Page updated 27 Oct 2015
Hypnosis in the Church
Hypnosis in the Church
Hypnotism is called enchantment (charmer) in the Bible, and is prohibited
(1 Deuteronomy 18:9-14(verse 9) When thou art come into the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations.
(verse 10) There shall not be found among you [any one] that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, [or] that useth divination, [or] an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch,
(verse 11) Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer.
(verse 12) For all that do these things [are] an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee.
(verse 13) Thou shalt be perfect with the LORD thy God.
(verse 14) For these nations, which thou shalt possess, hearkened unto observers of times, and unto diviners: but as for thee, the LORD thy God hath not suffered thee so [to do].1 Deuteronomy 18 verses 9-14).
- It is like intoxication, or a meditative state as in sorcery (Isaiah 47:9, 12(verse 9) But these two [things] shall come to thee in a moment in one day, the loss of children, and widowhood: they shall come upon thee in their perfection for the multitude of thy sorceries, [and] for the great abundance of thine enchantments.
(verse 12) Stand now with thine enchantments, and with the multitude of thy sorceries, wherein thou hast laboured from thy youth; if so be thou shalt be able to profit, if so be thou mayest prevail.Isaiah 47 verses 9, 12).
- Hypnosis suppresses the higher function of the brain including the conscience. It makes one susceptible to demonic influences as well. It is also a "brainwashing" technique used in many cults and religions (meditative repetition) (Matthew 6:7But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen [do]: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.Matthew 6 verse 7,
Proverbs 2:12-15(verse 12) To deliver thee from the way of the evil [man], from the man that speaketh froward things;
(verse 13) Who leave the paths of uprightness, to walk in the ways of darkness;
(verse 14) Who rejoice to do evil, [and] delight in the frowardness of the wicked;
(verse 15) Whose ways [are] crooked, and [they] froward in their paths:Proverbs 2 verses 12-15, John 1:5And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.John 1 verse 5, Revelation 3:15-16(verse 15) I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
(verse 16) So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.Revelation 3 verses 15-16).
- Acts 16:16-18(verse 16) And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying:
(verse 17) The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation.
(verse 18) And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour.Acts 16 verses 16-18 (Spirit of Python), Galatians 5:20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies.Galatians 5 verse 20 (witchcraft), 2 Timothy 3:13But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.2 Timothy 3 verse 13 (seducers), Revelation 9:21Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their theftsRevelation 9 verse 21, Revelation 18:23And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.Revelation 18 verse 23
- (1) The fruit of the Spirit is self-control (Galatians 5:22-23(verse 22) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
(verse 23) Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.Galatians 5 verses 22-23). As we follow the Spirit’s lead, He will give us the power to better control our own selves. Hypnosis involves the transfer of control away from ourselves to another person.
- (2) We are to yield ourselves—body, soul, and spirit—to God. Romans 6:12-13 (NIV)(verse 12) Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.
(verse 13) Neither yield ye your members [as] instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members [as] instruments of righteousness unto God.Romans 6 (KJV) verses 12-13 gives us the formula for overcoming sin:
- (3) Hypnosis leads to an altered state of consciousness in which the mind is very susceptible to outside suggestion. That susceptibility is what the hypnotist needs in order to modify the behavior of his subject. However, the word susceptible should concern us. Scripture says to be watchful and "self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour" (1 Peter 5:8 (NIV) Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.1 Peter 5 (KJV) verse 8). The hypnotist is not the only one who wants to modify our behavior; Satan also wants to do some modifying, and we should be wary of giving him any opportunity to make his suggestions.
- (4) Hypnotism is often promoted as a simple way of "refocusing" ourselves and finding the answer within us. As believers in Christ, our focus is to be on our Savior, not on ourselves or anything else (Hebrews 12:2Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of [our] faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.Hebrews 12 verse 2). We know that the answers do not lie within us (Romans 7:18For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but [how] to perform that which is good I find not.Romans 7 verse 18); the solution we need is found in Christ (Romans 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.Romans 8 verse 2).
- (5) Many of the techniques used in hypnosis are shared by mystical, philosophical, and religious systems, including the occult. The "father of hypnotism," Franz Anton Mesmer—from whose name we get the word mesmerize—was himself a practitioner of the occult. His method of inducing a trance was very similar to the way a medium conducts a séance. Hypnotism, along with yoga and Transcendental Meditation, has always been linked to spiritual darkness. The newfound respectability of these practices has not changed their underlying nature.
Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness.
It’s about control—as Christians, we can let sin control us, or we can let God control us. (See also Romans 6:16-23(verse 16) Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
(verse 17) But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.
(verse 18) Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.
(verse 19) I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.
(verse 20) For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.
(verse 21) What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things [is] death.
(verse 22) But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.
(verse 23) For the wages of sin [is] death; but the gift of God [is] eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.Romans 6 verses 16-23; 1 Corinthians 6:9-12(verse 9) Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
(verse 10) Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
(verse 11) And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
(verse 12) All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.1 Corinthians 6 verses 9-12; and James 4:6-7(verse 6) But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.
(verse 7) Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.James 4 verses 6-7.) The scriptural formula leaves no room for hypnosis (yielding ourselves to a fellow human being).
According to Mark Bankcroft in his article on "How Hypnosis Can Affect Changes in Behavior,"
Spiritual exploration: Numerous processes using hypnosis for spiritual explorations have arisen since the mid-70's. Contacting one's higher-self, meeting with spirit guides, balancing the chakras, and channeling wise beings for guidance are but a few of the ways in which hypnosis is used for spiritual purposes. When hypnosis is used with what a subject perceives to be spiritual the affects on behavior can be extraordinary. In these settings hypnosis is endowed with magical qualities which makes the spiritual experience very likely to occur. -Mark Bancroft, www.markbancroft.com/info/hypnosis-and-behavior-