Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture references are from the Holy Bible: New International Version © 1973, 1978, 1984 by the International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers. Scripture references KJV are from the Holy Bible: Authorized King James Version. Cover design by Peter Stanway NEW AGE DECEPTION © 2000 by Peter Stanway first edition © 2011 by Peter Stanway revised second edition NEW AGE DECEPTION is offered free by The Way Christian Ministries For Information: TheWayCM Kilcreggan House Kilcreggan G84 0JT Scotland UK www.thewaycm.com To contact Peter Stanway: www.peterstanwaybooks.com See back page for more details.
New Age Deception by Rev. Peter Stanway Preface The fruit of deception is always division. New Age Deception has begun to invade the Christian church resulting in discord, disunity and division. Without a doubt, the spiritual gift needed most urgently among believers today is that of distinguishing between spirits (1 Corinthians 12:10), or discernment. Matthew 24:23-24…. At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect—if that were possible. In this passage Jesus is speaking about the coming of the End of the Age. Note particularly the second part of this quote.
How do we avoid deception? We avoid lies and anything to do with the darkness. Satan can come as ‘an angel of light’ (2 Corinthians 11:14). He can seem quite attractive. He deceived Eve. He spoke words of doubt into her head and created division in her mind. Out of her deception she tempted Adam the man who, conscious of his rebellion, sinned against God…..
1 – The Fruit of Deception is Always Division The fruit of deception is always division. It will start in the head. Thoughts that were once clear, will become fuzzy. Those deceived will be drawn to other people who are unsure about the truth. They will build, together with them, on the common ground of deception and division. The elect who are deceived build another doctrine and a faction is started within the church. They are deceived, yet they believe that what they are doing is pursuing the truth. Things are ‘uncomfortable’ in the church so they meet in a house and start a ‘home church’. Someone in the group is raised up, they have ‘prophetic words’ that bring soulish encouragement into the deceptive heart of the group. The group becomes more and more estranged from the main body of the church to which
they once belonged. They begin to follow the person who is being raised up among them. That person may have a genuine anointing on their life. They may know the bible and quote the Word but they selectively quote those parts that they want people to believe. Next there is a cult, totally separated from the body, following a leader who is now deceived. The cult continues to grow and soon there is a parachurch, a large faction that runs parallel to the mainstream church but separate like a tributary. It draws people away, sapping the bodyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s strength and usurping the authority of Godly leadership. The fruit of deception is always division. We must guard against lies, deception and division. One of the strongest areas of deception today is the New Age movement. It is a cult. It was started as an alternative lifestyle by people
who thought they could find other ways of expressing their love; by loving one another in a â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;freeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; way. It is a counterfeit of what Jesus Christ came to give us.
2 – 1950‟s Rock „n‟ Roll – 1960‟s Hippy Movement In the 1950’s, as a backlash to the terrible stress and oppression of World War II, there emerged a new music genre, ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll’. Followers wore different kinds of clothes; a ‘new uniform’. It was a kind of rebellion that spread across Europe and the Western World. The way they spoke and lived their lives was a kick against the established society. The people had plenty to be angry about after the trauma of the war. It is not uncommon. In many places that have come through wars, famines, etc.., there comes a backlash. It happened in Spain when there was a civil war in which brother was killing brother. General Francisco Franco emerged as the dictatorial leader of Spain until his death in 1975. After his death there was a shift to extreme liberality, especially among the young, as the
Spanish people enjoyed their new-found freedom. In Spain in the 1980’s, there grew, exponentially, a swing towards extreme promiscuity and homosexuality as well as drugs, alcohol and religious abuse. It was a pendulum swing towards what they thought was freedom but, in fact, they were putting themselves in bondage to the counterfeit freedom that the devil had to offer. In the 1960’s the ‘hippie’ movement flourished around the world. The principles were attractive; free love, free Woodstock and flowers in their hair, etc… until reality kicked in. It was difficult to love everyone all the time. Some exciting new genres of music appeared with an emphasis on ‘mind expansion’ or self-exploration. People were frustrated and angry at not being able to live the utopian dream, the wonderful life of love and peace that the hippie culture was promoting. To aid the cause and to take the
edge of their disappointment, drugs were introduced. A whole kaleidoscope of tempting ‘new’ drugs like cannabis and LSD became available. They were all there as catalysts to enable this ever increasingly more mystical life of total freedom. Sadly, pursuing the avenues that began to open, mainly through drugs, meant that, far from expanding their minds, many of the original hippies ended up as ‘basket cases’ in locked wards in psychiatric hospitals, or worse. If people who got into that kind of lifestyle were still around today they would tell of the horrors of being ‘freaked out’ on bad trips, of friend’s suicides and the confusion of not knowing reality from fantasy. The devil had a field day throwing people, who thought they could fly, off high buildings….
3. “Freedom” that Led to Psychological and Spiritual Bondage The contemporaries I had at that time are mostly dead now or severely damaged as a result of wanting this ‘freedom’ that led to psychological and spiritual bondage. In time, many people began to exploit this deception and it became fashionable to take these drugs and pursue a distortion of the ‘free love’ lifestyle. It became acceptable to sleep with anyone. This was a gross perversion of freedom. Some ‘yippies’ even made their way into the political arena, mostly not taking themselves too seriously, as they put themselves forward as candidates for parliament. The occult started to become more apparent as an underlying trend, although it had been there all along. The devil was pulling the strings, manufacturing the drugs, cutting them with
bad stuff that killed some and made others go mad. There were cult movies that audience had to be tripping to ‘understand’. This occult concoction existed solely to make life like a nightmare, not to be enjoyed, unless you had some perverse desire to be frightened out of your wits. Occult bands consciously made music to ‘freak’ people out and to scare them. Sometimes, it is possible to have such experiences without hallucinogenic drugs. It’s like their brain is pouring out of their ears and they find themselves in a supernatural world of evil. At concerts the bands started to incite violence instead of peace. Rock stars raised themselves up to the ultimate in ‘freedom’ by taking their own life. They began to advocate suicide and counterfeit martyrdom. This still happens today.
The ‘Punk’ movement aimed to make anarchy acceptable. All of this was preparation for the New Age movement. This is how it worked. The Punks tried to be as disgusting as possible and call it ‘fun’. Mostly it was simply obnoxious and absurd; girls went to concerts with metal teapots instead of handbags wearing toast around their necks like bling! When Punk ran its all consuming course, its ultimate expression led people to hate themselves and self-harming. It was considered cool to destroy yourself. Sid Vicious, the bass player with the infamous Sex Pistols became a cult hero when he took selfabuse to its ultimate conclusion and killed himself. Such neo-hedonism became part of our post modern western culture. People were getting burned-out and everything was changing mega fast. When I took
photographs for the mainstream music tabloids, I was told that mine would be part of two lead stories in case one of the bands split up or was dropped by the record company before the newspaper/magazine came out later that same week. Life grew cheaper and cheaper. It became cool to be disrespectful to parents, teachers, people in authority and each other. Society was on a tail-spin into gross decadence, immorality and rebellion.
4. 1980‟s – The Rise of the New Age Cult. Towards the end of the 1980’s there was a rise in interest in the cult of New Age. People were disenchanted, fed-up with the frustration of their lifestyle. This alternative way of life and philosophy had an attraction as a viable alternative. Paths of enlightenment opened up into mysticism and Eastern religions. It was a ‘mind thing’ more than a ‘drugs thing’, although drug taking is acceptable for many New Age followers. Something of Jesus with a bit of Mohammed mixed-in. The New Agers found this completely acceptable since ‘both were a way to the one god’. A quasi-spiritual Tower of Babel was under construction. People were devising ways of getting to God that had nothing to do with God’s way. Soon, all of this mish-mash started to touch the established mainstream churches.
For fear of losing their congregations, ministers began to compromise, to accept and condone what was obviously wrong; e.g. homosexuality and gay rights, even in the pulpit. Some churches today hardly mention Jesus for fear of offending someone. Political correctness has gone off the scale. Ministers will talk about what is evil in the world but they don’t address the evil that is in their congregation. In the early days, New Age found its adherents in diverse streams like the Hippy movement and alternative music. Today followers of fashion are following New Age. There is no broad sweep or trend that has become fashionable, they say ‘cool is what you make it’, ‘it’s your choice’, ‘your personal ideology’; ‘heterosexual or homosexual, celibate or promiscuous, you choose’.
This is a corruption of what the Apostle Paul wrote when he said that Christians should be â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;all things to all menâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; (1 Corinthians 9:22). Taking this to its conclusion, people can make up their own form of religion and follow itâ&#x20AC;Ś.. look out for the Emergent Church in this new millennium. There are a growing number of people getting into this and because it is growing stronger, it has a stronger influence everywhere, including the church. Those churches that are not established on Jesus Christ, the Rock, will become negatively influenced by the New Age movement. Some of the things going on today in some churches, in the End Times upsurge of major ministries with a global influence, quite frankly give me a check in my spirit. I am not completely convinced as easily as I once was concerning their godliness. To me, some of
what I see isn’t so different from what I was ‘into’ when I was in the world. Due to the subtlety of the New Age movement we, born again Spirit-filled believers, need to move in the operation of the gift of discernment all the time. However, having this gift of the Holy Spirit does not mean that we will hear a loud ‘STOP’ to constantly warn us of impending deception. Sometimes it is more of a quiet cautionary whisper saying, ‘just slow down and wait a minute….’. We need to take time to consider what God is saying to us and, indeed, ask Him if He is in any of it!
5. The Gift of Discernment is Needed More and More More and more we need this gift of discernment. I am not talking about discerning between demons and the Holy Spirit, I am talking about knowing what is of God and what is not. If something is not of God, even although it manifests within the church context, do not accept it. We need the Spirit of Truth to give us the revelation of what is, actually, the truth. If we have a witness in our spirit that the things we see and hear are not of God, we need to learn to believe and trust that inner witness. We must learn not to follow popular opinion in the assumption that, because itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s popular, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s right. Since my ministry, The Way Christian Ministries (TheWayCM) is a pioneering ministry, there are times when we are ahead of what everyone else is doing. There will be
times when some people may say, ‘you have gone too far’ or you have gone in the wrong direction’. We have to trust our inner witness and believe that the Holy Spirit will lead and guide us into all the truth (John 16:13). The Holy Spirit reveals to us everything that we need to know about Jesus Christ.
6. The Whole Bible is a Revelation of Jesus Christ The whole bible is the revelation of Jesus. It is about the Word of God made flesh. It is the word of God. The author of the bible is the Holy Spirit, who inspired men to write God’s words. When we read the word of God with the revelation that comes from the author, the Holy Spirit, we see the truth that this word contains and we get the revelation of the mystery of Christ Jesus. We are the body of Christ, the church of the living God. We do not need to add to God’s word nor do we need to subtract from it. The bible is complete, it contains all that we need to know about Jesus. We cannot go around quoting someone else’s peripheral writings as though they were the word of God. Therefore, we have to be careful with the ‘prophetic’ utterances we hear, especially
those that do not line up with scripture. Let me explain… When I became conscious of the Hippy movement my favourite band was Genesis. Their first album was ‘Genesis to Revelation’! I would ‘get into’ Genesis and go on fantastic mind-journeys through their music. Early Pink Floyd made music that took me into another extraordinary place in my mind. It was counterfeit spirituality that produced a counterfeit spirit of worship. It took me to places that the devil wanted me to visit as he played with my mind. The kinds of books that I read then were, for example, the writings of Carlos Castaneda and his drug induced apprenticeship with the Yaqui Indians. The devil saw the creative potential in me and drew me into that deception. I led many people with me because I believed that what I was doing was right. I
have since discovered that Carlos Castaneda was a ‘Traveller of Awareness’ rooted in Shamanism, something that you would not have to look hard to find in the New Age movement. I enthused about what I was doing in a similar way that I enthuse about Jesus today. A reviewer in the music press spoke of ‘the messianic zeal of Peter Stanway’. The devil used that for bad but God is now using it for His purposes. I was into books that would take me into escapist fantasy or vain imaginations. I am beginning to see on the shelves of Christian book stores today books that are not very different from what I was reading then. I don’t see a scriptural base for much of them. I see a smattering of out-of-context scriptures used in an attempt to give Christian credibility to fantasy and mysticism. I get a check in my spirit. They try to attract me in a soulish way.
7. Christian Writing is Being Quoted as Though it is the Word of God. Nowadays it is not uncommon for people to quote from the books of well known Christian authors as though their books had the same authority as the bible. I have also become aware that some of the ‘prophetic’ words I hear in church do not exactly line up with scripture….e.g. ‘I see a crystal hovering above the congregation and out of this crystal come flashes of light’. In the book of Revelation, John the Apostle, saw someone seated on a throne who, ‘had the appearance of jasper and carnelian. A rainbow, resembling an emerald, encircled the throne.’ (Revelation 4:3). Both ‘visions’ are similar but only one is based on the Word of Truth. These apocalyptic portions of the bible have been turned into novels that often border on
mysticism. Nowhere in my bible does it say that God appeared as a flashing crystal and pulsated light into the congregation. We have to be very careful. A little smattering of the word of God is not the whole word of God. Half-truths are lies. New Age is into stones and the powers that they believe these stones and crystals have. Sure, crystals and stones are used in the bible but in a totally different context from what New Age followers say (Revelation 4:6; 21:11 and Exodus 20:25). In fact, the bible talks about ‘sacred stones’ and tells us to destroy them (Exodus 23:24). If you listen discerningly to some of the so called ‘prophetic’ words that are being spoken you will find that some are more New Age oriented than biblically centred. Some of the things that people say they saw when they went to ‘heaven’ do not line up with what God
says. Frequently, their experience is more mystical than spiritual and revolves around feelings rather than genuine experience. If you listen to such talk it will captivate you and it will draw you off on a tangent. If you have a bad witness in your spirit have nothing to do with it. Only if you are sure and certain about that which is claimed to be from God is actually from God, only then, should you embrace it. However, do not be too quick to dismiss all that is new. Take time to pray and consider what you see and ask God to show you what is going on. Remember, God has chosen to work through fallible human beings and there will always be an element of our humanity in what God does through us. Discern in the Spirit do not judge in your mind.
8. The Anti-Christ is Preparing the World for His Appearing The Anti-Christ, who is in the world today, is preparing us for his appearance. He knows that Jesus is coming back soon and he wants to deceive as many people as possible, even Christians (Matthew 24:24). One of the ways he is doing that is by tainting the truth with deception and by running a parallel counterfeit to Christianity like the New Age movement. Deception is not always obvious to us but the Holy Spirit is not fooled. He will say to us, ‘Wait a minute, where is this going?’ To Christians there should be no mystery. What was for ages kept secret is now revealed to us through the New Testament. The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us…Deuteronomy 29:29. The truth is not locked up in secrets, mysticism, fantasies or the fantastic.
The people who deceive us are not always consciously trying to do so. They may themselves be deceived and they spread their message with a passion. They believe their lie to be the truth. That is the definition of deception; a lie that masquerades as the truth. To safeguard ourselves against deception we need to stick to the bible, to what the word of God says. Jesus has made it possible for us to do all that He could do by releasing the Holy Spirit upon us (John 14:12). What we need is unity, totally unity. We need to agree together in what we believe. The spirit of antichrist seeks to stop that by bringing disunity. The biggest weapon the devil has against unity is deception. If you believe a lie as though it was the truth you will live your life in deception. Have nothing to do with anything that the Holy Spirit of God does not wholeheartedly approve.
We need to believe the word of God. We can neither add to it not subtract from it but we do not need to have opinions about it. If we are truly disciples of Christ Jesus, we will hold to the truth that is revealed through the Word and then we will know the Truth and the Truth will set us free (John 8:31-32). We have no need to be afraid of anything. We need not fear what the world fears. We have been set free to live life in all its fullness. To live a life of faith that will overcome fear all the time. The world has to dream-up make believe gods and make-believe heavens. It is our high calling, as true Christians, to attract those in darkness into His marvellous light saying, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;This is the Way, walk in it. Jesus is the Truth, come to Him and be freeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;.
Peter Stanway The Way Christian Ministries Kilcreggan House Kilcreggan G84 0JT Scotland UK
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