There are other stories, e.g. Magdalena of the Cross (1487–1560), a mystic of outstanding piety & much prestige across Spain, who experienced same ‘spiritual ecstasies’, visions, levitation, stigmata, etc., but before dying confessed (30 years after becoming a nun), that she had made a pact with the devil! But nobody knew or noticed any difference for so many years, because her manifestations were exactly the same as the rest of the Catholic mystics.
In the Scriptures we never see the Holy Spirit taking control of a believer where they get into a trance, or loose their will, frozen, not able to move, or to have involuntary body manifestations like rolling on the floor, or levitating, self inflicting pain, etc. But we can see all those manifestations on demon possessed individuals.
The Scriptures say:
“The spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. 33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.” 1 Cor.14:32-33
Beware lest anyone cheat (G4812=lead away) you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. . . . Let no one cheat you of your reward, taking delight in false humility and worship of angels, intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, 19 and not holding fast to the Head, from whom all the body, nourished and knit together by joints and ligaments, grows with the increase that is from God. Colossians 2:8, 18-19
People who promote Teresa of Avila & mysticism will tell you only part of these mystics stories, not the twisted doctrine they believed in or the many sufferings they had, or their self inflicted pain, but only about their supposedly encounters with God & about a power (levitation), that they couldn’t even control.
We pray this booklet will illustrate how mystical prayer methods are dangerous and introduce the practitioner to occultism and its tormenting “fruit,” something you will not be warned about by those who recommend you study the ancient mystics. And now, the story of Teresa of Avila.
________________________“And still they told me my visions were the work of evil spirits! For six years, I was on trial . . . six years! So many prayers and masses said, I grew weary of them all! Yet still the trances and favors have become more violent and frequent . . . oh, I am in distress, such great distress. I am weary, and so tired . . . so very, very tired‘”.
. . .
The practice of the prayer of quiet continued to bring Teresa into what she called the state of union, the place where intellect and will cease to function over which she soon had no control. As the years passed, Teresa’s headaches and visions began to take their toll. She was counseled by the Jesuit Fathers to give up her “interior” prayer, but that didn’t help.One day, she cried out, “Oh these visions! What tortures I have endured . . . how can I bear it?” she wailed. “I even gave up mental prayer. I . . . I gave it up. I did! First I waited to be free of sin, but they found no fault in me. Not a fault! Yet I was visited again, more visions . . . more revelations . . . to this most miserable sinner as I.” — See booklet Teresa of Avila,
These favors she mentioned were the visions, ‘state of union’ & ‘involuntary levitation‘. That according to her, God will give only to the person that was very advanced & mortified.
There is nothing we can do to earn our salvation, and there is nothing we can do to deserve any gifts! Besides the purpose of the gifts according with the Scriptures is to edify the body of Christ not exalt any individual (1 Cor. 12:7; 14:12;14:26). We don’t choose, nor we learn the gifts because they are given by the Holy Spirit as He wills. “But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills” 1 Cor. 12:11.
Also with the fruit of the Spirit, love joy, etc. many of these teachers (NAR, WoF, etc) equate to have a positive mental attitude with having the fruit of the Spirit, but pagans can have a positive mental attitude as well, that’s what Buddhism teaches ‘positive mental state that leads to happiness‘, but mental attitude is just a product of the imagination. People practicing this really leave out of touch with reality (in la la land), Christians in this state will accept false teachings without questioning & drift further away into apostasy. What the Bible tells us is about faith in God amid the ‘real’ difficult circumstances that surround us, we don’t deny them, but give all the glory to God alone & not to our efforts. And about the fruit of the Spirit, they grow out of a right relationship with God not because we speak or think positively.
Catholic mystics & mysticism are promoted today by Richar Foster & his ecumenical organization Renovare, also by many evangelical leaders, like Rick Warren, the New Apostolic Reformation Movement, e.g. Mike Bickle & IHOP, etc. (They removed the link from their page, but can be found it here); another NAR teacher is Bill Johnson & his Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry, etc.
Thomas Dubay the author of that book, was a Catholic priest who taught in this book mysticism & Catholic doctrine. The S.M. initials after his name means he belonged to the Society of Mary.
Teresa of Avila had continual headaches during her life, she said: “I wouldn’t be surprised if the Lord gave me this headache so that I could understand these things better” Inner Castle 4.1.10, & now she is one of the patron saint for all who have headaches, I’m not kidding! She was constantly hearing voices, sounds of turbulent noise inside her head, whistling sounds, host of birds sounds, sounds of rushing rivers (also heard by yogis, called Shabd. They say it is associated to kundalini energy), etc., that didn’t go away (Inner Castle 4.1.1). She experienced levitation of her body that she didn’t want & couldn’t control, pain in her body that refused to subside unless she entered in that same ‘union’ or altered state of consciousness. Is this the inspiring life Bickle want us to imitate? or is it her Catholic mystic doctrines?
Check this endorsement by Bill Johnson’s Bethel School:
“If possible, help seers find other people like them, so that they can normalise their experiences together. If that is not possible, there are hundreds of books you can point them towards to help them understand what they are experiencing, as well as numerous passages in the Bible that describe supernatural experiences that can help them understand their experience. Studying the lives of people such as William Branham, Maria Woodworth Etter, or St Teresa of Avila can also help them understand themselves.
The exciting truth is, even if you don’t experience the spiritual realm like these individuals do, you can not only pastor them and learn from their experiences, but you can begin to cultivate and experience those giftings for yourself in your own lives. A friend of mine recently said “The age of the mystics is over, it’s time for the Church to grow in mysticism.” – Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry. (The Church of Bill Johnson). Here you find a good article about this subject.
Other promoters of Catholic mystics are modern mystics like John Crowder, James (Jim) Goll, Tom Ashbrook, Tim Keller, Mark Virkler, Patricia King, etc (All from the New Apostolic Reformation Movement).
Because of this madness & Charismania (faking & exaggerating the gifts) many have left Christianity confused, or trying to get away from them have fallen into Calvinism, Hebrew Roots, or other false doctrine.
Beloved please avoid these practices of union with god, silent prayer, emptying of your mind, contemplative prayer, two way journaling, etc. (Pagans, New Agers & Kabbalist do the same), and avoid also any teacher that promotes them (Rom.16:17). Their ‘encounters with God’ will leave you empty & eventually confused, with many questions but no answers. Please don’t let them contaminate you with their divination gifts, mystic techniques to hear God’s voice, interpret dreams, etc., they are not Biblical!! All these will lead you into dangerous grounds, will affect your family & your relationship with them, it will open doors to wicked spirits that come only to deceive & destroy lives.
I encourage you to read daily God’s Word (Jn. 14:23, 17:17, Eph.5:26, etc). “that He might sanctify and cleanse it (the church) with the washing of water by the word,” Eph.5:26 . His Word is Truth John 17:17. His Word is our spiritual food (1 Peter 2:2, Matt. 4:4, Rom. 10:17) to help us grow strong in Him. No wonder the enemy is working hard to keep us away from the Word of God.
that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— Ephe. 4:14-15
The good news, is that nothing is impossible for God, and even the enemy in the past used people in those regions of Avila & Catalonia to advance the false doctrines of mysticism & Kabbalah, the Lord is raising today in those same regions a strong people that love Him and preach His gospel for the salvation of many. Please check this video from Avila, Spain of some Christians in total quarantine praising God in the middle of the Coronavirus pandemic. Glory be to our Lord & King!! May our precious Lord Jesus bless you & keep you safe in these difficult times!!