"Age of Enlightenment"
Will the Evangelical Church Help Usher in the "Age of Enlightenment" and the Coming False One?
(The following is an excerpt from A Time of Departing, chapter six: "Could This Be the End of the Age?"
In the early twentieth century, a figure who would have a major impact on the Western esoteric movement came out of the occultic Theosophical Society. The actual coining of the very term New Age has been attributed to her writings. Her name was Alice Ann Bailey.
Born Alice LaTrobe-Bateman, in Manchester, England on June 16, 1880, she grew up as a society girl and enjoyed all the privileges of the British upper class. Being very religious, Alice met and married a man who later became an Episcopal minister. In time, they moved to the United States. When Alice’s husband became physically abusive toward her, she fled from him and settled with her three children in Pacific Grove, California.
Alice was greatly comforted when she met two other English women living in Pacific Grove. These women introduced her to theosophy, which seemed to provide answers to her questions concerning why such misfortune had befallen her. Alice, then 35, was about to have her life changed forever. Later, in her unfinished autobiography, she wrote:
I discovered, first of all, that there is a great and divine Plan ... I discovered, for a second thing, that there are Those Who are responsible for the working out of that Plan and Who, step by step and stage by stage, have led mankind on down the centuries.1
In 1917, Alice moved to Los Angeles and began working for that plan at the Theosophical Society headquarters where she met Foster Bailey, a man who had devoted his life to occultism. She divorced her estranged husband and married Bailey in 1920. Alice had her first contact with a voice that claimed to be a master in November of 1919. Calling himself the Tibetan, he wanted Alice to take dictation from him. Concerning this, Alice wrote:
I heard a voice which said, "There are some books, which it is desired, should be written for the public. You can write them. Will you do so?"2
Alice felt reluctant at first to take on such an unusual endeavor, but the voice continued urging her to write the books. At this point in time Alice experienced a brief period of intense anxiety in which she feared for her health and sanity. One of her other spirit "masters" finally reassured her she had nothing to fear and she would be doing a "really valuable piece of work."3 The "valuable work" Alice was to do ended up lasting thirty years. Between 1919 and 1949, by means of telepathic communication, Alice Bailey wrote nineteen books for her unseen mentor.
To occultists, the significance of the Alice Bailey writings has heralded anticipation of the appearance of a World Healer and Savior in the coming Aquarian Age (the astrological age of enlightenment and peace). This savior would unite all mankind under his guidance. Bailey termed him the coming one. This person was not to be the Lord Jesus Christ, of whom Christians await the return, but an entirely different individual who would embody all the great principles of occultism, chiefly the divinity and perfectibility of man. One of Bailey's followers wrote:
The reappearance of the Avatar [world teacher], by whatever name he may be known, has been prophesied in many religions as well as in the esoteric [occult] tradition. A major manifestation is expected in connection with the Aquarian age.4
Interestingly, the apostle Paul declared one called "the man of sin, the son of perdition" would also proclaim himself to be God (II Thessalonians 2:3,4). I believe this coming Aquarian messiah will be the son of perdition spoken of by Paul in II Thessalonians. Furthermore, I am convinced the New Age movement is his spiritual platform. Too many things fit together for this to be just mere coincidence. Therefore, we must watch for the restructuring of our world by those who are preparing the way for his arrival and identity to be revealed.
Daniel 8:23 states this man will be a master of dark sayings. In Hebrew, this translates as one skilled in cunning and ambiguous speech. The world will see him as one who is distinguished and spiritually brilliant. Keep this in mind as you read the following description:
The coming one will not be Christian, a Hindu, a Buddhist, not an American, Jew, Italian or Russian--his title is not important; he is for all humanity, to unite all religions, philosophies and nations.5
The only one who could bring this about is the one who fits the description mentioned in Daniel. This explains the all-out effort by the New Age, which is saturating our society with meditation right now. When this man comes forward, all those who are in touch with their higher self, those who are awakened will clearly recognize him as their unifier and give him their allegiance. He will have a ready-made constituency (many in key positions) to help him reconstruct society. This will be the final culmination of the paradigm shift.
A disciple of the Indian guru Rajneesh made this keen observation, illustrating the potential power of this deception and the hypnotic influence of this "coming one":
Something had happened to Rajneesh that made him unlike other men. He had undergone some change--enlightenment, the rising of kundalini [serpent power]--and his being had been altered in palpable [noticeable] ways. The change in him in turn affected his sannyasins [disciples] and created a persistent and catalyzing resonance between them.6
What was the nature of the resonance? The Bible predicts the Antichrist and the false prophet will perform lying wonders (Revelation 13). Alice Bailey described the work of her New Age Christ very explicitly:
The work of the Christ (two thousand years ago) was to proclaim certain great possibilities and the existence of great powers. His work when He reappears will be to prove the fact of these possibilities and to reveal the true nature and potency of man.7
In light of the many who will be coming in Christ's name, I also believe the Alice Bailey prophecies can provide further insight into what the apostle Paul called in II Thessalonians the falling away. Bailey eagerly foretold of what she termed "the regeneration of the churches."8 Her rationale for this was obvious:
The Christian church in its many branches can serve as a St. John the Baptist, as a voice crying in the wilderness, and as a nucleus through which world illumination may be accomplished.9
In other words, instead of opposing Christianity, the occult would capture and blend itself with Christianity and then use it as its primary vehicle for spreading and instilling New Age consciousness! The various churches would still have their outer trappings of Christianity and still use much of the same lingo. If asked certain questions about traditional Christian doctrine, the same answers would be given. But it would all be on the outside; on the inside a contemplative spirituality would be drawing in those open to it.
In wide segments of Christendom this has indeed already occurred.... Thomas Keating alone taught 31,000 people mystical prayer in one year. People are responding to this in large numbers because it has the external appearance of Christianity but in truth, is the diametric opposite--what a skillful spiritual delusion! Could this possibly be the falling away Paul speaks of?
Note this departure is tied in with the revelation of the "man of sin." If he is indeed Bailey's "coming one," then both Paul's prophecy and Bailey's prophecy fit together perfectly--but indisputably from opposite camps and perspectives.
This is very logical when one sees, as Paul proclaimed, that they will fall away to "the mystery of iniquity" (II Thessalonians 2:7). The word mystery in Greek, when used in the context of evil (iniquity), means hidden or occult!
Could this revitalization of Christendom fit in with Bailey's "new and vital world religion"--a religion that would be the cornerstone of the New Age? Such a religion would be the spiritual platform for the New Age "coming one." This unity of spiritual thought would not be a single one-world denomination but would have a unity-in-diversity, multicultural, interfaith, ecumenical agenda. Thomas Merton made a direct reference to this at a spiritual summit conference in Calcutta, India when he told Hindus and Buddhists, "We are already one, but we imagine, we are not. What we have to recover is our original unity."
Satan's plan has always been to deceive people into believing they can become like God, and God has given Satan the freedom to carry out his diabolical plans, with certain powers to recruit humans in attempting to complete it. While Scripture clearly tells us that Satan is the father of lies, it is not inconceivable that Satan would reveal these things to whomever he wishes for the purpose of attaining his goals. I believe Alice Bailey may be one of those through whom he chose to lay out his master plans. Therefore, Bailey's predictions could indeed be more than just the fanciful meanderings of an overactive imagination. When the depth and intricate detail of her work is studied, it cannot be dismissed as trivial. One author made the following keen observation regarding this point:
Alice Bailey's gigantic corpus of wisdom could not have been invented by human minds; the teachings are undoubtedly superhuman in origin.10
In a manner of speaking, I consider Alice Bailey as an apostle of New Age occultism, and her writings as mystical revelations. She is telling the world the path it will be taking and how it is going to be done--in essence, a combined manifesto and blueprint. The fact that much of what she predicted has indeed actually happened gives even greater credence that her work really could be the design for the one Paul called "the son of perdition."
Various church statements reflect Bailey's dark prophecies that speak to the "revitalization" of the churches. Even now a recent Catholic dictionary states: "Current ideas about mysticism underscore that it is for the many, not just a chosen few."11 An article in America, a national Catholic magazine, shows the result of this mysticism in regard to evangelization. The article, titled Rethinking Mission in India, states the spirit is active in Hinduism as much as Christianity and therefore both religions "are co-pilgrims on the way to fulfillment." 12 The significance of this is clearly revealed in the following view from the same article:
Any claims to superiority are damaging. Religions need not be compared. All we are expected to do is to serve man by revealing to him the love of God made manifest in Jesus Christ.13
What is happening here is a complete turnaround regarding the meaning of evangelization. In truth, if you want to reveal to man the love of God, made manifest in Jesus Christ, you proclaim the blood of Christ for salvation!