Extract from Countdown book written in 2010
Millions of people around the world consult astrologers and horoscopes for guidance on every aspect of their lives. Astrology teaches that the positions of the stars, moon and planets exert a mysterious influence on people, places, events and things. It has been defined as ‘The art of divining fate or the future from the juxtaposition of the sun, moon and planets.’ Astrology is based on the magical belief that the planetary positions at one’s birth time and birthplace determine that person’s character, future and spiritual path. Therefore the ‘star sign’ we were born under will affect our character and destiny. Most astrologers believe that the universe is connected by a mystical force into a supernatural oneness (monism), so what happens to our lives here on earth is affected by external factors, such as the planets. This belief is stated in the occult expression, ‘As above, so below’. Astrology is a form of divination, a method used not only to predict events, but also to gain information about past and present through esoteric techniques.
Astrology originated in ancient Babylon and many scholars believe the Tower of Babel was constructed for astrological purposes. ‘Ziggurats’ were constructed by the Babylonians to survey the heavens. Priests acted as mediators between kings and gods. The towers were constructed as platforms for astrologically calculating the movements of the sun, moon and planets in order to discern the will of the gods for the destiny of kings and nations.
The Bible has consistently condemned astrology, warning people not to consult with ‘astrologers, stargazers and monthly prognosticators’ (Isaiah 47.13-14) or to worship the ‘constellations and the host of heaven’ (2 Kings 23.5). Since astrology is a branch of the occult those who involve themselves in it are exposed to satanic influences which can lead to demonic oppression and deception. Those who allow it to govern any aspect of their lives by its predictions, run the risk of being led astray into wrong decisions bringing financial and moral ruin. Because of its fatalistic approach to life it can have disastrous psychological consequences, and paralyse people’s ability to make reasonable decisions about their lives. The fact that so many people take note of ‘star signs’ and astrological predictions is another sign of the spiritual deception which will come in the last days of this age.
Apart from the personal aspect of astrological predictions there is also a view that the earth passes through the ages of the twelve zodiacs approximately every 2,000 years, often called the astrological ages or World Ages. According to this interpretation of astrology we are now passing from the Age of Pisces to the Age of Aquarius. Pisces is associated with the sign of the fish and so with Christianity and so this view means we are now moving into a ‘New Age’ which will be post-Christian. Marcia Montenegro, a former astrologer who is now a Christian, describes this:
Since the birth of Christ came at the beginning of the Age of Pisces, and 2,000 years have now passed, the Age of Pisces is ending and the Age of Aquarius is upon us. With the focus on the collective meanings of planetary symbols, the Age of Pisces is interpreted as a passage for all humanity that has spanned the birth of Christ until now. Christ becomes the living symbol of the Piscean Age. Aquarius and Pisces are the two most collective signs since they pull the self away from its own journey and confront it with the demands of society, the community, and the larger spiritual self, or Self, as it is usually perceived. The sign before Pisces, the eleventh sign, is Aquarius, representing recognition of one’s role in collective humanity, the need for service to mankind, egalitarianism, and a desire for a utopian good of the whole over the good of the individual.
This leads into the New Age view of Jesus, which is radically different from the Jesus of the New Testament. For those who follow the new spirituality, Jesus becomes the man who realized Christ Consciousness, the innate divinity in all men. Paramahansa Yogananda, the Hindu guru who came to America and whose book, Autobiography of a Yogi, inspired many Westerners to follow Hindu-based teachings, defines Christ Consciousness as ‘the universal consciousness, oneness with God, manifested by Jesus, Krishna, and other avatars,’ and is the realization of ‘God immanent in all creation.’ In the Metaphysical Bible Dictionary (Unity Village, MO: Unity, 1995), it states:
Christ is the divine-idea of man. Each of us has within him the Christ, just as Jesus had. The cosmic man is the Christ. We are not persons, but factors in the cosmic mind. Reveal yourself to yourself by affirming “I am the Christ, son of the living God.”
The New Age Christ is the one who awakens Christ Consciousness within. As astrologer Alan Oken puts it:
Let us make it absolutely clear that when we use the world ‘Christ,’ we do not necessarily mean Jesus. The Christ is the final step in the evolution of Man. It is a level of consciousness in which the individual has completely unified his Self with the Godhead. In this respect Buddha was a Christ as was Krishna as was Jesus. (Oken ‘As Above so Below.’)
(Information from The Piscean Avatar: the Jesus of Astrology by Marcia Montenegro. www.christiananswersforthenewage.org )
In the New Age view Jesus may have been a great teacher, a Messiah for his time, but not the Messiah for all time. This idea comes out in the Course in Miracles written by Helen Shuchman. She says:
Jesus was an historical person, but the Christ is an eternal transpersonal condition.
What she means by this is that ‘Christ’ as a condition came upon Jesus at some time in his life (usually considered to be his baptism) and left him when his mission ended. That same ‘Christ condition’ had previously come upon other great religious teachers of other faiths and will come upon the New Age ‘messiah’ who is believed to be coming for our time. This ties in with the real meaning of the word ‘avatar’, a Sanskrit word meaning ‘descent’ which describes a deity coming down to earth in Hinduism.
In fact this whole way of thinking fits in with the coming Antichrist. Behind it is the idea that Jesus was a Messiah or Avatar for his time, but not the Messiah for all time; and that now we need a new Messiah for our time.
Occultist and New Age leader Benjamin Crème has also written about such a new Messiah who will come for our generation in his book The Reappearance of the Christ and the Masters of Wisdom:
But eventually a new world religion will be inaugurated which will be a fusion and synthesis of the approach of the East and the approach of the West. The Christ will bring together, not simply Christianity and Buddhism, but the concept of God transcendent — outside of His creation — and also the concept of God immanent in all creation — in man and all creation.
By separating the historical person of Jesus from his title Christ / Messiah the spirit of antichrist is revealed, as 1 John 4:2-3 teaches:
‘This is how you can recognise the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist.’
Jesus is the unique Saviour who came once to redeem us from sin through His death on the cross and resurrection from the dead. The same Jesus is coming again, not as a ‘Christ consciousness’ but in the same way in which He left the earth at His ascension, in the clouds of glory, and to the same place, the Mount of Olives outside Jerusalem. On the occasion of His ascension the angel told the disciples:
‘This same Jesus who was taken from you into heaven will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.’ (Acts 1.11)