Lutheran pastor, the Reverend Thomas Messer of Peace Lutheran Church in Alma, Michigan, has studied Revelation extensively and after an exhaustive survey of America's idolatrous, morally-relative post-Christian culture and narcissistic postmodern church he wonders if we may already be living in the 'little season' of Satan. In his commentary on Revelation 9, Rev. Messer observes that during Satan's little season faithful worship of the living Triune God will be all but lost, as is occurring now, and people will worship anything and everything but Him, even an idol called Jesus or Christ in connection with the 'new' occult pagan spirituality moving with great speed and force into the Church.
The 'new' spirituality overtaking the Church, America and the West is not new at all but is rather the reappearance of ancient Egyptian Hermetic magic grounded in pantheism and spiritism, Greco-Roman nature religions, Eastern mysticism/reincarnation/karma, spiritual and biological evolutionary conceptions, neo-platonism, the Enochian system of magic, Roisicrucianism, tantra, and tarot cards which are seen as the occult keys to the Oroboros (Cosmic Tree of Life).
From the seeker-sensitive (tares-friendly) theology of the emergent church growth movement with its emphasis on earthly bread and spiritual formation to Word Faith magic and the New Apostolic Reformation with its’ Super Apostles who “channel” spirits, all of these movements have a lot in common with the “new” occult spirituality, particularly Hermetic magic.
From the Renaissance to our own time, ancient Egyptian Hermetic magic repackaged for example, as Carl Jung’s demon-derived transpersonal and depth psychology, Mind Science, Alpha Course, Silva Mind Control Method, New Thought, yogic trance, hypnosis, Word Faith, the Force, centering, positive imaging, visualization, various meditation techniques, the Law of Attraction, and the multi-million dollar best-sellers A Course in Miracles and The Secret have been taking America and the West by storm:
“People go through their whole lives chasing everything in the material world, and they fail to discover the greatest treasure of all, which is within them. Shut your eyes to the outside world. Direct your thoughts and words inside of you. The Master within you is the key to all the treasures in the world.” (Rhonda Byrne, The Secret Daily Teachings)
Hermeticism is the secret science of magic--- the occult way of immortality---invented by Hermes Trismegistus who lived in ancient Egypt around the time of Moses. In “Biographa Antiqua” the English occultist Frances Barret writes that Hermes “communicated the sum of the Abyss, and divine knowledge to all posterity.” The word ‘Abyss’ refers to pantheist and/or panentheist conceptions such as the Divine One Substance, World Soul, Brahman, Star-Maker, or with Hermes, the Universal Life personified by the Great Dragon (Oroboros) from whose body and wings stream light in all directions.
The Hermetic principle speaks of the correlation between the Great Dragon (Oroboros) and the mind of man expressed in the magic formula, “As above, so below.” As a powerful occult symbol, the Oroboros is the seething power, creative and/or evolutionary impulse or energy of the Great Dragon figuratively depicted as either a serpent or dragon eating its own tail.
The Great Dragon is also symbolized by the great chain of being, cosmic tree of life or with Darwin the tree of life. In modern Luciferian theosophical thought for example, the Oroboros “above” (i.e., the Force, Cosmic Mind) corresponds to a number of different astral planes and sub-planes comprising the habitations of all supernatural entites. Thus the Great Dragon’s body with its’ supposed multiple dimensions and life-giving serpent power not only powers the World Spirit above (Jung’s collective unconscious with its archetypes) but reaches down below into the psyche and/or ‘subconscious,’ ‘personal unconscious,’ and/or Christ-consciousness stirring imagination and conferring psychic powers and divinity (you can be as God).
The foundation of Hermeticism is forbidden knowledge revealed to Hermes during a self-induced trance state resulting in the opening of his mind to contact with the Great Dragon who revealed to Hermes that his own nature is divine. The Divine Pymander of Hermes Trismegistus relates Hermes mystical encounter with the Great Dragon who called itself Poimandres, the Mind of the Universe that is within Hermes. (www.themystica.com/)
Upon transforming itself into a glorious being of Light the Dragon proceeded to ‘illuminate’ Hermes with the forbidden knowledge that would eventually find its’ way into Christendom during the Renaissance and eventually into William James theory of the subconscious, Jung’s transpersonal and depth psychology and all of today’s Mind Sciences, occult meditation and Word Faith systems that hold out the promise of personal power by going within:
“….all is mind and…everything is governed by law (thus man) can create, or have created for him from his own thinking. He can create such a strong mental atmosphere of success that its power of attraction will be irresistible. He can send his thoughts throughout the world and have it bring back to him whatever he wants.” (Creative Mind and Success, Ernest Holmes, New Thought practitioner)
“Your unconscious mind (has a) power that turns wishes into realities when the wishes are strong enough.” (Norman Vincent Peale, “Positive Imaging,” 1982, p. 77)
Word Faith teacher Kenneth Copeland tells people to visualize any image,
“…that you get down inside you that is so vivid when you close your eyes you see it, it’ll come to pass. When God came at the Tower of Babel, He said, ‘Anything they can imagine, they can do.” (Inner Image of the Covenant, side 2, Copeland)
Like Copeland, Yonggi Cho similarly teaches that through visualizing and dreaming you will,
“….incubate that which we want God to do for us….If you have not visualized clearly in your heart exactly what you hope foe, it cannot become a reality to you…” (The Fourth Dimension, Vol. 1, Yonggi Cho, 1979, 9-35, vol. 2, 18-33)
In “The Dust of Death,” British scholar Os Guinness argues that the two most common paths to contact with and even possession by spirits are mind-altering drugs and meditation techniques that place the mind in an altered state of consciousness (i.e., dreaming and visualization) that open the door to powers and principalities:
“For those of our generation who stumble on the spirit world accidentally, the two most common paths are LSD and misapplied meditation techniques…Many who take acid regularly or who practice yoga or Zen meditation have found they have opened their minds to blackness and spiritism, seeing themselves as mediums and describing themselves as possessed.” (Guinness, pp. 298, 300)
Lifelong occult practitioner David Conway explains both the occult magic ritual (i.e., Zen Buddhism) and the eventual consequences…. madness, possession and even human sacrifice. First the worshipper attunes himself (through dreaming and visualization, yogic trance, etc.) to the sacred mystery being performed (i.e., sending thoughts throughout the world and having them bring back whatever the practitioner wants), and then,
“…usually as the climax the presence of a particular deity is invoked (Now) the adept’s slightest gesture can thus extend through all the worlds of being into the depths of the Godhead (i.e., Oroboros), and any words he whispers will echo throughout the length and breadth of the universe…The climax to all magical ritual occurs when the adept draws into himself the astral force he has evoked so as to project it towards a chosen object. To do this he must surrender his complete being to the astral force…waiting to possess it and this he does by cultivating….madness, akin to the divine frenzy of the Bacchantes….As he feels the force overflowing inside him the adept, while still visualizing the realized magical intention, bids it go forth to fulfill his wishes….For some magicians the dislocation of reason coincides with the moment of sacrifice. Others perform this sacrifice before proceeding to the climax of the rite, arguing that the vital energy discharged by the victim’s blood assists the possessing entity to appear inside the circle….”(Magic: An Occult Primer, Conway, 1973, pp. 70,78,120, 198; emphasis added)
“Now the Spirit manifestly saith, that in the last times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to spirits of error, and doctrines of devils.” (1 Tim. 4:1)
As apostasy overspreads the whole body of the Church and occult spiritism invades it, it is no wonder that Rev. Messer believes that what we are witnessing is the great falling away that takes place during Satan's little season when most people will worship the devil,
"There will be a great falling away from the faith in the Church, as foretold by our Lord and His apostles...so that the Church itself will accept evil and present it as good. Not only will people refuse to repent, but, influenced by Satan and his minions, they will promote sin as being salvific. Murder will not only be condoned, but promoted in society as a good thing (abortion?)."
Tragically, both unrepentant secular individuals and increasing numbers of sinless Christians are being seduced by an occult spiritual mythology that grew out of the Renaissance and maintains that man is not fallen, that he is ultimately perfectible through a process of evolution and that by “going within” he can attain psychic powers and realize that he is “God.”
The malignant mind holding out this seductive promise is the same fallen angel who tempted Adam and Eve in the garden with the words, “Ye shall be as Gods.” (Gen. 3:5) Of course what he really means is that all who are seduced by his promise will end up in outer darkness along with the devil and his host.