Center for Biblical Theology and Eschatology
The Spirit of Babel
The New Spirituality in Redemptive History
by Alan Morrison
The overarching title of this series of four articles is "Discerning the Signs of the Times". The scriptural context of that particular phrase is Matthew 16:3: "Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times". It is right for diligent Christians to discern the signs of the times. However, it is possible to get into an over-pietistic mindset and say, echoing some words of the Lord Jesus, that it is not for us to know times and seasons. So we shy away from using our discernment antennae. The net result is that we then bury our heads in the sand and cease to take note of what is happening around us.
While it is true that we are not to be obsessive conspiracy-watchers or precise date-setters as to the return of our Lord, we are expected to be discerning and to watch out over the world, to discern what is happening and to see what significance it might have for the people of God. In fact, in 1 Thessalonians chapter 5, verse 2, the Apostle says:
"For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say 'Peace and safety!' then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief ".In other words, we who are believers have some knowledge that doesn't leave us in total darkness about the approach of the end of the world. We do not know the day; we do not know the hour; but we are certainly taught to look out across the world and discern the signs of the times, so that we will have an idea of when the end of all things is approaching. The knowledge of the Christian is paramount here "But you, brethren, are not in darkness" watching, waiting, praying and acting, not burying our heads in the sand and consoling ourselves by saying "Well, it doesn't matter because Jesus will soon come and rapture me out of all this lunacy". Rather than indulging in escapism, we should always be discerning the spiritual movements of the world as the end of "this present evil age" (as Paul calls it, Gal.1:4) approaches.
In the late 1960s, the present writer was in a mindless haze, floating on the waves generated by the many-headed hydra of the New Spirituality and grooving to the sounds of the Ultimate Spinach, the Grateful Dead's "Anthem of the Sun" and Jefferson Airplane's "After Bathing at Baxters". He had no knowledge whatsoever that three decades later he would be exposing the whole concept and mindset around that kind of music ('Acid Rock' as it was known) for being a satanic development, fostered by fallen angels. Only the Lord can bring about that kind of transformation, and it is by His grace that we are saying these things today!
There is a massive amount of material to cover in these articles. Even so, we will only be touching the tip of the iceberg. The word "iceberg" is very appropriate, as our subject matter involves much that is necessarily hidden from public view. Our main purpose here is to present a 'primer' on some developments in the religious life of humanity which are going to have a profound effect on the lives of believers in the coming years.
However, before we get into the main body of this article, there are three introductory points that should be brought to our attention. The first introductory point is this:
1. The New Spirituality is Not New
You might also know the New Spirituality by its other names of the "New Consciousness" or "New Age Movement". But we are deliberately using this phrase, "The New Spirituality"; for it is important to stress the specifically spiritual claims of this religious development. All the nuts and bolts of the New Spirituality have been in existence for millennia. What we are seeing today is merely the culmination of a long process involving spiritual warfare on many different levels. The New Spirituality is not new. What is perceived to be NEW today in the religious sphere is never new; it is merely something considerably older but dressed up in newer clothes. As Solomon has wisely said, "There is nothing new under the sun", and this would most certainly apply to the topic that we are looking at over the course of these articles. Allow me to give you an example. Earlier this year, CNN, Cable News Network, ran a story headed, "New Religion Uses Chants and Meditations for Worship", which said:
"A hunger for spirituality is leading people to a new type of worship that focuses on chanting and meditation. You repeat it over and over again and it becomes more relaxing. And you go from whatever your present state of consciousness is to a much more relaxing state of consciousness".Well, that is NOT a new religion or style of worship at all. People have been practising that sort of thing for millennia; but yet it is described here as being "new" -- a common misperception. In fact, this article was referring to Taisé chanting, as practised in a French monastery of that name. (The present Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. George Carey, is very keen on participating in such chanting at this monastery). But this New Spirituality practice is certainly not new. Using repetitive chanting to enter an altered state of consciousness is a very old practice indeed, as we will demonstrate.
So the New Spirituality is not new. That is the first introductory point. The second introductory point is that
2. The New Spirituality is Not Really Spiritual
It is not spiritual in the truest sense. It is religious, most certainly. In fact what we are really looking at in all these articles, is the unified thrust of world religion. That is what we are looking at: The fact that the New Spirituality is entirely in tune with the central thrust of world religion. And it is about as far removed from TRUE spirituality as one can get. Hopefully although, in a sense, this may seem to be a predominantly negative series of articles-- while we are cracking open those things that are false, and are not the TRUE spirituality and are false religion, we hope also that at the same time, alongside of that, it will be made very obvious, by dint of logic, what TRUE spirituality really consists of.
So the second introductory point is that the New Spirituality is not really spiritual. The third introductory point is this:
3. The New Spirituality is not Only Religious but it is also Political
It is very important to understand this point. It is inevitable that the New Spirituality will be political. We will go into this in more detail in the following articles in this series. Because, for the unbelieving person, hope for the future can only ever rest with Man and his accomplishments in the world as it is presently constituted, therefore religion must always become political. I hope you can understand that point. It has to become political, it has to become built into the world system, this so-called spirituality. And that is why you will see that we will be moving into the whole area of what is called the "New World Order". It is because there's a total crossover between the New Spirituality and the New World Order. The New World order and the New Age scenario are both inextricably linked together because, for human beings that are unregenerate, their only hope lies in this present world and in bringing about worldly change.
So those are our three introductory points.
Now you may be hoping that we would immediately go on at this point and launch into everything that the New Spirituality is about, as there is a fascination with this and the New World Order today. But that is not what is going to happen. Rather than be looking first at what is taking place in the world on a religious level, trotting out a bundle of facts and events and situations, and then struggling to see if we can find some sort of backup for it from the Bible, we are going to go at it the other way around entirely, and we will reserve any sanctified speculation for the final article in this series.
So what I want to do in this article is to see what pointers the Bible gives us about the religious life of the world and the historical development of world religion. I hope that you will agree that this will be a most useful way of going at things. We must begin with the Bible rather than our own speculations; and it would be so easy to do that with the present subject matter. In the next article in this series, we will be looking at the relationship between the New Spirituality and the New World Order the historical quest to build heaven on earth what we can call "spiritual politics".
It is generally believed that there are many different religions in the world. Indeed we will come to see that the entire philosophy of the New Spirituality is that there are many different religions in the world, but the face changes to become the different religions. However, the Bible shows very clearly that there are only two religions in the world, which are not only infinitely different, but are also involved in a tremendous conflict. And that is really the nub of everything we are looking at in this series of articles. The one religion is patently true, and the other is manifestly false. One has been in existence since the creation of Man, and the other was introduced by a wicked angelic being. One is intrinsically good and the other is inherently evil. One has as its centrepiece the worship of the one true God, and the other involves the attempted deification of the fallen angel whom we know now as Satan. There are only two religions in the world. There was originally only one, and then one was introduced into the world, and this is the plain teaching of Scripture, as we shall come to see.
The Scriptures reveal that there is objective truth, spiritually manifested. But one also discovers that there is a gargantuan deceptive power which has confronted this truth for millennia. We can call this an "antithesis", and it has been in the world since the time of the Fall. And every idea in the universe which purports to be of a religious or philosophical significance must fall under one or other of these two religious categories. One involves the "mystery of Godliness", and the other involves "the mystery of iniquity", about which we will have a great deal more to say later. One is based on the establishment of righteousness, the other is empowered by evil although it very often manifests as goodness. We need to understand this, for it also lies at the heart of all that we are looking at in this series of articles which we have called "Discerning the Signs of the Times". And in our present age, one involves what we call "Christianity" and the other involves an umbrella under which every religion of the world takes shelter. (Ultimately, of course, Christianity is NOT a religion. The Lord Jesus Christ came to reveal and point the way to truth, not to start a religion. But there are plenty of religions in the world).
Thus, there is true spirituality which has its roots in the will of God and is rock-like in its consistency the everlasting Gospel (Rev.14:6) which has been the same from the very beginning and there is the New Spirituality which is an ever-evolving kaleidoscope of seductive movements, philosophies, religions and worldviews. It is, in fact, the modern pinnacle of the development of world religion. Now to begin to understand the background of all this properly, we need to go back to the very beginning of the Scriptures.
This is what we are building on in this present article: providing a bedrock, a background, a foundation on which to understand all the other things we are going to be looking at. Therefore, our first main heading is
I. THE ORIGIN OF WORLD RELIGION
World religion really begins with the moment that the fall of angels took place. That is why we say that what we identify today as the New Spirituality is NOT new. From that moment in history when the angel whom we now call Satan became filled with pride thereby giving birth to its daughter, rebellion a movement came into being. And it is a movement involving conspiracy.
If you were to ask this writer if he believes in conspiracy theory, he would say: "No. I believe in conspiracy fact". And it goes right back to this original Fall. This is a teaching that lies at the heart of the Bible. The Bible doesn't teach conspiracy merely as a theory; it teaches conspiracy as a fact. And nowhere is this more apparent then in the twelfth chapter of the book of Revelation, which must be one of the most stupendous chapters in all of scripture. You have, in the first four verses, the three major players in the scenario of the conspiracy. There is God's covenant people, symbolised by the "woman". There is Satan, or the devil, the chief of the fallen angels, known symbolically as the "great fiery red dragon". There is the Redeemer "child", the Lord Jesus Christ. And as a result of the fall of angels (which is what is most likely being referred to) at the beginning of verse 4, iniquity or lawlessness came to penetrate the whole of Gods creation.
The Lord gave our first parents a commandment, but it was a commandment which they chose to disobey. And we find that this "Fall" into sin in Eden didn't merely involve disobedience to the Creator, it actually embodied a total seduction a spiritual, moral and ethical initiation, if we may use that word. It is surely a very appropriate word to use: for it was an initiation into the power and ways of Satan. Therefore it would be no exaggeration to say that a "Satanic Initiation" occurred at that point. It wasn't merely a question of disobedience, there was a whole seduction into this initiation. And this initiation received by our first parents provides us with a complete model for all subsequent development of the human race. It is vital for us to grasp the supernatural significance of these events which took place, and the cataclysmic effect which they have continued to exert on the world system and are still having in our lives today.
So where does all this figure in the background to the New Spirituality?
What we find in this original initiation at the time of the Fall are three particular elements which set the scene for all subsequent religious and spiritual developments which are outside of the preceptive will of God. In other words, in the basic elements of the Fall, we find Satan's groundplan for all his lawless work in the religious life of humanity throughout the whole span of history.
Think about the statements by the Lord Jesus Christ in which he referred to Satan as "the ruler of this world" a "ruler" who was being "cast out" (Jn.12:31). "The ruler of this world is coming but he has no hold on me", Jesus said in John 14:30. "The ruler of this world now stands condemned" (Jn.16:11). Paul speaks of Satan as "the god of this Age/World who has blinded the minds of those that do not believe" (2 Cor.4:3-4). Similarly, John says the whole world "lies under the sway [or power and control] of the evil one" (1 Jn.5:19). How did the fallen angel get to occupy this position of rulership and control?
From the time that Adam and Eve turned away from their Creator, a whole new "world" came into being a world based on sin and on enmity toward God a world which was under the sway of Satan and his fellow fallen angels or demons a world system which was set to last throughout all history, until the time that the Lord Jesus Christ returns at the end of the present age. It was as if the Lord said at the beginning of history after our first parents had fallen: "Well then, since you preferred Satan's law to mine, you will have to accept the consequences of that throughout the rest of history. You can have Satan as your father instead of me and in this way you will learn your lesson" (cf. Jn.8:44).
The word "world", in the context of Satan being "ruler of the world", does not refer to every particle in the entire universe, for God is the true King and Lord of this cosmos and Satan is merely a usurper ruler. The world over which Satan rules is that imperfect human society which began with that first sin in Eden, which set itself up in opposition to God, and which is always under the power of the demonic realm.
So let us now look closer still at the origins of world religion. Remember that we need first to understand that the Fall was not restricted merely to an act of rank disobedience although it certainly was that. The Fall involved a kind of religious 'Initiation' into the ways of Satan. So, as part of our exploration into the origin of world religion, let us look at the "Satanic Initiation" which was incipient in the Fall and into which our first parents were seduced.
1. The "Satanic Initiation" in the Fall & its Subsequent Influence on the Development of World Religion
There are three elements in this "Satanic Initiation" in Gen.3:1-6, which have never changed since that time and which have come to infect the entire human creation. This is what lies behind the development of world religion.
The first element in this "Satanic Initiation" is:
i. The Promise of Personal Divinity
Here is the promise: "You will be like God, knowing good and evil" (Gen.3:5). You will (not "can", but "will") be like God. That is one mighty promise. But what does it involve? We need to be aware that when the Scripture speaks about the ability to "know good and evil" here, it is referring to something which is the prerogative of God alone. It cannot simply be referring to the basic ability to tell the difference between right and wrong. Our first parents plainly already had a human knowledge of good and evil, or the Lord would never have given them such a commandment. So what is being spoken about here is not just the bare knowledge of good and evil but a knowledge of good and evil "like God", as the context states: "You will be like God, knowing good and evil". In other words, it refers to a God-like knowledge of good and evil. This means that it is referring to something which is the prerogative of God and God alone.
Satan was, in effect, offering our first parents a usurpation of God's exclusive knowledge on these matters; he was setting them up to be the sole and autonomous arbiters of what is good and what is evil. In this we have the root of all situation ethics. In this we have the root of egocentricity. In this we have the root of people imagining that they are autonomous beings rather than God-made creatures. In other words, with this "Satanic Initiation", Man made himself into a little "god". That is what was taking place here. The promise of personal divinity was built into this satanic "initiation", and it has echoed down the passage of time with devastating spiritual and ethical consequences.
The second element in that initiation was
ii. The Guarantee of Unconditional Eternal Life
"And the serpent said to the woman, you will not surely die..." (Gen.3:4).
This was, of course, a phenomenal lie. Here Satan reveals his consummate role as a liar.
A primary object of Satan's enduring question "Has God indeed said...?" was to persuade our first parents that in following him they would 'certainly not die' (Gen.3:4), as the Lord had originally said they would if they disobeyed Him (Gen.2:16-17). In effect, Satan was promising them unconditional eternal life. This forms the second component in the "Satanic Initiation".
However, the complete reverse of what he promised actually came to pass. Because our first parents were beguiled by Satan's questioning of God's statement that they would die if they disobeyed His commandment, death then came into the world, just as the Lord had spoken (cf. Rom.5:12). This is why Jesus said that Satan 'was a murderer from the beginning' as well as the father of the lie (Jn.8:44). Satan promised life and instead brought death to humanity.
In terms of the outworking of religious corruption across the globe, this aspect of the "Satanic Initiation" has manifested itself in the many doctrines and philosophies which support the notion of unconditional eternal life, such as reincarnation, spiritualism, and the undergoing of out-of-the-body experiences (known as 'obes') and alleged after-death states of bliss, etc. In short, initiation into this lie has led to the ready acceptance of any religious experience which Satan can use to convince people that God does not punish sin after death and that everyone goes to heaven unconditionally. That is quite a deceit and a con-trick of momentous proportions in its significance to our consciousness of the need for real life.
A third element in that "Satanic Initiation" was
iii. A Desire for Wisdom which is Above and Beyond that which was Received by Nature
The third part of the "Satanic Initiation" was to persuade our first parents that they could acquire a level of wisdom over and above that with which they had been endowed by their Creator, and that by obeying him, rather than their Creator, they would have access to that wisdom: "When the woman saw that the tree was desirable to make one wise..." (Gen.3:6). This is what we see built into the whole process of the Fall the desire for a wisdom which is above and beyond that which was received by nature.
The clear implication in Satan's strategy here was that there was some special, esoteric knowledge which God was concealing from His human creation, the acquisition of which would enhance their lives. In fact, Satan's suggestion was that God was being a 'dog-in-the-manger' by denying our first parents the possibility of having their eyes opened and being like Him (see Gen.3:5). In other words, the fallen angel was suggesting that God was wrongfully making an exclusive claim to the attribute of divine wisdom which could, in reality, be acquired by anyone.
The outworking of this strategy, in terms of subsequent religious corruption, has been centred on the fascination with esoteric teachings as found in occult-mystical belief systems and the mystery religions. In common with the majority of the world's religions, they hold to the idea that one can be initiated into a body of "higher-wisdom-teachings" which will bring about supernatural change and even deification. (Even in those religions which do not profess such "higher-wisdom- teachings", one will find sects which do a classic example being the Sufi sect of Islam).
Here we have the root of so much of what is involved in world religions, and especially the New Spirituality, as we will come to see during these articles. Now these three elements: a desire for a wisdom which is beyond that which was given by nature by God, the promise of personal divinity, and the promise of unconditional eternal life, will repeatedly crop up in all the various avenues we are going to be looking at in this series of articles. For this "initiation" did not merely have a moral and ethical knock-on effect but would also inevitably come to affect the entire religious life of the world.
So from a moral or ethical standpoint we find the outworking of this "Satanic Initiation" in the setting up of oneself as the sole arbiter of what is right and what is wrong what is known as "situation ethics" leading to moral relativism and the classic notion of the New Spirituality that we have today, that we each create our own reality according to our own personal situation and that we have respect for everyone else who creates their reality. In the area of human ethics we find this whole initiation expressed in, for example, that well known abortive phrase "a woman's right to choose", and in the global ideal of placing "human rights" above creaturely duty toward God. We will have more to say about these things later. But our main concern here is the way that this initiation has worked out in the field of religion. For we will discover that all false religion, all occultism, all sorcery and magic have their source in this threefold "Satanic Initiation".
So far, what we have seen is that there is a religious life portended in the Fall which involves the seeking after a higher knowledge than God intends us to have, the illusion of attainment of personal divinity, and the fictitious notion that unconditional eternal life is rightly the province of every human being. This was the legacy of that "Satanic Initiation", and it has pervaded every aspect of human existence since that time.
(We could also add a fourth part of that initiation in terms of attempts at self-righteousness the need to feel redeemed through works that I do which was intrinsic in the use of "coverings", Gen.3:7. For a condemned person feels the continual need to be absolved of guilt hence, people throw themselves into "good works", or visit a psychotherapist, all of which can only ever be a mere ameliorative, of no ultimate avail).
We have now looked at the influences of the Fall on the subsequent development of world religion. What other influences were there in the early life of humanity which would contribute to the subsequent development of world religion? Let us now look at some post-Fall influences that tack onto the back of that original "Satanic Initiation" that is built into the Fall. What happened after the Fall?
2. Post-Fall Influences on the Development of World Religion
We see these things very clearly laid out in chapter 1 of Paul's letter to the Romans, to which you may wish to turn to follow our exposition. After having shown that the Gospel is based on a "righteousness" provided by God (rather than one which can be enacted by man) and that the attainment of this righteousness is open to people of any background or pedigree, so long as they believe (vv.17-18), Paul spends the rest of the chapter showing why there is a need for the Gospel in the first place. In doing so, he lays out the way that the pagan religious mindset developed in a Post-Fall world. The various stages in this development have shaped and influenced the whole course of world religion in history. What were those influences?
One could preach an entire sermon on each of these individual points; but we are merely opening them up briefly for the purposes of developing our central theme: the unfolding of global religion in a post-Fall world.
i. An Innate Need to Suppress Spiritual Truth
First of all, in verse 18, there is mention of the fact that people "suppress the truth in unrighteousness". There is an inbuilt innate need for the suppressing of truth in the person. It is important to understand this in relation to spiritual, religious matters. The awesome reality of God the Creator is too much for a human race riddled with actual guilt and unholiness. Also connected with that innate need to suppress spiritual truth is another post-Fall influence on the religious life of humanity:
ii. A Profound Love of the Lie
"...who exchanged the truth of God for the lie", v.25.
What is this monolith known as "the lie"? It is what naturally comes about when one suppresses the truth about God the Creator. In a nutshell, the Big Lie is that God is not God. This is the Lie which Satan has fostered in the heart of humanity from the beginning, when he put himself in the position of God and encouraged our first parents to do likewise. It is also the Lie which will play its own special role in the final days of this present evil age (2 Thess.2:11-12). The denial that God is God is the Lie that has influenced all the unbelieving world's philosophical and religious developments from the beginning.
A third post-Fall influence on the development of world religion is
iii. A Wilful Refusal to Acknowledge the Transcendence of God the CreatorNow, again this is something we would love to go into in great depth and detail, and the text deserves that too; but time and space constrain us.
"...Because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened" (Rom.1:19-21)
In our conception of God, we have got two unifying scenarios. We have what we can call the "Transcendence of God" that is, God being above and beyond all things that He has created. But alongside of that, there is what we can call the "Imminence of God" the fact of God suffusing His creation, what we can also call the ubiquity of God, or the omnipresence of God. Whenever either of these two elements gets unbalanced in our conception of God, our religious life also becomes unbalanced. And what we find repeatedly is and we see it here in the above three verses a wilful refusal to acknowledge the transcendent nature of God the creator, which then leads to an unhealthy and mainly exclusive emphasis on the "imminence" of God. The outcome of that is what we can call pantheism, where God is simply regarded as being in everything, and everything is God.
We can see why such a way of thinking becomes necessary. A world which has bought into the Big Lie that God is not God has to find a way of eliminating the Transcendence of God. There must not be an objective Creator who has personality and transcends His creation and even judges His creation. "Although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful".
One can do no better here than quote a remarkable little paragraph from J. Gresham Machen in his book on 'Liberalism' which is just as pertinent and appropriate today when speaking about the New-spirituality. He says here:That just sums the whole thing up in a nutshell here; because as soon as one wanders away from the idea of the transcendence of God, and instead extols only the "immanence" of God, one inevitably winds up with Pantheism and that is what lies at the back of most of the religious developments that we are examining in this series of articles, and is certainly at the heart of the New Spirituality.
"The truth is that liberalism has lost sight of the very centre and core of Christian teaching. In the Christian view of God as set forth in the Bible, there are many elements, but one attribute of God is absolutely fundamental in the Bible. One attribute is absolutely necessary in order to render intelligible all the rest, and that attribute is the awful transcendence of God! From beginning to the end of the Bible it is concerned to set forth the awful gulf that separates the creature form the creator. It is true indeed that according to the Bible, God is imminent in the world, not a sparrow falls to the ground without Him, but He is imminent in the world, not because He has identified with the world, but because he is the free creator and upholder of it. Between the creature and the creator a great gulf is fixed".1
Another post-Fall influence on the religious life of humanity follows naturally on from this, and that is
iv. The Worship of the Creature
This is the next step, is it not? This is quite plain from verses 22 and 23 of Romans chapter 1:
"Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things".
After the denial of the Transcendence of God, we slip straight away into idolatry, the worship of the created thing. It is the natural outworking of that. And again this has great significance for our understanding of world religion, with its worship of a false god or gods, whether in a material image or in a mental concept. Nothing is to stand in the way of people and the one true God: "Thou shalt have no other gods before me" (Exod.20:3). But one of the key post-Fall influences on the religion of man has been his worship of the creature in place of the Creator: "They changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image...". Such is idolatry. All of the world religions throughout history have exhibited idolatry in one or more of its five main forms:
a) Worship of a visible image. This is the form which most people readily recognise as idolatry, in which some manufactured image or artifact of nature is worshipped as "god".
b) Polytheism. In which many different "gods" graven images and mythical/phantastic are worshipped.
c) Pantheism. In which Divinity is regarded as permeating the entire universe. Thus the whole of nature is worshipped as the "god in everything".
d) Deism. In which there is some acknowledgement of a Transcendent God, but that "god" is very remote and not at all involved with his creation. This has been characterised as being like a watchmaker who makes the watch but leaves it to tick without any interference. This, of course, is very far removed from the God of the Bible (e.g. Matt.10:29) and is another more subtle form of idolatry.
e) Selfism. In which a person sets himself up as the final arbiter of his destiny. It involves the exaltation of the self to godlike status. Every human being is by nature guilty of this form of idolatry. This is why "covetousness" can be regarded as idolatry (Col.3:5).
So idolatry was a major post-Fall influence on the development of the religious life of humanity. As soon as all those idolatrous influences are in place, again there naturally follows our next post-Fall influence on the development of the religious life of humanity:
v. A Rejection of Gods Entire Created Order
If you look at Rom.1:24 through to the end of that chapter, you will see how once things begin to go wrong in the 'conception-of-God' department, the entire development of the world goes out of kilter and you wind up with a complete rebellion against the created order of God:
"God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful..." (Rom.1:28-31).
In these verses, Paul particularly majors on homosexuality because it is seminal in the process of apostasy. We see from these verses that the homosexual agenda is not merely a social or cultural development, as people would have us believe. It is not merely a matter of choice in human sexuality. Neither is it a genuine political issue. The development of homosexuality in any society is a spiritual matter. That is what we need to understand. And it is naturally born out of the suppression of Truth, a love for the Lie, a rejection of Almighty God as transcendent creator of heaven and earth and a subsequent refusal to recognise the perfections of His created order. As we once heard Dr. Peter Jones describe it in a lecture: "If idolatry is heresy, then homosexuality is total apostasy". And all this was to be essence of the spirituality of the world on a personal level. For this reason we don't believe it is possible to separate the religious life of the world from the political. The beast always has its false prophet!
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Having so far examined the elements of the Fall and its subsequent outworkings in the aftermath, in relation to the development of world religion, let us now look at
3. The Collective Outworkings of All these Influences on World Religion in Old Testament Times
The first thing which should be mentioned here is
i. The Inauguration of the "Spirit of Antichrist"
In John's first letter, he refers to a denial of Jesus Christ coming in the flesh, a refusal to accept that God has been manifested in the flesh in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Jn.2:22). In other words, he is referring to a 100% rejection of the incarnation of the Son of God. This is what Scripture refers to as "the spirit of antichrist" (1 Jn.4:4). This was shown in its first phase in Rev.12:4: "The dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born". Here we see the fallen angel, Satan, represented as a dragon, confronting the people of God with the sole intention of undermining the incarnation of the promised Redeemer. This was a virulent opposition to, and rejection of, the Lord Jesus Christ. This is the "spirit of antichrist".
In the wake of the Fall, not only were judgements delivered to our first parents which then echoed down the corridors of time, but there was also a judgement pronounced on the fallen angel Satan himself. And it is a judgement which would contain the first glimmer of a prophecy of the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ: "I will put enmity Between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel" (Gen.3:15).
Out of this, Satan now had something to go on in his desperate course of action. He knew from that point on that there was a battle to death which was fixed between himself and the offspring of a woman. In other words, Satan now knew that his adversary would be a descendant of the woman a human incarnation. We can see the entire outworking of that conflict throughout the Old Testament Scriptures as Satan frantically sought to destroy the coming of the One who would be the Redeemer of the human race. "The dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born". So the devil waited to pounce on this 'seed of the woman' which would be none other than God manifested in the flesh! In this we have a major outworking of false religion in Old Testament times indeed it lies behind the entire weave of the Old Testament.
All this is plain in Rev.12:4b: "And the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born". From that point onwards a hatred of God and His plan of salvation lay at the back of an entire historical movement: a vast global conspiracy involving demons and men. And it has been a major spiritual facet in the history of redemption. This is the "spirit of antichrist"; and it has been present in the world from the very first moment of that judgement being delivered to the fallen angel Satan. It is the virulent opposition of Satan to Christ.
This opposition continued in New Testament times, even after the Redeemer had been born. The Apostle Paul called it the "Mystery of Iniquity" (2 Thess.2:7). The whole of the New Testament period has been characterised by this mystery and has been building towards the consummation of opposition to Christ at the end of this Age an Age which is also known in its entirety as the "last hour". So the Apostle John could say even in the first century AD: "Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour" (1 Jn.2:18). We will open this up further when we come to look at the outworkings of the "spirit of antichrist" through the "mystery of iniquity" in New Testament times below.
When we look at the "spirit of antichrist" in Old Testament times, we see a definite plan of action against the coming of the Son of God in the flesh. This is conspiracy fact, not theory. Satan put all his energies into preventing His coming by attempting to undermine the people of God ("the woman" of Rev.12:4) in those days: "The dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born". Satan's "standing before the woman" is what caused such a hard time for the Old Testament saints, in his bid to flush out and destroy the promised Redeemer who would be born in order to overthrow him and his works. First, Satan sought to destroy Abel through his envoy, Cain (Gen.4:8; 1 Jn.3:12); but God raised up Seth in his place (Gen.4:25). Then, as things were coming towards the time of the flood, after the Fall, we find that the ungodly offspring fathered by Cain carried that "Satanic Initiation" and "spirit of antichrist" through to the time of the flood as the devil tried to pollute the godly line of Seth with an unprecedented outburst of demonic evil (Gen.6:1-2). The wickedness of that time was so great that the Lord had to intervene with the judgement of the flood.
However, God raised up Noah with his immediate family and drowned the rest of the world's population (Gen.6:8). The old serpent subsequently tried to have every male child in Israel killed at birth by the midwives; but God made provision to ensure that this would not succeed (Exod.1:15-22).
Later, he stirred up Queen Athaliah to murder all the royal heirs of Judah (from which ancestral line the Lord Jesus would come); but Jehosheba hid little Joash the last royal heir in line in the recesses of the temple for six years (2 Kgs.11:1-3). Satan then stirred up Haman to destroy all the Jews (Est.3:6); but they were miraculously delivered at the expense of their Gentile enemies (Est.9:1-17).
In the fullness of time, when the Lord Jesus was born, Satan used his servant Herod to issue an edict that all the male babies under two years of age in Bethlehem and its environs should be killed (Mt.2:16-18); but that too was an abortive measure. Finally, he attempted to destroy the Lord Jesus Himself by inciting his earthly agents to crucify Him (e.g., Lk.4:28-30; Jn.11:53; Luke 23:8-12; cf. Acts 4:27-28). However, it is a singular fact that every act of Satan in history has been an abortive failure, rebounding on himself, and ultimately leading to his own eventual judgement (Rev.20:10).
The world-system under the rulership of Satan has always sought to kill God and His Christ, and the spiritual battle initiated by Satan in Eden came to its climax in the attempted "killing off" of God in Christ by the rulers of the world (see Psalm 2). That hatred of God and His plan of salvation has been a major spiritual facet of the history of redemption. This is the "spirit of antichrist".
So this "spirit of antichrist" this flagrant, determined, conspiratorial plan of action designed to deny the Incarnation of Christ in every way, to deny it so completely as to go to any lengths to destroy any possible contenders for that role was a constant influence on history in Old Testament times. And it was in opposition to this that the nation Israel was born, as part of the spiritual warfare waged by the one true God against this "spirit of antichrist" work of Satan.
But let us now examine in more detail the outworkings of the "Satanic Initiation" on the development of world religion by going back to an earlier stage of history.
ii. The Outworking of the "Satanic Initiation" in Pre-Diluvian Culture
We have already seen how the satanic world-system and religion was introduced for the first time on the planet earth at the beginning of human history in Eden, when the invitation to 'be like God' was compounded with the knowledge and wisdom which Satan, posing as the 'Bringer of Light' (Lucifer), imparted to our first parents.
After the Fall, the ungodly progeny fathered by Cain carried the "Satanic Initiation" and thereby, the "spirit of antichrist" through to the time of the Flood. During this period, we see the conflict intensify between the two "seeds" of Gen.3:15 (read it again) the one sown by God, which would lead eventually to the Lord Jesus Christ, and the other sown by Satan, which became the foundation and establishment of world culture and religion.
At the outset, Cain, the seed of the devil, bites righteous Abel in his heel to bring down the first martyr. The seed of the serpent can only ever bite the seed of God in the heel. It is not fatal. It may kill him in the body, but what of it? However, to be crushed in the head is altogether fatal forever. So we are speaking of a spiritual bruising of the heel and crushing of the head. The climax of this "bruising" comes in the death of the Lord Jesus Christ. Although the death of Christ was a bruise in the heel, the defeat of Satan which was so completely accomplished on the Cross represented the crushing of Satan's head.
Remember that the entire Bible traces the outworking of this enmity between the two seeds. We can see that especially in the Book of Genesis these seeds are emphasised. This is why Genealogies are so common in the Old Testament, and why the ancestry of the Lord Jesus Christ is central to the opening of two of the Gospels. In Genesis chapters 4 and 5 we have the two seeds developing further. Adam and Eve have another son, Seth, to replace Abel. Cain will be the carrier of the seed of Satan. Seth will be the carrier of the seed of the Lord.
Cain's offspring is dealt with in a few verses, while the Sethites will take us from Gen.4:25 to Gen.9:28. In Gen.4:17-26, we have Satan's seed, via Cain, developing itself into the wider society, contrasted with the godly seed of Seth whose characteristics are found in the final verses of that chapter. In fact, what we have in Gen.4:17-26 is an account of the beginnings of human civilisation a civilisation which would shape the content and activity of all future world religion.
Sixteen hundred years ago, Augustine of Hippo wrote a book called "The City of God", in which he spoke of the two cities which had been formed by two loves. The earthly city, formed by the love of self and the contempt of God; and the heavenly city, formed by love for God and even the contempt of self. These are styled spiritually as Babylon (the Mother of Harlots) and (the New) Jerusalem. The first is destined for destruction. The second is to last forever. Populating these two cities are the two seeds about which we have been speaking. The enmity between the two seeds comes to a climax with the Lord Jesus Christ. Shortly before His death, He is brought to stand trial before and be executed by the assembled representatives of the apostate seed. But He, as the true Seed of the woman prophesied in Gen.3:15, is the victor.
The whole of the Bible is the story of those two seeds and the vicious spiritual battle between them. The world has no understanding at all of this Two Seed Conflict. It is a conflict set to last until the end of the age. It was originally set in motion by God, who said: 'I will put enmity between your seed and her seed'. No amount of peacemongering or diplomacy can remove that enmity. Man cannot change what God has begun. Only He can finish it. And finish it He WILL. But we will save that savory meal for our final article in this series.
One thing we are going to learn here is that "civilisation" is not the wonderful thing which many imagine it to be. It is chiefly through those who were alienated from God and who followed Satan and who rejected the promise of the coming Saviour that "civilisation" made the greatest "progress". This is hardly surprising. God's people have generally been characterised as pilgrims or aliens just passing through this wilderness of this world, and strangers in the world not really a part of it:
Heb.11:13: 'These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth'.The true child of God can never, ever feel really, truly, madly, deeply comfortable in this world. No matter how lovely or extravagantly wonderful he may find this world to be in terms of natural beauty or grandeur, he still looks forward to a "better country" a heavenly country wherein righteousness dwells. He knows that in this world he will be comparatively weak. He looks forward to the New Heavens and the New Earth.
On the other hand, the children of Satan those who follow the way of Cain love to cultivate the resources of the world, to build it up into a powerbase of great importance. The whole course of history has been shaped by the battle between the two seeds of Gen.3:15. What we call "civilisation" is actually the product of the satanic seed which follows the "spirit of antichrist". The world-system under the rulership of Satan has always sought to kill God and His Christ. The spiritual battle initiated by Satan in Eden came to its climax in the attempted "killing off" of God in Christ by the rulers of the world (see Psalm 2). The political, philosophical and religious systems of the mighty kingdoms and empires of this fallen world have always belonged to Satan, inasmuch as he has been the driving force behind that incongruous mixture of wisdom and tyranny, science and sorcery, cultural achievement and despotism, social sophistry and violence, great art and idolatry all matching the character of Lucifer the Lightbearer: outstandingly brilliant, extremely knowledgeable, unfathomably mystical yet all ultimately in the service of self, degenerating into hypocrisy and hedonism, autocracy and base magic.
During the buildup to the time of the Flood, in the pre-diluvian period, we see some important aspects of the development of world religion in Old Testament times, as characterised by the leading features of the seed of Satan the bearers of the "Satanic Initiation" and progenitors of the "spirit of antichrist". These have had a continued influence on the subsequent development of world religion throughout history.
The first aspect we see is that
1) There is an Immediate Hostility Towards the Lord
This can be seen in three elements:
A. There was a withdrawal from God's presence:Cain did not repent of his sin of murder. Instead, he hardened his heart and went out of the presence of God. It is likely that the presence of God was manifested in some special way just outside the Garden of Eden, so that repentant people could still come and worship Him. Presumably Adam and his family stayed by this place, after Cain had departed to the Land of Nod. But the deliberate withdrawal of Cain from the presence of God, turning his back on Him in such a determined way, and at this particular time, is massively significant for the subsequent development of world religion.
"Then Cain went out from the presence of the Lord and dwelt in the land of Nod on the east of Eden" (Gen.4:16).
The second way that the Cainite seed showed immediate hostility towards God is that
B. There was Open Opposition to the Decrees of God:
Cain built a city when it had plainly been decreed by His Creator that he should be a restless wanderer "a fugitive and vagabond on the earth" (Gen.4:12). We will see this same hubristic attitude displayed later on at Babel, when the people gathered themselves together on the Plain of Shinar instead of "going forth and multiplying", as they had been explicitly commanded to do by God (Gen.9:1, 7). This scoffing at the judgements and decrees of God is characteristic of all apostasy. It heightens before the Flood (we see it displayed against Noah's 120 years of preaching) and it will be a special hallmark of the end of this Age (e.g. 2 Pet.3:3-7).
We see another example of the Cainites' opposition to the decrees of God when Lamech takes two wives. Monogamy is plainly shown in the giving of Eve to Adam at the beginning.
Another example of the Cainites' opposition to the decrees of God appears in the scornful words of Lamech. Here he is not only boasting that he had killed a man a clear breach of God's moral law but he also tries to appropriate for himself the same exemption from the law of capital punishment for murder which the Lord had permitted to Cain (Gen.4:24). We see the clear glorification of self in Lamech's Song, vv.23-24. Here Lamech asserts his right to be free of anyone taking revenge on him for killing even more than Cain. It was God who decreed that anyone murdering Cain would be avenged. Here Lamech puts himself in the place of God.
The third way that the Cainite seed shows immediate hostility towards God is in
C. The Glorification of Men/Self Instead of God:
Cain named his city after his own offspring. This is a very common action of those whose lives are lived in opposition to the decrees of God. So we find that Saul "set up a monument for himself" (1 Sam.15:12), as did Absolom (2 Sam.18:18). This is the vain way of the world. "Their inner thought is that their houses will last forever, their dwelling places to all generations; they call their lands after their own names" (Psa.49:11).
So, the first feature of the Cainite seed is that it shows an immediate hostility and antipathy towards God and the things of God, through its withdrawal from God's presence, its opposition to the decrees of God, and its glorification of self instead of God.
A second aspect of the seed of Satan in pre-diluvian times which has a bearing on the development of world religion is that
2 [Emphasis added] Elsewhere, in one of his books, the same writer said:
2) It was Responsible for the Development of Civilisation
In the sixth generation from Cain, in Lamech's three sons, we have the beginnings of the three basic components in the development of civilisation (Gen.4:20-22). Here we have the first glimmerings of the cultivation of the Earth's resources (v.20), the Arts (v.21) and Science and Technology (v.22). In themselves, these things are neutral. They could be used for good or evil purposes. God did say in the beginning: "Fill the earth and subdue it" (Gen.1:28). However, unless these things are carried out in conformity to God's law, they will only work out to the detriment of the world and to human development.
Have people developed these things out of love for God, to show His glory, and out of love for their neighbours? The cultivation of the earth's resources has been one long story of plunder and abuse. Are gold and silver mines benevolent causes? There has ben a huge amassing of wealth and prestige through the cultivation of the earth's resources. Even coffee beans are a commodity with which people gamble. You can buy and sell huge quantities of it at vast profits without any of it ever changing hands.
Similarly, the Arts has been distorted from what it could and should have been. There can be such beauty in music, and the visual arts. But they have so often been used as an aid to magical pursuits (e.g. the hypnotic use of the drum in pagan cultures). Most modern music is entirely bereft of beauty and loveliness. Hardly any pieces of music have ever been written for the glory of God. To this writer's knowledge, there are only four composers out of thousands in the classical music scene who have purposefully written their music to the glory of God (Bach, Zelenka, Haydn and Bruckner). Most music, no matter how lovely it may be, is written to glorify the composer or the music itself. And look also at how so often the visual arts degenerate into ugly, even pornographic imagery. The arts in general are used to glorify man and reflect his decadence.
Similarly, science & technology has been distorted from what it could or should have been. Although there have certainly been some benevolent aspects to the development of science and technology, you will find repeatedly that these discoveries are eventually used for destructive or God-dishonouring purposes, e.g. weapons technology, genetic engineering, etc. Ironically, in a sense, it is through the misuse and abuse of science and technology that the development of false world religion has been fostered and encouraged. In fact, there has been a kind of amalgamation of modern science with the New Spirituality. The book, "The Tao of Physics" by Fritjof Capra was a classic exposition of this phenomenon. To demonstrate further what we mean by this, here is a revealing quotation from the well-known scientist and television pundit, Paul Davies:
"There is a growing feeling that science, especially what is known as the New Physics, can provide answers where religion remains vague and faltering... I believe the New Physics sweeps away much of the traditional imagery of God 'out there', embedded in absolute time. Outmoded concepts have been replaced by an astonishing collection of new ideas, abstract and sometimes bizarre, which could dictate the shape of religion in the coming generations. The richness and subtlety of the New Physics is proving compulsive to those searching for a modern explanation of existence".
"The new physics and the new cosmology hold out a tantalizing promise: that we might be able to explain how all the physical structures in the universe have come to exist, automatically, as a result of natural processes. We should then no longer have need for a Creator in the traditional sense".3
That is the direction in which science is moving. Perhaps readers will now grasp the central importance of the Transcendence of God which we spoke about earlier in this article. Once that transcendence is abandoned or rejected, there can only be religious corruption.
To return to our immediate subject, we see that the Cainite seed is characterised by the fact that it showed immediate hostility to God and went on to develop what we call civilisation. In truth, Cain's family is a model of the whole development of fallen humanity. If I may partially borrow a phrase from Derek Kidner, the "progress" of the human race can be summed up as total technical brilliance coupled with absolute moral and spiritual decadence. Such is fallen humanity, which revels in its own glory and despises the incarnation of the Redeemer of the world. This is the "spirit of antichrist".
What we really have in this chapter of Genesis is a summary comparison of the two seeds. The one which flies in the face of God; the other which calls upon the name of the Lord (Gen.4:26). Hostility to the Lord signified by a withdrawal from God's presence and an opposition to the decrees of God and the glorification of self coupled with the corrupt development of civilisation, marked a significant contribution to the outworking of world religion.
After the Flood, when there was a renewed human development in the post-diluvian world, we find that "spirit of antichrist" working especially through the line of Ham, culminating in a most important event in history for us to understand in all that were are looking at in this series of articles on the New Spirituality of today. We are speaking of the debacle at Babel, in Sumero-Mesopotamia, in the so-called "cradle of ancient cultures and religions". Let us look at Babel for a few moments here, as another vitally important outworking of the "Satanic Initiation" on the historical development of world religion.
An understanding of this portion of history is vital to our understanding of the "New Spirituality". At that time, we find that the whole earth had one language and one speech (Genesis 11). Previous civilisation had been wiped out by the flood, and Noah's great-grandchild started a kingdom which was centred in a part of ancient Mesopotamia known as Shinar. Within this kingdom lay the city which came to be known as Babel. Babylon is the Greek rendering of this Hebrew word. This Nimrod is referred to as being "a mighty one on the earth" and "a mighty hunter before the Lord" or "in the face of the Lord", as if flying in the face of the Lord somebody setting himself up as something special in the face of God. In fact, the very name Nimrod comes from a Hebrew verb-form Nimrodh, "let us revolt or rebel". What we see here is a kind of potentate setting himself up against God and building an earthly kingdom in his own strength, in opposition to everything that the Lord stands for.
Now it had not taken very long since the time of the flood for the evil heart of humanity to reassert itself. And we find that the Babel of Nimrod's kingdom was set-up in direct contravention of God's earlier covenant with Noah, which stipulated that all His descendants in the wake of the flood should be fruitful, multiply and fill the earth (Gen.9:1 & 7). But instead of obeying that, the entire peoples of that time had gathered themselves together in one place in the land of Shinar and they lived there, in a spirit of pride and flagrant wilfulness against God. "Let us make a name for ourselves, less we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth" (Gen.11:4). It would be no exaggeration to say that at that point they were collectively setting up the first one world ecumenical, autonomous, political and religious state system. It was, if you will, the great climax of human(istic) civilisation at that time; and the result of this was an episode in history which involved a massive judgement from God and which would have a momentous effect on the religious practices of all later civilisations.
The divine decision to confound the language of these people not only insured that their little project would come to an end, but also because the Lord "scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth", it contributed to the world-wide transmission of corrupt religious practices, as the cult of the civilisation at that time involved a highly organised system of deities, divination, myths, magical spells, incantations and so on. This surely accounts for the extraordinary similarity of myths, sorceries and deities of so many world religions, with each tradition developing idiosyncratically according to the culture in which it was to unfold. Hence, the universality of so much false religion.
So when people say that all religions have the same roots, we can agree with that in a manner of speaking, but not in the manner in which they usually mean it! For one of the spin-offs of this scattering was that occultism and all the idolatry of these religious practices were carried across the world. Herein lies the "spirit of Babel" which, if you will recall, is the main title of this article. Satan was attempting to build a global political and religious empire which is utterly opposed to the law of God. That "spirit of Babel" has continued to pervade the political and religious life of the world in one form or another ever since. The entire thrust of Satan throughout history has been directed towards two things "outgodding" God and establishing his own kingdom on the earth. A hallmark of all occultism has been this Babel-spirit heaven on earth about which we will have more to say when we examine the New World Order in the next article. All the ancient world religions have their roots in this Babel.
So here we had Satan attempting to build a global political and religious empire in Babel which was foiled by the Lord because the cup of iniquity had not yet been filled. But that spirit, that same spirit of attempting to build a world political and religious empire, has continued to pervade the world in one form or another ever since that time. It is vital for us to understand that. That is why it is quite reasonable for us to refer to what is happening at the present time as part of the "spirit of Babel", as we will come to appreciate the further we go into this.
The judgement which was delivered by God at Babel involved two important elements in the holding off or delaying of the fullness of Satan's kingdom-building on earth. The division of languages rendered interpersonal communication difficult if not impossible thus preventing a premature "one-world" governmental religious rebellion against the Lord. The division of the world into separate nation-states also hampered this "spirit of Babel" from coming to its one-world fruition. Satan's longterm goal since that time has always been to "deceive the nations...to gather them together to battle" against the Lord and His people (Rev.20:3,8). The Lord, of course, only has to 'twitch His little finger' in order to prevent this "spirit of Babel" this "mystery of iniquity" from coming to its fullness throughout history. He did so at Babel itself (Gen.11:7-8). He did so in the wake of the Ascension of Christ, so that even during this Gospel Age there has been a divine restraint on the power of Satan to deceive the nations into the creation of his one-world utopia (2 Thess.2:7; Rev.20:1-3). One day, in His timing, all the restraints will be removed and then the Antichrist Satan's personal regent and envoy on earth will gather the nations together into one, as a final last-ditch attempt to overthrow the Lord and His Christ (Psa.2:2-3; Rev.20:7ff). This is the "spirit of Babel" and the "spirit of Antichrist". This process is not conspiracy theory but conspiracy reality!
Another major outworking of false religion in OT times was
iv. The Persecution of God's People
Satan continually took advantage of the fact that the Lord's ancient covenant people, Israel, were a mixed multitude containing mostly unbelievers with a continual remnant of believers. The result is plain for all to see: Mixed marriages, polygamy, occultism, idolatry, etc., leading to the rejection of the promised Redeemer and a promotion of the "spirit of antichrist". This was inevitable.
Satan persecutes God's people not so much because he hates God's people (although he certainly does) but above all because he hates God and His Christ. The nation Israel as founded on a legal covenant and theocratic system of government at Sinai (Exod.19:3-6) was specifically inaugurated by God in order to keep this wayward people in check until the Saviour ("the seed of the woman") who had been promised in Gen.3:15 would finally come. The whole system of law on which Israel was founded "was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made" (Gal.3:19). The legal inauguration of Israel under the Sinaitic Covenant was an open declaration of war by God on Satan a further element of the judgement of Gen.3:15. It was therefore hardly surprising that the fallen angel should make Israel from whom salvation was destined to come in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ (Jn.4:22b) the special object of his enmity.
This brings us right back to our Bible quotation in our section on the "spirit of antichrist": "The dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born" (Rev.12:4). The "dragon" is the fallen angel, Satan. The "woman" is God's people. The "child" here is the Lord Jesus Christ. When the text says "her" child, the "her" is referring specifically to God's people as then represented by the Old Testament covenant people Israel. Therefore all the problems which assailed Israel in Old Testament times were part of "the dragon standing before the woman which was ready to be delivered". Israel was, if we can put it like this, pregnant with the Saviour; and Satan did all that he could to cause an "abortion". But that was just his little dream. The panoply of activity which we discover in the twelfth chapter of the Book of Revelation gives us a marvellous overview of the persecution by Satan of God's people and the Lord's response to it. We can see the Incarnation of the Lord Jesus Christ out of the nation Israel and then His successful ascension to heaven after His victorious work on the Cross: "She bore a male Child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. And her Child was caught up to God and His throne" (Rev.12:5).
Now you may be wondering what all this is about. You might be thinking: "Look I don't want to receive a boring lecture on Old Testament history. I want to get genned up on all the latest end-time phenomena. What's all this stuff you're saying got to do with the New Spirituality?" In fact, it has got everything to do with the subject of our articles. What we will be identifying as the "New Spirituality" the state of the art in world religion today is not some new thing which has randomly appeared as an isolated development at this point in history. Not at all. The religious developments we see all around us today are merely the culmination of a process which is almost as old as the hills! (Almost... But not quite...). It is part of the same process which engulfed Israel as Satan waited to destroy the coming Saviour who was destined to "crush" his head (Gen.3:15). For what befell Israel as part of Satan's warfare to destroy the coming Saviour was not the end of the persecution of God's people. It continued even after the successful incarnation and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. The effect of the Ascension was the expulsion of Satan from having any further access to heaven (Rev.12:7-9). He could no longer concoct accusations against God's believing people because no matter what they had done, they were covered by the atoning blood of Christ (Rev.12:10-11). This only served to make him madder than he was in Old Testament times (Rev.12:12-13). Therefore he "was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ" (Rev.12:17). That refers to the warfare which Satan has waged against the church from the time of the Ascension of Christ, and which he will continue to wage until the end of this age comes. Although Divine help and protection for the true church the Body of Christ is guaranteed (Rev.12:6 & 14), this does not prevent the massive, raging assaults by Satan on the visible church. But we will discuss this further in a latter section and in the remaining three articles.
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II. THE COMPOSITE CHARACTER OF THE WORLD RELIGIONIST
Readers may not realise it, but we have so far been building the composite character of the world religionist in all the various elements that we have looked at. What does that character consist of?
1) We have a person who seeks the goal of self- deification, who wants to make a god of himself.
2) We have a person who seeks supernatural wisdom and occult knowledge.
3) We have a person who believes in attaining unconditional eternal life. (We will soon understand the significance of this influence in relation to the doctrine of reincarnation).
4) We have a person who believes that spiritual righteousness can be obtained through good works: "and they made themselves fig leaves", coverings.
5) We have a person who has an inbuilt need to suppress spiritual truth.
6) We have a person who worships anything but the one true God a practitioner of idolatry.
7) We have a person who holds a pantheistic view of deity.
8) We have a person who believes that truth is relative.
9) We have a person who rejects almighty God as the transcendent creator of heaven and earth.
10) We have a person who easily falls for delusions and scoffs at the notion of objective religious truth.
11) We have a person who comfortably engages in experiments in sexuality as a "human right".
12) We have a person who seeks catharsis and self-satisfaction in all his or her activities.
13) We have a person who denies the incarnation of the second Person of the Trinity, the Son of God, the person of the Lord Jesus Christ, God manifested in the flesh. He wants to worship, if you will, any "christ" but the true Christ.
14) We have a person who believes that the kingdom of God can be made on earth and that we must come together globally in a unity of all religions in order to achieve this.
15) We have a person who is rabidly opposed not only to the things of God, but also to the people of God.
That is the composite character that we have formed just from the elements of scripture which we looked at in the accounts of the Fall in Genesis 3 and the subsequent development of Pagan Man in Romans 1 and Genesis 4 through 11. So what do we have here? Do we not also have the foundations of the New Spirituality today? Is it not the case that those elements are all part of what makes up the so-called "New Spirituality", "New Consciousness" or "New Age"? It is also what lies behind the "New World Order" which politicians are developing across the world. In fact the "New Spirituality" and the "New World Order" are very much related, as we will see in the following article in this four-part series.
So far, we have traced through the leading effects on human beings of the Fall of our first parents in Eden, and how that worked out in practice. We have seen that there are fifteen critical components in the development of the religion and worldview of the pagan person. We have seen how this affected religious developments in Old Testament times. Now we will discover in what ways it has affected religious development in the twenty centuries which have elapsed since the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ?
As a conclusion to the present article, we will run through twelve key developments in the satanic thread of World Religion which began in the wake of the Ascension and which have culminated in the New Spirituality of our own day.
III. WORLD RELIGION IN THE WAKE OF THE ASCENSION OF JESUS CHRIST
The successful ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ to the right hand of God caused a massive disturbance throughout the cosmos and heralded the end for the fallen angels who had originally rebelled against God and were now cast out of heaven (Rev.12:7-10; cf. Psa.68:18; Eph.4:8-10). However, it only heralded the end. It was not the end itself. There was to be an "Age" of time lasting from then until the return of the Lord Jesus Christ on the Day of Judgement. During that Age which Paul distinctly refers to as "evil" (Gal.1:4) there would be a massive assault on the people of God, the church, as a result of the anger of Satan at being thwarted (Rev.12:12-13, 15, 17; 1 Pet.5:8).
This assault has taken many forms: Persecutions from without, heresies developing within. However, these have been overt and plain for all to see. Alongside of these activities, there has been a much more subtle work taking place which represents a last-ditch attempt by the doomed Satan to establish his kingdom on earth. This will ultimately issue in the coming of the Antichrist as Satan's leader on earth, to whom the fallen angel will delegate his imagined authority (Rev.13:2). However, this is simply the Lord permitting the demonic realm and its earthly lackeys to fill up the cup of their iniquity and be ripe for final judgement.
It is this which represents the Grand Conspiracy. It is no theory; it is a fact. The "mystery of iniquity" throughout this Age, the "spirit of Babel" gathering momentum to create a pretended earthly utopia, the "spirit of antichrist" and its virulent opposition to the idea of the Incarnation of Christ and its ultimate usurpation of His role in the coming of the Man of Sin: these have been the driving forces in the world of religion for the past twenty centuries. Christ as the King of the cosmos, and Satan as the insanely obsessed pretender to that role, has been the warp and weave of history throughout the ages. All history has been His-story the story of Christ and the warfare waged against Him and His people by the fallen angelic realm.
Thus, in this Age which is the end of the Ages, all mayhem has been breaking loose against the people of God as Satan, filled with malice and all wickedness, has worked incessantly to do what he can never really do: destroy the true church. In the wake of the ascension, his anger wreaked havoc in the church with heresies and persecutions directly hurled at God's people. But there has also been an undercurrent at work which many have been unaware of a series of occultic global movements and influences which have been designed to undo the church and the Gospel of Christ in a much more far-reaching manner than mere persecutions and heresies.
In this final section of our article, we want to look at just eleven of these occultic influences or movements designed to undo the church and destroy the Gospel in this post-Ascension Age. We could actually write a whole book about these things (and, indeed, we have already done so in 800 pages, entitled "The Serpent and the Cross" see www.diakrisis.org/books.htm). But because of the constraints of this article, our treatment can only be brief. Our purpose is not a major exposition of each of these movements or influences, but merely to bring them to your attention for further thought and as an introduction to the remaining three articles.
The first occultic influence or religious movement designed to undo the church and destroy the Gospel in post-Ascension Age was
The word Gnosticism comes from the Greek word gnosis, meaning knowledge. The heresy of Gnosticism that burst out in a variety of different forms in the early church was essentially chasing after the same kind of knowledge as that desired by our first parents knowledge which was "desirable in order to make one wise". Paul made an oblique reference to such knowledge when he said:
"O Timothy! Guard what was committed to your trust, avoiding the profane and idle babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge [gnosis] by professing it some have strayed concerning the faith" (1 Tim.6:20).
The heresy of Gnosticism was an ever-changing hydra but it came to have some crucial components, three of which are most significant to our present subject: 1) A Secret Wisdom tradition (the gnosis); 2) A belief in the idea of an 'Inner Christ' that everyone possesses a spark of divinity within, which can be tapped into); 3) Reincarnation. In these three elements, we see the "Satanic Initiation" of Eden mirrored exactly: In 1) we see a desire for wisdom which is above and beyond that which was received by nature; in 2) we see the promise of personal divinity; in 3) we see the guarantee of unconditional eternal life.
The essential tenets of gnosticism had been in the Eastern religions for millennia. But after the Ascension of Christ it is as if the Gnostic movement of the first and second centuries burst upon the Church as an expression of the rage of the defeated and thwarted Satan. This was so marked that Church historian A.M. Renwick has noted that
'by the beginning of the third century A.D. most of the intellectual Christian congregations throughout the Roman empire were to some degree affected by it'.4
"Of all the forces with which Christianity had to do battle for its career as the universal religion Jewish legalism, pagan superstition, Greek speculation, Roman imperialism none, perhaps, placed it in sharper hazard than Gnosticism, that strange, obscure movement, partly intellectual, partly fanatical, which, in the second century, spread with the swiftness of an epidemic over the Church from Syria to Gaul".5
This veil of gnosis over the global churches of the first two or three centuries A.D. should not be underestimated. As the German scholar, Professor Kurt Rudolph, notes in his authoritative study:
"The gnostic trauma of the first post-Christian centuries goes deeper that that of the bloody persecutions. One can almost say that Gnosis followed the Church like a shadow; the Church could never overcome it, its influence had gone too deep. By reason of their common history they remain two hostile sisters".6
"the beginning and end of Gnosis in late antiquity cannot be pinpointed exactly. It makes its appearance at the beginning of the Christian era and disappears again at the latest in the sixth century".7
The religious development among professing Christians which we call Mysticism first came into being as a result of a document which was written by a 5th century Syrian monk calling himself Dionysius, in a bid to fool people into thinking that he was the convert of Paul mentioned in Acts 17:34. It was a sycretistic mix of Neoplatonism and Eastern mysticism; but it was the driving force behind the development of mysticism in churches. It was as if all the mystical powers of world religion had been carefully enshrouded in Christian garb with the sole purpose of deceiving unwitting pietistic Christians into the religion initiated by Satan in Eden at the beginning of history. His most widely read work was the "Mystica Theologia", which one theologian described in this way:
'The controlling idea is the possibility of the soul's union with God, with the consequent deification of man. This is achieved by the soul's putting aside all knowing obtained through reason and the use of the senses and by its entry into a "cloud of unknowing"'.
Another important development in Mysticism in the Christian scene took place in the eleventh century. Known as hesychasm from the Greek word hesuchia, meaning 'quiet' it involved the repetitive chanting of the so-called "Jesus-prayer": "Jesus, Son of God, have mercy on me", breathing in and out over and over again. They were well-known for looking down at their navels while doing this chanting. That is where the phrase "navel-gazing" comes from. This doctrine is generally traced back to an eleventh century Studite mystic named Simeon the New Theologian (940-1022) who posited a 'Doctrine of the Divine or Inner Light'. In fact, the Hesychasts were among the first "Christians" to perfect the the art of entering into an altered state of consciousness. In a later article in this series, we will begin to see how this whole process has come into the church in a major way in the present era.
Similar kinds of yogic ideas that were being taught by the hesychasts began to prevail among the medieval mystics in continental Europe and in England. In Paris there were the Victorenes at the abbey of St. Victor; in Germany there were men such as Johann Tauler (c.1300-1361) and his teacher the Dominican priest Meister Eckhart (c.1260-1328, whose teachings bordered on pantheism and Neoplatonism. They were very influential in the subsequent development of a Christian mystical system. They adhered to the view that a union with God is possible a complete union, an essential union because of an alleged divine spark within each human soul. This is the false teaching that every human being born into this world has a spark of a divinity within them. And in Christian circles that same teaching becomes distorted to claim that every human being born into this world has the indwelling Holy Spirit, which is also false. One of the effects of the Fall of our first parents was that the Holy Spirit was withdrawn, and human beings from that time onwards unless regenerated did not have the Holy Spirit and were "merely flesh" (Gen.6:3; cf. Jude 19; Rom.8:9).
We find that that whole process of medieval mysticism which came to predominate in the Roman Catholic church via Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross and the anonymous author of 'The Cloud of Unknowing', has provided a perfect crossover between Christianity and the New Spirituality or Eastern Mysticism. We will develop this further in our later article on the New Spirituality in the church.
At the beginning of the seventeenth century a development occurred which had repercussions across the whole of Europe and which rekindled the flame of Gnosticism which had laid low for so many centuries. It was yet another occultic influence or religious movement designed to undo the church and destroy the Gospel in this post-Ascension Age. We are speaking here of
Although we may not take the Rosicrucians seriously today because they have officially been reduced to two rather small organisations based in the United States, the original making of Rosicrucianism was of great significance to the progress of antichristian world religion in the seventeenth century.
The first was published at Kassel in Hesse in 1614, entitled the 'Fama Fraternitatis, dess Löblichen Ordens des Rosenkreutzes' ('The Discovery of the Fraternity of the Most Noble Order of the Rosy Cross'). This included an additional work entitled 'Allgemeine und General Reformation, der gantzen weiten Welt' ('The General Reformation of the Whole Wide World'). The second manifesto was the 'Confessione Fraternitatis, dess Löblichen Ordens des Rosenkreutzes, ad Eruditos Europae' ('The Confession of the Fraternity of the Most Noble Order of the Rosy Cross, to all the Learned of Europe') which was published a year later. The Fama Fraternitatis recounted the life and work of one Christian Rosenkreutz who purportedly lived from 1378-1484. Of this man it is said that
'In his quest for wisdom, [he] had travelled to the Holy Land, Egypt, Morocco and Spain; his teachings reflected the influences of alchemy, Alexandrian
Hermetism, Christian Gnosticism, Jewish mysticism (Qabbalah), and the Paracelsian medical tradition'.
"The Reformation of the Whole Wide World" spoke of returning the world to its state as was in Eden. It was highly popular. Within its pages, the principles of gnosticism that were already in place at that time came to have further principle added to them, which was the key contribution of Rosicrucianism: The idea that human beings can together form a global brotherhood of men and create heaven right here on earth.
That was the concept, and people already began to be excited about it in the 1600's. It is most interesting that although we may look at the Protestant Reformation as a progressive development in the history of religion, it had another, less desirable, spin-off: Because people had stood up against the contemporary false religion of Rome on some (but not all) levels, it gave the green light to many kinds of people to rebel and revolt against the idea of higher authority. And so we find that at that time the pervasive occult idea of a global brotherhood on earth began to take root a New World Order all as a result of this mysterious order of the Rosy Cross.
There was another occultic influence or religious movement, which goes hand-in-glove with Rosicrucianism, and which was designed to undo the church and destroy the Gospel in this post-Ascension Age:
This is a subject about which we could prepare a book proving irrefutably that freemasonry is at its heart a satanic religion. It would be an easy matter to do so; but getting people to accept it would be a far more difficult task. All those people in the Baptist, Anglican and Scottish churches who think that freemasonry is compatible with Christianity would fall off their chairs if they knew what really lay behind their lodge doors at the higher levels unless, of course, they already occupied a higher degree!
Freemasonry is not merely a fraternity of watering holes. For those willing to look, there is a plain connection between Freemasonry and the ancient heresy of Gnosticism and the occult and mystery religions which have always opposed Christianity although those in the lower degrees are unlikely to realise this, or admit it, even when the evidence is irrefutably proven to them. As Albert Pike wrote in his official handbook of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, "Morals & Dogma":
"[Masonry] conceals its secrets from all except the Adepts and Sages, or the elect, and uses false explanations and misinterpretations of its symbols to mislead those who deserve only to be misled; to conceal the truth, which it calls Light, from them, and to draw them away from it".
"Lucifer, the Light-bearer! Strange and mysterious name to give to the Spirit of Darkness! Lucifer, the Son of the Morning! Is it he who bears the light...? Doubt it not!" 14
It is this which lies behind Freemasonry, thus furthering the Big Lie and Grand Conspiracy which started at the beginning in Eden, when human beings denied that God is God and instead turned to the prince of darkness. Freemasonry is a form of satanism with a shining face.
The present writer has a copy of the first edition of a book called "Initiation Human and Solar" published off the Lucifer Press in 1922 by the occultist Alice Bailey. This is an extremely powerful and groundbreaking New Age book. But what is especially significant about the copy in our possession is that on the inside cover, there is an imprint which says: "Sheffield Lodge No.73".
Although this book was discovered by the present writer in an ordinary second hand bookshop, it had plainly been part of the library of an "ordinary" lodge of freemasons in the Sheffield area in Yorkshire in the United Kingdom. Would you not admit that it is rather unusual to have what must be the original New Age occult book in the library of a provincial freemason's lodge?
"The philosophical background of Freemasonry is a Gnosis or Wisdom-teaching as old as the world, one which has been shared alike by the Vedists of the East, the Egyptian, Chaldean and Orphic Initiation systems, the Pythagorean and Platonist Schools, and all the Mystery Temples of the past and present... The Churches, therefore, may be left to continue to discharge their proper ministry, whilst those who feel the need of a larger science, an alternative and perhaps richer fare than the churches provide, may find it in the ancient Gnosis to which Freemasonry serves as a portal of entrance".
Surely this lends some credence to the fact that freemasons do not merely come together for social purposes; there is actually an occult agenda, although only the higher degrees are aware of that. Alice Bailey was one of the original propagators of the New Age (which goes far beyond being a few dope-smoking hippies with long hair!). Her husband, Foster Bailey, was a leading writer on Freemasonry. The "solar initiation" which forms the subject of Bailey's book is the initiation into the "light" of the gnosis. (Incidentally, this is the same "light" as that depicted in the torch of the Statue of Liberty in New York harbour, which far from being a symbol of American democracy, as the uninitiated masses have been led to believe was designed and erected by French and American freemasons as a symbol of the occult goal that they are working towards through the nations.) It is the "light" of the Sun-god, Lucifer; and he gives a "solar initiation" into the gnosis. As the New Age physicist, Dr. Fritjof Capra of Berkeley University, has stated: "The social movements of the 1960s and 1970s represent the rising culture, which is now ready for the passage to the solar age".15
What is this "solar age" into which we are now alleged to be moving? The Mexican-born New Age writer, José Arguelles who predicted that there would be a global 'Harmonic Convergence' of psychic energy on August 16-17th 1987, based on an ancient Hopi Indian prophecy claims that the New Age of Aquarius is a "solar age" which replaces polluting forms of energy production with solar energy and an understanding of 'the common resonance of psychic and solar energy frequencies'.16 Essentially, the 'Solar Age' is a cleverly-coded Neo-Gnostic term used to refer to the New Age which is allegedly just dawning the age in which the Sun-God, Lucifer whom Christians know to be the Devil or Satan will be the dominant force. Freemasonry is a radical part in the dissemination of this initiation, although only the higher degrees are privy to such knowledge. The fact that a leading occult book about such an initiation and a book which openly claims to have been channeled through a spirit called an "Ascended Master" resided in the library of a provincial freemason's lodge is surely very revealing.
Another book in our possession, entitled "The Masonic Initiation" by W.L. Wilmshurst (P.M. 275), Past Provincial Grand Registrar in the lodges of West Yorkshire in England, is a plain advert for the occult "gnosis" of the Mystery Religions. He writes:
'In due course the two streams of idealism the one extravagantly occult [Rosicrucianism], the other more urbanely idealistic [Freemasonry] were to come together once again in response to an unfulfilled need deep within the human psyche. And the eventual child of the union was to be the modern New Age Movement'.
5. The Enlightenment
The effect that Rosicrucianism had on many aspects of European culture were crucial in terms of the progression of Satan's dark work during the Gospel Age. For it loosened the hold of the Church and Christianity on the minds of many who would be influential on the coming generation. The scholar of Rosicrucianism, Christopher McIntosh, has written about the magnitude of this development:
"The denial of the dogmatically rigid restrictions and regimentation of the church, the passionate belief in natural science as the way to all-round progress, the possession of an open world view and the yearning for religious unity and mutuality, the...striving for the harmony of religion and science and above all the call for a general reformation of 'the whole wide world' all of these are integral parts of the secret fraternity of the
Rosicrucians. Thus Rosicrucianism, as a transition between the Renaissance and the scientific societies of the seventeenth century, forms a point of
crystallisation. In its mode of thinking, one can discern an early form of the Aufklärung which in many respects was seminal to the further development of European science and culture".
'The most striking aspect of the Rosicrucian movement is...its insistence on a coming Enlightenment. The world, nearing its end, is to receive a new illumination in which the advances in knowledge made in the preceding age of the Renaissance will be immensely expanded. New discoveries are at hand, a new age is dawning. And this illumination shines inward as well as outward; it is an inward spiritual illumination revealing to man new possibilities in himself, teaching him to understand his own dignity and worth and the part he is called upon to play in the divine scheme'.19
Here we can see the significant link between the covert Rosicrucian 'enlightenment' and the overt historical 'Enlightenment' which was to follow in its wake. That link was the
'illuminism' of the Illuminati. As Frances Yates concurs:
"the Rosicrucian Enlightenment was indeed...an enlightenment, putting forward within its own strange frame of reference of magical and angelic agencies, of prophecy and apocalypse, a movement most of the aspects of which can only be described as enlightened. Though the Enlightenment proper, the Aufklärung, seems to introduce a very different atmosphere, yet its rationalism was tinged with illuminism".20
This word 'illuminism', as cross-fertilising both Rosicrucianism and the Age of Enlightenment, gives us some important information here. For it is simply an alternative word for the gnosis. An 'illuminist' (essentially, a Gnostic) can be defined as one who 'claims to have special enlightenment, especially in philosophical or religious matters'. 21 Groups which boast such 'enlightenment' or gnosis have been called Illuminati. Therefore, in spite of the rationalism of the European Enlightenment, the thrust behind both this Age of Reason and the Order of the Rosy Cross is essentially Gnostic. Both sought to find enlightenment outside of the scope of the Divine revelation given in the Old and New Testaments. Both glorified the mind of man rather than the Word of God. Both believed in the possibility of a man-made Golden Age on earth. Both made man into a little god. The significance of this 'Enlightenment' in terms of satanic strategy is very well summed up in the words of Colin Brown:
'In 1784 Immanuel Kant wrote an article in answer to the question "What is enlightenment?" He replied that enlightenment was man's coming of age. It was man's emergence from the immaturity which caused him to rely on such external authorities as the Bible, the church, and the state to tell him what to think and to do... The motto of enlightenment was Sapere aude "Have courage to use your own understanding"'.22
This motto is in complete contradiction to the Word of God which says, 'Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding' (Pro.3:5). Our Creator knows only too well that 'he who trusts in his own heart is a fool' (Pro.28:26). In many ways, this 'Enlightenment' was the first stage of the 'General Reformation of the Whole Wide World' called for in the manifestos of the Order of the Rosy Cross in 1614. The rise of Rosicrucianism had paved the way for these European scientific, political, intellectual and religious developments and thus formed a vital bridge between the Old Gnosticism and the New, adding its own distinctive emphases along the way. As Christopher McIntosh puts it:
'Rosicrucian vision was therefore both traditional and radical, both theological and scientific... It looked forward to an age when religion and science would work hand in hand'.23
One can see clearly the unique stamp of Satan in all these developments, as the evil angel struggled to reassert the hold over the nations of the world which he had enjoyed before Christ came as its
Saviour. For these European developments of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries led to a huge upsurge of antichristian endeavour which as we shall more fully appreciate by the conclusion of these articles could well be set to climax in the present generation. Especially was this the case in terms of the subordination of Christian doctrine to the findings of scientific
endeavour. As a leading historian who specialises in seventeenth century affairs has noted:
"Towards the close of the seventeenth century the prestige of Scripture, though outwardly unchanged, had actually diminished appreciably".24
The job had been done. The Rosicrucian 'Enlightenment' had served its purpose. Now the counter-Reformation satanic strategy could move forward at a great pace. In Rosicrucian-inspired Europe, in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the soil was now prepared for the planting of seeds which would precipitate a vast occult revival in the nineteenth century, and the most widespread movement of antichristian activity during the past two thousand years.
Here we have the epitome of post-Fall religious development. As a result of all these contributions to the cultural and scientific life of Europe in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the scene was set for the next stage of development. For another occultic influence or religious movement designed to undo the church and destroy the Gospel in this post-Ascension Age was
6. Evolution Theory
Darwin's theory of evolution the claim that primitive organisms have gradually developed over billions of years into the variety of species known to us today is one of the greatest and cleverest myths ever devised by Satan and his earthly lackeys. Many Christians do not understand the significance of this theory. How important it is to adhere to Creationism rather than Darwinism. It is not merely something you can choose. It is not something that is merely indifferent in a Christian's life. If you adhere to Darwinism it completely undoes the central message of the Bible and props up the false heart of world religion. Many Christians fail to understand that.
Although it was first sounded in 1809 by Jean Lamarck (1744-1829), it was not until Charles Darwin (1809-1882) and Alfred R. Wallace (1823-1913) put forward their theory in 1858 that it began to receive wide acceptance. One of Darwin's biographers notes that 'more than any modern thinker even Freud or Marx that affable old-world naturalist from the minor Shropshire gentry has transformed the way we see ourselves on the planet'.25 The significance of this theory to the progress of Satan's earthly ambitions and his strategy during the Gospel Age cannot be over-emphasised. As one writer puts it: 'Every attack on the Christian Faith made today has, as its basis, the doctrine of evolution'.26
Darwin's family background was steeped in Unitarianism which has been neatly termed as 'a feather-bed for falling Christians'! It could well be that the motives behind his work lay in his own internal struggles with religion in general and Christianity in particular. In 1851, just eight years before the publication of 'The Origin of Species', his little daughter Annie had died tragically of a sudden disease. This catastrophe shattered the man emotionally, and certainly played havoc with him spiritually. In the most recent biography of Darwin, it is noted:
"Annie's cruel death destroyed Charles's tatters of belief in a moral, just universe. Later he would say that this period chimed the final death-knell for his Christianity... Charles now took his stand as an
This man, armed with his root of bitterness Satan's favourite foothold and his scientific theories, appeared in world history at a most opportune moment from the standpoint of the demonic realm. The Rosicrucian-inspired 'Enlightenment' of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries had given rise to a massive interest in godless scientific research and thinking, all of which inevitably culminated in the development of the theory of Evolution. From the standpoint of satanic strategy, here was a theory that was just waiting to be formulated. Indeed, it is generally marked by Neo-Gnostics as being fundamental to the increasing popularity of their teachings in the late nineteenth and ensuing twentieth centuries. Here was a theory which could buttress that ancient ambition of the nations: to jettison the necessity for a sovereign Creator. The influence on political developments should also not go unnoticed. Biographer David McLellan states:
"Marx had always had a great admiration for Darwin's work. He had read 'On the Origin of Species' in 1860, a year after its publication and had at once written to Engels that it contained 'the natural history basis for our view'".28
"As a scientific theory, Darwinism would have been jettisoned long ago. The point, however, is that the doctrine of evolution has swept the world, not on the strength of its scientific merits, but precisely in its capacity as a Gnostic myth. It affirms, in effect, that living beings create themselves, which is in essence a metaphysical claim... Thus, in the final analysis, evolutionism is in truth a metaphysical doctrine decked out in scientific garb. In other words, it is a scientistic myth. And the myth is Gnostic, because it implicitly denies the transcendent origin of being; for indeed, only after the living creature has been speculatively reduced to an aggregate of particles does Darwinist transformism become conceivable. Darwinism, therefore, continues the ancient Gnostic practice of depreciating "God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth". It perpetuates, if you will, the venerable Gnostic tradition of "Jehovah bashing". And while this in itself may gladden Gnostic hearts, one should not fail to observe that the doctrine plays a vital role in the economy of Neo-Gnostic thought, for only under the auspices of Darwinist "self-creation" does the Good News of "self-salvation" acquire a semblance of
The most pervasive aspect of Evolution Theory was not so much the theory itself as a biological statement, but the subsequent application of it to numerous aspects of life, culture, politics, psychology and, above all, religion. The humanist and atheist, Sir Julian Huxley (1887-1975), writing in the mid-1950s, states that
'The concept of evolution was soon extended into other than biological fields. Inorganic subjects such as the life-history of stars and the formation of the chemical elements on the one hand, and on the other hand subjects like linguistics, social anthropology, and comparative law and religion, began to be studied from an evolutionary angle, until today we are enabled to see evolution as a universal and all-pervading process'.30
Herbert Spencer (1820-1903), who had propounded his own version of Evolution Theory in his 'Principles of Psychology' (1855) four years before Darwin's 'Origin of Species', had also rigorously applied this theory to the whole field of social ethics. By 1884, he was frankly suggesting that 'the principle of survival of the fittest implies that people who are burdens on society should be allowed to die rather than be helped by society'.31 This should not surprise us. Time and again, during the course of this book, we will see the stark antichristian outworkings of Evolution Theory. Especially is this the case in regard to its religious repercussions. For the real heart of Evolutionism is its implication that the Bible is not a trustworthy record of Divine creative action, coupled with the plainly God-denying thesis that the cosmos is self-generating, self-sustaining and improving ever-onward and upward. Julian Huxley supports this idea when he says: 'Evolution, if consistently accepted, makes it impossible to believe in the Bible'.32
Because it came to be perceived that Evolution had taken the bottom out of Christian theology, there arose the need for new religious initiatives. The rise of Darwinism had dealt such a blow to conventional religion in the West that a number of satanic elements sprang into the breach, and it would prove to be the harbinger of a great many Neo-Gnostic developments during this present century. Peter Lemesurier, the director and guru of the New Age centre at Findhorn in Scotland cites a vast number of religious developments which filled the perceived vacuum left in the wake of Evolution Theory. Among these are the transcendental magic of Roman Catholic priest turned occultist, Eliphas Lévi (1810-1875); the much fêted Zanoni novels of the Tory politician Lord Edward Bulwer-Lytton (1803-1873), which revealed Rosicrucian secrets to the masses; the popularisation of the concepts of Reincarnation and Karma via Oxford Professor Max Müller's translations of the Hindu scriptures (1900); the syncretistic philosophy of Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860); the Theosophical Society (1875); the early twentieth century political developments in India (both Gandhi and Nehru had passed through the echelons of the Theosophical Society); the magical Order of the Golden Dawn (1887), which had so captivated such artistic worthies as W.B. Yeats; the Anthroposophical Society (1913); the Arcane School and Lucis Trust of Alice Bailey (1922); the sex-magic cult of the 'Order of the Templars of the Orient' (1920s), as patronised by such occultists as Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925) and Aleister Crowley (1875-1947); the White Eagle Lodge (1937); and the Nazi Party's occult group 'Die Thulle-Gesellschaft'.33
The contribution of Darwinian evolution theory to the growth of the New Spirituality cannot be underestimated. That species are progressively improving through physical evolution perfectly mirrors the view of the New Spirituality that individuals are progressively improving through spiritual evolution over many lifetimes.
Another occultic influence or religious movement designed to undo the church and destroy the Gospel in this post-Ascension Age was the establishment, in institutions of learning, of what is known as
7. Theological Liberalism
A further seed of corruption sown by Satan in nineteenth century culture was that of theological liberalism. This phenomenon first developed in Germany in the nineteenth century, although a number of different streams of thought had prepared the way not least of which was the so-called Enlightenment of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, with its declared ambition to lessen the influence of the Bible and the Church. The first real manifestation of theological liberalism was at the University in Tübingen. Here, a theologian named Ferdinand Baur (1792-1860) had formed a school of theology which would raise questions about the Christian faith designed to undermine its status as the exclusive fount of Truth. Among the areas which came under scrutiny were the Person of Christ, the nature of sin and human depravity, the authority of the Bible, the way of spiritual salvation and the doctrine of the Church.
The obsession of theological liberalism with upholding the 'immanence' of God to the exclusion of His transcendence (which we outlined earlier) the Western theological expression of ancient pantheism has great significance to our charting of the transition from the old Gnosticism to the new. For the approach to the Scriptures inaugurated at Tübingen owed much to the philosophy of Georg Hegel (1770-1831); and this provides an important link with the past. According to Professor Kurt Rudolph, Ferdinand Baur, in his monograph Die Christliche Gnosis Oder Die Christliche Religions-Philosophie (1835), maintained that Jakob Boehme (1575-1624), Friedrich Schelling (1775-1854), Friedrich Schleiermacher (1768-1834) and Hegel were the philosophical heirs of the ancient gnosis.
This period also marked the appearance of the sister-discipline of Theological Liberalism, 'Higher Criticism', which questioned the authorship and dating of individual books of the Bible. The innocuous enquiry into such matters by the faithful believer is not intrinsically wrong; but when it is undertaken at the hands of men who are plainly seeking to undermine the claims of Scripture and who are using secular yardsticks in their researches, such study is bound to issue in unreliability, at the very least. Such unsanctified exploration naturally led to an enquiry into the identity of the historical Jesus typified in the anti-supernaturalistic book The Life of Jesus, written in 1835 by Baur's pupil, D.F. Strauss (1808-1874). Coupled with this, liberal theologians eagerly responded to the contemporary findings of science, especially when they could be brought to bear on the downgrading of evangelical faith. The scientistic theory of evolution dovetailed neatly with the teaching of the theological liberals, who had already posited an 'evolutionary' development of religion throughout the millennia (based on Hegel's idea of historical evolution), culminating in Christianity, which they portrayed as a hybrid religion of the Near East. All these developments served to loosen the hold of the Bible and the Christian faith, and when Charles Darwin arrived on the scientific scene mid-century, the intelligentsia of Europe were more than ready to embrace the findings of theological liberalism and jettison biblical teaching.
Eventually, the individual findings of the Tübingen School were discredited as archeological evidence began to be discovered; but the damage had been done and the seal was set on a critical, rationalistic and sceptical approach to the Bible becoming the dominant approach in German theological circles. Many teachers and ministers were attracted to study in Germany at this time; and by the close of the nineteenth century, the majority of theologians around the world had imbibed the apostate principles of German Higher Criticism and Darwinian evolution. When that leaven in the theological scene was commingled with the indigenous theological liberalism in Great Britain (Latitudinarianism: the 'Broad Church' movement) and in the United States of America (born out of Unitarianism), the scene was set for a steady global decline among both churches and institutions of theological learning. Indeed, it was not long before those involved in these international religious developments began to give priority to the building of a kingdom of God on earth, which manifested itself as the 'Social Gospel'. In this kingdom, the 'brotherhood of man' could come to live in peace, justice and harmony in the world. That all this was a part of Satan's plan is clear for all to see. For in preference to the application of salvation to the souls of individuals, the church began to cultivate a concern for social action and an interest in the kind of socio-political utopianism to which we will be referring in a later section.
By the time that Neo-Gnosticism began its ascendency in the 1960s, professing Christian theologians were already declaring boldly that 'God is dead'. A lethal combination of human philosophy and scientistic speculation had finally begun to achieve its goal of absolute Deicide: the killing off of the Transcendent Personal God of the Bible a satanic ambition realised. Just as Evolution Theory had been applied to many other aspects of life, including the Bible and Christian faith, so other scientific 'discoveries' were brought to bear on the same areas. That a key revelation in the scientific community the Theory of Relativity had been superimposed on Christian truth can be seen in the following statement of a well-known churchman in the magazine Playboy, which regularly featured interviews with 'death-of-God' theologians in order to justify its own role in the 'sexual revolution' which had begun in the 'swinging' 1960s:
"We death-of-God theologians, along with a good many others today, accept without reservation the relativistic intellectual and spiritual climate of our time... We have given up believing that there is something about Christians that makes our views inevitable or necessary or (by definition) better than alternatives. We merely represent one of the possible intellectual options
This utterance represents the thinking of a great many professing Christian theologians, Archbishops, Bishops, and ministers of the Church today. In this, we can see that the satanic seed planted in the mid-1800s in Tübingen which was itself the result of Gnostic-inspired Hegelian philosophy and science (falsely so-called) has finally come to flower in our own time. That these people continue to remain within the auspices of the Church is one of the more bizarre anomalies of this present age. Truly, 'the court which is outside the temple [of God]...has been given over to the Gentiles' to be trampled by them underfoot (Rev.11:1-2). But it will not always be so. When the witness of the Gospel has come to an end, the most intense persecution of the Church yet will begin to take place a short season before the return of the Lord (Rev.11:7ff). When that time comes, there will be a sifting of the wheat from the chaff the true believers from the false and the true nature of the satanic stream of theological liberalism and all that it has spawned will be revealed for all to see (Rev.13:7-10).
Another occultic influence or religious movement designed to undo the church and destroy the Gospel in this post-Ascension Age has been
8. Comparative Religion
One of the most galling aspects of Christianity, so far as the satanic powers are concerned, is its claim to exclusivity that there is eternal salvation only through faith in Jesus Christ. It is, therefore, hardly surprising to discover that one of the most far-reaching of all the seeds sown by Satan in world-culture in the nineteenth century strikes at the very heart of this particularity of the Christian Gospel. We refer to the academic discipline known as 'Comparative Religion', which can be defined as
"The branch of study which investigates by scientific and historical methods the religions of the world in their mutual
It would be most significant to our study to enquire by what 'scientific methods' Comparative Religionists arrive at their conclusions. The answer is provided when we are told that the term, 'Comparative Religion', 'originated in the last quarter of the nineteenth century to denote one of the sciences based on the evolutionary theories of Darwin and Spencer'.38 Here again, we discover the capacity of Darwinistic Evolution Theory to father so many other developments. Under the influence of evolution theory, and with the added impetus of a gathering quantity of anthropological discoveries, a number of scholars found what they believed to be evolutionary links between various religious traditions. Chief among these were F. Max Müller (1823-1900), the Oxford professor who translated the Hindu Scriptures into English, and Cambridge professor
J.G. Fraser (1854-1941), who wrote a highly fanciful 12-volume work entitled 'The Golden Bough'.
The essential claim of Comparative Religion is that 'behind all these religions there are common principles and spiritual realities'.39In this way, all the world's religions are reduced to different expressions of the same cosmic and divine principles. The moral codes of Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism and Christianity the so-called 'living religions' are merely diverse aspects of the same fundamental 'Golden Rule', while their gods and goddesses are merely different facets of the same underlying Deity. Religions are, therefore, to be seen as products of their cultural and historical circumstances. Through this reasoning, Christianity is shown to have arisen merely as an offshoot of monotheistic Judaism while gathering a few other sectarian influences along the way. It is comparative religionism which has given rise to the present age being referred to as C.E., the Common Era, rather than A.D., in the year of Our Lord. World religion, for these people, has merely been the product of a succession of anthropological eras in which certain forms of religion prevailed polytheistic, monotheistic, Christian, etc. all of which will evolve (true to Darwinistic thinking) and culminate ultimately in some vast world religion rooted in mystical, utopian, universalist, ethical ideals.
When the Enlightenment Deists had embarked on a search for the principles common to all religions in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the fertile ground was laid in which an over-arching philosophy of religion could flourish. This came about primarily through the work of Georg Hegel, who 'saw all forms of religion as manifestations of the absolute religion in the process of becoming'.40 Now the foundations of Comparative Religion could be established. It is a singular fact that the protagonists of unsanctified learning will always fail to discern the truth in any form of exploration which they undertake. Although it is certainly true that great similarities can be discerned between the various religions of the world and there are certain aspects of Christian doctrine which we can see echoed in some of these religions it does not at all prove that Christianity is merely derivative of those religions, or that it shares the same bedrock. The true facts behind the existence of the world's religions are clearly outlined in the Bible. There is a 'seed of religion' resident within human beings, even in the wake of the Fall. But that seed, whenever it sprouts among those 'who do not know God, and...who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ' (2 Th.1:8), always transmutes into idolatry, sorcery or mysticism. This is because unbelievers perpetually 'suppress the truth in unrighteousness' (Rom.1:18). For this same reason, human beings across the globe will always desire to worship something anything but such worship, when it occurs in the mind of one who has not been regenerated by the Holy Spirit, will always be directed, at best, towards a hunk of wood, metal, stone, or, at worst, towards himself !
In terms of satanic strategy, it is clear that Comparative Religion a bi-product of Darwinian Evolution has been designed to undermine the concept of the exclusiveness of Christianity as Divine revelation. If the devil can stimulate heathen academics to encourage the idea that one religion is as worthy as another, then the Christian claims about eternal salvation will be negated and seen to be negative, sectarian assertions. For this reason, it is necessary for believers today to stress the fact that Christianity is not a religion. We can be certain that the Lord Jesus Christ who was crucified by very religious people never intended that His message should become one more religion of the world. Instead, He declared that His Gospel is the incomparable Way of truth and life, without which no man or woman can ever come to God.
Around the same time as this development, there was another occultic influence or religious movement designed to undo the church and destroy the Gospel in this post-Ascension Age. We can refer to this movement as
9. The Mind-Sciences
Under this heading we place all those developments which would concern themselves with the therapeutic and non-therapeutic causation of change in human consciousness and deep manipulation of the minds of men and women. In spiritual terms, these things have taken the place of true religion as a way of ameliorating psychic pain, assuaging guilt and providing catharsis in place of regeneration.
The use of trance, hypnosis, psychotherapy, visualisation techniques, and other systems for the exploitation of 'mind-power' all have their immediate roots in the psychic explorations and extensive writings of the Viennese School of Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) and those of his pupils Wilhelm Reich (1897-1957) and Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961). Various other occultists such as Franz Anton Mesmer (1734-1815) and Gustav Fechner (1801-1887) had earlier created the climate which would be conducive to the development of the mind-sciences in the nineteenth century, which, in turn, has been a leading influence in the development of the New Gnosticism. Mesmer, Freud, Jung, Reich were all heavily influenced by occult ideas. Jung, in particular, was completely caught up with the study of Gnosticism, and one of the Gnostic Gospels found in Egypt in 1945 was named after him after it had been given to him as a birthday present. (Further information on this subject can be found in our article entitled "Sorcerous Apprentices, Part 1" on the Diakrisis website).
It can also be shown that the mind-sciences developed by psychologists and psychotherapists during the past two centuries have their roots in occult techniques going right back to ancient times. In fact, there is a direct correlation between the mind-sceicnes, as developed by Franz Mesmer, and the so-called Toronto Blessing style of religion found in many churches today. (Further information on this subject can be found in our article entitled "Sorcerous Apprentices, Part 2" on the Diakrisis website).
Another occultic influence or religious movement designed to undo the church and destroy the Gospel in this post-Ascension Age, was
10. The Theosophical Society
The Theosophical Society was founded in New York on November 17th, 1875, by the Russian medium and adventuress Helena Petrovana Blavatsky and Col. Henry Steel Olcott (an associate of Mary Baker Eddy, founder of Christian Science). After Blavatsky's death, the development of the Theosophical Society in Britain as well as on the international front was taken up in 1891 by former Anglican clergyman's wife and champion of socialism, Annie Besant, together with erstwhile Anglican vicar and paedophile C.W. Leadbeater. The main stated objectives of the society were:
The core of the Blavatsky theosophical teaching is rooted in a syncretism which pulls together strains from Hinduism, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism and gnostic Christianity all of which deny the Transcendent Creator God and use practices to bring about the 'divinisation' of the individual. One of the main hallmarks of the Theosophical Society was its claim to have been set up under the direct guidance of a group of spirit-entities known variously as the 'Brotherhood of Luxor', the 'Mahatmas', the 'Overlighting Ones' or the 'Ascended Masters'. These beings were credited with masterminding the cosmic plan of which the earth is a part. It is one of the extraordinary foundations upon which the New Spirituality has developed. (We will deal with the work of this alleged 'brotherhood' in more detail in the following chapter).
One of the major contributions of the Theosophical Society to the New Gnosticism was the concept of 'spiritual evolution', developed in Blavatsky's massive work The Secret Doctrine. Once Darwin's theory had come into vogue, it was but a short step to extend that concept further. Just as man had already evolved from lower life forms, so he will continue to evolve into a mighty cosmic organism with each individual being reincarnated many thousands of times until he reaches perfection. However, she was not alone in positing a spiritualised evolution-theory. As one writer notes:
'It has been made since Madame Blavatsky's time by Teilhard de Chardin and, in her own century, was expressed in different forms by both Bergson and Nietzsche'.41
But in the late nineteenth century it was Blavatsky's unique conception which so captivated the hearts of the people. That vacuum left by the undermining of Christian faith had led to the need for a new religious aspiration. And in this respect, 'It was the genius of H.P. [Blavatsky] to apply Darwin's theory to produce a hopeful resolution of the human condition'.42 Rather than basing her spiritualised evolution on natural selection or chance development, she offered people hope by declaring that there was a plan to the evolving universe and that the next leap in evolution into a Golden Age was not far away. This would be preceded, she claimed, by the advent of a World Teacher, who would lead the planet into a time of unprecedented peace and harmony. In the early part of the twentieth century, Theosophists Annie Besant and C.W. Leadbeater tried to establish Jiddu Krishnamurti as this teacher, but he pulled out of the enterprise.43 That role still remains to be filled, as we shall see shortly when we examine the claims of one of the many organisations which grew out of the Theosophical Society.
Although the word 'theosophy' had been in use on occasion in previous centuries, this was the first time it had been applied to a specific organisation. It is derived from a combination of the Greek words theos, god, and sophos, meaning wise. It therefore means 'wise in the things of God' or simply 'divine wisdom'. Generally speaking, theosophy can be defined as
"The philosophical background of Freemasonry is a Gnosis or Wisdom-teaching as old as the world, one which has been shared alike by the Vedists of the East, the Egyptian, Chaldean and Orphic Initiation systems, the Pythagorean and Platonist Schools, and all the Mystery Temples of the past and present... The Churches, therefore, may be left to continue to discharge their proper ministry, whilst those who feel the need of a larger science, an alternative and perhaps richer fare than the churches provide, may find it in the ancient Gnosis to which Freemasonry serves as a portal of entrance".
The Interfaith Movement is not a recent development, as many may think. It is, rather, the culmination of centuries of evolution. It represents the flowering of Satan's religious aspirations. An important step in this process, significantly, came not long after Darwin had injected his thoughts into the world of anthropology and Baur had thrust his ideas into the seminaries and churches of the world.
In September 1893, the first 'Parliament of the World's Religions' was held in Chicago. Virtually every religion in the world was represented there. To demonstrate the 'ecumenical' nature of this gathering, John Henry Barrow, pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in Chicago, was head of the organising committee, while the proceedings were opened with the Lord's Prayer by the Roman Catholic Cardinal Gibbons. For seventeen days the Parliament continued, as 140,000 visitors were exposed for the first time to the teachings of Eastern religion. The importance of this event for the development of syncretism can be seen in the fact that one occultist organisation, the Theosophical Society, rejoiced in this Parliament as being a fulfilment of its aims and 'distinctly a Theosophical step'.
More than 500 seminars were held, with such titles as 'The Role of the High Priestess in the Temple of Isis', 'Euthanasia', 'Human Abduction by UFOs Its Significance for the Future', 'Humanism The Modern Alternative to Traditional Religion', 'The Return of the Goddess', 'AIDS as a Social Symbol', 'Christian Reflections on the Bhagavad Gita', and 'Spiritometry the Scientific Step Towards God'. There was a variety of 'interfaith celebrations, meditations and contemplative vigils', coupled with 'sacred art, music, dance, poetry and theatre'. There were 'Neo-Pagan' concerts, Theravada Buddhist group chantings and other exotic entertainments.
"The essence of all religions is basically the same:- to achieve a true sense of brotherhood, a good heart, respect for others".
It is here that we must close this first article of our examination of the "New Spirituality", as we try to discern the signs of the times. We have first analysed what the Bible reveals about the development of world religion. We have seen how this has been a Satanic agenda in opposition to Christ. We have learned how these influences have worked out in the Old and New Testament eras, through to the present day. In our next article in this series in which we will be examining the relationship between the religious New Spirituality and the political New World Order we will look at the way that these elements have developed during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries at a pace beyond anything imagined in previous centuries. There has been an enormous quickening, leading to a global movement which is highly aggressive, which professes universal tolerance but which is highly intolerant of true Christianity. It is well organised and it is following a very identifiable agenda. This is not conspiracy theory, but conspiracy fact.
Copyright ©2001 Alan Morrison, Diakrisis
|Pastor Alan Morrison is a Baptist minister who established Diakrisis International originally in 1990 to acquaint believers with the importance of Christian apologetics, to provide written commentary and public speaking on a wide range of topical, doctrinal and pastoral issues, and to hold out a hand of rescue to those who suffer psychological and spiritual manipulation in the religious scene. Rev. Morrison has, since the publication of this on his website in 2002, shut the web site down to engage in a church planting project in France.|
J. Gresham Machen, Christianity and Liberalism (Eerdmans, 1923), pp.62-63. This is one of the most thorough refutations of theological liberalism, showing that it and Christianity are really two entirely different religions.
2 Paul Davies writing in the U.K. Sunday Telegraph Magazine, 1983, month unmarked.
3 Paul Davies, Superforce, George Allen & Unwin, 1986, p.243.
4 G.W. Bromiley (ed.), The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (Eerdmans, 1982), Vol.2, p.484.
5 Robert Law, The Tests of Life: A Study of the First Epistle of St. John (T. & T. Clark, 1909), p.26.
6 Kurt Rudolph, Gnosis: The Nature and History of Gnosticism (Harper & Row, 1987), p.368.
7 Ibid., p.367. 8 Clifton Wolters (trans.), The Cloud of Unknowing and Other Works (Penguin, 1961), p.202.
9 Chambers's Encyclopaedia, op. cit., Vol.IV, p.534.
10 Mircea Eliade (ed.), Encyclopedia of Religion (Macmillan, 1987), Vol.12, p.476.
11 It is interesting to note that Martin Luther's insignia was a rose on a cross. Could it be that the Rosicrucians stole Martin Luther's insignia and made it their occult insignia?
12 Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma, Supreme Council of the 33rd Degree of the Scottish Rite, 1871, p.105.
13 Ibid., p.567.
14 Ibid., p.321.
15 Fritjof Capra, The Turning Point: Science, Society and the Rising Culture (Flamingo, 1982), p.466.
16 See José Arguelles, The Transformative Vision: Reflections on the Nature and History of Human Expression (Shambhala, 1975).
17 Peter Lemesurier, This New Age Business: The Story of the Ancient and Continuing Quest to Bring Down Heaven to Earth (Findhorn Press, 1990), p.178. Notice the title of this book that 'bringing down of heaven onto the earth'.
18 Christopher McIntosh, The Rosecross and the Age of Reason: 18th century Rosicrucianism in Central Europe and its Relationship to the Enlightenment (E.J. Brill, 1992), pp.34-35.
19 Frances A. Yates, ibid., p.232.
20 Ibid., p.233.
21 Chambers English Dictionary, (Chambers, 1988), p.710.
22 Walter A. Elwell (ed.), Evangelical Dictionary of Theology (Marshall Pickering, 1984), p.355.
23 Christopher McIntosh, The Rosecross and the Age of Reason: 18th century Rosicrucianism in Central Europe and its Relationship to the Enlightenment (E.J. Brill, 1992), p.26.
24 Basil Willey, The Seventeenth Century Background: Studies in the Thought of the Age in Relation to Poetry and Religion (Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1986), p.73.
25 Adrian Desmond & James Moore, Darwin (Michael Joseph, 1991), p.xxi.
26 Wallace Johnson, Evolution? (TAN Books, 1992), p.114.
27 Ibid., p.387.
28 David McLellan, Karl Marx: His Life and Thought, Paladin Granada, 1976.
29 Wolfgang Smith, Teilhardism and the New Religion: A Thorough Analysis of the Teachings of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, (TAN books, 1988), pp.242-243. This book cannot be recommended highly enough. It is a devastating critique of one of the main perpetrators of Neo-Gnostic philosophy, and a masterful debunking of Evolution Theory.
30 Julian Huxley, 'Evolution and Genetics', quoted in J.R. Newman (ed.), What is Science? (Simon & Schuster, 1955), p.272.
31 A. Hellemans & B. Bunch, The Timetables of Science (Simon & Schuster, 1988), p.362.
32 Quoted in The Unseen Hand: An Introduction to the Conspiratorial View of History (Publius Press, 1985), p.362.
33 Peter Lemesurier, op.cit, pp.183-195. 34 Kurt Rudolph, Gnosis: The Nature and History of Gnosticism (Harper & Row, 1987), p.368.
35 Mircea Eliade (ed.), The Encyclopedia of Religion (Macmillan, 1987), Vol.5, p.576. See also Chambers Biographical Dictionary, p.1099.
36 Rev. (sic) William Hamilton writing in Playboy, August 1966, p.84.
37 The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, op.cit., p.324.
38 J.D. Douglas (ed.), New International Dictionary of the Christian Church (Zondervan, 1974), p.249.
39 Chambers's Encyclopaedia (George Newnes, 1963 edition), Vol.III, p.808.
40 J.D. Douglas (ed.), op. cit., p.777.
41 James Webb, The Occult Underground (Open Court, 1974), p.91.
42 James Webb, The Flight from Reason (Macdonald, 1971), p.52.
43 Krishnamurti continued to disseminate his personal philosophy in large tent-meetings held every year at boarding schools which he founded in Hampshire, U.K., India and the U.S., until his death in 1987.
44 John R. Hinnells (ed.), Dictionary of Religions (Penguin, 1984), p.329.
45 Stephan A. Hoeller, The Gnostic Jung and the Seven Sermons to the Dead (Quest Books, 1982), p.26.
46 J. Gordon Melton, New Age Almanac (Visible Ink, 1991), p.32.
48 From the Preface to H.P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine (Quest Books, 1966), p.xvii.
49 It is interesting that Satan and his followers so often leave such obvious clues to their true identity scattered like confetti around their concerns. It is almost as if the Old Serpent is confidently goading people into a paper chase on the trail to uncovering his evil designs.
50 Carl T. Jackson, The Oriental Religions and American Thought: Nineteenth Century Explorations (Greenwood, 1981), p.252. This book, by the Professor of History at the University of Texas (who is also a Zen Buddhist), gives a clear and scholarly account of the penetration of Western culture by Eastern Mysticism in the previous century.
51 Marcus Toyne, Involved in Mankind: The Life and Message of Vivekananda (Ramakrishna Vedanta Centre, 1983), p.61.
52 Don Cuppitt, The Sea of Faith: Christianity in Change (BBC, 1984), p.175.
53 Ibid., pp. 173-174.
54 John Ferguson, Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Mysticism and the Mystery Religions (Thames & Hudson, 1976), p.207.
55 The Story of Vivekananda (Advaita Ashrama, 1970), p.71.
56 Quoted in F. Max Müller (Trans. & Ed.), The Sacred Books of the East: Vol.XV (OUP, 1900), 'The Upanishads', Vol.I, pp.lxi-lxii, lxiv.
57 John Ferguson, op. cit., p.207.
58 Quoted in James Webb, The Occult Underground, (Open Court, 1974), pp.67-68.