The Rise of the New Age
Since the day of Pentecost, all believers have received the Holy Spirit. Persecution in Jerusalem caused the gospel to spread to surrounding regions. The believers in Samaria had an incomplete gospel, which the apostles now graciously supplied in full (see Acts 8:14-17), and they too received the Holy Spirit. The disciples of Jesus were performing miracles, and evil spirits were coming out of many (see verse 7).
At the same time in Samaria, a man named Simon amazed people with his sorcery. The people called him the “Great Power of God” (verse 10), and they followed him because he amazed them with his magic. However, when they heard the good news from Philip, they believed it. Simon also professed to believe and was even baptized (see verses 12-13), but then he tried to offer money to have the same “magical” power the disciples had – a practice to this day called “simony” (see Acts 18:18-19).
Peter immediately rebuked Simon for thinking that he could buy the gift of God with money. He called for Simon to repent, because he could tell that Simon was full of bitterness and captive to sin, which indicated he was probably not a true believer (see verses 20-23). Obviously, the spiritual battle continued after Pentecost. The thirst for knowledge and power still lures a gullible public to seek false guidance. There are many customers like those in Acts 16:16-18 who sought guidance from a demonized slave girl, and there are many who will make a profit from them.
Although spiritism and various cults and occultic practices have been present in American culture from the beginning, the New Age movement has received much broader participation. Through New Age teachings, materialistic humanism gives way to a new Enlightenment: “You don’t need God; you are God. You don’t need to repent of your sins and depend on God to save you. You just need to be enlightened. So turn off your mind and tune in to the great cosmic oneness through some mystical harmonic convergence.” The New Age pitch is the oldest lie of Satan: “You will be like God” (Genesis 3:5). Practitioners change the names from “medium” to “channeler,” “demon” to “spirit guide,” and a gullible public buys it and spends big money doing so.
The “harlots” of the New Age movement may well represent the mystery religion of Babylon. “With her the kings of the earth committed adultery, and the inhabitants of the earth were intoxicated with the wine of her adulteries” (Revelation 17:2). Every country in the world has opened its doors to paranormal and psychic research. What the rulers of the countries of the world don’t know is that they have embraced the religion of the Antichrist – which is masquerading under the guise of science. They have no idea that they are playing right into the hands of Satan.
Such kings are like Jeshurun (a poetic name for Israel): “Jeshurun grew fat and kicked. They abandoned the God who made them and rejected the Rock their Savior. They sacrificed to false gods, which are not God – gods they had not known, gods that recently appeared, gods your ancestors did not fear. You deserted the Rock, who fathered you; you forgot the God who gave you birth” (Deuteronomy 32:15,17-18).
For Spanish, see http://www.ficmm.org/blog