Tom: The topic for this week’s program is Occult Invasion, a book by Dave Hunt and the subtitle is: The Subtle Seduction of the World and the Church.
And, Dave, as you know—I mean you wrote a book about it, this is a really important issue. We are seeing the growth, overwhelming growth, the advance of Eastern mysticism [and] of things of the occult—not only in this country, which some would say, traditionally at least, has been Christian. But now, we see a movement toward the East and toward methodologies of the East. So this is something that we dealt with last week and [will] for a couple of weeks to come. It’s such an important issue.
Dave: Maybe we should remind them, this is really the embrace, or the pursuit, of some . . . what they would call a supernatural power, paranormal power, that does not come from the God of the Bible and on the terms that He lays out, but something that we can develop within ourselves or in a partnership with spirit beings.
Tom: Right. And this is something that—I mean there is a seduction going on. This has come in, not just as Eastern religion, although that is a fact today. But it’s convinced people, because it’s come in under a scientific guise.
Tom: It’s come in, as we mentioned before, as a power bait, in effect; people wanting power, wanting control of their own lives, wanting to solve their problems. Whether it be transcendental meditation or yoga, whatever it might be, now those are being promoted as science, not as religion, and that’s made it all the more attractive and effective.
Dave: Also it comes in because world leaders are involved in it.
Tom: Right. Well that’s one of the things I’d like to address. The poster boy, if I can use that term, for the New Age, for Eastern mysticism, really is the Dalai Lama. He has great respect from not only the press, the public in general, but also, amazingly, by professing Christian leaders and the Catholic Church.
Dave: Yes, he’s a very close friend of the pope, and he’s highly regarded in peace circles. You know, he stands for peace. He represents an oppressed people. I remember, I was in New Zealand some years ago and being interviewed by a major newspaper. They wanted to know what I could tell them about Jim and Tammy Bakker, about Jimmy Swaggart, about Oral Roberts—you know, some of the scandals in America, and I answered their questions factually. And then, when they had finished with that, I said, “Now, there’s another one that I would like to give you a little information about: the Dalai Lama.” I said, “You say Jimmy Bakker deceived people. Well, the Dalai Lama goes around the world telling people they can become little Buddhas, they can become gods. He teaches Tibetan deity yoga, and how you can basically become a god! And I think that’s an even bigger delusion.” And I was trying to say a few words about him and they cut me right off.
Dave: Not going to hear a word against the Dalai Lama! Well, he did receive the Nobel Peace Prize, you know?
Tom: Of course.
Dave: He’s celebrated wherever he goes. But this man claims to be the fourteenth reincarnation of the original Dalai Lama. He claims to be a god, the god of the Tibetan people. And he claims to turn you into gods. And this is the lie of the serpent. Yet people turn out by the thousands for his workshops, seminars to become little Bodhisattvas. Why? Why does the press, the media, turn a blind eye to this and why do they honor this man so highly?
Tom: Dave, as you’re moving along that train of thought, in the book you have a section called “The New Prince of ‘Peace.’” What does that mean, the new prince of peace?
Dave: Well, you said he’s the poster boy. The front cover of Whole Life Times for December 1989 was a replica of a peace poster that was very popular at the time in North America and Europe. I know you remember this one, Tom—it was a magnificent view of the sprawling eleven-story, gilt-roofed Palace of the Gods, it’s called, in Lhasa, Tibet, the ancient residence of the Dalai Lamas from which the current Dalai Lama fled, you know—made his escape into the towering Himalayas, snow capped in in the background, over-arched with a dazzling rainbow. And super-imposed on this breathtaking landscape is a head and shoulders picture of Tenzin Gyatso. “His Holiness, Dalai Lama of Tibet,” it says, and his huge image just rises out of the palace dwarfing it, you know, and blocking the view—partially blocking the view of the majestic mountains behind. And in large print, in the bottom of the poster are the words: “Peace on earth.”
Now this was the December issue. The implication is pretty clear. The angels came at the birth of Jesus. And, supposedly, that’s what the world was celebrating in December, the 25th,t,h and the angels announced, “Peace on earth, good will toward men.” Now this is the December issue. Not a word about Christmas, not a word about Jesus Christ, but the Dalai Lama is the “Prince of Peace,” obviously, who’s bringing peace on earth. And yet he’s a very good friend, close friend of Pope John Paul II, who honors him highly, cooperates with him. Well, the pope allowed the Dalai Lama, on one occasion—this was in Assisi, Italy, when they gathered to pray for peace—he was invited (the Dalai Lama), invited by the pope; allowed him to put the Buddha on the altar in St. Peter’s Church in Assisi and had his Buddhist worship ceremony around a supposedly Christian altar. And then claimed that he was praying to the same god that Christians prayed to. The Dalai Lama is god, or claims to be God.
Tom: Right. What about on his first visit to this country? There was an interreligious festival at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City.
Dave: Right. That was his first—in 1979—his first visit to the United States. They called him “His Holiness.” Now, that’s interesting, because the Catholics call the pope “His Holiness.” But he was celebrated as guest there at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and Cardinal Cook, at that time. Since his death, the Vatican has opened his cause for sainthood. Of course, he’s been succeeded by Cardinal O’Connor now. They had an overflow crowd, about 5000 people. He said—this is part of his talk, “All the world’s major religions are basically the same.” And he got a standing ovation! And Cardinal Cook at that time declared, “This is one of the dramatic movements of the spirit in our time. We make each other welcome in our churches, temples, and synagogues.” Well, I don’t know what spirit he’s talking about, but certainly not the Holy Spirit, because the Holy Spirit is not—the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth and He does not recognize the lie of Tibetan deity yoga to make us all into little gods as part of the truth.
Tom: But this the spirit of ecumenism that we’ve seen . . .
Tom: . . . in which there are ideas and concepts out there that some of us say, “Wait a minute! You would think, by Roman Catholic standards, this is not Christian.”
Dave: Well, you would think so.
Dave: But we’re talking about occult invasion now, so what he is involved in around the world is offering what he calls Kalachakra Ritual for World Peace. He teaches people . . . this, for example, took place: Three thousand people came from all over the world to an auditorium in Santa Monica, California. He taught that everybody, as we said, can become a Buddha, and he said deity yoga is a special . . . (no, I’m sorry, this is a reporter’s description of the conference). He said, “Deity yoga is a special conscious act of visualizing the illusion that we are already god-like and able to create our own reality that we are Buddhas.”
Now, visualization, as you know, is the most powerful occult technique. If we just visualize ourselves as god-like, we visualize ourselves as Buddhas, that will turn us into godlike Buddhas and enable us to create our own reality. Of course, now we’re into Hinduism. Of course, Buddha was originally a Hindu who abandoned his Hinduism. In Hinduism everything is maya. There’s no reality out there. We have created this with our minds. So this is occultism.
Tom: Right, so . . .
Dave: A power that you can gain.
Tom: Yes, so the god that Catholics claim to worship, who is personal, right . . .
Tom: . . . Transcendent—that’s antithetical to the god of the Dalai Llama. I mean, not only that we are personal gods, but we know what he means by that: that we’re really—we are really individual gods, but we’re all part of god. He’s really a pantheist isn’t he?
Dave: Well, actually, Buddha was an atheist.
Dave: There really isn’t any god in that sense.
Tom: All the more, then.
Tom: We have a personal transcendant god that the Catholics claim to believe in versus—what?
Dave: Buddha didn’t really talk about God. We . . . well we return to the void. I mean, there are various kinds of Buddhism, so we can’t deal with all of them, but basically, Buddhism doesn’t even believe in the reincarnation of the soul—transmigration of the soul that the Hindus believe in, but we just kind of . . . we become enlightened. That’s the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Dave: We become enlightened and then we develop this power, and it’s a power that enables you to overcome reality so that you don’t have to face the reality of this world. Again, Tom, and I don’t want to seem cynical, but how people can believe this sort of thing! I mean, the Dalai Llama, he has to eat, you know? He has have an umbrella over his head if he’s going to be protected from the rain. He has to use airplanes, or helicopters, or taxis, or limousines. He’s just like any other human being! And yet he passes himself off as god? And then he offers other people that they can become little Buddhas and gods like him. I mean, you’ve got to be kidding!
Dave: It’s like the world wants to believe a lie.
Tom: Even Cardinal Cook’s statement: “This is one of the dramatic movements of the Spirit in our time. We make each other welcome in our churches, temples, and synagogues.” What is he talking about here?
Dave: He’s talking about ecumenism, and, you see, it doesn’t really matter. Truth is not important any more. Let’s just get along with one another, and we’ll love one another and be at peace with one another. We’ll all work together for world peace and we’ll hug one another and say how wonderful it is we are making a new world.
This world is under God’s judgment!
Dave: You just turn your back upon truth. It doesn’t matter. And we’re going to ignore the truth of God’s Word and the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ. And we’re going to pretend that, after all, we all believe the same thing anyway—that’s not going to get you anywhere. To be united around a lie isn’t going to help at all.
Tom: Now, Dave, from an evangelical standpoint, you know to the degree that the church opts for things in the world and wants things . . . for example, the Dalai Llama may influence individuals who are evangelicals. But really, the heart of this, the thing that trips people up, is really that aspect of the occult invasion that involves a lust for power. That’s where I think evangelicals—those who at least would claim to be evangelicals—are tripped up. We can get on the Catholic Church or get on even the liberal church for their interest in the Dalai Llama, but what about this personal power thing? Again, we see it in the church—this idea of a power trip, of wanting “power this” and “power that.” I mean, we know we have John Wimber, before he died, was very much into power evangelism. That’s something that’s picked up. C. Peter Wagner, for example, confronting the powers. There is this element that’s attracted evangelicals into this very thing that’s opened the door to occultism.
Dave: Well, the whole charismatic movement is based upon power. What they’re interested in is seeing power demonstrated. They talk about the power of the Spirit, but very often forget that this is the Spirit of truth. He is the Holy Spirit, and He leads into truth. They are more interested in what seems to be demonstrations of power, like you touch someone, or you blow on them, as Benny Hinn has done, and they fall over. Or healing—and I’m not opposed to healing, I’m not opposed to seeing the power of God. But, you know, the real power of God is in a transformed life. The power of the gospel is the salvation of souls, and yet you get a compromised gospel, you get a humanistic gospel very often. There’s very little interest in truth, in doctrine, but people, they pursue revival around the world. And by “revival,” they mean some seemingly miraculous manifestations. And so they’re looking for the “power” of the Spirit, and “I want more ‘power’ in my life. And we want to go somewhere where we see power.” That’s one side of it.
Then you mentioned C. Peter Wagner. John Wimber’s book Power Evangelism—well John Wimber in that book claimed that if you didn’t do signs and wonders that the gospel wasn’t being preached. And people are not getting saved.
Well, he has just done away with Spurgeon and Finney and Torrey and Moody and Whitfield and Wesley and so many others. Well, he’s done away with most gospel preachers today. Even the ones that claimed to have miracles, miracles are not happening.
I remember when John Wimber brought his family over to England—I forget the exact year now, but several years ago—because Paul Cain had prophesied that this was going to be a revival that’s going to spread from England to the continent. And John Wimber wanted everybody to be there. They had this big conference. These are “power evangelism” people, and nothing happened. It was a big disappointment. So even the people who talked about power don’t demonstrate the real power.
So who is getting saved then? Well, you mean, just somebody falling down—that’s enough? We’ve got a power trip out there. Then we’ve got C. Peter Wagner, Well, he says it’s all because of the power of Satan that people don’t come to Christ. We’ve got these territorial spirits up there; we’ve got these demons, and then he talks about “new techniques,” “new methods,” for releasing millions of souls. Well, then are you telling me that—this is what he seems to be saying—that souls could have been saved by the millions down through history if we had only known about these techniques? And as soon you get a technique—a methodology—then we’ve got problems.
Tom, in the book I quote Nicky Gumbel, he’s the curator of the Holy Spirit Brompton.
Tom: He’s also the originator of the Alpha Course, which has taken . . .
Dave: That’s right.
Tom: Has taken the country by storm.
Dave: We’ll have to deal with that later. Holy Spirit Brompton, Anglican Church in England, that’s where the Toronto Blessing came, and from there it spread across England and the continent. And he tells how he got the power. And I’m quoting him, he says, “The American (that is Wimber) just said ‘more power.’ It was the only thing he ever prayed. I can’t remember him ever praying anything else.” Gumbel testifies that he felt something like 10,000 volts of electricity going through him—his body—when Wimber prayed for him. Well, I would really question . . .
Tom: Well what’s the point?
Dave: Yes, is electricity the way we’re set free from Satan? Jesus said, “You continue in my Word; then are you my disciples indeed, and you will know the truth and the truth shall set you free.”
That’s one of the complaints that I sometimes express, and I have expressed it to the people there at Brownsville Assembly of God in Pensacola, that I don’t really hear the truth being presented, but I see a lot of manifestations.” What we need is the truth. And we’re living in a day when, as Paul warned, they will not endure sound doctrine.
Dave: Doctrine is so boring. No—it’s the container of truth, and it keeps us on the right track.
Tom: Well, “it”—what is “it”? The gospel.
Dave: The gospel, right.
Tom: It is the power. I mean there is the power. Not signs and wonders.
Dave: Yes. As I read the Book of Acts, it says, “Paul so spake that a multitude believed.” There’s not a word about him—he did miracles, but in this occasion, not a word about him doing any miracles. And again, I’m not opposed to miracles. I’ve seen God do many miracles, and I believe in miracles. But this is not the doorway to faith in God. I mean nobody saw miracles like the children of Israel. They talk about the Red Sea—the Red Sea opening up. You walk through on dry land. You talk about God speaking with an audible voice from Mt. Sinai; water out of a rock; your sandals don’t wear out, you have a pillar of fire by night and a pillar of cloud by day that literally guides your steps and shows you where to camp. You couldn’t ask for more miracles, and yet God said of them, “All the day long, I’ve held out my hands unto a disobedient and rebellious people.” And it says of Jesus, though he did so many miracles, “…yet they believed him not.” So you can see that the church is being seduced by the same ambition, the same desire as the world. And that is for power.
Tom: Now you went over some scriptures, but really in the New Testament, how does it characterize signs and wonders—that which these men are promoting as the basis for salvation or at least the instrument to bring salvation? But how does it characterize signs and wonders?
Dave: Well, the Bible foretells, Christ—and Paul foretells—a great signs-and-wonders movement in the last days, and it isn’t good. Jesus said in Matthew:24:24 that many false prophets and false christs will arise and shall show great signs and wonders, so convincing that they would almost even deceive the elect. And Matthew:7:21-23, Jesus says, “Not everyone who says unto me Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom, but he that does the will of my Father.” And he says, “Many will say unto me Lord, Lord didn’t we prophesy in your name, and in your name we cast out devils, and in your name we did miracles, and I will say to them I never knew you.”
So here were the signs-and-wonders workers, and Jesus said they didn’t even belong to Him! They were never Christians from the beginning. Or Paul, in 2 Timothy:3:8, he says, “As Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth. Men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.” Well, Jannes and Jambres were the magicians in Pharaoh’s court who duplicated the miracles that God did through Aaron and Moses. They duplicated them by the power of Satan up to a point. So Paul is telling us the opposition to the truth in the last days will be from signs-and-wonders workers.
Tom: Right, and you know I think we also have to—we can look to 2 Thessalonians:2:9, “Even him who’s coming after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders.” We’re not there yet, but I think there’s a preparation for that, and we ought to be concerned. At least concerned enough, Dave, to develop discernment about these things and to look to the Scriptures to understand what’s going on.
Dave: Tom, I remember hearing Richard Roberts at Robert Tilton’s church in Dallas, and he got everybody to chant after him: “If it’s a miracle it’s God. If it’s a miracle . . . ” It may not be an exact quote, but this is the essence of what he said. “If you see a miracle, it’s God.” Well, they’re being set up for this great miracle worker who is doing it through the power of Satan.
You remember when we wrote The Seduction of Christianity?
Dave: And Oral Roberts, as a result, and you can say to counter that book, founded “Charismatic Bible Ministries.” And one of the pledges that they all made was not to correct one another, okay? And to reinforce what they were believing and to try to refute what we wrote in The Seduction of Christianity. Do you remember their logo, or their banner, is “Unity and Faith through Signs and Wonders”? Or is it “Unity in Love”? I’d have to go back, but basically what they’re promoting is [that] the basis of everything is signs and wonders. And the Bible foretells that, but it doesn’t say it’s going to be good. It will be part of the delusion, preparing, as you said, for the Antichrist, the man of signs and wonders.
Tom: Well, again, signs and wonders—we know God can move and God can do miraculous works among us. However, in terms of salvation, in terms of getting people saved, it’s the content of the gospel that saves.
Dave: Yes, it’s the truth that sets us free.
Dave: That’s what we need, and that’s what doctrine provides: a foundation and a container for the truth. Well, the truth is doctrine, and the gospel is part of the doctrine of God, the gospel of God from Genesis to Revelation, where God lays out who He is and His purpose for man, and what He wants of us.
Tom: Yes, right, and without that we’re open to the delusion, the deception, and certainly the destruction of occultism, and that’s our big concern.
Dave: Yes, if we’re seeking power, you’re not going to find God. He’s not going to play that game. But Satan will play that game, and he will give you power.
I can never forget Benny Hinn on TBN. Paul and Jan Crouch laughing uproariously as he is telling them how he touched this man, or blew on him (I don’t remember which). The man fell over and his wig fell off, or got a bit askew. So as he gets up, he tries to straighten it out. So Benny touches him again, and he falls down, and the wig is a little worse off. And Benny is laughing, they are all laughing, as he says how he touched this man—how he made this man fall down five times just to see the wig fly off. That is not the power of God. God does not do that. That is not the Holy Spirit. Then you are going to have to ask yourself what power was this? And Benny Hinn tells how when he saw Katherine Kuhlman, he said, “I’ve got to have that power.” If you’re seeking power, you’re not going to meet the true God. But someone else will give you power to lead you astray.