Genesis 3 is a summary of principles introducing us to the beginning of what is called the New Age. Any philosophy on spiritual things that is not based upon the word of God leads in the wrong direction. It may include some truths from the Bible, like believing the truth of creation and a healthy diet, but without a firm foundation, that knowledge mixed with error can only produce an incorrect and false spirituality that will not last.
In the beginning God created the world and all that is in it. He made a beautiful garden to be a home for our first parents, Adam and Eve, and in the midst of the garden He planted the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Of all the trees in the garden, this tree was the only one that God held back from them, prohibiting them from eating of it. All of the others were to be for their food.
At the end of each creation day God declared His work “good.” Jesus, while on earth spoke with a rich young ruler who came to Him asking, “ ‘Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?’ Jesus said to him, ‘Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God.’ ” Luke 18:18, 19. When God said, at the end of each day of creation week, that what He saw was good, He meant that the things He made were like God but not God. The moon, the stars and all that was created were good. Everything created for man right down to the smallest mote in the sunbeam had, as they came from the Creator’s hand, the character of God impressed upon them. But though these things were like God, they were not God.
The New Age belief and pagan spirituality make created things, like the sun, moon and the forces of nature, gods to be worshiped instead of the creator God. From the tree of knowledge of good and evil Satan was able to introduce this seed of error craftily mixed with an element of truth.
Today, Eastern religions have become very popular presenting a diagram of the spiritual notion of the balancing of forces, half black and half white—some good in the bad and some bad in the good. This would mean that there is some bad in God and some good in Satan, but this is a deception. There was no poison in the garden home; there was no sin and there was nothing evil. The tree of knowledge of good and evil was put there as a test for Adam and Eve to choose to whom they would give their allegiance. Sin came about by the blending of truth with error. There was a preacher in the Garden of Eden, a preacher of unrighteousness, and as he preached his message to Eve she started to believe the principles of New Age—new philosophies that God did not create.
The serpent said unto the woman, “Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?” Genesis 3:1. It was a certainty, that as a result of transgressing the will of God, there would be death, but the seed of doubt was planted there, it took root and germinated.
Paul says, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23. This is a very clear statement. By eating that fruit offered by Satan, our first parents transgressed God’s law; they stole what was not theirs and committed murder. By that simple act they caused the death of billions of their descendants. Every imaginable sin has now come into this world as a result of that first indiscretion. How simple it seems; how horrid the results!
Satan well knows that for sin or error to be attractive and effective it has to be connected with truth. Sin and its results, devoid of any truth, would stand out in all of its unattractiveness and horror without anything to attract the unsuspecting person. That is why yin and yang exist, the black has some white and the white has some black creating a very cunning and deceptive belief.
Genesis 3:1 says, “Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?” In other words, did God say that? Seriously, is that what He said? Are you sure He said that? Here, with all of his subtle cunning, Satan created doubt in the mind of Eve as to what instruction God had actually given.
Then Satan outright contradicts what God had said: “And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die.” Verse 4. In Genesis 3 verses 1 and 4, we see the beginning of New Age, the beginning of the teaching of false and erroneous doctrines; a false philosophy resulting in a false system of religion. As we see in Genesis 3:1, the idea of questioning or inculcating doubt in the certainty of God’s word is the foundation of New Age and false religion.
We have been told that man was made a little lower than the angels (Hebrews 2:7), but New Age says that man is an angel. God says He created man, but the New Ager says man is god! The whole belief that man “shall not surely die” (Genesis 3:4) as a result of his transgression of God’s command implying doubt in connection with the truth, is the foundation of false religion and the New Age.
From this idea of not really dying, we have a myriad of false concepts that have come into the world—soul migration, reincarnation, and other different types of beliefs of what happens to you when you die and that there is some other consciousness or some kind of life. Even some people who claim to believe in the Bible tend to believe that there is some after-life that is separated from consciousness in this form.
The Bible says, “For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing.” Ecclesiastes 9:5. They experience no more hatred or variance for there is no more consciousness because there is no more memory in the grave where they go. The Bible is very clear in Ecclesiastes 9 that whatever you have to do, do it while you are alive for there will not be another opportunity in the grave. This being the truth, how then do so many have the idea that there is so much light after death and that the soul goes on and on? Unbelief mixes truth with error becoming a faulty foundation bearing doubt in the clear word of God.
Within this foundation of truth and error there is really no penalty for sin for “you will not surely die.” Not only is there no penalty for sin, but the soul lives on in some kind of life after death. In Genesis 3:5 it says, “For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods.” That is the ideal illumination, eyes opened. By partaking of this secret truth Satan claims that the mysteries of the world will be revealed, bringing out that which is already in you by partaking of his spiritual exercises and various practices and “you shall be as gods.” However, unless God Himself has revealed them, those mysteries of the world belong with God alone.
What the devil actually says here is that by your transgression of God’s instruction, you will not die and your eyes will be opened. You will mix both good and evil and by this method you will become like God. It is no wonder Jesus said that Satan was “a liar, and the father of it.” John 8:44.
All martial arts widely practiced in the East and other various places are connected with religion and usually the religion of the town from which it came. The postures and stances are forms of worship. When entering the traditional school, it is necessary to first bow to the creator of the skies, which is usually a picture on the wall of the person who developed that particular type of martial art. The picture is always situated on the eastern wall. After bowing in that direction, to the place of the rising sun, you then bow to the senior student or the teacher. After bowing to these three, you make a triangle and place it upon the floor, bowing down and placing your forehead into this triangle. The forehead is the location in the brain where the frontal lobe is situated. This is the place of all reasoning and from here all decisions are made. By bowing into the triangle, the will is submitted to the leader or picture of the leader and also to the instructor. This routine is by no accident and is very significant.
New Age religion, like paganism, encompasses the worship of the solar system—the sun and stars. As well as the animals, the powers of man, including his sexual power is worshiped as in the ancient Baal worship. The serpent is revered, considering it to be the greatest creature and believing it to be one of the highest forms of divinity.
In many religions today various portions or principles can be found that were forbidden in the book of Genesis.
The foundation of New Age is contraindicated in the Bible. The eyes of many have been taken away from worshiping God to worshiping His creation, the sun, moon and the stars.
God has revealed His character, His good, in His creation. A study of the human body with its healing and restorative powers, all reveal the character of God demonstrating His love and compassion. Even when we transgress He wants to bring us healing. His creation has no power of its own, but so many direct their worship to mere objects instead of the Source of all power.
Many say they simply use items to enhance their worship with God, but who is it that has the right to dictate worship? Who is it who dictates what is right and what is wrong; is it the creature or the Creator? Who is able to argue with God? Job tried! He did not sin, but he tried to dialog with God Who made him realize his place. Job became quiet realizing the majesty and creative power of God as He started showing him all these mysteries and various things He had created in the world (Job 38; 39). Job came to the conclusion that he had to close his mouth at the wisdom and manifold power of God (Job 40:4, 5).
We cannot tell God what we need to do in order to worship Him. Cain thought he could adjust his sacrifice to the fruit of his own labor (Genesis 4:3), from the sacrificial lamb that God had instructed. He found out the hard way that it was not accepted (verse 5). It is interesting that the result of Cain’s disobedience was to kill his brother, whose offering God accepted. This same attitude has existed throughout the generations, resulting in religious persecution up to today where hatred is still exhibited against those who continue to worship God in the manner He has commanded.
God is not happy when we endeavor to make up our own rules when it comes to worship. Paul says, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness.” Romans 1:18.
As we recognize the qualities and power that God has put in His creation, we are to fall on our knees and recognize His greatness and glory and direct our praise to Him, not bow down and worship beasts and things whether they be living or just representations of them. By worshiping the creature we “hold the truth in unrighteousness.” It says, “Because that which may be known of God is manifest [made clear or made evident] in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of Him [the things we cannot see, the spiritual things, the things that are not able for our eyes to see clearly] from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.” Romans 1:19, 20.
We are to examine creation in order to understand the Creator and God has left us no excuse. There was a time when everyone knew who God was. Adam and Eve knew who God was; they saw Him face to face and their children saw the angels with the flaming swords guarding the entrance to the garden so that they would no longer have access to the tree of life. Our first ancestors had much evidence of divine power and understood these things. But, “when they knew God, they glorified Him not as God [they did not give Him praise and reflect His character], neither were thankful; but became vain [self-centered] in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.” Verse 21. They had the truth and they held it in unrighteousness, their own imagination, which became vain or unprofitable, or outside of what God had said. How insulting to God for man to praise the stars, the gold and silver, fall down and worship things able to be burned and destroyed instead of the One who gave them for man’s enjoyment and for him to see His manifold love and return to Him the deserved blessings for being a good Father.
Man would rather cut down a tree, cutting it up into pieces and from that tree build a house. He would then build a fire and take some of the wood to warm himself. Out of another piece he would make some implements of very different furniture, and then take a part of it and make a god and fall down and worship it. How ignorant is man to think that a piece of wood or stone has any power, yet he will fall down and say, “This is my god, hear me!” (See Isaiah 44:14–17.)
Many today are under the same delusion of pagan worshipers, “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.” Romans 1:22.
All of the pagan mystery religions are based upon the concept of giving you wisdom. Darwinism, Buddhism and the various other religions of the East all claim to give the highest form of wisdom. The books of these various teachings are seen as fruit to be desired to make one wise, but they all result in transgression against the law of God.
James says, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally.” James 1:5. All wisdom comes from God through His word. We are to meditate upon God’s word. It is not to meditate in the way that New Age teaches to blank out the mind, resisting all thoughts and impressions to the reciting of some poem, or some cone or mantra or looking at nature.
Eastern meditation is clearly not meditating on God’s word, but emptying the mind, disallowing the prompting of the Holy Spirit’s conviction of sin, which is the only means of revealing our need of a Saviour. The vacant mind makes it susceptible to the deception of the evil one who promises the false wisdom. We are told to meditate on God’s word, which will develop the mind, allowing the Holy Spirit to convict us of sin. It is very dangerous to block out the impressions that come from the Holy Spirit.
The New Age belief is very dangerous, but the majority of people allow their children to watch cartoons and various television shows that teach its principles in a far more effective way than any temple or book can do. If you research the authors and the creators of these things, you will find that they are New Age advocates following these religions. “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.” Proverbs 23:7.
This philosophy is pervading the whole earth, flooding it from many different channels, and we must be vigilant and fight against it. God is not the forces of nature—He created them! God is not the sun, moon and the stars. God is not internal energy—God is the creator of all these things! Each is to have its proper place but never an object of worship. It is in vain that man says, “I’m god too, so I’m going to take this stone and make my image, made in the image of a man. I will take this gold and make an image of a calf and worship it. I will make an image of Buddha and worship it.” Others keep those trinkets, claiming they don’t actually worship them but just have them to help them find God. That is like Aaron, supposedly in charge of the Israelites while Moses was on the mount receiving the tables of commandments, while trying to excuse himself for building the golden calf in the wilderness said that he just threw the chains and the bracelets inside the oven and the big calf jumped out!
When confronted with truth, don’t run in a different direction. There is only one way to find wisdom and one way of salvation and that is through Jesus Christ who was in the image of God. Laying aside His divinity He took on human nature that we might be partakers of His glory. We were originally made in the image of God and by Satan’s deception inherited the image and character of Satan, but we have all been invited to receive Christ’s robe of righteousness and once more reflect the image of God physically, mentally and spiritually.
We are to be restored and live godly by the power of God under the principle of purity.
John R. Cofer is currently engaged in establishing training schools under the name, The Schools of the Prophets for the youth. He and his wife, Maria, have established a digital media company to create and promote video media teaching the unique message of Adventism using social media such as Facebook and Youtube. He can be contacted by email at: email@example.com.