The New Age movement, i.e. the New Spirituality, isn’t really so new. Its roots go back to antiquity. They weave throughout the Bible. And they manifest in various world religions such as Hinduism and Buddhism. These roots are fascinating and deadly.
In order to see the nature of these roots, we have to look at the Bible in a new way, actually one that is old. It’s all about context. How would ancient Israel, and the nations surrounding her, have understood various concepts that we read in Scripture but pass by as throw-away passages because we don’t have the proper context nor desire to apprehend the supernatural as those in past millennia did?
One of the keys in this approach is found in two passages from Deuteronomy. The first is Deuteronomy 4:15-19, which reads:
“Therefore watch yourselves very carefully. Since you saw no form on the day that the Lord spoke to you at Horeb out of the midst of the fire, beware lest you act corruptly by making a carved image for yourselves, in the form of any figure, the likeness of male or female, the likeness of any animal that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged bird that flies in the air, the likeness of anything that creeps on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the water under the earth. And beware lest you raise your eyes to heaven, and when you see the sun and the moon and the stars, all the host of heaven, you be drawn away and bow down to them and serve them, things that the Lord your God has allotted to all the peoples under the whole heaven.”
The second is Deuteronomy 32:8-9:
When the Most High gave to the nations their inheritance,
when he divided mankind,
he fixed the borders of the peoples
according to the number of the sons of God.
But the Lord’s portion is his people,
Jacob his allotted heritage.
In the Deuteronomy 4 passage, God warns His people Israel not follow false gods; they are allotted to every other nation except Israel. But we know the story. Israel did exactly the opposite. She bowed down and served the gods of other nations.
The verses in Deuteronomy 32 round this out for us. It says that God placed other nations under the control of other gods. When He did that, however, He called Abraham, who then fathered the nation of Israel that became God’s special people. They would be His heritage. We also know that from them all the nations of the earth would be blessed.
Who are these gods that God the Most High placed over the nations? They are the members of His divine council we see in Psalm 82:1, divine beings He has created to be part of His family:
God stands in the divine assembly;
he administers judgment in the midst of the gods.
In this psalm we gain a clear picture that His divine sons have been corrupt in their administration over the nations. God rebukes them in verses 2-5:
“How long will you judge unjustly
and show favoritism to the wicked? Selah
Judge on behalf of the helpless and the orphan;
provide justice to the afflicted and the poor.
Rescue the helpless and the needy;
deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”
They do not know or consider.
They go about in the darkness,
so that all the foundations of the earth are shaken.”
These sons of God, the divine rulers He placed over the nations have become wicked. They’ve harmed mankind in their divine oversight. God is quite displeased. Then He issues a decree as to their ultimate fate in verses 6-7:
‘I said, “You are gods,
sons of the Most High, all of you;
nevertheless, like men you shall die,
and fall like any prince.”’
In other words, these divine beings that God trusted to responsibly do a job for Him failed miserably. They took the same attitude that we see with Satan in Ezekiel 28 and Isaiah 14. They decided they could do a better job of “godding” than God. They had free will, just as God created mankind to have. They used it poorly and will suffer the consequences. Though divine, they will die like men.
Ultimately, God will right this wrong. The final verse in Psalm 82, verse 8 gives us that assurance:
Rise up, O God, judge the earth,
because you shall inherit all the nations.
God will take back the nations from these unjust divine rulers. His plans and purposes will prevail.
All this has been background to my premise. These are the roots. How does this equate with New Age Oneness?
Recall that God had directed mankind twice to go throughout the earth, multiply upon it, subdue it, and have dominion over it. He told Adam this (Genesis 1:28), and we know where that went. He also told Noah this following the flood (Genesis 9:1-2). It’s clear that God intends for mankind to multiply, subdue, and have dominion over the earth.
But what did men do? They gathered in Babylon to build a tower. Their intent was to stay there and bring God down to them on their terms. Of course, that’s not what He wanted. He would have none of that. So, He confused their language and scattered them throughout the earth. In doing this, that’s where Deuteronomy 32 comes into play. This is where God assigns members of His divine council to administer the nations. This is what we call the Deuteronomy 32 worldview.
The original desire of mankind, in contradiction to God’s will, was to come together as one, seen in the building of the Tower of Babel. Although each god over his own nation is doing his own thing, the inclination of them all is to thwart God’s intent and man’s understanding of who God is.
God is our creator. He is separate and above all things. He wants to restore our relationship with Him, but that can only be done on His terms. It turns out that the means for this is through the incarnation of Jesus, His death, and His resurrection—all contrary to what these rulers and authorities over the nations want. Besides, when God ultimately accomplishes His will, these divine sons will be toast. They will be cast into hell; they will die like mere men.
So, the plot thickens. What can these rebellious sons do? They will mislead men and their understanding of the nature of reality. They will confuse men as to who and what they are.
These gods do this by teaching men that they are all part of a seamless fabric. Mankind is not only part of all creation, it is one with it. There is no difference between a man and an ape. Man evolved from the muck. The oneness man feels when he looks at the trees is because he is part of them and they are part of him. In fact, because man is in all, he is also god, the one universal essence and energy in the universe.
This all comes together in the ancient and the New Age religions. It will have its final fulfillment in the 7-year Tribulation with the rise of the One World Religion.
When we talk about the fact that we’re in a spiritual battle, it is much greater than most of us realize. There’s a much bigger picture at play here that we typically see. Its roots are extensive and it involves all the spiritual entities that Paul writes about in Ephesians 6:12:
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
…and Colossians 1:16:
For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.
It is all these entities that have rebelled against God that we struggle with in the flesh. This great eons-old war is coming to a head. When Jesus came, He threw down the gauntlet that God was about ready to take back what is rightfully His. That’s the last thing these rulers want, so the battle is intense, and it’s growing by the day. It will reach a fever pitch following the Rapture of the Church as the Restrainer is removed. At that point, lawlessness originated by these demonic entities will have its day. We generally think it’s just Satan we have to worry about as the director of the chaos that will soon erupt on the earth, but he’s got a lot of powerful friends in high places. The corrupt sons of God will have a major part in the violence that fleshly rulers will perpetrate in the world.
But God is in charge. He is greater than any of these His sons, these divine and wicked rulers. He created them, He can and will destroy them.
Our job is to remember who we are in Christ and to warn others of the horrors to come, even as we show them the love of God. Let us keep our eyes on Him and these pretenders to the throne will never deceive us.