August 10, 2010
I greet you once again in the Name of Jesus!
Last time we began to share on what I refer to as the last of the Last Days assault on the faith. Remember that we said that the faith refers to the established body of revealed truth that constitutes what every Christian believes. What we believe, our core essential doctrines, is what distinguishes Christianity from every other belief system. I fully realize that within the Christian Church there are various denominational and non-denominational groups, and each of them have certain distinct doctrinal viewpoints. Sincere Christians can differ on non-essential issues, but we still are united by core doctrines.
Some refer, and I believe rightly so, to these core doctrines or beliefs as the essentials. There are essential, fundamental, if you will; faith issues that every true Christian accepts as truth. If you will recall, last time we shared Jude 3. There Jude admonished the believers of his day, Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. [Jude 3 NKJV] The phrase, “common salvation”, refers to the salvation graciously extended to both Jew and Gentile alike. Jude had set out apparently to write an epistle much like Romans, but was compelled by the Holy Spirit to take a different direction.
He found it necessary, due to attacks coming against the Church and the saints in his day, to write urging the believers to “earnestly contend” for the faith. Again, this is the body of revealed truth delivered once to the saints, and by implication, delivered once for all time. It is important that we grasp this. In other words, new truth is not being delivered today. The Holy Spirit is certainly revealing truth today, in the sense of illuminating portions of the Word of God that past generations may not have understood due to their place in time; but no new truth is being delivered today. The faith is “once for all delivered to the saints”. The Greek text indicates that this delivery of the faith was done once, at one time. I know I am really emphasizing this, but I want you to grasp what I am saying. The body of established truth was delivered once for all saints, all believers, all set apart ones, for all times.
The scriptures are sufficient. No dream, vision, revelation, or additional philosophy is needed. If you want to live victoriously in life, immerse yourself in the Word of God. Read it, study it, listen to it, and fix your thoughts on its precepts and principles. God has given you and I His Word so that we can get to know Him. That which constitutes our faith, our belief system, is found in the pages of the Bible. I know that may sound narrow and old-fashioned, but it is the truth. Even though all of this true, it seems as though Biblical illiteracy is at an all-time high in the Christian Church. Many Christians who name the Name of Christ are basically clueless with regard to what they believe, and why they believe it. And this condition has made the Church a prime target of last of the Last Days deception.
Paul warned young Pastor Timothy, Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons. [1 Tim. 4:1 NKJV] The Holy Spirit conveyed this message to Paul to deliver to his protege Timothy in a manner that could not be misconstrued or misunderstood. The Spirit delivered this message in an outspoken manner. The Word translated expressly, is a word that is unique. It is found nowhere else in the entire New Testament. Paul warns us, or we should say the Holy Spirit through Paul warns us that there would come a latter times assault on established Christian doctrine. According to Paul it would come through seducing spirits and doctrines of demons. Seducing spirits would be evil spirits who come to distract and “turn the head”, in this case, from the faith. The thought here is that the seducing spirits would turn the heads or attention of people away from true Christian doctrine, to false doctrines inspired and orchestrated by demons. That is strong language I realize, but it is what the Word says.
I find it interesting that the two fronts attacking the Christian Church in both Jude’s and Paul’s day are the exact two fronts that have attacked the Church through almost two thousand years of history, and seem to be pulling out all of the stops today, as it were. These two fronts would be, as we noted last time, political or governmental and false teachers bringing spurious teachings founded more on esoteric revelations and ancient heresies than the Word of God. On the political front today we see the Christian Church under attack by a government that is certainly no friend to believers. Our freedoms, and this would be especially true concerning religious freedoms, are eroding and I believe it is highly probable that persecution against Christians will come to America as it has in other countries.
On the spiritual front the truth of the gospel, the message about Jesus’ crucifixion, burial, and resurrection is being undermined and supplanted by a host of false doctrines and false teachers. The farther the Church moves away from the centrality of the cross, the more we plunge into the depths of deception. In this particular teaching, what the Holy Spirit has laid upon my heart is to identify and expose some of the most prominent, and in my opinion, most dangerous false doctrines invading the Church today. This will in no way be exhaustive in nature, but it is my sincere prayer that it will aid the reader in studying some of these things in greater detail for themselves.
I will basically share concerning four specific false doctrines influencing untold thousands of believers today, turning their heads and hearts in many cases, from the truth. These are:
- The New Age Movement
- The Emergent Church
- Hebrew Roots Movement (HRM)
- THE NEW AGE MOVEMENT
This particular belief system is a bit difficult to identify at times because it is not one central religious system made up of one set of beliefs or doctrines, but rather a strange mix of several systems and occultic practices. During the recent years of international turmoil and crisis, an enormous geopolitical/religious order, called the New Age movement, has quietly emerged. They are made up of a world-wide network of thousands of cooperating organizations. They are united under the common bond of esoteric or occult teachings, with the goal of forming a “one world order.”
The origin of the movement dates back to at least 1875 with the theosophical teachings of Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, and later in the 1920’s with the teachings of Alice Ann Bailey. The Theosophical Society, as it was called, espoused the abolishment of Christianity, Judaism and Islam, promoting the unity of other world religions. They claimed that their teachings were revealed by “spirit” or elemental guides (demons). They emphasized heavily the evolution of a self deified, master Aryan society, and a one world “new age” religion and social order.
In 1922, Bailey founded the “Lucifer Publishing Company,” which printed and distributed their teachings. These teachings were very complete in their intent and goals. Step by step they plotted the coming new age with instructions for the institution of the necessary new world order.
Bailey’s teachings established the symbol of a rainbow as their identification sign, and discussed extensively, plans for religious war, forced redistribution of the world’s resources, mass planetary initiations, theology for a new world order, world-wide disarmament, and elimination of obstinate religions. She even discussed the sacredness of the new world leader’s number, 666 (the number of the Beast). To be sure, Christians need to understand this movement as it’s affects are being seen directly in the world political scene presently.
Publications which list the numerous cooperating groups are the “Spiritual Community Guide,” and “The New Age Magazine,” with thousands of listings. New agers claim that all mind science groups are a part of the new age. They also include various occult groups, mystic religions, witchcraft organizations, pagan religions, ecological organizations, geopolitical and secular organizations. In the U.S. and Canada over ten thousand organizations are identified as New Age, such as “Amnesty International, Greenpeace, The Sierra Club, Zero Population, The Guardian Angels,” and thousands of other secular and religious organizations. Other groups synonymous with the New Age are “The Age of Aquarius, The Aquarian Conspiracy, The Human Potential Movement, The Holistic Movement, Humanistic Psychology,” and a host of others.
The modern New Age movement has a definite agenda which has been agreed upon by their constituents. Adopted much after the same original ideals as Alice Ann Bailey, the manifesto of the New Age movement calls for a:
- New world order
(2) Universal credit card system
(3) World food authority
(4) World Health Authority
(5) World water authority
(6) Universal tax
(7) Universal military draft
(8) Abolishing of Christianity, Judaism and Islam
(9) One world leader
In the late 1980’s, prominent New Agers, David Spangler and Benjamin Creme ran full page ads in many of the world’s newspapers announcing the soon appearance of the “Christ.” This personality was introduced as the “Lord Maitreya,” alleged to be a world-class “messiah” and great teacher whom they claimed would bring world peace and solutions to the worlds problems. To date, their Maitreya has not yet emerged as a celebrated leader, and may not. But the aspirations of Creme, Spangler and other New Agers are clearly seen. They are seeking a man, whether god or devil, who will be their image of a messiah, coming to save the planet.
Finally, what we know about the New Age movement so far is this: It is extremely large and is made up of an extensive network of mystic, occultish figures devoted to the goals of a forced global government and religion. They have expressed their rejection and hostility toward Christianity and other major religions, and seek to establish a universal leader who will fulfill the description of a satanic deity.
Truly there has never been a more ideal environment to produce that man of deception, the personification of the Devil himself. And if this is the organization of the Beast, we know that this means the rapture, the tribulation period, and the second coming of Jesus Christ is close at hand (2 Thes. 2:2-9, Rev. 13:11-18).
Next time I want to take a look at the second false movement in our list, the so-called “Emergent Church”. We shall see that there is a clear connection between this movement and New Age philosophy.
The Weekly Word is found in 2 Thessalonians 8 – 12. Here the Bible says,
8Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming;
9that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders,
10and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved.
11For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false,
12in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness. [2 Thess. 2:8 – 12 NASB]
Until next time, this is THE WEEKLY WORD
Pastor Kevin E. Johnson