"Who do you say I
am?" (Luke 9:20, NIV) The question was first asked of Peter by Christ
nineteen centuries ago, and has continued since then to the present
day to be the litmus test of spiritual authenticity. Perhaps never in
the history of the Christian church has this question been more
relevant than it is today. One reason for this is that New Agers have
taken the New Testament sculpture (if you will) of Christ, crafted an
esoteric/mystical chisel, and hammered away at this sculpture until a
completely new image has been formed.
The new sculpture is one that fits nicely on a display shelf with
sculptures of Buddha, Krishna, and other "holy men." This Christ is
broad-minded and nonjudgmental. He is a "Master" among "Masters," who -- with the others
-- is leading the human race into a New Age of
enlightenment and harmony.
Fundamental to any discussion of New Age Christology is the
recognition that New Agers distinguish between Jesus (a mere human
vessel) and the Christ (variously defined, but always divine, and
often a cosmic, impersonal entity). Part One of this series will
therefore focus on the Christ of the New Age, and will provide a
brief history of the various views as to his (or its) identity, his
purpose, how he aims to accomplish this purpose, and his relationship
to humanity. Part Two will focus on the Jesus of the New Age, and
will address such issues as the "lost years" of Jesus (as described
by Levi Dowling, Edgar Cayce, and others), his supposed training in
Eastern/occultic concepts, his "attunement" to the Christ, and his
"New Age teachings."
Regarding methodology, this article will anchor on two reference
points -- one primary and one secondary -- from which the history of
New Age Christology will be traced. The primary reference point will
be Theosophy; the secondary reference point will be the teachings of
Phineas Parkhurst Quimby. We might liken Theosophy and Quimby's
teachings to two trees which grew side by side, having been planted
close to the same time (the mid to late 1800s) in the same soil,
fertilized with common ingredients (19th-century
transcendentalism, the philosophy of Emmanuel Swedenborg, the influx
of Hindu monism, etc.). Certainly, in many respects these two have
distinct beliefs and different goals, but they both took root and
flourished in the same mystical climate. Taken together, these
represent an appropriate starting point for a study in New Age
THEOSOPHY AND ITS
Theosophy, founded in 1875 by Helena
Petrovna Blavatsky, teaches that each human being evolves through
seven planes of existence (the physical plane, the astral plane, the
mental plane, etc.). Each plane a person evolves through brings him
or her ever closer to union with the Absolute (God). Theosophists
reason that this process can take a very long time, hence requiring
According to "revelations" received by Blavatsky, it is not only
individuals who evolve; the human race as a whole also evolves. So
far there have allegedly been three races: the Lemurian, the Atlantean, and the Aryan. Each of these three (which Theosophists
call "rootraces") are divided into "subraces." Mankind is now in the
third rootrace -- the Aryan rootrace -- and is about to enter the sixth
subrace of the Aryan rootrace.
Theosophy teaches that at the beginning of each subrace, the Supreme
World Teacher (also known as "the Christ," the bestower of divine
wisdom) enters the body of a disciple in order to assist and guide
the spiritual evolution of man. Each "incarnation" reveals more to
man about God than the previous one. The five incarnations of Christ
in the five subraces of the Aryan rootrace were Buddha (in India),
Hermes (in Egypt), Zoroaster (in Persia), Orpheus (in Greece), and
Jesus (at the River Jordan, where the Christ came upon Jesus at His baptism).
Jesus is said to have volunteered his body for use by the Christ.
Annie Besant, who took over Theosophical leadership when Blavatsky
died, said: "For Him [the Christ] was needed an earthly tabernacle, a
human form, the body of a man. The man Jesus yielded himself a willing
sacrifice, 'offered himself without spot' to the Lord of Love, who
took unto Himself that pure form as tabernacle, and dwelt therein for
three years of mortal life." 
Theosophists reject any suggestion that Jesus died on the cross to
pay for man's sins. Man saves himself through continual
reincarnations. This spiritual evolution leads men further and
further away from the physical plane and closer and closer to
spiritual planes of existence. Because of this process, every human
being -- regardless of race or religion -- is a potential "Christ."
Human beings who continue to evolve through reincarnation eventually
become "Masters." This is a group of formerly historical persons who
have finished their earthly evolutions and voluntarily help
lesser-evolved human beings to reach their level.
Because Theosophists believe the fifth subrace of the Aryan rootrace
(the subrace of intellectual man) is about to give way to the sixth
subrace (the subrace of spiritual man), they believe another
incarnation of the Christ will soon take place. Note that since this
will be the sixth appearance of the Christ in the Aryan rootrace, it
is not spoken of as the "second coming."
Annie Besant first announced the coming of this Messiah in 1906. Her
aim was to groom Jiddu Krishnamurti for the role of World Teacher or
Messiah. In 1925 she claimed for this young Indian man the title of
"Messianic Leader and Reincarnation of the World Teacher." But by
1929, Krishnamurti became convinced it was all a mistake. On November
20 of that year, he "refused to receive further adoration [saying
frankly], 'I am not an actor; I refuse to wear the robes of a
Messiah; so I am again free of all possessions.'"  Theosophy's
Christ remains to appear.
Under the leadership of Annie Besant, dissension took its toll on
Theosophy. The result of growing discontent within the Society was a
four-pronged theological fork in the road. Theosophy continued along
its traditional path (the first prong). But Rudolf Steiner broke away
to form the Anthroposophical Society in 1912 (the second prong);
Alice Bailey broke away to establish the Arcane School in 1923 (the
third prong); and Guy and Edna Ballard broke away to lead the "I AM"
movement in the 1930s (the fourth prong). Each "prong" has made an
impact on New Age Christology.
The Christ of
Dr. Rudolf Steiner was an active member of
the Theosophical Society and headed the German charter of the group.
However, when a Theosophical subgroup, the "Order of the Star of the
East," began promoting Krishnamurti as the new incarnation of the
Christ, Steiner threatened to expel any member of the German charter
who joined the Order. Annie Besant retaliated by canceling Steiner's
charter. Steiner then founded the Anthroposophical Society in 1912,
and most of the German membership of Theosophy joined with him.
Steiner's emphasis represents a significant departure from his
Theosophical roots. Instead of arguing for a Christ who periodically
incarnates into individuals as each new "subrace" begins, Steiner's
emphasis is on what the Christ accomplished through his decisive
"incarnation" in the human Jesus.
Steiner's Christology is based on his investigation into the "Akashic
Records." Occultists believe that the physical earth is surrounded by
an immense spiritual field known as "Akasha" in which is impressed -- like a celestial tape recording -- every impulse of human thought,
will, and emotion. It therefore constitutes a complete record of
human history. Steiner claimed to be able to "read" the Akashic
Records, thus enabling him to investigate human history without use
of written records. Based on this, he discovered that the descent of
the Christ on the human Jesus was the absolutely central event of
In Steiner's theology, the Christ's descent on Jesus became necessary
because man's consciousness had progressively become too focused on
the material realm and had completely lost touch with the spiritual
nature behind physical reality. The danger was that this situation
could become permanent.
To prevent this, the Christ's initial goal was to "incarnate" into a
human being (Jesus) so he could accomplish his greater goal of
"incarnating" from Jesus into the "etheric earth." Occultists believe
an etheric earth exists behind the physical earth. The etheric earth
is thought to be made up of a fine energy substance from which is
created the mold for every form that is manifested in the physical
plane. Every material object on the physical plane has an etheric
counterpart. All material forms in the physical universe find their
ultimate source in this energy substance of the etheric realm. The
Christ desired to enter this etheric earth so he could bring about
spiritual changes among people living on the physical earth. But in
order to transfer from his spiritual realm to the etheric realm, he
needed a human instrument through which to work. This instrument was
found in Jesus.
The Christ "incarnated" into Jesus, and three years later was
crucified. At the crucifixion, the Christ left Jesus' body and
"incarnated" into the etheric earth:
The blood flowed from the wounds of Jesus Christ. This blood must not
be regarded simply as chemical substanceit must be recognized as
something altogether unique. When it flowed from His wounds and into
the earth, a substance was imparted to our earth which, in uniting
with it, constituted an event of the greatest possible significance this blood passed through a process of
'etherization' ... since the Mystery of Golgotha, the etherized blood
of Christ Jesus has lived in the ether of the earth. The etheric body
of the earth is permeated by what the blood that flowed on Golgotha became. 
Because of this, "ever since the Mystery of Golgotha man lives in a
spiritual environment, an environment that has been Christianized
because it has absorbed the Christ impulse." 
Having mystically entered the etheric earth via his "etherized"
blood, the Christ now seeks to "mass incarnate" into all humanity.
This will lead to man's redemption. Steiner says that the "Christ
impulse will penetrate humanity. He belongs to the whole earth and can
enter all human souls, regardless of nation and religion."  This,
says Steiner, is the true "second coming."
The Christ of the Arcane
Alice Bailey had been an active member in
the Esoteric Section of the Theosophical Society (an inner group of
trusted members who faithfully practiced Theosophy). But she
eventually became critical of the organization's policy that one
could not become a disciple of a Master (which Bailey believed she
already was) unless one was notified by Annie Besant (who seemed to
have overlooked Bailey in this). This led to her dismissal from the
Society, and shortly thereafter in 1923, she and her husband Foster
founded the Arcane School.
Like Theosophy and Anthroposophy, Bailey believed that Jesus was a
medium who allowed the Christ to use his body. But Bailey
distinguished her beliefs from Anthroposophy by arguing that the
"second coming" referred to the Christ coming in a single Avatar, not
in all humanity.  According to Arcane thought, the Christ -- along
with his disciples, the Masters -- will draw closer and closer to
humanity and eventually appear on the physical plane. Bailey said
this return necessitated three conditions that either have already
come or are currently coming to pass: (1) catastrophic planetary
conditions; (2) a spiritual awakening; and (3) a steadily mounting
invocative prayer. This last condition involves use of The Great
Invocation, a prayer which is intended to speed the reappearance of
Preparation for the Second Coming is hence the responsibility of
"attuned" human beings. Those who know about this Coming are to help
create conditions of "spiritual alignment" which will ultimately draw
the Christ forth into our midst. Without this, the Christ is impotent
Bailey believed the Christ will come again in a way which will create
no divisions or separations between men, either religious, social, or
ideological. When he comes, it will be to establish through precept
and example (in world service) the principles on which an
interdependent world may create a new civilization.
While Bailey taught that the Second Coming will be in a single
Avatar, she also affirmed that he will be mystically manifested in
humanity: "There is a growing and developing belief that Christ is in
us, as He was in the Master Jesus, and this belief will alter world
affairs and mankind's entire attitude to life." 
The Christ of the "I AM"
Guy and Edna Ballard were Theosophists up
until Guy was contacted by Saint Germain, an "Ascended Master" who
allegedly appeared to him in a physical body. Saint Germain informed
him that he lived on Mount Teton with ninety-eight other Ascended
Saint Germain appointed Guy, Edna, and their son Donald as the only
"accredited" spokespeople for the Ascended Masters. Saint Germain
also taught Guy about the "Great Creative Word" (I AM). The "I AM
Presence" is said to be in each person and represents a point of
contact with divine reality. One can attune to the I AM Presence by
chanting I AM decrees. Such chanting reportedly brings about dramatic
results in the life of the one chanting.
The Ballards' Christology is distinct in that Saint Germain is
considered more important (in the dawning Aquarian Age) than Jesus,
and is the primary object of worship among "I AM" devotees. Jesus -- himself an "Ascended Master"
-- allegedly said that Saint Germain is
"the Greatest Blessing that has ever come to mankind."  The reason
for this devotion to Saint Germain is that he has brought the Violet
Consuming Flame: "The conscious use of the Violet Consuming Flame is
the only means by which any human being can free himself or herself
from his or her own human discord and imperfection."  The I AM
presence is invoked by chanting decrees, and this in turn activates
the Violet Flame. The Violent Flame then burns away undesirable
conditions in one's life. Of course, this nullifies any need for
Jesus' work on the cross.
THE NEXT GENERATION
Having discussed the foundation for New Age
Christology in Theosophy, Anthroposophy, the Arcane School, and the
"I AM" movement, this article will now examine three representative
contemporary New Age leaders to illustrate how this Christology has
Benjamin Creme and his Arcane
From 1977 to the present Benjamin Creme has
traveled around the world proclaiming that the coming of Maitreya
(the Christ) is imminent. Maitreya, says Creme, is the leader of the
Planetary Hierarchy and has been living incognito among human beings
since 1977 when his consciousness entered a specially created body of
manifestation, the "Mayavirupa."
Creme originally claimed that by the end of spring 1982, Maitreya
would reveal himself via worldwide television on the "Day of
Declaration," after which time would begin a new era of planetary
happiness. This Christ would come not as a religious, political, or
social leader, but as an "educationalist" who would solve all the
world's problems in these areas and usher in the New Age of love,
peace, and shared wealth.
Obviously 1982 has come and gone and the Christ remains to appear.
The most common explanation for the Christ's no-show is that the
media prevented it. Since the media represents humanity, the media's
apathy is indicative of the broader apathy of humanity. And since the
Christ's manifestation cannot occur against man's wishes, his
"declaration" has been delayed.
Some of Creme's ideas are noticeably similar to Theosophy. For
example, he divides the world and humanity into astral, ethereal, and
physical planes. He also subscribes to the idea that the Christ
inhabited the body of Jesus for three years.
But despite some Theosophical overtones, his ideas are primarily a
reflection of Alice Bailey's writings, particularly her book The
Reappearance of the Christ. In this book are found almost everything
Creme was later to propagate: the Age of Aquarius, world service, The
Great Invocation, "overshadowing" (the occult means used by a Master
to inhabit a human disciple's body), and "transmission groups"
(enlightened groups who "transmit" spiritual energy to the minds of
other people in order to raise the Christ-consciousness of the planet). 
Despite such similarities, there are at least three notable
differences between Creme and Bailey. First, Creme is a date-setter
regarding Maitreya's coming (i.e., spring 1982). Bailey was convinced
the Christ would appear -- and she had some idea about the general
timing (sometime after 2025) -- but she refused to set exact dates.
She wrote: "It is not for us to set the date for the appearance of
the Christ or to expect any spectacular aid or curious phenomena. If
our work is rightly done, He will come at the set and appointed time." 
Second, Bailey used the term "Christ" to refer to a person whereas
Creme uses it in reference to an office or function. The present
holder of this office, says Creme, is the Lord Maitreya, who has held
it now for 2,600 years. It was Maitreya who -- while holding this
office -- manifested himself through his disciple, Jesus, by the
occult method of overshadowing.
Third, Christ and Buddha are the central figures in Bailey's
theology, while Maitreya is supreme in Creme's thinking. Bailey
mentions Maitreya on occasion, but never as the leader of the
Hierarchy, as does Creme.
Creme's following has understandably declined since 1982.
David Spangler and his
Like Rudolf Steiner, David Spangler
understands Christ to be a cosmic spirit who utilized Jesus' body to
make the transfer from His own realm (the spiritual realm) to Jesus'
realm (the realm of matter).
Spangler sees the Christ as a cosmic principle: "Any old Christ will
not do, not if we need to show that we have something better than the
mainstream Christian traditions. It must be a cosmic Christ, a
universal Christ, a New Age Christ."  The Christ is not so much a
religious figure, "but rather a cosmic principle, a spiritual
presence whose quality infuses and appears in various ways in all the
religions and philosophies that uplift humanity and seek unity with
Spangler believes a central purpose of the Christ is to act as a
"universal educator." He uses "educate" in the sense of the Latin
root educare, which means "to lead out." Most often he speaks of the
Christ "leading out" man's "inner divinity."  The "universal
Presence that calls out of form and spirit the higher potentials of
Divine life waiting to be released into expression, is the Christ." 
Like Steiner, Spangler believes the Christ entered the etheric earth
at the crucifixion. By so doing, the Christ was able to reverse man's
"downward trend" toward a physical-oriented consciousness. The Christ
is thus an "occult savior." 
Spangler utilizes Christian terms to describe what the Christ
accomplished through Jesus. For example, Spangler says that the
Christ was occultly crucified (which resulted in placing his cosmic
presence within the cross of matter, space, and time). The Christ was
laid in a tomb (the tomb representing a level of life characterized
by "great density" [i.e., the physical world], as opposed to the "low
density" spiritual realm he was accustomed to). There he would stay
until the resurrection (the outflowing of Christ-energies from the
etheric earth) and ascension (the ascension of Christ-consciousness
in humanity). Through this sacrifice, the cosmic Christ became a
savior in that he no longer stood outside the evolution of the earth,
but entered into that evolution by becoming incarnate into the earth.  There he would function as a guide of man's spiritual
Like Steiner, Spangler believes the Christ is now incarnating into
humanity from the etheric realm. This is not unlike what occurred in
Jesus 2,000 years ago, for Jesus "was the prototype or the expression
of the reality of the Christ consciousness which is inherent in us all."
 Spangler concludes that human beings can actually become
"the Word made flesh." In fact, he says that the Word will eventually
be made all flesh. 
Elizabeth Clare Prophet and
her "I AM" Roots
While the Ballards' "I AM" movement has
considerably declined since its heyday in the 1930s, another "I AM"
movement has achieved high visibility and much popularity in New Age
circles. This is the Church Universal and Triumphant, founded in 1958
by Mark Prophet and now headed by his widow, Elizabeth Clare
Foundationally, certain aspects of the Prophets' theology can be
traced directly to Theosophy. These beliefs include (1) Masters who
guide man's spiritual evolution; (2) revelations to man from these
Masters; (3) the Christ's use of Jesus' body; (4) human evolution
through progressive stages; and (5) the belief that Blavatsky's
revelations marked the beginning of the Aquarian Age.
Beyond these similarities, the Prophets derived most of their
theology from the Ballards. This is seen not only in their emphasis
on the I AM Presence, but also on the prominent role of Saint Germain.
Elizabeth Clare Prophet says the I AM Presence has become hopelessly
distorted within man due to negative energies from within and
without. These negative energies impede spiritual progress, but are
effectively combated by the "Violet Consuming Flame" which is poured
out on the world by Saint Germain. This Flame changes negative energy
into positive energy. It is therefore an antidote to sin.
This makes Jesus' work on the cross unnecessary. In fact, Mark and
Elizabeth Prophet dismiss the idea of Jesus' atonement on the cross
as an "erroneous doctrine which he himself never taught."  Like the Ballards, the Prophets believe that Jesus attained Christhood as did
other Ascended Masters. The "Christ" of "I AM" theology represents
the divinity within all men: "God dwells in every man and not alone
in His son Jesus the Christ. The only begotten Son of the Father,
full of grace and truth, is the Christ whose Image the Lord has
reproduced over and over again as the Christ-identity of every son
and daughter who has come forth from the infinite Spirit of the
Father-Mother God."  The Prophets conclude that "to become the
Christ, then, is the goal of every child of God." 
Unquestionably, Theosophy and the groups
that emerged from it are the source of many of the essential tenets
of New Age Christology. But Phineas Parkhurst Quimby (who died in
1866) and the "metaphysical" groups his philosophy spawned also
played a significant role.
Quimby espoused the metaphysical idea that the source of physical
healing lies in the mind. He was convinced that physical diseases
were caused by wrong thinking or false beliefs. These false beliefs
are remedied by "the Christ."
Like other metaphysical writers, Quimby distinguished Jesus from the
Christ. Quimby credited Jesus with discovering the "Truth" of how to
correct the error of sickness. "Not that He as a man was any better,"
said Quimby, "but He was the embodiment of a higher Wisdom, more so
than any man who has ever lived."  This "Truth" or "higher Wisdom"
discovered by Jesus was an impersonal mind-principle Quimby called
"the Christ." Quimby's metaphysical concept of the Christ spawned
several important movements.
New Thought developed slowly during the
nineteenth century after Quimby's death in 1866. Quimby did not
create an organization himself. But individuals he helped adopted his
ideas and passed them on to others, adding to or modifying them along
the way. Mary Baker Eddy's Christian Science is a major example of
this, though this tradition is too exclusive to meld with today's New
Age movement. However, several smaller, more inclusive metaphysical
groups also emerged, and in the 1890s the term "New Thought" surfaced
as a way of describing them.
The Christ of New Thought was an outgrowth of Quimby's metaphysics.
The Christ was considered not a person but an impersonal Divine
Nature or Principle. Jesus was believed to have embodied or
appropriated the Christ-principle as no human had before. He had
fully realized his Christ-nature. But Jesus was not a savior to
mankind; he was merely a "way-shower." Salvation is based not on
Jesus but on the recognition of the Divine Nature or Christ-principle
Unity School of
The Unity School of Christianity, an
offshoot of New Thought, was founded by Charles and Myrtle Fillmore
in 1891. They are distinguished from mainstream New Thought by their
belief in reincarnation.
In Unity, salvation is attained by "at-one-ment" with God -- a
reuniting of human consciousness with God-consciousness. Jesus
attained this; all men can: "The difference between Jesus and us is
not one of inherent spiritual capacity, but in difference of
demonstration of it. Jesus was potentially perfect, and He expressed
that perfection; we are potentially perfect, [but] we have not yet
expressed it." 
United Church of Religious
The United Church of Religious Science,
another offshoot of New Thought, was founded by "Dr." Ernest Holmes
who wrote The Science of Mind in 1926. This book later became the
textbook for Religious Science. Holmes was extremely eclectic,
attempting to syncretize the metaphysical ideas he sifted from New
Thought with psychology, philosophy, and the various world
His ideas about Jesus, the Christ, and mankind are similar to other
New Thought groups: "Every man is a potential Christ. From the least
to the greatest the same life runs through all, threading itself into
the patterns of our individuality. He is 'over all, in all and
through all.'"  Jesus was merely a way-shower who embodied the
The groups and individuals described above
have all contributed to the emergence of a mystical and esoteric
theological climate. This has paved the way for numerous other
individuals and groups to hop on the New Age bandwagon and offer
their own reinterpretations of the person and work of Christ. Two of
the more notable developments are the following:
A Course in
Miracles. According to this New Age
textbook, the "Son of God" was created by God in a state of
"wakefulness." Later, however, the Son fell asleep and had a dream of
being separate from God. In the dream, the Son denied that he was
created by God, asserting instead that he created himself. This
usurping of God's role as Creator marked the beginning of ego, and
led the Son to conceive of himself as being separate from God.
God then created and commissioned the Holy Spirit to awaken the Son.
But the Son wrongly interpreted the coming of the Holy Spirit as
judgment from God because the Son thought he was guilty of usurping
God's role as Creator.
The Son's ego then fragmented into myriads of egos with physical
bodies (i.e., human beings), each believing themselves separate from
each other and from God. Humanity's basic problem then is its belief
in being separate from God. The solution to the problem is a
rediscovery of one's Christhood.  The Course sets out to help
people attain this.
Matthew Fox and the Institute in
Culture and Creation Spirituality.
The mystical orientation of Matthew Fox, a Dominican priest, leads
him to suggest that we abandon any further quest for the "historical
Jesus" and refocus our attention on a quest for the cosmic Christ. He
provides several definitions of the cosmic Christ, the most important
being "the pattern that connects."  The Cosmic Christ connects
"heaven and earth, past and future, divinity and humanity, all of
creation."  This definition of Christ makes it possible for Fox to
call for a "deep ecumenism," by which he means a genuine coming
together of all persons of all religions at a mystical level. 
Thus, through Fox a New Age view of Christ has made significant
inroads into orthodox (mostly Catholic, but also some Protestant)
AN ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN
In responding to New Age claims about
Christ, it is best to focus on several key issues rather than
attempting to debate every nuance of New Age thought. The following
represents a starting point for an orthodox rebuttal of New Age
An esoteric system of interpreting
the Bible is unreliable. The primary
problem with this kind of system (which seeks hidden, inner meanings
in Bible verses) is that it bypasses rationality in favor of
mysticism. In such a system, there is no way to prove that a given
interpretation is right or wrong since "proof" presupposes
rationality and objectivity. James Sire comments that "there is no
way to tell if the system that derives from esotericism is really so
or merely a figment of the esotericist's imagination -- or worse -- a
direct plant by the Father of Lies."  Incidentally, Jesus -- whom
New Agers claim to revere as a Master -- clearly believed in a literal
interpretation of Scripture (cf. Matthew 5:18).
Jesus was not a mere enlightened
Master. The New Agers' rendition of
Jesus as an "enlightened Master" in a class with Buddha, Zoroaster,
and others is a radical distortion of the Jesus found in Scripture
(which is to say, the Jesus of historical record rather than the
Jesus of the mystical Akashic Records). The Jesus found in Scripture
clearly believed and taught that He alone among men is God (John
8:58; 10:30; 14:9-10). Douglas Groothuis comments: "If Jesus thought
he was uniquely God incarnate but he wasn't, he was far less than 'an
enlightened master' -- he didn't even know who he was! If he knew he
was not uniquely God incarnate, but said he was, he was a flaming
fraud, and in no sense was he an 'enlightened master.' Worse yet, he
would have been a deceiver, leading a multitude astray." 
Jesus alone is the
Christ. New Agers typically say "the
Christ" came upon Jesus at His baptism and departed three years later
at the cross. But even as a babe in Bethlehem -- decades before His
baptism -- Jesus is called Immanuel, "God with us" (Matthew 1:23). When
the angel announced the birth of Jesus to the shepherds he identified
Jesus this way: "Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to
you; he is Christ the Lord" (Luke 2:11). Simeon, who was filled with
the Holy Spirit, recognized the babe Jesus as Christ, in fulfillment
of God's promise to him that "he would not die before he had seen the
Lord's Christ" (Luke 2:26).
John's first epistle warns us: "Who is the liar? It is the man who
denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a man is the antichrist -- he
denies the Father and the Son" (1 John 2:22). This doesn't mean that
David Spangler, for example, is the Antichrist, but certainly
Spangler (like other New Age teachers) is an antichrist.
The Incarnation is personal and
permanent. Contrary to the typical
New Age scenario (a three-year incarnation of an impersonal Christ in
a human Jesus), Scripture asserts that Jesus Christ -- personal and
eternal God -- became incarnate via the virgin birth, and this
incarnation lasts forever.
Of course, the real miracle here is not the virgin birth, but the
virgin conception. Mary is told: 'The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that
reason the holy offspring shall be called the Son of God' (Luke
1:35). This is when the Incarnation occurred.
Moreover, the Incarnation was not a
temporary arrangement. After Christ
resurrected He made numerous appearances, proving beyond any doubt
the continuance of his human-divine union. Jesus ascended bodily into
heaven after the resurrection (Luke 24; John 20:22-28; Acts 1:1-11,
7:56). When Christ returns in glory, He will sit on the throne as the
Son of Man: "You will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of
the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven" (Matthew 26:64).
Jesus is uniquely and exclusively man's only means of coming into a
relationship with God. Jesus asserted: "I am the way, the truth, and
the life; no one comes to the Father, but through me" (John 14:6). A
bold Peter proclaimed that "there is salvation in no one else; for
there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by
which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12). And recall that previous to the
birth of Jesus, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph saying, "you
shall call His name Jesus, for it is He [emphatic] who will save His
people from their sins" (Matthew 1:21). Paul likewise affirms that
"there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man
(1 Timothy 2:5).
Jesus Christ will come again in glory. In contrast with the New Age
idea that the coming of Christ is contingent on man's ability to
prepare the earth spiritually for this coming, Scripture says that
Christ is coming as King of kings and Lord of lords, and man has
power neither to invoke His coming nor to prevent it (Revelation 19:16).
The phrase "King of kings and Lord of lords" emphasizes His supreme
sovereignty and authority over mortal, weak man.
In conclusion, the true Christ is the Christ of the gospels. The many
miraculous signs He performed attested to His supreme identity, not
some divine potential we all possess: "These [miraculous signs] are
written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of
God, and that by believing you may have life in his name" (John
 H. P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine
(Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1966), 168-89.
 Annie Besant, Esoteric Christianity (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical
Publishing House, 1953), 90-91.
 Cited by Jan Karel Van Baalen, Chaos of the Cults (Grand Rapids:
William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1956), 52.
 Rudolf Steiner, The Reappearance of the Christ in the Etheric
(Spring Valley, NY: Anthroposophic Press, 1983), 127-128.
 Rudolf Steiner, Jesus and Christ (Spring Valley, New York: Anthroposophic
Press, 1976), 16-17.
 Rudolf Steiner, The Four Sacrifices of Christ (Spring Valley, NY:
Anthroposophic Press, 1944), 19-20.
 Alice A. Bailey, The Externalisation of the Hierarchy (New York:
Lucis Publishing Co., 1957), 222.
 Ibid., 592.
 Mrs. G.W. and Donald Ballard, Purpose of the Ascended Masters "I
AM" Activity (Chicago: Saint Germain Press, 1942), 110.
 Ibid., 35.
 Benjamin Creme, The Reappearance of the Christ and the Masters of
Wisdom (North Hollywood, CA: Tara Center, 1980), 47.
 Alice Bailey, The Reappearance of the Christ (New York: Lucis
Publishing Co., 1979), 188.
 David Spangler, Reflections on the Christ (Forres, Scotland:
Findhorn Publications, 1981), 107.
 David Spangler, Conversations with John (Middleton, WI: Lorian
Press, 1983), 5.
 David Spangler, Revelation: The Birth of a New Age (Middleton, WI:
Lorian Press, 1976), 117.
 Ibid., 141.
 Ibid., 121.
 Spangler, Reflections on the Christ, 14-15.
 Ibid., 86.
 Mark and Elizabeth Prophet, Climb the Highest Mountain (Los
Angeles: Summit University Press, 1974), 279-280.
 Ibid., 228.
 Ibid., 160.
 Phineas P. Quimby, The Quimby Manuscripts, ed. Horatio W. Dresser
(New Hyde Park, NY: University Books, 1961), 283.
 Elizabeth Sand Turner, What Unity Teaches, Lee's Summit, MO: Unity
School of Christianity, n.d., 3.
 Ernest Holmes, What Religious Science Teaches (Los Angeles:
Science of Mind Publications, 1975), 20.
 Dean C. Halverson, "A Course in Miracles: Seeing Yourself as
Sinless," SCP Journal 7, 1 (1987):18-27.
 Matthew Fox, The Coming of the Cosmic Christ (San Francisco:
Harper and Row, 1988), 133-135.
 Ibid., 134.
 Ibid., 228.
 James W. Sire, Scripture Twisting (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity
Press, 1980), 113.
 Douglas Groothuis, Confronting the New Age (Downers Grove, IL:
InterVarsity Press, 1988), 121.
Glossary of Key Terms
One who "descends" into human form from above, never having gone
through reincarnation. Such a one is considered a manifestation of
divinity and seeks to reveal divine truths especially important to a
The doctrinal study of the person and work of Jesus Christ.
A word used to describe knowledge that is possessed or understood
only by a few.
Christianity. A mystical
interpretation of Christianity which sees its "core truth" as
identical to that of every other religion (i.e., man is divine). This
approach seeks hidden or inner meanings in Scripture.
Refers to the "debt" a soul accumulates as a result of good or bad
actions committed during one's life (or past lives). If one
accumulates good Karma, he or she will be reincarnated in a desirable
state. If one accumulates bad Karma, he or she will be reincarnated
in a less desirable state.
Incarnation. An incarnation of the
Christ in all humanity. Some say this incarnation is now taking place
on a planetary scale, and is not unlike the incarnation of the cosmic
Christ in the body of Jesus, 2000 years ago.
Traditionally, the word refers to an occultist through whom
disembodied spirits communicate. New Agers use the word of Jesus
acting as a bodily vehicle for the Christ.
Metaphysics. A branch of philosophy which focuses on the ultimate
nature of reality. In New Age circles, the term has become synonymous
with the "mind science" school of thought developed by P.P. Quimby
and with New Age philosophy in general.
A metaphysical theory which sees all reality as a unified whole.
Everything is seen as being composed of the same substance.