Were Ab-dru-shin’s Messages Inspired from Above? (Part One)

Grail message bringer
Ab-dru-shin

The Grail Message is often lauded as a divine revelation that provides eternal answers to questions in all spheres of life ranging from God and the Universe to the Laws in Creation, the meaning of life, responsibility, free will, intuition and the intellect.

Many who fervently adhere to the Grail message desperately appeal to a vicious circular reasoning to validate these presuppositions.

However, an objective historical background into the Grail message clearly indicates that Bernhardt’s teachings, far from transcending his era, stem from the realities of the world he lived in and are the indisputable products of it.

Ab-dru-shin himself wrote:

“For there is really nothing new to be created; in everything it is merely a matter of producing new forms, since all the elements already exist in the vast Creation.” (In the Light of Truth, Vol. 1, Ch. 6 “Silence.”)

Going by his logic, there is nothing essentially new that the Grail message brought. For one, culture encompasses religion and adapts it to suit the times. The Grail message was simply a form fossilized by the social contexts of its time.

Anyone who undertakes a foucauldian analysis of the Grail message will find it heavily influenced by late 19th-early 20th century European customs, culture, politics and religious philosophies. 

In other words, much of what Ab-dru-shin presented as “higher insights” from the ethereal world were already found in cultural and literary sources prevalent in his time. They were purely of earthly origins and obviously not beyond his physical or mental reach.

Consequently, the elaborate claim that Ab-dru-shin’s message was inspired by God, that it unlocks the mysteries of the universe and provides a reliable future for mankind are shown to be hallowed myths. This will be documented in this piece.

Special attention will be given to the work of Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke, The Occult Roots of Nazism (Tauris Parke: London, 2005). This work examines the occult ideas that played midwife to the Hitler movement, regarded as the most destructive right-wing ideology in history.

Quotes from the book will appear in green whilst quotes from the Grail message will be in blue.

The Occult Roots of Nazism documents the lives, doctrines and cult activities of the Ariosophists of Vienna and their successors in Germany, who combined volkish German nationalism and Aryan racial theories with occultism.

For starters, Ab-dru-shin was heavily influenced by the beliefs of the Ariosophists and the similarities between his exposure, teachings and style and theirs is no coincidence.

Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke, the author of the Occult Roots of Nazism, was a British historian and professor of Western Esotericism at University of Exeter. As a specialist in Nazi ideology, his work provided several clues into the political, social and philosophical climate that shaped the contents of the Grail message.

A cursory look into the historical and philosophical underpinnings of Oskar’s credentials shows that there were other mystics, seers, and dreamers in his time who also espoused their imaginations, mysticism and occult-racist doctrines after being disenchanted with material wealth.

Two of such historical figures were Guido von List (1848 – 1919) and Jorg Lanz von Liebenfels (1874 – 1954). But, let’s first take a brief look at Oskar’s biography:

He was born on April 18, 1875, in Bischofswerda, Germany, and given the name Oskar Ernst Bernhardt. It was while developing and writing the lectures of his Grail Message that he took the name Abd-ru-shin, which translates to “Servant of the Light.”

Oskar spent a happy childhood in the small Saxon town of Bischofswerda. Following completion of school there, he was trained in commerce and served a business apprenticeship in nearby Dresden.

As an independent merchant and business owner, and later as part-owner of a larger import/export firm, Oskar travelled extensively.

His experiences and impressions soon prompted him to set aside the mercantile profession in favour of his literary inclinations, and from 1907 he worked solely as a writer, producing travelogues,
short stories and novels.

As a playwright, he gained notable success. After a year-long stay in New York (1912 to 1913), he moved to London where he intended to further his education.

As a German national at the outbreak of World War I, he was arrested and interned on the Isle of Man, in the British Isles. He was 40 years old at the time.

During his four years of imprisonment (1915 to 1919), he experienced what we would call an “epiphany.” The Grail movement described it as “a recognition and knowledge of vital, overarching connections, and the wish to help suffering human beings awakened within him.”

Based on these recognitions, in 1923, Oskar began giving public lectures and publishing them using the pen-name Abd-ru-shin.

Of course, there was a strong religious currency attached to this name. The name expresses to his followers what he understood as his mission—to be a servant of the Light and a bringer of the Grail Message.

There was nothing strikingly unique about Oskar’s religious odyssey except that the Grail movementhas given his writings a halo that it didn’t merit.

History shows that there were several other figures like Oskar in Germany and Austria with very similar backgrounds, experiences and spiritual “recognitions.” One of them was List.

Guido (Von) List was the first popular writer to combine völkisch ideology with occultism and theosophy. His readers and followers regarded him as an old patriarch and a mystical nationalist guru whose clairvoyant gaze had redeemed the glorious Aryan and Germanic past of Austria from the corruption of foreign influences and Christian culture.

List was born in Vienna on October 5, 1848, the eldest son of a prosperous middle-class merchant. He was said to have had a happy childhood.

His love of nature and rural landscape was cultivated by his parents who took delight in taking their children on country excursions around the capital.

He had a Roman Catholic background, and he claimed his conversion to alternative spirituality occurred when he visited the catacombs of St. Stephen’s and swore to later build a temple to Wotan [Germanic god, Odin] in the labyrinth under the cathedral, which he regarded as a pre-Christian shrine dedicated to a pagan deity. (Guido List, Deutsch-Mythologzsche Landschafsbilder [German Mythological Landscape Pictures], 2nd Ed. Leipzig and Vienna, 1913, II. 592.

List’s ambition to be an artist and scholar conflicted with his father’s wish for him to work in the family’s leather business as the heir. List decided to combine both roles – partly in the commercial sector and partly a seeker on excursions to indulge his private world of art, imagination and nature worship.

With time, as List ritualized these adventures, he became known as a lone wolf and a mystic. He rationalized his withdrawal from the mundane life as an escape from the “fearful scenes of the wild pursuit of profit.” The modern economy had, according to him, led humans astray under the motto of self-seeking individualism.

In his own words, “One must flee those places where life throbs and seek out lonely spots untouched by human hand in order to lift the magic veil of nature.” (Deutsch-Mythologzsche, I p. 125).

Interestingly, Ab-dru-shin reiterated this:

“For when at last base sensations are gradually outlived or discarded, and ascent begins, then the constant yearning for what is higher and purer awakens and steadily drives him upwards. This is the normal course!” (Vol. 2:13 “Earthbound”)

In the 1890s List began publishing his literary works on the heroic past and religious mythology. After undergoing an eye operation to relieve a cataract in 1902, List was blind for eleven months. 

During this period, he began to intersect occult concepts with his ideas of ancient Germanic faith. In the words of Goodrick-Clarke:

In April 1903 List sent a manuscript about the Aryan proto-language to the Imperial Academy of Sciences in Vienna. This document set out the idea of a monumental pseudo-science concerned with Germanic linguistics and symbology: it was his first attempt to interpret, by means of occult insight, the letters and sounds of the runes and alphabet on the one hand, and the emblems and glyphs of ancient inscriptions on the other…

In September 1903 the Viennese occult periodical Die Gnosis published an article by List, which indicated the new theosophical cast of his thought. Here the author outlined the process of the universe’s creation and illustrated its phases with the triskelion and swastika glyphs (p. 41)

From this, several threads of similarities can be seen, the literary or artistic bent, an attachment to and later detachment from material wealth, a personal calamity and a journey into mysticism.

Below are several examples of how Oskar’s teachings were shaped by the social, cultural and political contexts of Austria/Germany.

The Intellect

People will have noticed how often I mention the unlimited domination of the intellect and the great spiritual indolence as fatal, but it is necessary to do so; for both processes are inseparably linked together and can be designated as starting points of many evils, indeed as the real hostile to-the-Light cause of the decline and fall of the developed beings. (Vol. 3, ch. 44 “Believers Merely Out of Habit”)

This was a reflection of the spiritual mood in early 20th century Germany. The materialism and the elevation of reason propounded by the Enlightenment era was losing its zing among the people. The people were craving mystical/spiritual insights through intuition.

The new irrationalism was thus a product of the revaluation of the emotive and intuitive faculties, coupled with a fearful distrust of analytical reason, materialism and empiricism. This spiritual mood, widespread in Germany, generated many sects and societies concerned with the occult and mysterious during the second half of the eighteenth century. These groups were responsible for a revival of interest in the arcane materials of alchemy, Rosicrucianism and Freemasonry. (Page 58)

Ab-dru-shin taught that the human intellect had to be suppressed in order for one to spiritually ascend:

The domination of the intellect entirely shuts off the spirit from every possibility for its necessary development. This actually is not malevolent on the part of the intellect, but only a quite natural effect. In this the intellect merely acts according to its nature, because it cannot do otherwise than only develop its nature to blossom and to full strength when it is cultivated one-sidedly and put in the wrong place by unreservedly subjecting the whole of life on earth to it!

The fault lies solely with man himself and with the fact that he surrendered the mastery to the intellect, thus also gradually enslaving himself to it, i.e., binding himself to the earth. In doing so he completely lost the real purport of his life on earth – the possibility of spiritual recognition and spiritual maturing. (3:44)

There’s nothing new in these concepts as taught by Ab-dru-shin. Between the 17th-19th centuries, Germany boasted of a number of scholar magicians and secret societies that were devoted to Rosicrucianism, theosophy, and alchemy.

The rationalism of the Enlightenment era was falling apart in Europe, giving an impetus to a nostalgia for the Middle Ages, a desire for mystery and revival of occultism.

Theosophy was a system founded by a Russian occultist, Helena Blavatsky. Drawing on pagan mythology, ancient mystery religions, Gnosticism, the Hemetica, the Rosicrucians and other secret fraternities, she taught about a boundless God (Lucifer), and his electro-spiritual force (Fohat) which impresses the divine scheme upon the cosmic substance as the “laws of nature,” the endless cycle of death and rebirth, and the fundamental unity between the Creator and creation. (Alvin Boyd Kuhn, Theosophy. A Modern Revival of Annent Wisdom, New York, 1930, p. 199).

Undoubtedly, these are the core beliefs of the Grail message. While it can be adduced that both figures received their inspiration from the same spiritual source, history also points to another key.

In early 20th century, Theosophy enjoyed a considerable vogue in Germany and Austria. Therefore, the presence of these occult philosophies in Ab-dru-shin’s writings is evidence that his knowledge was based on and limited by the spiritual climate of Germany in his own time:

How can one explain the enthusiastic reception of Blavatsky’s ideas by significant numbers of Europeans and Americans from the 1880s onwards? Theosophy offered an appealing mixture of ancient religious ideas and new concepts borrowed from the Darwinian theory of evolution and modern science.

This syncretic faith thus possessed the power to comfort certain individuals whose traditional outlook had been upset by the discrediting of orthodox religion, by the very rationalizing and de-mystifying progress of science and by the culturally dislocative impact of rapid social and economic change in the late nineteenth century.

George L. Mosse has noted that theosophy typified the wave of anti-positivism sweeping Europe at the end of the century and observed that its outré notions made a deeper impression in Germany than in other European countries. (p. 22)

Racism

Ab-dru-shin’s depictions and low view of Africans and other “primitive tribes” cannot be ignored or explained away by any sincere reader.

But when one takes his writings as a product of his time, instead of a material with vested spiritual authority for all times and cultures, one would be willing to overlook his idea of racial superiority.

This is not so very difficult, for the stages of development are externally discernable, and can be studied in those races of men which are still on the earth.

The spirits of the most primitive men, to which socalled savages, Bushmen and Hottentots belong, have not been incarnated in matter for a shorter time than the others, but it is either that they have not striven diligently enough towards the Light, or that, after having developed to a certain degree of perfection, they have degenerated, either here on earth or in the ethereal world, and thus can only incarnate in the inferior surroundings in which we find them.

Hence it is their own fault that they are still, or are again, on the same step of maturity as before, surrounded by an ethereal world of the same undesirable character. (Vol. II, ch. 67 “The Gods Olympus and Valhala” 1931 edition)

Note: the Grail movement, in its revisionist vigour, has reworded these writings to temper their implications in modern editions.

The undeveloped or degenerate spirits of lower races of mankind are naturally either still or once more, spiritually deaf and blind. Such a man cannot see with his spiritual eye; nor has indeed any man up to the present day been able to see with his spiritual eyesight…

This is the real reason why we first of all find only the fear and worship of demons among the lower human races! It is what they are able to see and what they fear on account of it’s different nature!…

The Greeks, Romans and the Teutons [Germans] could see still further. Their inner seeing reached beyond the World of Matter into the Animistic Sphere lying above it. (Vol. II, ch. 67 1995 ed.)

This flagrant racial strata laced with mystic terms is a reflection of the teachings of the Ariosophists prevalent in Germany in the time of Oskar Bernhardt. Goodrick-Clarke enunciates:

Racism was a vital element in the Ariosophists’ account of national conflict and the virtue of the Germans. An early classic on the superiority of the Nordic-Aryan race and a pessimistic prediction of its submergence by non-Aryan peoples was Arthur de Gobineau’s essay.

Although this work evoked no immediate response, its notions were echoed and its conclusions reversed by numerous propagandists for the superiority of Germandom towards the end of the century.

When the Social Darwinists invoked the inevitability of biological struggle in human life, it was proposed that the Aryans (or really the Germans) need not succumb to the fate of deterioration, but could prevail against the threats of decline and contamination by maintaining their
racial purity (p. 13)

Obviously, Oskar couldn’t see into the future to realize that Africans would read his writings, thus one can only marvel at his vague stereotype of Africans and his dismissive racist remarks about the black race reminiscent of his limited social exposure.

Just go with me in spirit to Africa to any Negro tribe! Think of such people’s power of comprehension! Make an effort clearly to envisage their inner life and way of thinking! These people believed in demons and all sorts of things! They possessed idols of roughly carved wood, and then Christian missionaries visited them…

The profitable inner experiencing, and thus the true support, are lacking! It is always and everywhere the same! The missionaries and converters throw themselves upon the people and want to convert them to Christianity without any further transition!” (Vol. III, ch. 2 “Ponderers”).

This was a clear reflection of the influence of volkish affirmation of the superior white race – the same ideology that was the driving force of Hitler’s Third Reich – on Oskar’s worldviews:

Racism and elitism also had their place in the volkisch ideology. The fact of racial differences was exploited to lend validity to claims of national distinction and superiority.

Once anthropology and linguistics had offered empirical standards for the classification of races, these became a staple in volkisch eulogies of the German race.

A set of inner moral qualities was related to the external characteristics of racial types: while the Aryans (and thus the Germans) were blue-eyed, blond-haired, tall and well-proportioned, they were also noble, honest, and courageous.

The Darwinist idea of evolution through struggle was also taken up in order to prove that the superior pure races would prevail over the mixed inferior ones…

This shrill imperative to crude struggle between the races and eugenic reform found broad acceptance in Germany around the turn of the century; the principal works of Ernst Krause, Otto Ammon, Ludwig Wilser, and Ludwig Woltmann, all Social Darwinists, were all published between the early 1890s and 1910.

Ernst Haeckel, the eminent zoologist, warned repeatedly against the mixing of races and founded the Monist League in 1906 in order to popularize this racist version of Social Darwinism among Germans.

These scientific formulations of racism in the context of physical anthropology and zoology lent conviction to vodlkisch nationalist prejudice in both Germany and Austria. (pp. 4-5)

The Laws of Nature

One of the major themes in the Grail message is the existence of some mysterious laws in nature than can be harnessed by the adept:

This also is strictly subject to the perfect Laws of Nature, and even God Himself could not do it because it would be against His Own Perfect Laws, against His Own Perfect Will which operates automatically in Nature!

It is just on account of this very Perfection that there could never occur to Him such an  imperfect thought, which would only be an arbitrary action! (Vol. II, ch. 48, “The Resurrection of Christ’s Physical Body”)

Needless to say, this is not a new concept. It’s an old belief that can be traced back to ancient paganism. This was part of the theosophical beliefs which List and Oskar adopted and fine-tuned:

Behind this process of change List saw the ‘primal laws of nature’, according to which all change occurred. He claimed that these laws represented an immanent God in Nature. List conceived of all things as an emanation of a spiritual force. Man was an integral part of this unified cosmos and thus obliged to follow a single ethical precept: to live in accordance with Nature.

At her bosom all tensions were dissolved in a mystical union between man and the cosmos. A close identity with one’s folk and race was reckoned a logical consequence of this closeness to Nature. (p. 50)

From what has been documented earlier, the Hindu, Gnostic and Egyptian philosophies of Helena Blavatsky were already prevalent in Germany and Austria at the time of Oskar. So he didn’t need to become a “servant of light” to adopt them.

The times he lived in dictated his beliefs. If he had lived in a jungle in Africa or the Amazon forest in South America at the time, he wouldn’t have encountered these ideas and there would be no Grail message or cross bearers today.

In the knowledge of Creation which I have given in my Message, and in the related explanation of all the Laws automatically working in Creation, which may also be called the Laws of Nature, the whole weaving of Creation is displayed without a gap; it allows every process to be clearly recognised, and there with the purpose of man’s whole life. With unassailable logic it also unfolds his “whence” and his “whither”, thus giving an answer to every question, provided man seriously seeks for it. (Vol. I, ch. 9 “Rigidity”)

This idea was already popularized in Germany in the late 19th century:

The Wotanist priesthood, which List had first discussed in the early 1890s, was now transformed into an exalted gnostic elite of initiates (the Armanenschaft), which corresponded to the hierophants in The Secret Doctrine. Die Rita der Ario-Germanen [The Rite of the Ario-Germans] (1908) regurgitated substantial parts of the theosophical cosmogony in its putative account of ancient Ario-Germanic belief.

The unmanifest and manifest deities, the creation of the universe by divine respiration, a primal fire as the energy source of a force redolent of Fohat, and the gradual evolution of the cosmos according to this agent’s
obedience to the ‘laws of nature’ received detailed treatment…

List’s cyclical vision of time was derived from his three sources of theological inspiration: the holy world of Nature, Norse mythology and modern theosophy.

It has already been shown how the elementary content of Armanist doctrine focused upon the ‘laws of nature’, which ostensibly determined the periodicity of all planetary and organic cycles in the cosmos. (pp. 52, 56)

From what has been presented, one can see that on comparing the Grail teachings with the social and religious concepts of Germany/Austria, it can be inferred that Ab-dru-shin’s message didn’t descend from above – no matter how one slices the cake – but were developed and conceptualized down here on earth, thus lacking eternal value.

14 Hard Facts about Astrology

astrology-false
Astrological chart

Astrology is an ancient practice that assumes that the position of the planets and stars has a direct influence upon people and events.

The chart that seeks to make one’s life’s pattern based on the position of the stars and planets at the time of one’s birth is known as a horoscope.

It’s not uncommon to find horoscope readings in magazines and websites, including the social media. Rene Noorbergen explains how these horoscopes are charted:

“For every personal horoscope, the moment of birth is the essential starting point. This, coupled with the latitude and longitude of the individual’s birthplace, provides the initial package for the usual astrological chart.

“While this is elementary, it is not complete; a factor known as ‘true local time’ must also be considered … Once this has been accomplished, the next step is to convert this ‘true’ time into ‘sidereal’ or star time. This is done with the aid of an ephemerus, a reference book showing the positions of the planets in relationship to the earth.” [1]

Some of these “readings” on the Internet have fascinating headings like “What does your Birth Month say about you?”

There are two popular types of predictive astrology: natal astrology and mundane astrology. Natal (or genetheliacal) astrology makes a predictions based on a person’s character, present situation or future outlook beginning with a birth date.

Mundane astrology usually makes a prediction on a larger scale for a national, civil, or political leadership future.

Many New Age teachers repackage astrology by integrating it with their particular teachings in the Aquarian Age (named after a zodiac sign). They adopt pseudoscientific jargon and hawk their books as well as astrological jewelry, charms and emblems to millions of followers who thirst for the murky waters of mysticism. [2]

Having been stumped by lack of scientific evidence of planetary influence on man, the new school of astrology has now adopted new interpretations for their practice.

Initially, “it was assumed that some kind of emanations issued from heavenly bodies to affect the characters and destinies of men. When scientists found no emanations powerful enough, sophisticated astrologers abandoned causality altogether and eagerly embraced Jung’s theory of ‘synchronicity’ – that everything in the universe at any given moment participates through that moment with everything else that shares the same unit of time.” [3]

This shifting of grounds notwithstanding, astrology is so fraught with scientific, moral, logical and theological problems that it will require those adhering to it to renounce reality, abjure reason and deny hard facts in order to follow it.

The Problems of Astrology

1. Astrology is “based on the zodiac, the path through which the sun, moon and planets move through the sky.” This celestial band is divided into 12 “signs” or constellations. [4]

But here is the big problem: this whole concept of the sun revolving about the earth assumes a geocentric universe in which the earth is the centre of the solar system.

The idea of a geocentric universe was first conceived by Claudius Ptolemy (c. 150), an Egyptian astronomer of Alexandria. But his model of the planetary system has been falsified by the heliocentric cosmology of Nicolaus Copernicus and Galileo Galilei which proved that the planets revolve around the sun.

Astrology, however, is based on the the erroneous geocentric theory which destroys its reliability.

If an astrologer switches to a heliocentric solar system, new problems must arise concerning the positions of the zodiac signs which are positioned from the horizons of the earth instead of the sun.

Therefore, since the basic assumption of astrology is false, all conclusions drawn from it are likewise false.

2. Another basis of astrology is the number of planets in our solar system.

In the ancient times, predictive zodiacal astrology was limited to the planets seen with the naked eye (e.g. the sun, moon, and Mercury through Jupiter). Consequently, astrologers based their system upon the six planets they believed revolved around the earth.

But Galileo changed astronomy by using the telescope for stargazing in 1609. Other planets were later discovered: Uranus (1781), Neptune (1846), and Pluto (1930). Today, most birth charts are cast using all the planets.

One must ask, is all past horoscopy invalidated due to the lack of knowledge of real influential planets?

Here’s another problem. On August 24, 2006, the International Astronomical Union representing 424 astronomers officially demoted Pluto and ruled that it is no longer a planet. [5]

Now that our solar system is reduced to eight planets, it raises another question, should eight or nine planets be used in astrological charts?

Each choice alters the outcome of casting horoscopes and undermines the legitimacy of past horoscopes from ancient times to present.

3. The bedrock of astrology is the idea that the planets exert much influence on the earth and its inhabitants. This claim lacks any scientific or logical proof, but is founded on pagan superstition.

Mesopotamia has produced the oldest and archaeological evidences for ancient astrology. The Sumerian records that are inscribed on the Gudea cylinders (c. 2250 BC) provide the “earliest collection of celestial observations and their significance as omens.” [6]

This omen astrology later evolved into a zodiacal theory. The zodiac signs and houses had their origins among Babylonian priests who centered it on their polytheistic religion.

To ascribe the control of humans on earth to these celestial deities was in tune with their worship. Therefore, to embrace astrology involves an implicit acknowledgement of the pagan theology underlying it.

Many modern horoscope followers who claim to be Christians, might argue that they do not subscribe to the pagan beliefs embedded in the zodiac, but there’s no credible evidence that planets and stars emit any force or energy that could affect humans the way astrologers say they do.

Anyone claiming that nature controls your destiny is getting you into an occultic/pagan worldview.

4. Astrologers depend heavily upon the accuracy of determining the exact moment of birth in relationship to the position of heavenly bodies.

But since all hereditary factors are determined at conception, it should logically follow that these planets should begin their influence in a person’s destiny at his conception when life begins, not after his birth.

The fact is, it’s almost impossible to accurately determine when conception takes place. But if astrologers insist that the planets purportedly exert their influence on a person’s fate after birth, we need to ask:

Who determines when a child is born? Is it “Mother Nature?” More often the doctor decides the hour of birth based on his schedule, the mother’s welfare and other external factors.

Would it then be possible for a physician to thwart one’s astrological destiny by using drugs to manipulate the moment when the baby emerges?

5. Most of the predictions made through astrology are often so general and ambiguous that they can be subjectively tied to any occurrence. For example, a horoscope reading says to those who identify as “Sagittarius”:

“Jupiter, the planet of growth enters Sagittarius on November 8 bringing blessings to the home and family sector of your chart … between now and December 2019 you can expect many exciting things to happen on the home front.”

This “prediction” is so vague and mundane that it could apply to anyone at any time.

Even a 10 year old can figure out that “exciting things” usually happen in many homes during holiday seasons, so what exactly is the spectacular prediction being made here?

6. The contrasting character traits of twins, triplets and other multiple births is an insurmountable difficulty for natal astrology.

Thousands of twins are born within 4 minutes of each other – at the same time and place astrologically – yet it has been shown time and again that one or more of the siblings has a strikingly different character than the other.

Two people who are born at the same time can live totally different lives. One may turn out to be very successful, while the other one ends up a failure. The fact that twins do not live out the same lives shows another flaw in the theory. [7]

7. The problem of authority in astrology is vividly revealed when one realizes that there are many forms of astrology which are diametrically opposed to each other.

There’s Zoroastrian astrology, Egyptian astrology, Chinese astrology, Indian astrology, Graeco-Roman astrology, Pre-Columbian New World astrology, modern astrology and New Age astrology.

Many of these systems are fraught with internal inconsistencies and flawed calculations, yet its overall conflicting variables and lack of standardization presents a logical conundrum to those seeking truth in astrology.

Even in the West, some astrologers rely on eight zodiac signs rather than twelve; some rely on fourteen and even twenty-four signs of the zodiac. The implication is that predictions made by different astrologers for the same individual do not match.

Most people who follow their horoscope can get five conflicting readings from different sources all in one month!

If your calculator gave you five different answers to a simple Mathematical calculation, I can bet you’d throw it out in a garbage bag. In the same sense, why should you stake your life out on a dicey fraud such as astrology?

8. The early astronomers were not aware of procession and therefore failed to take it into account in their system. Newtonian astronomy (1687), however, showed us that the equinox is moving a full 30° zodiacal sign every 2,180 years. [8]

Each zodiac sign now takes on its preceding sign due to the equinox shifting.

Due to this change in the earth’s position in space, the dates associated with the zodiac signs no longer correspond to when the sun passes through constellations for which the signs were named.

Therefore, someone claiming to be “Libra” might actually be “Virgo” or “Scorpio.” Those who think they are born under Taurus the Bull (April 20 May 20) are actually born under Aries.

So if a horoscope is cast for a Taurus born in April, technically, it would be meaningless since his real sign is Aries.

9. If the theory of influence of planets is valid, it must be true for all people in all places or astrologers must explain how their theory remains true if exemptions exist.

Astrology begun in latitudes relatively close to the equator and made no provision for the possibility that no planet may be in sight in the higher latitudes regions for several weeks in a row. [9]

This means certain populated northern regions like Siberia, Sweden, the artic regions, or Alaska where the sun never crosses the horizons during these times have no “sun plane” or “zodiacal plane,” as astrologers call it.

Now, since these time periods lie completely outside of astrological charting, the people born in those times and places are exempt from astrology. This is another fatal blow to zodiacal astrology as it unreasonably exempts people born above or below the 66th latitude.

10. The zodiac signs are said to give clues to a person’s character. But this facile assumption is scientifically untenable.

Some studies have been conducted to determine the link between astrology and character traits, and the results found it completely lacking substantiation.

A friend once said to me, “You know, I’m Virgo, and Virgos are compassionate and sensitive,” to which I replied, “I see, but your birth month has no link with your character: your inherited genes and environment mainly determine your character. You would still have those qualities even if you weren’t born in September.”

People who have the same birthday do not have the same traits or life experiences! This can be checked out by anyone.

That’s why astrology conditions people into prejudice, because they judge a person’s behaviour and character by a set of assumptions. People born at various months of the year can all experience the same fortune or face a similar dilemma. The stars foretell nothing.

11. Astrology is basically a fatalistic system. It fosters a predetermined worldview where human moral choices and responsibility are eliminated.

Some modern astrologers even appeal to the Hermetic/occult principle of “as above, so below.” This posits that humans are a miniature mirrored image of the greater planetary macrocosm in the universe.

Now, if everything is predetermined in conjunction with the zodiac, how then can the astrologists get outside of that fatalism to accurately observe it? There is no way they can prove their system if they are pawns in that same system.

Since astrology is fatalistic in its approach, it leaves mankind as a cog in the cosmic machinery – a view of reality that is at odds with Scripture and the ethical virtue of moral responsibility.

Aside from the complete absence of free will from the history of astrology (with its attendant ethical consequences), the system lacks the objective authority necessary to explain our own world. Thus, astrologists are victims of their own system.

By contrast, as Christians we can test our own world view because Someone, Jesus Christ, has come from outside the “system” to tell us, objectively, what our system is like.

12. Astrology is opposed to the Christian world view and any attempt to graft one onto the other must pose a logical dilemma. The Bible forbids God’s people from learning the ways of the heathen, which includes astrology.

“Do not learn the ways of the nations or be terrified by signs in the sky, though the nations are terrified by them” (Jeremiah 10:2).

Bob Larson explained this succinctly:

“The underlying philosophy of astrology declares that one’s destinies can be found in the stars. In contrast, Christianity teaches that the events of life are determined by a combination of God’s sovereign will and man’s personal moral choices.

“Astrology, on the other hand, attempts to destroy man’s accountability to God. Horoscope devotees may think they can fall back on blaming the stars for their actions. But the Bible teaches that someday all mankind will stand before God to be judged (Rom. 14:12). Man is responsible for his conduct and the Lord will not take into consideration the lame excuse that certain stars and planets were in the wrong conjunction.” [10]

13. Astrology often claims a succession of successful predictions, but what is largely ignored is the number of failures.

One of the most popular astrologers in recent years was the psychic Jeane Dixon, but even she had one failed prediction after another. If astrology is based on a natural force, it should harmonise with science and have a high degree of predictability like other natural forces, but it lacks this.

If it’s based on a supernatural force, it should have a remarkable high success rate, but it also lacks this as well.

Therefore, we are left with a conclusion: astrology is an occult art based on demonic forces that weave the webs of darkness around those who follow them.

14. Many pagan nations sought the counsel of astrologers for centuries and it held them under the spiritual bondage of fear, deception, superstition, retrogression and demon worship.

Even today, many witches and satanists rely on their knowledge of astrology to invoke demons for their  spells since they also have their own astrological categories.

We are not to look at the stars, however. God has given us His Son, and we are to follow Him. Only Jesus knows the future, and only as we are in union with Jesus do we have confidence about the future and God’s purpose become clearer to us.

Notes

[1] Rene Noorbergen, The Soul Hustlers, Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1976, p. 176.

[2] Walter Martin, Jill Martin Rische and Kurt Van Gorden, The Kingdom of the Occult, Thomas Nelson: TN, 2008, p. 271.

[3] Anonymous, “Astrology: Fad and Phenomena” in Time magazine, March 21, 1969, p. 58.

[4] The Encyclopedia of World Religions. Revised Edition. DWJ Books, 2007, p. 51.

[5] San Francisco Chronicle, August 27, 2006, E-2.

[6] Samuel Hooke, Babylonian and Assyrian Religion, 1953, Creative Partners p. 91.

[7] Josh McDowell and Don Stewart The Occult, Here’s Life Publishers, 1992, p. 47.

[8] Kenneth Boa, Cults, World Religions and You, Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1977, pp. 124-125.

[9] Michael Gauquelin, The Cosmic Clocks, Chicago, IL: Henry Rwgnery Co., 1967, p. 78.

[10] Larson’s Book of Cults, Tyndale House Publishers, Wheaton, IL: 1983, p. 259.

 

 

Freedom from Addiction to Porn and Masturbation

Masturbation-porn
Addiction to enslaving habits

In recent times, as I have read through blogs, social media threads or magazines and followed through Christian TV shows, a subject that keeps coming up during feedback from readers or the audience hinges on addiction to pornography and masturbation.

In almost every instance – particularly on Christian forums – the struggler admits he has prayed, fasted and in some cases, even received deliverance ministrations to be free from these twin enslaving habits, yet the problem persisted.

These are deep areas, and I believe we will keep encountering such problems as the Internet and/or social media increasingly becomes an addictive past time.

We are in an era where obsession and preoccupation with sex has become the norm and abstinence has become quaint and impractical.

Visual pornography entered mainstream western culture with magazines, which confined users to static erotica.

The few x-rated movies of the 80s were found mainly in adult bookstores and other public or semi-public venues where most people didn’t want to spend much time at.

But then, video rentals and late-night cable channels emerged, which gave “life” to static porn and offered to people a level of access and privacy which cinema houses didn’t have.

Though there were private, cheaper and dialed up porn in the early 2000s, the sexual floodgates opened with the rise of high-speed Internet in 2006, giving rise to a whole new creature: a plethora of short porn clips, hardcore streaming videos and “tube sites” which have wrought incalculable damage to many lives and families.

In 2016 when, Pamela Anderson, the former Playmate and Baywatch star described pornography as a “public hazard” that affects men’s “ability to function as husband, and, by extension, as father,” her informed opinion was greeted with a howl of rage by the secular world who felt she was ripping their sacred cow into shreds.

The sad truth is that, we have reached a stage in which so many men and women are shackled to several sexual sins and when they enter into marriages with such unresolved issues, sexual problems and other unwholesome consequences begin to show up.

Take for instance, a man who has spent years objectifying women through the virtual images that porn synthesizes in the mind.

When he now meets with a real three dimensional woman (flesh and blood), the effects of that sin start to show themselves as forms of sexual dysfunctions (e.g. dependence on porn to stimulate sexual desire, premature ejaculation, anorgasmia – inability to achieve sexual climax often without self-stimulation), a cultivated taste for perverse sexual acts or a complete loss of attraction for his partner.

Gary Wilson, in his enlightening book, Brain on Porn: Internet Pornography and the Emerging Science of Addiction, notes that:

“The earliest people to report porn-relates problems in online forums were totally computer programmers and information-technology specialists. They had acquired high-speed internet porn ahead of the pack – and then developed uncharacteristic sexual tastes, delayed ejaculation or erectile dysfunction (ED) during sex. Eventually, some experienced ED even while using porn. Nearly all were in their late twenties or older.” (Commonwealth Publishing, 2014, p. 17).

Unfortunately, these are problems many Christians refuse to admit – even to themselves – hence, their roots remain buried beneath a dark pool of psychological and spiritual bondage.

An urologist and author, Harry Fisch, writes bluntly that porn is killing sex. In his book, The New Naked, he zeroes in on the decision element: the Internet. It “provided ultra-easy access to something that is fine as an occasional treat but hell for your [sexual] health on a daily basis.”

In May 2014, a prestigious medical journal published research showing that, even in moderate porn users, use (number of years and current hours per week) correlates with reduced grey matter and decreased sexual responsiveness.

The researchers cautioned that the heavy porn users’ brain might have been pre-shrunken rather than shrunken by porn usage, but favoured degree-of-porn-use as the most plausible explanation (Simone Kühn and Jürgen Gallinat, JAMA Psychiatry, 2014 doi:10:1001).

In July 2014, a team of neuroscience experts headed by a psychiatrist at Cambridge University revealed that more than half of the subjects in their study of porn addicts reported “that as a result of excessive use of sexually explicit materials, they had … experienced diminished libido or erectile dysfunction specifically in physical relationships with women (although not in relationship to the sexually explicit material” (Valerie Voon, et al., PLOS One, 2014:DOI:10:1371).

I am deliberately quoting these secular and liberal sources to show you that that damage that porn does to the human mind goes beyond the conservative and liberal debate, it goes beyond puritanical religious and social norms, it is a widespread effect of the consumption of virtual sex in our time.

As I reflect on these baffling scenarios, a Bible verse flashes into my mind:

“[In the last days] For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy” (2 Tim. 3:2)

My attention is drawn to the first line, “people will be lovers of self.” Self is the root of all personal sins. Sexual sins are one of the fruit of self.

Selfishness is the leading cause of many broken marriages today because it has become rife. Many enter into it to please themselves first before the other person.

And when a sexually selfish person is joined to another sexually selfish person, what do you think will be the end result?

So many people are only interested in things that will pleasure self. And this is why love has been mis-defined and misconceived.

Because selfish people have no love to offer anyone, they replace love with sex to an extent that once the word “love” is mentioned, what it means to them is “sex.”

The problem will have to be addressed from the heart. Self must be crucified for Christ to dwell in us.

Now, how can a Christian struggling with addiction to pornography and masturbation attain victory?

The solution to the bondage of sin is the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ on the cross.

It was there that He took up our sins and the punishment we justly deserved upon Himself and in exchange, imparted onto us His righteousness – God’s righteousness (1 Cor. 5:21).

The outworking of this righteousness is to take away our sins and then give us power over that sin, enabling us to live as spotless children of God. The outworking of this grace of victory over sin is based on faith in Christ’s work.

One reason many fail in the area of victory over enslaving habits is because they do not walk in this faith, hence do not receive the grace to walk in victory.

They do not allow the Holy Spirit to operate on their hearts but want to walk the Christian walk in the flesh.

Romans 6:6 tells us that we have been crucified with Christ so that the domination of the flesh is destroyed and we can now now be free from the enslaving power of sin.

The degree to which you walk in faith in God’s power is the degree of grace that will be available to you.

Another reason, which I briefly referenced above, is that many people want to walk with God and run with the devil.

They think they can experience freedom from guilt and oppression on the one hand, while holding to all the rottenness of the world on the other hand.

For instance, you can’t have victory over pornography if you still drool on graphic sex scenes in movies, websites or books.

You can’t attain victory over masturbation if you listen to lyrics of vulgar music like Naira Marley’s “Jo Soapy.” That’s like snorting bits of coca every night and asking for rehabilitation every morning.

Here’s what God expects of us:

“So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 6:11)

“If you have died with Christ to the elementary principles of the world, why, as if you were living in the world, do you submit yourself to decrees, such as…” (Col. 2:20)

“I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” (Gal. 2:20)

“and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed” (1 Pet. 2:24)

Take note of these verses and mediate on them. Make them your combat kit.

A guy said when he was gaining victory over his addiction to masturbation and he felt the urges coming on, he would begin to confess the scriptures and the thoughts would dissipate. That was how he was able to eventually gain victory over it.

That leads me to another point: many people who are bound with addictive sinful patterns have weak prayer lives and don’t feed on the Word of God.

I have been in touch with several Christians who have lamented about how they’ve tried “everything” to be free from enslaving sins and yet still get defeated, and I give them a litmus test. Once they flunk this test, the answer they are seeking is right there.

I would ask, how much do you pray daily, read your Bible, and how much of Scripture do you commit to memory from time to time?

Most of the time, you will hear crickets chirping from the forest, because they don’t pray to tap into the power of the Holy Spirit; they don’t dig deep into the crystal spring of the Word, but they somehow want to be clean! It doesn’t work that way! Jesus said:

“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.” (Matt. 26:41)

When you don’t pray or hide the Word of God in your heart, it will be very easy for you to sin because you are as spiritually light as paper, blown about by every wind of spiritual or physical pressure.

What gives you strength from within is how much you are connected to God through fervent prayer, worship and the Word.

However, I know that some people do pray and read the Bible and try to apply much discipline but are still enslaved. That’s because the root of that bondage hasn’t been dealt with.

You would think these people have a “split personality” if you didn’t understand how demonic forces operate within people.

I can relate to this because I know what it is to have an area of your life held hostage by evil spirits. And I have seen it in people – these are Christians who were truly saved, but have some aspects of their lives still shrouded in darkness which demons have a fortress in.

There’s usually a progression:

Phase 1: Sin. The sinful act resulting from the thoughts and decision to sin. If it becomes regular it leads to this:

Phase 2: Besetting sin. The sin habit forms and when the person indulges in it frequently it leads to:

Phase 3: A stronghold. This is a “sin tumour” or fortress in the believer’s life (2 Cor. 10:4-5). If it’s not pulled down by spiritual weapons, it leads to:

Phase 4: A strongman residing in the stronghold (Lk. 11:21). The cultivated sin tumour is now energized by a demon from within and the person loses control over that area until the strongman loses the legal grounds.

Most people who have struggled with porn or masturbation for decades usually follow this downward spiral category, but not in every case.

Some of these people are married but will admit masturbating at least twice daily or more. That’s a sign of bondage.

I also notice that people who have been sexually molested or exposed to sex at young ages tend to have this demonic compulsion to masturbate or end up in porn/exhibitionism.

One of the best kept secrets in the secular world is that most porn stars are actually victims of sexual abuse. They never left that spiritual cage, they only decorated it.

Before such captives are rescued, the strong man first have to be bound and dislodged.

This is simply about renouncing the sin that led to a stronghold, breaking demonic soul ties forged with one’s own flesh (or others as the case may be) and expelling these spiritual strangers from one’s life.

Forget about the scenarios prevalent in Hollywood: folks levitating, heads spinning like owls, pea soup or green slime being spewed or people barking like dogs.

These are borderline scenarios and are not even necessary if your faith in the power of Jesus is strong enough. He has paid a great price for your freedom, make use of it and walk in victory.

Finally, people seeking deliverance from addictions to unclean habits should first be properly educated on how to exercise self discipline, see the necessity of spiritual growth and discipleship and learn how to crucify self. Otherwise, they would most likely obtain temporary relief.