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What is a Cult and the Occult? (What is the difference?) by Jim Bramlett

Posted in christian, Gnosticism, God, New Age Movement, new world order, occult, Theology, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 1, 2008 by Damon Whitsell

 

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What is a Cult and the Occult? by Jim Bramlett

(The information below is summarized from numerous expert sources on cults and the occult)

The two words, “cult and occult,” sound similar. But while different, they both pose a similar spiritual threat to people by appearing to be something they are not. Both can cause its victims to miss God’s loving and free provision for their lives through Christ, and cause them to face a tragic, Christless eternity. There are many nice, friendly and caring people in the cults and the occult. God loves them, so much that Christ died for them. They are not our enemy. Our enemy is Satan and his deceiving spirits.

Cults

In popular usage, “cults” are religious groups predicted by the Bible (2 Peter 2:1) that deviate from the central, historic truths of biblical Christianity and God’s revelation in Christ. Some cults are offshoots of ancient pagan religions, have no similarity to Christianity, and are easy to identify. Others falsely try to imitate Christianity, often using the Bible and Christian terminology, and are more difficult to distinguish. These latter cults typically exhibit one or more of the following traits:

1. They may consider Jesus Christ as not equal to God the Father, but something less. But Jesus said, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father” (John 14:9), and Paul said that Christ is the “image of the invisible God” (Colossians 1:15) The Bible is repeatedly clear that Jesus is deity, and when on the earth, He was God in human form. We can be redeemed from our sins only because God’s own perfect blood (in Christ) was shed for our perfect cleansing.

2. They may typically reject the clear biblical revelation of a triune God, sometimes called the Trinity: God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit — one God, not three, but manifest in three Persons. The Bible refers to all three as Persons, yet One. A mystery, but truth.

3. They may have their own “sacred” book in addition to the Bible. And although they usually deny it, these books conflict with and are given precedence over the Bible.

4. They typically reject the wonderful biblical truth that salvation is a “free gift” from God by grace through faith alone (this truth glorifies God and not man). Instead, cults and all other “religions” falsely say that people must “earn” their salvation by certain works and deeds, often works that will perpetuate the cult (this glorifies man rather than God).

5. Cults are often exclusive, centering around a strong leader (or late founder) who has the only “true” interpretation of Scripture. Whereas Christ came to give us freedom, (Galatians 5:1), cult members are in bondage to that cult or leader, with the threat that leaving the cult will cause a loss of salvation.

Thousands of these cults exist, but here are some major ones listed in most cult reference books: Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Christian Science, The Unity School of Christianity, The Way International, The Children of God, Scientology, The Unification Church, Unitarianism and the New Age Movement (which is also occult).

If involved in any cult, run — don’t walk — to the nearest exit, and find a Christ-centered, Bible- believing church. Also, apply the four-step process below.

References. There are many excellent books available on cults. Four are: The Kingdom of the Cults, by Dr. Walter R. Martin; The Deceivers, by Josh McDowell and Don Stewart; Cult Watch, by Dr. John Ankerberg and John Weldon; and Larson’s New Book of Cults, by Bob Larson.

The Occult

The word “occult” refers to what is hidden, concealed, or secret. The occult involves the spirit world, but the spirit world of darkness. The occult is particularly deceptive because the spirit world is very real. Practitioners are dealing with reality — but dark, forbidden, and evil reality.

There are two kinds of spiritual reality. The first is God’s spiritual Kingdom of truth and light, where Christ is King, the nature of which is “righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Romans 14:17), and where God’s holy angels dwell, worship and serve Him. The second is the world of Satan (a fallen angel), a world of darkness and hopelessness, void of God, and where other fallen angels (called demons) who hate God work to advance this evil kingdom under their leader, Satan. This latter world of spiritual darkness is that which is experienced through the sinister practices of the occult.

The Bible does not reveal a “dualism,” or co-equal forces of good (represented by God) and evil (represented by Satan). Satan is totally subject to the sovereign, omnipotent Creator. But God has given Satan certain authority to operate in the earth as a result of man’s sinful fall. He operates through the minds and wills of fallen humanity, and he has constructed a complex web of many evil schemes, including occult practices, even religions, to deceive and snare people by appearing to offer them access to supernatural power and knowledge. The Bible says that such deception will increase in “the last days” before Christ returns (1 Timothy 4:1). But the Bible also says, “The Son of God appeared for this purpose, that He might destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8). Those who trust and obey Jesus Christ have protection and victory through Him.

Any degree of occult involvement can produce problems of oppression, depression, despair, hopelessness, and many physical problems, sometimes bringing death, even self-destruction. Demonic influence can produce obsessions, phobias, bizarre behavior, violence, homicide and sexual perversion in its victims. Worse, it can deceive a person into eternal darkness. The occult is a form of idolatry and a sin expressly forbidden by God (Deuteronomy 18:9-12). In the New Testament when the gospel was proclaimed and received, the liberated people gladly burned all their occult materials (see Acts 19:19).

Here are just a few of the many occult practices: astrology, various kinds of “fortune telling,” witchcraft, satanism, ESP, telepathy, clairvoyance, seances, spiritism meetings, use of mediums or “channeling,” automatic writing, ouija boards, hypnosis, parapsychology, psychic surgery, eastern religions, reincarnation, voodoo, magic charming, yoga; involvement with psychics such as Jeane Dixon, Edgar Cayce; the Rosicrucians, and the New Age Movement. The New Age Movement is a catchall term embracing many modern occult beliefs and practices. There is even compelling evidence that UFOs are real, but supernatural and often occult manifestations of fallen angels whose ultimate purpose is to deceive humanity into thinking super-intelligent extraterrestrials will help usher the earth into a golden “New Age” of happiness without God. But with God rejected and without His blessings, occult-practicing, lost and depraved humanity will soon bring upon itself the end-time global holocaust prophesied by the Bible.

If you are now or have ever been, anytime in your life, involved with any cult or occult practice, you can be set free of it and any symptoms it may have brought by doing the following: (1) Confess sincere faith in and commitment to Christ; (2) confess the cult and occult sins to God, naming and forsaking each one; (3) renounce Satan, in Jesus’ name, and commanding him and his demons to depart; and (4), receive and claim your liberation by faith, without doubting, trusting in the authority and total faithfulness of God and His Word. If you do this, Satan must obey and release you, by the authority of Jesus’ Name and God’s Word, and any symptoms that Satan put on you must disappear.

References. There are many books available in Christian bookstores on the occult and the New Age Movement, including The Coming Darkness, by John Ankerberg and John Weldon; Inside the New Age Nightmare, by Randall N. Baer; Understanding the Occult, by Josh McDowell and Don Stewart. For information on UFOs: The Omega Conspiracy, by Dr. I.D.E. Thomas; Planet Earth–2000 A.D., by Hal Lindsey; and the outstanding documentary video, UFOs: The Hidden Truth (the video is available by calling 1-800-475-1111).

http://www.choicesforliving.com/spirit/cults.htm

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Voices of the New Age: Thoughts on Lucifer By Carl Teichrib w/ bill cooper on Lucifer Worship video

Posted in conspiracy, luciferian, New Age Movement, new world order, occult, occult agenda, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 30, 2008 by Damon Whitsell
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Voices of the New Age: Thoughts on Lucifer
By Carl Teichrib

[Author’s note: this is the second article in a multipart series on New Age philosophies, taken directly from New Age authors and key figures. All italics and capitals in quotes are found in the originals.]

For many Christians, the New Age movement is a confusing and perplexing phenomena.

One question of particular concern is simply, what does the New Age teach?

Answers to this question are as varied as the New Age movement itself; which embraces Tarot cards, astrology, divination, mysticism, channeling, UFO sub-cultures, earth-based worship, numerous rites and rituals, occultism and secret orders, symbols and talismans, eastern religions and spiritual pluralism, and so much more. For the Christian researcher, trying to grasp the full meaning and context of just one of these many manifestations is an enormous task. For the average person who “just wants to know what’s going on,” the New Age movement can be a quagmire of contradictory information, obscure concepts, and outright bizarreness.

Sometimes, when faced with this mountain of disturbing information, the best way to grasp what the New Age movement teaches is simply to listen to what New Age leaders and authors are saying. Then, when examined through a Biblical lens, these New Age “teachings” quickly reveal themselves for what they are; anti-Biblical spiritual approaches which places a positive spin on Lucifer, the Prince of Darkness.

Consider the following statements,

Christ is the same force as Lucifer but moving in seemingly the opposite direction. Lucifer moves in to create the light within through the pressure of experience. Christ moves out to release that light, that wisdom, that love into creation…. — David Spangler, Reflections on the Christ (Findhorn Publications, 1977), p. 40.

Satan and the Judgement rests with every man; each one is his own Satan, each his own judge. — Benjamin Crème, The Reappearance of the Christ and the Masters of Wisdom (Tara Press, 1980), p. 104.

Eventually, if we achieve our chosen task on planet Earth to transmute duality into Oneness, then Lucifer, too, with his fallen Angels, must rise up into the Light to once again sit at the right hand of God as one of the brightest of the Angels. For nothing and no one is to remain separate from God. Within the Greater Reality, everything is God. — Solara, The Star-Borne: A Remembrance for the Awakened Ones (Star-Borne Unlimited, 1989), p. 138. Another aspect to this anti-Biblical philosophy is the New Age teaching that Satan (also known as Lucifer) is the personification of wisdom and liberty. In a book sponsored by the
Commission of the European Communities and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (the IUCN is a major environmental lobby and policy organization), this liberating “wisdom” came to Adam and Eve through the eating of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge. Thus, Satan is not viewed as the architect of our demise, but the facilitator of our intellectual liberty.

By eating from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, Adam broke the bonds of instinct and entered the realm of mind, with its potential for reflection and choice. Once this happened, human life was transformed from instinctual to intentional action, and destiny passed from historical impetus to self-direction. — New Ideas in Environmental Education (Croom Helm, 1988), p. 9. See all of chapter one.

David Spangler, a leading figure in the New Age Movement and a key individual in the Findhorn spiritual community, tells his readers,

Lucifer, like Christ, stands at the door of man’s consciousness and knocks. If man says, “Go away because I do not like what you represent. I am afraid of you,” Lucifer will play tricks on that fellow. If man says, “Come in, and I will give to you the treat of my love and understanding and I will uplift you in the light and presence of the Christ, my outflow,” then Lucifer becomes something else again. He becomes the being who carries that great treat, the ultimate treat, the light of wisdom. — David Spangler, Reflections on the Christ (Findhorn Publications, 1977), p. 41.

Lucifer comes to give us the final gift of wholeness. If we accept it then he is free and we are free. That is the Luciferic initiation. It is one that many people now, and in the days ahead, will be facing, for it is an initiation into the New Age. — David Spangler, Reflections on the Christ (Findhorn Publications, 1977), p. 45.

Madame Blavatsky, founder of the Theosophical Society and mother of the modern New Age Movement, also taught an anti-Biblical interpretation of the Dark Angel. Satan will now be shown, in the teaching of the Secret Doctrine, allegorized as Good, and Sacrifice, a God of Wisdom, under different names. —Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine, Volume 2 (Theosophical University Press, 1988), p. 237.

Lucifer is divine and terrestrial light, the “Holy Ghost” and “Satan,” at one and the same time… — Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine, Volume 2 (Theosophical University Press, 1988), p. 513.

Thus “SATAN,” once he ceases to be viewed in the superstitious, dogmatic, unphilosophical spirit of the Churches, grows into the grandiose image of one who made of terrestrial a divine MAN; who gave him…the law of the Spirit of Life, and made him free from the Sin of Ignorance, hence of death. — Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine, Volume 1 (Theosophical University Press, 1988), p. 198.

And now it stands proven that Satan, or the Red Fiery Dragon, the “Lord of Phosphorus,” and Lucifer, or “Light-Bearer,” is in us: it is our Mind—our tempter and Redeemer, our intelligent liberator and Saviour from pure animalism. — Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine, Volume 2 (Theosophical University Press, 1988), p. 513.

Moreover, in the Aquarian Gospel of Jesus the Christ—an occult/New Age rewrite of the New Testament, complete with an Egyptian-brotherhood initiated Jesus Christ—tells of Jesus’ wilderness temptation in a significantly different way than how the Bible explains the event. In the Aquarian Gospel, it isn’t an actual evil being called Satan that tempts Jesus, rather, this evil temptation comes from Christ’s “lower self.” Finally, in a struggle with himself, this Aquarian Jesus says,

“I may not tempt the Lord, my God…Away from me all tempting thoughts. My heart is fixed; I spurn this carnal self with all its vain ambitions and its pride.” For forty days did Jesus wrestle with his carnal self; his higher self prevailed. — The Aquarian Gospel of Jesus the Christ, Chapter 65.

Not surprisingly, this twisted Aquarian version—complete with the “Satan-within” concept of Christ—uns parallel to Blavatsky’s idea of the internal “Holy-Ghost” type-Lucifer. Hence, with both the Aquarian Gospel and Blavatsky’s teachings, Satan isn’t considered the enemy of God’s children or the deceiving “Angel of Light” (2 Cor. 11:14). Rather, Satan is called “the cosmic reflection of God.” ( The Secret Doctrine, Vol. 2, p. 235)

Conversely, the Bible (the real Bible, not the Aquarian manuscript) makes it clear that Satan exists as an actual individual and not just some “lower self” concept. And, according to God’s Word, this being certainly doesn’t bestow “wisdom” or “goodness.” Instead, Satan is called the King of Death (Heb. 2:14), the Dragon (Rev. 12:7), the Deceiver (Rev. 20:10), the Wicked One (Matt. 13:38), and the Enemy (Matt. 13:39). As a supernatural being of tremendous evil intent, Lucifer blinds men to the truth of God’s Word (2 Cor. 4:4), he lays spiritual snares for men (2 Tim. 2:26), he tempts, he deceives, he lies, he destroys.
Contrast this to the real Jesus Christ; who forgives sinners, is the way and the truth and the life, has no blemish of sin or falseness, and shows us mercy even though we don’t deserve it. This Jesus doesn’t masquerade as an Angel of Light, coming to us under false pretexts or with any selfish ambitions. Rather, He comes with open arms, desiring that all would come into He rest.

(Carl Teichrib is a freelance writer and researcher on global political and religious issues. He lives in Canada with his wife and children.)

http://www.ankerberg.com/Articles/_PDFArchives/new-age/NA4W0503.pdf

Gnosticism of the 20th Century: The New Age Or An Old Lie? by Craig Branch

Posted in conspiracy, Gnosticism, God, New Age Movement, occult, occult agenda, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 28, 2008 by Damon Whitsell

 

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Gnosticism of the 20th Century: The New Age Or An Old Lie?
Craig Branch

Many people are becoming aware of what is commonly referred to as “The New Age Movement.” To most people, these diverse beliefs and practices seemed to grow out of nowhere.

The term “New Age” is somewhat misleading as it actually refers to a coming new era, a new state of existence – the “dawning of the Age of Aquarius.”

Adherents claim that this new state of utopian global bliss and consciousness will occur when enough people are converted or initiated.

Actually the beliefs and practices are very, very old. Their root lies in the dawn of time and began to grow and branch out throughout Biblical and modern history.

As Brooks Alexander writes, “…these presuppositions have been systematically expounded in such esoteric disciplines as astrology, alchemy, reincarnation, yoga, magic, Taoism, tantra and Zen. Today, because of the wide spread cross-fertilization of these and other schools of thought, new forms of this basic world view are being created,” (Special Collection Journal, Spiritual Counterfeits Project, Vol. 6 Number 1, 1984, p. 14).

This basic world view states that all reality is one undifferentiated cosmic energy or consciousness (monism). There is no personal God, but all is God; or God (an impersonal force) is all (pantheism).

Man is therefore a divine entity and “salvation is equated with the discovery of this higher Reality with its laws,” (Ibid, p. 16).

The attainment of this experiential knowledge (gnosis) leads to self-realization which “Leads to the mastery of spiritual technology and the attainment of psycho-spiritual power,” (Ibid).

Matter, sin, and finiteness are therefore an illusion.

Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary defines gnosis and gnosticism as the gaining of spiritual knowledge reserved only for special initiates, “Distinguished by the conviction that matter is evil and that emancipation or salvation comes through this special knowledge.”

Closely related and associated with gnosticism is occultism.

Classically the word “occult” means hidden or secret teachings and practices. But “by `secret’ it is not meant that the positions taken are not available in most instances. Rather, the beliefs and practices are secret in the sense that performance of the rites is considered to be effective only when performed by those who are deeply initiated in the lore of the cult,” (Cults, World Religions, and the Occult, Ken Boa, p. 139).

Therefore, a working definition of the New Age would be a revival of ancient eastern mystical/occult beliefs and practices based on gnostic roots.

It involves the belief that spirituality or godhood is gained by the use of magical/mystical practices which transcend the illusory physical universe and senses.

This pagan philosophy has its historical root in Genesis 3:1-5. Satan in his temptation of man seduces Eve by questioning the character, benevolent rule and word of God (vs.1).

Satan also denies the reality of death (as does reincarnation), and promises that if man partakes of the forbidden, secret knowledge (occult/gnosis) then he will be raised up on the level of God, independent of Him (vs. 3-5).

“…the tempation of the autonomous and infinitized self remains the alpha and omega of spiritual pride,” (Special Collection Journal, p. 22).

From this unfortunate beginning, the embodiment of this philosophy can be historically traced through the Bible. Ancient Babylon in its mystery religions consistently reflects this heresy.

Throughout the Old Testament, these practices are exposed and condemned (Deut. 18:10-14; Isaiah 47:8-15).

For instance, the Ziggurats of Babel (Genesis 11) and the entire Chaldean culture were deeply rooted in the esoteric science of astrology.

This philosophy expressed in the Samarian and Egyptian cultures as well. God lays bare the deceitfulness of this paganism in Isaiah 47:8-10.

Eschatologically, mystery Babylon demonstrates that it is preeminently a religious system throughout the ages culminating in the final judgment (Revelation 17 and 18).

Continuing to trace the history of this heresy, Paul addresses the Stoic philosophers at Athens (Acts 17:16-34) who were the pantheists of that day. Paul also confronted this heresy in Ephesus (Acts 19:17-20).

Sections of the New Testament, especially in Colossians and 1 John were written specifically responding to the gnostic beliefs of that day.

In more modern times, this gnostic/occultic philosophy has continued to evolve in expressions like Indian Shamanism, transcendentalism, spiritism and spiritualism, New Thought, Rosicrusianism, Theosophy, Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Zen, Kabala, Sufism, Yoga, Christian Science, Mind Sciences, Unity, Silva Mind Control, Edgar Cayce, Transcendental Meditation, Witchcraft, firewalking, Church Universal and Triumphant, parapsychology and many more.

“That which has been is that which will be, and that which is done is that which will be done. So there is nothing new under the sun,” (Ecclesiastes 1:9).

Historically the effect of the perennial heresy has always been death and so it will be in the future: “For this reason in one day her plagues will come, pestilence and mourning and famine, and she will be burned up with fire; for the Lord God who judges her is strong,” (Revelation 18:8).

As C.S. Lewis cogently remarked, “And Pantheism in that sense has, in the long run, only one really formidable opponent – namely Christianity,” (Miracles, pp. 84-85).

http://www.watchman.org/reltop/gnostic.htm

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