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Gnosticism of the 20th Century: The New Age Or An Old Lie?
Craig Branch

Many people are becoming aware of what is commonly referred to as “The New Age Movement.” To most people, these diverse beliefs and practices seemed to grow out of nowhere.

The term “New Age” is somewhat misleading as it actually refers to a coming new era, a new state of existence – the “dawning of the Age of Aquarius.”

Adherents claim that this new state of utopian global bliss and consciousness will occur when enough people are converted or initiated.

Actually the beliefs and practices are very, very old. Their root lies in the dawn of time and began to grow and branch out throughout Biblical and modern history.

As Brooks Alexander writes, “…these presuppositions have been systematically expounded in such esoteric disciplines as astrology, alchemy, reincarnation, yoga, magic, Taoism, tantra and Zen. Today, because of the wide spread cross-fertilization of these and other schools of thought, new forms of this basic world view are being created,” (Special Collection Journal, Spiritual Counterfeits Project, Vol. 6 Number 1, 1984, p. 14).

This basic world view states that all reality is one undifferentiated cosmic energy or consciousness (monism). There is no personal God, but all is God; or God (an impersonal force) is all (pantheism).

Man is therefore a divine entity and “salvation is equated with the discovery of this higher Reality with its laws,” (Ibid, p. 16).

The attainment of this experiential knowledge (gnosis) leads to self-realization which “Leads to the mastery of spiritual technology and the attainment of psycho-spiritual power,” (Ibid).

Matter, sin, and finiteness are therefore an illusion.

Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary defines gnosis and gnosticism as the gaining of spiritual knowledge reserved only for special initiates, “Distinguished by the conviction that matter is evil and that emancipation or salvation comes through this special knowledge.”

Closely related and associated with gnosticism is occultism.

Classically the word “occult” means hidden or secret teachings and practices. But “by `secret’ it is not meant that the positions taken are not available in most instances. Rather, the beliefs and practices are secret in the sense that performance of the rites is considered to be effective only when performed by those who are deeply initiated in the lore of the cult,” (Cults, World Religions, and the Occult, Ken Boa, p. 139).

Therefore, a working definition of the New Age would be a revival of ancient eastern mystical/occult beliefs and practices based on gnostic roots.

It involves the belief that spirituality or godhood is gained by the use of magical/mystical practices which transcend the illusory physical universe and senses.

This pagan philosophy has its historical root in Genesis 3:1-5. Satan in his temptation of man seduces Eve by questioning the character, benevolent rule and word of God (vs.1).

Satan also denies the reality of death (as does reincarnation), and promises that if man partakes of the forbidden, secret knowledge (occult/gnosis) then he will be raised up on the level of God, independent of Him (vs. 3-5).

“…the tempation of the autonomous and infinitized self remains the alpha and omega of spiritual pride,” (Special Collection Journal, p. 22).

From this unfortunate beginning, the embodiment of this philosophy can be historically traced through the Bible. Ancient Babylon in its mystery religions consistently reflects this heresy.

Throughout the Old Testament, these practices are exposed and condemned (Deut. 18:10-14; Isaiah 47:8-15).

For instance, the Ziggurats of Babel (Genesis 11) and the entire Chaldean culture were deeply rooted in the esoteric science of astrology.

This philosophy expressed in the Samarian and Egyptian cultures as well. God lays bare the deceitfulness of this paganism in Isaiah 47:8-10.

Eschatologically, mystery Babylon demonstrates that it is preeminently a religious system throughout the ages culminating in the final judgment (Revelation 17 and 18).

Continuing to trace the history of this heresy, Paul addresses the Stoic philosophers at Athens (Acts 17:16-34) who were the pantheists of that day. Paul also confronted this heresy in Ephesus (Acts 19:17-20).

Sections of the New Testament, especially in Colossians and 1 John were written specifically responding to the gnostic beliefs of that day.

In more modern times, this gnostic/occultic philosophy has continued to evolve in expressions like Indian Shamanism, transcendentalism, spiritism and spiritualism, New Thought, Rosicrusianism, Theosophy, Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Zen, Kabala, Sufism, Yoga, Christian Science, Mind Sciences, Unity, Silva Mind Control, Edgar Cayce, Transcendental Meditation, Witchcraft, firewalking, Church Universal and Triumphant, parapsychology and many more.

“That which has been is that which will be, and that which is done is that which will be done. So there is nothing new under the sun,” (Ecclesiastes 1:9).

Historically the effect of the perennial heresy has always been death and so it will be in the future: “For this reason in one day her plagues will come, pestilence and mourning and famine, and she will be burned up with fire; for the Lord God who judges her is strong,” (Revelation 18:8).

As C.S. Lewis cogently remarked, “And Pantheism in that sense has, in the long run, only one really formidable opponent – namely Christianity,” (Miracles, pp. 84-85).

http://www.watchman.org/reltop/gnostic.htm

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EXCLUSIVE: Madonna offers Guy an extra £5million ‘if she can dictate access rights to children’ By Richard Simpson
Last updated at 8:54 AM on 23rd October 2008

Madonna has offered Guy Ritchie an additional £5million to dictate his access rights to their three children.

The singer has agreed to increase the lump sum cash payment he will get in their divorce from £15million to £20million if he backs down from a court battle over Lourdes, 12, Rocco, eight, and David Banda, three.

Legal sources said last night that Mr Ritchie would be well-advised to take the offer since Madonna as their mother would be seen as primary carer.

‘Madonna has said to Guy that if she ups the money, then would he agree to her setting out the access for the children until they turn 18. What she is basically saying is that if Guy wants this to go to court, she will get what she wants anyway.

‘Basically she is offering a cash incentive to him to encourage an amicable out-of-court agreement over the children.. Madonna is keen to give Guy good access to the children – but on her terms,’ a source said.

‘Guy wants the children to be educated in Britain – especially his beloved Rocco – but his lawyers will be advising him that if Madonna moves to New York and wants the children with her, a judge is likely to agree.’

Ritchie spent yesterday mulling over the offer with his lawyers.

The offer also contains a clause which will effectively attempt to gag Ritchie and his family from talking about the marriage break-down.

Access to the children is the only area of the split Guy and Madonna are now at loggerheads over.

Money and property have been discussed and all but agreed.

The Mail has learned that Guy finally decided the marriage was over during one particular bizarre exchange with his wife at their Marylebone house where she claimed to be ‘bigger than Jesus’.

Said a friend: ”The argument happened at the Marylebone house. Madonna had been moaning about his lack of support and lack of interest in what she has doing with Kabbalah.

‘She told Guy she did not understand why she was ridiculed by the press for what she was doing with the religion. But Guy just reacted quite sarcastically and told her to “get over herself”.

‘And that’s when it got a bit surreal. Madonna said that her destiny had been mapped out and that she had been chosen to live this life.

‘She said the reason why she is a living icon is that she had been chosen to be a spiritual guru. To which Guy turned around and said ‘Listen love, you’re just a singer’.

‘And it was then she turned around to him and said: “Listen baby, I’m bigger than Jesus'”.
‘Guy was dumbfounded. At that point, he realised that he really had lost her to the Kabbalah. From that point on, Guy felt totally alienated from Madonna. She made him feel that he was beneath her. To make matters worse, that had been one of the few times they had been together in recent months and it was spoiled by that argument.’

The source went on: ‘Guy truly believes that Madonna is deluded and lives in a fantasy world – particularly also when it comes to her age.

‘When Madonna turned 50 for example, she felt her biological age was only 35 so they went ahead as if it was a 35th birthday’.

Meanwhile it emerged last night that Madonna has also fallen out with her family over the divorce.

Said a source: ‘She has been blasted by her father – a devout Catholic – for divorcing twice. He is furious that they did not do more to resolve their differences – especially for the sake of the children.

Relationships with the entire family had already been strained over the publication of her brother Christopher Ciccone’s tell-all book.

‘Resentment has been building up over the years due to Madonna’s high-handed imperious behaviour. When the book was released, Madonna called on the help of her family to try to stop it but they were unable and indeed unwilling to prevent it coming out. The feeling was that had Madonna treated him better, it wouldn’t have happened.’

Further details also emerged last night of the division of wealth between Guy and Madonna in the divorce. As reported first by the Mail, Guy will get Ashcombe – their Wiltshire estate – plus cash of around £15 million. He will also get an allowance for homes in London and New York.

However, although Guy will be able to keep Ashcombe, all of the art and antiquities – in particular two Picasso paintings – will be stripped from the house.

All of the possessions she gave Guy in the marriage, she had told him he can keep. But all of the presents Guy ever gave her, she is putting in storage.

Friends are concerned that the divorce is going to become increasingly acrimonious over the access to the children, in particular the regularity of access and the length of each access period.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1079889/EXCLUSIVE-Madonna-offers-Guy-extra-5million-dictate-access-rights-children.html

 

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Kabbalah – Why the different spellings for Kabbalah?
Kabbalah is found spelled in many different ways — Qabbala, Cabala, Cabalah, Cabbala, Cabbalah, Kabala, Kabalah, Qabala, Qabalah, and Kaballah. The reason for this is because some letters in the Hebrew alphabet have more than one usage in the English alphabet. The Hebrew letter can be written as a K, Q, or C, but the “Kabbalah” spelling is the most common.

Kabbalah – What is it?
Kabbalah is derived from the Hebrew root for “reception and acceptance.” It is an esoteric (occult secret) system of interpretation of the Scriptures based upon oral accounts handed down from Abraham. It is also considered as secret oral teachings with a mixture of Jewish teachings, occultism, Gnosticism, and Neoplatonism. Jewish Kabbalah uses numerology to interpret the Bible’s message.

Kabbalah concentrates the attention of Jewish mysticism towards the nature of divinity, the creation, the soul’s beginnings and fate, and man’s place in this world. It is considered an esoteric off-branch of Judaism because it teaches meditation, loyalties, and mystical enhancements to a select few. It originated for Jews only, but many non-Jews have studied Kabbalah for the last 500 years.

The non-Jewish version of Kabbalah is called Hermetic Kabbalah. Some Jews have opted for the preferences of Hermetic Kabbalah. For centuries, Hermetic Kabbalah has grown in many directions with influences from Freemasonry, Rosicrucianism, and its continued input from Jewish Kabbalah. The strongest philosophies of Kabbalah are ideals of religious humanism.

Kabbalah vs. Christianity vs. Judaism

  • Primary Texts: Christianity uses the Bible. Judaism uses the Torah. Kabbalah texts are much like taking notes in a classroom setting, but utilize commentaries from Herchalat, Yetzirah, Sefer Chasidim, Malakh, Bahir, Zahar, Pardes Rimonim, Ets Khayim, and Sulam.
  • Explanation of the existence of evil: Christianity determines evil as a disobedient rebellion against God. Satan, as an angel, of light first exercised it, when the devil tried to be like God. Then, the perpetrator enticed man to exercise the same rebellious disobedience. Judaism understands evil as the same act of rebellion. Kabbalah’s philosophy of evil stems from the belief that both good and evil come from God.
  • An existing need for a Savior (Messiah): Christianity teaches that the Messiah came as the Son of God (Jesus Christ) to redeem man from evil. Judaism teaches that the Messiah has yet to come and redeem Israel. Kabbalah’s philosophy does not include the sinful nature of man, and therefore, there is no need of the redeeming qualities of a Messiah.
  • One God or Ten: Christianity is built on one God, but expressed in the Trinity of God the Father, God the Son (Jesus Christ), and God the Holy Spirit. Judaism believes in One God — Jehovah, no Trinity. Kabbalah’s ideals believe that there are ten parts to God, which they call emanations.

 

Kabbalah – Practices
Some Kabbalahists utilize divination and clairvoyance to foretell events or to know occult events, and some deal with potions and curses. Practical Kabbalah is termed for use in referring to secret sciences (ESP, psychic readings, Ouija boards, tarot cards, reading tea leaves, reading bones, numerology, mediums, spirit guides, channeling, mysticism, etc.), mystic art, or sorcery.

Principals of Kabbalah are intertwined with: Greek and Egyptian deities, the Enochian tradition of angelic mysteries (taken from the “Book of Enus” found in the Dead Sea Scrolls, not written by the prophet Enoch of the Bible), Hindu and Buddhist Eastern ideals instituted within the Masonic-Rosicrucian-Style secret orders, and the occult. The teachings of both Christianity and Judaism prohibit magical means in foretelling the future.

http://www.allaboutreligion.org/kabbalah.htm

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