Posted in beth moore, fortune telling, glory cloud, labyrinth, mark batterson, repent, sorcery, witch

Reason #2,543 not to be a Beth Moore follower (or Bill Johnson, Kim Walker Smith, Ken Hagin etc…) Divination!

Phil Johnson

I was listening to Pastor Phil Johnson preach an Old Testament passage this morning. Pr. Johnson is the Executive Director of John MacArthur’s site, Grace to You. I love when Johnson preaches the Old Testament and also the Psalms. He adds quite a bit of context from history, culture and even topography so the listener fully understands the scenes passing through our minds so as to picture it with detail.

The passage this morning was an overview of 2 Kings 1, “Fire From Heaven.” A short synopsis is that King Ahaziah is on the throne of Judah. Ahaziah is a descendant of King Ahab, and the LORD had already spoken that eventually, no descendant of Ahab’s would live. He would wipe them all out. No mean feat, as Johnson said, Ahab had 70 sons.

There was a battle, and Ahaziah stayed behind in his castle. His castle was not so safe after all, for Ahaziah fell through the lattice from a high place, incurring critical injuries. Though God is still God is Israel, and Elijah is still prophesying, Ahaziah’s apostasy, or worse, ignorance of the One True God, was so deep that “he sent messengers, telling them, ‘Go, inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron, whether I shall recover from this sickness.'”

Therein lay the crux of the matter.

First, let’s see the LORD’S response:

Arise, go up to meet the messengers of the king of Samaria, and say to them, ‘Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are going to inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron? Now therefore thus says the LORD, You shall not come down from the bed to which you have gone up, but you shall surely die.‘” (2 Kings 1:3-4)

Ahaziah was not so ill that the LORD could not have healed him if He chose, prolonging his life until His prophecy would be fulfilled at a later time. Alternately, Ahaziah could have died instantly upon falling through the lattice.

The reason Ahaziah was going to die at that time was because he sought an oracle from another god.

God is deadly serious about not indulging in oracles, divination, predictions, sorceries, or anything similar. Consulting mediums is the major reason of what cost King Saul his kingship, his dynasty, and his life. (1 Chronicles 10:13–14). Consulting another god is what cost King Ahaziah his life.

EPrata artwork

When you come into the land that the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominable practices of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who burns his son or his daughter as an offering, anyone who practices divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens, or a sorcerer or a charmer or a medium or a necromancer or one who inquires of the dead, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the LORD. (Deuteronomy 18:9-12).

An abomination. In the Hebrew the word abomination used here also means detestable and loathsome. In that verse, the LORD hates 9 things in particular:

  1. offers child for sacrifice
  2. diviners
  3. tells fortunes
  4. interprets omens
  5. sorcery
  6. charmers
  7. medium (King Saul’s sin, 1 Samuel 28)
  8. necromancer
  9. inquires of the dead

Offering a child in sacrifice refers to the biblical practice of Molech worship where parents would cast their child into the belly of Molech which was an oven, and the child would be burned alive. Parents who did this wanted a better life. Today some have likened Molech-sacrifice to abortion.

Divination is having implied power to learn secret things via various methods such as hydromancy (through water), cast bones, cast arrows, divining rod (Ezekiel 8:17 alludes to) & etc. Hepatoscopy is divining via the liver (of a dead animal), which Ezekiel 21:21 says the King of Babylon engaged in. Today occult practitioners use Tarot Cards, chicken bones, crystals, crystal ball, palm reading, Ouija boards, horoscopes and the like.

The International Bible Dictionary says of divination,

“The word “divination” itself, from deus, “god,” or divus, “pertaining to god,” carries with it the notion that the information obtained came from deity.” Astrology is a kind of divination, via peering into secret things of ‘god’ via the alignment of the stars.

Mediums AKA Fortune tellers AKA witchcraft AKA soothsayers AKA necromancers (Leviticus 19:31) are persons who act as go-betweens from this world to the world of spirits. These occult practitioners claim ability to communicate with the dead or with spirits or  familiars, bringing messages back and forth between the two realms. The ‘spirits of the dead’ are actually demons impersonating Grandma, and thus are lying spirits. In Luke 16:18-31 we are given information that the dead stay in their abode, a great gulf is fixed between Hades and Paradise, and it is alluded to that none escape from either location to return and commune with the living. (The Witch at En-Dor’s conjuring of dead Samuel is a sole exception- to drive home the point that if you do this, you will die.) As an aside, remember the 1960s TV show “Bewitched” Samantha the witch’s mother was named En-dora.

Mark Batterson’s The Circle Maker book is a modern practice of the ancient art of witchcraft. I explored that issue in-depth here. Contemplative prayer is another re-packaged mystical-occult practice.

Charmers, #6,is an interesting occult practice. Psalm 58:5 Jeremiah 8:17; Ecclesiastes 10:11 and mention them. Charmers are occult practitioners who are also known as are whisperers, who by their voice engage in spells so that the hearer becomes spellbound and will do as the charmer wishes. Snake charmers would play their instrument, usually a flute or other high-pitched sound and the snake wold be drawn to the charmer, stop about two feet from him, rear its head, and sway in time to the music. Afterward they would lay docile at his feet. (Cyclopaedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature, Volume 9, by McClintock & Strong).

In the bible the intended audience was a snake, in modern times it could be any person who uses his voice to cast a spell over his audience. For example, many women attending Obama’s speeches became spell-bound, swooned or fainted at the sound of his voice.

An interpreter of omens, according to the Holman Bible Dictionary, is defined-

The Israelites were prohibited from interpreting omens (Deuteronomy 18:10). Pagan prophesy employed reading of omens (Numbers 24:1, Ezekiel 21:21). As Lord of history, God frustrates the plans of “liars” who interpret omens … The faithful witness of Christians in the face of opposition is likewise an omen or sign pointed to the salvation of believers and the destruction of God’s enemies (Philippians 1:28).

Also many of those who were now believers came, confessing and divulging their practices. And a number of those who had practiced magic arts brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. (Acts 19:18-19)

An interpreter of omens would be the same as a diviner. For example, a person would sacrifice at a pagan temple, and an interpreter would divine the meaning of the way the person’s animal burned, the way the bones lay and such.They would extract secret meaning from these ‘omens.’

Modern examples of ancient pagan/occult practices may be seen today on CBN, when one of the hosts says “I’m getting a word of knowledge from the other side that someone listening is going to be cured of a backache.” Or channeling, which seems to be very popular with Neale Donald Walsch of Conversations with God, Saran Young of Jesus Calling and Beth Moore of When Godly People Do Ungodly Things, whereupon they allow their bodies to be possessed for a time by a spirit which delivers information that the authors translate into a book allegedly full of extra-biblical spiritual insights from the other side. Circle makers are engaging in witchcraft. Prayer labyrinth walkers are doing something pagan, ritualistic, and unbiblical. People like Bill Johnson of Bethel Church and Kim Walker Smith and Beth Moore and many others who say they have entertained God Himself or Jesus in other dimensions through astral travel or visions, and returned with information or predictions to give the body of believers are diviners, witches, soothsayers, fortune tellers. Inviting conjuring glory clouds, gold dust falling, feathers drifting down is nothing more than people practicing wizardry.

Source Pixabay free photos

I have written about these practitioners of the demonic occult before, and we can take no pleasure in knowing that though God’s hand has mercifully stayed their execution, eventually they will face Him and the consequences of their sins. Saul did. Ahab did. Jezebel did. Ahaziah did. I am sorry for these people that they will more than likely be one of the many saying on His Day, “Lord, Lord did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ (Matthew 7:22). And He will say to them depart from m, I never knew you…

However in returning to the 2 Kings passage, let’s turn from the practitioners to looking at Ahazia’s followers. His subjects, army men whom Ahaziah sent to meet Prophet Elijah to hear Elijah’s message.

Then the king sent to him a captain of fifty men with his fifty. He went up to Elijah, who was sitting on the top of a hill, and said to him, “O man of God, the king says, ‘Come down.’” 10But Elijah answered the captain of fifty, “If I am a man of God, let fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty.” Then fire came down from heaven and consumed him and his fifty. (2 Kings 1:9-10)

Pulpit Commentary:

Now, Ahaziah, the son of the wicked Jezebel, had challenged Jehovah to a trial of strength by first ignoring him, and then sending a troop of soldiers to arrest his prophet. Was Elijah to succumb without an effort, or was he to vindicate the majesty and honor of Jehovah?

This happened again, so that 100 men, followers of Ahaziah were consumed.

Phil Johnson:

But Elijah’s fire from heaven was meant by God as a public display of divine vindication, and a public judgment against an evil regime that sat on Israel’s throne, opposing Jehovah and all He stood for. Such extreme wickedness called for a breathtaking, awe-inspiring judgment.

The judgment fell upon Ahaziah but it also fell on Ahaziah’s followers, whose who followed the king, supported the king, and were an arm of the king in evil deeds.

But the third company of 50 men acted different than their predecessors.

Again the king sent the captain of a third fifty with his fifty. And the third captain of fifty went up and came and fell on his knees before Elijah and entreated him, “O man of God, please let my life, and the life of these fifty servants of yours, be precious in your sight. (2 Kings 1:13)

Here the men have an attitude not of command but of submission. Phil Johnson:

But the third group of soldiers is a reminder that “God . . . gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5). God’s mercies are never exhausted, and those who humble themselves before Him and confess their sins can always find mercy.

In today’s Age of Grace, I am not saying that Beth Moore or Sarah Young or any of the modern occult practitioners will be consumed by fire. Jesus came not to destroy but to save. It is a different age. Final judgement is coming and until then, His mercies are manifold and opportunities for repentance are many. The same is true for these “teachers'” followers. Those who participate in their evil deeds, who buy Beth Moore books hoping to gain insights into the knowledge of God apart from the bible, or listen to Kim Walker Smith’s visions about Jesus apart from the bible, or believe CBN’s ‘word of knowledge’ are participating by proxy with the practitioners’ occult evil deeds.

The first two groups of fifty men believed the king to be the highest authority and took to arrest the man of God. The third group of fifty men believed Elijah as the proxy for the highest authority and submitted to God.

God always looks favorably on humility and repentance. He looks unfavorably to the proud and stiff-necked.

Do not practice divination-by-proxy by following those who practice it. If you have been doing so, if you repent, God gives grace to the humble. Amanda Bowers repented, publicly, of her Beth Moore and Henry Blackaby following.

Harold Camping, predicter of the end of the world by specific date (fortune telling), did.

Sunny Shell did, too, not so much for following a diviner but publicly repented for something else.

You don’t have to repent publicly if you haven’t taught anything publicly to be repenting of, but the glory here is pointing to several real and recent examples of where the Spirit showed these people the error of their ways and in repenting gave glory to Him, just as the third group of 50 soldiers did. The idea is that God awaits a contrite heart, a seeking heart, a submissive heart. He is a great God who is literally a consuming fire -to the men of Ahaziah- but he is a loving Father to His children who seek  to practice not occultism, but righteousness.

Posted in end time, pharmakeia, prophecy, sorcery

A follow up on Ouija board-demonic possession story: Pharmakeia

On June 23, 2014 I posted a story about three American teens and young adults who had used a Ouija board in Mexico and had become apparently possessed. The striking and horrifying video of the girl, who was reported to be 22 but turned out to be 16, went around the world in a heartbeat.

I like to follow up. I was thinking, how is that girl? Is she OK? Are they recovered? Was the story bogus, or does it have a happy ending? Well there is more, it turns out.

The teens had been encouraged by their guardians in Mexico to take a psychedelic drug used by shamans, so that they would be “opened to the spirits” before they played with the Ouija Board. In case you’re unfamiliar, a Ouija Board is a “game” where players attempt to contact the spirit world for the purpose of asking questions, which are allegedly answered by the demonic forces through the seekers who are holding a planchette which is supposedly moved by said demonic forces to spell out the answers.

Here is the Daily Mail’s update
‘We tried to pray for them but it only made the demons angrier’: Inside the terrifying ‘possession’ of Mexican orphan girl who took shamanic drugs to contact her dead parents with a Ouija board

The girl who shocked the world this week after she was videoed being ‘possessed’ after using a Ouija board was trying to contact her dead parents and had taken a shamanic drug used in Mexico to contact the ‘spirit world’, MailOnline can reveal today. 16-year-old orphan Alexandra Huerta, who appeared possessed by evil spirits in a video taken by paramedics as she was taken to hospital had taken Brugmansia, a poisonous plant which grows in tropical regions of Latin America. The drug is also known as Angel’s Trumpet for its large poisonous flowers, and induces dark hallucinations, confusion, muscle paralysis and can lead to death in large doses.

Brugmansia can induce temporary insanity, especially in those who are not yet fully grown. ‘She started convulsing and screaming of terrible visions’, said Maria Camaño, 48, her guardian in the house where the trio tried to make contact with the dead on Sunday June 22. ‘We tried to pray for them and to get them to pray as well, but it only made the demons who had taken control of her angrier’, she said in an interview with the MailOnline in the house near the village of Tepotzlan where the disturbing episode took place. Maria gave a terrifying account of the effects the Ouija board and ‘bell flower’ drug, as it is known in Latin America, had on Alexandra and her brother and cousin. They still firmly believe that she was in fact possessed.

I thought they were going to lose their minds’, said Maria. ‘There is a lot of shamanism in the hills where we live and I was terrified when I saw what the Ouija had done to them. ‘She was possessed by a spirit who wanted to harm her.

Here is a New Age site’s take on it

Here’s some good news for anyone who was contemplating trashing their Ouija board after the story last week about three young adults in Mexico who claimed they were possessed by demons after using one, including a girl who was videotaped screaming and struggling in the EMS vehicle on the way to the hospital. It turns out the odd behavior was caused not by demons but by Brugmansia, a drug used by shamans.

New details on the story reveal that Alexandra Huerta, the girl in the video, is 16 years old, not 22 as first reported. What’s worse, the drug was knowingly referred to her, her brother and their cousin by Maria Camaño, the girl’s legal guardian, who admits she was “helping” the orphaned girl and boy contact their dead parents. They boiled the flowers in a tea that they drank an hour before the session and its subsequent problems. Mrs. Camaño is the same woman who went to a priest first to perform an exorcism rather than getting medical help for the hallucinating teens.

Brugsmansia, also called Angel’s Trumpet for its poisonous flowers, has long been used in South American cultures as a topical remedy for pain relief, arthritis, infections and as an anti-inflammatory. All parts of the plant are poisonous and can cause death when ingested in large quantities, but it has also been used internally for spasms, pain and asthma. It is known to cause visual and auditory hallucinations and was traditionally given to misbehaving children who were told the visions they had were dead ancestors coming to scold them. Yikes!

It appears Alexandra and her relatives have recovered, although she has no memory of the experience. This is not surprising since Brugmansia hallucinations can cause a loss of awareness and amnesia. The Camaños say they regret suggesting the teens use Brugsmania and the Ouija board. And, of course, they plan to sue the paramedic who filmed the girl.

A sad tale of irresponsible adults.

This does not reduce the horror of the demonic possession. In fact, knowing that shamanic drugs were a part of their demon-play in fact brings it even more into the prophecy arena.
Strong’s: pharmakeia=drug-related sorcery

In Revelation we read an indictment against the world. Here it is-

“Then a strong angel took up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, saying, “So will Babylon, the great city, be thrown down with violence, and will not be found any longer. “And the sound of harpists and musicians and flute-players and trumpeters will not be heard in you any longer; and no craftsman of any craft will be found in you any longer; and the sound of a mill will not be heard in you any longer; and the light of a lamp will not shine in you any longer; and the voice of the bridegroom and bride will not be heard in you any longer; for your merchants were the great men of the earth, because all the nations were deceived by your sorcery.” (Revelation 18:21-23)

In Greek the word is pharmakeia. If ‘pharma’ looks familiar to you it should be, it means drugs combined with witchraft or sorceries. Four years ago I’d written about this, here. I’d said,

We know from many verses that God is against sorcery, astrology, witchcraft, etc.; God hates sorceries.

The curious thing is that the word in the verse, “nations were deceived by your sorcery” the root Greek word for sorcery is actually pharmakeia. It is the word from which we get pharmacy. In the Strong’s it means “from pharmakeuó (to administer drugs).” It is further defined as “the use of medicine, drugs or spells.”

I am of the opinion that the verse in Revelation is NOT saying that legal drugs administered by doctors is bad. I am concerned with a trend I am seeing these days toward a renewed and vigorous interest in psychedelic drugs. How this ties in with sorceries, you will discover when you read on…

The trend I speak of is not new. It is ancient, actually. But in the search for God, many people take the broad way, the fork in the road that leadeth to destruction. That road is the search for experience, not a submission to belief. They seek feelings, and when they cannot find them, they turn to drugs. A melding of drugs and the spiritual is the most dangerous kind of sorcery, because it dulls the senses and creates a false god: self.

Go to the link to read the rest.

Drug induced shamanism to find a higher power is twisted but at least the motive is somewhat understandable if the method is all wrong (and evil). Drug induced shamanism to contact a dead loved one is twisted but understandable when unsaved young people unwisely do it. They don’t know that this opens them widely to the demons. There is a great curiosity out there to the other side, and sadly, most do not turn ot Jesus to find it.

Worst of all though, increasingly, we see that shamanic or psychedelic drugs are being ingested so as to purposely seek the demonic. In this case I’d say it was less a ‘sad tale of irresponsible adults’ than a terrible poison given to children by evilly wayward adults. Seeking the other side? Contacting ghosts? Giving drugs to children? What a horror.

One only needs to see movies, television, youth-aimed books, games, clothing, and cultural pressure to know that more poeple  are unhealthily interested in the demonic. I’ve written several times about this. Add drugs to the mix and it dramatically worsens the situation. In the sermon “Satanic Slaughter,” explaining Revelation 9:21, we read,

And then he mentions sorceries. Interesting word in the Greek, pharmakeia from which we get pharmacy, pharmaceutics, drugs. This is a word that is bigger than just drugs, although it literally could be translated druggings. Whatever it is that they use to dull their senses, whatever it is that they use to induce their satanic worship, whatever impure occultic practices they use to get in deep to their witchcraft, drunkenness, drugs, seances, hypnotism, incantations, mystic mantras, whatever induces their religious experience, cavorting with mediums, spirits and the deceptions of Satan. They’re not about to let go of that. That, too, will be rampant. We see that coming, don’t we?, in the New Age

It is not even the Tribulation yet and we can see the heightened interest in and indulgence of shamanic drugs so as to contact the other side. Those poor teenagers, their legal guardians exposing them to such evil when we rely on adults to protect us from evil.

It is one reason I do pray for the rapture. All the children will be safe, then. Please come soon Lord Jesus.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

What does the bible say about sorcery?

What is the Jesus drug?

What kind of things open you to demonic oppression?

Posted in chalk circles, mark batterson, prayer circles, sorcery, wiccan

Showing in pictures how “The Circle Maker” practice is occult/Wiccan

 

In 2012, Mark Batterson released his latest book. It is called “The Circle Maker”: and the blurb says:

“The Circle Maker, ‘Drawing prayer circles around our dreams isn’t just a mechanism whereby we accomplish great things for God. It’s a mechanism whereby God accomplishes great things in us.’ Do you ever sense that there’s far more to prayer, and to God’s vision for your life, than what you’re experiencing? It’s time you learned from the legend of Honi the Circle Maker—a man bold enough to draw a circle in the sand and not budge from inside it until God answered his prayers for his people. What impossibly big dream is God calling you to draw a prayer circle around? Sharing inspiring stories from his own experiences as a circle maker, Mark Batterson will help you uncover your heart’s deepest desires and God-given dreams and unleash them through the kind of audacious prayer that God delights to answer.”

Chalk prayer circles have caught on in the Christian world, just as many other new techniques and methods for experiencing God have caught on. At the September 2012 Indianapolis True Woman Conference headed up by titans in the female evangelical world, Nancy Leigh DeMoss and Joni Eareckson Tada, those and other well-known conference speakers repeatedly urged women to pray inside a drawn or made circle, and they did so themselves.

There are so many unbiblical influences affecting the evangelical world, and some of them are so unbiblical they do not bear scrutiny. That was my stance, and was the Sola Sisters’ stance as well. They wrote this week of chalk circles:

“I have never bothered to address the problems with the book The Circle Maker, because the whole concept of “circle making” was simply so patently pagan and ridiculous on the face of it that I assumed it would be obvious to any Christian how unbiblical this book was.”

Me, too, Sister.

And yet, the influence is mounting, so the situation must be addressed. They wrote,

“Sadly however, I am getting more and more emails from people saying that their church leaders are recommending The Circle Maker, doing a Bible study with it, passing it out, etc.”

Me, too, Sister.

I am getting questions about prayer circles and chalk circles and the Circle Maker book and people are generally asking “It is OK to pray inside a chalk circle?”

Christian blogger Jamie McMullen attended the 2012 True Woman conference via simulcast and also wondered about why there was such heavy pressure to pray inside a circle. The emphasis at the Conference was a bit different than Batterson’s in that the women said that revival should start with ourselves, and that is what should be prayed for inside the circle. McMullen’s essay on the event is here. Her concern arose from the fact that despite the shift in emphasis by the women, chalk circles originate from an unbiblical message:

“Instead of calling people to revival, Mr. Batterson promotes a prosperity message that is centered on praying for God to make your hopes and dreams to come true by praying in a chalk circle or circling the promises in scripture. In his book and website, Mark Batterson, sites as his examples, Gipsy Smith and Honi the circle maker, a Jewish legend in the Talmud; who drew a circle on the ground and sat in it until God answered his prayer for rain.”

Here is Wikipedia’s explanation of who Honi was:

“During the 1st century BC, a variety of religious movements and splinter groups developed amongst the Jews in Judea. A number of individuals claimed to be miracle workers in the tradition of Elijah and Elisha, the ancient Jewish prophets. The Talmud provides some examples of such Jewish miracle workers, one of whom is Honi ha-Ma’agel, who was famous for his ability to successfully pray for rain.”

Honi’s appearance was in the first century BC, during the intertestamental period. Here is an explanation of this period:

“The intertestamental period is a term used to refer to a period of time between the writings of the Hebrew Bible and the Christian New Testament texts. Traditionally, it is considered to be a roughly four hundred year period, spanning the ministry of Malachi (c. 420 BC), the last of the Old Testament prophets, and the appearance of John the Baptist in the early 1st century AD, almost the same period as the Second Temple period (530 BC to 70 AD). It is known by members of the Protestant community as the “400 Silent Years””

Note with diligent concentration, please, that Honi was not a biblical character. Note again that he appeared during the time when God was deliberately NOT SPEAKING. He spoke through no prophet and had performed no miracle during this time. And yet it is on this non-biblical character and this extra-biblical legend during this silent time Mr Batterson bases his entire theology and method in “The Circle Maker.”

And Christians are eating it up. Below, Conference speakers DeMoss, and others praying at True Woman Indianapolis 2012

From DeMoss Revive Our Hearts website

From DeMoss’s website Revive Our Hearts, we read a transcript of some of the things that were said at the 2012 True Woman conference:

Holly Elliff: I loved that during the conference around the auditorium and in various places there were circles.

Holly: And those circles were symbolic because they represented the fact that every woman wanted to put herself there, draw a circle around her own life and say, “God, what do You want to do in me?”

Nancy (conf): And as you pass by those in the days ahead, I want to encourage you, if there is room, to just step inside one of those circles.

Joni Eareckson Tada: Because all the speakers had an opportunity to stand in it. And of course, I had an opportunity to wheel inside that circle. May revival begin with me.

Woman at the Conference,
From DeMoss Revive Our Hearts website

True Woman simulcast participant Jamie McMullen’s concern led her to research this circle making and praying, and also to contact the conference organizers to ask if they were aware of the deep occult and pagan origins of this circle making. She wrote, “I received an email back promptly assuring me these circles are to help us visualize our commitment to God as well as give an outward showing to God that we are repentant and want revival to start with us. Then the representative stated: “No occult connections”.

However they are severely deluded as to the occult connections. The pagan connections is the point of this essay. Sola Sisters, Jamie McMullen, and Pastor Swofford did a superb job of showing why chalk circles are not biblically supported, using Bible verses, and I urge you to read their essays to see why. All the links are in one place down below.

Therefore, I am taking this issue from the occult angle. Interestingly, after three hours’ research last night I came across Pastor Jason Swofford’s work which exactly confirmed my own research as far as why and how the practice varied from the Bible, and for that I’m grateful. He is pastor of the Myers Road Baptist Church in WA and his research on prayer/chalk circles can be read here. He has two essays and  a video.

Mark Batterson says in his promotional video, that we should – “Learn how to pray in a new way.” “Dream big”. “You can’t just read the Bible. You need to start circling the promises.” “Your job is not to crunch numbers and make sure the will of God adds up. Your job is to draw circles in the sand. If you draw the circle, God will multiply the miracles in your life.”

The Gnostic always ties in what you do with your spiritual success. “If you do this…God will do this…”. That is one way to tell if you are being fed a Gnostic technique.

Secondly, run fast and far from anyone who says they have come up with “a new way” to do anything regarding Christianity. God delivered His word once for all to the saints. (Jude 1:3). Moreover, Jesus was very specific when He taught us how to pray. (Matthew 6:5-15.) In Matthew 6:9 Jesus said “Pray, then, in this way”. It is not possible to get any clearer about how to pray. For Batterson to declare he is teaching us a new way directly goes against what Jesus said in the canonized and complete revelation we know as the Bible.

I believe in the power of photos so I gathered photographs from different eras and different cultures and different religions which depict people praying inside a sacred circle. Looking at the pictures it is clear that chalk circle praying is pagan.

Mark Batterson, author of The Circle Maker,
demonstrating how to cast a circle

This is not a “new” thing, despite Batterson’s advertising it as such. As a matter of fact, ritual circle making is as old as the hills, and has always been unbiblical. I ask you, is Batterson’s making a chalk circle above any different from the Wiccan making a prayer circle below? Both are making a space they claim is sacred, as opposed to the space inches away outside the circle that is common. This sacred space keeps evil away, they both claim. Both claim that it is a bubble that has power and will draw down promises from on high to the benefit of the petitioner.

The man below is a Wiccan, showing how to “cast a prayer circle”. You can see he is a Wiccan, I placed an arrow atop his shrine that points to his pentacle. In Wiccan circle casting we are told that we cast a circle “to direct your energy (read – make your thoughts materialize –) …and to create a concentrated flow of energy and direct it into the informational system of the Universe. In other words, casting a circle ensures you achieve the result faster and do it safer.” This description matches Batterson’s concept completely.

In Batterson’s The Circle Maker, he promises that if read his book, “we will claim God-given promises.” He also states that “if you draw prayer circles, God will answer those prayers.” Both the Wiccan and Batterson say the same thing- draw a circle, pray to a higher power, and get results.

This is witchcraft.

Speaking of magic, Wikipedia explains what a “magic circle is. “A solomonic magic circle with a triangle of conjuration in the east. This would be drawn on the ground, and the operator would stand within the protection of the circle while a spirit was conjured into the triangle.” Wikipedia, Magic Circle

That explanation is no different from Revive Our Hearts’ email response noted above, that we should stand inside a circle, visualize, and call on the Spirit for what we want. No. Different.

This is conjuring.

“A prayer circle in Hinduism is a Mandala. “a mandala is a circle used in prayer. It is a kind of diagram. In various spiritual traditions, mandalas may be employed for focusing attention of aspirants and adepts, as a spiritual teaching tool, for establishing a sacred space, and as an aid to meditation and trance induction.”

Did you catch that “focusing attention” reason of the mandala’s use in Hinduism? The same thing the Christian prayer circle was said to promote, “to visualize our commitment.”

The photos below are explained thus: In Hinduism, Human beings with their  finite instruments of knowledge, cannot conceive of the formless Infinite. So the use of images aids concentration. Last month, we had performed a ‘Graha shanthi homa’ in our home. As part of the prayers to the Sun God, a beautiful mandala was drawn on the floor in front of the puja room.

Source
Source

Native Americans pray inside a medicine wheel.

Indigenous Cultural Education Center – ICEC

In the photo below, Native American Sacred Wheel (Shaman), “Paul Davids by the Medicine Wheel that overlooks Boynton Canyon, Sedona, where Rahelio explains the wheel’s sacred mysteries and powers for prayer.”

Druids prayed inside a sacred circle –

Here is a Mystic praying in a circle-

Photo Laura Briedis
Participant at True Woman conference

Here are Buddhists praying at a circle-

The most potent objection to sacred circles in my opinion is their origin from Wicca. In Witchcraft we learn how to cast a circle, something in the photo way above I’d posted.

Below, a Witch coven in the 1940s.

Prayer labyrinths are also similar to chalk circles.

Above, people walk the Saffron Walden turf labyrinth in Essex England.

 

Discernment tips:

1. Whenever someone says they have a NEW way of doing Christianity, run. This includes a new way to fast, a new way to pray, a new way to experience God, a new way to do church … I say run, because Jesus outlined what to do via the Spirit in the Bible. It is all there before us. There are no new ways. There is only THE way.
2. Whenever someone discounts the Bible implicitly or explicitly, run. Mr Batterson had said, “You can’t just read the Bible. You need to start circling the promises.” He has added a work, and this implicitly says the Bible isn’t enough.
3. Ritual/Idol/Activity – Whenever someone says you have to perform some activity to get God’s notice, run.
4. Gnosticism always implies the author has either a secret knowledge or a hierarchy to get closer to God and is revealing it for the first time now. Batterson said if you perform circle casting, the following will occur- “the CLOSER you get to God the BIGGER your dreams get.” I don’t know how much closer we can get to God than having Him INSIDE us.
5. Beware of people who use personal examples and not the Bible to “prove” their new method works.

The bad news…”The Circle Maker for Kids” is being released on August 6.

God condemns idolatry:
“Behind your doors and your doorposts you have put your pagan symbols. Forsaking me, you uncovered your bed, you climbed into it and opened it wide; you made a pact with those whose beds you love, and you looked with lust on their naked bodies.” (Isaiah 57:8)

Sorceries have always been condemned in the Bible and we are told that even at the end during the Tribulation they will have been going strong:

“nor did they repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts.” (Revelation 9:21)

I hope you can see by now that despite Batterson’s claim that this circle praying isn’t a ritual, it is. I hope you can see by now that despite the True Woman conference people saying it has no link to the occult, they are wrong. I hope you have read enough to see that if the book or Bible study is presented at your church, you can refuse on solid grounds. It never originated from the Bible, and therefore is not profitable for us.

Here are more links to read thoughtful and biblical explanations as to why, when it comes to praying inside a circle, you should leave the practice alone and stick to Matthew 6.

Jason Swofford, Myers Road Baptist Church in WA–
Mark Batterson is promoting ritual magic
The Circle Maker Exposed: One Long Comment From The Circle Maker Addressed
The Circle Maker Exposed

Sola Sisters–
Nancy Leigh DeMoss Endorsing Chalk Circles? Mercy.

Tim Challies:
The Circle Maker book review

Jamie McMullen, Christian blogger, The Velvet Covered Brick
Prayer Circles