“And ye shall know the Truth (the Verity of My Word), and the Truth shall make you free . . . !” John 8:30-36
After more than two and a half decades of full contact fighting, and training in the martial arts, I had grown unafraid of anything . . . or so I thought ! But now, this enormous presence behind me, caused me to doubt, yea, to fear . . . I was very afraid ! . . . None of my training had prepared me for this. The teachings of the old masters which I had studied for all those years, flashed in an instant through my mind. Fight or run? But I knew in that moment that both were futile. What I felt offered no hope of victory, or escape!
Then came resounding in my mind and ears that name above every other . . . Jesus (Yehushua) !
The true story of one family’s cry for deliverance, and how the LORD revealed His love and power to set the captives free . . . !
I remember vividly my first visit to a martial arts school. I was only thirteen years old. My mom and I walked quickly down the lonely street of the city where I was raised. The evening shadows were growing as we searched the storefronts for the sign of the martial arts school we had seen in our phone book. My mom was nervous, for this part of town was not well traveled at night, and there were no friendly faces in the store windows as we passed by. As the last rays of twilight faded over the horizon, we came to the building which we were looking for.
There was a small doorway recessed in the face of the old brick structure looming three or four stories above us. The only light we now had was glowing from the street lamp on the corner, and the scattered neon signs of the pool hall and taverns. All of the other businesses were now closed. As we looked at the wooden door, and read the name of the dojo, I was filled with awe. For more than a year I had looked forward with great anticipation to this night.
I had been raised as a 7th day Adventist Christian by my mother and father, and not until this past year had I any worries other than what most boys my age experienced. I went to church every Sabbath, and learned many Bible truths. But now my parents had separated, and were divorced. And I was searching, desperately searching for something that I could believe in; something solid; something I could stand on, something which would not fail, and which offered strength and security to a young man’s mind whose world seemed to be crashing in all around him.
Now, here we were, standing at the threshold of my young life. As we opened that door, and I took my first step up the narrow staircase leading to the second floor, a feeling of mystery, and forbidden anticipation filled my heart and mind. I could feel my pulse quicken as I heard the instructor’s powerful voice give commands to his students. In that voice there was a sense of purpose and power. I could hear the ‘Kia’ karate yells of the students eager to win the approval of their teacher as they executed their kata in perfect unison.
As we entered the training room, my mom and I were struck by the overwhelming sense of power in the place. The white uniforms, walls adorned with certificates and asian calligraphy, and the demeanor of the students, all left the image of self-confidence, discipline, and strict obedience in the air. As the students shouted and executed their moves, the floor of the old building shook with each step, and the walls reverberated at the sound of their yells!
During the next half hour, as my mom and I watched the class there was seen an order, not only in the uniforms and color of the belts, but in strength, ability and authority. The darker the color worn around the waist, the more respect the practitioner received. The instructor wore a belt made of solid black, one which had aged with many years of use. He carried himself like no other man I had ever seen outside of the movies. Each student showed him awe and an almost reverent fear, and I was struck by the influence and power which this man seemed to command. I felt a strange drawing to the place, as if the room itself were beckoning me to remain there.
After the class, the instructor came over to speak to my mother. And as she asked about the scheduled class times, and the cost of my uniform, I was filled with eager anticipation. But then he revealed the price of tuition . . . and my heart was broken; the cost was too much. For on our limited income, even with my dad’s financial help, there was just no way we could afford to pay the price.
As we left the building, walking down the narrow stairs again, I felt as though my dreams had just been taken from my hand. And as we drove home that night I could sense my mother’s uneasiness about our visit to the martial arts school. Yet I did not ask her why, for I thought I might already know her reasons, and I did not want to hear. For there too was a conflict raging within my own heart; things which we had seen that night which seemed strangely out of harmony with the teachings of Jesus Christ and the Bible. It was almost a year later when I finally found a school that I could afford, and one that put mine and my mother’s fears to ease. A school which was known for more than a decade to teach a form of what they called ‘Christian martial arts.’ I enrolled at 14 years of age, anxious to begin my training.
Little did I realize the power, and the influence of darkness which these arts would play in my life over the next 24 years. And how blinded I truly was to the high price which training in these pagan mystical arts would eventually cost my family and I as I grew older. For even in this ‘Christian school’ (dojo, dao-chang) the eastern philosophies woven within the martial teachings, cast a dark shadow and doubt upon the Word of Almighty God !
Is it really possible to blend true Christianity and the teachings of the Lord Jesus with these mystical combative arts? I quickly dismissed the thought, and my journey down the path into darkness began . . . . “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge . . . . For the Light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended It not . . . !” Hosea 4:6 & John 1:5
During the next fourteen years of training, I lived and breathed the martial arts. I trained 6 days each week, and all the while attending church every Sabbath. All along my pathway, as I look back now, I see the red flags of warning which the LORD (Jehovah, Yehuwah) in His mercy, continued to raise; things in my practice that did not line up with the Word of GOD. For even while I was dead in my sins and living in open rebellion to Him, our Saviour was seeking to guard and protect me; to open my eyes and deliver me from the snare of the dragon !
In the martial arts, all students traditionally begin as a white belt; a beginner; then through diligent training, learning the principles and applications of their art, the student progresses upward through the ranks; from white to yellow, yellow to orange, then green, blue, purple, red, brown and finally Black belt (1st dan). Isn’t it strange that in these arts which claim to lead to ‘enlightenment,’ the student begins as a white belt and innocent, and then progresses to black and darkness ?
The school in which I began, narrowed these steps down to only four colors. As a white belt, training was limited to purely physical stamina, punching, kicking, and basic throwing techniques. The next belt was green; this was the rank of privilege and initiation into higher levels of learning, and usually took 2 years to achieve. At this rank students are introduced to the ‘energetic’ or spiritual aspects of the martial arts, such as Chi, (internal strength), and meditation.
Brown belt is the rank of an assistant or student teacher; at this level training is focused on applying the principles of the art in different combat applications, as well as becoming more familiar with the history, legends and the founders of the art. For a student to ascend from one rank to the next, he or she must prove themselves worthy, in demonstrating their ability to defeat all others of equal rank on a consistent basis, and at any given time. Along with the physical techniques and conditioning, students are encouraged to ‘seek within’ for power to conquer their competing rivals. At each level, progression is achieved not only by knowledge, but through the ‘martial spirit.’
The final step in the training of a student, is the Black belt ceremony. On this night, the student becomes a true disciple of the arts. For the average student this style, it was a long 10-15 year journey. And at the time I received this rank, I was only the 5th person in the almost 30 years of the school’s history to do so.
During the years it took for me to achieve Black belt, I did not realize the subtle changes which were being made in my thinking. Through the teachings of the eastern philosophies hidden within the martial arts (regardless of style), I began to compromise the Word of GOD in order to climb the ladder of success. I attempted to bend His Word to make It fit my way of life, rather than bringing my life into submission to the Bible’s precepts and instruction. Little did I realize that the martial arts had become my religion, and the instructors my gods. For I served and obeyed their commands rather than the Word of the LORD.
“Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves as servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness . . . . and Life !” Romans 6:16-22 “As righteousness tendeth to Life: so he that pursueth evil pursueth it to his own death . . . !” Proverbs 11:19
I remember the day, when my Sifu (master/teacher) told me that I was ready to take that great step . . . The date was set, and the whole school and student body began preparations for the event. It was at this ceremony, that I first began to realize the spiritual dynamics behind these eastern arts. When I arrived that evening at the school, with my wife and children, there was a large gathering of students and alumni. Many of my own family members had traveled great distance to witness this promotion.
My instructor met me outside the building, and escorted me to a private room away from my family. And it was here, when we were alone, that he told me, “Eric, tonight will be different from every other night in your life. For this ceremony is very much like a wedding. I know you do not understand this now, but one day, you will !” That night I took off the brown belt which I had worn for so long, and I was handed a thick Black belt, with my name and a symbol of the art embroidered upon it’s end.
From that day forward, the martial arts became my sole purpose in life. And although I would have never admitted it, my words and actions clearly revealed where my heart was bound. “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also !” Luke 12:34. Over the next ten years, I learned all that I could, from anyone with experience. I trained in many martial systems, earning black belts in 7 different styles; with Instructor Certifications in the Chinese Internal arts as well. And all the while, my heart was being drawn further and further away from the LORD, my wife, my children, and my home.
On the most basic level, it is a question of character, for “by beholding, we are verily changed into the same image !” II Corinthians 3:18. And where a man spends his time and money, is where his heart will be. As a professed Christian, I was spending a couple of hours each week at church, and approximately 30 minutes each day with my family in worship at home; yet I was spending many hours each day in studying and teaching the martial way.
Then, in 1999, I opened my own studio, and began teaching from 9am each morning until 10pm at night. My students became my family, for I was with them more than I was at home during waking hours. My wife I believe, knew something was wrong, yet she accepted my excuses; that my time away from our family was necessary in order for the school and my career to be a success. Then in 2003, the floor finally broke through. After many years of training in an art which has as it’s primary focus, SELF, I yielded to the subtle whispers of the dragon, and our marriage and family fell apart. For the Scriptures tell us plainly, “A house divided cannot stand !” And “how can two walk together, except they be agreed.” Amos 3:3 & Mark 3:25.
Now when I needed the LORD the most; when I needed clear spiritual discernment, and to hear and know His Voice, I had become both blind and deaf to His Spirit‘s instruction. Although my flesh wanted to find a solution to our marriage problems, I could no longer read and understand the Scriptures as I once had. Light had become darkness, and evil good. For “spiritual things are only spiritually discerned.” I Corinthians 2:14. I had spent so many years reading, watching, and listening to the voice of the serpent through the martial arts, Hollywood, and secular music, that I could no longer discern the Voice of my loving Father in heaven, as He spoke through His Word.
“For the carnal mind (self, flesh) is enmity (in hostility, hatred) against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be . . . !” Romans 8:7
I fought the battle going on in my mind for almost 6 months, but I fought it as I had been taught in the martial arts; in the power of my own will and flesh. And regardless of the training, no man is a match for Satan and his legions of fallen angels, without the power and Presence of Christ Jesus ! In frustration, I finally gave in to my selfish desires for ‘freedom.’ And I filed for a divorce.
If only I had realized that the battle I was fighting, was not against my wife, nor against my own flesh and blood, “But against principalities, and powers, against spiritual wickedness in the heavens (ariel), and the forces of the darkness of this world . . .” And against these spiritual enemies, the carnal weapons of the flesh, in which the natural man trains, are of no avail ! ref: Ephesians 6:12 & II Corinthians 10:3-5
But rather than obeying the Word of Almighty God, I listened to the cries of my own deceitful heart, and advice from a world lost in darkness and sin . . . . “For when they speak great swelling word of vanity (pride), they allure through the carnal desires of the flesh . . . And while they promise them liberty, they themselves are servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, by the same is he brought into bondage !” II Peter 2:18-19
I remember so clearly that last day, when I drove the moving truck to our country home, to pick up the remaining furniture I was taking with me. And as I pulled out of our gravel driveway, I did not see my wife and son, as they stood in the doorway, crying out to the LORD in heaven for mercy, and help! Nor did I see the 6 year old little girl running behind my truck, crying, ‘Daddy, wait, please don’t leave !’ It wasn’t until years later that I realized what my leaving had done to my wife and children’s lives !
Over the next five years, my wife sought the LORD and His Shalom (peace) with all of her heart; while I sought peace from every place except the One and Only Who can truly give it. And while I was struggling to hide my self in my training, in an adulterous relationship, and sin; my wife Sarah . . . lost herself in the LORD !
“For Thou wilt keep them in perfect Peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee, because they trust in Thee . . . ! But there is no Peace, saith my God, unto the wicked . . . . for the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt !
Sarah fasted and prayed almost continually. I can remember seeing her when she would come to my apartment to drop off our children; she looked so thin and fragile, and yet there was a joy in her eyes which I could not understand. She had found that for which I sought so desperately, yet could not seem to apprehend. No matter how much I ran, and regardless of the means of entertainment which the devil used to occupy my time, when I lay alone at night the silence was deafening . . . .
It was during these years that I plunged deeper and deeper into the spiritual/internal arts of Tai-chi chuan, Bagua zhang, Qigong, Traditional Chinese Medicine and holistic healing. Once having achieved the coveted Black belt, my instructor asked me, “What do you want from the martial arts now?” And I answered him without even a pause, “I want what you have; I want the abilities you have !” Although my instructor professed faith in Jesus Christ, and offered a church service and Bible study program at the school each week, there were certain abilities and training which he reserved only for those who had made the rank of 1st dan Black. High level training in the art of chi and ‘internal strength;’ skills which delved deep into the philosophies and ancient meditative practices of the eastern religions.
For a ‘disciple’ in the martial arts, particularly the art of Kung-fu, these skills began to take on a more occult flavor. For all the spiritual teachings of the far east, grow from the roots of Buddhism, Taoism, and Hinduism. And in each of these pagan religions, that which is called ‘god’ is seen as an energy, or force; in much the same way which George Lucas demonstrates throughout his Star Wars film series.
This ‘energy’ is called the Dao (Tao), or Universal Life Force, and is symbolized by the mystical concept of yin and yang. And it is through the joining and balancing of these two opposite, yet supposed equal powers, that harmony and the manifestation of spiritual or esoteric abilities is said to be achieved.
This energy or ‘force’ is said to dwell within all matter; the rocks, the trees, the planets and every human being. And although hidden, it is said to be only awaiting an awakening. An awakening which is achieved through the medium of meditation, mantra chanting, visualization techniques, hypnosis, and countless other occult practices.
To the Hindu, this power is known as ‘kundalini;’ while to the new age devote, it is called the ‘god-spark,’ or cosmic consciousness. But regardless of it’s name, this esoteric power is from one and the same source, that old serpent, the devil.
Today, this pagan concept is pervading even many once fundamental Bible believing churches (of every denomination) across the world. Through the ‘Emergent Church,’ Contemporary Christianity, and ‘Spiritual Formation’ movements, the dragon is introducing many eastern mystical practices and teachings to unsuspecting congregations. And it is through these that Satan is preparing the world for the final and last great deception ! “And no marvel (be not surprised); for Satan himself is transformed into an angel (messenger) of light !” II Corinthians 11:14
“Today there are coming into educational institutions and into the churches everywhere spiritualistic teachings that undermine faith in God and in His Word. The theory that God is an essence (energy, force) pervading all nature is received by many who profess to believe the Scriptures; but, however beautifully clothed, this theory is a most dangerous deception. It misrepresents God and is a dishonor to His greatness and majesty. And it surely tends not only to mislead, but to debase men. Darkness is its element, sensuality its sphere. The result of accepting it is separation from God. And to fallen human nature this means ruin.
. . . . The spiritualistic theories concerning God make His Grace (Divine Influence upon the heart) of no effect. If God is ‘an essence’ pervading all nature, then He dwells in all men; and in order to attain holiness, man has only to develop the power within him. These theories, followed to their logical conclusion, sweep away the whole Christian economy. They do away with the necessity for the atonement and make man his own savior. These theories regarding God make His Word of no effect, and those who accept them are in great danger of being led finally to look upon the whole Bible as a fiction.” – Ministry of Healing p.428-430
The philosophy of yin and yang teaches that although opposite in nature, the two are equal in power and purpose; that both are necessary to maintain harmony, and for life to exist. These two powers are often symbolized by light and darkness, male and female, fire and water, heaven and earth. There is nothing that is considered evil by nature, but only in it’s function as it relates to the greater whole (or cosmic consciousness). This is probably the martial art’s most subtle deception. “This then is the message which we have heard of Him (Christ Jesus), and declare unto you, that GOD (Jehovah, Yehuwah) is Light, and in Him is no darkness at all !” I John 1:5
For in this philosophy, there are no absolutes; Truth becomes merely the point of one’s perspective. And the serpents whisper, ‘hath God really said?’ can be as verily heard today as it was in the garden of Eden so long ago. And the shadow of doubt is cast upon Jehovah God’s holy Word !
“Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for Light, and Light for darkness . . .To the law and the testimony (of His Spirit): if they speak not according to this Word, it is because there is no Light in them !” Isaiah 5:20 & 8:16-20
“When Satan has undermined faith in the Bible, he directs men to other sources for light and power. Thus he insinuates himself. Those who turn from the plain teaching of Scripture and the convicting power of God’s Holy Spirit are inviting the control of demons. Criticism and speculation concerning the Scriptures have opened the way for Spiritism and Theosophy — those modernized forms of ancient heathenism — to gain a foothold even in the professed churches of our Lord Jesus Christ . . . .
Side by side with the preaching of the Gospel, agencies are at work which are but the medium of lying spirits. Many a man tampers with these merely from curiosity, but seeing evidence of the working of a more than human power, he is lured on and on, until he is controlled by a will stronger than his own. He cannot . . . (without the power and Salvation of the Lord Jesus Christ) . . . escape from its mysterious power.” – Desire of Ages p.258
Through the martial arts, tai-chi and yoga, the door is being opened for the introduction and acceptance of many other eastern mystical practices. Practices which are said to be ‘healing’ rather than combative in nature. What was once called witchcraft, only 50 years ago, is now being widely accepted as ‘traditional medicine;’ and is being cloaked in a garment of pseudo-scientific terminology. Practices such as Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Ayurveda, acupuncture, acupressure, iridology, energetic kinesiology, magnetism, and hypnosis are all becoming widely accepted by the health and medical community. We would do well in heeding Jehovah’s instructions through the apostle Paul . . . .
Many health food stores, chiropractors, and even Western medical doctors are now incorporating ‘holistic,’ Ayurvedic (Hindu), and Traditional Chinese Medical (TCM) techniques into their practices. Today, even many Christians are turning to back to Egypt, in seeking relief from their physical pain and diseases, rather than seeking their help from the LORD (Jehovah, Yehuwah), and the Word of the Living God !
“There are many who shrink with horror from the thought of consulting spirit mediums, but who are attracted by more pleasing forms of spiritism, such as the Emmanuel movement. Still others are led astray by the teachings of Christian Science, and by the mysticism of Theosophy and other Oriental religions . . . .
And there are not a few, even in this Christian age, who go to these healers, instead of trusting in the power of the Living God . . . The mother, watching by the sick bed of her child, exclaims, “I can do no more! Is there no physician who has power to restore my child?” She is told of the wonderful cures performed by some clairvoyant (such as Edgar Cayce) or magnetic healer, and she trusts her dear one to his charge, placing it as verily in the hand of Satan as if he were standing by her side. In many instances the future life of the child is controlled by a satanic power, which it seems impossible to break!” – Review & Herald, January 15, 1914 par. 11
Each of these practices, whether martial or holistic healing in nature, find their spiritual roots in the religions of the far east. And each has as it’s foundation for practice the pantheistic philosophies of Buddhism, Hinduism, and Daoism. This attempt of the Devil to subtly blend these mystical arts with Biblical Christianity has grown at an alarming rate since the 1800’s. For as the Holy Scriptures have warned, the dragon will “cast out of his mouth water as a flood, that he might cause her (Christ’s congregation) to be carried away by the flood !” Revelation 12:9,15.
Through a ‘flood’ of spiritualistic teachings from Hollywood and the printed page (examples such as: The Shack, Twilight, Narnia, Lord of the Rings, and others), Satan is working in this generation with a fierceness like never before. The dragon is fighting against the Gospel of Jesus Christ through infiltration, rather than by a direct frontal attack. And millions of souls are being swept away into a religion which requires no personal sacrifice, no personal Covenant with our Lord and Saviour, and no blood atonement. And in so doing, the Truth and Verity of the Word of Jehovah (Yehuwah) is made of none effect.
“So it will be in the great final conflict of the controversy between Righteousness and sin. While new Life and Light and power are descending from on high upon the disciples of Christ, a new life is springing up from beneath, and energizing the agencies of Satan. Intensity is taking possession of every earthly element. With a subtlety gained through centuries of conflict, the prince of evil works under a disguise. He appears clothed as an angel of light, and multitudes are “giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.” I Timothy 4:1
In the days of Christ the leaders and teachers of Israel were powerless to resist the work of Satan. They were neglecting the only means by which they could have withstood evil spirits. It was by the Word of God that Christ overcame the wicked one !
The leaders of Israel professed to be the expositors of God’s Word, but they had studied it only to sustain their traditions, and enforce their man-made observances. By their interpretation they made it express sentiments that God had never given. Their mystical construction made indistinct that which He had made plain. They disputed over insignificant technicalities, and practically denied the most essential Truths. Thus infidelity was sown broadcast. God’s Word was robbed of its power, and evil spirits worked their will.
“For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because when ye received the Word of God which ye heard of us, ye received It not as the word of men (yea or nay, maybe), but as It is in Truth (Verity !), the Word of God (Divinity), which effectually worketh also in you that believe . . . !” I Thessalonians 2:13
History is repeating. With the open Bible before them, and professing to reverence It’s teachings, many of the religious leaders of our time are destroying faith in it as the Word of God. They busy themselves with dissecting the Word, and set their own opinions above its plainest statements. In their hands God’s Word loses its regenerating power. This is why infidelity runs riot (uncontrolled), and iniquity is rife (widespread).” – Desire of Ages p.257-258
But against this deluge of paganism, we have a thus saith the LORD: “Upon this Rock (The Word Christ Jesus) I will build My church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it !” Matthew 16:18.
In each of these martial arts, as well as all secret societies, real power is obtained only by the transfer or manifestation of spirit (spiritual energy). For it is through the “inspiration” (spirit-impartation) of the masters, gurus, and teachers, passed down to their disciples and from them to the millions of devoted students and followers, that the dragon works to bring about his great deception ! And it is in these countless men, women, boys and girls who are seeking for light in this world of growing darkness, striving in their training each day to imitate the role of their instructors, that an image is verily being formed. But an image of who ?
The Man Christ Jesus (the Lamb of GOD), or an image of a beast; that great red dragon, called the Devil (adversary) and Satan (Accuser)? For truly the war which was begun in heaven nearly 6000 years ago, is still being fought today for every person alive on planet earth. A battle not of physical arms, but a battle for the hearts and souls of mankind. For either we are being daily transformed in the image of God by the renewing of our minds, or we are being conformed to the image of this world, and it’s rebel leader.
Even on the most basic level, the martial arts contradicts not only the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but also the plain instructions of His spoken and written Word ! For Jesus (Yehushua) says:
1) “Be not ye called Rabbi: for One is your Master, even Christ; and ye are all brethren. And call no man ‘Father’ upon the earth: for One is your Father, which is in heaven. Neither be ye called masters: for One is your Master, even Christ. For he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased (cast down); but he that shall humble himself shall be exalted !” Matthew 23:7-12
Is this not the very character of the Arch-deceiver before he fell from his exalted position in heaven? “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the Morning Star! . . . For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend . . . I will exalt my throne . . . I will sit . . . I will be like the Most High !” II Peter 1:19 & Isaiah 14:12-14.
And then we see the Son of Almighty GOD, as He humbles Himself on our behalf, just before Calvary; And He fell on His face, and prayed, saying, O My Father, “if Thou be willing, remove this cup from Me: nevertheless not My will, but Thine be done !” Luke 22:42.
2) “Thou shalt have no other gods (mighty ones) before Me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven (carven, or molten) image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. And thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve (obey) them . . . !” Exodus 20:3-5
The LORD (Jehovah, Yehuwah) here tells us that we are not to bow in humility, obedience or service to anyone in the place of our Creator. For when man chooses to serve and obey any other, he places himself in bondage to that ungodly power; and the results of such bondage are always death. For “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants (slaves) ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness !” Romans 6:16.
3) The Lord Jesus Christ Himself also instructs us, “Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth. But I say unto you, That ye resist not (push not back) evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. . . . And ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, Bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you. That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven. For He maketh the sun to rise on the evil and the good, and He sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust . . . !” Matthew 5:38-45
“For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow in His steps. Who did no sin, neither was guile (deceit) found in His mouth: Who, when He was reviled, reviled not again; when He suffered, He threatened not. But committed Himself to Him that judgeth righteously !” I Peter 2:21-23
“Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place to wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is Mine, I will repay, saith the LORD (Jehovah, Yehuwah) ! Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him to drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head (his conscience shall burn). Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good !” Romans 12:19-21
Choose Life ?
So we are faced once again with the choice, “Choose ye this day whom ye will serve . . . ?” “For this Commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off . . . But the Word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it ! . . .
See, I have set before thee this day Life and good, and death and evil . . . And I call heaven and earth to witness this day against you, that I have set before you Life and death, Blessing and cursing: therefore choose Life, that both thou and thy children may live !” Joshua 24:15 & Deuteronomy 30:11-20
Do we believe and live by a “Thus saith the LORD,” or do we place the word of mere mortal man on an equal or superior level with the Holy Bible? Will we trust and obey the Words of our Saviour and Redeemer, or do we choose rather the philosophies and teachings of the gurus, shamans, and masters of this fallen world ?
“The Life of Christ that gives Life to the world is in His Word. It was by His Word that Jesus healed disease and cast out demons; by His Word He stilled the sea, and raised the dead; and the people bore witness that His Word was with power. He spoke the Word of God, as He had spoken through all the prophets and teachers of the Old Testament.
The whole Bible is a manifestation of Christ, and the Saviour desired to fix the faith of His followers on the Word. When His visible Presence should be withdrawn, the Word must be their Source of power. Like their Master, they were (we are) to live “by every Word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” – Desire of Ages p.390
“Blessed are they that do (walk in obedience by faith) His commandments, that they may have right to the Tree of Life, and may enter in through the Gates into the City. For without are dogs, and sorcerers (oriental scientists), and whoremongers, and murders, and idolaters, and whosoever liveth and maketh a lie ! . . .
But he that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his GOD, and he shall be My son. But the fearful (those full of fear), and the unbelieving, and the abominable, and murders, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death !” Revelation 22:14-17 & 21:7-8.
So we ask, Why would any child of the great I Am, Creator of the Universe choose to serve under an already fallen and defeated foe? Why do so many refuse the free Gift of Salvation (deliverance, freedom, healing, Redemption and Life Eternal)? And what is the real purpose behind this flood of new age teachings, spiritism, eastern mysticism, witchcraft, and occult philosophy, which is sweeping our world in this last generation?
The Last Great Conflict –
The final chapters of the Revelation of Jesus Christ, tell us that there will soon be one final stand between the children of Light and the forces of darkness. And it is for this last battle that the dragon is preparing his armies: For not alone will Satan and his legions of fallen angels fight for the dominion of this earth. Men also will have their part to play!
“For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty !” Revelation 16:14
Quote: “Those who love and keep the Commandments (instructions in righteousness) of God are most obnoxious to the synagogue of Satan, and the powers of evil will manifest their hatred toward them to the fullest extent possible. John foresaw the conflict between the remnant church (congregation, people, assembly) and the power of evil, and said, ‘The dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.’
“Esaias (Isaiah) also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, yet a Remnant shall be saved . . . . For He will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness . . . !” Romans 9:27-28
The forces of darkness will unite with human agents who have given themselves into the control of Satan, and the same scenes that were exhibited at the trial, rejection, and crucifixion of Christ will be revived. Through yielding to satanic influences, men will be transformed into fiends; and those who were created in the image of God, who were formed to honor and glorify their Creator, will become the habitation of dragons, and Satan will see in an apostate race his masterpiece of evil, –men who reflect his own image.” – Review & Herald, April 14, 1896
Those “in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them that believe not, lest the Light of the glorious Glad Tidings of Christ, Who is the image of GOD, should shine unto them !” II Corinthians 4:4
This is the battle which faces each of us today ! A battle “not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, and against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world . . . !” And in this conflict with the forces of darkness and unrighteousness, those abilities which are trained in the combative arts will not avail, but rather only hinder. “For it is not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the LORD of hosts !” Ephesians 6:12 & Zechariah 4:6
“And the weapons of our warfare are not carnal (weak, fleshly), but mighty through GOD to the pulling down of strongholds; Casting down imaginations, and every high thing . . . . spiritual wickedness in high places . . . that exalteth itself against the knowledge (knowing) of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ . . . for though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after (by) the flesh!” II Corinthians 10:3-5 & Ephesians 6:12.
Coming Home . . .
In December 2004, the LORD began to open my blind eyes, when I came home to my apartment one afternoon, to see the news of a 9.0 earthquake which had swept away in seconds, almost a quarter million souls into eternity! I was stunned, and memories of my childhood, memories long ago buried by a life of rebellion and sin came racing back to my mind. Memories of my mother reading to me the prophecies of the Lord’s return in Daniel, Revelation, and a little red book called Early Writings.
And while the unseen forces of darkness in my life, battled to blind my eyes, and deafen my ears to the Voice of my Father in heaven, my wife was pressing her case boldly to the throne of Grace. Urgently claiming the shed blood of our Saviour, and petitioning the LORD to have mercy on me; and restore our marriage, our family and our home.
It had been nearly two and a half years since our separation, and my wife Sarah was struggling, and clinging desperately to the LORD’s Promise which He had spoken to her in His Word. Yea, “I will restore the years that the locust has devoured . . . And I shall turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse !” Joel 2:25, Malachi 4:4-6 & Luke 15:10-24
One afternoon, Sarah and our two children were walking through the mall in the city near our home. When from across the center aisle, a tall man began walking toward my wife. She looked up, and glanced nervously at this man whom she had never met before. As he reached my family, he looked at my wife with compassion, and said, “I know that you do not know who I am, but I am a pastor; and this morning, as I was seeking the LORD, He told me that I would meet you, and your two children here today. And He told me to give you this message: I have heard your cries, and I have answered. Your husband is coming home !”
My wife broke down in tears. For that week the devil had been whispering doubts and lies in her mind. And she was almost ready to give up on ever seeing our marriage and family reunited again. Now, here was the Word of the LORD, spoken through a man of faith; saying . . . “Fear thou not; for I Am with thee: Be not dismayed; for I Am thy God (Elohim – Mighty One): I will strengthen thee; Yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of My righteousness . . . . Be strong, fear not: Behold your God will come with vengeance (to avenge thy cause), even God with a recompense (reward); He will come and save, rescue and deliver you! And then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped . . . !” Isaiah 41:10 & 35:4-6
“For I will open his eyes, and turn him from darkness to Light, and from the power (control) of Satan unto GOD, that he (they) may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them that are Sanctified by faith . . . That is in Me (Christ Jesus) !” Acts 26:18
It was almost 2 years later, that the LORD accomplished the miracle of those Life-giving Words in my life, and did the impossible. For not only was He working for my deliverance and Salvation, but also with in my dear wife’s heart and soul. And showing her that it is “through faith and patience that we inherit His Promises !” Hebrews 6:11-15 “For what shall I say? He hath both spoken unto me, and Himself hath done it . . . . And He is the Author and the Finisher of our faith !” Isaiah 38:15-17 & Hebrews 12:1-2
“For My thoughts are not like your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith the LORD (Jehovah, Yehuwah). For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts . . . . . . . ‘And they say, If a man put away his wife, and she go from him, and become another man’s, shall he return unto her again? Shall not that land be greatly polluted? But thou hast played the harlot with many lovers; Yet return again unto Me, saith the LORD !’ Jeremiah 3:1-23
Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and He will have mercy upon him, and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon ! . . . For as the Rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and causeth it to bring forth and blossom, so that it may give Seed (ref: Luke 8:11) to the sower, and Bread to the eater . . . . So shall My Word be that goeth out of My mouth: It shall not return unto Me void, but It shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent It . . . . !” Isaiah 55:6-12
Almost midnight . . . !
The year is 2007. It has been almost twenty-five years since I began my training. I arrived home after a long day of teaching both group and private classes. Now it was late, and I was exhausted. My wife and children were asleep upstairs in bed, and I was finally alone.
I set my gym bag down in the kitchen doorway, and turned to get something cool to drink from the icebox. Suddenly, I stopped dead in my tracks. The hair on the back of my neck stood on end; cold chills ran all along the surface of my skin, and I realized I was not alone. A terror gripped me such as I had never known before. I sensed a presence towering behind me, something huge and terribly evil !
After more than two and a half decades of full contact fighting, and training in the martial arts, I had grown unafraid of anything . . . or so I thought ! But now, this enormous presence behind me, caused me to doubt, yea, to fear . . . I was very afraid ! . . . None of my training had prepared me for this. The teachings of the old masters which I had studied for all those years, flashed in an instant through my mind. Fight or run? But I knew in that moment that both were futile. What I felt offered no hope of victory, or escape!
Then came resounding in my mind and ears that name above every other . . . Jesus (Yehushua)! Suddenly I fell to my knees, tears running down my face, as Light broke through upon my darkened heart and mind. After all those years of training and combat; and the wasted days of my life studying diligently the cryptic writings of pagan masters, I was without defense . . . Yet now, even now, after all my rebellion and sin there was still hope in Christ Jesus! I knew, because I knew, because I knew . . . . He was my only Hope !
That Seed which had been so carefully planted in my heart as a child, was now reaching for the Light. “For it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord (Adoni – Sovereign King) shall be saved !” Acts 2:21
Would the Lord Jesus hear my cry for help after all that I had done? The Scriptures say that “If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus (that Jesus is Lord and Sovereign King), and shalt believe in thine heart that GOD hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved (delivered, set free, rescued, healed and made whole)! . . . For the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon Him !” Romans 10:9-13
That we might know what is the hope of His calling, and the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints. And “what is the exceeding greatness of His power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of His mighty power . . . Which He wrought in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and set Him at His Own right hand in the heavens . . . Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come!” Ephesians 1:18-21
“For the Righteousness which is by faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is to bring Christ down once again to die): Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is to raise Christ up again from the dead). But what saith it? . . . The Word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is the Word of Faith which we proclaim !” Romans 10:6-8
Kneeling there in my helpless unworthiness on the floor, I cried out with all that was within me, Jesus is the Christ (Yehushua ha Moshiac), Jesus is the Sovereign Lord and King! I believe Lord, help Thou my unbelief ! Jesus save me . . . please !
“What is justification (righteousness) by faith? — It is the work of God in laying the glory of man in the dust, and doing for man that which it is not in his power to do for himself. When men see their own nothingness, they are prepared to be clothed with the righteousness of Christ. When they begin to praise and exalt God all the day long, then by beholding they are becoming changed into the same image !” – Special Testimonies for Ministers and Workers p.62
In those few moments, the walls of illusion came crashing down. All the pride, self-confidence, self-assurance, ego and self-defense came to naught. This man who was once honored as a 5 dan and disciple in kung-fu; who had been awarded certification in the Martial Arts Hall of Fame, who had achieved rank and ability in many martial styles; was now humbled in the dust from which I was made. And I cried out in desperation for deliverance and Salvation ! . . . And that night the LORD showed Himself mighty to save !
“Christ lived a human life that He might be man’s example in all things. He endured temptation even as every human being must endure. He believed God as we must believe! He learned obedience even as we are required to learn obedience. And He overcame as we must overcome. His path lay through manifold temptations; therefore He knows how to succour those who are tempted ! . . .” – Bible Echo, September 3, 1900
“It is faith and prayer that cast out evil spirits. And “faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God !” Romans 10:17.We may ask Christ with full assurance of faith for enlarged capacity for service, for increased power to help souls. But let us remember constantly that it is through the Holy Spirit that we receive power and efficiency . . . !” – Special Testimonies June 21, 1905
“The means by which we can overcome the wicked one is that by which Christ overcame,– the power of the Word. God does not control our minds without our consent; but if we desire to know and to do His will, His Promises are ours: “Ye shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall make you free!” “If any man willeth to do His will, he shall know of the teaching (instructions).” John 8:32 & 7:17
Every man is free to choose what power he will have to rule over him. None have fallen so low, none are so vile, but that they can find deliverance in Christ. The demoniac, in place of prayer, could utter only the words of Satan; yet the heart’s unspoken appeal was heard. No cry from a soul in need, though it fail of utterance in words, will be unheeded. Those who will consent to enter into Covenant relation with the God of heaven are not left to the power of Satan or to the infirmity of their own nature.” – Desire of Ages p.259
“The same power that Christ exercised when He walked visibly among men is in His Word. It was by His Word that Jesus healed disease and cast out demons; by His Word He stilled the sea and raised the dead, and the people bore witness that His Word was with power ! . . .
The Scriptures are to be received as God’s Word to us, not written merely, but spoken. When the afflicted ones came to Christ, He beheld not only those who asked for help, but all who throughout the ages should come to Him in like need and with like faith.
When He said to the paralytic, “Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee;” when He said to the woman of Capernaum, “Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace,” He spoke to other afflicted, sin-burdened ones who should seek His help. ref: Matthew 9:2; Luke 8:48.
So with all the Promises of God’s Word! In them He is speaking to us individually, speaking as directly as if we could listen to His Voice. It is in these Promises that Christ communicates to us His Grace and power. They are leaves from that Tree which is “for the healing of the nations.” Revelation 22:2. Received, and assimilated, they are to be the strength of the character, the inspiration and sustenance of the life . . .
Nothing else can have such healing power. Nothing besides can impart the courage and faith which give vital energy to the whole being. To one who stands trembling with fear on the brink of the grave: “, to the soul weary of the burden of suffering and sin . . . . repeat the Words of the Saviour — for all the Words of Holy Writ are His — “Fear not: for I have Redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art Mine !”
When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I Am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour. . . . Since thou wast precious in My sight, thou hast been honorable, and I have loved thee.” “I, even I, Am He that blotteth out thy transgressions (rebellions) for Mine Own sake, and will not remember thy sins !” ref: Isaiah 43:1-4, 25 & 44:21-23 – Ministry of Healing p.122
“The Words that I speak unto you,” said Jesus, “they are Spirit, and they are Life !” John 6:63
. . . The creative energy that called the worlds into existence is in the Word of God. This Word imparts power; it begets Life. Every Command is a Promise; accepted by the will, received into the soul, It brings with It the Life of the Infinite One. It transforms the nature and re-creates the soul in the image of God. The Life thus imparted is in like manner sustained. “By every Word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God !” – Education p.126
The LORD (Jehovah, Yehuwah) is calling you today, and saying . . . “Awake, awake; put on thy Strength, O Zion . . . put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for your flesh . . . put on thy Beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city: for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean ! Shake thyself from the dust; Arise, and sit down . . . seated with Christ in heavenly places . . . Loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion. For thus saith the LORD, Ye have sold yourselves for nought; and ye shall be redeemed without money . . . How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of them that bringeth Good Tidings, that publisheth Peace (Shalom); that bringeth Glad Tidings of good, that proclaimed Salvation,* that saith unto Zion . . . . Thy God Reigneth !”
And Jesus (Yehushua) came and spake unto them, saying, “All power is now given unto Me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore . . . into all the world, and proclaim the Glad Tidings to every creature. He that Believeth and is baptized with the Spirit shall be saved! . . . . ref: Matthew 3:11 & Titus 3:5
And these signs shall follow them that believe; In My name (because it is I Who dwells within them) shall they cast out (evict) devils; they shall speak with new languages; They shall take up (loose the hold of) serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not harm them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover ! . . . And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the Word with signs following ! Amen !” Matthew 28:18-19, Mark 16:15-20
In the fall of 2007, The Lord Jesus Christ (Adoni Yehushua ha Moshiac) not only delivered me from the spirits of darkness and martial arts, but He also reunited Sarah and I in His Covenant of marriage, restoring our family and our home. Praise the LORD, Halleluyah! For His Word Promises us, that “He is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power of His Spirit, that worketh in us !” Ephesians 3:20
One year later, the LORD called us to work for Him. Saying, as Jesus did to those two men whom He had set free on the sandy shores of Gadara, “Go tell what great things GOD hath done unto thee . . . !”Matthew 8:28-34 & Luke 8:26-39
Since that day, we have worked to share that great Salvation which has been purchased in full for every person who has ever lived, through the Life and death, and glorious resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. And this is the work which He is also calling you to do –
For the LORD is saying unto you Today, “My son, my daughter, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art Mine . . . Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of My hands; and thy walls (your homes) are continually before Me !
Shall the prey be taken from the mighty (ghibore – tyrant, giant, strongman), or the lawful captive delivered? But thus saith the LORD, Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered. For I will contend with him that contendeth with thee, and I will save thy children !” Isaiah 43:1 & 49:16, 24-25
“For I have heard thee in an accepted time,* and in the day of Salvation have I succoured thee. Behold, now is the accepted time; Today is the day of Salvation . . . Today, if you will hear His Voice, and harden not your hearts . . . !” II Corinthians 6:2, Isaiah 49:8 & Hebrews 3:7-8
Today, there are thousands of Christians and non-Christians alike struggling for freedom from bondage, addiction and sin. Searching desperately for Light; and some hope of deliverance and healing. Waiting to hear the voice of faith and prayer to set them free !
If we can be of help, please contact us at our address below: Eric & Sarah Wilson – Isaiah Ministries http://isaiahministries.wordpress.com/ 233 J. Walking Way Gray, Tn 37615 or by email at: EWilson7th@gmail.com (423) 477-7836
And to learn more about the spiritual dangers of eastern mysticism, martial arts, tai-chi, & yoga; and the role they play in these final days before our Lord’s return, please visit the links below:
http://secretdangersofmartialarts.wordpress.com/ – Full article revealing the spiritual dangers behind martial arts
And Coming Soon – “The Dragon Revealed !” – the new film from Little Light Studios & Isaiah Ministries !
From the studio that brought you “Battlefield Hollywood,” “Magic Kingdom,” “Controller” and “The Replacement gods” comes an a powerful new Film which reveals the secrets, spirits and powers behind martial arts, eastern mysticism, and Spiritual Formation movements. And the role they are playing in the last great drama, preparing the world for what will be an overwhelming surprise !
http://littlelightstudios.tv/fundraisers/the-dragon-revealed/ – The Dragon Revealed !