Removing the Veil--Muscle Testing Seen in Light of Scripture
Part 3 in Christians Beware of Muscle Testing
The temperature must have been well over a hundred, but after several weeks in India's summer heat we hardly noticed it anymore. On this particular day of my summer mission trip experience, my team biked to a remote village to share the Gospel. With only dust-packed ground and round, thatched huts the villagers had little and gladly welcomed the Americans who would pray for them and tell them about the one, true God of the Bible, who loved them enough to die for their sins. As a group of us stood with our eyes closed, praying through a translator for a woman standing in the opening of her hut, we suddenly heard screaming. Eyes immediately opened in shock to discover the woman, previously calm, now screaming and wild-eyed. After only a few seconds, she collapsed to the ground as though she had passed out. The Indian pastor who was with us knelt in the dirt by her side and continued praying. Within a short time, the woman opened her eyes with clarity and got to her feet. The pastor later explained to us that the woman had been demon possessed, as so many are in the villages where the name of Jesus has never been heard. We rejoiced that she was now set free. Many missionaries in completely unchurched areas testify that Satan's forces work openly in such places and demon possession is not uncommon. In America, however, where churches and Christians are abundant, it's easy to think that demons only manifested themselves in Bible times.
I would contend that, although the testimony of Jesus in America prevents Satan's bold, unhindered power from manifesting itself, the angel of light, the deceiver, continually finds new and more subtle ways to deceive and ensnare. 1 Timothy 4:1 warns believers of this very thing by saying, "The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons." What form do you suppose this deceptive teaching takes? I am certain there are many forms, but I know that one of the deceptions is in causing people to use the human body as a sort of Ouija Board through muscle testing. (Please see the first post in this series for an explanation of muscle testing & NAET and the 2nd post for why I'm convinced that muscle testing is divination.) In this post, I will discuss what the Bible has to say about Satan's work, and how the practice of Applied Kinesiology (AK) can be understood through the truth of the Bible.
Biblical overview of demons
What are these deceiving spirits or demons? These beings are portrayed in Scripture as having personalities--the ability to think, act, and speak. The Ouija Board--Doorway to the Occult by Edmond C. Gruss & John G. Hotchkiss succinctly outlines the description of demonic activity along with the corresponding Bible passages. For simplicity's sake, I will begin by quoting their list and then follow up with a discussion of questions that should be asked and biblically answered about Applied Kinesiology.
With that brief, biblical overview of demons in mind, allow me to now answer several individual questions that arise about practices that rely on muscle testing, when one considers the possibility that those practices are the result of demonic activity.
Can Satan affect true believers in Jesus Christ through demonic activity?
One of the many questions I had after being delivered from the Satanic forces that I had unknowingly permitted to influence my family and me through my involvement with muscle testing & NAET, was to what degree the Bible indicated a believer could be impacted by evil spirits?
Although never stated outrightly, the Bible indicates that, because of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in an individual who has been saved by the blood of Christ, demons cannot also dwell in that individual. However, we also know from Scripture that Christians do face attack and influence from Satanic forces. We are instructed to "resist the devil" (James 4:7) and to "put on the whole armor of God" (Ephesians 6:11) in order to withstand Satan's attacks. Jesus warns us in Matthew 24:25 of false Christs and false prophets performing signs and wonders "that will deceive even the elect." We're also told in 2 Timothy 2:25-27 that believers might need repentance in order to "escape the snare of the devil who has taken them captive to do his will." A further truth to note is that Satan can physically impact the health of one who is NOT possessed by a demon. Take for example, the story of Job, who received a nightmarish case of boils by the hand of Satan (Job 2:7).
How are people made well by treatments based on Applied Kinesiology?
Based on Scripture, I don't believe that Satan has true power to heal. (For simplicity’s sake, I use the term Satan throughout this article to reference not only Satan himself but also the actions, thoughts, and motives of the demonic forces that support him. Satan himself is a finite being, and whether or not he was ever personally aware of my case is unknown to me.) For example:
Even though Simon successfully practiced sorcery, he was so astounded by the apostles power to perform miracles that he began following them around trying to get the gift of the Holy Spirit, in order that he too might do such things. Clearly Satan's power did not match up to God's. (Acts 8:9-24)
John 10:21 says, "But others said, “These are not the sayings of a man possessed by a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?” This indicates the Jews believed that only God could perform true healings.
So, if Satan can only offer counterfeit healing and I claim that AK utilizes his power, how is it that positive results do sometimes stem from muscle testing and related treatments? Because I don't have direct sight into the spirit world, let me offer a possible explanation based on what is described in Scripture and my own experiences. Since it seems evident that demons have the ability to harm health, even when they are not able to take possession of the individual, particular conditions or symptoms can be the direct result of demonic activity. This would not have to be due to actual possession, because, according to Scripture, Satan's physical attacks can be against the righteous. For example:
Satan does have limited power and makes use of false or counterfeit miracles. 2 Thessalonians 2:9-10 says, "The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives..."
The Bible refers to Satan tormenting Job physically with sores (Job 2:7).
Also Ephesians 6:11-122 says, "Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." (NIV)
Therefore, if Satan's forces are causing particular symptoms, how might those symptoms be remedied? I see two possibilities: Either God orders Satan to back off or Satan does it of his own accord. Think of it like the removal of a splinter from your hand. The hand is made better, not because of a miracle but because of the splinter's sudden absence. In the "healing" of my thyroid through muscle testing and NAET, it stands to reason that Satan had been the cause of my trouble all along, similar to Job's case of boils. Therefore, if Satan uses muscle testing and NAET, his only action necessary to affect my “healing” was to cease suppression of my thyroid in concert with my first NAET treatment. My thyroid suddenly recovered and appeared to be healed by NAET. Why would Satan perform such a generous act? The obvious answer is that doing so would convince me to continue being involved in his practices.
Perhaps the following is another example of the same thing: One of the individuals I tested and treated was an infant who had been screaming inconsolably from the moment of birth until four months of age, when I saw her. With no explanation, except suspected colic and allergies, this baby girl had terrible bowels, fitful, tormented sleep, and cried incessantly. My non-Christian friend, the mother, would not allow anyone to visit because of her child's constant screaming. Finally after four months, I convinced her to allow me to test and treat her baby. As the result of muscle testing, which had to be done through the mother as a surrogate, I determined that the infant was allergic to the formula they were feeding her. After testing, I treated her through NAET and immediately the child quit screaming. It was remarkable! Shortly thereafter, she had a significant bowel movement and then fell sound asleep. After I left, my friend reported to me that her daughter slept peacefully for three solid hours, which had never yet happened. I came back the next day to a very different baby and treated her for a second formula they had been using. Again the same progression occurred, except this time the child slept through the night for the first time and woke up a transformed, happy infant. The parents could not believe the child's startling change to one with such a remarkably happy disposition.
On observing this seemingly miraculous transformation, my reaction was to laud NAET as a tremendous blessing. However, my doing so ignored another possible explanation: If a demon was causing that infant's torment in the first place, all Satan had to do was remove the tormentor and suddenly the child was well. Nothing physiologically changed, but Satan simply lifted the evil spirit's torment when I tested and treated. Again, this counterfeit miracle served to deceive and ensnare, convincing me further of the tremendous benefits of muscle testing and NAET, and so I sought out others that I could "help."
Why do Muscle testing and related practices seem to bring "healing" at times, if they are empowered by Satan?
The answer to this question lies in the purpose and character of Satan. Have you ever heard the sayings, "kill him with kindness," "fattened with friendship," or "you can catch more flies with honey than vinegar"? If Satan can bring about his purpose initially through good things, then he certainly will. The Bible tells us that he is a deceiver and the father of lies and that his end goal is to bring destruction.
John 8:44 says, "You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies." (NIV)
1 Peter 5:8 says, " Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." (NIV)
The devil will do whatever needs to be done to bring destruction in the end. His character reveals his methods--he is described as an angel of light (2 Cor.11:14) and a wolf in sheep's clothing (Mt.7:15).
Apparent "healing" or effectiveness accomplishes many things:
1. It deceives many by the testimony of one.
If you have a product or service that you wish to sell, what method do you suppose convinces the most people to try it? Word of mouth from a respected individual proves more effective than any other method, which is why companies pay huge sums to get celebrities to endorse their products/services. Just as in my case, Satan effectively utilizes improvement (apparent healing) in one individual to bring destruction to more people. Because I had a significant reversal of hypothyroidism as a result of my involvement with Applied Kinesiology and NAET, I found ways to justify and explain away my misgivings about those practices. I became more and more involved, and before long had become a practitioner who unknowingly led many others into Satan's snare. My influence on others, and therefore Satan's impact, was greater due to the respect that people had for me as a serious follower of Jesus Christ. Sin tends to blind the sinner from seeing the truth, and so the more involved I became, the more I ignored any evidence of the negative impact my sin had on myself or others.
Recently I had a conversation with someone who was contemplating being trained as a practitioner in a methodology that relied on muscle testing. She too had experienced relief from a plaguing health problem through muscle testing and the related practice and wished to help others. I pleaded with her to seek God alone in prayer and through His Word for a time rather than seeking the advice of other people before making the decision to deepen her involvement in this methodology. Instead, she spoke to a respected Christian she knew who had been involved in Applied Kinesiology for years. The father of lies used that Christian's testimony to convince her to ignore all concerns. It is so much quicker and easier to seek people rather than God, but even good Christians can be deceived by Satan's lies, which is why it serves his purposes well to manifest "counterfeit miracles" among devout Christians. (2 Thes.2:9)
2. It causes bondage and mental fixation.
Another way that Satan's destructive purposes can be achieved is by bringing temporary improvement. Over and over again, I personally experienced and witnessed in others temporary improvement in symptoms as a result of NAET treatments based on muscle testing. This served to achieve two things that fit well with the devil's purposes--bondage to the practices and a false sense of immunity to harmful substances.
When muscle testing “reveals” a problem, and the subsequent treatment seems to resolve that problem, the treated individual becomes powerfully convinced of the absolute reliability of muscle testing. Following the initial ensnarement, it is no longer necessary for Satan to allow permanent relief from other symptoms. Temporary improvements will suffice, and the treated person becomes bound or ensnared to continuing those practices as powerfully as an addict who once received great benefit from a narcotic drug but increasingly relies on it to simply get mild relief. Once Satan has deceived an individual into believing, without question, the reliability of any "information" gained from muscle testing, the deceiver has full reign in directing that individual's life. I've seen Christians do the most outlandish things with complete seriousness on the advice of a practitioner after "muscle testing" through the phone. I've seen lives derailed and absolutely consumed by a fixation on divining through muscle testing. You might read that and think, "I would never do that! I only use it on occasion when I see my nutritionist or chiropractor." But remember. Satan's work is always progressive, which is why we're warned in Ephesians 4:27 not to even give him a foothold.
3. It places some at a serious health risk.
In some cases, when the allergy returns, the individual's very life may be jeopardized. The evidence from one scientific study done in an attempt to validate NAET clearly indicated that out of the six individuals treated for life-threatening peanut allergies, four had minor allergic reactions to peanuts following treatments. They were not "healed" of their allergies, and yet the study states that those four individuals began consuming peanuts in the week to two weeks following the study. No follow up was done after two weeks. Potential for fatality remains, as in the case of an Irish man who died of anaphylactic shock after a NAET treatment followed by muscle testing supposedly indicated the man was no longer allergic to peanuts. Again, absolute conviction in the reliability of Applied Kinesiology may lead to ignoring symptoms, setting the stage for Satan's destructive purposes.
How can it be Satanic if the practitioner is a Christian and prays before/after the treatment?
Christians use many things that were designed by pagans and even perhaps used initially for pagan purposes. I once taught 3rd grade at a Classical Christian school where this idea was applied to education and referred to as "plundering the Egyptians." For example, by teaching Greek literature and Greek ways of thinking to our students we were, in a figurative sense, taking from the riches of the pagans just as the Israelites did when they left Egypt. Whether or not this practice is generally advisable, I will not say. However the same argument is dangerously applied by many Christians regarding alternative medicine. The argument is that, although these practices have pagan roots, there is nothing intrinsically evil about them, and therefore; a Christian can use them without concern, just as one might use antibiotics or heart surgery. Then, just in case the concerns about demonic influence prove valid, just slap the name of God on to the practice through prayer, and presto, all the bases are covered! I wasn't comfortable with the lingo used in muscle testing, so I instead spoke of the complexity of the human body that God created and how every good gift is from God. I even "Christianized" my use of Applied Kinesiology by eliminating the part of speaking to the body and instead prayed. Surely that made it alright, I thought.
The problem with those arguments, when applied to muscle testing and related practices, is that they ARE as intrinsically evil as a séance, tarot cards, or the Ouija Board. You cannot Christianize divination. Paul speaks to this very issue in 1 Corinthians 10:18-22, which says,
"Consider the people of Israel: Do not those who eat the sacrifices participate in the altar? Do I mean then that food sacrificed to an idol is anything, or that an idol is anything? No, but the sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not to God, and I do not want you to be participants with demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you cannot have a part in both the Lord’s table and the table of demons. Are we trying to arouse the Lord’s jealousy? Are we stronger than he?"
The Journey tells the fascinating biography of a Jewish missionary, Rose Warmer and provides a good example of the futility of attaching the name of God to demonic practices. This Jewish woman lived in Hungary during both World Wars. As an unsaved, young woman surrounded by the turmoil of World War II, Rose became involved with the spirit world through séances. At her first séance, demons chose to speak to the others through her, making her their medium. She describes how, before long, she and her friends began to be frightened by the spirits, and so they began reading the Bible at the beginning of their séances, certain that only "good" spirits would then manifest. In response, the spirits used Scripture in their messages to the group. Just as the devil quoted Scripture when tempting Jesus, so also the demons quoted Bible verses to mislead Rose Warmer and her friends. As is always the case with the work of the father of lies, the harmless facade was replaced over time by greater and greater destructiveness in Rose's life. She describes how, before she even became aware of demons possessing her, she would, without prelude, be overcome with suicidal thoughts. As she began to recognize and resist the evil spirits' control of her, they became even more blatant in their attempts to harm her and in making their presence known. At that point, Rose began to truly seek God by reading His Word with a desire to understand, rather than to merely attach it to her activities. By the grace of God, Rose eventually found answers and deliverance by truly studying the Word of God hour after hour, at the direction and prayers of a missionary in Budapest. A great difference exists between seeking answers from the Bible and from the Lord, rather than simply attaching them to one's actions for validation.
A further point bears thoughtful consideration before assuming that prayer sanctifies any activity. If muscle testing is indeed divination, then it is blatant sin and will cause prayers to remain unheard. The Bible says in Isaiah 59:1-2 that our sin can cause our prayers to go unheard. "Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear." Therefore, praying or reading the Bible while committing sin will have no impact whatsoever. Ezekiel speaks of God's people attaching His name to divination when he says,
"Their visions are false and their divinations a lie. Even though the Lord has not sent them, they say, “The Lord declares,” and expect him to fulfill their words. Have you not seen false visions and uttered lying divinations when you say, “The Lord declares,” though I have not spoken?" (Ez.13:6-7)
Do not think that even the most sincere of Christians is immune from Satan's deception, which is why I plead with you to seek the Lord and His Word alone when trying to discover the truth about muscle testing and related practices. Do not make the same mistake I did by presuming that prayer makes holy these practices.
What harm is there in Christians using muscle testing or treatments based on the results of muscle testing?
It should be apparent from my posts that the foundation of Applied Kinesiology is in the occult. There is no scientific proof that it works reliably and there is no scientific explanation for how it might work when it does. (See Part 1 for the details on this.) However, these practices can be explained as working according to Satan's limited power and purposes. With that knowledge in mind, further reasons for Christians to stay away from practices relying on muscle testing should be unnecessary. However, Satan's deception can be profound, so let me conclude by stating clearly the reasons to avoid this modern form of divination:
1. The Bible forbids such practices.
Leviticus 26:19 commands, “Do not practice divination or seek omens."
Isaiah 2:6 strongly warns, "You, Lord, have abandoned your people, the descendants of Jacob. They are full of superstitions from the East; they practice divination like the Philistines and embrace pagan customs.
Throughout the Old Testament we're told of the snare of pagan beliefs and practices in the lives of the Israelites. Over and over again, God had to punish His people to cause them to return to Him. However they failed to truly rid the land of the problem, and so always came back to those practices. If you want to please the Lord and to receive His blessing on your life, you must turn from this sin and rid yourself and your family from any further connection to it. In Acts 19: 18-20, we're told of how, when people who once practiced sorcery came to saving faith in Jesus Christ, they publicly burned the paraphernalia of their former practices. Like I once did, I urge you to confess to our merciful Savior your sin of involvement in the work of Satan through muscle testing, and then verbally renounce his presence in your life that, by the name of Jesus, he might flee from you.
2. There will be a price to pay.
As a 14 year old I went on a mission trip to Haiti, and worked on building a dormitory in the city of Cap Haitian, which happens to host the world's largest voodoo festival every summer. For a week we could hear the voodoo drums at night and asked many questions of the Haitian pastor concerning what took place at the festival. He told us that people would offer sacrifices to the devil by throwing them into a huge mud pit. It was believed that the offering would cause Satan to give them some benefit that they sought. The pastor explained that the benefit would indeed come, but often at great cost. He told us to take notice of the curtains that hung as a doorway to the front entrance of the Haitian houses. Sure enough, following the festival we noticed a large percentage of doorway curtains that were hung, tied in the middle, when they normally hung straight. Haitian tradition dictated that when someone died, the curtain was to be tied in the middle, similar to how we might fly a flag at half-mast. Every year after the festival, the pastor said huge numbers of people mysteriously die. Satan will give benefits, if it suits him, but his end goal is always destruction.
I saw the same principle manifested in my three years of involvement with muscle testing and NAET. Yes, my hypothyroidism was amazingly ended, but I became a slave to muscle testing and treatment as I dealt with numerous "reactions" throughout every day. Yes, an infant's life was made better, but I have no idea what has transpired in her non-Christian family since. Yes, I also treated a man whose muscular dystrophy had seemingly come out of remission and was put back into remission by my treatment. But I also witnessed tragedy. A family member by marriage appeared to have her allergy to dairy ended by my treatment and so began freely eating dairy products. After a short time of this, the allergy returned without warning and landed her in the hospital for days as the doctors fought to undo the damage her returned colitis, triggered by the dairy consumption, had caused. I also know of one individual whose involvement with these practices may have contributed to their death by suicide.
As I stated earlier, the nature of Satan's work is progressively destructive. I saw this hold true with the non-Christian practitioner who originally treated me. After a number of initial NAET treatments with her, I taught my husband how to treat me and so my interactions with her were infrequent. After more than two years had passed, I interviewed for a position as a practitioner with her. After being offered the job but before starting, I learned that she had begun hosting séances in her office as another modality for achieving health. Obviously I declined the job offer. Such is a snap-shot of the end result of involvement with demons. You may begin subtly, until what appears harmless becomes increasingly destructive as Satan accomplishes his ultimate goal. There is always a price.
3. Muscle testing is a road that doesn't lead to complete healing.
So many are hurting and suffering physically and on a quest to find answers and relief. I understand this better than anyone . From living through two decades of health struggles, I understand the desperation and the blessing that even small improvements bring in the midst of such suffering. I wouldn't for a moment want to rob someone of benefit through these practices, if I wasn't absolutely convinced that it is wrong and that God does offer a better way. These practices aren't roads that lead to healing.
The Bible contains a wealth of insight on matters of illness and health. Satan used alternative medicine to distract me with lies that brought only partial wellness, great bondage, and grievous consequences. It wasn't until I devoted the energies that once were directed at alternative medicine to seeking God's wisdom about health through the Bible that I found true and lasting healing. When I finally, by the tremendous grace of God, repented and truly began to seek answers from the Scriptures, God brought true, complete, and lasting healing. Where once I was an invalid, now I run for miles, multiple times a week. Where once every detail of my life revolved around concessions and accommodations for my health issues, now I live in freedom. Satan's power can never offer what God can. My heart's desire is that you too might find these true gifts from God. Seek Him.
As one who has learned the hard way, I plead with you to have nothing to do with anything that uses or is related to muscle testing. It doesn't matter if the chiropractor or practitioner you see is a devout Christian who combines Scripture and prayer with these practices. Divination is forbidden whether or not God's name is attached to it. As Jesus promised in Mathew 24:5, Satan can deceive the people of God. Don't be one of them. Also, if you have previously been or currently are involved with muscle testing, I strongly urge you to renounce all involvement with those practices and seek the Lord's forgiveness today. Then truly seek God's Word for the healing you need and trust in Him alone to deliver you. Like me, you will find mercy and deliverance.
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 The Ouija Board--Doorway to the Occult, Edmond C. Gruss & John G. Hotchkiss (p.103-104)
 "Biomedical Analyses of a Holistic Peanut Allergy Treatment: NAET." Proceedings of The National Conference On Undergraduate Research (NCUR) 2011 Ithaca College, New York . March 31 - April 2, 2011.
 O'Halloran G. Man died an hour after being treated for peanut allergy. Independent.ie, April 25, 2009.