Who Do You Say I Am?

 

Christ of the New Age vs. Christ of Christianity

 

When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am? ”Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven" (Matthew 16:13-17).

St. John said, "Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist" (1 John 4:-3). St. John does not say ‘come into the flesh’, but ‘in the flesh’. Christ did not descend into an already existing man, but He came in human nature. He ‘became flesh’.  Cerinthus (died approximately A.D. 100) was influenced by the Gnostic belief that the divine God was too pure and perfect to be involved in the material world. He stated that "the Christ" came upon Jesus at his baptism and left him just prior to his crucifixion.  Cerinthus was actually promoting that the Christ and Jesus were separate beings. 

Gnosticism arose from various sects in the first century, reaching full development in the 2nd and 3rd centuries. It had two main core teachings. The first is that matter was created by an evil divine being (the Demiurge). Thus it espouses a dualism regarding spirit and matter, where spirit is good and matter is inherently evil. As a result of this presupposition, anything done in the body, even the grossest sin, has no meaning because real life exists in the spirit realm only. Since all men were spirits prior to birth, and then became trapped in bodies, esoteric teachings are needed to liberate man through knowledge of his true state.

The second core teachings is the belief that Gnostics possess a “higher truth” known only to a certain few. They claim their knowledge comes from some mystical higher plane of existence and thus they have a privileged place in society because they have secret teachings most of humanity has not. Thus the name, "gnostic", which means “to know.” They are in "the know" having a higher knowledge of God—and not from the Bible. To the Gnostic, God is in all of us and our purpose in life is to be illuminated with the true knowledge of this divine nature so that we can live our lives in this awakened state.  

The teachings of the Gnostics’ Jesus contradicts the Jesus of the Bible. Since the material world is an evil thing Gnostics must be freed from, the bodily resurrection is completely rejected. Jesus’ physical body was not real, but only “seemed” to be physical, and this is where Cerinthus took up the belief that Jesus' spirit descended upon Him at His baptism, and then left Him just before His crucifixion. Salvation is gained through the acquisition of divine knowledge which frees one from the illusions of darkness. There is no need for guilt or for repentance from sin, and thus there is no need for a blind belief that salvation comes through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. The New Testament Jesus said nothing about salvation through knowledge, but by faith in Him as Savior from sin. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).

According to the Gospel of Thomas, Jesus is one who is the giver of wisdom. He said, “The kingdom is inside of you, and it is outside of you.  When you come to know yourself, then you will become known, and you will realize that it is you who are sons of the living father." Thus to the Gnostic teacher Valentinus, Jesus is savior in the sense of being one who provides for “spiritual wholeness” by curing us of the sickness of ignorance. The Gnostic Jesus descended from one of the higher spiritual realms with a message of self-redemption. He is also not the Son of the Creator God revealed in the Old Testament. That "god", (the Demiurge) according to the Gospel of Philip, created the world by mistake. This lesser god came from a fall out among cosmic beings. The result of his creation was a universe polluted with ignorance, pain, decay and death. This inept creator-god accidentally infused into humanity a spark of the highest form of a so-called “spiritual reality.”  Jesus supposedly came from this spiritual reality.  

The Demiurge is a way for the Gnostics to understand the problem of evil. Christianity differs sharply on Creation, which sees "God" the Creator, and His Creation, is good, but was corrupted by created beings (such as the Devil) and that the soul is corrupt due to the sin of Adam. In the Apocryphon of John, through arrogance born of stupidity, the Gnostic creator god proclaims himself as the one true God and demands being worshiped because he did not know the source of his power and did not know that there was someone above him.

Jesus as the Christ and Son of God
The Jesus of the New Testament says he came to reveal the true nature and character of his Father (God) in heaven.  Jesus told his disciples,

"If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him," Philip replied by saying, "Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us."  This is the moment when Jesus made one of his most profound statements.  He said, "Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, 'Show us the Father'?  Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works.  Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves" (John 14:7-11). 

In essence, he is telling his disciples they are able to understand the true nature and character of God by looking at the nature and character of Jesus.  While the expression of the nature of Father and the Son are the same, and the Son is as much in the Father, as the Father is in the Son, the Father is distinct from the Son who is in him, and the Son is distinct from the Father in whom He is. While they are the same nature they cannot be one and the same person for the works manifested in time and space in the power of the Incarnate Word are not His works, but those of the Father, who abides in the Son.

The biblical view of Jesus affirms His complete humanity as well as His full deity. He physically was a real man who actually suffered and died upon the cross.  He felt pain, was sorrowful and got hungry. Yet he was sinless, something no man has been. While being fully man, He never lost His divinity. The Bible teaches He had all the attributes of God while on earth. He knew everything, had all power, ruled over everything, depended on nothing outside of Himself for life, is our Creator, and was one with the Word in the beginning, and has no end.

Upon seeing the resurrected Christ, Thomas cried out, “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:28). The disciples knew who Jesus really was. Jesus said, "I and my Father are one" and "Before Abraham was born, I am!" While Christians accept Jesus' divinity, New Agers, following Gnostic beliefs, accept that the Christ was one with the Father and I AM is God in all of us, and that we all can become one with the Father and be Christ, as Jesus showed us during his ministry. The historical fact of God becoming man and dwelling among us (Jn 1:1-18) is at the heart of orthodox Christianity. To deny it, or to redefine it, is to reject Christ, His teachings and His Church. Peter answered Jesus, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Yet New Agers believe that the Son of God is within each one as the indwelling Christ.

Over the last century and more, the New Age Christ has made serious inroads into popular culture. Let us take a look at what some of these groups believe about Christ beginning with Swedenborg, where some believe the New Age philosophy began, and ending with a few of the current groups of today.

Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772)
Emanuel Swedenborg began his career as an engineer and then scientist. In his early fifties, Swedenborg turned from his purely scientific and philosophical pursuits to spirituality and plunged himself into a study of the occult sciences. Through the Kabbalah, meditation, and a system of exercises, Swedenborg trained himself to enter extended periods of altered consciousness. He reported having extensive visions and insight into the afterlife, the nature of God, and the purpose of life here on earth. Then Swedenborg said he was visited by Christ. He had reached a dead end in his scientific work, and Christ told him to abandon it and take on an even greater task: that of discovering the true meaning of Scripture. He spent the rest of his days writing down and publishing his spiritual findings in twenty-seven volumes on spirituality, which had a significant impact on many important thinkers of his century and those that later followed his teachings.

Swedenborg teaches that mankind in their first state of creation were as children, innocent and obedient. From the influx of the Love of God into their minds they were able to perceive the truths concerning God in all things of creation. They loved God and they loved their neighbor. This is the state of mankind that is described in the Bible as the Paradise of Eden.

But as the knowledge and the natural understanding of mankind increased they began to feel and believe that they could lead themselves in all matters of faith and wisdom. They began to believe that they were good and wise, and denied the truth that they were only vessels of good and of wisdom from God. This is represented in the Scriptures by the eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Because of this disorder men fell from their state of love and wisdom. More and more they removed themselves from the influx of God into their souls and minds. Finally the human race came into a state in which the Divine Purpose of creation was threatened and the human race itself was threatened with spiritual destruction.

Because of the removal of man from his first state of reception of the Love of God, it was necessary that a new kind of conjunction between God and man should be established. This was accomplished by the coming of God the Creator into the world. Swedenborg asserts that Jesus Christ Himself was a manifestation of God, the Divine made flesh to enable humanity to be aware of a unique relationship with God. Prior to His Coming, God had been incomprehensible to humans beyond the capacity of our perception and understanding. Through the birth of Christ, humanity was given an overt expression of God’s reality in human terms. Christ did not come to redeem us from original sin. Rather, His mission was that of revealing the nature and reality of the spiritual life, and to provide a living example of it.

Swedenborg adamantly believed there were not three persons in the Trinity, and it was an erroneous concept and never a part of early Christianity. His belief was that the Divine Trinity has three natures, and exists in One Person, in One God, the Lord Jesus Christ, which he said is taught in Colossians 2:9. He rejected the concept of salvation through faith alone since he considered both faith and charity necessary for salvation, not one without the other,

Theosophy - Helena Petrovna Blavatsky (1831-1891)
According to original teachings of Theosophy – supposedly the writings and teachings of the Masters of Wisdom and their messenger, Madame Blavatsky, the one they called their “Direct Agent” – Christ is not a being or an entity of any kind. There is no such thing as the “Second Coming” of Christ either, because Christ never appeared and had a first coming and consequently cannot appear for a second coming. Blavatsky believed, "Christ — the true esoteric SAVIOR — is no man, but the DIVINE PRINCIPLE in every human being" (Studies in Occultism). And in The Secret Doctrine, “Christos is neither the Christ of the Churches, nor yet the Jesus of the Gospels; it is only an impersonal Principle.”  (The Secret Doctrine, Vol. 1, p. 132).

Blavatsky had a lengthy dialogue with the Abbe Roca, a French Canon of the Roman Catholic Church, and in that dialogue she wrote: “Jesus Christ, i.e., the Man-God of the Christians, copied from the Avatars of every country, from the Hindu Krishna as well as the Egyptian Horus, was never a historical person. He is a deified personification of the glorified type of the great Hierophants of the Temples, and his story, as told in the New Testament, is an allegory, assuredly containing profound esoteric truths, but still an allegory."

Blavatsky's beliefs and writings may not be entirely understood by present-day Theosophists because the ideas and teachings about Christ, popularized by C.W. Leadbeater (once an Anglican priest), Annie Besant, and Alice Bailey, have swung more to being Christianized. Madame Blavatsky appeared to be very much anti-Christian. Neither did she believe in the Christian God. The master Kuthumi said in his "materialized" etheric letters to Sinnett, "...Thus in our temples there is neither a god nor gods worshiped, only the thrice sacred memory of the greatest as the holiest man (Buddha) that ever lived" (The Mahatma Letters, 3rd ed.).

Another letter to Sinnett from Kuthumi said:

“Let these unfortunate deluded Christians know that the real Christ of every Christian is the Vach, the “mystical Voice,” while the man Jeshu was but a mortal like any of us, an adept more by his inherent purity and ignorance of real Evil, than by what he had learned with his initiated Rabbis and the already (at that period) fast degenerating Egyptian Hierophants and priests.”


Blavatsky did not believe that St. Paul believed in Jesus as the Christ. She wrote in Isis Unveiled:

“Take Paul, read the little of the original that is left of him in the writings attributed to this brave, honest, sincere man, and see whether any one can find a word therein to show that Paul meant by the word Christ anything more than the abstract ideal of the personal divinity indwelling in man. For Paul, Christ is not a person, but an embodied idea. “If any man is in Christ, he is a new creation,” he is reborn, as after initiation, for the Lord is spirit – the spirit of man. Paul was the only one of the apostles who had understood the secret ideas underlying the teachings of Jesus, although he had never met him” (Isis Unveiled Vol. 2, p. 574).

Phineas Parkhurst Quimby (1802-1866)
Phineas Quimby, recognized as the "Father of New Thought" distinguished Jesus from the Christ. Quimby credited Jesus with having wisdom so that he revealed in his life the "Truth" of how to correct the error of sickness. This "Truth" or "higher Wisdom" uncovered by Jesus was an impersonal mind-principle Quimby called "the Christ." Quimby said of Jesus, "He was the embodiment of a higher Wisdom, more so than any man who has ever lived" (The Quimby Manuscripts). Quimby's philosophy that physical healing lies in the mind, and disease was caused by wrong thinking or false beliefs and is remedied by "the Christ", was the basis of many other "metaphysical" movements, most notably New Thought (a compilation of several movements) and Christian Science.

Quimby took this belief a step further by saying that the Father Jesus referenced, and recorded in Scripture, is really truth. He said, "All truth being of God, Jesus called it his father, and says, “I, (this truth) and the father are one.” In speaking of this truth Jesus gives it an identity. Sometimes he calls it himself, Christ, and sometimes he speaks of himself as Jesus. In John 14:1, it says, “Let not your heart be troubled; ye believe in God, believe also in me.” These are not the words of Jesus but of Christ or truth" (The Complete Collected Works of Dr. Phineas Parkhurst Quimby, Chapter on The Body of Jesus & the Body of Christ).

Also from the same Quimby Writings, "This truth he called his Father and he prayed to it to guide him. When guided by this great truth, he was God or the son of God. Therefore when he (the truth) spoke, it was God. He calls it the bread of life..."

On Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection, Quimby wrote from the same chapter:

"Did Jesus intend to convey to the world that he was God? I answer, “He did not,” and I also contend that his whole teaching went to destroy the idea that he (Jesus) was Christ; but he labored to convince the people that the Christ was the truth which he, Jesus, spake - and that this truth is from God, and not of man. Jesus embodied it in an intelligence called Christ, embracing all the attributes of man and being a revelation of a higher wisdom than had before appeared on the earth. This Christ was what prompted Jesus, and when the Jews crucified the man Jesus, the Christ rose from the world's belief (or body) and disappeared in the clouds of their opinions."

New Thought
After Quimby's death in 1866 New Thought metaphysical groups emerged during the nineteenth century. Individuals who were helped by Quimby adopted some of his major ideas and formed groups of like-minded individuals. They added to or changed Quimby's ideas, adapting them to their own way.

Generally the Christ of New Thought was not a person, Jesus, but an impersonal Divine Nature or Principle. Jesus was believed to have embodied or attained to the Christ-principle and fully realized his Christ-nature. Jesus was not a savior to mankind, rather he was a "wayshower." Jesus the man represents the path toward a higher consciousness. Salvation is based not on Jesus but on the recognition of the Divine Nature or Christ-principle within.

Some of the groups remaining today are:

Unity: Founded in 1889 by Charles Fillmore (1854–1948) and Myrtle Fillmore (1845–1931) denies the deity of Christ and doesn’t believe there is hell or Satan. There is no literal heaven or hell, but the heaven or hell created by a person’s thoughts, words, and actions. Jesus was a wayshower. Christ is the universal love and wisdom within all of us – the perfection of consciousness – independent of religious beliefs.

United Church of Religious Science: Developed by Ernest Holmes (1887-1960) after writing his The Science of the Mind. His main belief is God is everywhere and everything is in God.  The goal is to get in touch with this ever-present Source and become unified with it. Unlocking the mysteries of God isn't found in a book or in writings, but within oneself. Religious Science teaches that salvation comes from the realization that you are actually a part of God, and then eliminating the bad in your life through scientific/philosophical principles. They deny the deity of Christ and preach a works-based salvation. 

Agape: Jesus was fully human and fully divine, and so is everyone else.  People just haven’t reached their full divine potential yet.  The Bible is inspired but not infallible. Jesus is not the only way to salvation. Salvation is moving out of fear (belief in hell) and our separate ego, and living into divine interconnectedness and love.  

Church of the Truth: Created to have a place which would heal the total human, mind, body and soul, and thus create a full awakening of the Christ within.

 

Christian Science - Mary Baker Eddy (1821-1910)
Following Quimby, Mary Baker Eddy created her Science and Health and founded Christian Science. The main point of her religion is that there is no sin, disease or death. Matter is not real. Jesus was simply a human being who demonstrated the “Christ Truth,” just as everyone can when they become as spiritually advanced as He was. Jesus was simply a Wayshower, He was not the Christ. "The Christ" is a divine nature available to all mankind to overcome sin, sickness, and death.

"Christ is the ideal Truth, that comes to heal sickness and sin through Christian Science, and attributes all power to God. Jesus is the name of the man who, more than all other men, has presented Christ, the true idea of God, healing the sick and the sinning and destroying the power of death. Jesus is the human man, and Christ is the divine idea; hence the duality of Jesus the Christ" (Science and Health, Mary Baker Eddy).

She goes on to state that salvation is achieved through works and not by faith. A person is saved by good works, and by "declaring the power of Christian Science". Jesus' mission was to reveal the Science of celestial being, to prove what God is and what He does for man.

I AM Movement - Guy (1878-1939) and Edna Ballard (1886-1971)
Guy and Edna Ballard were familiar with Theosophy, and Mrs. Ballard especially was familiar with many other esoteric teachings. The basis of their movement was around the teachings of the "ascended" masters, adepts who transcended time and space and continued to oversee mankind from the etheric realm. Jesus was just one of the ascended masters. Guy claimed he was contacted by Saint Germain on Mount Shasta, who continued to release to him higher teachings on the "violet flame" and "I AM Presence".

The "I AM Presence" is said to be in each person and represents a point of contact with divine reality. One can attune to the I AM Presence by chanting the I AM decrees and reciting positive I AM affirmations. Mr. and Mrs. Ballard claimed that Jesus freed Himself from the bondage of sin and materialism by constantly asserting His oneness with the "I AM Presence," which led Him to His liberation and ascension, whereupon he became one of the ascended masters.

The Ballards claim Jesus, in a dictation taken by Mrs. Ballard from Saint Germain, is completing the work which he started two thousand years ago. Saint Germain is considered more important than Jesus because he is the master leading during the dawning of the Aquarian Age. With the violet consuming flame mankind can free themselves from human discord and imperfection. The violet flame is invoked through chanting the violet flame decrees, which has the effect of transmuting the cause, effect, record and memory of undesirable conditions and past sin, thereby nullifying any need for redemption from sin through the blood of Christ.

Summit Lighthouse - Mark and Elizabeth Prophet
Mark Prophet founded the Summit Lighthouse, and after his death in 1973 Mrs. Prophet created the Church Universal and Triumphant. In 1973 the Great White Brotherhood gave Elizabeth the office of the "Vicar of Christ" and head of Church Universal. The Prophets came out of the I AM Movement and Christian Science and both were familiar with the Bridge to Freedom and Theosophy. Buddha, Krishna, Jesus and many of the Old Testament prophets are ascended masters according to their teachings.

Sanat Kumara through Elizabeth Clare Prophet said:

"This God-victory over Death and Hell was the atonement of Almighty God for the sins of the world committed against the Son. But it was not a vicarious atonement. This means that he did it for you but not in your stead. He 'died' for your sins that you might live again to atone for them yourself. He set “for you” the example of that which you yourself must do–today. Had he not proven that death is unreal, you, my beloved, would not be in embodiment today with renewed zest to “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling" (Opening of the Seventh Seal, 1979).

According to Mrs. Prophet "Jesus perceived the pitiful plight of the people of earth and agreed to take embodiment at that crucial hour of earth’s history to mitigate the full impact of the karma that was scheduled to descend. This doesn’t mean that Jesus “wiped away” our sins (karma). It simply means that Jesus bought us time. He bore our karma for a time to give us the opportunity to gain self-mastery so that we could better deal with that karma when it descended" (Prophecy for the 1990s, Elizabeth Clare Prophet).

Like many of the other New Age teachings, Jesus became the Christ. Each person has a Christ Self, and thereby can also become the Christ. The Christ Self is consciousness that mediates between the evolving soul and the God Self, the I AM. The Christ Self is also called the Higher Self, the Higher Mental Body, the Real Self or the Holy Christ Self and akin to the Christian mystics “inner man of the heart.”

The Prophets said that the only begotten Son is the Christ, not Jesus: "The only begotten Son of the Father, full of grace and truth, is the Christ whose Image the Lord has reproduced over and over again as the Christ-identity of every son and daughter who has come forth from the infinite Spirit of the Father-Mother God" (Climb the Highest Mountain, Mark and Elizabeth Prophet).

Christianity
Christianity is about a relationship with God that is achieved by God and based on trust (faith). It is about being born into the family of God. At the heart of Christianity is the man Jesus who is God’s Son. The Bible states clearly that there is nothing man can do to make himself right with God. Because our sin separates us from His presence, and sin must be punished, God took our punishment upon Himself because He loves us. A Christian is to live a life of trust in the God who has already saved him through His Son. All we must do is accept God’s gift of salvation through faith.

Jesus claims to be the only way that we can be right with God. In John 14:6 he says “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father (and gets into heaven) but by me!” He is the one we are called to trust and learn from and whose life is an example for us to follow. He gave up His life so that those who trust Him could be forgiven and He proved He was the Way, the Truth and the Life by rising from the dead. Without His death and resurrection there is no point to being a Christian.

Jesus claimed to the Jews that he was greater than Abraham, "Before Abraham was, I AM." I AM, is the name of God, "of the "I AM THAT I AM" of Exodus 3:14. Jesus was not glorifying Himself, He simply stated what was, "My Father is glorifying me (His Son)." Then Jesus states, "Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day (the days of the Messiah): and he saw it, and was glad." Jesus Christ declared his own timeless existence to have been in his consciousness before Abraham came into being at all.

The atonement of Christ is represented in Scripture as vicarious. This doctrine states that Christ, the only begotten Son of God, came to earth, was incarnate in a human body, was crucified, died, and then rose from the grave. His sacrifice was accepted by God as a propitiation for the sins of men. His blood was imbued with the power to cleanse men from their sins. To avail one’s self of the cleansing blood that remits sins and gain eternal life one must believe the doctrine as stated, one must have faith in Christ’s power to save, and then obey his commandments and do his works.

With the trust in the doctrine of Vicarious Atonement, a true Christian transforms his life by practicing personal virtue, resisting temptation, and by daily engaging in charitable works and unselfish service. As a result of self-discipline and the performance of good works, a Christian purifies his desire nature, develops unselfishness, and, in proportion to that purification, begins to live from the promptings of the Christ within his heart. The Christ the Christian welcomes in his heart is because he loves God and loves His Son, Jesus Christ.

We see that Christ, in these New Age religions, is about a consciousness that permeates all mankind. The Christ is either already within us but not consciously known, or can enter the us when we do good works. Yet that Christ is not what saves the soul, it is the initiate that saves himself, either through good works or chanting the violet flame. The common denominator is that it is a "feel good" religion or belief system. It promotes pride in that one can be better than another because "look at the works that I do." With some in their belief that since there is no sin, the devil, hell or a personal God, there is no evil to resist. Everyone is to be loved as God unconditionally loves everyone.

Judging Righteous Judgment
To state the truth about Scripture to a New Ager will mostly likely receive back the accusation, "You are so critical, unloving and unkind." Stating the truth is not the goal in the New Ager's mindset. Letting everyone practice and believe whatever "feels good" is one of the common themes that runs through these new religions, and thereby places them in "unconditionally" loving everyone as they believe God loves everyone. While Christians believe everyone has a right to their religious beliefs, Christians know there is a right and wrong that the Bible teaches. Yet, to state what Scripture says or to challenge evil, one may immediately receive a label (and judgment) back that "you are being judgmental".

If someone lies or commits adultery, many New Agers (who often belong to these new religions) think that there is nothing wrong with those acts because it is a matter of personal choice, "Who am I to judge," is their motif, as Pope Francis made famous the phrase in answer to how "he intended to confront the whole question of the gay lobby?" Benedict XVI, in 2005 wrote that homosexuality was “a strong tendency ordered toward an intrinsic moral evil,” and an “objective disorder.” The church document said men with “deep-seated homosexual tendencies” should not become priests. We see a great travesty within priesthood for the "turning the other way" in dealing with homosexual priests that have resulted in hurting unnecessarily far too many children, as priests were allowed to continue as priests after confessing it as a sin.

Jesus said: "Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment" (John 7:24) and "Judge not, lest you be not judged" (Matthew 7:1). We may not judge in matters of opinion or with insufficient knowledge, or according to appearances, but righteous judgment we must. Our judgment must be in righteousness according to God’s Holy Laws not our human judgments from our own minds and intellects. And, of course, we don't condemn someone for doing something we do ourselves. There are many admonishes in the Bible where we are to speak out against evil. Here are a few:

  • James 4:4 You adulterers! Don’t you know that friendship with the world means hostility with God? So whoever wants to be a friend of this world is an enemy of God.
  • John 3:20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed.
  • Matthew 7:21-23 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
  • Acts 13:9-10 Then Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked straight at Elymas and said, “You are a child of the devil and an enemy of everything that is right! You are full of all kinds of deceit and trickery. Will you never stop perverting the right ways of the Lord?”
  • 1 Corinthians 5:1-2 It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that is not tolerated even among pagans, for a man has his father’s wife. And you are arrogant! Ought you not rather to mourn? Let him who has done this be removed from among you.
  • Ezekiel 3:18-19 If I say to the wicked, “You shall surely die,” and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, in order to save his life, that wicked person shall die for his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand. But if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, or from his wicked way, he shall die for his iniquity, but you will have delivered your soul.
  • Galatians 6:1 Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.

Faith Without Works
While New Agers believe that it is by their works that they are saved, such as giving the violet flame, balancing karma, and acts of service, Christians are taught that works alone will not get us into Heaven. Some Christians take this out of context and believe they are saved just by faith in the blood of Christ. Non-Christians mock the idea that a Christian can go to heaven after living a sinful life and confessing on their deathbed that Jesus is Lord. While a few Christians may hold that belief, or new converts to Christ while on their deathbed, there is no support in Scripture that they will be saved.

John the Baptist did not immediately baptize everyone who came to him. Before he would baptize some who came to him, he required that they produce fruit in their lives as evidence of their repentance. He required that they put into practice what the Scriptures taught. An outer baptism is an outward symbol that we repent of our sin. Paul stated in  Acts 20:21 that we must repent “toward God” and exercise “faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” We must go to God and ask His forgiveness and believe that the death of Jesus Christ on the cross will remove our guilt of personal sins and then "go and sin no more."

So there are two extremes, one that only works will save and one that only faith will save. Neither is the true teaching of Christ. James says, “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also” (James 2:26). Works are not the cause of salvation; works are the evidence of salvation. With faith in Christ, good works naturally follow. The works that naturally follow salvation do not make us righteous before God; they are our fruits that form from the regenerated heart. After a sinner is regenerated and "born again" he is infilled with the Spirit of God. The Holy Spirit then guides their life, leading them to do good works. Do you see the difference? If there are no good works that follow conversion to Christ, there is no Holy Spirit in the person and no change of heart. We do not good works to gain salvation, we do good works together with faith as naturally as water flows downstream. They are inseparable.

Jesus the Christ
Jesus was the Christ from birth. New Agers believe Jesus became the Christ. Mary, the mother of Jesus, is told: "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy offspring shall be called the Son of God" (Luke 1:35). Simeon, through the Holy Spirit, was promised by God that "he would not die before he had seen the Lord's Christ" (Luke 2:26). Moved by the Spirit he was led to the babe Jesus where he recognized the Christ, and prophesied to His parents Jesus' destiny. At the end of Jesus' forty days on earth after His resurrection He ascended bodily into heaven, witnessed by the apostles. Has anyone ever witnessed the ascension of an "ascended master"? Jesus showed his wounds to those he met after his resurrection, proving to them that it was He, the Christ crucified.

The Summit Lighthouse teaches that Jesus went on to marry and live on earth after his resurrection. They teach that Jesus walked the earth in the resurrection flame, and then passed from the screen of life in Kashmir in 77 A.D. at the age of 81. He then ascended from Shamballa. This is outside of Scripture and against what has been written.

In order to believe the New Age religion concepts, new interpretations of Scripture must be accepted or not there at all. The difference between New Age religions and Christianity, although they call themselves Christians, is that "mind" is supreme to New Agers, and Trust and Faith is supreme to true Christians.

The choice is always individual in what path to follow, but to go outside of Scripture is to choose to not be a Christian.  Paul affirms that "there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus" (1 Tim. 2:5). He did not separate the Christ from Jesus as the one mediator. We cannot pick and choose which part of the Bible we will believe and what we will discard as "additions and mistranslations" and continue to have faith in the written Word and be a Christian.