As a person who was inclined to occult thinking from being a small child, giving myself over to Satan aged nineteen years, thence sitting down to write an occult and satanic theosophy with a view to forming an occult order aged twenty-three years, I am very intimately aware of the reality of demonic spirits, and how they work through the air to inform falsehood. I am also intimate with their sphere of operation in the body itself, as well as the emotional and intellectual soul in attendance to the body. What I write here, therefore, does not come from the pages of books, but has been an experiential reality, from which I thank God that I am set free so as to write plainly. I have also tested every part of my thinking Scripturally, and whilst I can see no basis for an undue interest with the activity of Satan, as an endeavour, there is nevertheless a clear need for wisdom and clarity.
By using the term, in attendance to the body, I am making a deliberate emphasis. It would be helpful when reading this article if you kept that saying in mind. The reason for this is because as born again men and women, with spirits made alive together in Christ, yet presently dwelling in a physical body, we simply cannot afford to be naive or ignorant of what we are in the flesh. We are creatures because we were created, and in the day we were created in our father Adam, he was created a living soul. We are new creatures in Christ Jesus, if indeed we have believed in Him by faith, yet we are born of our mother’s womb, in the likeness of our father Adam according to the flesh, and we are flesh. If we do not take account of this reality of the flesh, and what that means, we will find that we will be vulnerable to ourselves. By faith we can lay hold of Christ fully, and in that we can be renewed in our minds so as to prove that acceptable and perfect will of God. Yet if we do not know the renewing of our minds we may well go about in our natural minds, and know little of a true victory in our bodies also.
The bible tells us that when God created man he first fashioned his material body from the ground. We are also told that God breathed into the form of man, the breath of life, and man became a living soul. We are also told that after Adam sinned, the body itself was committed to returning to the ground.
God told Adam that “in the day” he disobeyed he would die. Then we also read that after Adam disobeyed God, his first reaction, to hearing God in the garden, was to become full of fear. If we read that account carefully we can see that when Adam became afraid of God, he had already covered his nakedness with an apron of leaves. Yet Adam’s first words to God were, “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.”
This response from Adam is curious because when he made it, he was not physically naked. This reality of Adam’s experience must be understood. If we are to understand this article and its deeper and full meaning, we must understand why Adam was vulnerable to his own body once he had disobeyed God.
As I have said, the term, in attendance to the body, is the way I am laying down a foundational idea to establish that ambition. The account of Adam falling into sin and death is the reality of what that means historically. The experience for ourselves is the reality of knowing what God means when He says, “in the day you eat thereof you will die.”
I am speaking about the old man of the book of Romans. But I am also speaking about the new creature in Christ as well. And unless we can separate the old man from the new creature in Christ, by faith, we will know nothing or little of how to truly walk in the spirit.
Now we have to agree that we ourselves cannot do this as an act of our own will. In fact, if we try to experience that separation, of the old man and the new creature in Christ, we will simply fail, and we will find that the very thing we do not desire to do, is the thing we do. Having been tutored by the Law of God, we know that we cannot keep the Law ourselves. Desiring to do the good thing stems from the fact that we are aware that the Law of God is holy, righteous and good. However, we simply cannot rationalise that desire to do good into an experience, nor can we by the will and the mind, make God’s answer of separation a reality. What we are told in the book of Romans is that God Himself, through the physical body of Christ crucified for sin, has made a separation between the old man and the new creature in Christ. Thus we can say with absolute certainty, the way God separated the old man from the new creature in Christ, is through the death of the cross. God’s way of dealing with the old man of Adam, is by putting him to death in the body of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, on the cross of Calvary, by putting to death Christ’s own body.
Yet, in our own experience, we are born of our mother’s womb, and we are sinners. What we find in reality of experience, as those who are now born again in spirit, is that whilst the old man is dead through Christ’s own body crucified for sin, we ourselves are very much alive in our own bodies. It is this fact of being experientially alive in our own bodies that makes it essential for us to know what our physical body really is. And the way of knowing that, in the first instance, is to look at Adam our father, from whom we inherited this flesh of our bodies, and see what he was after he sinned.
It is a curious fact that once God dealt with Adam’s disobedience we hear nothing more of Adam’s personal conduct or behaviour. Just three things are given us. Adam saw that he was naked, Adam became afraid of God and finally spoke to God. He was talking once about his fear and nakedness, and once to explain how he came to disobey God. So in speaking of Adam, and this single instance of seeing his nakedness the moment he sinned, and experiencing fear the moment he heard God in the garden, we are speaking precisely about what God Himself intended for us to know. The simple point that I am making here, and which I have said can be held in the term, in attendance to the body, is that conduct can only properly be understood when we realise that our physical bodies, whilst they do not determine our intentions, very much do influence our behaviour. In speaking about the kundalini spirit we are very definitely going to need to comprehend that fact. The Hindu Yogic practise which has its roots in Hindu philosophy, is first and foremost grounded in human physiology. Without the body, there can be no kundalini anything. It is also true that evil spirits labour in men and women on precisely this ground of the physical body. Included in the body, and central to its meaning is all that which is called the central nervous system. This being the whole neurology of the man, from his brain into every part of his body – both in neural pathways, in tissue and in the blood itself which passes through the whole man.
We are told in the Scripture that, life is in the blood. It is a mistake to fail to take account of this fact. If we do ignore the physical body, we will attribute to every believer who exhibits any kind of somatic presentation of their bodies, such as shaking, jerking, and so on, a demonic explanation. That would mean in plain language that we will say that Satan is at work in these believers, and not only will we reject the outworking itself, but we will end up rejecting the believer also. There are those who not only do this but do it so well that they literally murder the brethren. In the same way, if we ourselves do not see that our bodies are a conduit of sin and death working in us, which the Scripture calls the power of sin and death, then we will take no account of the body, and we will be led on by sensations, by which even the natural mind will yield itself. The outcome may even mean a loss of control over our very bodies. If that happens then it may well be, having lost self-control, we will become vulnerable to unclean spirits working in the air as well.
We also need to comprehend that we will become vulnerable to men also, who having the same substance of spirit as the demon is a spirit, can himself become demonic in his own person and conduct; in speech and in his body; then he too will lay waste to us through the very same air in which Satan labours. This does not mean however that we are given over to an easy demonic influence through the air, of unclean spirits, whom we cannot see, whereas we are very definitely more vulnerable to men whom we know.
My personal experience of demonic activity goes back to my early childhood, and includes intimate knowledge at that time through to my conversion, as well as the revelation of God as a believer for more than thirty years, thereby extending that understanding through more than fifty years. Today, of course, these spirits do not present to me as they did historically, yet even as a believer I have known demonic spirits to communicate with me in dreams, in an attempt to find a basis in the flesh, to facilitate a continuance of their influence in my own life. During circumstances attending to painful spiritual realities in the lives of men and women, I have known demonic attacks both through the air against my mind, as well as through men and women against my body.
Of course, these things are ordinary in those times when we are most serving the Lord. The only thing that one could say about these attacks is that to discern their source is the quickest way to bring delivery from their effect. Yet even in ordinary life, Satan seeks to devour believers if he can make the name of Christ an offence in the minds of men.
In saying this, it ought to be clear that if demonic spirits continue in this way with a former occultist, and now a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ, this is a grave risk on their part. In recognising this reality, I have had to give some serious thought through time as to how my own experience can best serve my brethren in helping them to loose the grip and effect of unclean spirits in their own lives, where an unclean spirit has been discerned.
Historically this has been a direct ministry to those who are pressed by unclean spirits, rather than generalising doctrines attending to demonic activity. As I must now address these generalities and doctrines, it would be quite clear that one would have to have a foundation upon which to set that address.
I must also make it clear that this can only be done in a material context. Otherwise, believers will be unable to lay hold of anything concrete on which to exercise their faith. If we have no physical evidence of demonic activity, and no true discerning of spirits, then I am afraid we have no demonic spirit at all, because their sphere of operation is the bodies and minds’ of men and women. Without that evidential reality, demons are simply unknown and unknowable. To do this, we have to look at historical as well as present realities.
In going this way, therefore, as far as individual men and women are concerned, we may be inclined to rationally assert possible or likely psychological difficulties as an explanation for demonic activity, especially those with a testimony of an unhappy and troubled life; if indeed they exhibit clear symptoms of mental disturbance. Yet even in this regard, this could be very misleading, not least because many are they that have had tough lives and yet go on to a balanced and sound walk in the Lord Jesus. Clarity would appear to be more easily laid hold of as to an explanation of demonic activity in the actions of men and women when they experience an evident loss of self-control, and are found to be roaring like lions, crowing like cockerels or else laughing uncontrollably, whilst believing that this is an evidence of the presence of God in their lives. Even this, however, is not proof of demonic activity unless an unclean spirit is discerned in these things. Simply saying that these phenomena are evidence of demonic activity in the possessive sense, is not sufficient proof of anything without a clear discernment.
Generally speaking in the historical church, the proposition that such physical manifestations were the product of demonic activity amounting to witchcraft was held in sight until the late 17th Century, when a more enlightened explanation was sought by many, who also held to a sound doctrine themselves. Although there has always been a number of brethren who have held to a demonic explanation for physical phenomena in believers since the start of the pentecostal revivals, this approach to explaining these things has exponentially increased in recent years as a response to events in the church. In this sense numbers of evangelical believers have embraced a demonic explanation for supernatural incidents in the churches, and this itself has led to an increasing rejection of those who take the name of the Lord as their own but who lay hold of supernatural events in their own bodies, be that glossolalia, or other somatic events.
This rejection has been evident in some recent historical circumstances, where the focus was a more general sense of simply rejecting anyone who claimed to speak in tongues. As recently as 1986 I witnessed a man put out of a church because he was talking in tongues, and when challenged he expressed his determination to press into that gift. In fact, this brother wrote me just two days after my own conversion, regarding that gift, so keen was he to see others enter into its benefit. At the time I rejected his claim because I had no reason to believe it. In being put out of the church, it was his insistence on the validity of the gift itself, and his elders assertion of a demonic explanation to his glossolalia that meant he had to be rejected, otherwise in their minds, they would have been knowingly opening up their flock to demonic activity. In the last decade, the emphasis has changed, and a broader number of evangelical Christians countenance the possibility that those who participate in these seemingly supernatural events, whilst recognised as believers, are nevertheless viewed as seriously deluded. Today, I believe that a clear assertion that tongues and physical outworking are of demonic spirits is coming back to the fore. The Strange Fire conference of recent times is a good indicator of that likelihood. The whole premise of the claim that speaking in tongues is of the devil is predicated on a secessionist position. The thrust of the argument being, that if the gift of tongues ceased in the first century, anyone asserting that gift today is of necessity led on by, informed by, and likely possessed by Satan. As the gift of the discerning of spirits falls into that same secessionist belief, then by reason of an impossibility to discern spirits; there is no need, likelihood, or will of God, that believers could or should, discern unclean spirits. All is set in a claim to one reality. The case is that new birth and its benefit confers all that is sufficient to a walk of obedience, where the Scriptures are laid hold of fully, and no account need to be taken of Satan, other than by one’s own determination to cease from sin, or else to confess known sin in one’s life. My own testimony has in it that very idea, yet the substance of my ongoing testimony is that believers must resist the devil, walk in the spirit, know the power of the Holy Spirit through His several gifts, and in all these things be sober, right-minded and orderly.
Conversely, if we are to assert that there is no specific demonic activity in the churches that have embraced glossolalia, as well as other somatic outworking, then one would have to ask what manner of outworking are we witnessing today? If all that is evident, through the bodies and minds of men and women, is psychological, in what way can that be truly harmful to the churches?
As far back as the late 17th century, it is possible to demonstrate these phenomena across Europe and into England, Scotland Ireland and Wales, often set in terms that are strikingly similar to today’s outworking. This would include laughing, barking, trance-like states, glossolalia, levitation, healings, and other similar physical and somatic manifestations. It may also be possible to say that the concern expressed in the early 18th Century regarding these signs was fundamentally more vociferous than it is today, albeit that the phenomena itself was also evidentially more supernatural than today as well. How English society responded through public debate, carried on in churches, as well as governments and individuals’ lives, reflects a more mature approach to these things, and may well be a lesson worth revisiting.
If we ourselves however, are to assert an emphatic demonic causality, as an explanation to the supernatural events being addressed herein, then we have to ask ourselves what manner of delusion would that amount if we lay hold of a claim to demonic activity, only to find that what we really have witnessed, are the minds and bodies of men and women? The difference, in the end, can be shown to be less important than would at first seem likely, however, albeit that it may not actually be necessary to establish an explanation outside of a claim to invading spirits, if we can accept one significant reality.
Men and women can be just as demonic as are unclean spirits themselves. Who can doubt that the visible agencies behind the most extreme examples of these phenomena, amounts to men and women invading the churches, as so-called fire stalkers, as they seek to promote their doctrines, claiming that barking, crowing and uncontrollable laughter are an evidence of the Holy Spirit? When men and women reject God or else are informed and taught by Satan through the air of demonic activity, then these same men and women are just as demonic in their pursuit as any unclean spirit is. The difference is only meaningful at the point that we recognise that Christ died for men and women, and not for the sake of demons. Yet believers can also be demonic if they utilise their calling to influence the church and at the same time walk in gross sin. I am not speaking about stumbling in one terrible way or stumbling many times in lesser ways. I am talking of sinning wilfully and in complete disregard of the blood of Christ. I am speaking about Hebrews 6:6. Believers struggle to make sense of what this means and all too often talk about real men and their failings when in truth they should leave real men alone to their elders and pastors and instead read the most important account of this reality that we have from the pages of Scripture. Judas was a chosen apostle, and he rejected his office in favour of self-interest.
When Jesus identified Judas as a devil, this was long before Satan entered into Judas to betray Jesus to the Pharisees and again at the last supper table. Men and women can be just as demonic as are unclean spirits, who in view of their own history, now hidden, were once led from obedience into rebellion by Satan himself. In this hidden reality lies a sobering insight into the consequence of taking our eyes off God and Christ, and looking to His ministers, be they men or angels. In the case of Judas, it was in looking to the Pharisees and Chief Priest, little realising that they were planning to murder Jesus.
Given that Satan is just one man, we cannot lay at his feet every instance of wickedness and disobedience that arises from self-made men and women, unless we first understand that it is men and women, by reason of their selfish ambitions, that is evident. Be they chosen or otherwise, if these fleshy men and women bring into the churches, through their self-made religious practises, that which is not of God, and press it through time, then they become the demonic agent in the very same way that Judas became the demonic agent working against Christ in betraying Him.
The underlying assumption is that because demonic spirits are wicked and evil, then anything that is similarly perceived as wicked and evil must be the work of demonic spirits. In thinking, in this way, we simply neglect to recognise that wickedness and evil are not the preserve of demonic spirits. Ordinary and legitimate activities can be truly evil if they are pressed through occult and false means.
Making assumptions therefore about the power informing these phenomena is a mistake. In my view, there is a rational imperative that attends to what is happening today that is often overlooked completely. This can be inferred from an overwhelming lack of testimony that unclean spirits are discerned in these meetings by the many who reject the phenomena themselves, but at the same time have been present when they have been exhibited. It is an undoubted fact that brethren speak in doctrinal opposition rather than out of a gift of discerning unclean spirits. For this reason to settle on demonic activity as an explanation of these things, is as irrational, as is accepting that barking, crowing and laughter themselves are evidence of the Holy Spirit at work amongst men. In reality men and women can internalise doctrinal error and then press that onto others with no demonic spirit involved other than their own efforts.
Of course, this does not explain the manifestations that accompany these men and women, which today at least is generally expressed as fire stalking. Nor does it explain why so many men and women are affected by these fire stalkers. In writing in this way, I am simply establishing a basis for giving consideration to the activity of men, before we assign that activity to Satan.
For the purposes of an introduction, I am going to refer to the video by Andrew Strom completed late 2010, entitled Kundalini Warning as a material basis for my presentation.
Kundalini Warning Part I, Part II, Part III.
A number of times Mr Strom says that we should be concerned that the greatest apostolic and prophetic leaders of the charismatic movement have failed to discern this kundalini spirit or false anointing that has come into the churches. The very premise of what Mr Strom is saying is that the events taking place in many churches, is so much like the Hindu Yogic self-awakening, that the spirit must be the same spirit. To Mr Strom, this means that the leaders of the churches have failed to discern a false anointing. and by force of argument, a false spirit.
If you watch Kundalini Warning, however, you can see that although there is a clear confusion in both Hindus and Christians, there is a greater amount of order in the Hindu group. In other words whilst many individuals present these so called self-awakening symptoms of having received an unclean spirit, many more do not exhibit these same symptoms at all. What does this mean as far as discernment is concerned? Is Mr Strom speaking about a general discernment, or is he speaking about specific discernment? I believe he is talking about a general discernment in that the charismatic leaders being spoken of ought to have realised that the manifestations exhibited in the early days of Rodney Howard Brown, were wrong, and should have formed a reasonable basis for rejection of the whole movement. Of course many believers did reject the drunken antics of Rodney Howard Brown at the time. Myself included – and not only myself but every single believer I knew including pastors, elders, preachers, street evangelists and many others. It is precisely because it is men who have pressed these supposed outworking of God, that this deception has not been dealt with. If it had been unclean spirits at work, then it would have been easily defeated.
What then can we make today of the fact that these meetings are filled with men and women who take the name of the Lord, and so far as we are able to know, are believers no less than we are? How is it that so many believers cannot discern what manner of spirit is being manifest?
The answer I believe has to do with the men and women who have become the visible personalities of these movements, because whilst they themselves all testify to some remarkable, as well as sometimes bizarre encounters with God, they are not so much possessed as we would think. Moreover whilst I have no doubt that unclean spirits do seek to influence the work of God, they are simply never going to be present in the way we imagine. If they were present, then I know from my own knowledge that they would be taking a definite risk, unless they were very deeply hidden in the bodies and personalities of men and women. Even then for a demon to take such a chance is essentially venturing imprisonment in the abyss, because whilst it is true that demons will eventually flee from the preaching of the gospel and immediately seek another house to dwell in, that likelihood in a meeting where the overwhelming number are believers is a risk too far.
We are not speaking about gospel crusades, where Christ is preached, and where demons wrestle with suspicious men to maintain their hold so as to keep a person from the kingdom of Christ. We are speaking about the church. So by talking about demons being deep in the bodies of men, we are consigning believers to a temple of Satan in their own bodies. If we insist that real and, somatic outworking are evidence of demonic activity in these men and women, then that too amounts to a claim that unclean spirits are at work directly through and in believers. That is a grave thing to claim.
What these men and women (Ministers) in Mr Strom’s video have done, in my own opinion, is essentially cooperate with evil spirits working through the air, which are not physically present in these meetings in the way we would expect. In short, they have gone through a process of apostasy in their own lives and experiences, which are mostly hidden. This makes certain that deception is the substance and the fruit of their labours, due to an apostasy of their own faith. I have to emphasise that this is not a moment in time sin. Even if believers sin in serious ways, it is still possible for them to have a conscience about that sin, to grieve in their own hearts and to nevertheless serve God according to their calling, especially when it comes to winning men for Christ. As far as church centred ministries are concerned, I am speaking about falling away from the truth by continued gross sin. It is more likely that they themselves are the demonic instrument, by reason of having disregarded sin in their own lives, than it is likely that a demon is possessing them directly and manifesting through them in the laying on of hands. The truly significant meaning of this is that rather than condemning all activity in meetings, where somatic and seemingly supernatural phenomena are evident, because we believe that these things are of Satan, we can actually learn to see what goes for God, and reject what is of men, by rejecting the teaching of such men, and when necessary, by rejecting the man himself.
Where the man is the demonic agent, it will be impossible to discern a spirit, because a man cannot be discerned. Men can be observed, heard, and touched; they cannot be discerned in the same way that an unclean spirit can be discerned. It clearly must be necessary to be able to discern that which is of Satan, especially error, and it cannot be any less true that if a demonic agency is present in a locality, it too must be discernible. Discernment, generally speaking, is a reality borne out of possessing the life of Christ and walking in the Spirit, having a sound doctrine. Specific discernment is a gift of the Holy Spirit, of the discerning of spirits. All of this raises a real problem however with what Andrew Strom appears to have said. If Andrew Strom is saying that a kundalini spirit, or if you prefer, an unclean spirit is implicated in these manifestations, in believers, being received by the laying on of hands and imparted in that way, how is it that so many believers in these meetings have not discerned the presence of unclean spirits in their midst?
It is too simplistic to say that every single person in these meetings lacks in discernment or that every single person in these meetings is not a true believer or else has become apostate. Conversely, if the manifestations are not the outworking or consequence of unclean spirits present in the meetings, passing from one to another through the laying on of hands, how are these manifestations produced? This latter question must be applied to both Hindus and believers, even as the laying on of hands, as well as the manifestations, are clearly the same or similar in both groups. Mr Strom’s explanation appears to be peer pressure.
My own understanding is a simple one. In these videos both the Yogic Hindu Priest and the Minister in the Church are operating out of the very same substance of mind and body. Both are in agreement in their minds and bodies with what they are doing, as well as their intention in it. The profound difference between the Yogic Hindu priest and the believing Minister is their ability to produce or else provoke supernatural effects and symptoms in other people. The videos demonstrate a significant difference between the Hindu clips and the believer’s clips. The effect in the believer’s clips is visibly greater than that of the Hindu clips. This should give us cause for thought at the very least. How is this possible?
After all, it is not difficult to believe that the Hindu priest is himself possessed and that he is therefore literally passing on an unclean spirit to those he lays hands on, and by that means become possessed themselves. In the Hindu clips, especially the scene of the Yogic mat with hundreds of yogic disciples, there is order and self-control for the most part. Then there is the occasional laughing, one here and one there. Even this is not chaotic. The same goes for the spasms which are less dramatic in the Hindu yogic disciples than in the believers. It is possible to believe that an unclean spirit is atmospherically working to help produce this same Kundalini effect in believers. It is less easy to believe that the Christian Minister is possessed as he must be if his hands are the instrument by which this spiritual effect is passed on or released.
Observationally it would be almost impossible to make a separation between this claim of physical contact and the impetus of the effects as seen, yet we must pass beyond mere observation if we are to comprehend what all of this means. I have to say this plainly because there is no other way to say it. I believe that the Christian Minister in many of these situations is a more demonic man than the Hindu yogic priest. In saying this, I am not saying that the Christian Minister is a man more possessed than the Hindu yogic priest. I am saying that neither men need to be possessed at all. Both men can be acting out of their own natural abilities and knowledge. The difference between these two types of men is that the Hindu knows that his efforts are grounded in the physical body, the Christian Minister believes that what he is imparting is spiritual.
For the Hindu yogic there is a restraint of many years of seeking to understand the Chakras as well as the Nadis of the physical body as defined and presented in mathematical, diagrammatical and philosophical language forming the core of Hindu belief systems. For the Christian Minister, it is believed that he is imparting the Holy Spirit and that his ministry is predicated on speech (prophecy) rather than physical manipulation, or the knowledge of natural things.
Of course in these videos we find a claim by Todd Bentley that he specifically makes a point of laying hands on every single person who comes to his meetings. He even cites five or ten thousand as no obstacle to that ambition. He calls this impartation. From that we may well be justified in claiming that invading spirit are coming into the churches through impartation. A common sense view however cannot support Bentley’s claims. If five or ten thousand people receive just five seconds of ministry each then it would take between seven and fourteen hours respectively to lay hands on them all. That would have to be a continuous unimpeded process. There is an easier and far better explanation for Bentley’s effect on others.
In Hindu philosophy the Chakras are focal points of energy, and are physically located vertically through the body is seven different locations. The Nadis are fluid channels or the movement of energy around the body. There have been as many as 72,000 different channels identified, and these correspond to the somatic nervous system in the physical sense, but they also project beyond the physical body and therefore serve to link the astral (psychic) plain with the natural or animate body. The spinal exit that principally corresponds to the Yogic practise which has become known as Kundalini (Self Awakening) is the coccygeal plexus. This is the central point of occurrence of the Kundalini awakening which is attained through Hindu yogic practises as defined by classical Hinduism.
It is also the first Chakra and the philosophical and physical connection between the yogic adept and the material and transcendental earth. Hence the presentation of the classic Hindu seating position as emblematic of Yogic and Hindu practises and beliefs. It is the bum on the floor literally. This interrelationship between the body’s nervous system, intuitive experience, and self-awakening is presented philosophically as a coiled snake (Kundalini). It is the release of this energy, in rather the same way one would conceive of the upward thrust observed when any coil is released, which forms the central ambition of self-awakening and so-called spiritual enlightenment in Yogic practises.
The Hindu yogic priest in Mr Strom’s video demonstrates the brow chakra being manipulated and hence the importance of the mind in the relationship between self-awakening and its meaning in Hindu Philosophy. The real sensation, however, is not that of being especially active, it is rather that of one being ecstatic. The laughter that one can hear on the yogic mat in the clips is the response the adept makes as euphoric feelings begin to burst into the body. It is an involuntary response to an almost overwhelming sensation. It is a fire that suddenly bursts from the inner man, as it is perceived, into the veil of the outer flesh and then by that means into the conscious mind. Deception only really occurs when the conscious mind lays hold of that experience and uses it to justify the body itself as an instrument of self-enlightenment.
As far as believers are concerned, it is clear that the laying on of hands is a less physically specific act, and is much more generalised. Sometimes it is clear that this effect is achieved without physical contact of any kind. All of this tells us that whilst the Hindu technique is grounded in a developed understanding and manipulation of the body; the Christian technique is grounded principally in speech and less in the physical parameters of the body. In essence, the Christian technique is more sophisticated and attends much more to the relationship between emotion and the physical body. In this sense, the Christian technique is more occult in its presentation and consequence than is the Hindu technique. This is the reason why believers exhibit a significantly increased outworking, either in laughter or else in somatic presentations.
When we speak of the demonic, from a Scriptural perspective, we are speaking about possession. This possession takes its meaning from the New Testament, in the majority of instances, and worship of demons, in the Old Testament. What is observed in this so-called Kundalini spirit is neither possession nor worship. It is men, souls and bodies at work. Whatever part demonic spirits play in this it is primarily in the air, and it is unlikely to be a physical presence during a meeting. Demons are much more likely to be hidden and remain hidden for fear of discovery. Their efforts are best served by a man, and the man is best serving them when he is himself a demonic man. This is why the apostles condemned men for their activities and did not attribute their operations directly to unclean spirits even though they identified that demons promote false doctrines.
It may be worth mentioning something about my own sorcerous activities in the past. As a child, I had access to hallucinogenic mushrooms that grew around the valley I lived in. On one occasion I was fed these mushrooms by some well meaning, though clearly deluded hippies, who had squatted some old deserted workers cottages in the remote part of the valley. In small doses, these mushrooms can induce a sense of euphoria that is quite similar to the self-awaking experience of kundalini yoga. The experience is genuinely very remarkable because it takes one into an inner world of clarity that really does feel supernatural. Later on, when I became personally responsible for my actions, I used many different drugs to induce similar states, from which I could communicate safely with demonic spirits. In these times, it becomes possible to project oneself into the spiritual world of wickedness in the air. Because the body is essentially passive in these states of drug-induced ecstasy, the mind becomes free to broaden its influence and experience. The very same effect can be achieved with Heroin and a few other opiates. In speaking about Todd Bentley again it is worth pointing out that he used hallucinogenic compounds in his youth and it is extremely likely that his first contact with unclean spirits through a volitional action of his own making, would have been by that means.
The relevance of saying this is to draw attention to Galatians 5:20 where we read about φαρμακεία or sorcery. What that verse tells us is that sorcery or witchcraft is a fruit of the flesh. In other words, we are vulnerable in our souls – volition, emotion and intellect – through the body, because the body is susceptible to pharmacia, or drugs. When the apostle Paul speaks of the body being weak, this is part of what he is speaking about. Natural witchcraft or sorcery is a weak and vulnerable body stimulated either by drugs, ascetic practises, such as Kundalini Yoga, or else demonic possession. The common vulnerability is the body itself in relationship to the soul. The body is a chemical factory. All that is necessary to enter into sorcerous activity is to know how to utilise the body itself and to determine through the soul in what direction that power of the flesh can be used.
The soul is also projected through the body and becomes a power in its own right. This is drawing upon latent soul power. It is the soul projected through the body and becomes sorcerous at the point that this power of the soul is utilised for personal and financial gain. Another more terrible state occurs when the sorcerous man or woman believes that they are serving God when in fact they are serving their own emotional and physical demands.
This relationship is evident in many normal and reasonable activities in life, such as one’s physical relationship to one’s wife or husband, it is the same physiological, emotional and volitive processes involved in loving one’s own wife, as involving sorcery. The most satisfying expression of love between a man and a woman is always when one expresses love through speech – however, we cannot deny that physical union is also satisfying and desirable. The apostle Paul drew attention to this reality when he said, “he who loves his wife, loves himself.” The meaning is a simple one. The woman was taken from the man. And whilst this reality can be perversely applied to mean that one ought to not love one’s wife – clearly that is both irrational and ungodly.
What it does mean is that one ought not to love one’s own body so much that one is led on by its lust and passions when desiring truth. The tongue (speech) is the link between the soul and the body, as these things are outwardly perceived. And so James tells us the “tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell.” It may seem remarkable to make this connection, but unless we see that it is the body itself that serves as a conduit for the fires of hell and that the soul is directed by physical sensations, we will not see a need to ask God to keep us, nor will we learn how to serve God without physical sensations. As much as the body and the soul are wonderful gifts from God, by which we love our wives, our children and one another, we must also lay hold of the perfect truth that God is Spirit, and they that worship Him, must worship in Spirit and truth. If however, we resort to the flesh to serve God, we will come into many problems and difficulties. The fallen man is flesh, and his very body is perfectly suited to Satan’s purposes. The body itself is subject to the law of sin and death. Death and Hell are dominions of evil influence, and we must learn to recognise that fact if we are inclined to be informed about God through the body. This is what soaking means at its most basic meaning. Many believers are being taught to utilise their bodies unlawfully, and when we do that, we will be vulnerable to Satan and his ambitions. It is precisely because of this reality that men do not need to be possessed to serve Satan. They need only walk in the flesh itself. Where the difficulty comes for believers, in those meetings, where there is a lot of emotion, is to realise both the source and direction of that activity. Is it towards God Himself, in the form of true worship, which may also involve the body itself through the tongue in praise of God? Or is it directed at oneself in an excess of self-indulgence through the whole body? Or worse still, is it a show by a man who has also become a deceiver and is peddling false doctrines? What is its source? Is its origin in the flesh, or is it a reasonable and godly response to the presence of the Holy Spirit?
Trying to discern evil spirits may well be legitimate if demons are provoking that innate chemical response in one’s own body by pressing the neurological triggers that represent that emotional state. The real difference, of course, can be seen in that joy is of the spirit, whereas happiness is the flesh or the natural man. It is not wrong for men to express their feeling towards God, and one another. But it is dangerous to make emotion a proof or a test that something is of God. I believe that just nine instances of specific personal possession are listed in the New Testament, although an unspecified number are stated as forming part of the disciples, as well as the Lord’s ministry. In the case of the nine specific instances of possession cited all but three of these possessions resulted in symptoms of physical or mental illness. Three times we read (as far I know) of a perceived benefit attached to demonic possession. In one instance we learn of a demon forming the basis for enhanced mental powers in a female servant. The two others are The Man of Sin and the False Prophet.
The specific branch of Hinduism which is drawn upon philosophically to inform those who teach Yogic self-enlightenment of the form that has become known as Kundalini Yoga is शैव पंथ (śaiva paṁtha) Puranic Shaivism.
Beyond this philosophical foundation, of course, are men and women at work in their own ambitions and desires as well as demonic spirits. In saying this, we have to strike a balance and realise that unclean spirits work in every place and with equal effect in every place as far as philosophy and religion are concerned. Whilst it may well be true, that in India generally, and historically (especially in the Himalayas and the North Eastern regions of India), this practise was developed and drew its meaning from oral and written traditions, it is based just as essentially in physical manifestations in the body itself, wherever men and women can be found to express the philosophical as well as physical knowledge underpinning it.
Shiva is regarded as the spirit that gave rise to Yoga and forms the most effectual of all the Hindu philosophical threads of thought and visible outworking. Therefore, whilst it is not possible to ignore the demonic spirits which wage war against the saints to wear them down and to introduce false spirits into the churches – Neither can we attribute all physical manifestation to demonic spirits. We cannot say that simply because a person is writhing on the ground that they are possessed. Nor can we say that because someone is laughing, as an evidence of the alleged fire of God, that he or she are under a spirit of Kundalini.
When a person is stimulated and directs their energies, the effects can be profound, going beyond what any one individual on their own would be able to resist or reject as anything other than evidence of some higher spiritual achievement. It is of course not true and represents nothing more than the mind and the body, where the mind exceeds the physical or vegetative (autonomic) functions of the body and experiences the awakening of the soul.
In Hindu Yogic practise, the term spiritual is a misnomer or pseudo expression. And it is often spoken in western presentations of esoteric knowledge of human psychophysiology, in similar terms. In reality, the meaning is no more than the latent power of the soul released from a direct dependency on the physical body. The Hindu schematic for the physiological basis of this release speaks for itself. The substance being spoken of has to do with the soul and corresponds entirely to western perceptions of the psuche of greek philosophy and the psyche of modern psychology. In short, the idea that Hindu Yogic practises produce a spiritual benefit is a total, and complete deception pressed into American culture especially since the 1960s, having been provoked into public interest and experienced through societal drug abuse in the first popular instance. Since that first wave of acceptance it has taken a more rational and seemingly intellectual position and is said to be no more than a physical benefit and a self-improving activity.
In looking at Andrew Strom’s video again, we see just how this reality is worked out in an open and wilfully blasphemous way. The so-called toking the Ghost as expressed by John Crowder is a clear demonic mind at work where the blasphemer has to speak against a true knowledge of Christ and the Holy Spirit in saying what they do. This speaking against Christ is the very distinction that exists between the Hindu unbeliever, who cannot act in any true knowledge, and the Christian, who has a true knowledge of God and Christ. I believe this is why Andrew Strom singles this man out for the clearest condemnation as to his speech and behaviour.
What disturbs many believers with regards to men like John Crowder is that one cannot discern an evil or unclean spirit, yet his speech and manner of behaviour is clearly demonic. The obvious difference between Hindu Yogic occult practises and this show by believers is that the show is induced by speech primarily, and at the same time does not neglect the physical reality of using the body itself as an instrument to both impute meaning and emphasis, as well as to facilitate familiarity. None of the manifestations visible in Mr Strom’s video, in so far as believers are concerned, need be the evidence of evil spirits at work in individuals. Or represent a risk of possession to anyone on the receiving end. Possession is a rarity in men of sound mind and body. It will undoubtedly be true that these individual men and women who practise familiar occult techniques to induce effects amounting to psycho-physical and psychosomatic effects in others are themselves the essential spirit or agency in these events. They are the direct and visible beneficiaries, and they themselves are accountable before God.
Should we, therefore, condemn them outright and say of them that they have no true knowledge of Christ? We cannot condemn them because though we are called to judge one another; we are not called to condemn one another as though we ourselves understood the outcome of these things. We can, however, separate from them and ought to do without reservation. Indeed it is because John Crowder can talk a great deal of sound doctrine that he is a dangerous man.
The present drunkenness and outward manifestations which accompany this new wave of deception sweeping across North America as well as other nations around the world is a deception in so far as it is believed to be an evidence of the power and presence of God. It is no such thing. It is no more than Hindu Yogic Priests of the Kundalini tradition of Hindu practise have been eliciting in others for a thousand years. In the past, it was informed supernaturally by demonic spirits well familiar with human physiology through many successive possessions of generations of men and women who freely gave themselves to these things by reason of self-gratification and personal power over others. This familiar knowledge of the body and mind are inevitably interwoven into the worship of demons through idols as well individual men being held up as masters and great teachers or great men of God, being also expressed in diagrammatical forms, both mathematically, geometrically, as well as semantically through language.
Today the instruments of science have observed the physiology of Hindu Yogic belief, and so these things have (in unbelievers) gained a rational basis for acceptance. In the saints, it is inexcusable to allow the body itself to be an instrument of testing or else knowing the truth because the Holy Spirit bears witness to the truth of Christ in our spirits made alive together in Christ, and not the things of men whether their bodies or their souls. Yet if we seek to discern an unclean spirit in these men, we will be left wondering. Men cannot be discerned in this way as though they had already tasted death. Their words are a better informant of their activities, and so we need to learn to listen more perfectly when they speak and not be afraid to walk away or feel condemned ourselves because we comprehend a need to be separate from both the men and especially their teachings.