Summary: Various Cults at work today.
GIMME THAT OLD TIME RELIGION
Mark White 1-03-02
Scripture Focus – 2Thessalonians 1-3
Time Magazine calls The New Age is "a combination of spirituality and superstition, fad and farce, about which only one thing is certain, it is not new". Actually its philosophies are rooted in ancient occult traditions of various contexts.
New Age experts have called the New Age movement “an extremely large, loosely structured network of organizations and individuals bound together by the common values of mysticism and monism or the philosophy that "all is one". Most also have the belief that mankind is on the verge of an evolutionary leap in spiritual enlightenment.
The New Age movement is without one single founder or leader and is literally a movement of spirituality, health, politics, education and business that wields it’s far reaching power through a collection of cults to direct the path of society.
Primitive societies have always had women or men claiming to possess special knowledge and power. Known as medicine men or shamans they are thought to maintain spiritual contact with the dead members of the clan or group.
With the societal changes brought about by the truth of the Old Testament Bible and later the New Testament of our Lord Jesus Christ, these loners were, for the most part, given less and less credence due to their inability to refute the truth of Christianity.
The traditions of these groups were passed along down the ages in groups such as the Gnostics, freemasons, and in very organized "religions" such as Buddhism, Hinduism, and became instrumental in the Greek culture.
During the first century, many variations of the true gospel of Jesus Christ sprang up. Some of these variations absorbed the mythical speculations of other "religions" that were common to the area in the course of time. Gnosticism remained in the background in these times and its traditions were passed on secretly by word of mouth. Gnostics believe that the seen and unseen world is the manifestation of the "One Divine Being" and that man fell from the divine to the material world. The divine light is imprisoned in man and can be set free so that it may return to the Kingdom of God.
Gnosticism reached Europe in the eighth and ninth centuries AD
Jewish Mysticism and the Kaballah
This Jewish mystic philosophy was written between the third and sixth centuries. The doctrine of the Kaballa did not appear in Jewish mystic circles until the twelfth century in Spain and Southern France.
According to this belief, God gave Moses a second revelation, given along with the Law, explained the secret meanings of the Law. Passed down trough the ages by the initiates, Cabalic studies in the Hebrew scriptures developed a theosophical mystique and religious magic.
Alchemy was practiced before the Christian era in Egypt. In the fourth century, alchemy evolved into it’s historical form and reached Europe through Muslim alchemists in Spain in the twelfth century. Mediaeval alchemy the mutation of metals but also considered all matter as alive with the ability to grow. In addition, if the right rituals were performed matter could be influenced to transmute into higher forms.
Alchemy came from all segments of society, which included some "Christians". Travelling throughout Europe this closely related group banded together in secret societies using secret signs and passwords to identify themselves to one another. Being an oral tradition principally the traditions were passed along verbally. What was written down was disguised as chemical experiments. Practicing their art secretly, this group had a direct influence on the scientific community and therefore society at large.
During the 15th and 16th centuries a revolt against the mediaeval philosophy and theological beliefs took hold. A return to the ancient beliefs was advocated.
Although the renaissance period is known for it’s influence on art and literature it was also accompanied by a renewed interest in the study of the old occult The practice of magic was paramount in that it was a holy quest for knowledge by revelation to the pure in mind.
The fresh interest in the "wisdom" traditions during the Renaissance period gave rise to Freemasonry around the 1600’s in Scotland. Medieval stonemasons, trying to protect the secrets of their craft, set up guilds that required secret passwords. Their devotion and philosophy was laid out in the "Old Charges" which was first written in the 1400’s and revised in the 16th century.
The "Old Charges" embody the philosophy of striving for the lost wisdom of the ancients. The ability of the ancient architects was attributed to supernatural forces. The ancient structures, such as the pyramids and the lost Temple of King Solomon, were held in the highest regard. The pursuit of occult and spiritual "Sciences" along with their desire to become agents in political and religious reform required the Freemasons to conduct their activities in the utmost secrecy.