SATAN'S "NEW AGE" APPROACH
Brad T. Bromling, M.A.
It was a perfect day just like so many before---but unlike any to
follow. The garden greeted sunrise with the pristine freshness and
beauty that it possessed on the very day of its creation. It was
perfection---nothing less! Human imagination could not have forecast
the ruination that would be seen by sundown. But it happened, and
nothing has been the same since! Moses reports that fateful day in
these few words:
Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the
field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the
woman, "Has God indeed said, `You shall not eat of
every tree of the garden'?"
And the woman said to the serpent, "We may eat the fruit
of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree
which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, `You
shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.'"
And the serpent said to the woman, "You will not surely
die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your
eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing
good and evil."
So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food,
that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable
to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She
also gave to her husband with her, and he ate (Genesis
The rest of this story is written on every page of history. Eve's
acceptance of the lies of Satan resulted in man's loss of both his
virginal home and intimate relationship with his Creator. Fellowship
with the God of the Universe was severed, and the need for redemption
violently appeared. But now, several thousand years later, with sheer
joy Christians shout: "Thanks be to God for His unspeakable gift!" (II
Corinthians 9:15), for an even greater paradise than was lost may be
found in Christ Jesus.
History stands as an unimpeachable witness to another distressing
fact: Satan has not changed. Jesus accurately portrayed him as the
father of lies (John 8:44), and to this attribute he has remained true.
He has always promised what he could not give, and given what he did
not promise! The deceitful voice of Satan is being heard through the
New Age Movement (NAM) today. His line has not changed, and is being
swallowed by millions of misguided people.
As Christians who have been charged with the responsibility of
worldwide evangelism, we must rise to the challenge and answer Satan's
lies. His destructive message is refutable. As we attempt to answer the
NAM, it is essential that we accomplish two things: (1) isolate the
fundamental lies that form its basis, and; (2) provide a biblical
response. Three foundations of New Age thought are well summarized in
Satan's words to Eve (Genesis 3:4,5). This article will show how Satan
effectively employs these same lies today.
THE FIRST LIE: "YOU WILL NOT SURELY DIE"
Satan promised Eve immortality, all the while knowing that it was
the very thing of which she would be deprived if she obeyed him and
rebelled against God. In the NAM, immortality is promised in two ways.
First, monism---the cornerstone philosophy of the New Age---teaches
that when reality is simplified as far as it can be, everything is a
part of every other thing. This is commonly expressed by the term "all
is one." Shirley MacLaine, probably the most popular advocate of the
NAM, explains in these words:
Basic to New Age subatomic discoveries is the concept
that in the subatomic world---the stuff of the universe
---everything, every last thing, is linked. The universe
is a gigantic, multidimensional web of influences, or
information, light particles, energy patterns, and
electromagnetic "fields of reality." Everything it is,
everything we are, everything we do, is linked to everything
else. There is no separateness (1989, p 85).
New Agers argue that since "all is one" and the universe is
eternal---you are eternal. Second, the doctrine of reincarnation
promises perpetual existence. They assert that you have been here
before and you will return until you attain perfection! Ramtha, a so-
called spirit who allegedly speaks from a higher realm through New Ager
J.Z. Knight, told one person: "You have nothing to fear. You have
lived...13,342 and one-half times. You have been every race of peoples
existing from this universe to the twenty-third to the seventeenth to
the one-hundredth universe.... You are a divine creature" (1985, p
In response to this lie, we need to stress that, in the first
place, "all is not one." The Bible distinguishes between the material
and spiritual realms. Solomon once wrote: "Then the dust will return to
the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it"
(Ecclesiastes 12:7). The writer of Hebrews agreed: "Furthermore, we
have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect.
Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of
spirits and live?" (Hebrews 12:9). Jesus was even more explicit. He
affirmed that "God is Spirit" and then later stated, "...handle me and
see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have"
(John 4:24; Luke 24:39). Not only does the Bible teach that there is a
distinction between spiritual and material, it also teaches that there
is an essential difference between the various orders of creation.
Genesis reports how God created plants, animals, and men all
separately. Hence, it is inaccurate to speak of man as an animal---for
he is not! Paul said: "All flesh is not the same flesh, but there is
one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fish, and
another of birds" (I Corinthians 15:39). So, far from all being one,
everything really was created by God to fulfill its separate role in
the Universe. There is, therefore, no hope of immortality in the all-
In the second place, reincarnation is decidedly out of harmony with
biblical teaching. The Bible teaches that we have not always existed,
but rather that we are the result of a divine act of creation which
took place just a few thousand years ago (Genesis 1,2). We were made in
the image of God, and have as our purpose to serve and reverence God
(Ecclesiastes 12:13; Micah 6:8). We have only this lifetime in which to
determine where we will spend eternity (II Corinthians 5:10; II
Thessalonians 1:7-10). The Bible plainly states: "...it is appointed
unto men once to die, and after this cometh judgment" (Hebrews 9:27).
Ramtha once said: "Do not preach to this world---live in spite of it.
And let everyone else be. The world doesn't need saving---leave it
alone" (p 130). Shall we listen to the voice of an imaginary warrior
from a mythological place, or to the historical Jesus who died to save
this world from sin?
It is time for Christians to affirm that "all have sinned and
fallen short of the glory of God," that "the wages of sin is death"
(Romans 3:23;6:23), and that there is hope only in Jesus. Instead of
viewing themselves as immortal, New Agers need to understand that life
is but "a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away"
THE SECOND LIE: "YOUR EYES WILL BE OPENED"
Satan tempted Eve with the possibility of obtaining divine
illumination. No longer should she be limited with human knowledge---
here was her chance to know what God knows! Satan is repeating this
promise through the NAM today. In their efforts to know "the mind of
God," as it were, New Agers are turning to Eastern gurus, channels
(alleged disembodied spirits which are said to speak from another
dimension), extraterrestrials, dolphins, crystals, and even to the
"Higher Self" within. For example, Ramtha promised an audience: "I am
Ramtha, the Enlightened One. Whatever you do not know, whatever you
need, you will have" (p 16). Hear him again: "In the hour to come
knowledge, enlightenment, understanding, truth as it is so seen this
hour, shall be given unto you as the Lord God of my Perfect Being shall
manifest it for you..." (p 26). Ironically, however, not only does
Ramtha claim that he has the information we need, but he also says that
this precious knowledge is within us: "There is no teacher save you the
teacher. And who be your master indeed? There is no master save you,
Master" (p 129, emp. in orig.). Shirley MacLaine concurs:
We have been looking outside for the answers. Perhaps
they have resided all along in the vast interior of
our own individual consciousness.... Maybe the more
we go within ourselves with love, using the techniques
and age-old procedures of color and energy and sound,
the more we simply remember who we are and come away
enlightened with the truth that we were all there at
the beginning (p 623, emp. in orig.).
All such efforts are destined to fail. Deuteronomy 29:29 teaches
that there are some things that man will never know---regardless of his
arrogant attempts to discover them. When God hides something it stays
hidden (Romans 11:33)! But, since God has "given us all things that
pertain unto life and godliness" (II Peter 1:3), we should rest easy
that we are not lacking any essential information.
This is precisely the point that we need to make. All we need has
been provided. It is not hidden, nor is it within. One of Jehovah's
humble penmen observed: "O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in
himself; it is not in man who walks, to direct his steps" (Jeremiah
10:23). Wise king Solomon agreed: "A man's steps are of the Lord; how
then can a man understand his own way?" (Proverbs 20:24). Jesus claimed
that He was the only way to God: "I am the way, the truth, and the
life. No one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6). He
also said, "He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that
which judges him---the word that I have spoken will judge him in the
last day" (John 12:48). Only the truth has the ability to set one free
(John 8:32), and Jesus stressed that the source of this truth resides
within the Word of God (John 17:17). The pursuit for illumination
"within" amounts to nothing more than simply groping in darkness. There
is no more light "within" than there are words between the lines! We
must realize what the psalmist of old correctly perceived when he said
to God: "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and light unto my path"
(Psalm 119:105). Little wonder he later proclaimed: "The entrance of
Thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple" (Psalm
The messages of gurus, channelers, and supposed extraterrestrials
are easy enough to verify. If they contradict the Word of God, they are
false! John wrote: "Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the
spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone
out into the world" (I John 4:1). Paul issued the same warning when he
told the Galatians: "But if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any
other gospel unto you than what we have preached unto you, let him be
accursed" (1:8). The points of conflict between the New Testament and
the New Age are so abundant that they hardly require documentation.
Indeed, Satan has once again set out to convince man that God is
keeping all the important information to Himself. May the Lord help us
to show the folly of this lie.
THE THIRD LIE: "YOU WILL BE LIKE GOD"
Although Satan promised Eve that by taking the fruit she would be
like God, he is today trying to persuade us to believe that we are
already God! This is the central message of the NAM. Deification of
self is taught clearly in this quotation from Ramtha:
I am Ramtha, the Enlightened One, indeed. And who be
you, my most illustrious brotheren [sic], who have
gathered yourselves into this wondrous audience? You
be that which is termed Man, you be that which is termed
Christus, you be that which is termed God. Fallacy?
Reality! You be of your importance and your value and
your word far greater than that which you have first
concluded yourself to be. You be the totality of all
that The Father is: God Supreme. What else be there?
What grander state is there? (p 22).
As incredible as such remarks may sound, they are common fare in
New Age literature. Affirming self-deification plays a major role in
meditation. And it is not difficult to see that when one sits around
for long spells reflecting on his or her deity, the result will be an
immensely warped self-concept and over-inflated ego! Satan knows that
if he can get man to bow the knee to self, his battle is won.
It is here that the conflict between the New Age and Christianity
is most obvious. God did not create man in His "essence," but in His
"image" (Genesis 1:26). The Bible does not leave man to wonder about
his status relative to the divine. Through the mouth of Ezekiel, God
told the king of Tyre: "...you say, `I am a god, and sit in the seat of
gods, in the midst of the seas,' Yet, you are a man, and not a god..."
(Ezekiel 28:2, emp. added). This candid evaluation stares back at man
from virtually every page of Holy Writ. In the Bible, only the wicked
elevate themselves to the level of deity. King Herod discovered the
Almighty's opinion of such warped self-appraisal:
So on a set day Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat
on his throne and gave an oration to them. And the
people kept shouting, "The voice of a god and not the
voice of a man!" Then immediately an angel of the Lord
struck him, because he did not give glory to God. And
he was eaten of worms and died (Acts 12:21-23).
This stands in naked contrast to the reaction of Paul and Barnabas
when the heathens at Lystra attempted to worship them (Acts 14:8-18).
Had they been of the NAM, Paul and Barnabas would have encouraged the
Lystrians to recognize their own deity as well! But consider the
response of Paul and Barnabas:
...they tore their clothes and ran in among the
multitude, crying out and saying, "Men, why are you
doing these things? We also are men with the same nature
as you, and preach to you that you should turn from these
vain things to the living God, who made the heaven, the
earth, the sea, and all things that are in them" (Acts 14:
The testimony of creation is not that man is god, but rather, that
God transcends this world. Romans 1 speaks directly to this point:
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against
all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men...because
what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God
has shown it to them. For since the creation of the
world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being
understood by the things that are made, even His eternal
power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because,
although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God,
nor were they thankful, but became futile in their thoughts,
and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise,
they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible
God into an image made like corruptible man... (Romans 1:18-
This one teaching of New Age thought effectively eliminates the
entire scheme of redemption---negating 4,000 years of divine action. It
denies the creative acts of Jesus (John 1:1-3), the miraculous
unfolding of prophecy (I Peter 1:10-12), the providential preservation
of the messianic seed (Galatians 3:16), the uniqueness of Jesus' birth
and life, the significance of His pitiable passion, the joy of His
resurrection, and the hope of His second coming. When man declares his
own deity, he has spit in the face of God and personally participated
in maliciously plunging the nails through the sinless Savior's hands
and feet. It would be better to have been the soldier who thrust his
spear through the Messiah's side than to be the man who pompously
claims his own divinity!
In spite of the NAM's eclectic nature and vastness, it may be
reduced, very simply, to this: the same old serpent is telling the same
old lies. No matter what flashy clothes he may wear, or how attractive
his promises may sound, Satan has not changed. Sadly, neither has man.
Perhaps this scenario will be replayed until the very end. Satan will
continue to promise what he cannot give, and will give what he does not
promise. As a result, billions of souls around the world will believe
him and be eternally lost. Christians have an enormous task---to
supplant the lies of Satan with the Truth of God. May we rise to meet
the challenges of our perennial adversary in this new age!
NOTE: More information on this timely subject may be obtained
through our offices.
MacLaine, Shirley (1989), `Going Within' (New York: Bantam Books).
Ramtha (1985), `Voyage to the New World: An Adventure into
Unlimitedness' (New York: Ballantine).
Baer, Randall (1989), `Inside the New Age Nightmare' (Lafayette, LA:
Chandler, Russell (1988), `Understanding the New Age' (Dallas, TX: Word
Smith, F. LaGard (1986), `Out on a Broken Limb' (Eugene, OR: Harvest
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