[Below is the preface to a 640-page book which I wrote between 1985 and 1993, entitled “The Serpent & the Cross: Religious Corruption in an Evil Age” (now out of print), which was “an encyclopaedic exposé of the historical development and vast modern growth of the ‘New Gnosticism’, in both the secular world and that which professes to be ‘the Church’”. It was a mammoth production involving (amongst other sources received from all over the world) a great many long days spent doing research in the Bodleian Library in Oxford, UK. In those days, there was no encyclopaedic internet and all research had to be done physically with real sources and real books. There is more to say, so I will continue this little commentary below at the conclusion of the preface]
PREFACE TO THE FIRST EDITION OF THE SERPENT & THE CROSS
This book has been more than eight years in the making. That is how long it has taken from its original conception in 1985 to the form in which it now appears in publication in 1994. In its earliest draft in 1987, with the title ‘The New Babel’, it was an idea before its time, exposing trends which most church people had never experienced and many had never even heard about. At that time, the New Age Movement was hardly known on the Eastern side of the Atlantic, and such a dark view of the world and of the activities of today’s churches would not have been readily accepted in many church circles. Having been dissuaded from pursuing the project any further, I embarked on four years of intensive study at theological college. However, there was a wise providence in this delay; for I had a great deal more to learn and discover before the time would be ripe for publication.
It was my personal experience in two particular areas during the ensuing years which made me realise the need to revive this work. First, during my time at theological college and as a result of being involved with a number of churches, I became convinced that there was the need for far greater understanding and discernment concerning the meaning of the term ‘occult’. In many church circles, the occult is perceived as consisting exclusively in ouija-boards, séances, Hallowe’en and open worship of Satan. Disturbing as these activities are, I propose to show that they act as ‘smoke-screens’ to obscure the real occult — the true extent of which most of those who call themselves “Christians” seem to be completely unaware. The second impulse to revive the book was the discovery that so many satanic influences which I had renounced on becoming a disciple of Christ were gaining increasing popularity within the Church and were being upheld as ‘valid Christian experience’. When people start running into a building which is on fire and filled with explosives, the knowing onlooker can do only one thing: sound a clear alarm. This book is that alarm.
A cosy, ‘chocolate-box Christianity’ has been propagated by the mainstream churches for long enough, with its associated illusion that what is called “the Church” can cooperate with the world in order to bring about an age of ‘peace and justice’. People have forgotten what true discipleship really involves, and from what it is that those disciples have been rescued (which is clearly spelled out in the Letter to the Colossians, chapter 1, verse 13). There is a ministry of discernment necessary today which involves the methodical undeceiving of the sheep from this stultifying mindset. In this way, the Ekklesia will be equipped to stand its ground and continue to fulfil the Great Commission commanded by the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul the Apostle stipulated that disciples of Christ should not be ignorant of Satan’s devices (Second Letter to the Corinthians, chapter 2, verse 11), and this book seeks to conform to enable us in that noble desire.
As soon as one begins to cut through the surface of human movements and world events, one discovers that they are not how they appear to the undiscerning eye. The word ‘occult’ means hidden. Behind the facade of many global developments one will discover the evil designs of fallen angels headed up by Satan, that arch-enemy of all that is good and godly. So when the sacred writings tell us that ‘we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places’ (Eph.6:12), this is not merely an admonition about the struggle with temptation to personal sin. It is a clear-sighted overview, through the medium of Divine revelation, of the cosmic backcloth to a titanic struggle which has continued since the beginnings of human history. This struggle began with the murderous lies of a serpent and climaxed in the life-giving truth on a cross. Hence, the title of this book. It was a movement from human catastrophe to Divine victory.
Although the means have taken many forms, the aims of the satanic realm have remained constant from the outset. Old heresies simply reassert themselves in different guises. More than eighteen hundred years ago, Irenaeus of Lyons sought to expose the Gnosticism of his era in his book, ‘The Refutation of Knowledge Falsely So-Called’. In the introductory note to a modern translation of this work, A. Cleveland Coxe states that Irenaeus’s principal task was twofold: ‘To render it impossible for anyone to confound Gnosticism with Christianity, and to make it impossible for such a monstrous system to survive, or ever to rise again’. Although he certainly succeeded in his first aim, the sad fact is that the monstrous system of Gnosticism has never been laid to rest. Instead, it went underground and lay deceptively dormant for many centuries; and during the past one hundred and thirty years it has resurfaced in modern clothing with a vengeance. For just as the Gnostic movement of the first and second centuries burst like a flood upon the Church with singular ferocity as an expression of the rage and malice of Satan after his defeat by Christ (cf. Book of Revelation, chapter 12, verse 15), so we are witnessing in our own day the resurgence of this rage as a backlash against the mighty progress of the Gospel during the centuries since the Bible was made publicly available to the world in many languages.
This present work, therefore, sets out to show that — contrary to the fashionable thinking of many in the churches today — the development that people call the New Age Movement is not just a cult which has suddenly and inexplicably blossomed out of nowhere at the end of the twentieth century. Neither is it confined to a small number of naïve idealists in search of a spiritual utopia. For it has pervaded a great many areas of cultural life today — science, the arts, the media, medicine, education, churches, business and world government — and is ardently promoted by the Princes, Presidents and Prime Ministers of many lands, as I will show throughout this book. The entire concept of a ‘New Age’, with its political counterpart the ‘New World Order’, fulfils every ambition of Satan in his long war against God and in his futile kingdom-building on earth.
Unless these modern religious developments can be seen in their historical (as well as their biblical) context, we will not grasp the true significance of their purpose in the world today. In so many of the current, modern antichristian influences — including those of the New Age Movement — we can see all the hallmarks of the ancient heresy of Gnosticism. Indeed, after studying the extent to which these influences have pervaded society today, one can only conclude that we are living in a Gnostic world. We are now living in a culture which scoffs at the devil, demons, angels, miracles and Messiah of the Bible, yet which earnestly embraces the concepts of ETs, UFOs, spirit-guides, earth mysteries, cosmic consciousness, mind-control, magic, witchcraft, self-hypnosis, spiritism, astrology, parapsychology, and a quantum leap in human ‘evolution’ leading to a Golden Age on earth. This book, The Serpent and the Cross, is an encyclopaedic exposé of the historical development and vast modern growth of this ‘New Gnosticism’, in both the secular world and that which professes to be ‘the Church’.
The description of this present age as being ‘evil’, as in the subtitle of the book — “The Serpent & the Cross: Religious Corruption in an Evil Age” — may appear somewhat pessimistic to many people; but this is the specific label given to this age in in the New Testament (Letter to the Galatians, chapter 1, verse 4), to say nothing of the general corroboratory remarks of both Christ and His Apostles (e.g., Gospel of Matthew, chapter 24, verse 37; Gospel of John, chapter 15, verses 18-19; Letter to the Ephesians, chapter 6, verse 12; First Letter of John, chapter 5, verse 19). As this evil age draws to its inevitable climax — the crisis-point of cosmic history — this book has been written in the prayerful hope that it will fulfil three purposes:
First, my heart’s desire is for the equipping of the saints that they may be wise, discerning and knowledgeable apologists who will not be dumbstruck by the widespread ‘delusions of teaching’ disseminated in the world and among the churches today. Every disciple of Christ should feel great optimism concerning God’s saving work in the world, and an undergirding confidence that the victory is (and always has been) His alone. Second, I see a great need to dispel the rife but erroneous notion that the world is building up to a glorious era of ‘peace and justice’ on earth. To cling to that illusion will only bring heartache and bewilderment as the harrowing events of the coming years inevitably unfold. Third, and above all other aims, I want to give supreme glory to our great God and Saviour at a time in earth history when His holy name has been horridly eclipsed by a defiant and blasphemous quasi-religious humanism. This book could never have been accomplished without His continual encouragement — sometimes through the most unexpected of human instruments. Neither could its completion have been achieved without His invincible protection from the dark forces which have so often, like Bunyan’s Apollyon, stood menacingly in the way of my labours.
A good deal of prayerful consideration has gone into the making of this book, and it is with the greatest trepidation that I send these words out into the world. If you find that there is anything of value in them, then you can account it to the work of my Master. All the rest — the ramblings, ruminations and inevitable wrongnesses — are mine alone; and for these I ask your forbearance.
[That book, “The Serpent & the Cross”, for which the above words were the preface, has long been out of print, especially after the death of Michael Kimmit, the astute and gentlemanly publisher at K & M Books in Birmingham, UK. But I am gradually preparing and updating the chapters of its 640 pages to be placed, one by one, onto my Diakrisis Project website. As the text dates back almost 30 years, I have only been able to retrieve it as a vast block of plain text, with no clear paragraph markers, and each chapter must therefore be formatted word by word and the footnote references reassembled before it will be ready to go on my site. This will take some time, between all the other work in which I am involved. But I am amazed at the extent to which what I wrote about between 1985 and 1993 has all these years later been proven to be the case. Nothing has changed for the better and the darkness has only deepened and this godless, blasphemous world must surely now be ripe for some far-reaching global developments (which will really be Divine judgements, if one perceives them correctly).
I should here clarify that when I speak about “The New Age Movement”, I am not referring to those folks who have hijacked the description “New Age” into peddling workshops and sessions for extortionate prices (New Wage!) under the pseudo-spiritual disguise of “manifesting” or “aligning your chakras”, “awaking the god/goddess within”, etc. (I saw one chick the other day on Fakebook selling spiritual coaching sessions for $150 per hour! Pure greed). When I say New Age Movement, I mean the real New Age people in the theosophical/masonic lineage of Alice Bailey and the like who have the same goals as the New World Order in creating a one-world government under a future “World Teacher” (to use Alice Bailey’s expression). This will of course be the Antichrist. I just thought I would clarify the term “New Age Movement”. Anyway, it’s all in my books.
In personal terms, the publication of “The Serpent and the Cross” cost me a great deal — and I do not mean financially. I was relatively naïve in those days and still had much to learn. The human responses to the book ranged from 1) a celebrated theology professor pointedly handling my manuscript with as much disgust as if it was a piece of used toilet paper to 2) a courageous professor in a theological seminary in the USA inviting me to give a series of talks over there (in Phoenix, Las Vegas, Escondido & Los Angeles) as a result of the contents of the book. Another thing: Even though I had written a huge tome about the way that the forces of darkness operate, I never anticipated the demonic backlash which would occur in my own life as a result of it! That backlash and the fallout from it would eventually result in me entering an acute spiritual crisis and dark night of the soul which took its toll primarily from around 2007 until around 2017. During that ten years I had to go right back to the drawing-board of my faith and re-establish the building-blocks on which that faith had its foundation. That resulted in the writing of my autobiographical and expository book, “Narrow Gate ~ Pathway Strait: The Road I Have Chosen” (2017). [You can download that free of charge here: https://narrowgate-pathwaystrait.com ]. Since then, I have further crystalized my thoughts in a commentary on the Book of Revelation [You can download that free of charge here: https://diakrisis-project.com/2022/06/10/the-essential-apocalypse-making-sense-of-the-book-of-revelation-is-ready-for-download/ ] and the most recent book, “Discerning the Signs of the Times” [You can download that free of charge here: https://diakrisis-project.com/2022/09/14/new-book-discerning-the-signs-of-the-times/ ]. Really, all those books are continuations of everything I was writing about in “The Serpent & the Cross” which I began nearly forty years ago, demonstrating that this present creation is not building up to a euphoric utopia but is, rather, deteriorating into a debauched dystopia in which evil is coming to its inevitable climax so that, after a Divine cosmic intervention of cataclysmic proportions, a new creation can take its place. The qualification for being part of that new creation is to renounce being part of this satanic world system and leading a godless life and to pledge oneself wholly to being a disciple of the Christ, God manifested in the flesh, who came to earth to overthrow the fallen archangel, Satan. You can find out all about this in an article I wrote recently, entitled “Knowledge Which Has Deliberately Been Kept from You” [ https://diakrisis-project.com/2021/09/22/knowledge-which-has-deliberately-been-kept-from-you/ ].
Anyway, the chapters of “The Serpent & the Cross” will be restored over time to my website and made available for free download and this will be indicated here on Facebook. I could even collate them into a second edition if that seems right. If you want to subscribe (free of charge) to this website in order to receive an email each time there is an update, you can do so on the homepage: https://diakrisis-project.com . Love & blessings to you from me… 💝 ]