Many years before I became a Christian, back in my college years in fact, Prof. J. B. Rhine of Duke University created a flurry of interest in his laboratory experiments which attempted to prove or disprove extra-sensory perception (ESP). I had hoped for some clear and decisive answers, but as far as I could tell his experiments were inconclusive.
Also in the time before I became a Christian I sought out a professional astrologer and had her draw up my horoscope. I wanted something more accurate than one finds in the newspapers--if there was such a thing. My interest was pragmatic--did astrology work or did it not? I followed this fascinating older woman's advice for several months and found what she told me did work--in a way--but it might well be working due to the power of suggestion or influences in my own unconscious which I was unwittingly inviting into my decision making. The Chinese book called the I-Ching also "worked" for me as well, during those days of searching, but again I was suspicious of hidden mechanisms that were probably influencing how I felt and how I made decisions based on this ancient Chinese oracle.
Not long afterwards my astrologer friend grew ill, and knowing she was about to die, told me with a frightened look in her eyes that I should seek God instead. She admitted that in a spiritual sense she felt as if her career in astrology had in a sense felt to her like a form of prostitution (she used those very words).
I was during those years also seeing a psychiatrist three days a week--not in order to solve overwhelming emotional problems by any means--but as part of my "quest for truth." Does psychoanalysis make people whole? What does my psychiatrist talk about when he talks to his therapist? Who does the Chief Psychiatrist in the world talk to at the end of a long, hard day? At the time I did not know that God was actually leading me step by step from atheism to agnosticism to faith. So I now value that psychoanalytic experience in my life--it was through this experience that I became convinced that there was more to man than could ever be explained in terms of chemistry, electricity and biology. There were too many invisible, intangibles that remained after the most exhaustive materialistic self-examination. Surely there was a hidden spiritual dimension somewhere. How did one break through and experience it?
In the San Francisco Bay Area, where I have lived since 1954, a former Episcopal priest by the name of Alan Watts enjoyed a popular following for many years because of his clear teachings on Zen Buddhism, Hinduism, and related eastern religions. He tried LSD, about the time the late Timothy Leary and friends were experimenting with psychedelic drugs. Watts joined these experiments and wrote eloquently describing his experiments. So not long after I, too, tried LSD under legal, medical research conditions. (See "What LSD Did for Me.")
Levels of Life, Degrees of Death
Early in my Christian life, after I came to know Jesus Christ personally at the age of 30 (see My Search)--because of all this background and preceding experience with what were really spiritual experiences--I came to realize that we are indeed all surrounded and immersed in a vast spiritual realm--a totally different part of reality compared to the physical world we live in. The Bible calls this created "second storey" of the universe "the heavenly places."
All men are spiritual creatures whether they know God or not. It is the presence of a living spirit in each and every one of us that makes a live person different from a dead corpse. This is succinctly stated by James the half-brother of Jesus, "...the body apart from the spirit is dead..." (James 2:26). Actually this is a profound revelation from the Bible when we think about man's creating life in a test tube--living matter is not the same as a cluster of cells all arranged in the proper order with all the constituent parts where they belong in living cells. Living cells, living persons are alive because they are animated and energized by Spirit, It is "God who gives life to all things" (1 Tim 6:13). The life God imparts has many levels: plants are in a sense are living, animals are alive, but some have "soulish" (nephesh) life and others do not. Cells are alive, men are alive physiologically even if they do not know God, and people in whom Jesus Christ dwells possess in addition, eternal life.
Jesus said, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing; for whatever he does, that the Son does likewise. For the Father loves the Son, and shows him all that he himself is doing; and greater works than these will he show him, that you may marvel. For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will. The Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears my word and believes him who sent me, has eternal life; he does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life. Truly, truly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself, and has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of man. Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come forth, those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of judgment.'" (John 5:19-29)
The Bible uses the term "spiritually dead" not to refer to bodies from which the spirit has departed, but to walking, talking, animated, ordinary people who have a living spirit, but who are out of touch with God. Such people are unresponsive to the Spirit of God. The term "spiritually dead" means that the individual lacks any real connectedness with God the Holy Spirit. A Biblical definition of "death" is that death is "separation from God." The Bible acknowledges physical death, but also speaks of a "second death." The first is the death of the body--the departure of the spirit, the second death is permanent, final, irreversible separation from God:
"I saw a great white throne and him who sat upon it; from his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Also another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, by what they had done. And the sea gave up the dead in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead in them, and all were judged by what they had done. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire; and if any one's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire." (Revelation 20:11-15)
It was in the Garden in Eden that man's original disobedience to God brought about the spiritual death that we all have inherited. The fact that we grow up without a revivifying, rejuvenating, restoring relationship with the living God means our bodies die and decay. We do not have to learn sinful behavior, either, it comes naturally to us as fallen creatures. Living apart from God is a "natural" process in the daily experience of most people--hence the Bible describes non-Christians by the term "natural (or "soulish") man. (For more on original sin and the physical, genetic effects of the fall see Arthur C. Custance's "Seed of the Woman.")
The Apostle Paul contrasted the "natural man" with what he calls the "spiritual man" when he wrote in 1 Corinthians,
"Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is from God, that we might understand the gifts bestowed on us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who possess the Spirit. The natural man does not receive the gifts of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual man discern all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. 'For who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?' But we have the mind of Christ.'" (2:12-16)
Spiritual rebirth, as described in the Gospel of John chapter 3, and in Titus 3:5, is what restores man to a proper relationship with God. It is such a totally renewing, regenerating, transforming experience that the apostle says of this,
"...if any one is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold, the new has come." (2 Cor. 5:17)
Man as God intended him to live is not only body, soul and spirit in his makeup, he is also designed to be indwelt by God.
"...in Christ the whole fulness of deity dwells bodily, and you have come to fulness of life in him, who is the head of all rule and authority. In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of flesh in the circumcision of Christ; and you were buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead. And you, who were dead in trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, having canceled the bond which stood against us with its legal demands; this he set aside, nailing it to the cross." (Colossians 2:9-14).
A parallel passage in Ephesians chapter two adds some additional information, telling us of the powers and influences that actually controlled our lives before we came into a relationship with Christ as Lord:
"And you God made alive, when you were (spiritually) dead through the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience. Among these we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, following the desires of body and mind, and so we were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with him, and made us sit with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus." (Ephesians 2:1-7)
My own pre-Christian years had been dominated by a widely-ranging scientific search for truth in religion and philosophy and science. What I called "my search" of course was actually God's striving to bring me to Himself. The Bible says of us "No one seeks after God" (on his own initiative), (Rom 3:11). God is the one who patiently seeks us out, we don't come on our own volition the first time!
After I became a Christian, to my amazement, my new relationship with Jesus Christ not only opened up wider vistas of science, but Christ dwelling within caused me to be more aware than ever of the vast spiritual realm of the universe which God had created.
Spiritual Changes in America in the past 50 years
The years immediately after World War II in America were years of material growth and rapid expansion of the economy, post-war family development, and a pursuit for material goals. By and large, spiritual values were forgotten and some theologians even proposed that God had died! Hand in hand with this materialism came the rise of secular humanism and scientific naturalism in our schools. "The physical world is all there is. God does not exist, or if He does, He is irrelevant. Man is in charge of his own destiny"--they said.
But human beings, created in the image of God (who is Spirit), can not remain content living forever in a spiritual vacuum. Sooner or later, atheism gives way to some kind of religious world view as man attempts to know himself fully and wrestles with ultimate issues such as life after death and the invisible things of man which science can not explain.
In the case of modern America, the collapse of materialism did not send us back to the strong Biblical world view that had guided us through the War against the incarnate evil of Hitler and his allies. The new spirituality Americans and Europeans adopted on a wide scale was imported eastern pantheism mixed with occult and pagan religious values which had all historically been anti-Christian.
Today we are back to living in an intensely religious world, not unlike the First Century was. Ray Stedman often said, "Dr. E. M. Blaiklock, a longtime professor of classics at the University of New Zealand and a noted biblical historian, made the startling statement: 'Of all the centuries, the twentieth is most like the first.'"
Without realizing it, even before I became a follower of Christ, I had step by step become a child of this "New Age" mentality. Conventional traditional Christianity had nothing for me, or so I assumed right up to the time of my conversion.
Science Attempts to Reach out for Invisible Realities
For thirty years I enjoyed a wonderful and challenging career spanning some 30 years with a large and prestigious West Coast think tank. Our projects at the lab were often multi-disciplinary and the climate was one where all sorts of diverse ideas could be exchanged freely. Our projects ranged over the broadest possible range.
Because it was known that Russian scientists were attempting to use ESP, (what was later called "Remote Viewing")--to attempt to spy on their enemies, our government funded similar programs. So it happened that I was privileged to become well acquainted with some of the leading American researchers in this area of highly controversial "leading-edge" research. I gained a high respect for the credentials of these scientists and their scientifically sound approach to a difficult area of investigation. All this research sponsored by our government is now fairly well-known to the public and I won't attempt to review it here, except to say that the leading scientists in this field were looking for unknown phenomena in physics that might make it possible for information to be discerned by certain sensitive persons from afar--without wires or radio signals. Were there, for instance, faster-than-light particles called "tachyons" that somehow communicated information from a distant place? Was there in man some kind of (as yet unknown) receiver in certain men and women called "sensitives?" (Also, see "The Limitations of Science," and "Steps in the Scientific Method").
In the fall, many resources Adam had in his life were lost or diminished. We would not today have any idea of what we as "man" should be, or what God designed us to be, if God had not sent his Son Jesus into the world to show us what normal humanity is and how it is supposed to function. Christ reveals all that man was intended to be--no wonder we don't like comparing our lives with His!
I believe therefore that there is a possibility that Adam, before the fall, may have had wonderful faculties for communication and understanding that are now lost to us. Perhaps Adam had sharp sensing abilities that are now greatly dimmed in us, because of the fall?
As Ephesians Chapter 2 tells us, all human beings who are not yet regenerated and who are not children of God through faith in Christ, are carried along not only by the values of the culture around them, by peer pressures, by self-seeking, self-aggrandizing, self-preserving goals. They are slaves of the fallen world system in which we live. Non-believers are also the unwitting subjects of "the god of this world (age)"--a mighty fallen angel, an archangel once called Lucifer, the former "prime minister" of the universe. He is now commonly called Satan. Scripture reveals him to be a liar, a master deceiver, and in the words of Jesus, "a murderer from the beginning." In league with the devil are hordes of lesser fallen angels including what the Bible calls seducing spirits, unclean spirits, impersonating spirits, lying spirits, and deceiving spirits. Since the physical world is embedded in the spiritual, we are surrounded by these evil spiritual entities--but we are also protected and helped by many more angels who serve the Lord God of hosts faithfully on our behalf. (See "God and His Angels").
Many non-Christians live quiet lives, obeying the law, living responsibly, raising families and living productive lives. Many go out of their way to avoid obvious evil such as lying, stealing, cheating or committing adultery. Such persons are benefiting in this present life from what is called God's "common grace"--given freely to all men--because they are less out of harmony with the created order than are those unbelievers who deliberately seek after evil. Such persons are not destined for heaven of course, apart from a conversion to faith in Christ, but at least they are not openly, destructively wicked persons. God leaves such persons alone if they are remain disinterested in the things of God--and so does the devil--they are no threat to the devil, as C.S. Lewis tells us in his fictional masterpiece "The Screwtape Letters."
Truth not Acted Upon is Lost
In times past our nation has affirmed, by widespread majority consensus, that God ruled over mankind, that there was ultimate accountability at the end of one's life, and that absolute moral standards did in fact exist. Family values were honored, divorce was shameful and to be avoided at all costs, and most forms of sexual expression outside of marriage were illegal or at least socially deplored by most people. The nation as a whole was in a position to be protected and blessed and prospered by God much more than it is now. In my own childhood, teachers had Bibles on their desks and read from them, the Ten Commandments were posted in the classroom, and national leaders invoked the name of God in their speeches and "In God we Trust" was an accepted axiom for the nation.
The total number of true Christians in the nation 50 years ago compared to now may not have been very different. But the church has grown weaker in recent years and quietly moved from what that The Bible calls the time period of history dominated by the Church of Philadelphia to the age of the Laodicean Church (See Ray C. Stedman's commentary on the Seven Churches and my article, "The Church at the End of the Age"). We are now in an time when many professing Christians are falling from the faith, compromising their faith, or living--at best--lukewarm lives.
It is a principle of scripture than when truth from God is proclaimed to an individual or to a nation, and that truth is rejected, then the individual or the nation will be worse off than they were in their prior ignorance. More light given from God also means greater accountability. Jesus expressed this in Matthew 13 when he said,
"For to him who has (received and acted upon truth) will more be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who has not, even what he has (truth heard but not acted upon) will be taken away." (v. 13)
Similarly the Apostle Paul says that the penalty of rejecting truth is that we are given over to various deceptions which will culminate in one final world leader who will be evil-incarnate--a man predicted to come onto the stage in Genesis Chapter 3--the Seed of the Serpent.
"The coming of the lawless one by the activity of Satan will be with all power and with pretended signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are to perish, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. Therefore God sends upon them a strong delusion, to make them believe what is false, so that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness." (2 Thess. 2:9-12)
The effects of rejected light from God and our tendency to suppress, or repress, the truth is the subject of the entire opening chapter of the Epistle to the Romans. Hand in hand with darkening of the mind, deception of the intellect, and confusion in areas of knowledge and understanding--when we turn away from God, God releases the restraints against latent evil in the human heart allowing violence, immorality, occultic practices and lawlessness to increase progressively--in stages. Paul tells us in the chapter, in fact, why and how once-great civilizations collapse and are destroyed by God's often and gradual subtle judgments. (For commentary see Ray C. Stedman on Romans).
No institution in society is immune to deception! The sleeping church is not, schools and government are not! There is nothing inherent in science or the scientific method to protect us from wrong assumptions or following rabbit trails that lead away from central truth to irrelevancies and confusion. To cite one example of deception in science here is what Ray C. Stedman wrote some years ago concerning the theory of evolution,
"Take another myth widespread in our day, the myth of evolution. In the last century, by and large, this myth began to take over the scientific world, again without a shred of empirical evidence to support it. Any attempt to try to set forth anything to the contrary is met with ridicule and mockery, put down as though those who hold any other view are village idiots, incapable of reasoning with intelligent men. Yet I find that many Christians believe the myth of evolution. They do not seem to understand the theological implications which evolution teaches, without any support from science, that our race is descended from apes and other animals so that there never was or could be a fall. By denying the fall evolution teaches that there is no need for any redemptive act on the part of God. Why should we need to be redeemed if we have never fallen? That is the theology of the lie of evolution."
The Pursuit of Evil Instead of Truth
Because there is great power for enslavement and deep deception when men deliberately seek occultic knowledge, the Bible forbids our inquiry into such matters. All others of research, study and investigation are open to us. In fact. "It is the glory of God to conceal things--it is the glory of man to seek them out."
In the giving of the Law of Moses on Mount Sinai, God warned of the dangers of all forms of idolatry and especially of being drawn into serving "the host of heaven," i.e., the fallen angels.
"Therefore take good heed to yourselves. Since you saw no form on the day that the LORD spoke to you at Horeb (Sinai) out of the midst of the fire, beware lest you act corruptly by making a graven image for yourselves, in the form of any figure, the likeness of male or female, the likeness of any beast that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged bird that flies in the air, the likeness of anything that creeps on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the water under the earth. And beware lest you lift up your eyes to heaven, and when you see the sun and the moon and the stars, all the host of heaven, you be drawn away and worship them and serve them, things which the LORD your God has allotted to all the peoples under the whole heaven. But the LORD has taken you, and brought you forth out of the iron furnace, out of Egypt, to be a people of his own possession, as at this day." (Deuteronomy 4:15-20)
Divination and witchcraft were also expressly forbidden by the Law of Moses. This includes astrology, Tarot Cards, Ouija boards, and fortune-telling. Sorcery in the Old Testament (punishable by death) involved the use of occultic powers or incantations, charms or magical devices.
In the New Testament "sorcery" is named as one of the "works of the flesh" in Galatians Chapter 5). The Greek word translated sorcery is pharmakeia, which of course encompasses the use of hallucinogenic, mind-altering drugs that are so common today.
The common, everyday practice of "channeling" in our modern world is no different than consulting a medium about which the Law of Moses has much to say. For instance, Leviticus 19:31 says, "Do not turn to mediums or wizards; do not seek them out, to be defiled by them: I am the LORD your God," and Leviticus 20:6 tells us, "If a person turns to mediums and wizards, playing the harlot after them, I will set my face against that person, and will cut him off from among his people." Nor were mediums to be tolerated in ancient Israel, Leviticus 20:27 states, "A man or a woman who is a medium or a wizard shall be put to death; they shall be stoned with stones, their blood shall be upon them." When a person opens himself or herself up to the occultic dimensions of the spiritual realm, he or she becomes not only a slave to fallen spirits, but can be used as a spokesperson for one or more lying, deceiving or impersonating spirits. Thus many others are misled and deceived.
The apostle Paul expressed his concern about false teachers when he wrote to the church at Corinth about the source of such error,
"I feel a divine jealousy for you, for I betrothed you to Christ to present you as a pure bride to her one husband. But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ...For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is not strange if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds." (2 Corinthians 11:1-14)
The perils of the age we live in are very great. Not only is our nation well along the path towards internal moral collapse, as Romans 1 portrays in vivid terms, we are also by and large a society that has rejected truth previous generations accepted and acted upon, (or at least respected). Deceptive, counterfeit cults and new age religions are everywhere. Many of these are attractively and enticingly presented.
The subtle deception of evil spirits is like that of a crafty prostitute luring a naive young man into her bedroom. Using this figure of speech, King Solomon warns his son in Proverbs about life's many deceptive philosophies and destructive paths,
"For at the window of my house I have looked out through my lattice, and I have seen among the simple, I have perceived among the youths, a young man without sense, passing along the street near her corner, taking the road to her house in the twilight, in the evening, at the time of night and darkness. And lo, a woman meets him, dressed as a harlot, wily of heart. She is loud and wayward, her feet do not stay at home; now in the street, now in the market, and at every corner she lies in wait. She seizes him and kisses him, and with impudent face she says to him: 'I had to offer sacrifices, and today I have paid my vows; so now I have come out to meet you, to seek you eagerly, and I have found you. I have decked my couch with coverings, colored spreads of Egyptian linen; I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. Come, let us take our fill of love till morning; let us delight ourselves with love. For my husband is not at home; he has gone on a long journey; he took a bag of money with him; at full moon he will come home.' With much seductive speech she persuades him; with her smooth talk she compels him. All at once he follows her, as an ox goes to the slaughter, or as a stag is caught fast till an arrow pierces its entrails; as a bird rushes into a snare; he does not know that it will cost him his life." (Proverbs 7:6-23)
It is not only danger from deceptive cults and false religion that endanger us, the widespread abandonment of all moral absolutes and the open media propaganda push premarital and extramarital sex as normal, natural and free of ill consequences. Abortion is no big deal, divorce is commonplace--while no one raises the issue of the great harm being done to the children, as God declared through the prophet Malachi long centuries ago,
"And this again you do. You cover the LORD's altar with tears, with weeping and groaning because he no longer regards the offering or accepts it with favor at your hand. You ask, 'Why does he not?' Because the LORD was witness to the covenant between you and the wife of your youth, to whom you have been faithless, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant. Has not the one God made and sustained for us the spirit of life? And what does he desire? Godly offspring. So take heed to yourselves, and let none be faithless to the wife of his youth. 'For I hate divorce, says the LORD the God of Israel, and covering one's garment with violence, says the LORD of hosts. So take heed to yourselves and do not be faithless.'" (2:3-16)
In times such as we are now living in, God removes his protection from ordinary people and from the nation as a whole because we have stopped relying on the God of peace, truth, justice, power and love. The result is violence in the streets, unpredictable terrorism, unthinkable evil, and lawlessness.
Can a Christian be safe, and stay pure, and achieve holiness in such a time as this? Most certainly! God is greater than all our sin.
In the LORD I take refuge; how can you say to me, "Flee like a bird to the mountains; for lo, the wicked bend the bow, they have fitted their arrow to the string, to shoot in the dark at the upright in heart; if the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do"? The LORD is in his holy temple, the LORD's throne is in heaven; his eyes behold, his eyelids test, the children of men. The LORD tests the righteous and the wicked, and his soul hates him that loves violence. On the wicked he will rain coals of fire and brimstone; a scorching wind shall be the portion of their cup. For the LORD is righteous, he loves righteous deeds; the upright shall behold his face. (Psalm 11)
Jesus said to those who had believed in him, "If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free." (John 8:31-32)
Notice the four step process Jesus taught: continuing to study and obey his word, which leads to our coming under His personal training. This results in inner truth being made known in the heart, and finally freedom and wholeness follow. There is no short cut to holiness! Wholeness is the result of "a long obedience in the same direction."
Many Christians today also attempt to cope with life all on their own, or to lead "Lone Ranger lives and ministries." Sheep separated from the sheepfold are always targets for hungry wolves (John 10). The church is, furthermore, the very Body of Christ on earth of which all individual believers are members, organically joined to one another. "If one suffers all suffers and if one rejoices all rejoice," says Paul in his discourse on the importance of our being actively part of a local church or assembly. (1 Corinthians 14).
"...let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near." (Hebrews 10:22-25)
Perilous times? Most certainly: "Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by giving heed to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons..." (1 Timothy 4:1). Stressful times? For sure--but we live in times of unprecedented opportunities.
"...understand this, that in the last days there will come times of stress. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, inhuman, implacable, slanderers, profligates, fierce, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding the form of religion but denying the power of it...Indeed all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil men and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceivers and deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings which are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work." (See "Times of Stress").
It may seem that things are getting worse, and indeed they are--as far as outward appearances are concerned. They will get much worse before Christ returns to set things straight. The battle over evil was however decisively won by Christ on the cross 2000 years ago--there is no question of which side is destined to win. God's power is always sufficient, His grace always adequate, His mercy never ceasing.
"Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that you may do the will of God and receive what is promised.
'For yet a little while, and the coming one shall come and shall not tarry; but my righteous one shall live by faith, and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him.'
But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and keep their souls." (Hebrews 10:35-39)
Recommended reading: Jim Schnabel, Remote Viewers: The Secret of America's Psychic Spies, Dell Publishing, New York, 1997. Documents the work done at SRI International during the years I was employed there as a senior research physicist. Recommended by Dr. Hal Putoff.
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April 5, 1997. Special thanks to Elaine Stedman for proofreading and corrections. April 9, 1997. Updated 1/12/2020