A few days ago my husband and I were in the demonstration room of an electronic plant belonging to a friend in Menlo Park, California. There we marveled over the new inventions for analyzing air pollution and counting the particles in water and other liquids. It is now possible to put on one’s belt a small box (about five inches square and a couple of inches thick) that measures air pollution, giving fair warning of a dangerous situation.

This is marvelous in mines, for instance, where in years gone by the only indication that the air was dangerous to breathe was the discovery that the canary taken as a “test” down into the place where the men were working had died. Now the canary does not have to die to show that the air is too polluted to breathe; a trustworthy device can go right along with the workers to make a continual test.

We saw also an amazingly compact machine that throws a laser beam through liquid and counts its particles. As if by magic, numbers appear on a screen, rapidly changing as the count takes place, until the total number is reached. That number then stays without a flicker of change until the liquid is removed and another one is put in the place of scrutiny.

It is a good thing to be able to measure pollution in air and water, but there is another, non-physical form of pollution that must not be neglected as we concern ourselves with physical dangers. Jesus gives a warning in Matthew 10:28, “Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” This dangerous one has many prophets, or teachers, who spread pollution that fills not only books, magazines, and other media for spreading ideas but also the conversation of many people. People are “breathing” and “swallowing” ideas, and are “trying out” and “plunging into” practices that are dangerously full of false teaching.

We need to use the measuring device God has put in our hands, which is as effective today as it was centuries ago in sounding a warning signal. Jesus warns us in Matthew 7:15, 16, “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?” The Bible is our accurate laser beam, throwing light that penetrates and giving us warning signals before we get immersed in the false.

A new book points up the fact that America and other western countries are being flooded with Eastern thinking and practices. TM—Discovering Inner Energy and Overcoming Stress is a best-seller and is sweeping our countries with a smooth sounding solution to everyone’s need for rest and repose in the midst of the increasing stresses of life. What a temptation to a nervous, “uptight” person to seek repose. “Neither a religion, nor a philosophy, nor a way of life” is the claim at the beginning of the book. So the young Christian feels free to go ahead and try out Transcendental Meditation.

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With the Word of God as our laser beam, penetrating the flowing mass of material with its light, and with the Word of God as our sieve, straining the mixture of ideas floating in the intellectual atmosphere, we can come up with some measure of warning. It is important not only to believe the Bible is true but to live by what it teaches. This reality of living by the Word of God includes the active use of the Bible to “test” other “prophets.” We are to beware of false prophets, to keep our distance from the poison of their falseness.

“It (TM) was first introduced into the United States in 1959 by the Indian teacher Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.” “Maharishi’s technique for achieving this state is effortless.” “Maharishi has explained.…” “Maharishi has indicated.…” “Maharishi has explained.…” “Maharishi describes.…” “Maharishi has suggested.…” As one reads on it becomes completely clear that TM has a “prophet,” an Indian mystic. It is this man’s teaching that is being offered by others in this whole process of TM. Does he come from the true and living God?

The answer is that his teaching is based on Eastern thinking. It is related to the Hindu stream of thought. It has nothing to do with the teaching of the Bible, and it is not just a set of relaxation exercises. It is a means of emptying oneself of thoughts, of becoming “aware,” not of truth and of God but of some mystical feeling of depth inside onself. This is where the “rest” is supposed to come from.

What does the Bible say? Jeremiah 6:16 says, “Thus saith the LORD, stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.” In Jeremiah’s moment of history the majority of people were turning away from God’s teaching on how to have rest.

In Matthew 11:28–30 Jesus declares the way to have rest in the midst of stress: “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

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The Son of God is to be our teacher, our prophet as well as our king. The Word of God tells us to meditate day and night, not by emptying our minds but by filling them with his teaching, his Word. “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and thou shalt have good success” (Josh. 1:8). We cannot meditate both according to God’s instructions and according to TM’s instructions. It is a question of Joshua’s choice, “Choose ye this day whom ye will serve.” “Blessed is the man,” we are told in Psalm 1, whose “delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.”

“But I want instant rest. I want instant relief from stress.” True, God’s Word does not promise us perfection now. Micah 2:10 says, “for this is not your rest: because it is polluted.” And Hebrews 4:3 promises that “there remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God,” pointing to a future rest that will be unspoiled. Whose rest are we going to trust?

Listen again to the next verses in Hebrews: “For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. Let us labor therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief. For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” This is God’s Word, described by him, which is to be our laser beam and keep us from the polluted ideas of the twentieth century. Use it. Trust it. Search it. Live by it.


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