What is the New Age Movement (NAM for short)? What are its beliefs?
The NAM does not consist of a single group of people and is not identified by a single set of beliefs or source book like the Bible. Rather, it is a network of organizations that are independent and yet bound together by anti-Biblical religious beliefs. Some of these beliefs are:
- Monism: the belief that everything flows out from one divine energy. All is one.
2. Pantheism: the belief that God is all and all is God, including nature and mankind.
3. Reincarnation and Karma: explaining good and evil.
4. Universal religion: all religions are just alternate paths to the same goal.
5. Personal transformation: a mystic or psychic experience that will usually result in a shift from an “old world” belief system to the realization of the “New Age” belief system.
6. Planetary vision: the belief that the earth possesses a life in and of itself. New Agers are attempting to realize the notion of a “mother earth” or “Gaia” whose children are assimilated into a religio-socio-political consciousness. They believe that a shift of political power that emphasizes the environment (pollution, acid rain, etc.) will help bring about this planetary consciousness.
7. New Age eschatology: the belief that a coming world leader or avatar will usher in the New Age.
(For a more thorough study, see Dictionary of Cults, Sects, Religions and the Occult, George A. Mather and Larry A. Nichols)
In Eccl. 1:9, Solomon stated that “There is nothing new under the sun.” The New Age ideas are old, but repackaged in a deceiving look of updated and more sophisticated vocabulary.
With New Age philosophy, Satan is using the same temptation that he used in the Garden of Eden: the promise of “hidden knowledge” (Gnosticism) that will make people be “like God.”
PRINCIPLE: Do not enter into a dialogue with demons through thought or vain imaginations luring you away from the sure and true Word of God.
- What does God say? In Gen 2:16, “The Lord God commanded the man, ‘You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.’” It means that they were alive and immortal before eating of the fruit.
- What does Satan say? In Gen 3:1, first, Satan plants a seed of doubt in Eve’s mind by hissing sweetly, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden?’” Eve should have stopped him right there, rebuked him with the Word of God like Jesus and run away like Joseph. Then, openly contradicting the word of God, he asserts in verse 4, “You will not surely die… for God knows that when you eat of it, your eyes will be opened.”
- Were their eyes closed before? Certainly not.
Then, Satan further states in the same verse, “You will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
- Weren’t they like God already? In which way? Gen 1:27 declares, “So God created man in his own image.”
- Didn´t they already know good? Absolutely! They knew God as Creator, Father, Provider, Teacher, Master Gardener, to name a few of the ways God related to them. They knew Him whose “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of heavenly lights” (James I:17).
- Did they know evil? No. They had not yet met the father of lies.
So, before the fall, they saw and knew only the good there was: God their father, their creator, the person whose nature and character are absolute, pure and eternal goodness, and the source of all that is good according to Gen 1:31 which says that, “God saw all that he had made and it was very good.” Consequently, the only knowledge that they could gain or acquire was that of a deadly and confusing mixture of good and evil.
They fell from the free state of God-consciousness to the state of enslavement that is Self-consciousness which, carried to its extreme logical conclusion, leads to Self-Realization – the state of having and experiencing the fullness of self in all its ugly rebellion and defiant independence from God, and being like its original model and example, Satan himself. “The acorn doesn´t fall far from the tree!”
It doesn´t get any clearer than this.
Examine the following statements about the nature and practice of Kriya Yoga and see if you can find any similarity with the account of the first temptation in the garden of Eden.
This is the primary meaning of Kriya. The involuntary movements caused by the repeated practice of this technique are just the symptoms and results of a deeper involvement with things forbidden by God.
“The teaching of Kriya Yoga is done gradually. It is sectioned into six stages referred to as First Kriya, Second Kriya and so on. The beginner starts with First Kriya. First Kriya is the root, the very foundation which allows for progress through the spiritual path for followers of any religion. (Now, don´t miss this very crucial element of syncretism inherent in Hinduism and present in the apostate ecumenical church [my words added].) It gives access to knowledge of the body, of the Soul and the chakras. It allows for comprehension of the gross body, the astral body and the causal body.
Later, after having practiced regularly over a period of time and achieved the necessary demanding level of mastery, one can receive second Kriya, and thus progress towards the higher Kriya levels.
Describing Kriya Yoga in words has little meaning. A person may truly understand only through practice. If you wish to know what an apple is, a simple description is not enough. Take the fruit, touch it, taste it, then you will really and immediately understand what an apple is. The same goes for Kriya Yoga.
The Ultimate Goal
The constant practice of iswara pranidhana (practice of breath control in every moment) gives the siddhi (perfection) of samadhi. The incoming breath is î – power, outgoing breath is ra – light, sva – yourself, is between these two. Isvara gives life and will fill yourself.
Iswara pranidhana means that by constantly observing the breath which enters and leaves the body, through practice one will come to the formless state. Then you remain in the divine light enabling yourself to achieve constant nirvana or liberation in your lifetime. As Jesus Christ said in the Bible: “You can’t see, feel or realize God, but you can be.” – source
Another well-researched article about the religious nature of Yoga: click on this link.
Notice that Satan says: Not if you eat, but when you eat. As if it were understood that they were going to do it, that it was only a matter of time. Satan always presents an alluring picture to us, the undeniable pleasure of sin before we discover the very high price we have to pay later for disobeying God.
- Was the fruit really good or did it appear pleasing to Eve’s eyes? (Gen 3:6).
- How did she know that it was desirable for gaining wisdom? Satan told her.
All she knew about the fruit is what Satan told her, and what she could see with her own eyes. Satan could not give them anything that they didn’t have before the fall, except the knowledge of evil, the disease of sin, the curse of the ensuing fall of all mankind and his destructive, demonic wisdom.
He lied to them – but was it a total lie?
- What truth was mixed with the lie?
- Was it true that they were going to know evil? Yes.
Eccl 10:8 states: “He who digs a pit shall fall into it; and whoever breaks a hedge, a snake shall bite him.” (NKJV)
If we are on Satan’s territory, he defines the terms, the rules. We don’t. When he says “you will know,” he doesn’t mean “you will have information about evil, some data to store in your computer memory so that when you see evil you’ll run away from it.”
Knowing evil on Satan’s terms involves participation, just as knowing God involves participation in His life, His works and the lives of His people.
Satan meant you will know or experience evil in your mind, soul, and body. And in that, he was right and true.
- What does God say about wisdom? Prov 2:6 declares: “It is He who gives wisdom.” Wisdom is not just having knowledge of evil, as Satan said.
Isaiah 11:2-3 says this about the Lord Jesus: “And the Spirit of the LORD will rest on Him, The spirit of wisdom and understanding, The spirit of counsel and strength, The spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD. And He will delight in the fear of the LORD, And He will not judge by what His eyes see, nor make a decision by what His ears hear.” (NAS)
PRINCIPLE: When you are not sure of an attractive concept, or activity, stretch the possibility of participatory involvement to its inevitable conclusion and consequences.
There are 2 trees in the beginning: the Tree of Life and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
- 2 kinds of fruits. One gives life, the other death.
• 2 kinds of choices – one right, one wrong
• 2 persons:
- God, our Father who loves us, wants the best for our lives.
2. Satan, who is a liar from the beginning, and who seeks to steal, kill and destroy. He wants to take us away from God and His blessings; he wants to take us out of commission instead of being a part of the Great Commission.
The New Age fruit that is so desirable is a change in consciousness through various methods, means, or techniques that will cause one to look at God, the universe and oneself in a different way (Paradigm shift).
Look at Psalm 1. This psalm gives us the general principle of the progression in involvement with sin: walking, standing, sitting. In the case of drugs, it also includes lying down and flying out of one’s mind.
New Age techniques produce the same effect without the help of drugs and deceive people into believing that they have had a spiritual encounter with the source of life. It produces in the adept or devotee a sense of superior self-righteousness due to a false sense of their own purity as they compare themselves to the drug addict or drug user or a Christian Bible believer.
However, they have fallen into the bigger trap of Satan which has them bound in their pride and which is the first step to anybody’s downfall and destruction.
Look at Gal 6:7-8: “Do not be deceived; God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.”
If you are asked to accept a new idea or participate in a questionable activity and have any doubt in your heart that it is right, remember Romans 14:23 which says: “But the man who has doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith and everything that does not come from faith is sin.”
As Christians, if we want to know, we can study, and apply the word of life. Deuteronomy 29:29 says: “The secret things belong to the LORD but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law.”
In the beginning there were 2 trees: the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. At the end in Rev 22:2: “on each side of the river stood the tree of life.” In the end there is only one tree, the tree of Life. Only one God, only truth, only the righteous.
When it comes to something seemingly new, we have to ask ourselves 2 questions:
- Where does this come from; what is the source of the information? (The seed, the root)
2. Where does it lead? (the branches and the fruit)
- First Step: Be informed. Ask your parents, your youth group leader, your Pastor, an older Christian or anybody spiritually mature enough in this area who can answer your questions or direct your inquiry to someone knowledgeable. If you want information, don’t read directly from the New Age authors. There is plenty of material written on the New Age and cults by people that have been involved, have come out and given their testimonies. You can trust the word of a burnt person who tells you that fire burns.
Don’t assume that you are different, that you know better, that you are smarter than the next person. Here is a warning to us from Israel’s history. I Cor 10, “Do not be idolaters…be careful that you don’t fall.”
- Second step: Look at the fruit. This is the hardest test of all, because a lot of New Age people seem to be very calm, peace-loving, well-organized, caring individuals who use their personal resources and energy to promote what they believe are positive changes in themselves, their environment, and society. These may seem good, but they are done in ignorance and rebellion against our Creator, who has His own good plans for bringing peace and light to the world. And they don’t address the real problem with our world – sin.
Remember, these persons, however well-intentioned and highly motivated, are deceived. They have allowed themselves to believe the lie of Satan that “wisdom” is a tool to acquire “god-power,” when such hidden wisdom is really a trap. Unfortunately, in the eyes of God they are like Eve and Adam, as responsible for their sin as is their leader or teacher.
In Matt 7:15-20, Jesus warns his disciples with these words: “Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. You shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles? Even so every good tree brings forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree brings forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruits, nor [can] a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that does not bring forth good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you shall know them.” (NKJV)
John 16:1. Right after chapter 14 and 15 about the coming of the Holy Spirit of truth, abiding in the vine, the inability to do anything without Him, the command to love each other and to bear fruit, our Lord Jesus warns: “All this I have told you so that you will not go astray.”
Then, there is the temptation to “be open-minded” rather than “intolerant” of these “alternative religions.” Aren’t we supposed to explore and discover? Here is a good analogy:
“Let’s say you live in a house and it’s summertime. You want to breathe fresh air, so you open the window. What happens? You get fresh air, but along with it, you get dust, pollen, and bugs. The proper thing to do is to put a screen on the window.” (Source: heard in a talk given by Greg Laurie)
The word of God acts as a screen that rejects all the impurities, corrupt thoughts, lies, and false teaching that invade our minds; but for that screen to be effective in our lives, we have to study, understand, believe, know and practice what the Word of God says in obedience to our Lord´s command. Psalm 119:9,11: “How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word… I have hidden your word in my heart that I may not sin against you.”
Finally, it is my prayer that, “Your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God” (Phil. 1:9-11).