In an October 2011 TBC (Berean Call) Extra, Ron Merryman reminded his readers that we can thank St. Augustine for "spiritualizing Messiah's Millennial Kingdom, then medieval Romanism for popularizing Augustine's amillennialism, and the Reformers for not correcting the error." (TBC, Feb. 2012) What Merryman fails to reveal is that early Church Fathers were divided over whether the Millennial Kingdom was spiritual or literal. Christopher A. Hall, a Protestant evangelical theologian writes that Church Father's Ireneaus and Justin Martyr held broadly millennial views. Ireneaus in particular supported the necessity of a one-thousand year millennium followed by a general resurrection. (Learning Theology with the Church Fathers, Hall, pp. 23-24)
St. Augustine, medieval Romanism, the Roman Catholic Church and the Reformers rejected the literal view in favor of a spiritual interpretation. Both eschatologies however, are traditional patristic positions possessing a respected lineage in the history of the Church, said Hall, with the exception of certain aspects of modern premillennialism, particularly dispensationalism and the rapture.
Over and against the two patristic views is the dangerous millennial eschatology of the infamous ancient Gnostic Cerinthus. Cerinthus had Christ returning to earth and reigning with His people in an earthly kingdom for a thousand years.
Though Cerinthus spoke of Christ it is important to our understanding that Gnostic teachers such as Marcion, Basilides, Cerinthus, Justinius, and Valentinus taught an inverse exegis in which creation was the act of an evil Demiurge, a wicked angel or lesser deity. "Inverse exegis," said I.P. Couliano in his work, "The Gnostic Gospels," may be singled out as the main hermeneutical principle of the gnostics." (p. 121)
In his book, "Spirit Wars: Pagan Revival in Christian America," Dr. Peter Jones sums up the inverse exegis of Gnostics, both ancient and contemporary:
"...anything that the Bible calls good is taken to be evil and vice versa. In the 'Paraphrase of Shem,' the Sodomites are the righteous members of the immovable race of Seth which is why they incur the wrath of the Demiurge."
Cerinthus sowed the seed that much later developed into the Roisicrucian concepts of a future Golden Age on earth, a "brotherhood of peace on earth," Karl Marx's "workers paradise," Hitler's Third Reich, various contemporary 'building the kingdom of heaven on earth" efforts, Rick Warren's P.E.A.C.E. movement, the coming New Age and the Super Apostles New Apostolic Reformation. All of these peculiarly Gnostic and occult doctrines root the eschatological fulfillment of history within the bounds of history before the cosmos has been renewed, transformed and purified into the New Heavens and New Earth (Rev. 21:1-5).
Frances Yates, former Reader in the History of the Renaissance at the University of London writes that the "general reformation of the whole wide world" which was presented in the original Roisicrucian manifestos has:
"millennarian overtones; it will bring the world back to the state in which Adam found it, which was also Saturn's golden age." (From Old Gnosticism to New Age, Alan Morrison, SCP Journal, Volume 28:4-29:1, 2005, p. 26)
Saturn (Lucifer) was forcibly expelled from Heaven, an event which Hesiod and ancients in general believed brought about the end the age of the golden race of men.
Yates goes on to reveal that 'Confessio,' the second Roisicrucian manifesto, is said to presage "a great influx of truth and light" such as surrounded Adam in Paradise (and) this millennium, this return to the golden age of Adam and Saturn will be assisted by "the high society of the Roisicrucians." (ibid)
The concept that certain elite human beings can unite to form a global Brotherhood of Man and create utopia or heaven right here on earth is one of the most significant contributions to the modern revival of ancient Gnosticism on the part of the occult Roisicrucians. Among others are:
1. the idea of an ancient secret wisdom tradition (gnosis) passed down from one group of initiates (secret societies) to another which will bring liberation from the confines of the evil world of matter.
2. the belief in an inner christ, meaning that everyone possesses a spark of divinity which can be reanimated through various occult techniques such as transcendental meditation, dream work, yoga, and use of mind-altering substances.
3. the concept of evolution and/or reincarnation, meaning the progress of life and/or divine spark over time within thousands of different bodies.
Within the heart of Christendom during the eighteenth century millennarian Roisicrucianism blended with its more secular-materialist counterpart of esoteric Free Masonry to form the primary precursor of what we call today the New Age Movement. Peter Lemesurier of the Findhorn Foundation in Scotland is a leading New Age guru. Of this merger he writes:
"In due course, two streams of idealism--the one extravagantly occult (Roisicrucianism), the other more urbanely idealistic (Freemasonry)---were to come together once again in response to an unfulfilled need deep within the human psyche. And the child of this union was to be the modern New Age Movement." (Morrison, p. 27)
Christopher McIntosh, a scholar of Roisicrucianism writes that "Roisicrucianism (was) a transition between the Renaissance and the scientific societies of the seventeenth century" whose mode of thinking crystalized during the so-called Enlightenment or Age of Reason. McIntosh describes this mode of thinking as "deistic, rationalistic and ultimately anti-Christian...with a belief in the innate goodness of human nature, the supremacy of science over Biblical authority..the substitution of human reason for Christian faith, the questioning of tradition and authority (both human and Divine), and the relentless upward strides of human progress. The intense kindling of Roisicrucianism across Europe had prepared the way for the..."Age of Enlightenment" because it dared to assert that there was an alternative way of salvation to that of 'conventional' Christianity, that the Bible was not the final authority in terms of life and doctrine, and that the 'Brotherhood of Man' could work together to bring a Golden Age of peace and justice on earth." (ibid, p. 28)
Occult Gnostic Roisicrucianism laid the destructive seeds that finally flowered during the last half of the nineteenth century. They took the form of philosophies, ideologies, organizations, secret societies, and individuals. The prime contenders in this were scientific materialism, the Theory of Evolution, Theological Liberalism (pantheism), Socio-Political Utopianism (i.e., Communism), the Mind-Sciences, Comparative Religion, the "God is dead" school, the Theosophical Society, and spiritism (communication with spirits).
Dr. Wolfgang Smith, the physicist and mathematics professor of Oregon State clearly sees that Darwinism represents the infiltration of Gnostic heresy and ideology into science:
"As a scientific theory Darwinism would have been jettisoned long ago. The point, however, is that the doctrine of evolution has swept the world..precisely in its capacity as a Gnostic myth (that) affirms, in effect, that living beings created themselves. which is...a metaphysical (not scientific) claim...decked out in scientific garb. (Darwinism) is a scientistic myth (that perpetrates) the venerable Gnostic tradition of "Jehovah bashing"....only under the auspices of Darwinist 'self-creation' does the Good News of 'self-salvation' acquire a semblance of sense." (Morrison, p. 31)
The millennial Gnostic movements of the twentieth century, Communism and National Socialism, consumed whole nations in fire and brimstone and liquidated anywhere between 150,000,000-300,00,000 men, women, and children.
A house divided against itself will not stand, and this holds true for the Church. Today's Church is torn asunder by pride, contention, and finger-pointing, not the least of which is Merryman's ugly treatment of St. Augustine, medieval Romanism, and the Reformers. Today's divided Church faces two primary millennial Gnostic movements, the occult Luciferian New Age and the Super Apostles New Apostolic Reformation. Both of these movements are aided and abetted by the Gnostic Emergent Church, the restless spirit of the contemporary or modern church movement, and the Interfaith Movement. The world is being readied yet again for fire, brimstone and death while the Church made impotent by pride and contention does nothing.