& THE NEW AGE MOVEMENT
Irenaeus (115-202 AD), Pastor of Lugdunum in Gaul (now Lyons), gives us some history behind Gnosticism which was the first satanic attack against God's Word (Genesis 3:1-6). Irenaeus was the disciple of Polycarp (70-156 AD), Pastor of the Church in Smyrna, who was taught by the Apostle John. It was John who wrote his First Epistle against Gnostic corrupters (i.e. 1 John 1:5, 2:23, 4:3 5:7) the false teachings of which are similar to Rosicrucianism and our many faceted modern New Age Movement. Irenaeus tells us that Simon the sorcerer (Acts 8:9-13, 18-24) was regarded as the father of Gnosticism. The people of Samaria called Simon "the great power of God" (Acts 8:10; cf. Mark 14:62; Luke 22:69). John was present in Samaria when Peter rebuked Simon for trying to buy the power of the Holy Ghost (Acts 8:14-24). According to Irenaeus Simon the sorcerer's faith was feigned and he used incantations, love-potions, charms, exorcisms, and was in contact with beings called "Paredri" (familiars) and "Oniropompi" (dream-senders) [Against Heresies 1.23]. Hippolytus (170-236 AD), Pastor of the Church in Portus near Rome, records that Simon allegorized the scriptures in order to support his false teachings, especially Genesis [Refutation of all Heresies 6.5-10]. Irenaeus also tells us that Gnosticism received its doctrines from pagan Greek philosophers like Pythagoras, Homer, Plato, Aristotle, and others [Against Heresies 3:3]. Some of the major heresies of Gnosticism include:
2. The goddess Sophia created a tyrant creator angel, Demiurge (The God of the Old Testament), who was not aware of the Aeons and thought he was the only God. Demiurge created man but Sophia gave him spirit. [Irenaeus, Against Heresies 1.5] (Psalms 34:8, 100:5, 135:3, 145:9)
3. Sophia sent the serpent (an angel) into the garden of Eden to free Adam and Eve. By eating of the tree Adam and Eve were set free through true knowledge (gnosis). However, Demiurge raped Eve many times and she gave birth to other evil creator angels (serpent seed doctrine). [Irenaeus, Against Heresies 1.30] (John 8:44; Revelation 12:9)
4. Some people are predestined to hell, while others are saved by doing enough good works. Other people have spirits sent forth from Sophia predestinating them to salvation regardless if they act good or evil. So the most "perfect" of them addict themselves to evil deeds and are in a habit of defiling the women they convert. [Irenaeus, Against Heresies 1.6-7, 4.37] (2 Peter 3:9; Romans 3:19-20; Ephesians 2:8-9; Luke 13:5; John 14:6; Acts 4:12)
5. All matter is evil and not capable of salvation. It will eventually be destroyed. [Irenaeus, Against Heresies 1.7, 23] (Luke 24:39; Philippians 3:21; 2 Peter 3:12-13; Revelation 21:1)
6. Mantras to effect nature (as in Hinduism and Kabbalah). [Irenaeus, Against Heresies 1.14-15] (Deuteronomy 18:10-12)
7. Perfect knowledge is obtained by baptism, spiritual marriage and last rites (sacramentalism). [Irenaeus, Against Heresies 1.21] (Titus 3:5; Galatians 2:16)
8. At death some souls enter an intermediate state to be purged of the animal nature (purgatory) before going into the Pleroma (full divine powers). [Irenaeus, Against Heresies 2.29] (John 19:30; Hebrews 10:10)
9. Reincarnation. [Irenaeus, Against Heresies 2:33] (Hebrews 9:27)
10. Christ descended upon Jesus at his baptism and left before Jesus went before Pilate (adoptionism). Sophia wouldn't allow Christ to suffer. [Irenaeus, Against Heresies 1.7] (1 John 5:7; John 1:14; Matthew 1:23; Micah 5:2)
Clement of Alexandria (150-215 AD) was a disciple of Tatian and was likewise a Gnostic. It is wise to keep in mind Luke 6:40 here, "The disciple is not above his master: but everyone that is perfect shall be as his master." Clement founded a Theological School in Alexandria, Egypt. He followed Platonism, and taught reincarnation, there is no heaven or hell, no blood atonement of Christ, and no infallible Bible. By far Clement's most famous student was Origenes Adamantius commonly known as Origen.
Today we have a continually evolving bible coming closer and closer to the New Age Religion of ancient Gnosticism and Roman Catholicism, the two horns of the second beast of Revelation 13.
In the early 1920's Foster Bailey (1888-1977) and his wife Alice Bailey (1880-1949) founded Lucifer Publishing (name later changed to Lucis Trust). In her book, The Externalization of the Hierarchy, Alice states, "The Christian church in its many branches can serve as a St. John the Baptist, as a voice crying in the wilderness, and as a nucleus through which world illumination may be accomplished. ... The church must show a wide tolerance, and teach no revolutionary doctrines or cling to any reactionary ideas." (New York, NY: Lucis Pub. Co., 1957, pp. 510, 511.) She wanted Christendom to shut up and assist in bring about the acceptance of the New Age concepts of self-realization, illumination and the Golden Age of Aquarius. The ultimate goal is the destruction of Biblical Christianity. Roman Catholicism is clearly on board with Bailey's agenda. The Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) documents states:
"... In Hinduism men explore the divine mystery and express it both in the limitless riches of myth and the accurately defined insights of philosophy. They seek release from the trials of the present life by ascetical practices, profound meditation and recourse to God in confidence and love. Buddhism in its various forms testifies to the essential inadequacy of this changing world. It proposes a way of life by which man can, with confidence and trust, attain a state of perfect liberation and reach supreme illumination either through their own efforts or by the aid of divine help. ... The Catholic Church rejects nothing of what is true and holy in these religions. "
Jesuit priest William Johnston explains how it happened, "... Overnight the Catholic Church which had been a Western institution exporting its wares to the East became a world community. Asian and African bishops and theologians assembled in Rome and, with their European and American confreres, acknowledged that the Spirit of God is at work in all peoples and in all religions. Since then, most theologians recognize non-Christian religions as valid ways."
The Gnostic nature of Catholicism is seen not only from its history, but also in the fact that it adapts to and assimilates pagan and eastern religions so easily. For example to the right we see Pope John Paul II receiving the Mark of the Hindu goddess Durga, the consort of the god Shiva. By the time this photo was taken, however, the pope had already been involved in several pagan rituals on his 1986 trip to India. Three days prior to taking this photo in Madras, India on February 5, 1986, the Pope had also taken the Mark of Shiva on his forehead. It is the red mark seen on the foreheads of so many Hindus signifying their devotion to Shiva. Here we see the two horns of the second beast of Revelation 13. The horns signifying seats of power. The powers being Catholicism and the New Age movement. The Vatican's goal of ecumenicalism is seen in her efforts to unite all the religions under her wing.
On October 27, 1986 and again on January 24, 2002 Pope John Paul II hosted first 160 and then 200 shamans, animists, imams, witch doctors, patriarchs, monks and rabbis from around the world for a prayer summit at Assisi, Italy. The world's religious leaders including the Dalai Lama (considered by many Buddhists to be a god), Islamic Mullahs from nine countries, Hindus, Zoroastrians, native American shamans, African animists, Jews, Catholics and Protestants assembled together to pray for world peace. Pope John Paul II declared, "We will stand side by side asking God to give us peace." Pope John Paul II has demonstrated broad ecumenical support by publicly hosting these religious leaders from all over the world, and has also done so in many books, seminars, on the Internet and by official sanction. Popedom has set an ecumenical agenda, which the world loves and accepts.
With New Age and ecumenical beliefs being advocated not only by Roman Catholics, but also by "Evangelicals," like Billy Graham, Rick Warren, Kenneth Copeland, Paul Crouch and Joel Osteen, it appears that the desired goal of a one world religion is closer to being achieved. The New Age aspiration to establish a one world religion lead by a "Christ Leader" is being met by the Pope and his Church. All of this ought not to surprise any believer, for the Bible has warned us of the end time Apostate Church system and her daughter harlots (Rev. 17). Christians cannot remain silent in the face of this apostasy. A further watering down of God's Word will continue to accommodate the unbelievers of the various New Age and other religions.
"Beloved, ... ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints." (Jude 3)
"We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not." (2 Peter 1:19 - 2:3)
1. Alice Bailey, The Externalization of the Hierarchy, New York, NY: Lucis Pub. Co., 1957, pp. 510, 511.
2. The Mystic Plague, Catholicism sets a Spiritualist Agenda by Richard Bennett.
3. Le Roux, Abbe Daniel, Peter, Lovest Thou Me?, Instauratio Press, Australia; 1989, pp. 155, 156