Definition—To meditate means: ‘To dwell on any thing in thought; to contemplate; to study; to turn or revolve any subject in the mind’ (Noah Webster, 1828).
MEDITATIONS DEVISED BY MEN
Vain and dangerous meditations—Everyone should be aware of the vain and dangerous forms of meditation that have been devised by and are practiced by men in the world. The word of God warns: “But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived” (2Timothy 3:13); believers are also warned that “the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils” (1Timothy 4:1). This study will repeat some of God’s warnings concerning the world’s counterfeit meditations. The next study, MEDITATION PART TWO, will explore the exceedingly excellent meditation that has been ordained by “the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth” (Isaiah 40:28).
Definition of imagination—In his 1828 dictionary, Noah Webster wrote,
“We have also a power of modifying our conceptions, by combining the parts of different ones so as to form new wholes of our own creation…I apprehend this to be the proper sense of the word, if imagination be the power which gives birth to the productions of the poet and the painter…we have also a power of modifying our conceptions, by combining the parts of different ones so as to form new wholes of our own creation.
“I shall employ the word imagination to express this power…not satisfied with following the order prescribed by nature, or suggested by accident, [or as clearly declared by the word of God] it selects the parts of different conceptions, or objects of memory, to form a whole more pleasing, more terrible, or more awful than has ever been presented in the ordinary course of nature…image in the mind; idea…Contrivance; scheme formed in the mind…Conceit; an unsolid or fanciful opinion.”
Imagination is a synonym for meditation—Christians are commanded to continually be “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (2Corinthians 10:3-5). Unless a believer is meditating on the word of God, he will not know whether an imagination or thought is in agreement with the knowledge of God or not!
Imaginations have resulted in great tragedies—Included in a list of seven things the LORD hates is: “An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations” (Proverbs 6:16-19). The LORD told Moses to write a song in which the LORD testified that even before the children of Israel were brought into the promised land, he knew that they were imagining that they would turn to other gods, and serve them; and that they would provoke the LORD and break his covenant (Deuteronomy 31:19-21).
The psalmist wrote: “The wicked in his pride doth persecute the poor: let them be taken in the devices that they have imagined” (Psalm 10:2). In the days of the prophet Jeremiah, when the people of Israel heard the commandment of God to walk in his ways, “they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward” (Jeremiah 7:23-24).
The worldwide flood—Before he sent the flood, “GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5).
The confounding of languages—After the flood “the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech” (Genesis 11:1). And instead of obeying God’s command to be “fruitful, and multiply; bring forth abundantly in the earth, and multiply therein” (Genesis 9:7), the people found a plain in the land of Shinar, “And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth. And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.
“So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city. Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth” (Genesis 11:1-9).
In this amazing technological age in which we live, we are observing the development of things that were only in the imaginations of the authors of science fiction novels and movie makers in years past. These vain men did not glorify God, “neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things” (Romans 1:21-23). These men “changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen” (Romans 1:25).
It is truly regrettable to observe how so many men—who are intellectually brilliant in particular disciplines, actually believe the fairytale of Darwin’s ridiculous theory of evolution. By doing so they reject the truth that, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). Except these men repent and believe the gospel they will be condemned for ever!
The cursed man—Moses wrote of the fate of a man of the nation of Israel who would turn his heart away from the LORD and bless “himself in his heart, saying, I shall have peace, though I walk in the imagination of mine heart, to add drunkenness to thirst: The LORD will not spare him, but then the anger of the LORD and his jealousy shall smoke against that man, and all the curses that are written in this book shall lie upon him, and the LORD shall blot out his name from under heaven” (Deuteronomy 29:18-20).
Vain imaginations of the heathen—“An heathen man” (Matthew 18:17) is: ‘A pagan; a Gentile; one who worships idols, or is unacquainted with the true God’ (Noah Webster, 1828). More than a thousand years before the first coming of Jesus Christ, David wrote the second psalm (Acts 4:24-26), and asked, “Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us” (Psalm 2:1-3).
In the remainder of this psalm we read that the Lord will laugh and have them in derision, that the Son will sit as king over the whole earth and rule the heathen with a rod of iron, and that he will “dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel. Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him” (Psalm 2:4-12). Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, is the only Saviour of the heathen. He is “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). He is the only way that any heathen sinner can “escape the damnation of hell” (Matthew 23:33)!
Counterfeit peace produced by counterfeit meditations—So called ‘mindful meditations,’ those meditations that focus on breath, or a mantra, or some other singular thing in order to empty the mind of troublesome thoughts and bring peace to the mind, are counterfeits of the meditation commanded by the word of God. The name ‘mindful meditation’ is misleading, because those who practice this kind of meditation actually seek to empty the mind of troublesome thoughts so that peace of mind might be obtained. However, the meditations of the world are very different than the meditation commanded by God in his word.
Beware of spirits—The Lord Jesus Christ declared: “God is a Spirit” (John 4:24). “All scripture is given by inspiration of God” (2Timothy 3:16). God inspired men by his Spirit, the Holy Ghost, to write the scriptures (2Peter 1:21). God’s holy Spirit, the Spirit of Christ, is the “author and finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2). Therefore, the Spirit is ALWAYS in perfect agreement with The Holy Bible. Some corrupted Bibles leave out the ‘a’ to falsely proclaim, ‘God is Spirit.’
This change brings their corrupted Bible in agreement with some false religions which believe that all spirits everywhere are part of God! Leaving out the ‘a’ gives place for ignorant men to conclude that all the spirits in the world are a part of God! Of course, this is a blasphemous lie! There are many different spirits in “this present evil world” (Galatians 1:4) that are opposed to the “holy Spirit of God” (Ephesians 4:30).
There is Satan who is called “the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience” (Ephesians 2:2), who is also called “the prince of this world” (John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11), and “the god of this world” (2Corinthians 4:3-4). There are also “the spirits of devils” (Revelation 16:14; 12:9); “evil spirits” (Acts 19:13-16); “unclean” spirits (Matthew 12:43-45); “seducing spirits” (1Timothy 4:1-2); and “lying spirits” (1Kings 22:23).
We believers “wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12). When the Egyptians refused to let the children of Israel go, God “cast upon them the fierceness of his anger, wrath, and indignation, and trouble, by sending evil angels among them” (Psalm 78:49).
Evil spirits may be received through meditation—One ‘psychic medium,’ who communicates with real evil spirits through meditation, suggested: ‘…and following your meditation you can free-write and allow the voice of your guides to work through you. Connecting to your spirit guides is about learning to rely on the voice of love.’ This deceived woman is actually praying to these spirit guides and relying and trusting in their counsel!
The evil spirit may be sent by God!—Those who practice ‘mindful meditation’ are hereby warned of the great danger of deception. Ahab and his prophets rejected the truth from the mouth of God’s prophet Micaiah, who warned: “Now therefore, behold, the LORD hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these thy prophets, and the LORD hath spoken evil concerning thee” (1Kings 22:23). Instead of believing the prophet of God, wicked Ahab believed his false prophets and went up to the battle, and was killed (1Kings 22:26-37).
God will send a strong delusion!—The word of God also warns that when “that Wicked”—the coming antichrist, shall be revealed, men will “perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness” (2Thessalonians 2:7-12). Because “they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient” (Romans 1:28-32). A reprobate mind is a mind that is ‘abandoned in sin; lost to virtue or grace’ (Noah Webster, 1828).
God will send spirits of devils! — Toward the end of “the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7), God will prepare the world for the battle that will take place at his second coming by allowing Satan to send forth “the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty” (Revelation 16:14; Joel 2:31; 2Thessalonians 1:7-8; Jude 1:14-15; Isaiah 63:1-6; Psalm 91:8; 37:34; 58:10-11).
Many evil spirits—The scriptures make a clear distinction between “the children of this world”—the unbelieving and unsaved who are called the children “of the night…of darkness,” and “the children of light”—the born again “children of the day” (Luke 16:18; 1Thessalonians 5:5). There are many spirits in this world whose evil purpose is to damn unbelievers, who, without the Holy Spirit and the word of God are very vulnerable to Satan’s deceptions.
For example the scriptures list “The spirit of man” (Proverbs 18:14; 20:27) and “the spirit of your mind” (Ephesians 4:23), “familiar spirits” (Isaiah 19:3), “the spirit of heaviness” (Isaiah 61:3), “the spirit of jealousy” (Numbers 5:14), “the spirit of whoredoms” (Hosea 4:12; 5:4), “the spirit of bondage” (Romans 8:15), “the spirit of deep sleep” (Isaiah 29:10), “the spirit of slumber” (Romans 11:8), “the spirit of the world” (1Corinthians 2:12), “the spirit of fear” (2Timothy 1:7), and “the spirit of error” (1John 4:6).
Going from bad to much worse—The Lord Jesus declared the following warning to the wicked generation of Jews who rejected him. He said, “When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation” (Matthew 12:43-45).
For example, suppose an unsaved man uses meditation to empty his mind of “the spirit of heaviness” (Isaiah 61:3). Since he does not have the Holy Spirit in him, he is now open to receive other spirits. He might receive a self-righteous spirit of religion, which is far worse than the spirit which left him, even though the new spirit might seem good to him!
I believe that religion is Satan’s most powerful tool used to damn the souls of men. One evil spirit left the man, but now he is possessed by the condemning self-righteous spirit of religion. He is now going about to establish his own righteousness without submitting himself “unto the righteousness of God” (Romans 10:3), which can only be received through “faith of Jesus Christ” (Romans 3:21)! Read and believe the truth of the gospel of John: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31; Romans 10:9).
Next time we will explore “Full-Minded Meditation.”