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The Mystical Christian

Understanding The Times / Jan Markell
The Truth Network Radio
May 4, 2019 8:00 am

The Mystical Christian

Understanding The Times / Jan Markell

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May 4, 2019 8:00 am

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Can we be mystical Christians?

We don't think so, and we'll talk about it this hour. Good, the bad, and the dangerous. We are living in days of deception, and even meditation has been corrupted. Prominent teachers are pointing us in a dangerous direction when it comes to meditation.

Jan and her guest Jessica Smith discuss this for the hour. Well this guy here, this is Karl Rahner, and he is known as the brains behind Vatican II. He was the, Pope John XXIII was in charge of the church, but this guy was the intellectual force behind the changes that took place in Vatican II. And he said, the Christian of the future will be a mystic, or he will not exist at all. So in other words, in the future, everybody who claims to be a Christian will actually be a mystic.

And that is what's taking place right now, that we're in the process of bringing that to fruition. So the mystical Christian. Well, welcome to the program. We're going to talk about that for the hour. Some of you may remember, and by the way, that was the voice of the late Ray Youngin. I may play another clip of him a little bit later, but last fall I did a program with Jessica Smith revealing how the East is seducing today's church, and frankly, the Western world. Jessica Smith was heavily into all things Eastern mysticism. That program ignited a lot of interest, and people wrote asking if we would talk about the new practice in our public schools called mindfulness.

And for that matter, we're going to throw in a lot of other issues as well. What are we to do with practices coming from Hinduism and Buddhism that guarantee that anxious and depressed people, stressed out people are going to be free from these things if they will just engage in certain practices like, well, mindfulness, contemplative prayer, listening prayer, centering prayer? Aren't these things harmless and even healthy?

Actually not. What is healthy about going into a trance-like condition, emptying your mind and filling it with, well, who knows what? Let me just make a comment or two here by way of further introduction before I bring my guest on here. I just want to set the stage here for a real short discussion we're going to have on what's called mindfulness. Currently mindfulness is being introduced to tens of thousands of public schools across America. One group alone, Healthy Schools Program, which includes mindfulness as part of its program, is in over 30,000 public schools.

That's about one third of all public schools in America. So programs such as Healthy Schools claim that children behave better and think more clearly when they incorporate mindfulness exercise into their school regimen. Now, again, I'm quoting Ray Youngin here. He says, in recent years, a type of meditation known as mindfulness has made a surprising showing based on current trends. It has the potential to eclipse yoga in popularity. You will now find it everywhere that people are seeking therapeutic approaches to ailments or disorders. It is presented as something to cure society's ills. So these experiences, they feel good, so it must be good. They must all be good.

They must all be healthy. So we're talking for the hour about Christian meditation that comes under a lot of different names, centering prayer, breath prayers, contemplative prayer, listening prayer, mindfulness. I just read you a quote on mindfulness that's in our public schools. So we are to be far away from pagan practices and some of these, quite frankly, are pagan. Statistics show that one in three teachers are using the mindfulness tactics or techniques.

I think this is potentially a huge problem, at least I think some of you with kids or grandkids in the various schools that are practicing this need to know about it. Jessica Smith, welcome back to the program. Thanks so much for having me back, Jan.

It's an honor to be here. You know, there is solid biblical meditation and then there is an Eastern type of meditation. And we need to clarify, Jessica, that not all meditation is dangerous.

Today, we're sounding an alarm that certain types of Eastern-oriented meditation is dangerous. Practicing the presence of God in a biblical way is spiritually healthy. Many people don't know the difference. And as we talked earlier, there's a fine line between the difference. That's exactly right, Jan. What I've discovered is that a lot of pastors aren't catching on to the difference. And there is a massive difference. If we look into the scripture on this, the Lord is very, very clear on it.

What my hope is, is that by the end of this discussion, Jan, we'll have been able to educate your listeners to be able to pick out that difference for themselves. It's really easy to see somebody sitting cross-legged in front of a Buddha statue, you know, coming quietly over and over. We can easily recognize, well, that is not the biblical type of meditation. What we're seeing and what we're seeing now in our schools and what you're mentioning and in our doctor's offices, and honestly, even a lot of churches and what's being propagated on a lot of, quote unquote, Christian meditation websites. What I found was that a lot of even those are not the biblical kind. They are the very beginning steps of the pagan Eastern kind.

Now, at first glance, that might not sound like that big of a deal. After all, it's all called meditation. But we as Christians know that Satan is a liar and a deceiver and he will try to confuse things. That's exactly what he's doing here with the word meditation. There are two very antithetical definitions of meditation. And let me just clarify real quickly, we're talking about mindfulness and people will say, oh, mindfulness, you know, there's other ways of practicing mindfulness besides meditation. Not really, because if you look at every definition of mindfulness and we can talk more about this later, where that popularization of mindfulness came from, came from Buddhism as a very stealth tactic. What mindfulness is, anytime there's any sort of mindfulness training, it is meditation. Mindfulness is a type of meditation. It is a spiritual pagan meditation that's been masked in our culture. Yeah, basically, the one thing that's really interesting to note about that, Jan, is back original dictionary 1828, I bring up history because I think it's really interesting how Satan twists and turns and lies and confuses things. If you look at the dictionary on meditate back in 1828, original Webster's dictionary, the definition is the biblical definition to dwell on anything and thought to contemplate to study, to revolve in the mind to think about. They even use Psalm 1-2 as the example sentence, his delight is in the law of the Lord and in his law, he's the meditate day and night.

Even in this biblical verse, that's the example we can see clearly that meditate in the biblical sense means to think about. Now, if you're interested in this more, I have a whole exhaustive study on my website that I won't get into now because we can take a whole hour doing that. Let me give you a website. It's,

But let me just slip in here. I want to make a comment or two myself because school administrators, teachers, etc., are being told that mindfulness, which is essentially Buddhism, is safe, it's not religious, and it's not the same as anything out of the East. But more than that, they're being told, and I want to play a clip here of teenagers talking about how their lives have been transformed. They are no longer anxious.

They're no longer depressed because of practicing this mindfulness. Deep down, I keep feeling this pain in my chest. I got kicked out of my house. The panic attacks. I, like many other teens, have struggled with anxiety. My social anxiety. Really bad anxiety and depression. I used to go to school just completely exhausted every single day because I'd be up all night worrying. I felt kind of like a ghost roaming through the halls.

The stress made me sick. It's just a lot of reputational thinking about, like, if there is a purpose to life, whether if there is any reason to continue forth or to just cut it short. Take a second and breathe and reflect on what you feel. Awareness to who I really am and how I matter. Finding balance. It just, it really feels like a place where you can be yourself. We can be authentic. Feel safe.

Safe. I was, like, on the verge of suicide before taking the class, and my family didn't really know what else to do. I was in counseling, seeing a therapist, and taking medicine. Spending the first semester in this class really, like, helped me get past that point and not let, like, the mental illness that I struggle with take over my life.

Okay, the class they're referring to is a class on mindfulness. Obviously, it's helping something. That's exactly what Satan wants you to believe, is that it's helping something on a physical level when really, on a spiritual level, it's doing a lot to separate people from Christ. Now, Satan doesn't care if your back feels better, if your anxiety feels better on a surface level, because he doesn't care about that stuff. He cares about your soul.

He cares that you're separated from Christ. We also have a lot of evidence that a lot of these claims that are saying, oh, it helps my anxiety, even they're saying there's scientific claims that it helps this and it helps that. There's a brand new book that's going to be coming out next month, Jan, that I was graciously able to get my hands on an advanced copy that is really fascinating and a fascinating look into all of this. It's an academic work called Debating Yoga and Mindfulness in the Public School, written by an Indiana University professor who's very respected among her peers in the academic community. It has hundreds and hundreds of pages of research about all of this. And what it reveals is a very tactical stealth approach of specifically one person who's really heavily influential in starting all of this back in the late 70s as a skillful means of stealth Buddhism. Yeah, stealth Buddhism, good term.

Yeah, exactly. And what you're talking about here with the kids saying, oh, this helps me with this, this helps me with that. Her book that is coming out early next month actually shows that meditation and the kids aren't being told this, the parents aren't being told this, but Professor Candy Gunther Brown's book has clear evidence that there are many actual risks being involved in meditation.

This is raising a lot of ethical issues among public schools. She shows research that the American Psychiatric Association has, quote, since 1977 called for well-controlled studies that evaluate contraindications and dangers of meditative techniques. And she goes on to say it's difficult to tell how many common negative experiences there are because mindfulness researchers have failed to measure them and may even discourage participants from reporting them. But it goes on to show that in meditative studies that measure meditation techniques very much the same that are being propagated in these mindfulness classes, the same techniques some of the cataloged experiences include, quote, fear, anxiety, panic or paranoia, depression, grief, change in worldview, delusional, irrational or paranormal beliefs, physical pain, re-experiencing of traumatic memories, even rage, anger or aggression, agitation, irritability, even suicidality. Now, another review found that there was, quote, no evidence that meditation programs were better than any active treatment such as exercise or behavioral therapy. So this is just being presented with very specific tactics being presented as something that is scientifically superior.

And it's just not the case. Here's what I want to do for the next couple of minutes and might take me more than a couple of minutes. About a decade ago, I learned that my alma mater, Bethel University in St. Paul, Minnesota, was featuring and again, the first segment here, folks, is on Buddhism coming into the church and into the schools, heavily the schools. My alma mater, Bethel University, I wrote an article about it. I went to hear a Buddhist speak at Bethel University. It was a decade ago now. And let me just read a few paragraphs. I won't take time to read the whole article, but let me read a few paragraphs. I wrote this after I attended this event.

I wasn't prepared for what I was about to hear that particular evening. Bethel University, St. Paul, Minnesota, sponsored an interreligious symposium promoting some kind of, quote, common ground between Buddhism and Christianity. One would think if a Christian had an ounce of discernment, they would deduce that Christianity has nothing to do with Buddhism and such unions are playing with fire. But a panel concluded, this is again at Bethel University, that there was common ground between Christianity and Buddhism when it came to meditation. Again, this is top Christian college, folks.

Granted, this kind of meditation could put one in a dangerous altered state of consciousness, but maybe that's okay as long as we can find a bit of unity here. About 200 students and a few adults were crammed into the symposium auditorium. And by the way, attendance was mandatory. Okay, I go on. I'm not reading the whole article, folks.

I wrote this a few years ago. The three main presenters were a Buddhist monk from Sri Lanka, a Bethel professor who is part of a Christian Zen movement and an active Buddhist layman and meditator in Zen, although he grew up in a Christian home. These were the three on the panel. The kind of meditation being promoted by the panelists is the kind that brings, quote, enlightenment, whatever that means.

I'm skipping around here. There was not one wit of Christianity that was presented to the Buddhist participating on the panel. This sent a message to him that he's okay being a Buddhist.

I go on here. The push was meditation, but being a Buddhist means becoming conscious of one's own divinity. This was not clarified. Had it been clarified, it could have sent out a huge red flag to questioning students at Bethel University. Okay, I'm wrapping this up. It's a long article I wrote after I attended this seminar, which was mandatory. I was an outsider, obviously.

This is just a few years ago. Okay, the students were encouraged to do meditation that would silence or empty their minds. Keep in mind that some who promote this kind of meditation, such as Richard Foster, actually tell you to pray a prayer of protection over yourself before you begin.

Yet there was no warning to innocent and naive students, and again, attendance was mandatory. We heard a lot about those ancient mystics and those desert fathers. Here we go with the mystical again, and mysticism always trumps doctrine.

Bring on the experience. Another panelist talked about the Jesuits he studied under. So is Bethel University a Baptist-rooted university or Catholic-rooted?

Try the former. A symposium like this is leading these kids straight to the emerging church, which goes along with all of the above. Okay, I'm wrapping it up here. Nothing of the gospel was talked about. Sin was left out, as was a Christless eternity for those following the wrong path. Rather, all that was praised was some kind of a glorious unity and mind expansion that could be achieved through Buddhist meditation.

Again, folks, Bethel University, St. Paul, Minnesota, my alma mater, I was present. To hear this, I conclude, no one talked about the possibility of opening oneself up to demonic influence from emptying the mind in the wrong kind of meditation. I am reminded that there are students and faculty at Bethel who meet regularly for prayer not using any kinds of techniques, and this is not an attempt to castigate the entire university of teachers and students, many of whom are godly righteous people. This column is not directed at them. It is directed at some careless faculty who are enthusiastic about their beliefs, who should use better judgment than to present Buddhism, Christian Zen, and contemplative prayer as some good alternatives for the students.

Your thoughts, Jessica Smith? Well, yeah, Jan, this just reminds me so much of what's said in the Bible, 1 Timothy 4.1, Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons. Satan presents these things as, oh, it's all the same, it's meditation, the word meditate is in the Bible, it's Buddhist meditation, Christian meditation, there's no line between it. He does this purposely. His tactics have not changed since the garden. The thing that's really stood out to me about Eve and the garden is that she saw that the fruit was good. Satan didn't put up a big red flaming sign that said this way to communicate with demons.

He makes it look good. And that's exactly what he's doing here, he's trying to blur the line between Christian and Buddhist meditation. But let me just read you this, Jan, this is just a quote about meditation in a way to communicate with the spirit world. This is the natural progression of where this type of Eastern meditation goes.

It starts with feelings of peace, it deepens to esoteric experiences, it deepens to heightened levels of peace. And these are sensations that are being manipulated by the spiritual realm because this is a spiritual practice, and there is no way to disengage that. Even the modern Webster's Dictionary will tell you that right now, if you look at meditation, the first definition is the biblical one still, to engage in contemplation and reflection. Now there's a second one, we talked earlier in 1828, there was not this other one, but Satan has manipulated this other definition so into our society that now that there's a second definition says, to engage in mental exercise, such as concentration on one's breathing or repetition of a mantra for the purpose of reaching a heightened level of spiritual awareness. Even the dictionary says that these breathing techniques, any sort of technique that has the word meditation attached to it, that is a breathing technique or repetition of a mantra or focusing on one thing, even if it's called a sacred word, even if it's the word Jesus, it's the same thing. This is not biblical meditation. It's for the purpose of reaching a heightened level of spiritual awareness. And as Christians, and as those of us who know scripture know that all things spiritual are not good.

If it is not on the side of the Lord, it is on the side of the enemy. We need to pick this up in my second segment, Jessica Smith, you're listening to Understanding the Times Radio. I'm going to take my first break of the hour.

When I come back, we've got a lot more to talk about. What about contemplative prayer? What about breath prayers? What is Rob Bell teaching people that we need to be warning about? There's just so much going on that is of a mystical nature. We're becoming a mystical church. Prominent teachers are promoting the mystical on a daily basis. We'll talk more about it.

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Start with Jen Martell and Jessica Smith in a moment. Olive Tree Ministries is carrying a new book by Douglas Stauffer and Andrew Ray reviving the blessed hope of Thessalonians. I did not think I would see the day when we would have to have a discussion about reviving our hope in the rapture of the church. Something that has to be revived has often expired, and yes, discussion of the pre-trib rapture of the church has been on life support.

Find this excellent book in our store at, in our print any newsletter, or you can call us Central Time, 763-559-4444, 763-559-4444. This ministry is committed to helping the entire church to keep looking up and expecting His return, even if vast portions of the church have little interest in doing that. We will keep reminding you that the trumpet and the shout could happen even today, and I promise you, you don't want to be left behind. Check out Reviving the Blessed Hope today. There's all sorts of documentation within the Buddhist spiritual realm and yogic teachings about people having absolute serious psychosis, all sorts of serious side effects that come up as a result of this, because it's demonic, and that's what's really at the root of it. You're going to feel feelings of peace, but what it's actually doing on an energetic and spiritual level is it activates the spiritual realm, and it is putting things into motion that is not biblical, because these are occult practices, guys, and Satan is doing exactly what he's been doing for thousands of years.

He's masking them to look good. The East has tried to seduce the West for decades, and in recent years has successfully invaded the church as well. That is why we feel it essential that you be aware of meditation that is rooted in Buddhism, Hinduism, New Age, and more. Today, it is popular to empty the mind when we meditate, and that has consequences.

Now, more with Jen Martell and Jessica Smith. Now I reported last year that middle school students were asked to write the Islamic declaration of faith known as the Shahada, which pledges allegiance to the prophet Muhammad and the Muslim god Allah. Now, the American Center for Law and Justice has received complaints from parents in 11 states so far about teachers incorporating Buddhism-based mindfulness practices into daily curriculum of elementary school-age children.

And welcome back. We are spending some time here talking about the mystical, because the mystical, again, the East is seducing the West. It's seducing the church.

It's just seducing the culture, Buddhism, Hinduism, all these things from the East that are very, very dangerous, particularly spiritually dangerous, are moving in and trying to capture minds. The Bible quotes unmindfulness, we're going to move on to some other things, too. We're going to talk about contemplative prayer, we're going to talk about probably centering prayer.

I want to play a clip of Ray Youngin on all of this. I want to play a clip of Rob Bell and his big push for proper breathing, as that's going to get us closer to God. And that's what all this is supposed to be doing, is getting us closer to God. How about opening our Bible and just reading the Bible and getting closer to God?

But no, we've got to have experience, experience, experience, and in this case, there are all kinds of experiences, but in this case, these experiences are literally demonic. Mindfulness is a form of meditation. There are many forms of meditation, including contemplation, but mindfulness is the type where you bring your full mind to an object.

Mindfulness is the psychological process of bringing one's attention to experiences occurring in the present moment, which can be developed through the practice of meditation and other training. It is all rooted in just blatant Buddhism. In my last segment, I told you about a session I went to at Bethel University, St. Paul. They had a Buddhist monk from Sri Lanka who talked about all the things we're talking about and how wonderful they were.

And those present that were representing the school went along with it. This is how we can find common ground. That was the theme of the evening is that Christianity and Buddhism can find common ground through meditation. And this is where this topic gets scary because, folks, we cannot find common ground with Hinduism, Buddhism, and things of that nature.

Jessica Smith was with me several months ago. She was formerly very entrenched in all things Eastern mysticism, and I've asked her back to discuss. We started out anyway with mindfulness. Jessica, let's continue with the mindfulness discussion.

And your website, again, is, And you can find lots of articles on these topics. You also might want to check out Jessica's book at her website, The Shattering, an Encounter with Truth, The Shattering, an Encounter with Truth, best purchased at And Jessica's book discusses some of the topics we're discussing today. Okay, you had a couple of quotes, I think even from the gentleman who founded this whole movement back in about 1979. Well, yes, I referenced Candy Gunther Brown, the professor's academic work that was going to be released soon, Debating Yoga and Mindfulness in Public Schools is her book that'll be released in early May.

If anybody's interested in learning more about this and just the stealth Buddhism tactics, I'll go ahead and put the link in my resources on my website. Basically, she explains and just completely unveils the strategy of basically one man but a lot more have come along since to mask Buddhist meditation and present it to society as secular. The man's name is Kabat-Zinn, John Kabat-Zinn. He's a Jewish American molecular biology PhD and professor of medicine.

And I'm just gonna read you, Jan, this quote straight out of Candy Gunther Brown's book because it's really telling. So he was at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, like I mentioned. He quote, was first exposed to the Dharma in 1966 while a doctoral student at MIT. He trained as a Dharma, which is Buddhist teacher, and then it goes on to list just all these different types of Tibetan Buddhism, all sorts of different Buddhist types and styles of meditation, Hindu Vedanta and other spiritual resources.

And the quote goes on to say, although still studying with Buddhist teachers, Kabat-Zinn stopped calling himself Buddhist once he realized he, quote, would not have been able to do what I did in quite the same way if I was actually identifying myself as Buddhist, going on to say a non-Buddhist public identity allowed Kabat-Zinn to introduce Buddhist practices without raising concerns about Buddhist evangelism. In 1979, he founded the Stress Reduction and Relaxation Clinic, now the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Healthcare, and Society, with its signature mindfulness-based stress reduction program at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. By 2018, guys, this Center for Mindfulness in Medicine had enrolled 24,000 patients, certified 1,000 instructors, spawned 740 mindfulness-based stress reduction programs in medical settings across 30 countries, and has now become a model for innumerable mindfulness-based practices in hospitals, public schools, prisons, governments, media, professional sports, and businesses. Another quote just says from one of the teachers trained, says, we never led with Buddhism, but rather with science, research, and psychology, so mindfulness training became acceptable in all kinds of institutions. That's the key to its mainstream success. And the book goes on to give all sort of just research after research of different teachers giving quotes along the same lines about how it's even the quote, stealth Buddhism, how it's a skillful means of getting Buddhism into the mainstream, if we can just present it as science.

Really interesting how finally it's been documented and released, well, it will be soon here coming in early May, that all of this has been strategically presented as something it is not. I want to move on to a few other related types of exercises, again, all they come under the category of meditation. How often does the Bible talk about meditation?

It talks about it continually, it's something we're to be doing. Let me just quote you here, Jessica, you write this, that there are two types. There's non-biblical meditation, in other words, mindfulness is one name, but there are countless names of approaches all rooted in opening oneself to the spiritual realm with the beginning practice of focusing on something, an object, the breath, a sacred word or word which leads you down a path away from the Lord, no matter how innocent it seems at first and is all spiritual. So there's that kind of non-biblical. And then there is the biblical meditation, which leads you closer to God because it is how he instructed us to seek him.

Okay, so we got two kinds of meditation. We're really looking at the non-biblical, but honestly, Jessica, we get to contemplative prayer. Let me read some names of people who are promoting this contemplative prayer. They're rather prominent in the Christian world. I got to say what they're promoting is not really biblical.

Dallas Willard, Thomas Keating, Thomas Merton, Rob Bell, promoters of the Emergent Church, Richard Foster, those who are representing or speaking for the ancient desert fathers. Let me just play a clip here of Rob Bell and how he's going to be promoting all the things we're talking about, at least in the realm of meditation, that's going to bring us closer to God. Take one hand, place it upon your belly. Take one hand, place it upon your chest. Let's breathe for a moment, shall we?

Nice big deep breaths. Much of the Christian tradition for thousands of years have been disciplines of meditation, reflection, silence, and breathing. Now from way back when, our ancestors understood that there's something divine about our breath. Take a moment as you breathe deeply to invite the God who made the universe into your breath. I wonder sometimes when we feel as though God is far, God is thinking, I gave you breathing, I can't get closer. Is God as close as breathing? I think what he goes on to say, Jessica, is you can't get much closer to God than through breathing and breath prayers.

What's wrong with that? I was shaking my head as I was listening to that, because that is the absolute opposite of what the Bible says. And it can get so confusing if you don't understand, if you're not really familiar with all of this, because it seems like there are so many different types of meditation. This one's about breathing. This pastor is saying this, and God did give us breathing, so that kind of makes sense.

But no, let's just clear it up really simply, guys. There are two types of meditation. Sure, there's a lot of different approaches, Satan's side of meditation, but there are two types, and this is how you can easily discern. Number one takes you to scripture and praying with thoughtful focus to the Lord.

This is not my opinion. This is straight from the Bible. I did an exhaustive study of every single time the word meditate comes up in the Bible using Strong's Concordance of the King James Version, and I have this typed up on my website.

You're welcome to go there. In fact, I really encourage you to, because in looking at the scripture and the context of the scripture and the definition of meditation within each of those, and I list the Greek and Hebrew word used and what it means, so that you can really deduce for yourself what's the Lord saying about meditation, and he's very, very clear. It means to think about my word, to turn to him in thought and think about what he's telling us in his word. On his law, he wants us to meditate. On his words, on his love for us as described in the Bible and scripture, not in some esoteric experience.

So that's one side. That's how we can recognize it's from the Lord. Is somebody pointing us to scripture, is somebody pointing us to think about the Lord, is somebody encouraging us to talk to the Lord as Jesus explains prayer, as the Lord explains prayer? And we can talk about that in a little bit with contemplative prayer and centering prayer, but that's how we can recognize, is it from the Lord? If you hear focus on the breath, you can just rest assured that that is just a straight giveaway.

There's all sorts of other approaches. Relax, let go of your thoughts, clear your mind. Anything that says, focus on one thing and just repeat after me, I am powerful. Repeat after me this, whatever the word may be, they call it sacred words even, it can be the word Jesus, which sounds really good, but I was instructed in my Buddhist meditations that I could plug the word Jesus in and use that. And it was still a Buddhist meditation. Anytime you see any type of meditation that has letting go of thoughts or focusing on one thing, it can be an object, it can be a symbol, it can be even something that sounds biblical, that has a biblical word attached to it, or they say, you know, think about Jesus and let go of all other thoughts, anything like that, guys, that is the demonic. It sounds silly to even say that to some of you, I'm sure, because, oh, it sounds so harmless, but I'm telling you, this is a path that is a spiritual path that is intended to take you somewhere.

Even if you feel, quote unquote, feelings of peace as a result, that is a manipulation from the spiritual realm, it is supposed to, and as you go deeper and deeper, it will drop you deeper and deeper into senses of euphoria and to trance-like stages, the longer you do it and the more you go into it. These are the beginning stages that are being masked in our culture that I just wanted to reveal to those of us who love the Lord and who want to discern these things, and that's what the Lord instructs us to do. After listening to Understanding the Times Radio, Jan Markell, I have on the line from the West Coast, Jessica Smith. You can learn a lot more at her website, I had her on air last fall. We talked about so-called Christian yoga, which is an oxymoron. You can go to my website if you'd like to hear that programming, You get to my website and you go to my search engine, just type in Jessica Smith and it comes up.

It's about five to six months ago. She gave her testimony. She was entrenched in all things Eastern, and we just gave a warning back then. We heavily stressed that Christian yoga is no such thing.

We stressed the danger of lots of things that are coming from the East. Reiki, we talked about that a little bit as well, and you can find a lot more information again at her website, I opened up this particular segment because I just want to read a few words here from Roger Oakland, who's kind of a, I would say, an authority on what's known as contemplative or contemplative prayer. It's all in the same genre here of meditation that is not safe and that is not sound. And Oakland says this, what is contemplative prayer?

Here is how one promoter defined it. Contemplative prayer in its simplest form is prayer in which you steal your thoughts. This puts you in a better state to be aware of God's presence and it makes you better able to hear God's voice, correcting, guiding, and directing you.

If that definition sounds beneficial to one's spiritual wellbeing, consider another explanation that provides an even clearer understanding. Its practitioners are trained to focus on an inner symbol that quiets the mind. This is contemplative or contemplative prayer. When practitioners become skilled at this method of meditation, they undergo a deep trance date similar to auto hypnosis. Contemplative prayer is making a big comeback.

Again, this is Roger Oakland first discovered by monks in the third century who isolated themselves in desert monasteries. You can now find practitioners and promoters in many evangelical churches today. Finding out what occurred in the past helps me to understand the present. Furthermore, this idea that we need to go back to the past and find what Christian experiences were effective and then reintroduce them into the present is the central theme of the emerging church movement that is becoming so popular today.

Jessica, let me address this to you. Contemplative prayer uses what is called the sacred word. The idea is that when thoughts start to come into your mind, you focus on a sacred word to bring you back to just resting in God. The word is not spoken.

The word is in your mind. These words are taken from scripture. Some of the words, for instance, Jesus, peace, be still, et cetera.

What could possibly be wrong with that? What's wrong with that is that it's not biblical instruction. It's the antithesis of biblical instruction. It's actually occult instruction in prayer and occult instruction in meditation. This is exactly what you're explaining is exactly meditation techniques that I was taught at Buddhist centers. This is the type of meditation that you learn to, quote, open oneself to the spiritual realm, the demonic spiritual realm. Now, of course, I didn't know that when I was doing it.

Once I became a Christian in a very spiritually eye-opening way, that became very apparent. And in fact, the Bible makes that very clear to you. One of the chief promoters of this, Richard Foster, says that before you enter into praying this contemplative prayer method, pray a prayer of protection over yourself. Why on earth would anyone have to do that if it were safe? Well, that's exactly right, because it's not safe, because it's not biblical. The Lord never instructs us that we have to pray protection before we approach his throne of grace. We have to pray protection before we do any sort of biblical meditation, because all we're doing in biblical meditation is focusing on what Jesus tells us. Now that brings up a really good point, Jan, because it's really interesting that they would have to pray protection, because that's what we had to do in Buddhist meditation. In fact, that's what the mindfulness centers, they actually have a release form that has to be signed by the adults, mind you, not the kids, that I read about in Candy Gunther Round's book as well, that it cites all sorts of different things that can happen, including, you know, history of trauma, abuse, bringing up all sorts of things on a very kind of traumatic level that they have participants sign a release form. And there's all sorts of documentation within the Buddhist spiritual realm and yogic teachings about people having absolute serious psychosis, all sorts of serious side effects that come up as a result of this, because it's demonic, and that's what's really at the root of it. You're going to feel feelings of peace. But what it's actually doing on an energetic and spiritual level is it activates the spiritual realm, and it is putting things into motion that is not biblical, because these are occult practices, guys, and Satan is doing exactly what he's been doing for thousands of years.

He's masking them to look good. Did the Lord really say that? Just like he asked Eve, did the Lord really say that? Well, of course he did.

Let's look in his word to answers, not look at what other people are telling us. Dr. Candy Gunther Brown says this, this goes back to mindfulness, promoters of secular mindfulness, avoid using the loaded words Buddhism or religion, and may even steer clear of mentioning spirituality or meditation, but the practice is essentially similar to that taught in many Buddhist basic classes, and the hope expressed by certain key leaders in the secular mindfulness movement is that introductory classes alleviate suffering for all practitioners while providing at least some of them with a doorway into deeper explicitly Buddhist meditation. This all goes back, folks, to stealth Buddhism. That's basically what's going on. We get into some of these practices. It's stealth Buddhism and it's blatant Buddhism, and yet it's being promoted Tuesday night in church basement.

Let's all get together and practice either mindfulness or contemplative prayer or listening prayer or centering prayer or breath prayers. That's what Rob Bell was talking about in that little clip. Folks, you're flirting with demons. Can we be any more blunt than that? You're flirting with the demonic. I'm coming back in just a minute or two to wrap up our hour.

Don't go away. Jan and Jessica provide some answers to the dilemma of Eastern religions entering the classroom and the church in our closing segment. Also, just what is proper meditation? The Bible talks about meditation almost as much as it references music.

Now that we've highlighted some of the dangers, just what is biblical meditation? Why not save the date of Saturday, September 21 for Understanding the Times, 2019? Tickets go on sale June 1st for $25 and include lunch. We will be selling general admission seats only and no assigned seating. Speakers this year include Dr. Robert Jeffress, Amir Sarfati, Pastor Jack Hibbs, Pastor J.D.

Farag, and Jan Markell. They will help you understand the times and become watchmen on the wall. Location once again is Grace Church in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, just outside of Minneapolis. The teaching is timely and the fellowship is unparalleled as you make friends for life. Save the date and visit our website's conference page for a list of hotels and other pertinent information. Visit us at, We hope to meet thousands of you September 21 just outside of Minneapolis.

Be proactive, don't wait for your child to come home and tell you that they're doing something called mindfulness because chances are they won't because these aren't even being called mindfulness. They're under so many programs, names that sound so good and fun and secular and just ways of moving and then what they do is they flip it in. That's the way it goes a lot.

I mean there are so many names it would be impossible for me to call them out. We love hearing from you. We are airing all across North America and around the world electronically. Your notes and emails are an encouragement to the Olive Tree Ministries team. Visit us at Box 1452, Maple Grove, Minnesota, 55311. That's Box 1452, Maple Grove, Minnesota, 55311.

All gifts are tax deductible. You can contact us through our website, that's or call us central time at 763-559-4444, 763-559-4444. Now here are Jen Markell and Jessica Smith to wrap up our hour on this important topic. This is a book called The Signature of Jesus and the author says that if you do this kind of prayer you'll have the signature of Jesus on your prayer life. He says the first step in faith is to stop thinking about God at the time of prayer. Now every time I show this people laugh. They start laughing except Mennonites in Manitoba, Canada.

None of them laughed but every Calvary Chapel or place I show this at everybody starts chuckling but see this is mysticism. This is mysticism. It's not thinking. You have to stop thinking. You have to go into a trance. So the first step in this kind of faith is to stop thinking at the time of prayer. See normal, you all pray all the time and you think. You have a thought then you express it but with this type of so-called prayer you have to stop thinking. Brendan Manning, many of you have probably heard of him, I've met him in person and he says that you choose a single sacred word or phrase without moving your lips, repeat the sacred word inwardly, slowly and often and I took it out but he says in that book that if you do that you will hear the voice of God directly.

You will hear the voice of God. Again that was a late Ray Youngin. I think one of the authorities on the topic that we've been covering for this hour which is various kinds of meditation that sounds biblical but you know what, it really isn't. It's another practice.

It's just dangerous. I think we've made that point. We're going to kind of wrap things up here because we actually want to talk about some kind of meditation that's good meditation. Let me just quickly say before I do that I know you are running busy crazy lives so we post the program electronically every week. We post it Saturday morning to our website We post it to our YouTube channel and we insert images there so you can see what we're talking about. The YouTube channel is Jan Markell so if you'd like to check that out early Saturday morning tens of thousands are accessing the electronic and then if you'd like the program just downloaded to a device of yours sign up for the mobile app. We also air on and we've taken on a new network, Life FM Network, 25 new stations bringing our stations up to a count of I think close to 850 stations now across North America plus our podcasters.

If you write to us would you always tell us just what you're listening to that helps us here in the office. Kind of want to wrap things up here and by the way next weekend I will be ministering in Toronto Canada please remember me in prayer wouldn't you that's for the Awaiting His Return Conference with Amir Sarfati, Jack Hibbs and Barry Stagner. I had hoped to have live stream info for you I don't you'll have to contact for that information. I do know that DVDs will be available a few weeks later remember it takes time to edit DVDs and replicates so all that info has to come from kindly don't contact Olive Tree Ministries because we can't help you. Enjoying meeting some followers of the ministry in our Canadian audience but Jessica Smith and she was my guest last fall and she's my guest for the hour she's on the west coast she had a lifestyle in all things eastern for a number of years came to the Lord more recently and now is sounding a warning about the various things that come out of the East Reiki yoga so-called Christian yoga you can find all this at our website and we've spent the hour talking about well the lure of the various kinds of meditation that are not biblical but Jessica Smith let's talk for a few minutes about some good ways to meditate we can open our Bible for one thing but go ahead and talk to us. I know that after the program so you might be thinking what about breathing then and just relaxing yeah I just want to clear that up for anybody who might be thinking oh what can I do that it's okay to sit quietly it's okay to relax those are things that the Lord gives us as something that we're able to do that's good for us you know it's okay to breathe deeply the Lord did give us our breath where it gets into the occult is when we're using our breath in a way that is a spiritual practice it's the same thing as I sometimes make the comparison with the Ouija board you know there's nothing wrong with the letters on the Ouija board but when we interact with letters in such a way as we put our fingers on them and in a cultish practice like the Ouija board that activates the spiritual realm now we're doing something occultish it's going to open us up in a very dangerous way same thing with our breathing our breathing is really a good tool the Lord gave us you know if we're stressed out take a deep breath nothing wrong with that I just really wanted to clarify that so people aren't concerned well is it okay to sit quietly and just relax and breathe then of course and as far as biblical meditation again feel free to visit my website and I talk about this more it's really easy to learn what biblical meditation is because it's just focusing on scripture anything that's pointing you to scripture now I'm not talking about scripture taken out of context some of the Christian meditation apps and I'm sure I like to think I'm sure there's some good ones out there I haven't looked into very many of them but the ones that I was just kind of checking out just be careful guys use your discernment make sure things line up with scripture if you're doing any sort of meditation practice make sure you are not letting go of any thoughts if somebody is instructing you to sit quietly and relax and let go of your thoughts that should be an automatic red flag and I mean there's nothing wrong of course with sitting quietly is good and you know having that time with the Lord and quiet and peace Jesus would get up and go spend time and meditate but what a lot of people will do who are proponents of this demonic meditation which is what it is it's exactly where it leads and that's exactly where it goes they'll say you know Jesus meditated and meditation of science says it's good for you and then they'll point you to these other practices don't be deceived the Bible the Lord tells us that God is not mocked Galatians 6 7 don't be deceived guys for whatever a man says he's going to reap and that's the same thing in here if we are sowing seeds of meditation that is the cultish we're going to reap effects that are not the ones that we want it's not going to draw us closer to the Lord it's going to push us further away however if we're following the Lord's instruction if we're focusing on scriptures if we're focusing on him if we're seeking him in prayer and thinking about his word and actively praying to him and thought then we're going to reap the benefits of a closer relationship with the Lord Jessica let's just say even a grandchild comes home and tells their grandparent you know what I did one of these crazy little exercises in class today and they called it mindfulness and parent a grandparent doesn't know quite what to do what should they do obviously they should contact the school but that's probably not going to make a huge impact on the school but what kind of advice do you give to folks like this that's a really good question Jan first of all I would encourage parents grandparents be proactive don't wait for your child to come home and tell you that they're doing something called mindfulness because chances are they won't because these aren't even being called mindfulness they're under so many programs names that sound so good and fun and secular and just ways of moving and then what they do is they flip it in that's the way it goes a lot I mean there are so many names it would be impossible for me to call them out Jan mentioned at the beginning of the program just one program that's in one in three schools they have fun silly names like go noodle or mind up they have there's so many names they're not called mindfulness practices and you won't know that as a parent what I would do is go to the school go to the teacher and then go to the administrator and say that I would like any information on any programs that are being taught to my child any program I want the name of it and then go and do that research yourself because I looked at one of these recently myself because somebody contacted me through the email said have you heard of this this raised a red flag and I hadn't heard of it it was the go noodle one and I looked into it and at first glance it looked like a fun active getting kids out of their seats getting them moving around I mean of course that sounds great who doesn't want their child moving and getting their wiggles out as I had to create an account to get access to some of the other teachings and sure enough as I scrolled down among all the fun silly activities then there's this whole section on mindfulness meditation and it's not called mindfulness meditation mind you that's why you have to really be educated in this guys and you really have to be proactive it was instruction on I think it was called flow and about calming breaths this particular one was just oh let's calm down and let's take a deep breath notice your breath and that was the beginning of it now notice this now notice that anytime you hear things like that that is the beginning stages of this mindfulness meditation path anytime anything is focused on this now let go of your other thoughts it's sneaky and it's stealth it's not called stealth Buddhism for nothing guys they're sneaking it in here so be proactive and then once you find something like this take it to your teacher take it to your administrator and say you know this is antithetical to my beliefs and I don't want my child this really doesn't even belong in schools you know and contact the ACLJ Jan you mentioned that they were fighting this because people from a number of states have contacted them about this well on their website they are encouraging parents if this is in your child's school which honestly chances are it probably is you probably just don't know about it contact they encourage you to contact the ACLJ but yes do not let your child don't let them participate and keep being a voice that stands for truth and says you know we're not going to allow our child to take part of this and give reasons why and feel free to reference my website and also I plan to come up with more resources in the future I'd like to just have a resource that you can just hand to administrators that says this is why you can just go to my website and print up and say this is why I'm taking my child and we're opting out of this because I know it can be kind of overwhelming to explain but I haven't done that yet baby do it little ones right now so everything's kind of been on hold yes that is coming and Jessica's going to have a baby any day here so keep that in mind folks when you start writing her in the next few weeks she's got two little ones and another one coming any day Jessica thank you for giving up the hour in spite of all that I just need to go out of the program I just want to say this that the Bible talks about meditating on God's word and his laws throughout scripture Psalm 1 2 says the man is blessed whose delight is in the law of the Lord and who meditates on his law day and night the Bible directs us to think scripturally by bringing God's word into our everyday thought life in recent years mystics have come along and made a simple and important practice actually very dangerous and the East always tries to seduce the West and I hope this hour has made you more aware of some of the dangers of turning the biblical into the mystical I want to thank you for listening and we'll talk to you next week we hope you have found this information helpful we're in a day of deception and even you can be deceived thanks to all of the fake news and false teaching today thank you for trusting understanding the Times radio our media team strives to present the truth and even the inconvenient truth as our times grow more perilous be sure to join us each week as Jen Markell and her guests help you understand the times and be watchmen on the wall.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-07 10:38:18 / 2023-05-07 11:00:13 / 22

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