As New Age believers years ago, my wife and I had no reason to doubt any of the ‘new revelation’ that was coming our way. When we were students of A Course in Miracles in the early 1980s, it never occurred to us that Helen Schucman had received her spiritual dictation from anyone other than the real Jesus Christ. As members of A Course in Miracles study group, we studied what the ‘Jesus’ of the Course said and applied his teachings to our lives. Having never read the whole Bible for ourselves, we thought the Course was helping us to understand what the Bible was ‘really’ saying. We accepted the Course’s interpretation of the Bible completely. It had a certain logic and seemed to make sense. We believed we were on the right path. Meaningful ‘coincidence’ that had led us to the Course, and the supernatural signs that often accompanied our study appeared to confirm that we were spiritually where we were supposed to be.
But at the height of our involvement with the Course, the Lord intervened. He exposed the darkness that was actually behind the deceptive ‘peace,’ ‘love,’ and ‘light’ of our New Age/New Gospel teachings. By the time it was all over, it was clear to us that all of our New Age beliefs had been founded on half-truths and lies. Shocked and amazed by this discovery, we came to the conclusion that A Course in Miracles was not from God and that the ‘Christ’ of A Course in Miracles was not the true Christ. Because we had not previously been aware of the Bible’s real teachings, we had not been aware of Jesus’ many warnings about spiritual deception. He said in the last days false prophets and false teachers, accompanied by deceptive signs and wonders, would deceive most of the world into following a counterfeit ‘Christ’ who would pretend to be Him.
But by far the most important lesson we learned in the midst of what turned out to be our ‘crash course’ on spiritual deception was that Jesus really did die on the cross for all mankind. On that cross, He defeated sin, death, and a real spiritual being named Satan and called the devil. We learned from our trying, and at times harrowing experiences, that we actually do need a Saviour, and that it was only through belief in the atoning death of the true Jesus Christ that we are truly saved.
We learned the hard way that the ‘Old Gospel’ really works, while the New Gospel definitely does not. When we learned to call on the name of Jesus Christ and all that His name stands for, we experienced His victory over an evil presence that had not responded to any of our metaphysical New Age teachings—most especially A Course in Miracles. Calling on Jesus literally saved our lives.
How We Were Deceived
The more we studied the Bible for ourselves and reflected on our own particular situation, the more we came to understand the extraordinary deception of which we had been a part—a deception that was hiding behind New Age/New Gospel teachings like A Course in Miracles. In the following … passages excerpted directly from my book, The Light That Was Dark: From the New Age to Amazing Grace, I describe my initial understanding of just how badly we had been deceived:
For some time now, my spiritual teachings had convinced me that I was a sinless, guiltless, perfect Son of God and that I was every bit as much a part of the universal Christ as Jesus or Buddha or anyone else. I had been taught that I was a holy part of God, inherently equal to Christ and that I didn’t need to be saved, redeemed, or born again. Because evil was only an illusion, there was no evil to be saved from. I had believed that I was responsible for myself and my world and I was the creator of my own reality.
‘But as I looked at those ‘truths’ now, I could see that they were not truths at all. What was being taught—no matter how cleverly expressed—stood in stark opposition to the actual teachings of the Bible. Couched in spiritual platitudes, the Course and the New Age, although pretending to be friends of Jesus and the Bible, were really no friends at all. Like Judas, they betrayed Christ in the name of love and with a deceptive kiss. Jesus warned about false prophets who would come in sheep’s clothing—even in His name. His words were concise and clear:
“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.” (Matthew 7:15)
They would look not like an enemy but like someone you could trust, and I was now thoroughly convinced that the Course was a channeled wolf in sheep’s clothing that came not to praise the Bible’s Jesus but to bury His teachings forever—if that were possible.
In the midst of my study, I started to understand that for a number of years I had been letting my spiritual teachers—most especially the Course—tell me who Jesus really was and what His teachings really meant. I could see that through my own laziness in never reading or studying the Bible for myself, I had swallowed a false gospel—hook, line, and sinker.
I realized now that, although I was made in the image of God, I was not God or a part of God in any way. God was God, and I was me. I wasn’t Christ or a part of Christ, and neither was Buddha or anyone else. Jesus was the Christ, and there was no other. And, in spite of what anyone else tried to say, He had won an amazing victory on the cross of Calvary—one that Joy and I had learned to call on time after time. It was a victory that was fully described in the Scriptures and that so many of the old hymns proclaimed.
Something very mysterious had happened on that ‘old rugged cross’ that a whole New Age was doing hand-over-head flips to completely avoid. It was the ‘victory in Jesus’ that A Course in Miracles was desperately trying to redefine and explain away.
Finally, after all we had been through, I was starting to see that the heart of the Gospel is not so much that God helps those who help themselves but rather that God helps those who can’t help themselves. It was not in affirming our strength but in recognizing our weakness that we had finally learned to ask the Lord for help. It was His grace, not our own self-sufficiency that had saved the day. Yet even though we had recognized our need to be saved from the evil that was coming at us, we had stubbornly refused to acknowledge Jesus as our personal Lord and Saviour. Clinging tenaciously to our metaphysical identities, we hadn’t understood that our faith ultimately had to be in Jesus, not in ourselves, and that Jesus meant it when He said:
“I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6)
We had put our faith in ourselves as God and not in God as God; by going within we had gone without. We had grossly underestimated our ability to not be deceived, and we had grossly overestimated the wisdom of our metaphysical teachers.
Bible Warns of Spiritual Deception
As time went on, I reflected on how the reality of a deceptive spirit world was never mentioned in the Course or any of our other New Age teachings. . . .
Those of us who had believed the Course’s Jesus—that he was the Christ and we were too—were deceived into thinking that ‘the Christ’ was something bigger than Jesus or us or anyone else. But in believing the Course and my other spiritual teachers, I had unwittingly become the very person the real Jesus warned me to watch out for:
“Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.” (Matthew 24:4–5) . . .
What we had thought to be spiritual truth had turned out to be nothing more than fiction. What we had believed to be the fiction of the Bible had ironically turned out to be the Gospel truth. The age of deception that had been predicted was already well on its way.
In listening to our spiritual teachers, we had missed the many warnings that were being shouted to us from the pages of the Bible. We were, in reality, fallen human beings, prone to temptation, and easily overcome by evil. And although there was no way we could ever save ourselves, we could be saved by Jesus Christ—the true Son of God—whom God sent to set us free.
I knew now that if being ‘a sinner’ meant falling short and being in need of salvation and redemption, then I was a sinner. And if ‘repenting’ meant turning away from my sins and my ungodly ways, then I was ready to repent. And if being ‘born again’ meant being born again from God on high, then I wanted to be born again.
In some strange and wonderful way, Joy and I had backed into the Gospel and into our faith. It was only after our whole world had been turned upside down and inside out that we found ourselves right side up at the foot of the cross.
In the years following our conversion in 1984, as just described . . . my wife and I have watched as a somewhat underground New Age movement has evolved into the popularly accepted, worldwide spiritual phenomenon that it is today. It has grown at an exponential rate and is now highly organized both spiritually and politically. As previously mentioned, many well-known New Age/New Gospel/New Spirituality advocates had joined together to form The Global Renaissance Alliance. A New Age movement, that for so long seemed to be lacking a central core, had now ‘reinvented’ itself. Suddenly, many of its leaders formed a single organization that had a board of directors and even a mission statement.
Excerpt from Chapter 5 of “False Christ Coming: Does Anybody Care?” by Warren B Smith
[Lighthouse Trials Research Project Note: Today, the Global Renaissance Alliance that Warren Smith refers to is now what is called The Peace Alliance, an activist group in Washington DC working with congress members to form a Department of Peace. But be not mistaken, this is the work of New Age leaders, who founded the Global Renaissance Alliance (one of which is Marianne Williamson), who are helping to usher in a global one world panentheistic religion that will seek to extinguish biblical Christianity off the face of the earth. All one has to do is look at the writings of Barbara Marx Hubbard to know this is true – see chapter 2 of False Christ Coming regarding Marx Hubbard’s ‘Selection Process.’]