The Resurgence of Israel’s Military in Bible Prophecy (Part 1 of 2) By Dr. David…
Mysticism and the Coming World Religion – Part 2
By T.A. McMahon
As noted in part one of this series, there is a coming world religion (CWR), and it is advancing rapidly. One of the significant elements that expedites its growth is mysticism, which is a belief system that ultimately rejects teachings that involve objective laws, rules, requirements, obligations, dogmas, doctrines, and the like, in favor of subjective experiences and intuitive feelings. The goal of the CWR (also known as the religion of the Antichrist) is to bring all religions under its patronage and control. Since all religions have doctrines that separate them from one another, even to the point of hostility in some cases, their doctrines must be compromised or altered in order to be acceptable to all — or they must be removed altogether. Mysticism facilitates doctrinal compromise because of its subjective nature. In other words, the objective meaning of a doctrine must give way to one’s subjective interpretation, i.e., how one feels about it. When such a belief system is in place, there can be no absolute truth; so-called truth is whatever an individual feels it is. It’s in the mind of the beholder.
Religions that are heavily legalistic in their theology must change in order to fit in with the ecumenical CWR. Two such religions are Roman Catholicism and Islam. In part one of this series we documented how the Church of Rome is well along the way of shifting from its highly legalistic system of rules and obligations toward a more mystical process. The Catholic Church has more than a billion followers, and they also must be included in the religion of the Antichrist. Islam, too, has greater than a billion adherents, so it also must become a part of the CWR. However, it is legalistic—and aggressively so — in its doctrine and practices, far more so than any other religion in the world. Consequently, many doubt that it could ever change.
Some have suggested, therefore, that the religion of the Antichrist will be Islam itself. For that to happen, the conversion of the world to Islamic beliefs would follow its historical method, which is at the point of a sword. Although that worked to a large degree in the past, it falls far short of what is necessary to spiritually transform the entire world. Additionally, there are obvious problems for this belief system regarding the coming religion of the Antichrist. The fact that the entire world will worship the Antichrist as God is inconsistent with and opposed by the Muslim worship of Allah. Sharia law, which is the Islamic code of law, is derived from the Qur’an and the Sunnah (Muhammad’s teachings and examples). Consequences for disobeying Sharia laws are the harshest among religions. Its rules are overtly abusive regarding women. Furthermore, Islam’s collectively intense hatred of Jews and Christians, as well as “all infidels,” is diametrically opposed to the CWR’s necessary ecumenism. These doctrines of Islam work against its efforts to attract followers to the coming world religion. What then, if anything, is there within Islam that might reconcile the billion-plus Muslims to the religion of the Antichrist, with its mystical underpinnings? The answer is Sufism.
Sufism is the mystical Islamic belief and practice through which Muslims seek to find the truth of divine love and knowledge by way of a direct personal experience with Allah. This is Islam in the throes of experiential and subjective beliefs and practices. Being functionally at odds with Sharia laws and practices, many Sufi practitioners reject the rules of Sharia outright, regarding mysticism as the most direct way to achieve union with Allah. Moreover, where it has been historically practiced throughout the world, Sufism has had no problem coexisting with other religions. This is not the case, as we’re well aware, for Sharia-law Islam.
One mystical aspect of Sufism is for its practitioners to put themselves into an ecstatic trance or altered state of consciousness through whirling. These individuals are known as Whirling Dervishes. According to one source, “The hundreds of the Dervish twirling rotations (20-30 per minute) coincide with the theta rhythm in the brain, and the chanting (they repeat the word ‘God’ [more likely ‘Allah,’] about 99 times) makes the dancers dissociate from reality and enter a different state of mind. When the ceremony is over, the dervishes return, side by side, in front of the sheikh [master and guide] and then move to another room to meditate. The physiological goal of the whirling is for the dervish to ‘empty’ himself of all distractions”. It should be obvious that this is just another form of Eastern mystical meditation along with the contemplative forms practiced by more and more professing Christians in the West.
The various exercises of mysticism are similar throughout the world, even where there has been no connection between the cultures or people groups. Sufi meditation and yoga employ the same lotus sitting position and a hasta mudra (with the thumb curled and touching the tip of the forefinger). Sufi whirling has the same effect as the uncontrollable shaking in the Dynamic Meditation practiced by the followers of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. The Sufi Shaykh is similar to the guru in yoga in terms of the practitioner’s absolute submission to him and obedience to the guidance given. In some practices, the Shaykh is a transcended spiritual entity channeled by the meditator. The Encyclopedia of Islam lists a number of manifestations found within the meditation practices of Sufism, e.g., “barking and howling” (MacDonald, D. B. “Darwish (Darwesh),” Encyclopedia of Islam, Second Edition, edited by: P. B. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C. E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel and W. P. Heinrichs, Brill Online, Augustana, 21 Sept 2009), behavior that was also exhibited through the so-called impartation of the Holy Spirit in places such as the Toronto Airport Vineyard, Pensacola and Lakeland, Florida, International House of Prayer (IHOP), and Bethel Church in Redding, California, among numerous others. These experiences taking place throughout the world should give one more than a hint that spirit entities, contacted through altered states of consciousness and meditation, as well as some people’s faith in the false signs-and-wonders methods, have been facilitating Satan’s goal of seducing and controlling the consciousness and beliefs of mankind. “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils” (1 Timothy 4:1).
Mehmet Oz, better known as Dr. Oz, is someone whom I would describe as the poster boy for everything that I’ve been noting in this article, which is the acceptance of all religions in the formation of a one-world religion. He is a Muslim — a Sufi Muslim. He is also a New Ager and a national spokesman for Transcendental Meditation or TM. TM is the pseudo-scientific title conjured up by Hindu guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. The Maharishi, who came to fame as the spiritual advisor and guru to the Beatles, began teaching meditation in US schools as the Spiritual Regeneration Movement, but it was shut down because the courts realized that it was clearly a religion. The Maharishi simply renamed it The Science of Transcendental Meditation [emphasis added]. This incredibly important alteration was not only successful in promoting his Hinduism in schools, but it also opened the door for other pseudoscientific forms of meditation such as Mindfulness and MindUP, which have been overwhelmingly accepted by our school systems here in the US.
Dr. Oz is a protégé of Oprah Winfrey, who is the leading advocate of New Age beliefs and practices in America. Dr. Oz, a Muslim, is a close second. How can that be? Oz has explained that he grew up in America with parents who were diverse in their Muslim beliefs — one leaned toward Sufism and the other toward Sharia law. “I found myself tugged more to the spiritual side of the religion rather than the legal side of the religion… [Sufism] is the order I resonate to because it’s much more mystical… [Sufis] are more concerned with the true connection with God… But when you get caught up in the religious legal aspects of religion, it frustrates me to no end.” Dr. Oz also noted with enthusiasm that his wife, a “Protestant,” is a follower of the teachings of Emanuel Swedenborg who was heavily involved in mystical experiences (as well as blatant biblical heresies).
Dr. Oz personifies what I have been trying to explain regarding what could attract humanity to the coming subjective, experiential, and feelings-oriented one-world religion. Laws, rules, doctrines, and requirements are out; intuition, feelings, and mystical experiences are in. Dr. Oz’s charisma and enthusiasm for the mystical have already deceived millions, Christians and non-Christians alike, toward the direction of the CWR. Rick Warren had Mehmet Oz as a teacher of meditation (read “occult meditation”) for the “Daniel Plan” weight loss program that Warren promoted for his Saddleback Church members and his followers.
Changes are taking place in the world — new concepts that are speeding along at a breathtaking rate. Furthermore, these are changes that defy logic and reason. As the lyrics of a modern song plead seductively, “If it feels so right, how can it be wrong?” And an even more recent popular tune exclaims in its title, “Wrong feels so right!” The very idea that something could be considered “wrong” has not only been questioned, but it is now regarded as belonging to the “archaic realm of judgmentalism.” Daring to call something wrong has become the social sin of the day, and it’s being drowned in the deluge of “let your feelings be your guide.”
In the 1977 blockbuster, Star Wars, which was the most financially successful (and therefore influential) movie series in the history of motion pictures, Yoda (as in “Yoga”) instructs Luke Skywalker to control the Force with this admonition: “Luke, trust your feelings.” Eastern mysticism has gone viral in the West. What were once foreign terms such as karma or guru or deva or mantra have become commonplace. What used to be the Young Men’s Christian Association has morphed into the Yoga Mastery Coaching Association. The latest survey has the number of practitioners of yoga at 37 million people in the US, with projections of 80 million over the next few years. Numerous evangelical churches have pushed aside pews in their sanctuaries in order to practice “Christian” Yoga. “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20).
The chief reinforcement from the world for the development of the mystical religion of the Antichrist, however, comes from the pseudoscience and religion of psychology. Psychology has duped mankind into accepting psychotherapy as a science when it has no basis in true science. Most of the practice comprises a subjective belief system, i.e., a religion. This is abundantly clear particularly as it pertains to counseling, which is overwhelmingly the largest field of psychology. How, then, does psychotherapy bolster the development of the Antichrist’s mystical spirituality? Consider just a few of psychotherapy’s Antichrist beliefs:
1) Mankind is innately good. That innate goodness, we are told, is the source of the “true self.” Getting back to our true self is accomplished through the psychotherapeutic process of self-actualization. Self-actualization, conjured up by Abraham Maslow, is no different from the Eastern mystical teaching of self-realization — realizing one’s godhood.
2) Sin is simply wrong thinking. Sin, we are told, is a construct of judgmental religions imposing their beliefs and practices upon humanity. It is a control mechanism that prohibits mankind from reaching its potential — which, again, is godhood.
3) Being guided by one’s feelings is the basis for true wellness. Feelings emanate from one’s subconscious, which, we’re told, is where one’s true self resides. Being true to one’s feelings, therefore, is the ultimate path of truth.
Carl Jung, who is highly favored in Christendom, claimed that the comprehension of Eastern mystical thought was essential if Western psychology was to develop. Psychology Today years ago added its own confirmation to the changes we’re seeing now by declaring that Eastern mysticism would come to the West through psychology. It has, and it will continue until the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The demonic strategy of mysticism (which is union with God) is to make man believe that he is God. That lie had its beginning in heaven when Lucifer declared, “I will be like the most High (God)” (Isaiah 14:14). His prideful self-delusion turned him from being a “light bringer” (which was what his name meant) to what he is now — God’s chief adversary and the ruler of the darkness of this world, Satan. He then introduced the lie of Godhood to humanity by convincing Eve that she could become a god (Genesis 3:5) and this lie will culminate with the Antichrist, “…who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God” (2 Thessalonians 2:4).
Of course, the lie of godhood will not be exclusive to Antichrist but rather will be all-inclusive. Universally, it will likely take on the form that we find in the Namaste of Hinduism, where a person “recognizes the divinity of another” by declaring, “I bow down to the god in you,” or the grand delusion of Mormonism: “As man is, God once was; and as God is, man may become.”
That is the religion of the Antichrist. It will continue to increase in various forms until it reaches its fulfillment when the “man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition” (2 Thessalonians 2:3). As our Lord warned us, the times prior to His return for His church will be days of great spiritual deception (Matthew 24:4). How, then, should believers who are living in these perilous days not only protect themselves spiritually but also be fruitful and productive in order to do His will and look forward to His coming? That will be the subject of Part 3.