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New Age Manipulation

2 Corinthians 2:11 - We are not ignorant of Satan's schemes.

2 Corinthians 2:4 - The god of this age has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

2 Corinthians 11:14 - Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.

What is the New Age movement? Some Christians have never heard this term. Other Christians have dismissed the New Age movement as just another branch of humanism which has been greatly overplayed and unduly attacked by a small group of fanatical Christians. Most Christians have heard New Age terminology bandied about, but are still fuzzy in their comprehension of what the movement is all about. To begin with, there really is a New Age movement, but much of it is hidden because many of the groups do not label themselves "New Age". More importantly, the movement is not neutral but rather ominous, and therefore growing Christians need to become aware of the underlying thought patterns and goals of the New Age movement. Concisely defined, the New Age movement is a worldwide network of loosely interconnected organizations and groupings which ultimately are all committed, more or less, to a "new world order" in which exists worldwide political and religious unity and harmony. Almost all of these groups are heavily influenced by eastern religious thought and advocate meditation, yoga and other self-help methods of realizing and developing the individual's inner wisdom and spiritual potential. Spiritual-mystical experiences which enable the individual to tap into or attain unity with a "higher" or "cosmic" consciousness or "force" are also advocated by many of these groups. The mental transformation that these experiences bring about opens the way for people to learn "advanced" new habits and attitudes. Most New Agers maintain that this is the basic means by which the goal of global unity will be attained. If this description of some basic New Age ideas sounds totally foreign to you, read on! Many Christians are largely unaware of the subtle ways the New Agers are infiltrating our society with their ideology.

As growing Christians, we need to be discerning and on the alert about the New Age movement. Behind all the hype of the New Age scenario is the hiss of the age-old serpent! On the surface, the push for worldwide peace and unity appears very noble and admirable, but below the surface this movement is actually being masterminded by Satan himself. The New Age movement is, in reality, a worldwide manipulation of human souls. These unwary souls are being manipulated to pave and prepare the way for a notorious world leader of the end times--the Antichrist. Under the guise of a better world for all mankind, Satan is maneuvering for a massive take-over through people who have become his unsuspecting pawns.

The first clue that the New Age movement cannot be from God is that the core groups involved patently and plainly deny that Jesus is God. Although many New Agers use a lot of "god-talk" and biblical language, quote the words of Jesus and refer to Him as a god, the bottom line is a denial of Jesus as the only Son of God--the God of the Bible. Even a cursory investigation of the New Age movement should convince any growing Christian that this movement is not neutral and harmless but actually Satanic and dangerous. The fact that New Agers are kind and "loving" and their ideology has an up-front appearance of innocent humanitarianism should not be surprising. The Bible teaches that this is one of the ways the enemy of souls operates. Three scriptures in 2 Corinthians describe Satan's devious tactics.

According to 2 Corinthians 2:11, we are not in the dark as to what Satan is up to in this world. Why? Because the Bible clearly informs us of the devil's perennial strategy. Ever since he fell into sin, Satan's aim has been to take away from the glory of God by thwarting God's purposes in this world. His schemes are devised to keep non-Christians from coming to Christ and to keep Christians from being effective for Christ. One of Satan's most successful methods in accomplishing his goals is the gaining control of our culture, or the overall thought patterns and concepts of our society. This strategy is effective because the culture in which we live influences our mind-set and way of thinking so very greatly--whether we like it or not! Satan doesn't care whether the culture is characterized by capitalism or communism, humanism or hedonism, asceticism or atheism, as long as the cause of Christ is countered. One of the scheming tactics that Satan employs to gain control of any culture or sub-culture is to counterfeit Christianity by starting false "movements". Satan-inspired movements always have a measure of truth and goodness about them because imitation and deception have always been one of the devil's chief ways of ensnaring souls. Religious movements that are not Christ-centered are counterfeit movements. They look good on the outside but are inspired by Satan at the core. Communism, for example, looks appealing with its apparent emphasis on people and equality, but its basic atheistic philosophy proves it is one of Satan's counterfeit movements. The New Age movement is one more of the enemy's counterfeit schemes. It sounds good to the unsuspecting and uninformed, but behind the mask of all the sweet-talk about peace and unity and beautiful experiences lies the scheming mind of Satan. As Christians, we long for worldwide peace and unity, but we knowthat it can only come about through the return of Christ. No "Lord Maitreya" or any other counterfeit New Age "messiah" can bring true and lasting peace. Let us not be deceived or manipulated by a scheme that ultimately denies the Lord Jesus Christ--the one and only Prince of Peace.

2 Corinthians 4:4 informs us that unbelievers are blinded by Satan. In what area has the god of this world blinded the people of this world? He has blinded them to the "gospel of the glory of Christ who is the image of God." Satan doesn't mind if Christ is recognized as a great human leader and teacher. These facts don't save anyone! Satan's aim is to keep the light of Christ's glorious deity and gift of salvation from people at all costs. The devil has designed all kinds of mind-blinders for people to put on so that the divine light is blacked out. The New Age movement is one of them. All the promises of the "Age of Aquarius" are part of this Satanic cover-up. Satan's tempting promise in the Garden of Eden that "you shall be as God" is still blinding people today. The great emphasis on human potential and "the force within" as well as the "god is all/all is god" presupposition in New Age thinking continues this lie and blinds unbelievers to their lost condition. The use of the beautiful and peaceful rainbow as a symbol also has the effect of keeping people off their guard. Only in the light of the good news of the glory of Christ are the subtleties of the New Age movement exposed. That light is shining all around, and even though Satan tries everything that he can to block that light from unbelievers, he can never put out that eternal Light!

In 2 Corinthians 11:4 we learn that Satan is able to hide his true identity, using a most disarming costume. Who would ever think that an "angel of light" would like to see people separated from God forever? But that is exactly where the New Age movement for global peace and unity will lead its followers. To be sure, there are "peaceful" experiences along the way. The mystical experiences attained through altered states of consciousness are not just imagination. Such experiences are real--but they are manipulations by the 'angel of light'. Satan knows that such experiences of "cosmic oneness" help to blur the distinction between the Creator and His creation. Some New Agers even claim to have met an angel of light and other "ascended masters" in their mystical trips. These spirit beings all talk of peace and love and unity, but always apart from the supremacy and deity of the Lord Jesus Christ. On the basis of the Scripture before us, we know that these so-called ascended masters and spirit guides are, in reality, demonic spirits masquerading as angels of light.

As growing Christians, we do not deny the possibility of God-given spiritual experiences, but they will always beChrist-centered and biblically based. The temptation to seek mystical experiences through transcendental meditation, yoga, self-hypnosis and other altered conscious state techniques is not of God! It is rather an open door to the world of eastern religion and the occult. In fact, growing Christians need to be very careful and leery of relaxation and visualization techniques which can very easily be used as first steps to the dangerous altered conscious states. Stress-management seminars, if not biblically based, can be used to teach these types of techniques. Many of the widely advertised self-help tapes, videos and courses which claim to teach people how to overcome bad habits and develop greater personal potential are promoting these New Age techniques. And we should not be surprised if the angel of light is doing his best to introduce some of these New Age methods into the Church in christianized garb. Beware of Christian education seminars advocating non-biblical types of meditation and New Age visualization techniques. Be wary of church seminars giving assertiveness training or personal potential development courses. These courses could be used by Satan, the angel of light, to turn our focus from God's power at work within us to our own human potential. What subtle manipulation!

There is a new age coming, but it will not come about through the New Age movement! God will bring about global unity with the return of Christ (Revelation 22:1-3). In that great Day the throne of the Lamb will be established, the nations will be healed and the curse of sin will be lifted! Is there any better description of true global peace and prosperity?
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