keeping a watchful eye on the wolves

meditation

More Wolves in Disguise – where you’d least expect them

There are some places you would never expect to see wolves in sheeps clothing – or wolves in ‘horse and buggy’ clothing. What about those peaceful Mennonites?

The Mennonites
http://giannina.wordpress.com/2008/07/16/the-mennonites/

Youth Ministries Alert
http://youthministries.wordpress.com/

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Wolves in Girl Scouts Clothing

Beware the Girl Scouts…

The New Age Comes to the Girl Scouts

For nearly one hundred years, since 1912, the Girl Scouts of the USA has existed. By 1920, over 70,000 girls had joined; and there are currently about 3.6 million Girl Scouts and an alumnae of more than 50 million women. The founder, Juliette “Daisy” Gordon Low, believed in developing girls “physically, mentally, and spiritually.” While there have been many wholesome and practical aspects of the Girl Scouts in the past (teaching cooking, sewing, and outdoor skills), today the Girl Scouts has become a place where potentially millions of girls will be introduced to New Age spirituality. While the organization discourages the use of Christian emphasis in its meetings, it seems to show no reluctance when it comes to New Age spirituality.

For instance, on a 12 page brochure for their upcoming annual National Council Session, to be held in Indianapolis in October, it states: “Channel your inner being. Be one with your mind, body, and soul. Yoga for everyone!” Yet, on their website it states: “Doxology is not an appropriate Girl Scout event song, as it is easily identified as a Christian church song…

Read the rest of this shocking warning here:

http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/index.php?p=1142&more=1&c=1


More Disappearing Trails

If you have ever observed the tracks left behind by sheep, you would know that a sheep’s foot print looks very different than a wolf foot foot print. This is why wolves in sheeps clothing need to continually cover their tracks, otherwise the sheep will know that there are wolves among them in the sheep pen. Let’s take a look at some recent tracks that have been covered up on the disappearing trail…

We all heard about the disappearance of Todd Bentley’s references to his angel Emma, who became simply that “particular” angel as his story was changed (see Todd Bentley, Is he now ashamed of his angel Emma?).

But that is not the only thing that is being changed as Christian bloggers expose what is going on behind the scenes while wolves in sheeps clothing tip toe around in the sheep pen, trying to act like sheep.

For example:

The godtube video of Todd Bentley at The Secret Place in Abbotsford, B.C., as referred to in the post called
Following the Tracks (Part 2)- from Abbotsford to Lakeland and Around the World, has disappeared.

Here is another one. After being up for a long time, the youtube video of Mark Virkler teaching how to hear the voice of God through automatic writing/channelling (as recently referred to in a post called Todd Bentley Responds to Criticism) has suddenly disappeared. In the video, Virkler sat down and typed out a message on the spot from God for his interviewer in a cheap display of “hear God guaranteed” on demand, not unlike putting coins into a soda pop dispenser. This was an important video as Virkler’s spiritual advisor is Dr. Gary Greig, whose widely publicized endorsement Freshfire uses to legitimize Todd Bentley and the false Florida revival.

Then there’s the strange phenomena of shifting articles. Take for example the glory cloud revelation (Todd’s vision of Sundar Singh) as referred to in Todd Bentley and Contemplative Meditation.The link to this vision account disappeared. It was later discovered that it was simply changed on the Freshfire website shortly after many discernment blogs had linked to it.

Then there’s this one which deserves a longer explanation. A recent article on Wolf Tracks that got a lot of traffic and referals was called LECTIO DIVINA – Leading Sheep to a New Level of Consciousness. While I was writing this article, I copied and pasted the words from a page on the Youth Specialties website that was written by Mike Perschon. In the article, Pershon mentioned the four levels of consciousness achieved through practicing Lectio Divina.

This is what I wrote in the Lectio Divina article (the words in quotation marks were copied and pasted from Mike Perschon’s article, as were the four steps of consciousness, or so I thought):

Mike Perschon of Youth Specialties compares the four steps of Lectio Divina to “four levels of consciousness…which introduces you at each new level into a whole new world of reality” that occurs through the four levels of repetitious reading:

1- LITERAL LEVEL CONSCIOUSNESS
2- Moral level of consciousness
3- the Allegorical level which requires a Spiritual level of listening
4- We simply rest in the presence of the one who has used His word as a means of inviting us to accept His transforming embrace. We call this level, Union of Life or the unitive level of consciousness.
-An Experience of Lectio Divina
(http://www.cellofpeace.com/refl_lectio.htm)

The reference to these steps can no longer be found as the Youth Specialties article is no longer there. All you will get if you click on the link now is the OOPS page. Nevertheless, whether it has disappeared or not, Mike Perschon himself commented on Wolf Tracks under my article on Lectio Divina and did not disagree with these steps or the practise of Lectio Divina. Here is what he said:

“I’d just like to clarify that I’ve been misquoted here. I didn’t write the website regarding the four steps. I was asked by Youth Specialties to do an introductory article on various contemplative practices, and I linked to certain pages I deemed to represent the practice well. I didn’t write it though. That said, I don’t disagree with it, and I would like to further clarify by saying that I do not espouse Lectio Divina as THE way to knowing Christ. As an academic and former pastor, I am devoted to studying the Bible within its contexts, and understanding it in a very rational way. But I find that Lectio Divina enlarges my experience of the Bible. It’s one of many tools I use in my walk with Christ. And I’m not suggesting it replaces grace, as some have supposed elsewhere.”

We would like to give Perschon the benefit of the doubt, but as it is interesting that while Perschon says he was misquoted, he admittedly does NOT disagree with these 4 levels of consciousness. It’s difficult to check back to read exactly what he said because the page is now blank, and the article that I used to pull his quote from has been shifted over. It has been moved, and given a new URL…

This is where it was:
http://www.youthspecialties.com/articles/topics/spirituality/contemplative.php
This is where you can find it now:
http://www.youthspecialties.com/freeresources/articles/spirituality/contemplative.php

Apparently missing from the article is the reference to the 4 levels of consciousness, however, the link to Cell of Peace remains. Perhaps I copied and pasted incorrectly? Could be. But then, how can this ever be proven? Is the moral of the story to copy/paste/save everything we find? Who has time for that?

The point of bringing these particular things to light is this. Why would Mike Perschon say he was misquoted, but also say that he agrees with the quote anyways? Is he feeling bad about leading youth to a new level consciousness instead of leading them to the truth? Is he sort of covering his tracks?

In another Youth Specialties article Mike Perschon wrote (here):

Morton Kelsey refers to the experience of contemplative prayer in all its forms as entering a “laboratory for the soul.” While this phrase entices me with its sense of adventure, it frightens most believers. For too long, evangelical Christianity has packaged faith in safe bundles.

I’m sorry Mike Perschon, but the reason this “frightens” most believers is that this is not of God, and the only “safe” place to be is under the shelter of His wings. He is our strong tower. This is why we must stay away from practices that might open our minds up to the darkness of the spirit realm and doctrines of demons, but you are leading youth away from God, in this mad laboratory experiment devised by Satan, and into darkness.

In conclusion, there will surely be more covered tracks as the delusion unfolds and sticky web of apostasy is woven. In the meantime, some might say, why bother with all this, let’s just read God’s Word and stick to the truth. While this is very VERY good advice, and I totally agree, God’s Word also instructs us to reprove and expose what is in the darkness.

11And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.

12For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.

13But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.

Ephesians 5:11

Maranatha!


Is Todd Bentley walking in the footsteps of mystics and seers?

Is Todd Bentley actually receiving revelations from God, or is there something more to his visions of angels and messages from heaven? For example, what about his vision of Sadhu Sundar Singh? Read the following and decide if these things are biblical.

To begin with, does this vision line up with what the Bible teaches?

DEATH OF A PHILOSOPHER
The soul of a German philosopher entered into the world of spirits and saw from afar the incomparable glory of the spiritual world, and the boundless happiness of its people. He was delighted with what he saw, but his stubborn intellectualism stood in the way of his entering into it, and enjoying its happiness. Instead of admitting that it was real, he argued thus with himself, “There is no doubt at all that I see all this, but what proof is there that it has objective existence, and is not some illusion conjured up by my mind? From end to end of all this scene I will apply the tests of logic, philosophy and science, and then only will I be convinced that it has a reality of its own, and is no illusion.” Then the angels answered him, “It is evident from your speech that your intellectualism has warped your whole nature, for as spiritual, and not bodily, eyes are needed to see the spiritual world, so spiritual understanding is necessary to comprehend its reality, and not mental exercises in the fundamentals of logic and philosophy. Your science that deals with material facts has been left behind with your physical skull and brain in the World. Here, only that spiritual wisdom is of use which arises out of the fear and love of God.” Then said one of the angels to another, “What a pity it is that people forget that precious word of our Lord, ‘Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall in no wise enter into the Kingdom of Heaven’ (Matt. 18:3). I asked one of the angels what the end of this man would be, and he replied “If this man’s life had been altogether bad, then he would at once have joined the spirits of darkness, but he is not without a moral sense, so for a very long time he will wander blindly round in the dim light of the lower parts of the intermediate state, and keep on bumping his philosophical head, until tired of his foolishness, he repents. Then he will be ready to receive the necessary instruction from the angels appointed for that purpose, and, when instructed, will he be fit to enter into the fuller light of God in the higher sphere.”
The Visions of Sadhu Sundar Singh of India
http://reluctant-messenger.com/sadhu-sundar-singh.htm

This is what the Bible says about second chances for salvation after death:

“And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment” Hebrews 9:27

Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” John 3:3

Obviously, the above account does not line up with the Bible, therefore, it would be classified as a false teaching from lying spirits. This vision was one of many experienced by Sadhu Sundar Singh (1889-1929). Many people today say that he was a fine Christian, and take great offense that anyone should criticize Todd Bentley’s vision of Sadhu Sundar Singh, whose contemplative steps of prayer he practices.

Strangely enough, Sundar Singh’s visions of wandering souls in the spirit world and heavenly spheres also included contact with a dead mystic and seer named Emanuel Swedenborg:

“I saw him several times some years ago, but I did not know his earthly name. His name in the spiritual world is quite different just according to his high position or office and most beautiful character.”[7]

Sharpe also refers back to Singh’s endorsement of Swedenborg as recorded by Appasamy:

“Swedenborg was a great man, philosopher, scientist and, above all seer of clear visions. I often speak with him in my visions. He occupies a high place in the spiritual world … Having read his books and having come into contact with him in the spiritual world, I can thoroughly recommend him as a great seer.”[8]

Sundar Singh’s correspondence with the Swedish Lutheran bishop Nathan Soderblom in November 1928 further confirms that he claimed visionary contact with Swedenborg.

For western evangelical Christians, Swedenborg has long been regarded as an unorthodox teacher. Some, such as the Christian apologist Walter Martin, have classified Swedenborg and his followers among the cults.[9] In light of the evangelical rejection of Swedenborg’s theology, the omission of Sundar Singh’s endorsement of Swedenborg’s teachings from evangelical biographies is very significant. The difficulty for evangelicals is compounded by Singh’s confirmation of contact with Swedenborg in the spirit world. This visionary form of contact with an unorthodox deceased teacher clashes with the portraits of piety drawn by later evangelical biographers such as Cyril Davey and Phyllis Thompson.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sadhu_Sundar_Singh

Who exactly was this man who Sundar Singh contacted in the spirit world?

Emanuel Swedenborg (1688–1772) was a Swedish scientist, philosopher, Christian mystic, and theologian. Swedenborg had a prolific career as an inventor and scientist. At the age of fifty-six he entered into a spiritual phase, in which he experienced dreams and visions. This culminated in a spiritual awakening, where he claimed he was appointed by the Lord to write a heavenly doctrine to reform Christianity. He claimed that the Lord had opened his eyes, so that from then on he could freely visit heaven and hell, and talk with angels, demons, and other spirits. For the remaining 28 years of his life, he wrote and published 18 theological works, of which the best known was Heaven and Hell (1758),[4] and several unpublished theological works. –wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emanuel_Swedenborg

Not only was Swedenborg a seer and a medium, he was also one of the forerunners to modern spiritualism. Swedenborg believed that he was the only one able to shed light on the true meaning of the Bible, with the help of Angels. This is who Sundar Singh had contact with in the spirit world. Remember this as you read the following…

Let us now get on the fast forward track to June 19, 2006, where Todd Bentley wrote the following…

THE GLORY CLOUD OF REVELATION & PROPHETIC MANTLES ~ PART TWO: CONCLUSION
BY TODD BENTLEY, FRESH FIRE MINISTRIES
http://www.freshfire.ca

…I saw in a vision, the Glory Cloud of Revelation descending upon the church. It was also during this time of prayer that God took me in a vision to what I believed to be the Himalayan Mountains. I saw an Indian man with a turban on his head and heard the whisper of the Spirit say, “This is Sundar Singh. I am releasing anointing of revelation like this.” I had no communication with this old saint, nor did he say anything to me. The experience lasted only a moment…

[…]

Sundar Singh spent at least two hours daily in reading the Scriptures, meditation and prayer. He would arise at 5:00 am and finish by 7:00 or 8:00 depending on what his schedule was for the day. He often spent the whole day or night in prayer. His discipline was to read one chapter of the Bible, rapidly at first reading, then to return to reread passages or verses that were more suggestive to him. These he would linger with and meditate on for as long as it was fruitful for him to do so. Next, he would enter into a period of “recollection” for twenty minutes or so. This was a time of silence, in which he would allow the Lord to speak to him in some way. With his own mind and heart quieted, he opened his mind and his heart to hear what the Lord would have to say to him or just simply enjoy companionship with his Lord. Often this period of silence would extend into a deeper state called “contemplation” in which he enjoyed complete rest and refreshment in the love of God.

Often during times of contemplation, he entered into experiences of ecstasy. He regarded these experiences as the same as St. Paul’s entrance into the “third heaven”. During his latter years, they occurred frequently, as often as ten times a month. About these experiences he said, “I never try to go into ecstasy; nor do I advise others to try. It is a gift to be accepted, but it should not be sought; if given, it is a pearl of great price.”

Anyone who contemplates the heavenly calling of the apostle Paul and his being caught up into the third heaven, and again into Paradise, will lift up his voice to God and say: Glory to God who surely gives great gifts to men!

THE FOUR R’s OF THE CHRISTIAN DEVOTIONAL LIFE

This key is one of the most important tools if we are to see an increase of wisdom and revelation in our lives. In the western Christian tradition, meditation refers to thinking about or the use of the imagination around a passage of scripture, whereas, in India, traditional meditation refers to silencing one’s thoughts. The Christian tradition practices the silencing of thoughts and emotions, but it is called “contemplation” rather than “meditation”. This is one of those unfortunate twists of semantics, which has caused confusion when discussing the spirituality of East and West.

Sundar Singh practiced a sequence of prayer discipline that is identical to ancient Christian monastic disciplines: reading the scriptures, meditation on a passage of the reading (also called response of the mind and heart), recollection, and rest. This sequence is also called lectio divina in Latin. It means divine reading, or more precisely, divine listening, since few people in that day could actually read. When ordinary Christians attended church to hear the Scriptures read aloud, they’d memorize a passage or a verse, and ponder it for a week.

These are the four R’s of lectio divina or Christian devotional life:

1.Reading (hearing) the Word.
2.Responding to the Word with mind and heart.
3.Recollecting oneself with an open mind and open heart to God’s will, and
4.Resting in His Presence.

Christianity is a way of life, not a hobby, or a pastime. As such, we must treat it as serious business. Reflecting on God and His way should not be taken lightly. We must modify our schedules and make the time to meditate, contemplate, and reflect on His word.

Find a quiet place, away from noise or distractions. Isaac went out to meditate in the field in the evening (Genesis 24:63). King David lay on his bed to meditate: “When I remember You upon my bed, and meditate on You in the night watches (Ps. 63:6).
[…]

The entire article by Todd Bentley can be read here:
http://www.freshfire.ca/index.php?Act=read&status=teaching&Id=143&pid=954

*Note: If the Freshfire link becomes no longer available there is something similar here:
http://www.elijahlist.com/words/display_word_pf.html?ID=1400

After seeing this vision of Sundar Singh, Todd Bentley borrowed his practices of meditation, contemplation, and being still, as revealed in his teaching on Soaking:

“I learned from the lives of Brother Lawrence and Sundar Sing (the famous Hindu mystic who radically converted to Christianity a hundred years ago), as God began to birth my ministry into power. At the end of three months of waiting, basking, bathing, marinating, just beeeeeeeing in His presence I had a visitation of the Lord Himself. He stood behind me and every time I turned around to look at Him He would be behind me. I heard the Lord speak to me in an audible voice as a man speaks to a man.”
http://freshfire.ca/index.php?Act=read&status=teaching&Id=119&pid=954&bid=955
SOAKING PART 1
BY REVIVALIST TODD BENTLEY

Not only has Todd Bentley been meditating, soaking and having visions and contact with angels and the spirit world (as Singh and Swedenborg did), he has also been teaching these methods to others, as recently as this past January 14th – 17th at Freshfire’s Secret Place Conference in his home town of Abbotsford, B.C., Canada, where he shared teaching time with Heidi Baker, Rodney Howard-Browne:

Wednesday night: Todd Bentley taught on contemplative prayer and learning to silence your thoughts. He outlined the four prayer steps practiced by Sundar Singh, an Indian prophet who had a visitation from Jesus. The steps include: 1. Read a whole chapter, 2. Meditate on the passage that most spoke to you, 3. Recollect with an open mind and heart as the Holy Spirit reveals the scripture to you, then 4. Rest and restoration in His presence while the Spirit imparts revelation or takes you into the heavens. As we make ourselves available to the Lord, said Todd, it is amazing where we will go with Him.
– The Secret Place 2 Conference
http://www.sfwm.org/newhome/showminrpt.cfm?id=36
SECRET PLACE II – CONFERENCE REPORT

Isn’t it becoming quite obvious by now that Todd Bentley walks in the footsteps of mystics and seers who had contact with the spirit world? Is it any wonder he has similar supernatural experiences and angelic encounters? This is extremely important to understand. If you are a sheep who is following Todd Bentley and seeking after the supernatural realm, please take heed. This in NOT the path that the Good Shepherd leads His sheep on. Run to Him while there is still time!

5 Thus says the LORD concerning the prophets
Who make my people stray;
Who chant “Peace”
While they chew with their teeth,
But who prepare war against him
Who puts nothing into their mouths:
6 “ Therefore you shall have night without vision,
And you shall have darkness without divination;
The sun shall go down on the prophets,
And the day shall be dark for them.
7 So the seers shall be ashamed,
And the diviners abashed;
Indeed they shall all cover their lips;
For there is no answer from God.”

Micah 3:5-7

Essential reading:

Tarot, Carl Jung, Swedenborg, Blake & Freemasons
http://www.crossroad.to/Quotes/occult/theosophy-swedenborg-blake.htm

Sadhu Sundar Singh – Hindu Mystic in Sheeps Clothing
http://discerningtheworld.wordpress.com/2008/05/22/sadhu-sundar-singh-hindu-mystic-in-sheeps-clothing/


Following the New Mystic Trail

One person that Todd Bentley has done ‘fire and glory’ conferences with is John Crowder. See here. This coming November, according to John Crowder’s itinerary page, Todd Bentley is scheduled to speak at The Oil of His Presence Conference alongside John Crowder and Stacey Campbell.

It’s not surprising that John Crowder and his friends are also into gold dust, gold fillings, manna from heaven, and faked stigmata, as shown by his very recent association with false prophetess and proven fraud Lucy Rael who was caught faking angel feathers. See pictures here:
http://www.thenewmystics.org/ManifestationsofGlory.html

John Crowder also teaches a strange “buzz” gospel. He says that when you witness to Satanists, no talking is necessary. All you need is to just show up buzzed and whacked in the glory. He also teaches a ‘whacky’ version of contemplative prayer and mysticism.

About 3:30 on a youtube called The Ecstasy of God Part 4 Crowder starts talking about contemplative prayer and the ecstasy of God – a heart that’s infused in pleasure. As he talks about this he walks around in a stupor, and describes how he has days where he wakes up whacked, so sloshed he can barely put his clothes on. He says to follow the little white rabbit to have the best trips with Jesus. Meditation is the second stage of prayer, the place where you meditate on a vision, actually encountering and ‘doing stuff.’ But where we really need to live is in this realm of stage three that is union, deep deep heavy ‘shoobie doobie.’ He says that a lot of mystics say it is a lesser ecstasy, an experience of His presence. Give me a Godka, the hard stuff, jack me up like Daniel’s, ends Crowder.

Watch John Crowder living out that shoobie doobie whacked out on Godka life here at End Times Prophetic, Prophecy, Visions, Dreams, Revelation, Christian Blog. It is quite sickening.

Also see this one:
John Crowder, demonic puff impartation caught on video

*Warning: you may find these extremely offensive

If this is who Todd Bentley has been associating himself with, and will be associating himself with in the future, what does that tell us about Todd Bentley? As those in his home town know, it is no secret that divine angelic feathers were claimed to have been landing on people during his local meetings. As it turned out, the building was well known for birds that nested in the rafters.

As the old saying goes, (buzzed, whacked, drunken) birds of a (fake) feather flock together.

———-

Related:

Slosh Fests, New Mystics and Experiencing Things

John Oi-Oi-Oi Crowder – Another Prophet of Apostasy!


Todd Bentley tracks lead straight to the Contemplative New Age Spa

Todd Bentley says that the secret to living a prosperous, abundant life in ministry and business is “The Open heavens” – living and ministering under a heaven that’s open above and beneath our feet and lives. It should be of great interest and concern to those following the Florida revival that the following description of how to live under the Open Heaven by Todd Bentley is no different than contemplative mysticism or New Age practices.

The following quotes are excerpts from An Open Heaven by Todd Bentley (found at openheavensoakingmusic.com). [Titles in bold lettering and other bold emphasis added by Wolf Tracks.]

***Todd Bentley Practices the secret of the Awareness – Contemplation and Being Still 4-12 hours a day:

Several years ago, many of you already have heard my testimony as shared in our 3 tape series “The Secret Place” a must for those who you hungering for what I am about to share in these first two paragraphs of how I had a holy visitation from the Holy Spirit. As a result, at different times during the span of about three months. I would be laid out (slain in the spirit) or as I would rather put it. I was so overwhelmed with God’s manifest presence like a thick honey cloud. I could do nothing most days but “BE Still” or “Wait on the Lord” I was blessed from heaven with such an awareness of His divine presence I was forced to the floor and would simply lie in His glory. I call it forced by the weight of His glory into a place of contemplation, times of solitude or just sitting at His feet like Mary. For four to twelve hours a day, I would simply gaze at the Lord’s beauty or as Paul describes in Heb 12:2, “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith,” the word “looking” is translated to Gaze or stargazer.

***Todd Bentley Practices the Presence of God and the Secrets of Brother Lawrence through contemplative meditation and soaking prayer, Results in visitation by Spirit Guide and Altered State of Silence:

During these extended times of soaking I would receive at times, numerous kinds of visions, dreams, prophetic experiences and visitations of angels sometimes. I often refer to that time in my life as my “soaking season”. God taught me how to dwell and abide in the secret place of His presence (Ps 91:1) I came to understand the power of stillness, quietness, basking, bathing and drinking in His love. I was in a place of surrender and meditation in His presence. I understood here some of the secrets of Brother Lawrence’s life and practicing the presence of God. This is better known today as the silent prayer of the heart or meditation and contemplation.

It was after that soaking season that God called me out into full-time ministry. I received a divine visitation of the Lord. It was as if a person walked in to the room and stood behind me. I could feel His presence over me and heard distinctly, the audible voice of the Lord. I was told exactly how I would be called out and prophesied over in a meeting that evening, deeming that time as my commissioning for ministry and shown in open vision numerous events in the meeting that night as a sign. You could say it happened overnight. In fact that night, that the intensity of the soaking season and times of almost daily revelation ended, though I still continue to live a lifestyle of soaking.

***Todd Bentley Practices The Silence and Stillness of Listening (Contemplative) Prayer and Meditation to induce revelations, experiences and visions:

… I would soak or wait on the Lord in absolute stillness. Day after day I positioned myself in stillness and quietness, listening prayer and meditation on the Lord’s presence. I learned to quiet my mind of all business and when my mind did wander I would simply refocus on thinking about Jesus. After some time I began to receive visions and different prophetic experiences sometimes several times a day and many times everyday. I simply began to expect it when I came into the Lord’s presence. Did I pray and worship or do any other kind of prayer? Yes! but when I began to feel the Lord’s glory. I would simply lie on the floor and just “be there” in the presence, focused on Him in quietness and total surrender. After weeks of practicing this kind of silent prayer I noticed much more increase of revelation. The more I wait the more I receive. I wait as much as I can now. It is a lifestyle, sometimes 1-3 hours a day of quiet prayer and soaking.

***Todd Bentley practices visualization:

I believe that it is important in receiving an increase of revelation and seeing into the spirit to exercise our spiritual eyes. …What are the eyes of your understanding? In the Greek understanding is translated the mind and imagination. Let’s learn to set our mind on things above and seek those things above including that we might see in the spirit. One way we can exercise our spiritual eyes is to look not at the things, which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. I encourage you to take every time God has been seen in the scripture and described by the prophets in heavenly glory and read it. We need to get a glimpse in our spirit of what the heavens look like. We need to have a vision of Jesus describe in heavenly glory.

***Todd Bentley practices mantra repetition and meditation to induce personal revelations:

One sure way to increase revelation in your life is Meditation. Meditation brings revelation and revelation the manifestation of what’s been revealed. In this verse every word that’s come from God is to be received as a light that shineth in a dark place, “until”. There is a process of becoming revelation.

When we read a scripture it is as a light that shineth in a dark place “until” the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts. That is revelation, we meditate, speak out loud, re read and speak out loud over and over the same verse “until” the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts.

***Todd Bentley experiences Supernatural smelling of scents – signs of Kundalini:

We were created with five natural and five spiritual senses including touch, taste, sight, smell and hearing. In the same way that I am familiar with these five senses in the natural, why not in the spirit? Can we touch, taste, sight, smell and hear heavenly things now?

[…]

I want to share with you some of the ways God reveals himself and some different experiences I have had in the prophetic. One of the first experiences I ever had with revelation was through the scent sense.

Smells: We should be aware of what we smell. Sometimes He wants to minister His presence on His people’s lives and we can smell the fragrant touch. At times I have smelled cinnamon, vanilla, roses and even oil, such as oil that one would use to polish boots.

***Todd Bentley practices out of body experiences (another manifestation of kundalini) due to altered state of consciousness:

I was taken into the spirit several times and quite I will feel my body be sucked up like a vacuum. I will immediately shake and feel myself hurled through space and time. I have even seen and felt myself leave the earth, travel through the stars and flash of bright light and I am somewhere. Did my physical body go? Never that I know but when I find myself aware of where I was before I went I know I was in another place. All my emotions are heighten and involved in a caught up experience and most times I feel my self go.

To read Todd Bentley’s entire description of his Open Heaven living and daily soaking experiences, which may as well be at a contemplative New Age retreat or spa, see here:

http://www.openheavensoakingmusic.com/id23.html

(The Open Heaven Soaking Music website where this “teaching” can be found belongs to Jay Maddox who operates in ‘a seer anointing.’ While Maddox and Bentley, like many others in the soaking movement, may say they are attempting to bring people of all ages into closer communion with God, the Bible says that we are brought near only by the blood of Christ. These teachings are overshadowed by the Spirit of Error, not by the Spirit of Truth, as this website states.)

——————–
Related reading:

Kundalini Energy (the effects of Soaking Prayer)
http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/index.php?p=1088&more=1&c=1

SOAKING? A spiritual discipline or Eastern mysticism?
http://www.crossroad.to/Q&A/church/postmodern/soaking.htm

Todd Bentley and Contemplative Meditation

Todd Bentley’s Divine Silence


Are McLaren, Bentley and Tolle from the same pack?

Brian McLaren is the founding pastor of Cedar Ridge Community Church and an influential leader in the emerging church culture. He was recently listed by Time Magazine as one of the 25 most influential evangelicals in America.

But what he is teaching is far from traditional evangelical or even Protestant doctrine. What he preaches is another gospel. In fact, he admits that he is looking to other sources than the Bible for answers.

In a 2004 interview, Brian McLaren said the following about the Bible:

“We modern Protestants, whether liberal or conservative, can seem to think of only one thing to do with the Bible — analyze it, study it. Many of us are looking for other things to do with the Bible other than analyze it in sermons and studies.

So, we’re looking to the Benedictines, Ignatians, and others to learn ways of contemplating Scripture through practices like lectio divina, examen, and imaginative readings. We’re finding the value in ritual and symbol, which involve the body and imagination, not just the rational powers of analysis — and we’re being helped by brothers and sisters from other traditions.”

-An Interview with Brian McLaren
http://jasonclark.ws/2004/02/20/interview_with_/

Besides, Catholicism, exactly what are some of these other traditions Brian McLaren was talking about?

“Brian McLaren wants us to learn more about ‘meditative practices, about which Zen Buddhism has said much. To talk about different things is not to contradict one another; it is, rather, to have much to offer one another’ (A Generous Orthodoxy, p. 255.) Can Zen Buddhism have something to offer that would improve a Christian’s spiritual life when the Bible teaches us that we are already partakers of Christ Jesus’ divine nature? (2 Peter 1:3-11) McLaren cites contemplative meditation promoter Richard Foster as one of the key mentors for the Emergent movement.”—Spiritual Fusion: East comes West, Mike Oppenheimer, Let Us Reason Ministries
-Source: Brian McLaren – New Age/Mystic/Contemplative
http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/brianmclaren.htm

What does McLaren mean when he talks about these meditative practices?

Brian McLaren’s newest book, Finding Our Way Again: The Return of the Ancient Practices, is about exploring the ancient Christian spiritual practices. The review of this book at Lighthouse Trails Research (here) concludes with this:

In the last chapter of McLaren’s book, “Theosis (via Unitiva),” he sums up his calling by stating that “The purpose of the via purgativa [the practices] is to prepare us for the via illuminativa [the awakening], and the purpose of the via illuminativa is to prepare us for the via unitiva [all is one], the union of our nature with the nature of God” (pp. 171-172). He calls God “fire” and says, “We join God in being fire … Before the beginning … God was All, and All was God” (p. 175). This is the exact same message that Eckhart Tolle and Oprah are propagating. But while many Christians are now condemning Tolle’s message, they don’t realize that the very same message is permeating their very own churches.

Lectio Divina? Imagination? Awakening? Fire? As you may have noticed, McLaren (who says on his Deep Shift website that what we need is a ‘big shift’) is not the only one who is using these words. They are also a big part of the counterfeit revival that is going on right now.

Christianity is undergoing a paradigm shift of major proportions – a shift from faith to feelings; from fact to fantasy; and from reason to esoteric revelation. Leaders of this Counterfeit Revival, such as Benny Hinn, Todd Bentley, Rodney Howard Browne and John Arnott, have peppered their preaching and practice with fabrications, fantasies, and frauds, seemingly unaware of their profound consequences.

Many of the followers who at first flooded into Counterfeit Revival “power centers” have become disillusioned and have now slipped through the cracks into the kingdom of the cults.

John the Apostle warned, “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1).

This warning is particularly relevant today, as Christianity is undergoing a paradigm shift of epic proportions.

-Lakeland Revival – Todd Bentley
http://earthless.wordpress.com/2008/05/20/lakeland-revival-todd-bentley/

New Age terms like transition, transformation, energy (fire), unblocking or opening your mind to the supernatural, and the concept of ‘feeling the shift’ are commonly used by many today, incuding Oprah’s friend Eckhart Tolle…

“You ask, “What does Word of Faith and Emergent Church have to do with Oprah?” Most likely you’ve heard of Eckhart Tolle and his blockbuster book A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life Purpose. For the past few months Oprah has been promoting Tolle’s “revolutionary message” to her TV audience and offers a class on XM Satellite Radio. So, Oprah now sponsors two occult classes: A Course in Miracles with Marianne Williamson and A New Earth with Eckhart Tolle.

Listen to what Warren Smith says about The Shift:

“In her first class with Eckhart Tolle, Oprah asked if people had experienced the ‘shift’ while reading Tolle’s book, A New Earth. The question reminded me of Werner Erhard’s New Age EST program in the 1970s that taught this same idea of shifting one’s perception, and then similarly asking – ‘Did you get IT?’ Obviously, there is pressure to ‘get IT’ – to feel the shift: Oprah felt the shift – did you? Are you understanding this new [age] way of looking at yourself and the world? Or, are you being blocked by your mind and your ego from seeing this New Spirituality that can save our planet? Keep logging onto our classes. Keep reading Tolle’s book – you’ll ‘get it.’”
http://www.christianworldviewnetwork.com/print.php?&ArticleID=3470

How interesting that Todd Bentley always calls the fire anointing “it” – step into “IT,” “IT’s” going to happen, this church and that city is going to get “IT,” or ”Come and get “IT”. And other churches are supposedly getting “IT” now too as youth pastors fly to Florida to ‘get some’ and bring “IT” back home.

Keep in mind that Todd Bentley, like McLaren, also has been learning the meditative practices of ‘brothers and sisters in other religions.’ He was discipled early on by a Roman Catholic Charismatic “prophet” named Frenchie. And who can forget his vision of Sadhu Sundar Singh – Hindu Mystic in Sheeps Clothing, whose meditation steps of Lectio Divina he practices AND teaches?

Exactly what is IT that Brian McLaren, Todd Bentley, and Eckhart Tolle are getting from their meditative practices which they have learned from other sources than the Bible? Could it be they are all from the same pack of wolves?

Meanwhile, the sheep on the slope are contemplating grazing on the pretty patches of green New Age grass, totally unaware of the gravity of their dire situation. They have taken their eyes off the Shepherd and have allowed themselves to be lured here by the false shepherds who promise to lead them to IT. They are oblivious to the watchmen who shout, “Don’t do it sheep! IT is not what you think IT is! Run away from “IT”, and back to the safety of the Good Shepherd, while there is still time!”

Some perk up their ears and listen, but most of them don’t want the truth. They want a pack of lies told by a pack of wolves. They just want IT.

There is a way which seems right to a man, But ITS end is the way of death. Proverbs 14:12

But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons – 1 Timothy 4:1

Related reading:

Todd Bentley and a Spirit Named “Winds of Change”
http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/index.php?p=1099&more=1&c=1


LECTIO DIVINA – Leading Sheep to a New Level of Consciousness

Lectio Divina

Lectio Divina is derived from a Latin word that means “holy reading.” It is an ancient method of slowly reading the scriptures in a repetitive fashion in order to encounter the presence of God.

Friar Luke Dysinger explains that this “VERY ANCIENT art, practiced at one time by all Christians, is the technique known as lectio divina – a slow, contemplative praying of the Scriptures which enables the Bible, the Word of God, to become a means of union with God.” (See The Ancient Art of Lectio Divina)

Today, this practice that has been kept alive in the tradition of Benedictine monastics and oblates is not only popular among Catholics, it has gained acceptance in other faiths and, more recently, in the emerging church.

The Youth Ministry & Spirituality Project, an organization dedicated to contemplative youth ministry, has a description of the four steps of Lectio Divina on their website:

In order to practice lectio divina, select a time and place that is peaceful and in which you may be alert and prayerfully attentive. Dispose yourself for prayer in whatever way is natural for you. This may be a spoken prayer to God to open you more fully to the Spirit, a gentle relaxation process that focuses on breathing, singing or chanting, or simply a few minutes of silence to empty yourself of thoughts, images, and emotions.

Reading (lectio) – Slowly begin reading a biblical passage as if it were a long awaited love letter addressed to you. Approach it reverentially and expectantly, in a way that savors each word and phrase. Read the passage until you hear a word or phrase that touches you, resonates, attracts or even disturbs you.

Reflecting (meditatio) – Ponder this word or phrase for a few minutes. Let it sink in slowly and deeply until you are resting in it. Listen for what the word or phrase is saying to you at this moment in your life, what it may be offering to you, what it may be demanding of you.

Expressing (oratio) – When you feel ready, openly and honestly express to God the prayers that arise spontaneously within you from your experience of this word or phrase. These may be prayers of thanksgiving, petition, intercession, lament, or praise.

Resting (contemplatio) – Allow yourself to simply rest silently with God for a time in the stillness of your heart remaining open to the quiet fullness of God’s love and peace. This is like the silence of communion between the mother holding her sleeping infant child or between lovers whose communication with each other passes beyond words.

An Ancient Way of Praying with Scripture
(http://www.ymsp.org/resources/practices/lectio_divina.html)

Mike Perschon at Youth Specialties compares the four steps of Lectio Divina to “four levels of consciousness…which introduces you at each new level into a whole new world of reality” that occurs through the four levels of repetitious reading:

1- LITERAL LEVEL CONSCIOUSNESS
2- Moral level of consciousness
3- the Allegorical level which requires a Spiritual level of listening
4- We simply rest in the presence of the one who has used His word as a means of inviting us to accept His transforming embrace. We call this level, Union of Life or the unitive level of consciousness.
An Experience of Lectio Divina
(http://www.cellofpeace.com/refl_lectio.htm)

It is no secret that chanting a mantra indeed empties the mind of thought and opens one up to a different state of consciousness. Mantras are used in yoga, Zen, Hindu, and Transcendental Meditation. Here is what some of these websites say about mantras:

*From a Yoga website:

“Modern science has reaffirmed what yogis have known for thousands of years – that SOUND is able to effect the chemistry of the body and mind, and alter thought patterns. (…) Mantra Meditation is a VERY Powerful technique!
You will discover that the repetition of Mantra allows your mind to focus and concentrate more completely on sound, and clear away other thoughts, emotions and distractions which divert our energies. Our senses become more acute and our mind become sharper and more perceptive as the mind clears away the jumble of unnecessary inner dialogue.”
http://www.focalpointyoga.com/mantra_meditation.htm

*From a Meditation website:

“The repetition of a mantra…is meant as a method of practice which brings about a power (siddhi) to reach the supreme state of consciousness. In this state there is silence within the mind which becomes still (shaant) and eventually you will merge the mind or individual awareness with the whole, which is Pure Consciousness and Knowingness. Every time you practice you obtain the result, as this fourth state of consciousness is always with you.”
-http://meditate4life.com/four-stages.htm

In spite of the well known purpose of mantra repetition to clear the mind and achieve this state of altered consciousness, many Christians today are mistakenly teaching that this is how to meditate on the Word of God. But is this how we fill our minds with God’s Word – by emptying our minds?

True biblical meditation involves thinking and understanding, as we read at bible.org in an article called Biblical Meditation:

What Does It Mean to Meditate?

The first question we must consider concerns the meaning of meditation and what meditation involves. This is particularly important to the Christian because of the great and growing emphasis on meditation in eastern religions. Transcendental meditation, as it is often called, is not biblical meditation. It is dangerous and actually opens up one’s mind for Satanic attack as it is found in New Age thinking.

(…)

Meditation means “the act of focusing one’s thoughts: to ponder, think on, muse.” Meditation consists of reflective thinking or contemplation, usually on a specific subject to discern its meaning or significance or a plan of action.

(…)

In Eastern forms of meditation as in TM there is an attempt to empty the mind. Biblical meditation, however, is an attempt to empty the mind of the wrong things in order to fill it with what is right and true according to the index of God’s inspired Word.

Biblical Meditation by J. Hampton Keathley
http://www.bible.org/page.php?page_id=989

If you want to learn about God, understand His Word, and enter into His presence, Lectio Divina is not the way to go about it. What would you do if someone called you and kept repeating the same phrase over and over again? Would you talk to them, or would you hang up the phone?

———-

*Related reading:

What is Lectio Divina? @GotQuestions.org
http://www.gotquestions.org/lectio-divina.htm

Todd Bentley and Contemplative Meditation

Todd Bentley Taught Contemplative Prayer and Silence

***UPDATE:

More Disappearing Trails

https://sheepyweepy.wordpress.com/2008/06/27/more-disappearing-trails/


Todd Bentley and Contemplative Meditation

Has anyone ever heard of Todd Bentley’s strange vision? You can read about it here:

THE GLORY CLOUD OF REVELATION & PROPHETIC MANTLES – PART 2: CONCLUSION BY TODD BENTLEY, FRESH FIRE MINISTRIES
http://www.freshfire.ca/teaching_details.php?Id=143

***NOTE: as of May 18, 2008, this link has been changed. This page can now be found here:

http://www.freshfire.ca/index.php?Act=read&status=teaching&Id=143&pid=954

This is what he saw:
“…in a vision, the Glory Cloud of Revelation descending upon the church. It was also during this time of prayer that God took me in a vision to what I believed to be the Himalayan Mountains. I saw an Indian man with a turban on his head and heard the whisper of the Spirit say, “This is Sundar Singh. I am releasing anointing of revelation like this.” I had no communication with this old saint, nor did he say anything to me. The experience lasted only a moment….”

And this is the revelation he learned from the man with a turban:

THE CHRISTIAN CONTEMPLATIVE TRADITION (LECTIO DIVINA)

Sundar Singh spent at least two hours daily in reading the Scriptures, meditation and prayer. He would arise at 5:00 am and finish by 7:00 or 8:00 depending on what his schedule was for the day. He often spent the whole day or night in prayer. His discipline was to read one chapter of the Bible, rapidly at first reading, then to return to reread passages or verses that were more suggestive to him. These he would linger with and meditate on for as long as it was fruitful for him to do so. Next, he would enter into a period of “recollection” for twenty minutes or so. This was a time of silence, in which he would allow the Lord to speak to him in some way. With his own mind and heart quieted, he opened his mind and his heart to hear what the Lord would have to say to him or just simply enjoy companionship with his Lord. Often this period of silence would extend into a deeper state called “contemplation” in which he enjoyed complete rest and refreshment in the love of God.

Often during times of contemplation, he entered into experiences of ecstasy. He regarded these experiences as the same as St. Paul’s entrance into the “third heaven”. During his latter years, they occurred frequently, as often as ten times a month. About these experiences he said, “I never try to go into ecstasy; nor do I advise others to try. It is a gift to be accepted, but it should not be sought; if given, it is a pearl of great price.”

Anyone who contemplates the heavenly calling of the apostle Paul and his being caught up into the third heaven, and again into Paradise, will lift up his voice to God and say: Glory to God who surely gives great gifts to men!

THE FOUR R’s OF THE CHRISTIAN DEVOTIONAL LIFE

This key is one of the most important tools if we are to see an increase of wisdom and revelation in our lives. In the western Christian tradition, meditation refers to thinking about or the use of the imagination around a passage of scripture, whereas, in India, traditional meditation refers to silencing one’s thoughts. The Christian tradition practices the silencing of thoughts and emotions, but it is called “contemplation” rather than “meditation”. This is one of those unfortunate twists of semantics, which has caused confusion when discussing the spirituality of East and West.

Sundar Singh practiced a sequence of prayer discipline that is identical to ancient Christian monastic disciplines: reading the scriptures, meditation on a passage of the reading (also called response of the mind and heart), recollection, and rest. This sequence is also called lectio divina in Latin. It means divine reading, or more precisely, divine listening, since few people in that day could actually read.

Why would God give his children a vision of a contemplative who combined the East and West in his meditative disciplines? Is this where Todd Bentley’s ideas about visions, spirituality, and ‘soaking’ prayer are coming from?
There is a Todd Bently resource called Developing Your Seer Gift – CD that can be purchased here:
http://shop.newdayinternational.org/customer/product.php?productid=435

According to the description at the above link, some of the ways in which Todd Bentley teaches to develop your seer gift is by Activating Your Spiritual Senses and by opening Spiritual Gates, Doors and Portals:

There are over eight ways that Todd will outline in this teaching that will help you position yourself for God to open the eyes of your heart, such as: overcoming fear of the unknown, meditating in your heart and being still, soaking and contemplative prayer, and meditating on God’s Word.

…Todd will give clarification, both through the Word of God and by sharing amazing personal experiences, how spiritual gates, doors and portals trigger supernatural encounters with God. Using Jacob’s life as an example, Todd will teach you how to position yourself for a holy visitation from God.

The Bible warns us about spiritual realms and principalities. Rather than teaching about contemplative spirituality and opening the gates to the dangers of the supernatural, a real shepherd would be more concerned about laying down his life to protect his sheep.

Watch out sheep. When you see wolf tracks like this, run to the real Shepherd.

———-

**********Note: Update: It appears Freshfire has been playing hide and seek with this page on their website. However, you can find something similar at the Elijah List here (it is a little bit different):

http://www.elijahlist.com/words/display_word_pf.html?ID=1400