed will of God is simply an open door for spiritual deception – i.e. occultism, witchcraft, false teachings in the church, apostasy (to turning away from the truth).
Johanna’s book, “The Beautiful Side of Evil” is her testimony of how she came out of the occult.
HUMAN BEINGS ARE NOT GODS, DIVINE EMANATIONS, AND SPARKS OF DIVINITY
Another common theme at the conference was exposing the popular deception that we are all divine, or a part of divinity. The New Age religion, otherwise known today as the New Spirituality/The New Gospel, is at its root and core pure Hindu philosophy [evolutionary occult pantheism]. It is simply the same old lie of Lucifer found in Genesis 3:5, couched in modern terminology, that states that we can be as God. Filmmaker Caryl Matrisciana explained that through yoga one seeks to “awaken the serpent power” in order to come to the realization that “we are God.” She said, “There is no yoga without Hinduism and there is no Hinduism without yoga. The exercises of yoga cannot be separated from the spirituality of yoga.” She also rightly stated what Hindu philosophy declares, “In Hinduism all is deity.” Caryl was raised in India and is very familiar with Hinduism and its practices. She has produced a documentary on this topic called, “Yoga Uncoiled: From East To West.”
At this conference Caryl Matrisciana rightly stated the truth about yoga! The entire goal of yoga, whether it is called “exercise” or not, is based on occult Hindu philosophy – the practices and postures are inextricably intertwined. Practical Hindu spirituality, which is rooted in occult philosophy, teaches that through yoga [yuj Sanskrit; yoking] individuals can become One with the Brahman – the “Divine Ground of All Being,” or, the “Divine Consciousness” of Hinduism. It seems that today, the vast majority of Christians in the West are completely unaware of the reality and dangers of yoga.
MANIFEST SONS OF GOD AND THE LATTER RAIN MOVEMENT - GONE MAINSTREAM AND GOING GLOBAL
Researcher and writer with Herescope, Sarah Leslie spoke on the Manifest Sons of God/Latter Rain movement and how they are going mainstream. She explained their heretical Seven Mountains of Dominionism and how their goal is to take over government, education, media, business and other systems in order to usher in the Kingdom of God. This very unbiblical movement promotes the idea that the church is the ongoing representation of God on earth and that God is raising up a “new breed” of god-men or an “elect seed” for “Joel's Army” to destroy or subdue all enemies of Jesus Christ. Many in these movements believe and teach that Jesus will not return until we are perfected on earth to usher in the Kingdom of God. In their mind, it is up to us to make His appearing – the Second Advent – happen! Scripture teaches that Christ will come and set up His Kingdom, not the heretical “Manifest Sons of God” and “Joel’s Army.”
THE STATE OF THE CHURCH: LUKEWARM AND PLAGUED BY THE FEAR OF MAN
Conference organizer and author, Jackie Alnor, spoke on spiritual apathy in a lukewarm church. She reiterated the warning from Jesus in Revelation 3:16, “So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.” She explained how the church growth movement started by C. Peter Wagner has created mega-churches full of goats and tares among the sheep and wheat, respectively, which result in lukewarm Christians. Pastor Chris Quintana gave a message about the real mission of the Church. He said, “Men fear man and not God and they focus on action and not the message. If we depart from the Bible we can't meet human needs and we use the Bible as an accessory rather than the authority.” He rightly exhorted us not to be men and women who suppress the truth regarding unrighteousness, as so many are doing today. Proverbs 9:25 says “The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe.”
Caryl Matrisciana previewed a portion of her new DVD entitled “Wide is the Gate,” an exposé on the Emerging Church/New Spirituality/New Gospel and how the false teachings of these “change agents” are flowing straight into the church, causing a great delusion which will ultimately end in shipwrecking the faith of many.
Attendees also watched clips from the new full-length documentary, “The Daniel Project.” This film investigates 20 major Bible prophecies in relation to past, present and future events. The theme of this film is taken from Daniel 12:10 in reference to the end times, “...only the wise shall understand.”
LET NO MAN DECEIVE YOU
The overall theme of this conference was that spiritual deception is all around us – in the world and in much of the church. It was a call to test all things - trusted teachers at the local church fellowship, all TV preachers/teachers, and even authors of the latest popular “Christian” books. When the disciples asked Jesus what would be the sign of His coming and the end of the age in Matthew 24:3-4, Jesus responded by saying, “Take heed that no one deceives you.”
Johanna Michaelsen closed the conference with an intense message about how individuals, including Christians, can be freed from the subtle power and influence of occult bondage. She rightly said, as the Bible teaches, that many in the church are being groomed for the Anti-Christ. In light of what happens when people yield to the influences Johanna was warning us about, she said, “God allows a deluding spirit and the symptoms are horrendous.” She encouraged us to read Ezekiel 8 and Second Thessalonians 2, and to study the Word of God to know what we believe and to be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks.
So many Christians are admiring and promoting heretical books like William Paul Young’s book “The Shack,” Rob Bell’s “Love Wins,” and Rick Warren’s panentheistic [God in all things] “Purpose Driven Life.” Others are involved with groups and churches teaching heresy that clearly go against what the Bible says. It makes one wonder what deceptions are coming and what undiscerning Christians will embrace next.
TEST ALL THINGS, HOLD FAST TO THAT WHICH IS GOOD!
So that you are thoroughly immersed in the Word and can clearly understand God’s views on these subjects, please take time to read the following scriptures for your own encouragement and edification. The Word of God is our only defensive weapon to fight against the schemes and teachings of the Devil. Guard yourself with what God has said. “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.” (1 Thess. 5:19-23)
Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is. For the Son of Man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch. Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping. And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch. (Mark 13:33-37)
And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love. (Ephesians 4:11-16)
Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle. (II Thessalonians 2:15)
I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry. For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing. (II Timothy 4:1-8)
And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ. Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God. (Philippians 1:9-11)
Now I Paul myself beseech you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ, who in presence am base among you, but being absent am bold toward you: But I beseech you, that I may not be bold when I am present with that confidence, wherewith I think to be bold against some, which think of us as if we walked according to the flesh. For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled. (II Corinthians 10:1-6)
Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. (I John 4:1)
Do not err, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. (James 1:16-17)