Revealing The New Age Movement
Revealing The New Age Movement
New Age Vocabulary
Below are several Christian terms that the New Age has twisted and perverted, along with a few terms unique to the New Age lexicon. Author Texe Marrs has taken the liberty of revealing the hidden New Age meaning of each.
- God: An impersonal energy force, immanent in all things. To the New Age, "god" can be referred to either as she or he, mother or father, god or goddess. Most New Age teachers hold that Mother Earth, the sun, the moon, and the stars - indeed all of nature - can be worshipped as "god."
Christ: A reincarnated avatar, Messiah, or messenger sent from the "hierarchy" (see Angels below) to give the living on earth spiritually advanced revelation. The New Age contends that Buddha, Mohammed, Confucius, Jesus, and many others were "christs," but one greater than all of them will soon come to usher in the New Age. To the Christian, this coming New Age "christ" is, in fact, the Antichrist.
Angels: More frequently called "Ascended Masters, masters of Wisdom, Ancient masters, spirit guides, inner guides, spirit counsellors, one's Higher Self, the Self, Superbeings, aeons, muses or walkins." Collectively called the "hierarchy." Whichever term is used, the discerning Christian will recognize these shadowy entities not as "angels", but as demons.
Born Again(Rebirth): Personal or Planetary transformation and healing. The point at which a New Age believer "lets go" and allows his Higher Self or Inner Guide (translated: demons) to guide and direct his life. Some New Agers describe this as Kundalini, a Hindu term meaning "serpent power."
The Second coming: It is claimed that at the Second Coming a New Age believer achieves "christ consciousness," an exalted, higher state in which he is spiritually transformed into a divine being. This phrase also can mean the appearance on earth of the New Age messiah, or "christ." and his hierarchy of demons.
Heaven/Kingdom of God: The New Age, or Aquarian Age, is expected to be the era when heaven and the Kingdom of God are realized on earth. The reincarnated "christ" (the Antichrist) is to reign over the new Age, bringing in a One World Religion and consolidating all nations into a Global New World Order or one monolithic government.
Hell: New Agers deny the existence of hell and a judgement. They also deny that sin and evil exist. God is alleged to be beyond good and evil.
The New Age Movement What is it?
As the end approaches, Satan is attempting to consolidate his most effective lies into one massive movement against Christ and His Church. Called the New Age Movement, it incorporates the basic teachings of all the major non-biblical religions, the central political philosophies of governments which deny freedom of conscience, and the humanistic and evolutionist philosophies of science and technology.
As with any such movement, this one operates in two basic arenas, a political-environmental entity and religious entity. It is a massive network of loosely connected organizations who all teach the same ideologies and work for the same goal: a Global New World Order or one world government and a single, global, ecumenical-ecclesiastical counterfeit Christian, Babylonian style religion.
Their cause is to prevent the extinction of the human race. They believe humanity's demise will be brought about by one of two things: a nuclear holocaust, or the destruction of the world's environment and exhaustion of the world's resources. These disasters can only be prevented by the establishment of a Global New World Order or one world government.
The New Agers in the political arena call themselves "globalists" or "internationalists." They are committed to bringing the nations of the world under a Global New World Order or world government with the authority to solve planet-wide problems of over-population, pestelence and disease, environmental decay, famine, energy depletion, and the threat of nuclear warfare. Claiming that these problems are too big for the individual nations to solve, they propose that the U.N. and the World Court be given the power to solve the problems on a global scale.
Their religion is basically a westernized form of Hinduism which teaches that men can become gods through spiritual evolution involving many cycles of reincarnation. Demon spirits orchestrate the movement world-wide through mediums called "channelers" whom New Agers believe to be "ascended masters" of cosmic wisdom. New Age beliefs have been deceptively packaged in scientific terminology and sold to the Western civilizations as science.
New Age mind control techniques are widely taught in our seminaries, churches, schools and businesses as self-help courses. ESP, Silva Mind Control, Metaphysics, Yoga, Holistic medicine, Biofeedback and a multitude of other techniques have saturated our society. The goal of all these techniques is to produce an "altered state of consciousness" which puts the person practising them into direct contact with the spirit world and opens them up to possession by demons.
This movement is, of course, intensely anti-Christian and anti-Semitic. They call their efforts "The Plan" which includes a "cleansing action" that must take place to remove negative and evil elements from the world before the New Age of peace can be fully ushered in.
Many of the demons speaking through the mediums of this movement around the world are prophesying that 2 billion people must be removed before the year 2000. In the past, whenever Satan has been able to exercise his "plan" for the world, millions of True and Faithful Bible-believers have been put to death.
The New Age Movement
It is believed that the modern New Age Movement began on December 31, 1986, the World Peace Day, when "men and women of love and light all over the world gathered in spirit to release much love, light and spiritual energy into the face mind to bring about mass destruction on planet earth."
Invading Our Society
The New Age Movement is "the most powerful social force in the world today" according to Dr. Carl. A. Raschke, professor of religious studies at the University of Denver. He further states, "I think it's as much a political movement as a religious movement and it's spreading into business management theory, and a lot of other areas. If you look at it carefully, you will see it represents a complete rejection to Judaeo-Christian and bedrock American values."
Robert Lindsey in the New York Times tells how, "Representatives of some of the nation's largest corporations, including IBM, AT&T, and GENERAL MOTORS met in New mexico to discuss how meta-physics, the occult, and Hindu mysticism might help executives compete in the world market place."
Ken Garveyk who has researched the New Age Movement, sees its infiltration into the ARMED SERVICES. He mentions the Army recruiting slogan, "Be all that you can be," as an indication of how the New Age thought has crept into the thinking of the military.
Reginald Alev, executive director of the Cult Awareness Network, says, "It's very sad what's going on. Most of the people who get involved in these New Age Groups...are intelligent, altruistic, idealistic." He adds. "They are told they are the master of their own destiny. Sort of an Eastern version of Norman Vincent Peale, but they don't know they are being subjected to mind control."
In 1987, ABC TV aired five hours based on the autobiography of actress Shirley MacLaine. (Miss MacLaine was given an honorary degree by Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia). The program featured occult-related activities such as reincarnation and spirit guides.
It was MacLaine who brought to national attention J.Z. Knight of Yelm, Washington, who says she is the embodiment of a 35,000 year old man, named RAMTHA, who speaks through her. They believe that "God lives in each of us, that there is no right or wrong, and that through spirit guides we have the power of positive thinking."
Do you remember seeing large ads in newspapers stating, "THE CHRIST IS NOW HERE!"? These ads introduced LORD MAITREYA, who is said to be THE CHRIST, a world-teacher for all humanity, able to relieve hunger, injustice, and war.
In the fine print it states, "As Christians await the Second Coming, so the Jews await the Messiah; the Buddhists, the fifth Buddha; the Moslems, the Imam Mahdi; and the Hindus, Krishna." Then it states, "These are all names for one individual."
Shirley MacLaine in her book, Out on a Limb, mentions Benjamin Creme who goes around lecturing on the appearance of Lord Maitreya, whom he claims will be revealed as the Christ "in his time."
Lord Maitreya sought on several occasions to reveal himself, with the date announced in papers around the world, but those days passed and there was no revelation.
Many tie the New Age Movement to the Antichrist system because they believe that Antichrist is even now working upon the earth.
1John:4:3:"And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world."
1John:2:18:"Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. "
2John:1:7:"For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist."
But the teaching of Scripture is that the actual physical entity of the Antichrist will not be revealed until after the Rapture when the Church is caught up to be with the Lord. 2 Thessalonians 2:6-9:"And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way (Holy Spirit). And then shall that Wicked (Antichrist) be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders"
But even now the power and spirit of antichrist is at work in the world to conquer and deceive.
[See our on-line Bible Study; 'The Rider on The White Horse"]
We are living in the end times. Our Lord warned us: "Take heed that no man deceive you" (Matt. 24:4)."And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh" (Luke 21:28)."Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of Man cometh" (Matt. 24:44).
New Age Movement: Preparing for Antichrist
Here are some evidences concerning the way in which this is being brought to pass from Peter Lalonde, editor of Omega Letter:
"The Word of God tells us that in the last days, the Antichrist will rule over a World Government, a World Economy and a united One-World Religion. However, few Christians realize how many pieces of this New World Order are already in place."
Right now, as you are reading this letter, a U.S. company, is perfecting a silicon computer chip (Digital Angel) that can be implanted under the skin.
And this chip can be read by scanners identical to the ones in your supermarket. Indeed, company documents obtained by the Omega Letter state that the chip has been developed "in co-operation with government agencies."
Furthermore, they reveal that the new system, when completed, will solve the age-old problem of "providing positive identification of equipment, animals, and people."
And by combining this new technology with that of electronic banking, which planners boasts will "lead to the destruction of cash and the birth of a cash-less society" you can quickly realize how close the Mark of the Beast may be!
In fact, during the current economic crisis now taking place in Indonesia/Malaysia and at the time of the writing of this article, Singapore has currently outlawed cash, preventing a run on the banks, Terry Galanoy, former Director of Communications of VISA International, has issued this warning: "Protesting too loudly about it isn't going to help either, because the disturbance you kick up is going to end in one of your files. And on the come-and-get-it-day, when we're totally and completely dependent on our card - or whatever survival device might replace it - you might be left all alone without one."
Now doesn't that remind you of Revelation 13:16-17?"And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name."
The New World Order
However, the movement toward this "New International Economic Order" is only one part of the effort to establish a global "New Age of Peace and Prosperity."
This New World Order, according to its most powerful proponents, also requires a World Government and a single, united One-World Religion.
In past months, thousands of corporate executives, political leaders, religious leaders, and the most influential heads of the Peace, Environmentalist, and World Government movements met in Miami...Their purpose...to analyze a World Constitution written by the World Constitution and Parliament Association...prepared in the event of a collapse of the present nation-state system...
And while few Christians realize that in 1976 - the two hundredth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence - over 150 U.S. Congressmen and Senators signed a Declaration of INTER-dependence...even fewer realize that the U.S. Constitution's bicentennial era celebrations - 1987-1989 - were targeted for the introduction of a new U.S. Constitution...
With millions of dollars from the Ford and Carnegie Foundations, that New Constitution has already been written.
One World Religion
"....And in the spring of 1988, religious leaders from the Buddhist, Moslem, Hindu, Judeao and "Christian" traditions will meet with over 500 political leaders from over 40 nations to discuss how the various religions must unite - in order to bring forth the "emerging world community."
As the Archbishop of Canterbury, Robert Runcie, declared, we must go beyond Pope John Paul's Global Day of Peace and "Realize a certain incompleteness in each of our traditions...we must recognize the work of the same spirit at the center of all faiths..."
In January of 1987, a full-page advertisement appeared in U.S.A. Today announcing that "The Christ is Now in the World." The advertisement was placed by leaders of the New Age Movement...And this was not an isolated incident...Front page, feature articles on the teachings of the New Age have appeared recently in...the New York Times...the Los Angeles Times...the Washington Post...Time Magazine...Newsweek...U.S. News and World Report...and many more.
As a result of this high profile publicity...American Health Magazine reports that...69% of Americans now accept central New Age teachings...And the New Age Movement is not just another cult...It is a powerful coalition of thousands of groups dedicated to bringing about a New World Religion based on the divinity of man.
You see, like all cults, the central teaching of the New Age Movement is that men, through continuous reincarnations, eventually evolve into gods,...And, as you know, this is the exact lie that the serpent told Eve in the Garden of Eden. "and ye shall be as gods."
The emergence of the New Age Movement (was) given its biggest boost ever by actress Shirley MacLaine in her ABC MINISERIES "Out On a Limb."
Do you know that the fastest growing theology ["Dominion Now Theology" - "Kingdom Building" "Social Gospel" etc...] within the evangelical church is teaching that Christians must take over the world before Christ can return? Powerful ministers with large churches and national Christian television ministries are passing off an end-time message that can only be accepted if the clear written Word of God is rejected
"Never before has a Biblically based understanding of the times been more vital to the body of Christ" -Voice of the Nazarene
The New Age Movement
What is the New Age Movement? It is not easy to answer this question briefly. The New Age Movement is a worldwide (Ecumenical) group of organizations who have as their common goal a NEW AGE and a NEW CHRIST and a NEW DOCTRINE. They are bound together by mystical experiences.
Included in the New Age Movement are:
(1) Religious cults,
(2) Humanistic psychology,
(3) Secular humanism.
Some months ago the published a full-page ad in the New York Times and other newspapers with the statement that "The Christ is now Here." They name him as "Lord Maitreya" saying he was the messiah everybody has been looking for and he was coming to institute the New Age. They said it was not so much a religious program as it was a political and social program. This agrees with what the Bible says to look for in the Antichrist.
In October, 1982, an ad appeared in Reader's Digest, page 203, a full page, in full colour, from Lucis Trust, the brains behind the New Age Movement. This was a prayer to Maitreya called "The Great Invocation." The last line of the prayer reads: "Let Light and Love and Power restore the Plan on Earth." They call their vision to take over the world "The Plan."
The Lucis Trust was incorporated in 1922 as a non-profit, tax-exempt organization. Before it was incorporated it was known as Lucifer's Trust of the Lucifer Publishing Company, a satanic organization. Since it was not accepted widely as Lucifer's Trust the name was changed to Lucis Trust.
One writer, Ruth Montgomery, in her book The Threshold to Tomorrow, describes the New Age Movement as a back to the earth movement (ecology). New Age people are determined to work in harmony with the world's energy and return to natural things, using herbal remedies rather than chemical products. She also claims that "the New Age will become unified with one government, one language, and one currency."
It is very interesting to notice that on the cover of the Aquarian Conspiracy is a mobius. It is used as a triple six. This same Mobius is used on the front of the New King James Version as a symbol of the Trinity. This symbol had gnostic origins and it certainly is not Christian. It ought to alarm Christians to see Mobius on the front of this modern perversion.
One of their writers said: "Jesus is not the Christ and it will be a different Christ than in the Bible who will come and bring world peace. The souls of another perfected being will return to human incarnation. He will arrive at the beginning of a New Era (New Age)."
One of the means being used to get people interested in the New Age Movement is holistic health (Metaphysics). Holistic health involves treating the mind and spirit along with the body. It is a return to 'faith healing' where faith has nothing to do with trusting God or the blood or the Bible. It is, in fact, anti-Christian.
Some of the groups connected with the New Age Movement are as follows: Amnesty International; Church Universal and Church Triumphant headed by Elizabeth Clare Prophet; Unity School of Christianity, Unity Village, Missouri; some meditation groups.
It is known by various names: The Aquarian Conspiracy; the Age of Aquarius; New Thought Religion; The Third Wave; The Third Force; New Wave; Secular Humanism; Humanism.
The National Council of Churches and the World Council of Churches are listed in the Lucis Trust publications as part of the new group of world servers. Jesus told us that in the last days there would be false Christs (Matt. 24:24). We are not surprised that another one has been raised up in the person of Maitreya.
The New Age In The Church - A Manifestation of Counterfeit Christianity
A greater tragedy is that many of the ideas and practices that are even now carried out in many of our churches are really New Age teachings and methodologies, and thus many of our Christian people are being led into the apostasy without realizing what is happening to them. Such things as meditation, Metaphysics, visualization, psychotherapy, positive confession, positive or possibility thinking, self-esteem, hypnosis, biofeedback, self-improvement and success or motivation practices, as well as holistic medicine, mind power, faith-producing techniques, and also some kinds of psychological pastoral counselling - all are included in the New Age group of teachings and practices.
New Age T.V. Spiritualist Gurus such as, Tony Robbins, Oprah's - Dr. Phil and PBS's - Dr. Wayne Dyer, spew New Age Philosophies that are deceiving millions of Christians and Non-Christians alike.
So we must recognize the danger that the New Age apostasy is a terrible threat to our Churches and to Christians, for we remember that Jesus warned that this latter day apostasy would "seduce, if it were possible, even the elect" (Mark 13:22). Without doubt, this means that Christian leaders will be led astray, and of course those who follow the false teaching of a Counterfeit Christianity that they present, will also be deceived and destroyed. Even widely known Christian ministers, or popular preachers over radio and television, whose lives and ministries influence millions, have made public statements and have written material which very definitely borders dangerously on the New Age philosophy.
While speaking of apostasy in the Church, we should also mention some of the new "theologies" which are now being taught in many of our Churches and Denominations. Certain leading ministers have come forth with teachings which may not be an actual part of the New Age theology, but they are contrary to the Biblical truth as taught in the past.
One of these is called the "Replacement Theology." It declares that because of their sins and their rejection of Jesus Christ, the Jewish people were cast off by God, and the Lord broke His Abrahamic Covenant because of their sins. As a result, it is claimed that the Church is "spiritual Israel," and all the promises make originally to Israel now belong to the Church. The nation of Israel, now in Palestine, are not true Jews, and are to be annihilated with no hope of the future blessing of God upon them. As a result of this teaching, a great deal of anti-Semitism is springing up among Christians, and is growing dangerously.
Another of these new teachings is called the "Kingdom Now", or the "Dominion Now" theology. This teaching is that the Christian people are going to increase and grow so strong that they are going to "take over" the rulership of the world. Christians will become rulers of our nation, and of other nations, and soon will control the Earth. In other words, we do not need to look for Jesus Christ to return to the Earth, and there will be no Rapture of the Church. We are going to take control of the world - "Dominion now" or "Kingdom now"! When the world has been conquered by the Church, then (perhaps) Christ will return to Earth to rule in the Millennium (though many of these teachers do not expect Christ ever to return to Earth).
There are other new theologies being taught, but we will mention only one other: the idea of "the manifestation of the sons of God," the "manifest sons of God." This teaching is that since the Christian is a "child of God" by his conversion, he should begin to manifest these godlike qualities, he should begin to "act" as a son of God. This doctrine come perilously close to the New Age teaching that God is in everyone, and we need only to discover God in us, to bring forth that "godlike quality." For example, I am told Shirley MacLaine begins her New Age presentations with the startling statement, "Be still and know that YOU are God!"
Christians who desire to escape the error and the seduction of the New Age must stay close to Jesus Christ and the Word of God, being careful to follow the Lord and not men, no matter how great or important they may be, or how pleasing or attractive their teaching may seem. We also need to have a clear understanding of just what some of the errors and false teachings of the New Age groups really are. While we make no attempt to present a detailed examination of the New Age doctrines, let us try to gain a brief understanding of these teachings.
How Big is the New Age Movement?
Because the New Age Movement is such a loosely linked network of largely independent groups, Bible-believers are just beginning to become aware of the extent to which this movement has saturated the societies of the world. it is really more of an agenda than an organization.
Researchers such as Constance Cumbey and Dave Hunt began about 10 years ago to see common basic beliefs and agendas in a wide variety of political and religious activist groups. "The New Age movement is a worldwide coalition of thousands of organizations, networked for the purposes of bringing in a new world order and psychological and social changes in the world." writes Cumbey in (The New Age Movement, by Dr. Gaverluk and Constance Cumbey, p. 18.)
One New Age directory published as early as 1979, listed some 10,000 groups considered as part of the movement.
Further research revealed that this common agenda appeared in politics, environmentalism, education, religion, entertainment and business circles. Think-tanks such as the Club of Rome, the Bilderburg group, the Ford Foundation, the Trilateral Commission and Lucis Trust seemed to be fuelling the activism that showed up almost simultaneously in these major arenas.
Studies and reports published by these think-tanks carried many common buzz-words and concepts. "Globalism", "Internationalists", "world government", "world citizens", "planetary citizenship" and "new world order" described political goals and causes.
Words like "channelling", "energies", "vibrations", "ascended masters", "true nature", "higher self" described the spiritual (and demonic) aspect to the agenda. Hindu concepts of reincarnations, karma, cosmic renewal, and soulstream also were sprinkled through the writings.
Dramatic programs produced by the entertainment industry such as Out on a Limb and Star Wars began to show contact with the spirit world. One world government concepts showed up in programs such as America and even the six o'clock news.
Large corporations and even smaller businesses are also promoting the New Age agenda under the guise of scientific mental efficiency boosters. These are really occult mind control techniques, such as Silva Mind Control, Yoga, Biofeedback and countless self-improvement programs presented to help managers, sales people and executives better deal with the stress of the business environment. The goal of these techniques is to produce an "altered state of consciousness" which puts the person practising them into direct contact with the spirit world and opens them up to possession by demons.
Most frightening of all is the influence on education in general. Massive re-writing of textbooks started as far back as the 1930's. In 1976 a congressional committee called the Reece Commission found that the Carnegie and Rockefeller foundations had funded these changes. A large number of professors of our leading universities are also members of the globalist think-tank - The Club of Rome.
Parents, read your children's textbooks! Congressman Norman Dodd reported in 1976 that history text books had been changed so that "the contents...cast aspersion on the Founders of this country, cast aspersion of the ideas which prompted the founding of this country and relegates them to the realm of myth." (Freemen Digest, May 1978, p.11).
Professor Harold J. Laski testified before congress that "At bottom, and stripped of its carefully neutral phrases, the report is an educational program for a socialist America"(Reece Committee Report, p. 141).
Educator Bill Bowen states that "Every public school system in the U.S. and most private and church schools are based on the progressive education philosophy of John Dewey." (Globalism: America's Demise, by Bowen, p. 30).
John Dewey is one of the signers of the Humanist Manifesto 1, which teaches that God doesn't exist, that men don't sin, that there is no absolute right and wrong, sexual perversions are okay and that the world should come under one system ruled by an intellectual elite. Our children are being carefully trained to accept a One World Government and an ecumenical- ecclesiastical one world religion under the Antichrist!
History of the New Age Movement
Helena Blavatsky: Although the teachings of the so-called New Age are as old as the garden of Eden, the origin of the New Age Movement can be traced back to 1875 when Madame Helena Petrovna Blavatsky founded the Theosophical Society.
The teachings of the Theosophical Society were based on Eastern mysticism, known as "Esoteric Philosophy", the theory of evolution, and the existence of a hierarchy of "Masters" who were either spirit beings or men who had evolved to higher planes of consciousness. A major characteristic of Theosophy was its hatred of monotheistic religions in general and orthodox Christianity in particular. Except for these, all other world religions and religious philosophies could be tolerated and "united", due to their common truths" and the potential of their adherents to achieve "illumination" or enlightenment through the teachings of theosophy.
Madame Blavatsky engaged in "telepathic communications" with her spirit "masters" who told her to keep the Society and its teachings secret for 100 years, until 1975. Initiates, therefore, communicated by secret signs and words of recognition, a special vocabulary which, like the handshake of the Freemasons, would identify those that belonged to the Society.
The major works of Madame Blavatsky were "Isis Unveiled" (1877) and "The Secret Doctrine" (1888), both of which were produced in automatic writing and dictated from the "masters".
In 1882, the International Headquarters of the Theosophical Society was established at Adyar, near madras, India. A monthly journal was published called "Lucifer", later renamed "The Theosophist."
Annie Besant: Madame blavatsky died in 1891 and the leadership of the Society passed to another woman, Annie Besant. Born in 1847, Annie Besant was a member of the Fabian Society, where she met George Bernard Shaw. A friendship developed and it was Shaw who introduced her to "The Secret Doctrine" and eventually to the Theosophical Society. In 1867, Annie Besant married an Anglican clergyman but separated in 1873. in 1907, Besant became President of the Theosophical Society and remained in that office until her death in Advar in September, 1933.
In 1910, Annie Besant announced Krishnamurti, then 13 years of age, as the "New World Teacher." She founded for him the Order of the Eastern Star and spared no effort or expense in grooming him for his appointed position. Unfortunately for the Society, Krishnamurti backed out and dissolved the "Order" in 1929.
Alice Bailey: The world, obviously, had not been ready at that time to accept a "World Teacher" and Annie Besant had acted on her own initiative rather than that of the "masters."
Disgruntled with Besant, the "masters" went looking for someone more obedient and soon found that someone in Alice Ann Bailey. A former Christian teacher and wife of an episcopal rector, Alice joined the Theosophical Society soon after her divorce, where she met Foster Bailey, whom she later married.
Alice became a willing instrument of the "masters." Between 1919 and 1949, Alice wrote 24 books, dictated "telepathically" by the "masters," which gave specific instructions to disciple concerning "The Plan" and its implementation. Shortly after Alice became subject to the "masters", she and Foster Bailey established Lucifer Publishing Company in 1922 to help disseminate her works. In 1923 the name changed to Lucis Publishing Company.
After the death of Alice in 1949, Foster Bailey eventually married Mary Bailey, another staunch female esotericist. Foster Bailey, author of the book "Running God's Play", dies in 1977 and his widow, Mary, has continued the work at Lucis Trust, which was formed to be the custodian of the Alice Bailey writings. Lucis Trust is the single most important organization within the New Age Movement.
Benjamin Creme, who was responsible for the advertisement "The Christ is Now Here", and who is a leading New Age figure, was also a devour student of the Blavatsky and Alice Bailey writings. Since 1975, the year when these writings were allowed to be publicized, Creme has conducted a worldwide public relations campaign for "The Christ."
The last ten years have seen the emergence of literally thousands of New Age organizations, all loosely linked together by "networking." The spread of these networks, in which many people are quite innocently involved, has made the New Age Movement independent of any one group, leader or organization. Christian writer, Constance Cumbey, in her book "The Hidden Dangers of the Rainbow," sums up the feeling of Christians when she write: "Considering that the New Age Movement meets every test of Bible prophecy regarding the coming antichrist, as well as every test of Nazism, it is incredible that the Movement has been able to achieve such power and influence."
"And for this cause god shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. But we are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: Whereunto He called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ" (2 Thess. 2:11-14).
The New Age On Video
The Bible Versus the New Age Movement*
THE DEVIL IS AT IT AGAIN. The lies and play of words he used in the beginning chapters of human history to bring our first parents to fall into sin are seducing many today in the opening chapters of the 21st century. "Yea, hath God said...?"(Gen. 3: 1) was his question raised to undermine the authority of God's Word. "Ye shall not surely die..." (Gen. 3:4) was intended to directly contradict what God said would be the penalty for man's disobedience - death (Gen. 2:17)."Ye shall be as gods..."(Gen. 3:5) was the devil's deceptive but flattering incentive to allure Eve to sin. The New Age Movement (NAM) does these very same things. It disregards the authority of the Word of God. It flatly denies the resurrection yet preaches reincarnation. In a sense, it tells man that he "shall not surely die." It caters to man's sinful and selfish nature by offering him the intoxicating thought of becoming god.
Unfortunately, many do not recognize these propositions as originating from Satan.
The New Age Movement has invaded our society and has practically saturated every possible avenue in order to promote its basic propositions. According to Dr. Carl A. Raschke, a professor of religious studies at the University of Denver, it is "the most powerful social force in the world today." He further states, "I think it's as much a political movement as a religious movement...."1 Elliot Miller refers to it as, among other things, a "historical movement that can be traced over a period of more than two centuries in the West from orthodox Christianity back to paganism."2
This fast growing religion has led to a revived interest in the realm of the occult, the paranormal, psychic healing, Eastern mysticism and the like. Its voice is heard on television, radio and print media. It has infiltrated the fields of politics, business, entertainment, health care, psychology, education, arts and even sports. Generally, its major proponents are well-known personalities who are successful in their respective fields and who come from both the East and West.
Unlike known cults and old religious systems such as Mormonism, Seventh Day Adventism and the Jehovah's Witnesses, this movement is not an organized religion in the sense that it has a system of doctrinal beliefs with official creeds or bodies of literature. However, NAM proponents convey common themes in their writings and talks. No one is spared from being reached by the movement's beliefs-not even fundamental, separatistic Bible-believing Christians.
The New Age Movement has a worldwide network, though loosely structured, with a seemingly limitless reach.
Constance Cumbey writes "by networking they have achieved a synergetic effect that makes them nearly unstoppable. By networking they have indeed achieved a lack of dependency on any group or leader."3
What is even more alarming is the fact that some of their assumptions have successfully infiltrated groups and influenced teachers who operate under the banner of evangelical Christianity. Some discerning and more outspoken Western authors have written books on the subject in the effort to wake up the evangelical community to the menace of this movement.
Most of these authors believe that NAM's visions compare with the Biblical description the goals of the coming Antichrist. One gave a hazy description of it in a leading local magazine in this fashion:
Something is definitely going on around us ... but what is it really?
There is an undercurrent of change and renewal, of joy and adventure, of encountering the known and recovering what has always been our own. It has been called the New Age, the New Prosperity, the New Mind. There seems to be so many diverse strands to pull together, it is not easy to get a consensus on what it is all about, not only here but also in the West where it was first recognized as a phenomenon of our times. "A strange mix of spirituality and superstition, fad and farce ... an essentially harmless anthology of illusions," snorted Time Magazine in 1987. But it conceded that the "movement" was growing steadily, judging from the doubling of the number of New Age bookstores in the United States in the past five years.4
But what really is the substance of the New Age Movement? What are its basic tenets, underlying philosophies or the main message? What are its implications for Filipino culture and for Christian workers in the local scene? Why has it aroused the interest of many? Is it really "essentially a harmless anthology of illusions"?
There is a vast and complex field to cover when discussing this subject.
This article will be merely a sketchy overview. However, it is important to point out that this is being written not in order to judge the motives of NAM's proponents. Ex-advocate of NAM and Christian apologist Elliot Miller was careful to point out that: New Agers are generally sincere.... Many New Agers are genuinely humanitarian.... It is not that there is nothing sinister or dangerous about the New Age Movement - but evangelicals should resist the temptation to try to locate the evil in simplistic black-or-white categories, for in so doing they will fail to see New Agers for who they really are.5
We share the same concern for those who have been misled into this movement. But we seriously believe, too, that its underlying fundamental assumptions need to be exposed and viewed for what they really are-paganism in modern dress, a new name for an old tactic of the old serpent to deceive people into believing an old lie. Thus, in attempting to answer the above questions, we shall concentrate on the movement's underlying tenets that blatantly undermine and which constantly struggle for supremacy over the heart and soul of the Biblical faith.
Common New Age Presuppositions and Beliefs
1. NAM espouses a pantheistic world-view. This is the belief that All is God—not just "God is everywhere"(omnipresent) but that "God is everything," the sum total of all that exists. This, of course, fails to recognize God's transcendence and overemphasizes His immanence. The line of distinction between the Infinite from the finite is practically removed — qualities that describe God the Creator and His creation, respectively—and when this happens, man is no longer seen as a responsible creature. He becomes accountable to no one, to no authority outside of himself. Mariel Francisco points out that the aspect of New Age thought that Filipinos will most happily embrace is its "new creation centered theology."6
The late Dr. Walter Martin, a Christian apologist, quotes one of the leading proponents of NAM in the West, Benjamin Crème, as stating: "In a sense there is no such thing as God, God does not exist. And in another sense, there is nothing else but God, only God exists....All is god. And because all is god, there is no God."7
2. NAM believes each individual creates his own reality, similar to what Hindu pantheism calls "maya." This is "illusion," and accepting this false doctrine results in the belief that there are no absolute and universal standards between right and wrong. The January 26, 1992, issue of the Sunday Inquirer magazine promoted and defended NAM. In it, we read: "Evil comes into being because something that was good in the form in which it existed in an earlier epoch retains this form in a later age. In failing to transform itself it become retrogressive. Therefore Evil is Good manifesting out of its appropriate time. In this sense, the worst thing one can be is to be obsolete, behind the times, stuck in the past. If we are unable to see ourselves in a New Age, this is what, tragically, we may become." 8
This, then, makes "self " the creator of his own reality in which self decides what is right and wrong, appropriate and inappropriate, pleasant and unpleasant. This is otherwise known as "moral relativism." It is not surprising that NAM "often tolerates rather than challenges such unchristian behavior as sex between unmarried partners, homosexuality, and (in some circles) recreational use of drugs, thus providing a spiritual alternative to the many in our time who are unwilling to abandon such lifestyles." 9
3. NAM also stresses the belief that man is divine, and Jesus is like all other men who became "the Christ." NAM generally claims that within every man is a spark of divinity that can be self-realized when he goes through the altered states of consciousness. Consider what psychic researcher and NAM local counterpart Jaime Licauco says as he speaks on "The Other Meaning of Christ's Birth."
He says: "I think that this interpretation, i.e. that Christ's birth represents God's becoming man, is only half of the story. What man seems to have lost sight of is the fact that the same story also represents the possibility of man's becoming God. And this to me is the more meaningful message of Christ's birth and the only one that ultimately makes sense. For why should God descend to the level of man except to lift him up, and to show that he, too, can become God? ... That God can assume a human form is not difficult for us to accept; but the idea of man becoming God is still difficult for us to conceive. Yet that is one message that the birth of Christ truly brings." 10
He further infers from controversial French Jesuit priest/paleontologist Teilhard de Chardin's writings (noted as the "Father of the New Age"11) and then concludes that "... we will become Christs, not merely Christlike. In other words, we will all be gods." 12
This is an open attack on the Person of Jesus Christ — a defiance of God and a deification of man. This is nothing but the serpent's lie: "Ye shall be as gods!" This naturally results in self-worship. The contemporary emphasis on the belief in the powers of the human potential is an outgrowth of this.
4. NAM believes the Law of Rebirth, Reincarnation and Karma. This teaches that man does not really die. He is, instead, "endlessly reborn into new life cycles until such time as he perfects himself sufficiently to qualify for endless rest (nirvana) " 13. Here, the soul returns into another body after death and the quality of the next life will be determined by how he has lived in the past life.
The Bible teaches that except for living believers at the rapture, "it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment"(Heb. 9:27). At death, believers in Christ go home to be with the Lord in heaven, while unbelievers go to hell.
Those who enter the former do so not because of any human merit but because of the merits and righteousness of Jesus Christ imputed on them by faith in Him.
Walter Martin quotes Alice Bailey, a highly regarded source of New Age thought, stating:
"Through the constant return of the incarnating soul to the school of life on earth, there to undergo the perfection process of which He (Jesus) was the outstanding example. That is the meaning and teaching of reincarnation.... The immortality of the human soul, and the innate ability of the spiritual, inner man to work out his salvation under the Law of Rebirth, in response to the Law of Cause and Effect, are the underlying factors governing all human conduct and all human aspiration. "14
5. Central to NAM's belief system is the belief in evolution—that we have all evolved from lower forms of life, but some of us evolved more highly than others just as some of us "manifest our divinity" more than others. This more evolved and advanced form is achieved by employing mind-expansion techniques such as meditation.
This is a direct affront to the Scriptural teaching of man's origin and nature that he is a creature of God made after God's own image, distinct and separate from his Creator. Man is a finite person, a 'derivative replica' of his Infinite Creator.
6. NAM offers a salvation by "gnosis." Gnosis is simply the Greek word for "knowledge." But NAM uses the term to refer to experiences of enlightenment that help the New Ager supposedly go through a spiritual evolution towards becoming god.
This is the heart and core of "the New World Religion." New Agers often appeal to theright/left-brain distinction where the latter is supposedly analytical and the former is intuitive, creative and subjective. This becomes an excuse to abandon analytical thought and to barter away rationality in order to gain a subjective and renewed sense of spirituality in the effort to discover one's "higher self' or attain "higher consciousness." When one assumes this, his concept of sin and the need for Jesus Christ's atonement for his sin becomes insignificant. This vilifies the work of Jesus Christ and man's need for salvation from the guilt, penalty and power of sin.
All of this sounds impressive, especially when the New Ager refers to various authorities who do not know the grace of God and who hold Ph.Ds from Europe and North America. This gives a cloak of pseudo-scientific scholarship that makes the New Ager appear credible. But in reality, this openness to the subjective and to the unknown also opens the doors of gullibility to the spiritual realm of demonic spirits.
7. Most NAM spokespersons have had some contact with superhuman "masters" or "higher beings." These "divine" messengers are contacted through what has been called "channeling"—simply a contemporary term for the spiritist's mediumship. American actress Shirley Maclaine, spokesperson David Sprangler, Silva Mind Control System's founder Jose Silva, Russian Theosophy founder Helena Petrovna Blavatsky and even local counterpart Jaime Licauco 15 all openly claim to receive direction or special revelation from these spirit guides.
Once again, we have here a Satanic substitute for the God-given special revelation of Himself and His will for man's life through His inspired, complete and final Word, the Bible. From a Scriptural perspective, these "Ascended Masters of Wisdom," as they are sometimes called, are actually demonic beings luring people away from the one true God. This may also explain why New Agers have a common base of beliefs. The geniuses behind these spokespersons are intelligent, personal, fallen beings out to delude sinners into remaining in the bondage of their sin.
8. NAM's strong belief in the human potential, especially man's potential to evolve into god through the altered states of consciousness, gives no room for the Biblical doctrine of the incarnation and the physical, literal return of the Lord Jesus Christ.
It is also contrary to the Biblical doctrine of sin and depravity. To New Agers, the manifesting of divinity achieved by employing mind expansion techniques is the coming of the Christ, which they refer to as "the Christ-Consciousness." This is allegedly a higher state of mind that everyone can attain.
Also inherent in this New Age belief is the denial of the truth of the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ, which is the cornerstone of the Christian faith. As it was in New Testament days, these are the present-day resurrection-deniers. But this is to be expected from a demon-inspired religion since all the other foundational doctrines of the Christian faith hang on the veracity of the literal, bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ. His person, His work, His teachings and even the inerrancy and authority of both the Old and New Testament Scriptures were and are all vindicated by that miraculous event. Thus, it should not surprise us that Satan consolidates his efforts into causing people to doubt, if not fully deny the veracity of Christ's resurrection.
Traces of New Age Thought Within Evangelical Christianity
Traces of New Age thought are seen within Evangelical and Charismatic circles due to the recent emphasis on self-esteem, or narcissism. We do not necessarily imply that all such emphases come directly from the New Age Movement. But insofar as the underlying premises and philosophies of "selfish" teachings have been drawn from the same sources used by present-day New Agers, such as the highly respected works of Carl Jung, these teachings have definitely affected the evangelical camp. Note the following statements made by Kenneth Copeland, a leading evangelical Charismatic, as quoted by Michael Horton:
"Pray to yourself, because I'm in your self and you are in Myself. We are one Spirit, saith the Lord. You need to realize that you are not a spiritual schizophrenic - half-God and half-Satan -you are all God. Man had total authority to rule as a god over every living creature on earth, and he was to rule by speaking words. You don't have a god in you. You are one! I say this and repeat it so it don't upset you too bad.... When I read the Bible where he (Jesus) says, "I Am," I say, "I Am, too!" 16
Dave Hunt and T. A. McMahon quote Gloria Copeland, Kenneth's wife, as she narrates about a house she wanted to buy: "I began to see that I already had authority over that house and authority over the money I needed to purchase it. I said, "In the name of Jesus, I take authority over the money I need. (I called out a specific amount.) I command you to come to me... in Jesus Name. Ministering spirits, you go and cause it to come.""Speaking of angels... when you become the voice of God in the earth by putting His Words in your mouth, you put your angels to work! They are highly trained and capable helpers, they know how to get the job done). "17
Paul Yonggi Cho, pastor of the world's largest church, calls this "the Law of the Fourth Dimension." Others from the West refer to it as "Positive Thinking," "Possibility Thinking" or "Positive Confession." It basically states that all is governed by some "higher law" so that when one learns to apply that "law," he can obtain the expected results.
According to adherents of this belief, anyone, including occultists, can apply this "law" and perform miracles.
Hunt and McMahon quote from a sequel to Cho's book The Fourth Dimension:"We've got to learn how... to visualize and dream the answer as being completed as we go to the Lord in prayer. We should always try to visualize the end result as we pray. In that way, with the power of the Holy Spirit we can incubate that which we want God to do for us.... God used this process of visualizing the situation to help Abraham .... By the visualization through the associated thought, Abraham ... could incubate his (future) children and dispel the doubts from his heart.... The main thing is that we know the importance of visualization."18
The problems with this kind of thinking are:
First, it is selfish. Praying in this fashion is not faith, but presumption. It assumes that God must submit to every whim that the Christian might want to request. Certainly, this is an incredible concept for these so-called Christians!
The Bible teaches that we are to bring our requests to God with the heart attitude of seeking that God's "... will be done in earth, as it is in heaven"(Matt. 6: 10). The Scriptures assure us that "we have the petitions that we desired of Him" if "we ask any thing according to His will," not ours (1 Jn. 5:14-15). This includes not only that for which we asked, but the timing of receiving the request as well. Biblical praying is God-centered, not man-centered.
Second, it fails to recognize the sovereignty of God, not only by placing the outcome of the prayer request as practically dependent on how the Christian will apply the so-called "Law of the Fourth Dimension," but also by making God submit to that "Law." God does not submit to any law, for He is the Law-Giver. This does not make God lawless in the same sense as man is because God is holy and pure and can never sin. He is never associated with sin and abhors sin in all its forms. He always acts in perfect harmony with all His other perfect attributes. Thus, everything He does is in accordance with the sovereign pleasure of His perfect, righteous, holy, loving and good will. That includes the way He answers our prayers.
And yet, such thinking and teaching has successfully infiltrated religious and evangelical groups, particularly among Catholic Charismatic and Pentecostal circles. An article from the August 16, 1993, issue of Christianity Today calls this teaching "the word-of-faith doctrine." It exposed Benny Hinn's erroneous teachings as "New Age" which include: ... positive confession, the prosperity gospel, and the divine right-to-be-healed concept. Under such teachings, followers are told God wants them to be "healthy and wealthy." The right amount of faith will secure anything, from a cure of cancer to a new, expensive automobile. To be in debt or to be sick shows lack of faith. 19
The article also reported the televangelist's admission of his error and his willingness to renounce his "faith message." However, others are still skeptical of his sincerity because Hinn has recanted of the "faith message" before. Other proponents of this teaching are Jimmy Swaggert, Larry Lea, Kenneth Hagin, Pat Robertson and John Wimber. Most televangelists in the Philippines bear this doctrine in their preaching, such as Mike Velarde of the "El Shaddai" and Eddie Villanueva of the"Jesus Is Lord Fellowship," to name a few. This teaching exalts man to a level of deity and degrades the Almighty God. It presupposes that man has the divine right to the things of God. This is a sharp contrast tothe heart of the Apostle Paul who wrote: "But by the grace of God(unmerited favor) I am what I am"(1 Cor. 15: 10).
Example: Implications to Philippines Culture and Society
Before Ferdinand Magellan of Spain arrived in Philippines soil in 1521, The people of the archipelago were religiously animistic in that their religion was centered on the spirit-world. The coming of the Spaniards resulted in the conversion of many of the natives to Roman Catholicism so that, a week later, Magellan baptized the king, queen and practically the entire population of Cebu.
Over 300 years later, by the time of the Spanish-American War in 1898, it was estimated that about 90% of the population had become Roman Catholic, while the remaining either stayed as animists, worshipping forest spirits, or Muslim Moros who inhabited the extreme south of Mindanao. The Americas then brought in Protestantism into the islands.
American missionary to the Philippines, Rodney Henry, makes the interesting observation that in both cases, a particular brand of "Folk Catholicism" and "Folk Protestantism" has emerged due to a "conspiracy of silence" that existed among the Filipinos. By this, he meant that both Spain's Romanism and American Protestantism offered help that dealt with "ultimate concerns (such as getting saved and going to heaven)," but the underlying basis of belief of the Filipino for "everyday concerns" remained animistic. He contends that, generally, American Protestantism ignored a spirit-world belief system which was held by most of the nationals and which resulted in the taking of their unmet spiritual needs to "out-of-church spirit world practitioners" such as the spiritists and faith healers. 20
This, in a way, explains why we continue to see, for instance, in Roman Catholic processions a mixture of paganism and their brand of Christianity where a dancing "ati-atihan" troop is followed by the people who bear the idolatrous statues of the religious system. Some Protestants, on the other hand, knowingly or unknowingly, intentionally or unintentionally, hold to their Bibles but reckon It as an amulet or good luck charm to protect them from some form of evil or imminent danger. This was further seen in the 1986 EDSA Revolution where the people in the streets held up their rosaries, statues and Bibles to stop the approaching military tanks.
Given this, the entrance of the NAM in Philippine culture and society will only serve to strengthen and reaffirm the Filipino's belief in the Spirit-world. This is not necessarily wrong, for the Scriptures do teach the existence and reality of it. Only, many Filipinos attribute all supernatural occurrences as being from God. NAM's effort to revive the occult (it is "the occult going public" or "coming out of the closet,"21 as Miller puts it) will cater to the Filipino's animistic roots.
This may also explain why Mariel Francisco believes that "an aspect of New Age thought that, no doubt, Filipinos will happily take is the new creation centered theology."22
The growing nationalism together with the desire to preserve cultural roots, including some animistic expressions of it (Folk Catholicism in particular), and the Filipino's colonial mentality (the desire to Westernize his lifestyle or update his technology) blend perfectly well with NAM's pseudo-scientific appearance. All these make Philippine culture and society a fertile ground for NAM's acceptance and growth.
After all, New Age thought is a reversal to Eastern mysticism and occultism without leaving its Western trappings. It is a newly wrapped package with the old contents practically as old as the Garden of Eden.
By now, it should be obvious to the reader of this article that the worldview the NAM offers is directly antithetical to Biblical Christianity. The NAM is against the Bible because the Bible is against NAM. Any attempt to make it appear that one complements the other is not only impossible but also dishonest and deceiving. But some have actually done this. They have cited Scripture passages, not in order to test the validity of their assumptions; rather, they have done so to make it appear that Scripture does agree with their assumptions, even though they do not believe and submit to the Bible's divine origin andauthority in the first place. One cannot do this without twisting the Scriptures in order to fit one's religious or philosophical systems of thought.
The following are three Bible verses used by Jaime Licauco. The first two are taken from his article "The Other Meaning of Christ's Birth" and the third from "Science and ESP."
1. John 10:34 - This passage has been cited to make it appear that Jesus was attributing divinity to His audience. But is this what Jesus meant here?
In verse 30, Jesus gave a statement that was tantamount to a claim of deity for Himself: "I and my Father are one." So clear was Jesus' point that His original audience reacted by seeking to stone Him while charging Him of blasphemy. They retorted by saying, "... because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God." It is then here that our Lord quotes from "your law," a reference to the 82nd chapter of the book of Psalms. The context is clear. Jesus was defending His claim of deity, which the Jews refused to believe. But what does the phrase, "Ye are gods," in Psalm 82 mean?
The context of Psalm 82 shows that the "gods" whom God judged is a reference to the judges of Israel. They were expected to "defend the poor and fatherless," "do justice to the afflicted and needy," "deliver the poor and needy" and "rid them out of the hand of the wicked"(Psa. 82:2-4). Asaph, the human author of this psalm, was calling for God to act on His justice and warning the judges who did not do what was expected of them. They were, in a sense, "gods" in their role of judging the people and were "mighty ones"(the meaning of the Hebrew word) before the eyes of the people who accorded them great respect. These unjust judges abused their God-given privileges so that God judged and mocked them when He said in verses 6 and 7, "Ye are gods... but ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes."
How does the phrase fit the context of our Lord claiming deity amidst Christ rejecting Jews? Our Lord used irony to provoke the angry mob. Irony conveys disapproval under the cover of apparent approval .23
Walter Martin says, "Jesus mocks the people as if to say, ‘You all think you're gods yourselves. What's one more god among you?’" 24 In other words, Jesus was not teaching but provoking and mocking His critics.
2. John 14:12 - Those who have cited this passage have inferred that since we can be gods, we can do much more than Jesus did. Apparently, Licauco and others who quote this in this manner have taken the passage out of its context in order to fit it into the context of the New Age worldview. We are still left, however, with the question: If Jesus did not mean what New Agers make it to mean, then what did Jesus mean by this statement?
We need to take note that the Lord said this in the context of speaking about His ascension—"I go to prepare a place for you,"(Jn. 14:2). "I go unto My Father,"(14:12)—an event that was fulfilled and recorded in the first chapter of Acts. There at Mount Olivet, He commanded His disciples not to depart from Jerusalem but to "wait for the promise of the Father" regarding the Holy Spirit's arrival, which was to happen to them "not many days hence." This promise was fulfilled on the day of Pentecost and recorded in the second chapter of Acts. They were, in one day, instrumental in Baptizing and the saving of 3,000 souls. (Acts 2: 37-42) This was only possible because Jesus had gone to the Father and had sent the Holy Spirit.
A massive discipling program continued so that the disciples were able to do truly "greater works," or more expansive works, than those of Jesus'. It is in this sense that Jesus' disciples did "greater works."
3. John14:2- This passage is seen in the context of the passage already discussed previously. The Lord was talking about the many dwelling-places (or "mansions") at God the Father's house. This is very plain and simple when we read the text in its proper context. But Jaime Licauco quotes a certain M. Cristobal in his article "Science and ESP."
Note how Licauco and Cristobal try to make the Biblical text say what it is not really saying.
Perhaps an easy way to approach the subject is to begin with the knowledge of man's true nature. Except students of paranormal phenomena, I wonder how many people would readily believe that man has seven bodies (physical, etheric, or bioplasmic, astral, three mental levels and spirit) which interpenetrate one another.
The Nazarene said, In my Father's house there are many mansions. More than merely a poetic expression, that was how the concept of the spirit could be covered at that time. Evidently Jesus was aware of such a concept and taught the same to his followers more than 2,000 years ago.
"Today we can somehow readily accept the concept that there are likely to be many levels or mansions to which the mind and spirit entity may advance after death...." 25
To him, the "mansions" are many levels "to which the mind and spirit entity may advance after death." Such an interpretation is completely divorced from the context and theologically untenable. God's Word warns the "unlearned and unstable [who] wrest, as they do also the other Scriptures." They do it "unto their own destruction"(2 Peter 3:16).
God cautioned His people, the nation of Israel, regarding the serious dangers of having unholy alliances with the Canaanites.
He listed some of the detestable Canaanite practices for which He caused Israel to destroy them (Deut. 18:9-14).
1. Making (gods);their son or daughter to pass through the fire (the practice of burning children to death as a sacrifice to the heathen)
2. Divination (getting false prophecy or trying to know the will of the so-called gods by examining and interpreting omens);
3. Observing the times (sorcerery-casting spells and attempting to control people or circumstances through demonic powers);
4. Enchantment (using any form of magic);
6. Charming serpents;
7. Consulting with familiar spirits (as done by present-day mediums or channelers);
8. Wizardry (being acquainted with the secrets of the unseen world); and
9. Necromancy (communicating with the dead for the purposes of consultation or knowing the future, or for help in manipulation).
God forbade these things because they were an abomination to Him. They were His reason for destroying the Canaanites (Deut. 18:12). God did not want His people to mingle with the heathen because the Israelites were set apart unto Him (Deut. 18:14). Reliance on these practices indicated a corresponding failure to trust the Lord with one's own life.
Modern names for some of the above abominations to the Lord include: fortune telling, clairvoyance, astrology, mesmerism, palmistry, spiritualism, etc.—all of which are associated with demonic activity.
Although sometimes practiced by professing Christians, it is nonetheless as much an abomination to the Lord today as it was then.
Challenge for Christians and for Others
Considering the Filipino's animistic roots, the local field needs to be reminded of the reality of the spirit-world. What it needs to realize, however, is that not all supernatural phenomena is of God. An experience may be authentic, but the author of the experience ought to be discerned in the light of God's Word. If it does not square with the Bible's teachings, and it is supernatural, it must be of the devil.
Second, believers need to be taught the whole counsel of God. In anticipation of the latter-day apostasy, Paul told Timothy to "preach the Word." It is the best antidote against false teaching. This will build the believer in his faith and teach him not only to evangelize (an emphasis that must be given appropriate attention) but also instruct him on how to live. For Filipino Christians, this will meet their true-to-life "everyday concerns" as well as their "ultimate concerns."
Third, it will do the Christian well to heed the apostolic injunction of the first century. The believers in the early church were faced with the problem of tolerance toward false doctrines such as Gnosticism and antinomianism. These two systems of thought bear the marks of the New Age Movement. Believing their assumptions resulted in denying the incarnation and the resurrection. It also resulted in careless living.
The apostles warned, "Believe not every spirit but try the spirits whether they are of God,"(I Jn. 4: 1). They also cautioned the church regarding first century resurrection-deniers and admonished believers to guard their associations because "...evil communications corrupt good manners"(I Cor. 15:33). The only way to do this is to have a good and strategic grasp of the Scriptures—to know them so well that the slightest defection from the truth can be immediately detected and shunned. The Bible commands the regenerate to stay away from such dangerous and unscriptural influences.
Finally, there might be someone reading this who has been enslaved into New Age philosophies or thinking. Perhaps you are now beginning to see the dangers of it and would like to be delivered from them. We urge you to come to Christ, for He alone can save you from sin and its consequences. He alone can adequately sustain all our needs. Jesus said: "I am the bread of life: he that cometh to Me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on Me shall never thirst... and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out"(Jn. 6:35-37).
1-2 The New Age Movement published by The People's Gospel Hour. Elliot Miller, A Crash Course on the New Age (Michigan: Baker Book House, 1989), p. 184.
3. Constance Cumbey, The Hidden Dangers of the Rainbow (Louisiana: Huntington House Inc., 1983), p. 61.
4. Mariel Francisco, "Seeing Our (Higher) Selves in the New Age," Sunday Inquirer Magazine, 26 January 1992, p. 8.
5. Miller, p. 2 1.
6. Francisco, p. 13.
7. Walter Martin, The New Age Cult (Minnesota: Bethany House Publishers, 1989), p. 26.
8. Francisco, p. 14.
9. Miller, p. 184.
10. Jaime Licauco, "The Other Meaning of Christ's Birth," The Philippine Daily Inquirer, 9 January 1992, p. 18.
11. Dave Hunt and T. A. McMahon, The Seduction of Christianity (Oregon: Harvest House Publishers, 1987), p. 77.
12. Licauco, p. 18.
13. Cumbey, p. 65.
14. Martin, p. 15.
15. Licauco has appeared on talk shows on television and has openly condoned such beliefs and practices. He also has claimed to have seen UFO's and has conversed with dwarfs and other spirit beings.
16. Michael Horton, ed., The Agony of Deceit (Chicago: Moody Press, 1990), p. 268.
17. Hunt and McMahon, p. 101.
18. Ibid., p. II 3.
19. Perucci Feraiuolo, "Christian Leaders Admonish Hinn," Christianity Today, 19 August 1993, p. 38.
20. Rodney L. Henry, Filipino Spirit World (Metro-Manila: OMFLiterature, 1986), pp. 5-35.
21. Miller, p. 184.
22. Francisco, p. 13.
23. Stewart Custer, Tools for Teaching and Preaching the Bible (South Carolina: Bob Jones University Press, Inc., 1979), p. 39.
24. Martin, p. 97.
25. Jamie Licauco. "Science & ESP," The Philippine Daily Inquirer, 16 January 1992, pp. 18, 20.