Ezekiel 47 – The River From the Temple & The New Age Movement

The Fox Sisters and the Rap on Spiritualism
Their seances with the departed launched a mass religious movement—and then one of them confessed that “it was common delusion”

One of the greatest religious movements of the 19th century began in the bedroom of two young girls living in a farmhouse in Hydesville, New York. On a late March day in 1848, Margaretta “Maggie” Fox, 14, and Kate, her 11-year-old sister, waylaid a neighbor, eager to share an odd and frightening phenomenon.

Every night around bedtime, they said, they heard a series of raps on the walls and furniture—raps that seemed to manifest with a peculiar, otherworldly intelligence.

The neighbor, skeptical, came to see for herself, joining the girls in the small chamber they shared with their parents. While Maggie and Kate huddled together on their bed, their mother, Margaret, began the demonstration.

“Now count five,” she ordered, and the room shook with the sound of five heavy thuds.

“Count fifteen,” she commanded, and the mysterious presence obeyed. Next, she asked it to tell the neighbor’s age; thirty-three distinct raps followed.

“If you are an injured spirit,” she continued, “manifest it by three raps.”

And it did.

Margaret Fox did not seem to consider the date, March 31—April Fool’s Eve—and the possibility that her daughters were frightened not by an unseen presence but by the expected success of their prank.

The Fox family deserted the house and sent Maggie and Kate to live with their older sister, Leah Fox Fish, in Rochester. The story might have died there were it not for the fact that Rochester was a hotbed for reform and religious activity; the same vicinity, the Finger Lakes region of New York State, gave birth to both Mormonism and Millerism, the precursor to Seventh Day Adventism.

Community leaders Isaac and Amy Post were intrigued by the Fox sisters’ story, and by the subsequent rumor that the spirit likely belonged to a peddler who had been murdered in the farmhouse five years beforehand. A group of Rochester residents examined the cellar of the Fox’s home, uncovering strands of hair and what appeared to be bone fragments.

The Posts invited the girls to a gathering at their home, anxious to see if they could communicate with spirits in another locale. “I suppose I went with as much unbelief as Thomas felt when he was introduced to Jesus after he had ascended,” Isaac Post wrote, but he was swayed by “very distinct thumps under the floor… and several apparent answers.”

He was further convinced when Leah Fox also proved to be a medium, communicating with the Posts’ recently deceased daughter. The Posts rented the largest hall in Rochester, and four hundred people came to hear the mysterious noises. Afterward Amy Post accompanied the sisters to a private chamber, where they disrobed and were examined by a committee of skeptics, who found no evidence of a hoax.

That’s really sad that so many people believe in so much nonsense.  Those that believe in The New Age, The Secret, Scientology, and things are definitely not only stupid, but very, very vain.

I never really thought about it, but I see that The New Age really isn’t new, that Ancient Man more-or-less preached the same thing, so I want to take a look at…

Ezekiel 47
The River From the Temple

1 Afterward he brought me again unto the door of the house; and, behold, waters issued out from under the threshold of the house eastward: for the forefront of the house stood toward the east, and the waters came down from under from the right side of the house, at the south side of the altar.

2 Then brought he me out of the way of the gate northward, and led me about the way without unto the utter gate by the way that looketh eastward; and, behold, there ran out waters on the right side.

3 And when the man that had the line in his hand went forth eastward, he measured a thousand cubits, and he brought me through the waters; the waters were to the ankles.

4 Again he measured a thousand, and brought me through the waters; the waters were to the knees. Again he measured a thousand, and brought me through; the waters were to the loins.

5 Afterward he measured a thousand; and it was a river that I could not pass over: for the waters were risen, waters to swim in, a river that could not be passed over.

6 And he said unto me, Son of man, hast thou seen this? Then he brought me, and caused me to return to the brink of the river.

7 Now when I had returned, behold, at the bank of the river were very many trees on the one side and on the other.

8 Then said he unto me, These waters issue out toward the east country, and go down into the desert, and go into the sea: which being brought forth into the sea, the waters shall be healed.

”The desert” – Arabah, the waterless region between Jerusalem and the Dead Sea (i.e.,

part of the Jordan Valley).

“Shall be healed” – figurative for “become fresh.”  That this lowest (1,300 feet below sea level) and saltiest (25%) body of water in the world should sustain such an abundance of life indicates the wonderful renewing power of this “river of water of life” (Rev 22:1).

9 And it shall come to pass, that everything that liveth, which moveth, whithersoever the rivers shall come, shall live: and there shall be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters shall come thither: for they shall be healed; and everything shall live whither the river cometh.

“Everything…shall live” – overtones of Gen 1:20-21 point to a new creation.

10 And it shall come to pass, that the fishers shall stand upon it from En-gedi even unto En-eglaim; they shall be a place to spread forth nets; their fish shall be according to their kinds, as the fish of the great sea, exceeding many.

“En-gedi” – means “soring of the goat”; a strong spring midway along the western side of the Dead Sea.

“En-eglaim” – means “spring of the two calves.”  It is possibly Ain Feshkha, at the north-western corner of the Dead Sea, thou some suggest a location on the east bank.

“The great sea” – the Mediterranean.

11 But the miry places thereof and the marshes thereof shall not be healed; they shall be given to salt.

12 And by the river upon the bank thereof, on this side and on that side, shall grow all trees for meat, whose leaf shall not fade, neither shall the fruit thereof be consumed: it shall bring forth new fruit according to his months, because their waters they issued out of the sanctuary: and the fruit thereof shall be for meat, and the leaf thereof for medicine.

“New fruit…according to his months” – a marvelous extension of the promises in 34:27, 36:30 (see Amos 9:13).

13 Thus saith the Lord GOD; This shall be the border, whereby ye shall inherit the land according to the twelve tribes of Israel: Joseph shall have two portions.

“Joseph shall have two portions” – since the tribe of Levi received none, Ephraim and Manasseh, Joseph’s sons adopted by Jacob each received an allotment.

14 And ye shall inherit it, one as well as another: concerning the which I lifted up mine hand to give it unto your fathers: and this land shall fall unto you for inheritance.

“Which I lifted up my hand to give” – a reference to the covenant made with Abraham (Gen 15:9-21).

15 And this shall be the border of the land toward the north side, from the great sea, the way of Hethlon, as men go to Zedad;

“This shall be the border” – approximates Israel’s borders at the time of David and Solomon, except that the region across the Jordan is not included, which was never within the boundaries of the promised land proper.

“Way of Heth-lon” – probably situated on the Mediterranean coast, somewhere  in present-day Lebanon.

“To Zedad” – or “past Lebo Hamath to Zedad.”  Lebo probably doesn’t mean “entrance,” but should be identified with modern Lebweh, about 15 miles northeast of Baalbek and 20 miles southwest of Kadesh on the Orontes River, near Riblah.

At one time Lebo must have served as a fortress guarding the southern route to Hamath.  Perhaps the phrase should be translated “Lebo of Hamath.”  It is often referred to in scripture as the northern limit of Israel.

Zedad is mentioned in Num 34:8 as one of the landmarks on the northern border of Israel as promised by Moses and restated here.

16 Hamath, Berothah, Sibraim, which is between the border of Damascus and the border of Hamath; Hazar-hatticon, which is by the coast of Hauran.

Franz Anton Mesmer
The idea that one could communicate with spirits was hardly new—the Bible contains hundreds of references to angels administering to man—but the movement known as Modern Spiritualism sprang from several distinct revolutionary philosophies and characters.

The ideas and practices of Franz Anton Mesmer, an 18th-century Australian healer, had spread to the United States and by the 1840s held the country in thrall. Mesmer proposed that everything in the universe, including the human body, was governed by a “magnetic fluid” that could become imbalanced, causing illness.

By waving his hands over a patient’s body, he induced a “mesmerized” hypnotic state that allowed him to manipulate the magnetic force and restore health. Amateur mesmerists became a popular attraction at parties and in parlors, a few proving skillful enough to attract paying customers.

Some who awakened from a mesmeric trance claimed to have experienced visions of spirits from another dimension.

“Berothah” – probably to be identified with the Berothai of 2 Sam 8:8, but otherwise unknown.

“Sibraim” – location unknown, probably the Sepharvaim of 2 Kgs 17:24, 18:34.

“Damascus” – capital of Aram (Syria); according to v. 17 it was included in Israel.

“Hamath” – a city about 120 miles north of Damascus on the Orontes River.

“Hazer-hatticon” – means “the middle enclosure.”  Its location is unknown, but it is possibly the same as Hazar-enan in v. 17.

17 And the border from the sea shall be Hazar-enan, the border of Damascus, and the north northward, and the border of Hamath. And this is the north side.

18 And the east side ye shall measure from Hauran, and from Damascus, and from Gilead, and from the land of Israel by Jordan, from the border unto the east sea. And this is the east side.

“east sea” – the Dead Sea.

19 And the south side southward, from Tamar even to the waters of strife in Kadesh, the river to the great sea. And this is the south side southward.

“Waters of strife in Kadesh” – a district about 50 miles south of Beer-sheba, identified with Kadesh-barnea in Num 34:4.

“The river” – the Wadi el-Arish, a deeply cut riverbed with seasonal flow that runs from Sinai north-northwest until it enters the Mediterranean, 50 miles south of Gaza.  It marked the southernmost extremity of Solomon’s kingdom.

20 The west side also shall be the great sea from the border, till a man come over against Hamath. This is the west side.

21 So shall ye divide this land unto you according to the tribes of Israel.

22 And it shall come to pass, that ye shall divide it by lot for an inheritance unto you, and to the strangers that sojourn among you, which shall beget children among you: and they shall be unto you as born in the country among the children of Israel; they shall have inheritance with you among the tribes of Israel.

23 And it shall come to pass, that in what tribe the stranger sojourneth, there shall ye give him his inheritance, saith the Lord GOD.

The New Age Movement

Emanuel Swedenborg
At the same time the ideas of Emanuel Swedenborg, an 18th-century Swedish philosopher and mystic, also surged in popularity. Swedenborg described an afterlife consisting of three heavens, three hells and an interim destination—the world of the spirits—where everyone went immediately upon dying, and which was more or less similar to what they were accustomed to on earth.

Self love drove one toward the varying degrees of hell; love for others elevated one to the heavens. “The Lord casts no one into hell,” he wrote, “but those who are there have deliberately cast themselves into it, and keep themselves there.” He claimed to have seen and talked with spirits on all of the planes.

The New Age Movement stands out because it is not represented by any one particular organization, institution, sect, or cult.  No matter that they call themselves, and no matter what factors are included in their belief, they all promote idolatry = hell.

Thou shalt have no other gods before me (Ex 20:3). 

When these people look for an answer to the creation of mankind would accept Darwin’s Theory of Evolution.

History

The amount of literature classified as being new age is voluminous.  The 1970s through 1990s saw a phenomenal growth in advocates, literature, and interest in New Age Movement ideology. Many have attempted to define it and, indeed, have offered a variety of definitions and/or models.

During the heyday of the countercultural revolution in the 1970s, a new social order began to emerge. A basic redefinition of morality and a genuine “translation of values” was underway. This was, for such countercultural ideologies, the beginning of the “Age of Aquarius.”

The “God is dead” movement of the 1960s had descended from the ivory towers of theological reflection within the university divinity schools, religion departments, and seminaries onto the streets.

It was not so much a theology as it was a general attitude that was ripe for the shaping by such other intellectual movements as “existentialism, Marxism, evolution, the theology of hope, and process theology.

On the one hand, by the 1960s many felt the Judeo-Christian heritage had lost its ability to continue to furnish a viable model to shape Western civilization as it had done so successfully for centuries.

But on the other hand, the dispassionate “science” of secular humanism, which had replaced it decades prior, was equally distasteful and unacceptable to a society in desperate quest for a spiritual dimension to life that science failed to provide.

Since Christianity was no longer an option with its “prescientific” cosmology, and because secular humanism had virtually robbed Western civilization of the divine dimension to life, the time was ripe for the discovery of a new approach. The gaze turned eastward.

Eastern religion, embodied for the most part within Hinduism had already been introduced to the West in the previous century. The Vedanta Society was among the first to establish itself in the United States in the 1890s.

Andrew Jackson Davis
Seventy-five years later, the 19th-century American seer Andrew Jackson Davis, who would become known as the “John the Baptist of Modern Spiritualism,” combined these two ideologies, claiming that Swedenborg’s spirit spoke to him during a series of mesmeric trances.

Davis recorded the content of these messages and in 1847 published them in a voluminous tome titled The Principles of Nature, Her Divine Revelations, and a Voice to Mankind. “It is a truth,” he asserted, predicting the rise of Spiritualism, “that spirits commune with one another while one is in the body and the other in the higher spheres…all the world will hail with delight the ushering in of that era when the interiors of men will be opened, and the spiritual communication will be established.”

Davis believed his prediction materialized a year later, on the very day the Fox sisters first channeled spirits in their bedroom. “About daylight this morning,” he confided to his diary, “a warm breathing passed over my face and I heard a voice, tender and strong, saying ‘Brother, the good work has begun—behold, a living demonstration is born.’”

Upon hearing of the Rochester incident, Davis invited the Fox sisters to his home in New York City to witness their medium capabilities for himself. Joining his cause with the sisters’ ghostly manifestations elevated his stature from obscure prophet to recognized leader of a mass movement, one that appealed to increasing numbers of Americans inclined to reject the gloomy Calvinistic doctrine of predestination and embrace the reform-minded optimism of the mid-19th century.

Unlike their Christian contemporaries, Americans who adopted Spiritualism believed they had a hand in their own salvation, and direct communication with those who had passed offered insight into the ultimate fate of their own souls.

Maggie, Kate, and Leah Fox embarked on a professional tour to spread word of the spirits, booking a suite, fittingly, at Barnum’s Hotel on the corner of Broadway and Maiden Lane, an establishment owned by a cousin of the famed showman.

An editorial in the Scientific American scoffed at their arrival, calling the girls the “Spiritual Knockers from Rochester.” They conducted their sessions in the hotel’s parlor, inviting as many as thirty attendees to gather around a large table at the hours of 10 a.m., 5 p.m. and 8 p.m., taking an occasional private meeting in between.

Admission was one dollar, and visitors included preeminent members of New York Society: Horace Greeley, the iconoclastic and influential editor of the New York Tribune; James Fenimore Cooper; editor and poet William Cullen Bryant, and abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison, who witnessed a session in which the spirits rapped in time to a popular song and spelled out a message: “Spiritualism will work miracles in the cause of reform.”

Other influential movements, Eastern in orientation, were being cultivated even before the advent of Swami Vivekananda; transcendentalism, spearheaded by Thoreau; the Theosophical Society (see Theosophy), co-founded by Helen Blavatsky and Henry Steel Olcott; and Spiritualism all constituted a new order of thinking in the Christianized Western world.

These became the seedbed for the New Age “explosion” that took place in the 1970s. According to J. Gordon Melton,

By that year [1971], Eastern teachers had opened ashrams and centers and books had been published representing the various strains of new age concern. … East-West Journal, possibly the first national periodical to focus the issues of the New Age Movement, was begun by a Boston macrobiotic community, and the first popular book representative of the movement appeared: Be Here Now by Baba Ram Dass.

Basic Beliefs

There are no doctrinal formulations that are drawn up as constituting official New Age dogma. An understanding of what qualifies as being New Age thinking is essential.

The most helpful way of defining the New Age Movement, and perhaps the most accurate, is to see it as being a “network” of organizations or, to coin the phrase of New Agers Jessica Lipnack and Jeffrey Stamps, a metanetwork of organizations that are autonomous, yet bound together.

Networks are composed of self-reliant and autonomous participants – people and organizations who simultaneously function as independent “wholes” and as interdependent “parts.”

Groups Within the Network

Monism

The New Ager believes that the plurality in the cosmos is derived from an ultimate and single source. All diversity flows out from a uniform and divine energy. In The Turning Point (1982), New Age author and physicist Fritjof Capra attempts to point out that the basic malady of the human race is that it has been unable to discern the basic unity of all reality.

Pantheism

Monism quite naturally leads to pantheism. For New Agers, “God” is an ultimate principle that is identified with the universe. God is all and all is God. The only quest, then, is for humanity to discover and tap the knowledge of the divine that resides within each person.

This is the same bull that the devil had fed Eve:

“…in the day ye eat thereof, they your eyes shall be opened and ye shall be as gods…” (Gen 3:5).

Separation from God is separation from a conscious or psychological cognition of divinity that resides within the entirety of nature.  Therefore, every person must choose a sadhana, or path, through which he or she will undergo a transformation that will eventually yield such knowledge of the divine.

Reincarnation and Karma

For many, this sadhana may require more than one lifetime to fulfill. Therefore, the New Ager believes in concepts of reincarnation and karma, derived directly from Hinduism. Virtually all New Agers embrace the notion that good and bad karma will result in retributive justice (punishment or reward) as persons are cast on the wheel of rebirth.

In reality, the Catholic Church is the New Age, but they’ve been practicing it from the very beginning.  You will never hear the Catholics advertise reincarnation or karma, but they preach that we will all go to purgatory and pay for our sins = reincarnation and karma.

Pope Francis has gone so far as to promise that if you will follow him on Twitter he will guarantee that you will spend less time in purgatory.

Universal Religion

Since discovery of the inner divinity is the ultimate goal of the New Ager, and because monism is the basic theological framework on which the New Age is based there is really only one religion.

All diverse religions the world are simply alternate paths to the same goal. The New Ager believes that he or she is able to transcend the limited scope of the particular world religions. This is because too many religions are based on propositional truths expressed in creedal formulations and are therefore limited to language and cognition.

Here we are talking about the world religion, i.e., One World Order.

Personal Transformation

Whichever path an individual chooses, several goals loom on the horizon. The first is “personal transformation.” This entails undergoing a personal mystical psychic experience that will usually result in a paradigm shift from an “old world” belief system to a realization of “New Age” or “Aquarian” beliefs.

The day before yesterday we talked about Brain Implants and yesterday about Obamacare and it is my belief that they are the foundation of the One World Religion.

The first in this transformational process is to embrace the monistic worldview. Again, this does not come through cognition of propositional truths or creedal formulations, but rather through mystical experience.

Many will all be entertained by this mystical experience, i.e., the devil himself:

Elisha Kent Kane
Leah stayed in New York, entertaining callers in a séance room, while Kate and Maggie took the show to other cities, among them Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus, St. Louis, Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia, where one visitor, explorer Elisha Kent Kane, succumbed to Maggie’s charms even as he deemed her a fraud—although he couldn’t prove how the sounds were made.

“After a whole month’s trial I could make nothing of them,” he confessed. “Therefore they are a great mystery.” He courted Maggie, thirteen years his junior, and encouraged her to give up her “life of dreary sameness and suspected deceit.”

She acquiesced, retiring to attend school at Kane’s behest and expense, and married him shortly before his untimely death in 1857. To honor his memory she converted to Catholicism, as Kane—a Presbyterian—had always encouraged. (He seemed to think the faith’s ornate iconography and sense of mystery would appeal to her.) In mourning, she began drinking heavily and vowed to keep her promise to Kane to “wholly and forever abandon Spiritualism.”

Kate, meanwhile, married a devout Spiritualist and continued to develop her medium powers, translating spirit messages in astonishing and unprecedented ways: communicating two messages simultaneously, writing one while speaking the other; transcribing messages in reverse script; utilizing blank cards upon which words seemed to spontaneously appear.

During sessions with a wealthy banker, Charles Livermore, she summoned both the man’s deceased wife and the ghost of Benjamin Franklin, who announced his identity by writing his name on a card. Her business boomed during and after the Civil War, as increasing numbers of the bereaved found solace in Spiritualism.

Prominent Spiritualist Emma Hardinge wrote that the war added two million new believers to the movement, and by the 1880s there were an estimated eight million Spiritualists in the United States and Europe. These new practitioners, seduced by the flamboyance of the Gilded Age, expected miracles—like Kate’s summoning of full-fledged apparitions—at every séance. It was wearying, both to the movement and to Kate herself, and she, too, began to drink.

On October 21, 1888, the New York World published an interview with Maggie Fox in anticipation of her appearance that evening at the New York Academy of Music, where she would publicly denounce Spiritualism.

She was paid $1,500 for the exclusive. Her main motivation, however, was rage at her sister Leah and other leading Spiritualists, who had publicly chastised Kate for her drinking and accused her of being unable to care for her two young children. Kate planned to be in the audience when Maggie gave her speech, lending her tacit support.

“And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,

And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast….” (Rev 13:12-14).

Several important movements come into view that, finding their places on the “network,” contribute greatly to the transformation process within individuals. These are the holistic health movement, the consciousness movement, and the human potential movement.

a. Holistic Health Movement 

Transformation involves healing. New Agers, however, are generally not avid fans of the medical industry. Traditional medical practices advocated by the American Medical Association are deemed “unnatural.”

In their place new models for healing have been explored. The basic premise of the holistic health movement is that human beings deserve to be treated as real persons, not merely physical bodies having diseases of various sorts.

I guarantee the devil disagrees with that and where will these new models of healing come from?  I’m sure the devil will create many different organizations throughout the world and in time they will merge.  But the primary one in the United States will be ACORN.

b. The Consciousness Movement

Strictly speaking, there is no organized “consciousness movement.” The phrase is used to more accurately describe the collective efforts of organizations and people within the “network” to bring about a greater realization of New Age ideals.

Important advocates of this enterprise included Timothy Leary (1920-1996) was an American psychologist and writer, known for his advocacy of psychedelic drug and Richard Alpert (1931-), was an American psychologist and after an experience of “human consciousness” he collaborated with Timothy Leary and others, to pursue intensive research with psilocybin, LSD-25, and other psychedelic chemicals. 

The use of hallucinogenic drugs, hypnosis, and the like are important elements in achieving altered states of consciousness.  And that is one thing our government is very interested in.  And according to a CIA hypnotist:

Individuals could be taught to do anything including murder, suicide, etc.

c. Human Potential Movement

A third important aspect of the “transformation” process is the so-called human potential movement. Perhaps more than any other single contributing factor, the human potential movement has made the greatest inroads in the spread of New Age ideals throughout Western culture.

Douglas Groothuis observes,

Ranging from the low key pop- psychology of transactional analysis (‘I’m OK, You’re OK’) to the myriad of encounter groups begun by Carl Rogers, the movement stressed human goodness and potential.

Associated with the human potential movement is the concept of visualization. Thoughts and consciousness are considered superior to the material world. Therefore a person can think into reality things that they would like to have, such as a new car or a prosperous life.

“The Secret,” by Rhonda Byrne promotes that foolish idea.  I have no information to say whether she is an evil person or not, but I doubt that she is.  I believe that she just wrote what she believed or found a way to make money and wrote about it.  Her book has been translated in 46 languages and sold 19 million copies. 

Yet, imagine how many people she has, possibly unknowingly, led away from God?  And she will pay a heavy price.  Not meaning she’s going to hell, God will forgive anyone, but either way, she will pay a heavy price for what she did for His name’s sake.

Also to go with the Human Potential Movement is Scientology, https://jerryandgod.com/?p=12777&preview=true the Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness (MSIA), and numerous other groups.

Planetary Vision

Coupled with, yet beyond the goal of, personal transformation is the New Age goal of planetary transformation. Because nature is viewed as being an aspect of the One, the earth is the single most important entity on which life is sustained.

The Gaia hypothesis basically asserts that the earth is itself a living organism. Consequently, the New Age vision is a collective assimilation of ideas gathered around a religio-socio-political consciousness.

New Agers favor a political platform in which issues concerning the environment are hegemonic.

Pollution coming from the discharge of industrial waste, nuclear radiation, carbon monoxide from automobile exhaust, acid rain, chemical insecticides, destruction of wetlands, and so on are of paramount concern to those caught up in the all-important New Age ideal of a paradigm shift toward planetary consciousness.

The séance table.
“My sister Katie and myself were very young children when this horrible deception began,” Maggie said. “At night when we went to bed, we used to tie an apple on a string and move the string up and down, causing the apple to bump on the floor, or we would drop the apple on the floor, making a strange noise every time it would rebound.”

The sisters graduated from apple dropping to manipulating their knuckles, joints and toes to make rapping sounds. “A great many people when they hear the rapping imagine at once that the spirits are touching them,” she explained. “It is a very common delusion. Some very wealthy people came to see me some years ago when I lived in Forty-second Street and I did some rappings for them. I made the spirit rap on the chair and one of the ladies cried out: ‘I feel the spirit tapping me on the shoulder.’ Of course that was pure imagination.”

She offered a demonstration, removing her shoe and placing her right foot upon a wooden stool. The room fell silent and still, and was rewarded with a number of short little raps. “There stood a black-robed, sharp-faced widow,” the New York Herald reported, “working her big toe and solemnly declaring that it was in this way she created the excitement that has driven so many persons to suicide or insanity.

One moment it was ludicrous, the next it was weird.” Maggie insisted that her sister Leah knew that the rappings were fake all along and greedily exploited her younger sisters. Before exiting the stage she thanked God that she was able to expose Spiritualism.

The mainstream press called the incident “a death blow” to the movement, and Spiritualists quickly took sides. Shortly after Maggie’s confession the spirit of Samuel B. Brittan, former publisher of the Spiritual Telegraph, appeared during a séance to offer a sympathetic opinion.

Although Maggie was an authentic medium, he acknowledged, “the band of spirits attending during the early part of her career” had been usurped by “other unseen intelligences, who are not scrupulous in their dealings with humanity.” Other (living) Spiritualists charged that Maggie’s change of heart was wholly mercenary; since she had failed to make a living as a medium, she sought to profit by becoming one of Spiritualism’s fiercest critics.

Whatever her motive, Maggie recanted her confession one year later, insisting that her spirit guides had beseeched her to do so. Her reversal prompted more disgust from devoted Spiritualists, many of whom failed to recognize her at a subsequent debate at the Manhattan Liberal Club.

There, under the pseudonym Mrs. Spencer, Maggie revealed several tricks of the profession, including the way mediums wrote messages on blank slates by using their teeth or feet. She never reconciled with sister Leah, who died in 1890. Kate died two years later while on a drinking spree. Maggie passed away eight months later, in March 1893.

That year Spiritualists formed the National Spiritualist Association, which today is known as the National Spiritualist Association of Churches.

And of course these types of people may also get involved with Astral Worship/Astrology God created the sun, moon, stars, etc. to show us His power, that we can trust Him.

“For I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained” (Ps 8:3).

“The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handiwork” (Ps 19:1).

We are not supposed to worship them, only Him are we to worship, but the devil uses them to deceive us.

“Thus saith the LORD, learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them” (Jer 10:2).

Who are the heathens?  The New Agers and anyone that worships anything buy God.

New Age Eschatology

Early forerunners to the New Age Movement had envisioned the coming of a world leader or great avatar who would herald the dawning of the New Age. In the early 1980s New Age spokesman Benjamin Creme attracted much attention in the media by announcing that the Christ would appear in the person of Lord Maitreya.

Jesus warned us of this happening, but the above incident is not even the beginning of the ice breakers, but it’s coming.

“For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ: and shall deceive many” (Matt 24:5).

Personalities

One must distinguish carefully between New Age popularizers and intellectuals. The latter are those whose abstract writings and technical conceptualizations have been translated into pragmatic and popular marching orders for the prevailing (predominantly Western) culture.

Because the expressed goal of the New Age Movement is to realize the ultimate oneness of reality, it is surprising that the whole spectrum of knowledge is being retooled and rethought in terms of a major paradigm shift.

Instead of viewing knowledge as being diverse and multi-varied, the New Age Movement seeks to bring all the fields of knowledge under a single monistic canopy, fully united and integrated.

Along with the philosophers and theorists of the New Age, there are a host of popularizers. One of these has been Shirley MacLaine, whose autobiography, Out on a Limb, became an instant bestseller.

ABC aired a five-hour program on MacLaine’s newfound spirituality. Her writings have won thousands of converts to her cause.

Despite all of her success, MacLaine herself seems disillusioned by her role as a popular New Age leader. In several interviews with popular magazines, she has expressed regret that her interest in the New Age Movement has won her the status of guru.

She disavows such a role or status and longs for her older role as simply an actress or stage performer. Her books, however, are still being read by countless devotees.

She obviously got the message, the message that she was preaching against God.

New Age Communities

This volume makes reference to numerous groups that may properly be classified as either New Age in and of themselves or as ascribing to ideals that are New Age in content.

And God will destroy all of them and their members:

“Love not the world neither the things that are in the world…

For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life…

And the world passeth away and the lust thereof… “(1 Jn 2:15-17).

Theological Themes

Some of the major New Age themes have been noted above. What follows is a brief examination of some of the major points and how they differ from a traditional Christian world and life view.

God

As already discussed, the New Age Movement embraces the concept of monism, which leads quite readily into pantheism. Therefore, the New Ager does not conceptualize God for what He is.

Christ and Salvation

For the New Ager believes that even though he or she evolved from physical things, there is at the same time a spiritual nature that is called the “higher self.” The New Ager often refers to this higher self as being the “Christ” within.

Sin

The Fox Sisters of Hydesville, NY
In 1904, schoolchildren playing in the sisters’ childhood home in Hydesville—known locally as “the spook house”—discovered the majority of a skeleton between the earth and crumbling cedar walls.

A doctor was consulted, who estimated that the bones were about fifty years old, giving credence to the sisters’ tale of spiritual messages from a murdered peddler. But not everyone was convinced. The New York Times reported that the bones had created “a stir amusingly disproportioned to any necessary significance of the discovery,” and suggested that the sisters had merely been clever enough to exploit a local mystery.

Even if the bones were that of the murdered peddler, the Times concluded, “there will still remain that dreadful confession about the clicking joints, which reduces the whole case to a farce.”

Five years later, another doctor examined the skeleton and determined that it was made up of “only a few ribs with odds and ends of bones and among them a superabundance of some and a deficiency of others. Among them also were some chicken bones.”

He also reported a rumor that a man living near the spook house had planted the bones as a practical joke, but was much too ashamed to come clean.

Because in the New Age Movement there is no transcendent God separate from creation, it follows that there is no conception of sin as being rebellion against such a transcendent being. Sin is simply “ignorance” of one’s own inner potential.

Death

Virtually every religion in human history advances notions concerning death. In the modem world, among “a-religious” secular humanists, death is the end or cessation of life. There is no “life beyond life” or no transcendent Creator who will be met on “the other side.”

End Times

The imminence of utopia is a common theme those who announce that the age of Aquarius is here. The time will soon arrive when global famine, the threat of nuclear warfare, the destruction of environment, drugs, AIDS, crime, and so on will end and the “New Age” will fully realize itself.

Conclusion

In the beginning of the twenty-first century, much of what has been “new” about the New Age has now become dated. Newer nomenclature has become more fashionable. The name “New Age” itself is no longer used by ardent devotees.

More in vogue is the term “spirituality,” or “new spirituality.” It is a “do-it-your- self ” form of religion well adapted to the postmodern world, where an inquiry into truth is utterly abandoned   a long with Jesus Christ.

Thursday, the 2nd, I had talked about Paul Harvey and what he said he would do if he was the devil and all that he said the devil has done.  Do you think he came up with all that on his own, or may God was forewarning us, as Jesus did in Matthews 24.

…Hinduism.