The 'Kingdom of God' As Promoted by the New Age System



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  • The 'Kingdom of God' As Promoted by the New Age System

    Published in the Christian Chronicle - By S. E. Ray - 09/03/05

    The Internet and bookstores overflow with old and new teachings regarding the soul and attainment unto enlightenment. Just as the Prince of Darkness has misquoted scripture to support his stance, the New Age systems extract fragments from scripture to support their views. One of the facets of the spiritual life mentioned by Christ was the “kingdom of God ” which has been mutated by esoteric wisdom and false enlightenment movements.

    The problem can begin with the translation of Luke 17:21. The NIV translates "nor will people say, 'Here it is,' or 'There it is,' because the kingdom of God is within you." In some out-of-context bible translations, the Greek word "entos" is translated to say "within". The NASB for one properly translates "in your midst". When used in conjunction with a plural noun, entos means "among" or "in the midst of." In Luke 17:21, entos is used with "you," and from the context, we can see that Jesus was speaking to a crowd of Pharisees, who had come to question Him about the kingdom of God (verse 20). "You," then, is plural. "The kingdom of God is among you" is the best translation. This one mistranslation has been proof doctrine for many Gnostic and New Age thinkers today, whereas it coincides with "The Gospel of Thomas" which is a heretical Gnostic writing.

    Even apart from this explaination, it only requires a little understanding of Jesus, his life and message to understand the comment apart from the proper Greek translation. He was in opposition to the Pharisees and their false religious pretenses and heavy legalist oppression of temple worshippers, he would have never said the Kingdom was within them, he was stating that as he stood there, the kingdom of God was fully HIMSELF to be realized.

    Otherwise, nowhere else in the Gospels does Jesus speak of the kingdom of God as a positional place or experience. Men, women and children enter it; the kingdom doesn't enter them. The kingdom is a reality that comes upon them, they enter it, or will possess it, but it is not localized within them as an experience to be sought.

    [See photo a page from Copotic "Gospel of Thomas" below.]

    A recent work of fiction called "The DiVinci Code" is one cause of resurgence in this erronious teaching. In 1900, the gnostic (esoteric cult of knowledge) Gospel of Thomas excavated from the ancient library at Oxyrhynchus, Egypt and the Coptic (Native Egyptian) Nag Hammadi in 1945 both elude to the ‘kingdom within.’ These mystical writings mention the secret teachings of Christ and are a aggressive departure from the synoptic gospels which balance with the accuracy of the scripture overall. Much like we have separationists, who write their own beliefs apart from God’s eternal truth, so did the early church. Most of the early church fathers aptly branded these writings as heretical.

    The inner soul in which all religions seek to find peace and unity with the Creator have rarely been understood or explained well by organized religions. The awakened inner sanctuary of the soul, the attribute of our existence that can communicate with Creator God is called by different names. The Holy Spirit (Christianity), Sahasrara Chakra (Hinduism), Dsam Dwar (Sikhism), 1000 Petal Lotus (Buddhism), Kether (Judaism) or Regions in their Souls (Islam).

    From the first prophets who walked alone in the desert to fast and pray for divine revelation to Native Americans setting out in the wilderness to search for a vision, the pursuit of an inner world beyond everyday physical reality is one of mankind's oldest quests. For thousands of years humans have retreated into solitude to find answers to life's questions and to seek spiritual wisdom.

    This wisdom of the world’s systems teach convincing methods of meditation, mantras, physical positions, astral travel – all which may attain a sense of awareness to the divine and subjective inner peace, but only within the limitation of human effort. The New Age and similar systems provide a passage of rites and temporal experiences, but not in preparing for the heavenly dwelling beyond the grave. The systems provide internally induced experiences, a type of self-hypnosis, but nothing remotely close to God's true indwelling.

    The New Age and its proponents, strive in their own efforts and dictates towards a world in harmony, a world at peace. In pursuit of ecumenism, they no longer want to be tied up by international boundaries, religious barriers or community structures. This sounds good on the surface, but those knowledgeable of the truth and guided by the Spirit of Christ quickly discern the error. The New Age in essence, sets the groundwork for a universal church promising a “false peace” which was foretold in the book of Revelations. A spiritual environment in which the little horn of seducing evil mentioned in (Daniel 7:8) will arise. New Agers constantly seek new and more exciting spiritual paths to enhance their experience and mind. Such pursuits give wide berth to all manners of unspiritual earth energy principals and otherwise unholy mystical powers to freely work. These powers are unabated by the protective measures provided by means of the Holy Spirit. The usurping power of this great spiritual deception fully blinds the soul and effectively holds its captive apart from the saving knowledge of Christ.

    It was for a very good reason that God instructed his people thru his anointed writer “that in us ye might learn not to go beyond the things which are written” (1 Corinthians 4:6 KJV). There are many references and much that could be said on this alone. Suffice to say, the canon of scripture contain more truth than one could glean in 100 lifetimes. We are admonished not wander from its teachings for many snares wait. Soul damning snares set by the realm of darkness itself. In truth, there are many ways to open ones awareness to the spiritual realm apart from God’s ordained method. Many effective ways that may result in a sense of enlightenment and others that will cause one to become oppressed or possessed by unholy agencies. Souls are damaged daily because they fail to heed such warnings.

    God’s ordained method to find the kingdom of God requires humility, contrition of heart, brokenness of spirit. The first steps toward finding the kingdom of God is a transformation that occurs when one comes to the end of themselves and recognize their need for a relationship with their Creator. The earthly systems however, have few to no internal requirements for spiritual attainment. Only to continually seek the inner "god of self" and to align the "inner god" to comply with ones own ambitions.

    The kingdom of God is the sphere of God's rule. It is the center of all sovereign influence over earthly realms. Yet fallen man participates in the universal rebellion against God and His authority by acts of selfish will and the unregenerate soul. By faith and obedience man turns from his rebellion, is regenerated by the Holy Spirit, and becomes a part of the kingdom and its operation. Though human participation in the kingdom is voluntary, God's personal kingdom is present, whether or not people recognize and accept it.
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