The Symptoms of Seduction by Spirits
“Now it came about when Jerusalem was captured in the ninth year of Zedekiah king of Judah, in the tenth month, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and all his army came to Jerusalem and laid siege to it; in the eleventh year of Zedekiah, in the fourth month, in the ninth day of the month, the city wall was breached.”
Jeremiah 39:1-2, NASB
By the Discernment Research Group
“It was toward the end of the reading that I first noticed the whirling sensation over my head. I tried to ignore it, but it wouldn’t go away. It was a strange but not unpleasant feeling that seemed to flutter and vibrate and even tingle above me. I was startled when Bonnie [my psychic reader] picked up on it.
‘Are you aware that there is a ball of light over your head?’
I was dumfounded. A ball of light? Is that what I was feeling? This was getting a little wild. I told Bonnie that I had been feeling something over my head but didn’t know what it was. She said it again.
‘It’s a ball of light.’
For a moment I tried to understand what a ball of light was doing over my head. Then I asked the obvious.
‘Why is there a ball of light over my head?’
‘You are being shown that you have a lot of help on the other side,’ she said matter-of-factly.
‘What do you mean by “the other side”?’
‘The spirit world,’ was her quick reply. ‘Family and loved ones who have passed away, as well as angels and other spirits who for whatever reasons are sympathetic to your life. They are making themselves known to you. They are reaching out to you and letting you know that they are available if you want their help’.”
—Warren Smith, The Light That Was Dark
ne of life’s most difficult experiences is the death of a loved one, especially the death of one’s own child. Yet Scripture promises Christians that,
“the God and Father the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ [has]... according to His abundant mercy... caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” (1 Peter 1:3-5, NASB)
Appropriated by faith, this “blessed hope” is the source of strength and comfort to Christians grieving over the death of a believing loved one who also trusted in the salvation offered by and in the Lord Jesus Christ.
This series of articles has been difficult for the Discernment Research Group to publish. As we read the account of Pastor Steve and Sarah Berger’s loss of their teenage son Josiah in a tragic car accident, our hearts stirred with sympathy for them and their family, for their church and their friends. Yet we rejoiced with them in their assurance that Josiah, a professing believer in Jesus Christ, was in Heaven and in the legacy he had left here on earth.
However, amidst our sympathy for them and thoughtful consideration, we decided it necessary to rebut the New Age view of Heaven that was publicly being spread amongst the evangelical community in the Bergers’ book, Have Heart: bridging the gulf between heaven and earth
Openly endorsed by such high-profile church figures as James Robison, Chuck Missler and Greg Laurie,
and promoted by various media outlets
and Koinonia House,
this book required a public response.
In a point-by-point biblical and theological analysis and commentary, Have Heart
was reviewed by Pastor Larry DeBruyn in his 5-part series “Do the Dead Communicate with the Living?” The Discernment Research Group thought this review of the Bergers’ book was necessary because the issues it introduces to America’s evangelical community; namely a New Age understanding of Heaven that allows for visitations from Christian loved ones who have entered the afterlife.
From our perspective, we are sorry that the grief and anguish of their son’s death has opened the minds of the family, their friends and their audience to “the other side”
for the term “other side” derives its meaning from the occult world of Spiritualism, a religious phenomena that has been around for centuries.
As a movement, Wikipedia
describes the rise of Spiritualism to prominence in the 1840s as follows:
Spiritualism is a belief system or religion, postulating the belief that spirits of the dead residing in the spirit world have both the ability and the inclination to communicate with the living. Anyone may receive spirit messages, but formal communication sessions (séances) are held by “mediums”, who can then provide information about the afterlife.
Under the subheading “Syncretism,” the Wikipedia
entry also notes that Spiritualism was a forerunner to the New Age movement, with which it shares many similarities and overlapping connections, and that in the past it gained a foothold in many liberal Christian churches whose membership contains so-called “Christian Spiritualists.”
So herein resides our concern: the door to the doctrines and practices of Spiritualism is now being opened amongst unsuspecting evangelicals because of the information and experiences communicated by the Bergers’ book. In other words, the spiritual security of the evangelical church has been breached
. This breach not only includes descriptions of their son Josiah’s afterlife appearances here on earth, but also credits to occult sources in the book and new teachings about Heaven described by the authors. Because several members of the Discernment Research Group have come out of the New Age movement and have personally experienced the psychic world, we recognize Spiritualism when we see it, no matter how its tenets might be labeled. So we became alarmed enough to write more on this topic in order to warn others of the dangers inherent with courting the beliefs and practices of Spiritualism. The following summary covers some spiritualist activities that concern us.
The Symptoms of SpiritualismApparitions
In Spiritualism, “apparitions” is the term commonly employed to describe that the dead in some manner, shape or form, make appearances to those who are still living. But its meaning can extend beyond this. As a term, apparition
“covers all visionary appearances, hallucinations, clairvoyance, and similar unusual perceptions.”
This broadly includes the experience of sounds, voices, visions or images, dreams, impressions or feelings, etc. An apparition has commonly been associated with a “ghost” of a human being, a.k.a. a “familiar spirit.”
Contact from animals (often associated with animism), extra-terrestrials, mythological creatures and gods, and even inanimate objects have also been reported. In analyzing the vast array of historical and cross-cultural reports about apparitions, one occult source explains why these apparitions are feared: “Almost invariably the spirits of the deceased are thought to be unfriendly towards the living, desirous of drawing the souls of the latter, or their shadows, into the spirit-world.”
The analysis concludes:
Thus it will be seen that ancient and modern ideas on apparitions differ very little in essential particulars, though they take colour from the race and time to which they belong.... [T]he laws which govern their appearance are the same, and the beliefs concerning them are not greatly different, in whatever race or age they may be found.
Implicitly or explicitly, the widespread phenomenon of apparitions suggests salvific universalism.
In a recently posted 5-part series on Herescope, Pastor DeBruyn explained why biblical Christians are not to condone the appearances of apparitions (in whatever form). The Bible expressly forbids association with apparitions! But the door to this type of universalistic thinking has been opened, perhaps unwittingly, when in their book the Bergers fail to acknowledge the existence of Hell. This tragic omission could imply the idea of Christian Universalism
, that all will be saved. For those who have lost unsaved
family members, this presents a particularly enticing temptation; readers may be led to embrace a false hope and hence, be distracted from the true gospel. Furthermore, Have Heart
does not warn of the possibility of seducing spirits and demons impersonating loved ones, disguising themselves as angels “of light” to the grieving. (2 Corinthians 11:14; 1 Timothy 4:1) Interestingly, the premise that familiar spirits impersonate demons is prominent in occult lore.
Thus, the warning of 1 John 4:1 is particularly relevant to these types of experiences: “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.”
The Bergers’ use of “spontaneity” to legitimatize a visit from a loved one is not a valid test because it doesn’t take a séance or a medium to invoke an apparition!
Occult lore is filled with stories of apparitions which were not solicited. One source states: “Sometimes the familiar [spirit] annexed himself voluntarily to a master, without any exercise of magic skill or invocation on his part....”
In fact, so prevalent were the stories of uncalled-for visits from dead loved ones, that in the late 1800s societies for “psychical research” were formed for the purpose of studying apparitions.
These psychical research societies cataloged these reports of visitations, including encounters which warned of impending danger or delivered prophetic utterances. Shortly after a person’s death, most often the specter of that dead person came unbidden and unsolicited to loved ones. In short, they just showed up.
In the overall context of Spiritualism, the Bergers’ stories about visits from Josiah bear eerie similarity to reports collected and categorized over the past several centuries of psychic and occult research.
This fact may disappoint those who read the Bergers’ book and put their hope in the new way Have Heart
imagines Heaven even as it sanctions visits from deceased Christian loved ones. Yet it remains a fact that these types of experiences cannot be supported by Holy Scripture and they manifest characteristics of the occult world.
Another common thread is Spiritualism’s belief that hauntings by departed loved ones (i.e., “apparitions”) indicate that they still have an active purpose here on earth. One occult source explains it this way:
If no definite message is conveyed, the apparition may be explained by a continued interest in earthly occupations. The spirit apparently cannot adjust himself immediately to his new surroundings, he may be seen for a while in his favorite haunts or at his usual work, being somehow enabled, when recently free from the body, to enjoy a fuller perception of earthly scenes than it is afterwards possible to retain. (Emphasis added)
It is precisely at this point where the teaching of Have Heart
crosses over to “the other side”. The authors assert that their son Josiah is still actively engaged in earthly affairs. He isn’t just in Heaven alive, active and aware (which biblically is true), but they go on to assert he, as others, make visits and go on missions to earth. This they validate by the various accounts of people who have had paranormal experiences with him.
The Bergers re-cast all of these post-mortem Josiah appearances into a Christian context, explaining them in terms of ministry and mission for the Master. They write, “Josiah is ministering and working to help others... He’s doing it from Heaven!”(HH, p. 5) And also, “He was fully alive on earth, and now, he is fully alive in Heaven and encouraging others [presumably on earth, ed.] to awake, arise, and receive the Light.”(HH, p. 18) Have Heart
relies heavily on the ideas in an 1800s book by Rebecca Ruter Springer called My Dream of Heaven
which teaches that “saints in Heaven go on ‘invisible missions’ to earth,” and who reported that her brother Frank was engaged in post-mortem “heavenly ministry... to make trips to earth for the Master.”(HH, p 89-90)
The descriptions of paranormal hauntings in occult literature strongly resemble the reports of Josiah’s activities in Have Heart
. The idea of loved ones coming back to comfort the bereaved, or help those on earth, is often cited as a purpose for visitations in the occult world. New Age occultist Shirley MacLaine, in her famous 1983 book, Out on a Limb
(Bantam), records a conversation with her trance-channeler Kevin Ryerson:
“Do you believe everyone has spiritual guides?” I [MacLaine] asked.
Kevin looked surprised. “Why sure,” he said, “that’s what the soul does after it passes out of the body. Souls that have died, so to speak, help those who are still in the body. Why, that’s what spiritual understanding is all about.”
(Emphasis added, p. 184)
The Bergers state that they “believe that Josiah is participating in the ‘catching’ of unbelievers for Jesus Christ.”(HH, p. 87).
While it is true that Josiah’s life’s legacy remains as a good testimony to his Christian walk on earth (we think of the love he shared with others, his donated organs and the orphanage established in his name), the Bergers then leap into the paranormal by recording how Josiah’s ninth-grade English teacher dreamed a dream in which Josiah’s spirit told her that, “he was in Thailand because that is where he was needed.”(HH, p. 90) There are no recorded incidents in Scripture of the spirits of the dead traveling to specific locations on earth,
but as noticed by psychics, stories like this abound in the occult world.
The experiences of Carl Jung, the famous psychoanalyst, reveal his lifelong connection with Spiritualism. His psychotherapeutic method grew out of his obsession with connecting with “the other side.” His family background was steeped in occult tradition,
and by the time he was a young man, he had begun to employ spiritualist techniques in a series of experiments with a young cousin “Helly”. Coinciding with when his father lay on his deathbed, Jung and Helly tried their first séance, which rapidly went out of control as manifestations of frightening occult activity occurred. In the midst of her trance, Helly reportedly “embarked on a ‘magical flight’” with their dead grandfather “in order to save the soul of another.” The flight included a visit to Sao Paulo, Brazil (Compare Luke 16:27-31.).
From these experiments with the occult, Carl Jung would go on to develop his concept of “active imagination.” As a result of studying the “trance” states of his cousin Helly during their experiments of connecting with the dead, Jung developed his technique for “visioning.” This trance method was later used by Jung to gain access (“initiation”) into the pagan mystery cults.
Jung believed “active imagination” was a way to suspend
...the critical function of the conscious ego to allow images and feelings to arise from the subconscious mind. One’s inner voice could also be found in this way and like a medium, one could speak to it and establish an ongoing dialogue with it.... (Emphasis added)
Today we would identify this trance technique as a classic method of meditation or contemplation the intent of which is to induce altered states of consciousness. In the occult world there is a spiritual purpose for this. Jung hoped that such a state would lead to the “creation of a New Man” in a spiritual occult sense.
Jung’s legacy has directly impacted evangelicals as evidenced by their widespread use of his “visualization” and “imagination” techniques.
Employing the same kind of imagination-visualization technique to connect with “the other side,” the Bergers state:
Our minds need to be stretched to the other side. I coined a term to illustrate the need to break out of the box and allow God to maximize our view of Heaven: “sanctified imagination within the confines of biblical truth.”(Emphasis added, HH, p. xxii)
The modern-day evangelical movement is precariously susceptible to the suggestive new theologies of the Bergers about connecting with the dead. Why? Because evangelicals are widely participating in “imaginative” activities like contemplation, visualization and other meditative methods that produce mystic states of altered consciousness.
In a vulnerable trance-like state induced by contemplative practices, new ideas, imaginations, revelations, doctrines and practices are introduced to the practitioners’ souls. Truth becomes “sourced” within
. Not surprisingly, the spirit world uses such trance states to alter orthodox Christian beliefs even as it engrains anti-Christian beliefs in people’s hearts.
The Bergers explain that “Mr. Jim” received his visitation from Josiah when he was already very vulnerable; he was “tired, questioning, and drained.”(HH, p. 100) By itself, grief produces overwhelming feelings that can throw a person off emotionally, physically and spiritually. This is a normal fact of our human nature and explains why Christians should tangibly minister to those who have recently lost loved ones. But this is also a state where people can be more susceptible to false hopes. When combined with attainment of an altered state of consciousness, the agony of grief can become a recipe for spiritual disaster!
New Age psychic Ainslie MacLeod, in his book The Instruction: Living the Life Your Soul Intended
, includes a story about his altered-state susceptibility to an apparition of his departed Uncle John:
The psychics had always told me that my deceased Uncle John was one of my spirit guides. Kathleen Loughery, a trance channeler I met on the island of Kauai, was no different. Toward the end of my session with her, she said, “Your uncle is here, and he’s ready to start working with you.”
I left Kathleen and walked out into the glaring sunshine in what I recognized to be a slightly altered state. I drove (cautiously) to Borders bookstore and, as I stood facing a bookshelf, suddenly saw a face to my right.
I froze in amazement. It was my Uncle John.... The image was dimensional and sharp, though it lasted a second or two at the most. At the same time I got a message, “Let’s get started.”
(The fact that MacLeod’s book contains a front page endorsement by Dr. Mehmet Oz, a well-known New Age physician who is overseeing Rick Warren’s health care reform plan, The Daniel Plan, should be of additional concern to evangelicals.
Synchronicity and “God Nods”
teaches that God provides grieving loved ones with “special, supernatural moments” that “radically contribute to the healing process. They come spontaneously and when we least expect them.”(HH, p. 113) These “God Nods” are said to come in the form of “experiences”(HH, p. 114), particularly when God, in his “spontaneous sovereignty... allows gifts from the land of the living, Heaven, to touch those in the land of the dying, this earth, to bring comfort and peace.”(HH, p. 20) As related by the Bergers, these experiences had an aspect of timeliness of them, often coming in the form of dreams or impressions.
As pointed out in the 5-part review of and commentary on Have Heart
, the idea of “God Nods” bears a striking similarity to the New Age concept of Synchronicity, often referred to as “meant-to-be” experiences that seem more than coincidental and therefore spiritual. Marilyn Ferguson, whose book The Aquarian Conspiracy
brought the New Age movement to the fore of American culture, defined “synchronicity” as “guidance” for mystics.
In her book, she connects synchronicity to psychic phenomena such as clairvoyance, remote viewing, precognition and psycho-kinesis, and describes it as a “meaningful coincidence, a composite of the other phenomena.”
The New Age occult world ascribes an evolutionary purpose to Synchronicity. New Ager James Redfield in his 2011 book The Twelfth Insight: The Hour of Decision
, records a conversation that explains:
[I]f we follow the Synchronicity, we will be able to learn from those in Heaven in a direct way, and that will elevate us into the next level of consciousness. (Emphasis added)
While Christians believe in the absolute sovereignty of God—Who directs all of our lives—the idea of God employing paranormal encounters with the dead to influence or direct our spiritual walk resides outside the parameter of Holy Scripture. Are we Christians to believe that the Word and the Spirit are insufficient guides of faith for us?
Opening the door of Spiritualism not only facilitates the merging of evangelicalism with its belief system, but also its near spiritual cousin, New Age Religion. Much of the evangelical church today is now primed for a great convergence or synthesis of religious systems; i.e. Syncretism. For example, The Elijah List, which promotes the activities and beliefs of the New Apostolic Reformation, recently advertised a “School of the Supernatural,” described as a “POWERFUL ONLINE PROPHETIC MENTORING CLASSES, DELIVERANCE OR ON-LOCATION SUPERNATURAL ENCOUNTERS PURPOSED TO STRETCH YOUR PERCEPTION, FREEDOM AND INTIMACY WITH GOD!”
Supernatural encounters described by the New Apostolic Reformation have included a wide variety of paranormal experiences, including voices, revelations, impressions, visitations, dreams, strange phenomena, manifestations and a wide variety of encounters with the spirit world.
The Bergers cite Dianne Arcangel’s book Afterlife Encounters: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Experiences
.(HH, pp. 94-95) At one of her websites, Arcangel’s bio describes her as:
Former hospice chaplain, psychiatric hospital therapist, and Director of the Elisabeth Kübler-Ross Center of Houston, Dianne is an international presenter on the topics of death, dying, grief, and afterlife encounters.
This bio is significant because Elizabeth Kübler-Ross, who encouraged the formation of the hospice movement in this country and is best known for her book Death and Dying
, later delved into the afterlife. It is reported that “In the late 1970s Kübler-Ross became interested in out-of-body experiences, mediumship, spiritualism and in other ways attempting to contact the dead.”
This presents a huge problem for the Christian reader. The Bergers offer little warning about Arcangel or her book; however, immediately after citing her psychical research findings, they do qualify that they are “not talking about channeling, séances, or mediums trying to contact the dead.”(HH, pp. 94-95) Because of the lack of specificity in their mild disclaimer, readers might conclude that Arcangel’s book is being generally recommended as a good source regarding matters of the afterlife. This might prove disastrous to a new believer, or one who is not a discipled or discerning Christian. In reading Arcangel’s book, they could be attracted to and influenced by her appealingly-packaged New Age Spiritualism.
Arcangel’s book details her research results, which the Bergers cite in a positive way.(HH, p. 94) In Afterlife Encounters
, Arcangel continues in the tradition of the societies for psychical research which sought to investigate and catalog encounters with the dead. To do her research, she admits that she turned to this “psychical” research (p. 278). Chapter 2, titled “The Survey Reveals,” gives it all a positive New Age spin:
Whether real of imagined, paranormal beliefs enhance mental health. Simply believing in the hereafter is life enhancing. Experiencing an afterlife encounter (AE) is a significant element for transcending loss. It, furthermore, offers a leap toward enlightenment.
The 1990s spiritual movement, with its focus on contacting the dead, brought a groundswell of attention surrounding the tremendous value of afterlife encounters....  (Emphasis added)
Accentuating this same ideal, Arcangel’s Preface explains it in terms of world peace. “Afterlife encounters are beacons of life” she writes. “They are catalysts offering a more peaceful, loving and compassionate world.”
The book itself is a compendium of afterlife encounters, all cast in a most positive light. In a chapter “The World of Mediumship,” Arcangel records her private session with George Anderson, “an internationally recognized medium” who was “highly respected among [Arcangel's] Elizabeth Kübler-Ross colleagues.”
This medium tells Arcangel:
You have a lot of people over there. They all send their love and are proud of who you are and the work you are doing. They're helping you from the other side.... (Emphasis added)
Arcangel’s book continues the historical tradition of the institutes for psychical research which sought to find “scientific” reasons behind the occult research findings about afterlife encounters. There were divisions between those who wanted to place all of these extrasensory experiences in the realm of the brain (psychology) and those who gave credence to the reality of the spirit world. Theories abounded about the various causes for these afterlife experiences: hallucinations, hysteria, telepathy, hypnotism, mesmerism, psychic forces, pathological conditions of the brain or nerves, trances, the cosmos, the encounters with the gods and the power of myths, split-personalities, the unconscious mind, dementia praecox, etc.
Regardless of whether these afterlife encounters were explained by psychology or parapsychology, the overriding conclusion was that these contacts profoundly altered the person who had these experiences. The encounters became a pivotal, life-changing event; an experience so powerful and revelatory that Carl Jung sought to turn them into a rite of initiation into pagan mysteries.
In our era, the New Age Movement has provided an over-arching platform for all of these diverse theories about the afterlife and has ascribed a global purpose to the experiences. In this context, then, the Bergers' book Have Heart
finds a unique niche in the evangelical world, positing a new theology about the afterlife that comfortably merges it with the entire Spiritualism paradigm, and promising that these encounters are part of God’s “kingdom work” and “redemptive plan.” (HH, p. 91-92)
The problem with encountering those in the afterlife, whether spontaneous or sought after, is that things can rapidly get out of control and become scary. Occult lore is filled with accounts of frightening experiences with apparitions. While the Bergers focus on the comforting aspect of the many dreams, impressions and visitations of Josiah, there is another side of this story. One occult source summarizes the deception inherent in these experiences:
About the true nature of apparitions we do not know much. As Andrew Lang stated: “Only one thing is certain about apparitions, namely this that they do appear. They really are perceived.” How are they seen? When Lord Adare submitted this question to the control of D.D. Home, he received the following answer “At times we make passes over the individual to cause him to see us, sometimes we make the actual resemblance of our former clothing, and of what we were, so that we appear exactly as we were known to you on earth; sometimes we project an image that you see, sometimes you see us as we are, with a cloudlike aura of light around us.”
But other experiences, perhaps more frightening, include encounters with ghosts, poltergeists, demons, familiar spirits and goblins, witches, werewolves, vampires, apparitions, etc., all of whom reportedly wreak spiritual havoc, cause psychological damage, and can do bodily harm (See Mark 5:1-13.). Furthermore, these appearances are often reported to be accompanied by divination and curses.
It is quite obvious that once one begins flirting with the afterlife, dire things can happen. A loved one might be solicited, but other spirits can show up! Ex-New Age follower Warren Smith records his frightening experience with a disembodied evil presence in his testimony The Light That Was Dark
In the late evening hours, I was startled out of my sleep by an awful evil presence pressing in upon me. I bolted upright and in a horrified, broken voice called out, “Help me, God!”
Joy sprang out of bed in a flash and was immediately by my side. She knew exactly what was going on. Looking directly at me, she addressed the unseen presence, “In the name of Jesus Christ, leave Warren alone!”
And woosh! It... left as soon as Joy called on the name of Jesus.
Another Jesus, another gospel
Some apparitions even claim to be “Jesus”. Warren Smith’s testimony recounts how he encountered a “false Christ” and “another Jesus” when he was a seeker in the New Age movement. He also relates how Helen Schucman heard an “inner voice” that said, “This is A Course in Miracles
. Please take notes.” The voice, which later identified itself as “Jesus,” proceeded to dictate a body of material that completely contradicted the real gospel of Christ and whose oppositional teachings could only be characterized as “another gospel,” “another spirit,” and “another Jesus.”
[M]ost of us never knew the Bible's explicit warnings that false Christs and false prophets would arise in our midst and seduce us with supernatural signs and wonders to make us think their teachings came from God. Those signs and wonders would be so convincing that “if it were possible” they would fool even the most faithful believers of the real gospel and the real Christ.
The warning is plain. There are false voices, impressions, experiences, prophecies, and signs and wonders that cleverly counterfeit themselves to be authentic-experiential encounters with the afterlife. These spiritual experiences can seem genuinely real
, perfectly timed
and intimately personal
as they speak to our needs and comfort our hearts. But even as they may seem to meet our emotional and spiritual needs, we must acknowledge our vulnerability to spiritual deception and therefore measure these experiences by the full counsel of God’s Word, all the while knowing that such encounters are unprecedented in and therefore unsanctioned by Holy Scripture, which reveals to human hearts the true work of the Holy Spirit (See John 5:39; 15:26).
Dr. Harry Ironside, pastor of Chicago’s Moody Memorial Church from 1930-1948, emphasizes the fact that truth mixed with error results in “all error”:
Error is like leaven, of which we read, “A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.” Truth mixed with error is equivalent to all error, except that it is more innocent looking and, therefore, more dangerous. God hates such a mixture! Any error, or any truth-and-error mixture, calls for definite exposure and repudiation. To condone such is to be unfaithful to God and His Word and treacherous to imperiled souls for whom Christ died.
“But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times
1. Warren Smith, The Light That Was Dark: from the New Age to Amazing Grace (Mountain Stream Press, 2005), p. 16-17, emphasis added. This initial experience with a psychic served to propel Smith into the New Age movement. For more information on his testimony, see http://www.mountainstreampress.org.
2. Steve and Sarah Berger, Have Heart: bridging the gulf between heaven and earth (Franklin, TN: Grace Chapel, Inc., 2010).
3. In the Introduction to this series, we wrote on Herescope, “But perhaps one of the most dangerous aspects of the Berger book is the endorsements of high profile leaders such as Calvary Chapel Pastor Greg Laurie and longtime Bible teacher Chuck Missler. Not surprisingly, The Shack’s author Paul Young is also listed alongside Laurie and Missler as an endorser of the book.” (http://herescope.blogspot.com/2012/01/happy-new-age-new-year-2012.html). Elsewhere we have written about James Robison, who has deep ties with the New Apostolic Reformation. See: http://herescope.blogspot.com/2011/08/denying-dominionism.html
4. In the Introduction to this series, we wrote on Herescope: “It has already been featured on several widely viewed television programs like Robert Schuller’s Hour of Power and Canada’s Huntley Street. In addition to these and other venues, Steve Berger was invited to speak about his book at a 2011 National Worship Conference that featured a number of Emergent and evangelical leaders like Chuck Smith Jr., Miles McPherson, Chuck Fromm, and which advertised as a keynote speaker the “Christian” New Age sympathizer Leonard Sweet.” (See http://herescope.blogspot.com/2012/01/happy-new-age-new-year-2012.html and follow the links).
5. There are many interconnections between the Bergers and Chuck Missler and Koinonia House. On page 55 of the Koinonia Institute Handbook, Berger is listed as teaching a course BTE 509 Heaven, http://www.studycenter.com/downloads/KI_Handbook.pdf. For more interconnections, see also: https://www.studycenter.com/courseList.html, http://tn.kiregional.com/resources, http://tn.kiregional.com/grace-chapel, http://www.gracechapel.net/ministries/?p=detail&id=24, http://www.khouse.org/6640/KIDVD23-2/, http://www.khouse.org/articles/2010/922/print/, page 2 of http://www.studycenter.com/spyglass/Spyglass_Monthly_November_2010.pdf, and http://www.khouseafrica.com/PDF%20Newsletters/eJUN2009RSA.pdf.
6. Matthew 18:15-17. In the past, some have impugned Herescope as being guilty of not going personally to the offending party as Jesus ordered. “Did you not approach the people you are writing about privately, as the Lord commanded?” they ask. Such an accusation is irrelevant for two reasons: First, the matters under discussion are not personal within the confines of a local church. Second, in that the viewpoints expressed by the Bergers in Have Heart have been made public and publicly endorsed by other ministries, they demand a public response. A private response regarding a public matter is both non sequitur and unproductive as regards the worldview asserted by the authors and their endorsers. If Matthew 18 is applicable to this situation, then we are already at the third stage where Jesus said, “tell it unto the church” (Matthew 18:17).
7. “Our minds need to be stretched to the other side,” say the Bergers in Have Heart, p. xxii. Their use of the term “the other side” parallels its use in Spiritualism.
8. “The other side” is a very common term in Spiritualism to describe contact with the dead or other spiritual entities. For example, note the following book titles: Todd J. Leonard, Talking to the Other Side: A History of Modern Spiritualism and Mediumship: A Study of the Religion, Science, Philosophy and Mediums that Encompass this American-Made Religion (Universe, 2005); John B. Buescher, The Other Side of Salvation: Spiritualism and the Nineteenth-Century Religious Experience (Skinner House Books, 2004); Maurice Leonard, People from the Other Side: A History of Spiritualism (The History Press, 2009).
9. “Spiritualism,” Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spiritualism) [links not included].
11. Leslie Shepard, Ed., Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology: A Compendium of Information on the Occult Sciences, Magic, Demonology, Superstitions, Spiritism, Mysticism, Metaphysics, Psychical Science, and Parapsychology, with Biographical and Bibliographical Notes and Comprehensive Indexes, Vol. One A-L (Gale Research Company, 1978), p. 37.
12. “Familiar spirit” connotes “family” and implies close kinship. In the Old Testament, contact with "familiar spirits" is specifically forbidden, in verses such as: Lev. 19:31, 20:6; 1 Sam. 28:3, 9; 2 Kings 21:6, 23:24; Is. 8:19; 19:3.
13. Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology, p. 37.
14. Ibid., p. 39.
15. In New Thought, Universalism “teaches that there is a common thread of truth at the heart of all religions.” Also, “Universalism is a term used to identify particular doctrines considering all people in their formation.” See “Universalism,” Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universalism).
17. The Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology lists a multitude of examples, including the story of a Sicilian man in 1585 whose familiar spirit was “a daemon, who in various ways, endeavoured to annoy [the] man,” performed all sorts of dreadful haunting antics, and “vaunted himself to be a daemon,” p. 323.
18. Pastor Larry DeBruyn delves into this matter in some detail under the subheading “Happenings From Heaven” in Part 3 of his series, “Spontaneous Spiritualism.” (http://herescope.blogspot.com/2012/01/spontaneous-spiritualism.html).
19. The Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology, p. 323.
20. See, for example, The American Society for Psychical Research (ASPR) entry on Wikipedia. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Society_for_Psychical_Research).
21. The Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology cites numerous stories cataloged by these psychical research societies, and many of the accounts bear remarkable similarity to the experiences with “Josiah” described in Have Heart.
22. Ibid., p. 43.
23. Rebecca Ruter Springer, My Dream of Heaven: Intra Muros (United Kingdom: White Crow Books, 2010).
24. This is reported in the context of the dream of a Muslim man named Sammy who saw Josiah with a fishing pole and told Sarah Berger that “Josiah has a job, and Josiah fishes,” which the Bergers interpreted to mean that Josiah was still being a fisher of men in the biblical sense, but from beyond the grave. See Have Heart, pp. 83-90.
25. In Acts 8:39-40, when Philip was caught up by the Spirit of the Lord and transported him to Azotus, he was living, not dead.
26. This phrase comes from Richard Noll, The Aryan Christ: The Secret Life of Carl Jung (Random House, 1997), p. 22.
27. For example, Jung’s maternal grandfather, Rev. Samuel Preiswerk, “regularly spoke to spirits.” And, “[a]ccording to family legends, he would talk to the spirit of his deceased first wife in weekly séances while locked in his study, much to the dismay of his second wife.” Ibid., pp. 24-25.
28. Ibid., pp. 26-27.
29. Ibid., p. 121. Author Richard Noll makes an elaborate and extremely well-documented case for this in his two books about the life of Carl Jung. His other book is titled The Jung Cult: Origins of a Charismatic Movement (Princeton University Press, 1994).
30. The Aryan Christ, p. 155.
31. Ibid. This becomes the consciousness aspect of transhumanism.
32. See “Altered States: A Different Gate,” Herescope (http://herescope.blogspot.com/2011/04/altered-states-different-gate.html).
33. Ainslie MacLeod, The Instruction: Living the Life Your Soul Intended (Sounds True, 2007), p. 9.
34. Ibid., Front Matter. For more information on Dr. Oz and his association with Rick Warren, see http://www.mountainstreampress.org/weighed-and-found-wanting/ and Herescope posts such as http://herescope.blogspot.com/2011/03/woo-factor.html and http://herescope.blogspot.com/2011/03/rick-warrens-new-age-health-gurus.html.
35. Marilyn Ferguson, The Aquarian Conspiracy: Personal and Social Transformation in the 1980s (J.P. Tarcher, 1980), p. 114. This book has often been cited on Herescope posts for its widespread influence in officially outing the New Age Movement.
36. Ibid., p. 174.
37. James Redfield, The Twelfth Insight: The Hour of Decision (New York: Grand Central Publishing, 2011), p. 178.
38. The Elijah List e-mail, January 8, 2012, which links to http://www.schoolofthesupernatural.com/ and http://www.warriorsinternational.com
39. For example, see the Herescope series “Divorcing Baal,” beginning at: (http://herescope.blogspot.com/2011/07/divorcing-baal.html).
40. See http://www.arcangel.net/. Also see: http://www.afterlife-encounters.com/.
41. “Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kubler-Ross) [links deleted].
42. Dianne Arcangel, Afterlife Encounters: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Experiences (Hampton Roads, 2005), p. 16. This book was endorsed by Dean Radin, Senior Scientist at the Institute of Noetic Sciences, a group which helped to usher in the New Age movement. This group had already impacted evangelical leaders in the late 1970s, which we described in a Herescope series in the Fall of 2006. See for example, http://herescope.blogspot.com/2005_09_01_archive.html.
43. Ibid., p. xiii. See also the Introduction to this series and read the quote from James Redfield's book The Twelfth Insight.
44. Ibid., p. 176. The subheading to this section is titled “George Anderson—The Stradivarius of Mediums.”
45. Ibid., p. 183.
46. See The Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology, p. 39 and numerous citations in Noll's The Aryan Christ.
47. As previously noted, described in historical detail in Richard Noll’s two books about Carl Jung: The Jung Cult: Origins of a Charismatic Movement and The Aryan Christ: The Secret Life of Carl Jung.
48. The Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology, p. 40. Note that a “control” has to do with possession, meaning demonic possession, usually referring to the entity that enters a medium’s body (summarized from page 185). Punctuation resident in the source as quoted.
49. Ibid. There are numerous scary experiences described in this encyclopedia.
50. The Light That Was Dark, pp. 129-130. While this experience was not with a dead loved one, it is quite similar to those experiences ascribed to the dead in occult sources. As we stated earlier, apparitions come in all sorts of guises.
51. Ibid., p. 152.
52. Quoted in The Berean Call, April 2008.
some will fall away from the faith,
paying attention to deceitful spirits
and doctrines of demons....”
1 Timothy 4:1, NASB