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TITLE: DEMONS AND THE OCCULT

Subtitle: Biblical Reality vs. Popular Misinformation

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Confusion abounds today concerning demons and the occult powers of darkness, due to a lack of serious Bible study. The Word of God is the only authoritative textbook on the subject we need in order to gain a true understanding of its nature. All other sources have their origin in the pit and must be handled with the utmost of care. CAUTION! Only those Christians who are mature in the faith should ever attempt to obtain and study materials of an occult nature—and then only after much prayer and spiritual preparation by “putting on the whole armor of God.” I cannot possibly overemphasize the reality of demonic and satanic influence that is being exerted today—a reality that is consistently being overlooked and/or downplayed by preachers who are supposed to know better!

The word “occult” means “that which is hidden” and deals with the evil side of the supernatural. In stark contrast, the Bible tells us of the goodness and grace of God—knowledge that is to be proclaimed openly and to everyone that will listen. But the point many fail to understand is that the Bible is also a supernatural book and its subject material covers the on-going battle of good versus evil from God’s point of view. God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit, along with God’s angels in heaven are routinely discussed in our churches, but for some weird reason people just do not attach the same level of reality or credibility to their evil counterparts. Why do you suppose that this is true? I believe the answer lies in understanding that if I were the devil and possessed the level of supernatural power that the Bible shows him to have, I too would spend much of my time persuading people that I did not exist! His agenda has been well served by staying behind a cloak of superstition and secrecy—hence the “occult” designation given to his plan and program. In order to try to expose him and what he is up to, I want to delve into what the Bible teaches about this malevolent spirit, along with the various beings who owe their allegiance to him.

Rather than trying to do a definitive study on the origin of Satan and the angels who joined with him in his rebellion against God, (a study within itself) I will assume that you already know these biblical facts and focus instead our attention upon their present location(s) and activities. First of all, it may surprise you to find that Satan (the devil) and his evil angels are not in hell! Quite the contrary, they still have free access to heaven and occasionally appear before the throne of God (Job 1:6). After the fall of man (Adam’s sin and subsequent expulsion from the Garden of Eden), God allowed Satan to become the “god of this world” (2 Cor.4:4). Since he corrupted it, God made him ruler over it. Thus all of mankind came under his rule and became his slaves. Between that day and the present, Satan and his minions have been the highly organized behind-the-scenes manipulators of world leaders and events—ever antagonistic toward God and His revealed will. Isaiah 14:12-14 reveals to us that Satan is the very personification of pride, having an insatiable desire to be like God and attempting to replace God in the hearts and minds of men. Apparently that is one of the reasons he is going to be allowed to have free reign during the Tribulation Period, but the Battle of Armageddon will end his rule and he will be “bound for a thousand years” (Rev.20:2). After this thousand years—during which the Lord Jesus Christ will rule and reign over the earth—Satan will “be loosed for a little season” (Rev.20:3, KJV). He will again attempt to overthrow God by raising an army to fight against Him, but fire from heaven will consume the army and Satan will then be thrown into the “lake of fire” where he will remain forever (Rev.20:7-10).

To further establish the present location of Satan and his angels, I call our attention to Revelation chapter 12 where we learn in verse 6 that, during the Tribulation Period, the woman (Israel) will flee for her life into the wilderness to escape the dragon (Satan). This will occur at the mid-point of the seven year period and elect Israel will be kept safe by God for the last 3 ½ years. Then (verse 7) war will break out in heaven, Satan and his angels will be defeated and cast out of heaven down to the earth! (vs. 8 and 9). Then and only then (during the last part of the Tribulation Period) will they be restricted to earth and denied further access to heaven. Their consignment to hell and the lake of fire will occur even later—(We can only surmise that the fallen angels will be cast into the lake of fire along with Satan at the end of the millennial reign of Christ, because we are not specifically told this.) The still future event of Satan being cast out of heaven may be what the Lord referred to in Luke 10:18, where He said that He “beheld Satan like lightning, fall from heaven.”

Therefore, at the present time Satan and his hordes of fallen angels freely travel back and forth between heaven and earth while pursuing their own evil plan of ruling over creation! And yet God continues to grant them the privilege of access to His throne. Why? We are not given any specifics, but it may be that God is “handicapping” the contest between Himself and Satan in some way, by granting concessions such as allowing him to be “the accuser of the brethren” (Rev.12:10). Something of this nature must be true, because God could have destroyed Satan and his angels long ago. It is fairly plain from the conversation recorded in Job chapter one and the actions of Satan during the “temptation of Christ”(in Matthew 4), that his entire viewpoint is antagonistic and he desperately wants to be worshipped as god. By giving him “enough rope to hang himself,” God the Father is patiently looking to the day when all of the devil’s excuses will have run their course and the matter will come to its terminus. Of course there is no chance whatever that Satan will emerge as the victor—Jesus Christ forever settled that matter on Calvary’s cross, when he died for the sins of His people. Satan is a defeated enemy, but as long as the sands of time continue to flow through God’s hourglass—he will continue the struggle and we (those still living on earth), along with God’s angels, will have to continue to deal with him and his “friends.”

It is extremely foolish to believe that Satan has no human followers! Increasingly, more and more people openly admit to being members of his “church”. Just as the Gospel message of Jesus Christ continues to go forth and captivate the souls of men, so too the occult message of the devil continues its evil work. The gospel redeems men from among the spiritually dead, while the occult works to blind their eyes to its message. The power of Satan is enormous and he utilizes that supernatural power to full advantage through the vast organization of his angelic followers. We get a glimpse into this organizational structure in the Book of Daniel, chapter 10 where we read in verse 13 that “the prince of the kingdom of Persia” (an evil angel) withstood (fought with and hindered for 21 days!) the unnamed angel sent from heaven to minister to Daniel. In verse 20 we see that the angel tells Daniel that once he (God’s angel) leaves, the “[hostile] prince of Greece will come.” Bible scholars infer from this and other Scriptures that the fallen angels are organized and have specific spheres of responsibility and influence. The apostle Paul refers to this organizational structure in Ephesians 3:10 and Colossians 2:15, by calling them “principalities and powers.” In Ephesians 6:12 he mentions them again and adds the words, “spiritual wickedness in high places”(KJV)—literally “in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere” (Amplified Bible).

Perhaps by now you have noticed that I have refrained from using the word “demon” to describe these evil angels. I believe that they are two distinctly different entities! The reason for this belief is found in the New Testament account of Christ’s healing the “maniac of Gadara” (Luke 8:27, ff.). This poor man was possessed by so many demons that they referred to themselves as “Legion”! When the Lord commanded them to leave the man, they pleaded with Him to allow them to enter into a nearby herd of pigs. From this primary reference, along with other Scriptures, we gather that demons per se are disembodied spirits and are constantly seeking to possess someone (or something). Since this particular trait or tendency is nowhere in Scripture ascribed to the fallen angels, we must conclude that they are actually two different entities. If they are not fallen angels, then what, or who, are they? Chuck Missler, a well-known business man and Bible teacher, maintains that they are the spiritual remains of the “Nephilim”—the “giants” of Genesis 6:4, who were the offspring of fallen angels (”sons of God”) that cohabited with women (”the daughters of men”)! The flood of Noah was God’s judgment upon mankind for that corruption of the “gene pool” (Satan’s attempt to thwart God’s human Messiah). In the flood the humanity of the Nephilim was destroyed, but their supernatural element survived as disembodied spirits—demons, if you will! Once is never enough for the devil, so he re-introduced Nephilim (also known as Anakim and Zamzummim, Deut.2:20-21), after the flood among the Canaanites and this was probably the reason God told Joshua to kill them all—men, women, and children!

Theologians generally agree that neither Satan, his angels, or demons are omnipresent. Only God Himself possesses the attribute of being everywhere present at the same time. Therefore it is statistically and logically improbable that any of us have ever encountered Satan personally. More than likely, he spends his time directing and influencing world leaders and others who are in positions that could prove advantageous to his cause. Some preachers have said that if we were to see him, he would probably be standing behind a highly regarded pulpit somewhere! The reason for this is found in 2 Corinthians 11:13-15 where we read the following:

“For such men are false apostles—spurious, counterfeits—deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles (special messengers) of Christ, the Messiah. And it is no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light, so it is not surprising if his servants also masquerade as ministers of righteousness. [But] their end will correspond with their deeds” (Parallel Bible, KJV/Amplified Bible Commentary, emphasis mine).

When we study the Gospel accounts of Christ’s earthly ministry and then on through the history of the early church as recorded in the Book of Acts, we find numerous references to individuals being demon possessed—along with accounts of some of the demons being exorcised. Referring to this, some of the Bible commentaries express the opinion that demonic activity was especially strong at that time because of the Lord’s physical presence upon the earth. If that is true, then we should expect the same, or even greater, activity when the false christ—the antichrist is present. His coming is said to be with “all power and signs and lying wonders” (2 Thess.2:9). I am convinced that demonic activity is absolutely raging at the present time due to several factors—Not the least of which are the emails we receive from individuals experiencing problems which bear the unmistakable marks of spiritual oppression. Many of these people were involved in the occult before they were saved and are acutely aware that their problems have a supernatural basis. The senseless taking of human life is becoming pandemic— through mass murders involving guns, through abortions and suicides—all of which should alert us to the evil behind them. Another factor—and one that is not usually stressed—is the “signs and miracles” movement within Christendom. To those who would take exception to my assertion that this is demonic, I want to ask you one simple question: What good is it? What does it accomplish other than make those who participate in it “feel good”? The usual alibi is that “it increases my faith!” If that is the case, then why does Hebrews 11:1 state:

“Now faith is the assurance (the confirmation, the title-deed) of the things we hope for, being the proof of things [we]do not see and the conviction of their reality—faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses.”

Genuine faith is not predicated upon, nor built up by, that which titillates our flesh! And those poor benighted souls who are so infatuated by the “laughing revivals”, “being slain in the Spirit”, Marian apparitions, icons that weep tears, etc., etc., are being seduced by demons into chasing rainbows—thereby effectively captivating them and neutralizing them from anything spiritually productive. Remember that Satan just loves “religion” and is tickled to death to get people totally immersed in it—so that he can divert their attention from what the Bible teaches is really important. If this describes your so-called spiritual life, I beg you to wake up and grow up before you are totally swallowed up! 1 Peter 5:8 echoes this sentiment:

“Be well-balanced—temperate, sober-minded; be vigilant and cautious at all times, for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring [in fierce hunger], seeking someone to seize upon and devour” (Parallel Bible, KJV/Amplified Bible Commentary).

The apostle Paul, writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, makes it crystal clear to us that our Christian warfare is not against mere mortals—when he says to us in Ephesians 6, verse 12:

“For we are not wrestling with flesh and blood—contending only with physical opponents—but against the despotisms, against the powers, against the [master spirits who are] the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere” (Parallel Bible, KJV/Amplified Bible Commentary, emphasis mine).

He then goes on in verses 13 through 18 to exhort us to protect ourselves by putting on the “armor” that God has provided for us: truth, integrity and moral rectitude, spiritual preparation through Bible study and prayer, saving faith, and then salvation itself—while all the time standing our ground and wielding the sword of the Spirit—the Word of God.

This allusion to military armor, so necessary for our personal protection amid the battles of life, reminds me of Elisha’s servant in 1 Kings chapter 6. The King of Syria was very upset because all of his attempts at warfare against the King of Israel had failed. Each time they had tried to spring a surprise attack against Israel, it was obvious that Israel knew about it beforehand. Syria’s king was so upset that he ordered that his men ferret out the traitor in their midst! That is when one of his servants informed him that none of his men was betraying him—the culprit was Elisha, God’s prophet in Israel! He was keeping the King of Israel up-to-date on everything Syria was doing. The Syrian king then ordered them to find Elisha and take him captive. When the Syrian army located him, they came by night and surrounded the city of Dothan, where he was staying,. The next morning, Elisha’s young servant went outside and when he spotted the huge army surrounding them he panicked! He immediately went inside and said to Elisha, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” To calm his fears, Elisha said to him, “Fear not; for those with us are more than those with them.” Verse 17 of chapter 6 records what happened next:

“Then Elisha prayed, Lord I pray You, open his eyes that he may see. And the Lord opened the young man’s eyes, and he saw; and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire about Elisha” (Parallel Bible, KJV/Amplified Bible Commentary).

Thus the young man literally saw the supernatural army of God standing between them and their enemies! He had already been told by Elisha that their protectors were more numerous than their enemies and now he knew for sure, because he could see them. The same thing applies to us today—the very angels of God are on constantly on guard, standing watch over His people. And it is a very comforting thought to realize that they outnumber Satan’s angels 2 to 1! Remember that Revelation 12:4 (along with Jewish tradition) says that a third of the angels of heaven fell with Satan and that leaves two thirds on our side!

Do you sense the presence of “another dimension”—another sphere of reality that we refer to as the supernatural? Many have no hesitation at all to answer in the affirmative where the “good” aspect is concerned, but seem almost embarrassed to admit belief in “the dark side.” Most of our children have no problem at all in relating to “the dark side” because Hellywood (spelling intentional) has thoroughly indoctrinated them through movies such as “Star Wars”, “E.T.”, and a host of others too numerous to mention. At this time of year (the end of October) we are again confronted with another unwelcome celebration of “Halloween”, a pagan holy day sacred to the ancient druids as well as modern day witches, Wiccans, Illuminists, Satanists, and other assorted and sundry devils. If you think that Halloween is just “harmless fun”, you are part of the majority—but let me inform you that you are an unwitting participant in a world-wide deception of staggering proportions. Deception is the stock and trade of hell’s angels and they have, over a long period of time, lulled this world to sleep and have it set up for the ultimate deception: the revelation of their antichrist, Lord Matreya—Satan incarnate! His coming will doubtless be viewed by the people of the world as the most spiritually moving event in their lives and they will welcome him with open arms. He will “wow” them with his signs and miracles (just as his conditioning program is already doing within Christendom) and they are going to eat it up. But little do they know or understand that his bait has a hook from which they cannot escape. His plans for the world will be implemented with unprecedented efficiency and soon war and hunger and poverty will appear to be things of the past. Millions will sing his praises and, in the midst of it all, Israel will be worshipping him as their Messiah—thrilled beyond the ability of mere words to express—once again offering blood sacrifices at their own Temple after nearly 2000 years of exile. But their euphoria will be short-lived, because at the mid-point of the 7 year Tribulation Period the antichrist will reveal his true nature. The Bible tells us that he will stand in the “Holy of Holies” (the most sacred spot in their newly re-built Temple) and demand that both he and some kind of image, or idol, be worshipped as god! The prophet Daniel refers to this as being “the abomination of desolation” and Jesus Christ Himself refers to it in Matthew 24:15. This incident will be the “wake-up call” to God’s elect among the Jewish people. They will recognize the spiritual implications of what has occurred and flee for their very lives. What follows will be beyond description! The antichrist—Satan incarnate—will unleash his fury upon the Jews in particular and the rest of the world in general. That last 3 ½ years will be so terrible that God’s Word calls it “the great tribulation”. Hell will finally “boil over”!

We constantly get email from those who insist that Halloween is only a harmless tradition in which kids can mooch candy from their neighbors. Others say that the practice of Wicca, or witchcraft, or Ouija boards, or Tarot cards, or “native American religion”, or Freemasonry, or Roman Catholicism, or a great number of other “innocent” practices and religions—are not wrong and therefore we should not criticize them. Please believe me when I say that I derive no satisfaction from criticizing the beliefs of others and my criticism is not offered from the standpoint of personal superiority. When one takes the time to study the Bible carefully, it will quickly become apparent that everything associated with the occult is soundly condemned! And each of the aforementioned religions and practices contain an occult component that can be proven with a minimum of diligent study—along with a willingness to admit the truth as found. There are none so blind as those that just will not see! If you are currently involved in any of these religions and/or practices, I urge you to take stock of what you are doing and wake up to reality. Because if you are not aware of the inherent evil present, to put it in the common vernacular, you are being “suckered” big time!

If you have accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, but have been very lukewarm in your spiritual walk with Him, you need to immediately ask Him for forgiveness and for renewal. He will instantly forgive you, and fill your heart with the joy of the Holy Spirit. Then, you need to begin a daily walk of prayer and personal Bible Study.

If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as Savior, but have come to realize His reality and the approaching End of the Age, and want to accept His FREE Gift of Eternal Life, you can also do so now, in the privacy of your home. Once you accept Him as Savior, you are spiritually Born Again, and are as assured of Heaven as if you were already there. Then, you can rest assured that the Kingdom of Antichrist will not touch you spiritually. If you would like to become Born Again, turn to our Salvation Page now.

We hope you have been blessed by this ministry, which seeks to educate and warn people, so that they can see the coming New World Order — Kingdom of Antichrist — in their daily news.

Return to Pastoral Articles index

Finally, we would love to hear from you. You can write us at:
Cutting Edge Ministries, C/O Pastor Ron Riffe
P.O. Box 26
Gordo, AL 35466

You can also E-Mail Pastor Ronald Riffe regarding questions or comments about this article.

God bless you.

http://www.cuttingedge.org/articles/p142.htm

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NEW AGE ARTICLES with relevant videos.

The New Age Movement: What Christians Should Know by Dr. Dale A. Robbins.

New Age Movement W/ Constance Cumbey (hidden dangers of the rainbow) video with article

The New Age/Old Occult Conspiracy

The Church of Oprah Exposed by Watchman

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What is ‘New Age’ Religion, and Why Can’t Christians Get on Board?

Barbara Curtis

Crosswalk.com Contributing Writer

 

If you haven’t run into it before, it would be hard to avoid it now. Oprah’s rolling out the red carpet for the New Age: a weekly online class with New York Times bestselling guru Eckhart Tolle and a daily broadcast with Marianne Williamson, whose Course in Miracles was beckoning seekers thirty years ago when I was tripping through the wonderland of discovering my own divinity and wielding the powers of the universe to create my own reality.

Ah, but I didn’t know Jesus back then – that is, I didn’t know him as the Son of God. I knew him only through my guru, who taught that Jesus was a great spiritual master and who blended quotes from the New Testament with quotes from the Bhagavad-Gita to produce a spiritual foundation for people like me – too hip, too cool, too sophisticated to tie themselves to the narrow-minded thinking of Christianity.

As someone plucked out miraculously from the New Age, I can only hope that Christians who love and trust Oprah will not blur the lines of their faith. Oprah has stated that though she was raised as a Baptist, she no longer believes that Jesus is the only way to reach God. It sounds so much more rational and compassionate, doesn’t it?

Why can’t we all just get along?

There are questions we don’t have the answers to. And there are questions that are not seeking an answer, but rather opening a door leading to “a wider path” – questions like the one posed long ago: “Hasn’t God said that you could eat of every tree of the garden?”

The New Age is based on concepts that sound almost irresistible. Like Eve, some hear the spiels of modern gurus like Tolle and Willamson and begin to think the faith of their fathers is too rigid, too narrow – that God would never impose an “irrational” boundary between us and “full knowledge of the spiritual realm.”

Sometimes the lie creeps in subtly as Christians begin to research natural or holistic medicine – alternatives which can be very God-honoring but for years were shunned by Christians, thus becoming New Age territory by default. Or a doctor may recommend yoga or meditation to reduce stress. No matter how uplifting and innocent some New Age practices appear, Christians need discernment in these areas, just as at the seashore they need to know where the undertow begins.

The more we understand the distinctions between New Age religion and Christianity, the less vulnerable we are ourselves and the better able to address the confusion of people who may be – as I once was – earnestly seeking the truth.

What exactly is the New Age? Impossible to narrow down, the New Age is actually a vast smorgasbord of beliefs and practices. Each New Ager fills his tray with whatever assortment fits his appetite. All is liberally seasoned with self-centeredness. It’s really a Have-It-Your-Way religion – thus its modern appeal.

Although there are many branches of New Age thought – ranging from meditation to firewalking – they stem from an ancient stock. The roots of the New Age tree spread around the globe to India. One might think that the desperate, degraded human condition of a land dominated by Hinduism would speak louder than words about the truth of the religion. But New Agers seem blind to the contradiction.

Instead the typical New Ager believes: 

  • God is in everything (pantheism)
  • All things are one (monism)
  • Man is God
  • Mind creates reality
  • One’s own experience validates the truth

New Agers do not believe in evil. Therefore, they do not accept man’s problem as separation by sin from God. Instead, they believe that each of us has forgotten his or her own divinity. Therefore, the New Age solution is to seek “higher consciousness” through meditation, breathing exercises, yoga, diet, crystals, channeling. spirit guides, and more. Each of these diverse practices has the same purpose: to awaken the god in man.

While these practices may seem too far out to pose much of a threat to those abiding in the truth, Christians need to be on guard. In the past twenty years, New Age influence has been steadily creeping into our culture in schools, corporations, and doctors’ offices. Since Star Wars, movies have become dominated by New Age spirituality. Reincarnation, karma, the cosmic consciousness – all these once obscure ideas have become commonplace.

A true understanding of New Age practices makes one thing clear: Eastern practices cannot be blended into Christianity to produce something better. New Agers are Universalists, believing that all paths lead to God. They fault Christians for being intolerant and narrow-minded. But God’s word anticipates this: “Enter the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the path that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” (Matthew 7:13, NIV)

The good news is that, in a way, the New Ager’s broad acceptance holds the key to getting him back on the straight and narrow. Most New Agers hold Jesus in high regard, believing Him to be a great spiritual teacher, or guru. Many study the words He spoke, although they put a different spin on them.

How can we reach those under such subtle deception? The answer is Jesus Himself. Since Jesus is “the Way, the Truth, and the Life,” He Himself can be the common ground on which the New Ager and the Christian can meet, though one stands in darkness and one in light.

Here is a five-step approach to discussing Jesus with new Agers:

1. Whom do you believe Jesus is?

2. Whom did Jesus say He is?

3. What did Jesus say about other spiritual paths?

  • “No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).

 Jesus was either who he said He was or He was a fraud. Given His claims, we can’t logically believe he was only a great teacher, for He would have been teaching falsehood rather than truth (this is an argument by C. S. Lewis).

5. Jesus alone is “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6).

New Agers are in a lot of confusion. That’s because they haven’t found the Truth, but only what fits into the spiritual perspective they have constructed. As in the Garden of Eden, the lie has never changed.

But neither has the Truth. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t see immediate results from sharing with New Agers. In many cases – like my own – when they finally come to Christ, it’s because God had been planting seeds and watering for a long time. Just keep praying and loving and sharing the words of  Jesus (from experience, I’d say they really won’t hear much else).

And remember, God loves New Age seekers too!

Barbara Curtis, now a prolific Christian writer, was a New Age seeker for seven years before learning the truth about Jesus Christ in 1987. She lives with her husband Tripp in a rapidly-dwindling nest with 6 of their 12 children in Waterford, Virginia

http://born4battle.wordpress.com/2008/04/25/what-is-new-age-religion-and-why-cant-christians-get-on-board/

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WILLIAM COOPER-The New Age Conspiracy.pt1-4

 

New Age Movement

New Age or Old Occult?*

The New Age Movement (NAM) is both a religious and a social movement. In fact, Western culture is currently experiencing a phenomenal, spiritual, ideological, and sociological shift. It is a religious world view that is alien and hostile to Christianity. It’s a multi-focused, multi-faceted synthesis, in varying degrees, of the Far Eastern, mystical religions, mainly Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, and Western Occultism, adapted to and influenced by Western, materialistic culture. It sometimes appears in secularized forms. 

Prominent expressions of the NAM were carried on into more modern times in Europe and America by Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772), transcendentalists like Thoreau, Emerson, and Wordsworth (early 1800s), and Theosophy introduced by Madame Helena Blavatsky (1831-1891) (The New Age Rage, pp. 22-24). The decade of the sixties witnessed a revival of Eastern mysticism as traditional values were being challenged. Zen, Carlos Castañada, the Beatles, Transcendental Meditation, and yoga all became popular.

The New Age Movement consists of an incredibly huge and well organized network consisting of thousands of groups, trusts, foundations, clubs, lodges, and religious groups whose goal and purpose is to prepare the world to enter the coming “Age Of Aquarius.” A small sampling of only a few of the organizations involved would include: Amnesty International, Zero Population Growth, California New Age Caucus, New World Alliance, World Goodwill, The Church Universal and Triumphant, The Theosophical Society, the Forum, Planetary Initiative for the World We Choose, the Club of Rome, Church Universal & Triumphant, Christian Science, and the Unity School of Christianity. This list, by no means all inclusive, demonstrates the diversity of organizations operating in economic, political, and religious spheres of influence.

The New Age movement is not a unified, traditional cult system of beliefs and practices, even though its roots derive from Eastern religions and the occult. It has no official leader, headquarters, nor membership list, but instead is a network of groups working toward specific goals. One of its main goals is to bring to the forefront a one-world leader who is called “The Christ” or “Maitreya.” Nevertheless, it is estimated that there are millions of worldwide followers of various New Age practices and/or holders of one or more of the major beliefs of the New Age.

The NAM has gained significant influence, affecting almost every area of the culture — sociology, psychology, medicine, the government, ecology, science, arts, education, the business community, the media, entertainment, sports, and even the church. The movement expresses itself in widely divergent and various mutated forms, from the blatantly obvious to the subtle. It is expressed in organized religious forms such as Christian Science, Unity, and even forms of Witchcraft. Yet, it shows up in secular forms as well, in various human potential seminars, and much in between, i.e., transcendental meditation, some alternative holistic health practices, and certain curriculum in public (and private) schools.

The book Networking lists over 1,200 organizations, centers, cooperatives, groups, communities, and networks in fields ranging from health care and spiritual growth, through politics, economics, and ecology, to education, communications, personal growth, and intercultural relations. There is hardly any area of human interest that does not have some people somewhere exploring it from a New Age point of view. Due to the lack of a central organization and the diversity of emphasis adhered to by the various New Age groups, there are literally hundreds of publications. Some popular publications and journals are New Age Journal, Body Mind Spirit, Yoga Journal, Gnosis, East West, Noetic Sciences, and Omega.

The major goal of the New Age Movement is to bring peace to the world upon entering the Age of Aquarius. This will be accomplished primarily through the leadership of “the Christ” (also known as “Lord Maitreya”), who will supposedly come to teach us to live at peace with each other. Some of the other stated goals of the movement are to establish a World Food Authority, World Water Authority, World Economic Order, and an entirely New World Order. It should be noted here that one of the requirements for a person to enter the New Age is that he or she will have to take what is known as a “Luciferic Initiation,” a kind of pledge of allegiance to the Christ of the New Age and to the New World Order. The primary goals of the movement then, are to prepare the world to receive the Christ and to enter the Age of Aquarius, thus establishing the New World Order.

The New Age Movement professes a broad-minded openness to all religions, but its basic underlying philosophy represents a carefully calculated undermining of Judeo-Christian beliefs with various combinations of gnosticism and occultism. [Gnosticism is an ancient world-view stating that Divine essence is the only true or highest reality, and that the unconscious Self of man is actually this essence. It is through intuitional discovery, “visionary experience or initiation into secret doctrine” (not the plenary revelation of propositional truth in the Bible), that man becomes conscious of this true Self (Encyclopedia Britannica, Vol. 10, 1968, p. 506; New Bible Dictionary, J.D. Douglas, ed., pp. 473-474).] It bears a remarkable resemblance to the apostate world religion that H.G. Wells claimed as his own and predicted would one day take over the world. It also fits the description of “The Plan” for establishing the new world government that is described in various psychic communications from alleged E.T.’s and ascended masters. There is one more connection: the New Age Movement fits the description of the Antichrist’s religion — a rejection of the Judeo-Christian God and the declaration that Self is God. (Source: The Seduction of Christianity.)

Douglas R. Groothuis, author of Unmasking the New Age and Confronting the New Age, identifies six distinctives of New Age thinking: (1) all is one; (2) all is God; (3) humanity is God; (4) a change in consciousness; (5) all religions are one; and (6) cosmic evolutionary optimism. Norman Geisler details 14 primary “doctrines” of New Age religions: (1) an impersonal god (force); (2) an eternal universe; (3) an illusory nature of matter; (4) a cyclical nature of life; (5) the necessity of reincarnations; (6) the evolution of man into Godhood; (7) continuing revelations from beings beyond the world; (8) the identity of man with God; (9) the need for meditation (or other consciousness-changing techniques); (10) occult practices (astrology, mediums, etc.); (11) vegetarianism and holistic health; (12) pacifism (or anti-war activities); (13) one world (global) order; and (14) syncretism (unity of all religions). [HJB]

The New Age also encompasses a wide array of notions: spiritualism, astrology, bioenergy, Chi energy, chakras, nirvana, Christ-consciousness, Native American Spirituality, Prajna, out-of-body/near-death experiences, reincarnation, and the occult disciplines, as well as unorthodox psychotherapeutic techniques and pseudoscientific applications of the “healing powers” of crystals and pyramids. Some commonly used New Age terms are: guided imagery, reincarnation; positive thinking; human potential; holistic; holographic; synergistic; unity; oneness; transformation; awakening; networking; communal sharing; one-world/globalism/new world order (i.e., one language, one government, one currency, one religion); cosmic consciousness; etc. (See New Age Dictionary below.)

It is important for Christians to recognize even the most disguised forms of the New Age Movement. Some New Age practices are: rebirthing; inner healing; biofeedback; yoga; I Ching; reflexology; black and white magic; fire-walking; trance-channeling; therapeutic touch; transpersonal psychology; witchcraft; parapsychology; Magick; Tai Chi; Shamanism; hypnotherapy; acupuncture/acupressure; TM; martial arts; Zen; Relaxation; Erhard Seminar Training (est); Silva Method (formerly Silva Mind Control); visualization; etc. Some prominent New Agers are: Alice Bailey, Alvin Toffler, Dr. Barbara Ray, Benjamin Creme, Levi Dowling, George Trevelyan, Fritjof Capra, Abraham Maslow, Barbara Marx Hubbard, Ruth Montgomery, Shirley MacLaine, J.Z. Knight, Marilyn Ferguson, David Spangler, Jeremy Rifkin, Norman Cousins, Elizabeth Clare Prophet, John Denver, George Lucas, and Norman Lear.

Many New Agers attach great importance to artifacts, relics, and sacred objects, all of which can be profitably offered for sale: Tibetan bells, exotic herbal teas, Viking runes, solar energizers, colored candles for “chromotherapy,” and a plethora of occult books, pamphlets, instructions, and tape recordings. Crystals are the favorite New Age object. These are not only thought to have mysterious healing powers, but are considered programmable, like a computer, if one just concentrates hard enough. Other New Age objects would include the rainbow; butterfly; pyramid; triangle; eye in triangle/pyramid; unicorn; Pegasus (winged-horse); swastika; yin-yang; goathead on pentagram; concentric circles; rays of light; crescent moon; etc.

New Age music is a term applied to the works of various composers and musicians who strive to create soothing audio environments rather than follow song structures. Born of an interest in spirituality and healing in the late 1970s, it is often used as an aid in meditation. The defining features of New Age music are harmonic consonance, contemplative melodies, nonlinear song forms, and uplifting themes. New Age performers may use traditional ethnic, acoustic, electric, or electronic instruments, or even sounds from nature. New Age music is meditative, almost invariably instrumental style with roots in Oriental, jazz, and classical music; often derivative, New Age compositions can sound like minimalist music or like lush evocations of the natural environment. Prominent New Age musicians include electronic-music pioneer Brian Eno, multi-instrumentalist Kitaro; solo-piano artist George Winston, vocalist Liz Story; harpist Andreas Vollenweider, and electric violinist Jean-Luc Ponty.

Athletes are using guided imagery. Graduate schools of business are invoking Zen, yoga, and tarot cards in teaching courses on creativity in business (e.g., Stanford Graduate School of Business). Stock market gurus employ Fibonacci numbers and “wave theory” in their forecasting, both based upon astrology. Even some churches teach that the best way to get to know God is to visualize Christ, ignoring that visualization is a powerful occult device. (Visualizing an entity, even God or Christ, ultimately puts one in touch with a masquerading demon.) 

In summary, the term “New Age” is an informal term derived from astrology, which indicates that this earth, if not the cosmos, is on the verge of an evolutionary transition from the Piscean Age (rationality) to the Aquarian Age of spirituality, bliss, and harmony of all things. Even though it is undergoing a significant revival, the “New Age” is hardly new. In fact, it is very old. A better term would be the “Old Occult.” 

Keeping in mind that the myriads of New Age groups are quite eclectic, drawing from several religious traditions mentioned earlier, the following is a general description of the more prominent unifying themes of the NAM. i.e., the highlights of what New Agers believe concerning their source of authority, God, Christ, sin and salvation, good and evil, Satan, and future life:

1. Source of Authority. New Agers claim no external source of authority — only an internal one (“the god within”). They believe the individual is the standard of truth, saying that “truth as an objective reality simply does not exist” (Shirley MacLaine, It’s All in the Playing) (cf. 2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Pet. 1:21; Matt. 5:18).

[HJB]
2. God. New Agers confuse the Creator with His creation and think that God is part of creation, not separate from it. They borrow from Eastern religions the belief in monism — that “all is One” — only one essence in the universe, everyone and everything being a part of that essence. Everything is a different form of that essence (energy, consciousness, power, love, force). But the belief in monism is really Hinduistic pantheism (all is God). New Agers view God as an impersonal life force, consciousness, or energy (M. Ferguson, Aquarian Conspiracy, p. 382; S. Gawain, Living In the Light, pp. 7-8) (e.g., the “Star Wars Force”), rather than a Person. They believe that every person and thing is “intertwined” with God (evolving spiritually to the state of “the Christ” being), and use Luke 17:21 (“the kingdom of God is within you”) to support this idea (despite the fact that “within you” in this passage means “in your midst”). They claim every human has a divine spark within him because of being part of the divine essence. The state of God is called by various terms among different New Age groups, i.e., God-consciousness, Universal Love, Self-Realization, the I AM, Higher Self, Brahman, Nirvana, etc. New Agers are obviously part of a religion of idolatry and self-worship.

[HJB]
3. Jesus Christ. A major idea in New Age thinking is that of the “Christ Consciousness.” In other words, Christ is an office rather than an individual, such as Jesus, whom Christians know to be THE CHRIST. This idea of “Christ Consciousness” asserts that Jesus was not the only Christ, but that He equipped Himself to receive the “Christ Consciousness” (i.e., He was a great “spiritual master” who attained Christ Consciousness), as supposedly also did Buddha, Krishna, and Mohammed. [This is an old occult Gnostic teaching which stems from the ancient Babylonian mystery religions. New Agers also reinvent the historical Jesus by claiming that he spent 18 years in India (during His “silent years”) absorbing Hinduism and the teachings of Buddha.] New Agers believe that Jesus received the Christ Consciousness at His baptism, and that it left Him at His crucifixion.
 
 

 

4. Sin and Salvation. There is no place for the concept of sin in the New Age. There can be no sin because there is no transcendent God to rebel against. There are no rules or absolute moral imperatives. New Agers have a “New Thought” view of sin, which knows nothing of a representative man (Adam) by whose sin all men sinned. Nor does New Thought teach that there is any original sin, but that man’s true essence is divine and perfect. Indeed, it finds nothing which is of the nature of sin. Instead, it speaks of “troublesome desires” which appear to be natural human impulses which direct men from consciousness to their identity with God, and, therefore, are troublesome but hardly sinful. Since New Agers believe that each person is god, thereby having endless potential for self-improvement, sin is denied as the Bible defines it (man being inherently sinful and utterly depraved — Rom. 5:12). Sin is merely ignorance of one’s “inner divinity.” Because sin does not exist, there is no need for repentance or forgiveness, and Jesus did not die for our sins. They think that any perceived lack that man might have is merely a lack of enlightenment, thereby eliminating the need of salvation or a Savior. [In fact, salvation is not even an issue for New Agers. The soul is part of the universe and never dies. It is reborn or reincarnated in different physical bodies in a succession of future lives. The good or bad “karma” earned in the present lifetime determines one’s subsequent incarnation. Humans should seek to progress to higher states of consciousness and higher planes of existence. There are many different paths to the goal of spiritual perfection. No one path is the only correct path. The assumed cycle of reincarnation and karma presupposes a salvation by works, contrary to the principle of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ (Eph. 2:8-9).]

5. Man’s Destiny. The salvation of the world depends upon human beings. When enough people harmonize their positive energy and turn their thoughts to peace, the world will be cleansed or negative elements and New Age ideals will be realized in an era of spiritual enlightenment. Since man is intrinsically divine and perfect, his only real problem is ignorance of that fact. Man has a perception of finiteness which is, in reality, an illusion (Ken Keyes, Jr., Handbook to Higher Consciousness, pp. 125-29). Salvation in the New Age is for man to become enlightened through experiential knowledge (gnosis). New Age groups offer various occultic techniques to enable individuals, and ultimately the world, to evolve into this oneness (unitive) consciousness (James Redfield, The Celestine Prophecy: An Experimental Guide, pp. 243-60). These techniques may include altered states of consciousness (often transcendental meditation), yoga, crystals, channeling (spirit guides), psychics, past-life therapy, acupuncture, etc.

6. Good and Evil.
Mimicking the Eastern religions, New Agers distort the distinction between good and evil. They believe that because “all is One,” ultimately there is neither good nor evil. They think that a person can transcend his consciousness and go beyond the bounds of moral distinctions, so that even murder sometimes becomes an acceptable way of serving one’s gods (e.g., Charles Manson). [HJB]

7. Satan. The traditional view of Lucifer as the devil or Satan is clearly absent in New Age literature. Rather, he is described as a mighty being of light and the “Ruler of Humanity,” as Alice Bailey, foundational apostle and leading writer of the New Age Movement, puts it. As to the history and achievements of Lucifer, Benjamin Creme, a leading lecturer and proponent of the New Age, says, “Lucifer came from the planet Venus 18.5 million years ago; he’s the director of our planetary evolution, he is the sacrificial lamb, and the prodigal son. Lucifer made an incredible sacrifice, a supreme sacrifice for our planet.”

8. Future Life (Reincarnation).
New Agers believe in the ancient [Hindu] Eastern religious concept of reincarnation — that through a long process of rebirths, man can eventually reach spiritual perfection (cf. Heb. 9:27). New Agers often place animal rights above human rights, because many New Agers believe animals are reincarnated souls. They also teach the Hindu principle of “karma” — that what a person sows in this life, he will reap in the next life in his reincarnated state. This belief in reincarnation has led to believing in the power of “spirit guides” or “channels” — those who allow spirits from another dimension to speak through their bodies. [HJB] These entities always seem to repeat the three-fold error: (1) There is no death, (2) man is god, (3) knowledge of self is salvation and power (Brooks Alexander, Spiritual Counterfeits Project). New Agers misrepresent church history, the doctrines of Christianity, and often twist Scripture to support the idea that original Christianity taught reincarnation. They wrongly argue that the early church suppressed the doctrine and censored its teaching (Kenneth Ring, Heading Toward Omega, p. 158).


Endnotes

“Old Occult” — The New Age Movement is a modern revival of very ancient, divergent, religious traditions and practices. The actual original root is squarely centered in Genesis 3:1-5, and reverberates throughout the movement’s continued historical expressions. In the original lie, Satan questions God’s word, His authority and benevolent rule (v. 1), disputes that death results from disobedience (v. 4), and claims that through the acquisition of secret or Gnostic wisdom man can be enlightened and can be “like God” (v. 5).

Many of the occult practices and beliefs revived by the modern NAM were a part of very early pagan cultures. Many practices common to the NAM, such as witchcraft/sorcery, spiritism, divination, (clairvoyance; seeing the future), necromancy (consulting the dead), and astrology, are clearly and strongly condemned in Scripture (Deuteronomy 18: 9-17; Isaiah 47: 9-15). These and other occultic practices were spread through the ancient magic and mystery religions of the Chaldeans, Egyptians, and most notably, the Assyrian-Babylonian culture (Ancient Empires of the New Age, pp. 15-62). Noting the scope of its continuing presence, the Bible informs Christians of Babylon’s eschatological implications. The lie of Genesis 3 is significantly developed in Babylon (Isaiah 47) and continues to its ultimate state of development, revealed as Satan’s one-world system at the end of the age (Revelation 17-18).

Three major world religions whose beliefs and practices are entwined with the NAM are Hinduism, a product of 5,000 years of development, Buddhism, circa 560 B.C., and Taoism, circa 500 B.C. (Eerdman’s Handbook to the World’s Religions, pp. 170, 221, 252). Another prominent occultic influence in Europe was Druidism, the religion of the Celts, which extended from 300 B.C. into the middle ages (Ibid., pp. 114-19).  [Return to Text]

Reincarnation — Christians should be able to demonstrate that the Bible does NOT teach reincarnation. When Jesus calls John the Baptist “Elijah,” He is clearly speaking metaphorically. Luke 1:17 demonstrates that John was filling the office of Elijah, fulfilling the prophecy of Malachi 4:5-6. In fact, Elijah was seen with Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration in Matthew 17:1-3. The meaning of the resurrection is the opposite of reincarnation (Hebrews 9:27; 1 Cor. 15:12-28). Point out that if God is an impersonal force, then love and forgiveness are not possible. These are personal attributes as opposed to impersonal karmic law. Fundamentally, intercessory prayer is absolutely necessary. The battle for the souls of men is won through God’s grace, intervening and drawing them to Himself.  [Return to Text]

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The New Age Movement

Kerby Anderson


 

 

Rudyard Kipling once wrote that “East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet.” But that can no longer be said now that a pantheistic Eastern philosophy has spread to this country. The primary vehicle for this transmission of ideas has been the New Age Movement.

Evidence of Eastern philosophy’s arrival can certainly be seen in many ways. Statements by movie stars, the growth of Eastern cults, and the popularity of films like the Star Wars trilogy testify to the growing influence of New Age ideas. In the movie The Empire Strikes Back, for example, Yoda espouses pantheistic ideas to his Jedi disciple, Luke Skywalker: “You must feel the Force around you. Here, between you and me. Between the rock . . . everywhere. Yes, even the land.”

Defining the New Age

The New Age Movement has taken on a variety of names including the Human Potential Movement, the Third Force, the Aquarian Conspiracy, Cosmic Consciousness, and Cosmic Humanism. Although most refer to it as the New Age Movement, many in the movement do not like that label, and many others would not even consider themselves part of the movement, even though they may hold to many of the core beliefs of the New Age Movement.

Accurately defining the New Age is a formidable task for several reasons. First, the New Age Movement is eclectic and diverse. It is not a cohesive movement but is exceedingly diverse in its composition and ideology. The unifying factors are shared ideology rather than a shared organizational structure.

Second, the New Age Movement is difficult to define because it emphasizes and encourages change. The New Age Movement is syncretistic and therefore evolutionary in its nature. Many proponents change their perspectives, and so it is frequently difficult to pin down the major beliefs of the New Age Movement.

Major Tenets of the New Age

Even given the diversity and transitory nature of the New Age Movement, there are still a number of major tenets generally held in common by most groups within this movement.

First is the belief in monism. New Agers believe that “all is one.” Everything and everyone is interrelated and interdependent. Ultimately there is no real difference between humans, animals, rocks, or even God. Any differences between these entities are merely apparent, not real.

Second is the belief in pantheism. Since New Agers already believe that “all is one,” the next logical assumption would be that “all is god.” All of creation partakes of the divine essence. All of life (and even non-life) has a spark of divinity within.

The third major tenet of the New Age follows as a logical conclusion from the other two. If “all is one” and “all is god,” then we should conclude that “we are gods.” We are, according to New Agers, ignorant of our divinity. We are “gods in disguise.” The goal, therefore, of the New Age Movement is to discover our own divinity.

Fourth, we discover our own divinity by experiencing a change in consciousness. The human race suffers from a collective form of metaphysical amnesia. We have forgotten that our true identity is divine and thus must undergo a change of consciousness to achieve our true human potential (hence the name, the Human Potential Movement).

A fifth tenet is reincarnation. Most New Agers believe in some form of reincarnation. In its classic form, the cycles of birth, death, and reincarnation are necessary to work off our bad “karma” and to reach perfection. The doctrine of karma says that one’s present condition is determined by one’s actions in a past life.

The Western version of reincarnation held by many New Agers places much less emphasis on bad karma and postulates an upward spiral towards perfection through reincarnation. This view has been espoused by such people as Shirley MacLaine, Sylvester Stallone, George Patton, and Henry Ford.

A final major tenet is moral relativism. New Agers think in terms of gray, rather than black or white. Denying the law of non- contradiction, New Agers will often believe that two conflicting statements can both be true. They will therefore teach that “all religions are true” and “there are many paths to God.”

A Biblical Evaluation

When the tenets of the New Age Movement are examined, they are not really new at all. The New Age is really old occultism in new linguistic garb. Many of these concepts can be found in basic form in Genesis 3. Notice these statements made to Eve in the Garden: “You will be like God” (pantheism), “You will not surely die” (reincarnation), “Your eyes will opened” (change of consciousness), and “Did God really say” (moral relativism).

First, a Christian view of reality rejects the concept of monism. The Bible teaches that God’s creation is not an undivided unity but a diversity of created things and beings. The creation is not unified in itself but held together by Christ in whom “all things hold together” (Col. 1:17).

Second, Christianity is theistic, not pantheistic. New Agers teach that God is an impersonal force, while the Bible teaches that God is an imminent, personal, triune, sovereign God. God is separate from His creation rather than merely a part of the creation as pantheism would teach.

Third, we are created in God’s image (Gen. 1:26) and therefore have dignity and value (Psalm 8). New Agers teach that we are gods and thus have divinity within our humanity.

Fourth, New Agers flirt with the occult in their attempt to achieve a change in consciousness. Although these practices are frequently described in benign terms such as parapsychology, they involve direct contact with spiritual entities. The Bible warns against the danger of these practices and lists such activities as divination and spirit channeling as detestable practices (Deut. 18:9-13) that are to be avoided.

Fifth, the Bible teaches resurrection of the body (1 Cor. 15), not reincarnation of the soul. Likewise, the doctrine of karma is foreign to the gospel. Salvation comes from grace, not through the works in this life (Eph. 2:8-9) or in any other alleged past life. We will not be reborn after death. Hebrews 9:27 clearly teaches that “it is appointed for men to die once and after this come judgment.”

Finally, the Bible teaches absolute truth. God has clearly communicated to us his moral law (Ex. 20:1-17), which we are to obey. Contrary to the New Age teaching that “there are many paths to God,” Jesus clearly taught “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).

© 1992 Probe Ministries


 

About the Author

Kerby Anderson is the president of Probe Ministries International. He received his B.S. from Oregon State University, M.F.S. from Yale University, and M.A. from Georgetown University. He is the author of several books, including Genetic Engineering, Origin Science, Living Ethically in the 90s, Signs of Warning, Signs of Hope, and Moral Dilemmas. He also served as general editor for Marriage, Family and Sexuality.He is a nationally syndicated columnist whose editorials have appeared in the Dallas Morning News, the Miami Herald, the San Jose Mercury, and the Houston Post.
He is the host of “Probe,” and frequently serves as guest host on “Point of View” (USA Radio Network). He can be reached via e-mail at kerby@probe.org.

 
 

 

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