She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”
Matthew 1:21 ESV
In the early 1900’s, Indian mystics went to USA and preached a wonderful message. The message was attractive for a few reasons. Indian mystics and holy men were a novelty. They spoke very humbly and had a very peaceful aura around them. Also, they took the Bible as their base for all teachings. They never mentioned the pantheon of Hindu gods, because that would not fly with the Judeo-Christian worldview prevalent at that time. The Bible became their “go to” for all the falsehood they wanted to preach on the unsuspecting and undiscerning Christian audience.
Here is something from a yogi who went to California in the early 1900’s:
“God loves you just as much as He loves Jesus and the great saints. He is unconditional love, because He Himself is in everything. Wherever He is there is His love and devotion”
So far so good. And again :
“When you love God without reservation, He fills your heart with His unconditional love for all. That love no human tongue can describe”
Ok, we can live with that.
Here’s the next paragraph which gives a very subtle hint of deviating:
“Always remember: your Father loves you unconditionally. But because He has given you freedom to go away from Him, or to approach Him, He is waiting for you to express your desire for His love before He comes to you. “
So we as Christians know that while we were still sinners and very much having NO desire for God, He laid down His life for us. He has already come to us, but we willingly being unrepentant, close the door to our hearts where Jesus is already knocking.
And here is the coup de grâce :
“[the love of God]..shall burn there, and in its fire you shall find the great magnetism of Spirit that draws others unto you, and attracts whatsoever you truly need or desire”
Great magnetism – hmm..familiar sounds of “Christian” preachers who exalt feelings, emotions, experiences?
How do we draw others to ourselves – Jesus was very clear when He said that the moment we turn to Him and embrace Him, we will have trouble with everybody else – starting in our own homes. Jesus was not in the least worried about maintaining good relationships. The Kingdom of God takes precedence over all earthly matters. For Him, it’s a matter of life and death.
Matthew 10:34-36 “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35For I have come to turn man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law— 36a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’
Now here is an excerpt from a modern-day Guru (at lease these guys are consistent in their message throughout the years) :
“Chit Shakti – Using the power of your mind to create what you want! Are you looking for love, success, health, peace and well-being? Chit Shakti helps you create all this – and more!
Once your thought, emotion and energies are organized, your very body will also get organized. Once all these four are organized in one direction, your ability to create and manifest what you want is phenomenal. – Sadhguru”
Now lets compare their pantheistic message with our own Christian preachers’ messages.
Pastor Judgewell James – “…I pray for your sons, I pray for your daughters, I decree and declare that today will be one of the best days of your life. I command every sickness and every disease leave your body….I declare that you are coming out of all your circumstances….I command that everything you touch to prosper…I speak this over your job, over your family..”
so no need to seek the will of God – just command, demand and be God yourself.
The Word of God says:
[Or] you do ask [God for them] and yet fail to receive, because you ask with wrong purpose and evil, selfish motives. Your intention is [when you get what you desire] to spend it in sensual pleasures. (James 4:3)
And what does God say about our trials and tribulations?
Proverbs 3:12 – …because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father, the son he delights in.
Deuteronomy 8:5 – know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the Lord God disciplines you.
Job 5:17 – Behold, blessed is the one whom God reproves; therefore despise not the discipline of the Almighty.
Hebrews 12:7 – Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as His children. For what children are not disciplined by their father?
So the gurus are consistent in their message.
The Bible is consistent in its message.
However, Christian teaching has not been consistant.
Lets compare John Chrysostom’s (circa.350AD) take on blessings of the Bible.
The Jews were blessed also, but it was not spiritual blessing. For how did it run? The Lord bless you, He will bless the fruit of your body; (Deuteronomy 7:13) and He will bless your going out and coming in. (Deuteronomy 28:4)
But here it is not thus, but how? With every spiritual blessing. (Ephesians 1:3). And what do you lack yet? You are made immortal, you are made free, you are made a son, you are made righteous, you are made a brother, you are made a fellow heir, you reign with Christ, you are glorified with Christ; all things are freely given you. How, says he, shall He not also with Him freely give us all things? (Romans 8:32) Your First-fruits is Adored by Angels, by the Cherubim, by the Seraphim! What do you lack yet?
With every spiritual blessing. There is nothing carnal here. Accordingly He excluded all those former blessings, when He said, In the world you have tribulation, (John 16:33) to lead us on to these. For as they who possessed carnal things were unable to hear of spiritual things, so they who aim at spiritual things cannot attain to them unless they first stand aloof from carnal things. What gain is spiritual blessing in the heavenly places? It is not upon earth, he means, as was the case with the Jews. You shall eat the good of the land (Isaiah 1:9) Unto a land flowing with milk and honey. (Exodus 3:8) The Lord shall bless your land.(Deuteronomy 7:13)
Here, we have nothing of the sort, but what have we?
John 14:23 – Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.
Matthew 7:24-25 – “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.
And what is that rock but those heavenly things which are above the reach of every change? …blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. And again, blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. And again, Blessed are you which are persecuted for righteousness sake, for great is your reward in Heaven.
Observe, how everywhere He speaks of heaven, nowhere of earth, or of the things of the earth. And again, our citizenship is in Heaven, from whence also we wait for a Saviour the Lord Jesus Christ.(Philippians 3:20). And again, Not setting your mind on the things that are on the earth, but on the things which are above. (Colossians 3:3).
Ephesians 1:3 ends with “in Christ”. John Chrysostom continues:
“In Christ – That is to say, this blessing was not by the hand of Moses, but by Jesus Christ: so that we surpass them not only in the quality of the blessings, but in the Mediator also. And moreover, Paul says in his epistle to the Hebrews 3:3-6– Jesus has been found worthy of greater honor than Moses, just as the builder of a house has greater honor than the house itself. 4For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything. 5“Moses was faithful as a servant in all God’s house,” bearing witness to what would be spoken by God in the future. 6But Christ is faithful as the Son over God’s house. And we are his house, if indeed we hold firmly to our confidence and the hope in which we glory.”
We are believers. We are saved. We look at heaven. We seek the Kingdom.
The unsaved want success, money, good health. But the saved want Joy, Peace, Righteousness, all spiritual blessings. We cannot seek the Kingdom of Heaven if our eyes are cast down on the earth.