Tom: Welcome to Apostasy Update. This is the second program in our series addressing what the Bible has to say prophetically about the last days prior to the return of Jesus Christ. Now, in particular, we’re reviewing what God declares will take place and what humanity will do, and is doing, in opposition to God’s instructions, His commandments.
Now, that opposition is the basis for the formulation of the religion and kingdom of the Antichrist, which has been in development since Satan deceived Eve in the Garden of Eden. My partner in this discussion is Carl Teichrib. Carl is the author of Game of Gods: The Temple of Man in the Age of Re-enchantment.
Carl, welcome back!
Carl: Tom, it’s good to be back. A pleasure, and I’m looking forward to seeing where we go with this conversation.
Tom: Amen! You know, our primary resources for the information that we’re presenting are Carl’s book, Game of Gods, a book that I co-authored with Dave Hunt titled America, the Sorcerer’s New Apprentice: The Rise of New Age Shamanism, Samuel Andrews’s book, Christianity and Anti-Christianity in Their Final Conflict, and, most importantly, the Bible, God’s Word.
Carl, last week we talked about the mess the world is in and the reasons for the mess, according to the Scriptures, and according to the atheistic, materialistic, evolutionist, naturalistic, and mystical worldviews. Actually, we stopped short of the mystical view. That view, as we’re seeing, is quickly becoming—and will be—the major belief of the end times. Why will mysticism prevail? Well, the other views of the world have serious problems. For example, the materialist/scientific philosophy doesn’t square with reality. It rejects the nonphysical. Only matter exists, or so we’re told.
So the materialist/scientific philosophy doesn’t make sense, and it’s been losing ground in the science community for quite a while. Then there’s naturalism, which is directly related to evolution. They, too, are belief systems that are seriously flawed. Nevertheless, the world still has a number of responses related to our condition, everything from “it has no idea,” to mutations, to a blatant denial of our condition, to “it’s all mankind’s fault,” for example, global warming, overpopulation, abusing nature, and so forth. Although the world keeps working at figuring out what caused the problems, it’s forced to add a mystical worldview. Now, that view supposes that everyone, everything, is God—or a part of God. And the mess developed when humanity forgot its godhood, which, I mentioned, we’re going to be discussing throughout this series.
So, Carl, you could add onto some of those things that I point out, or you could go right to what the Bible declares is the reason for the mess we’re in.
Carl: The reason for the mess that we’re in, Tom, takes us back to Genesis chapter 3, which is that very foundation point when man declares that “We will go our own way. We will be as God. We will know good and evil. And we will live forever.”
And this is important for people to understand. By transgressing God’s laws, you will transform. And that aspect of transgression and transformation is first exemplified in Genesis 3, and then it flavors human history. And so, we find that we will reject the commands of God. We will no longer fear God. (And that’s an important component. We will no longer fear God as we pursue our own divinity.) The creation is pursuing its own worship in creation itself. It’s Romans chapter 1, it’s Genesis chapter 3, and I know we’ll probably go back to this a number of times, but, boy! We have to hit that home! That is our foundation, our beginning point, for where the problem begins.
And it’s important for people to recognize that even the concept of transformation and transgression—you see that within even the social breakdown that’s occurring today. How are we going to change civilization? How are we going to change Western culture? We’re going to transgress it! We’re going to break it down. We’re going to shatter it. And then on the ashes of that, we will build whatever our new civilization might be. Trangress and transform. It’s a lie, literally from the pit!
So, that’s the problem. The problem is we have separated now from God, because we’ve declared ourselves to be God. In essence, we are committing divine identity theft since our fall. Whatever is good comes of God, but we tend to focus on what is evil. We play God over each other. And the history of that doesn’t demonstrate success. It demonstrates terror and horror and sin and evil. It demonstrates the depravity of mankind.
Tom: Carl, you know, and I’m sure many of our viewers understand that the heart of what we’re going to be dealing with, if you want to put a religious label on it, is Hinduism. Evolution is Hinduism, okay? You could go back to that. So, what’s my question? Well, then, let’s look to the country that has long promoted that belief system. What has it done for India?
Carl: It hasn’t been good. It’s given us “Karma”—you’re born with an ailment, or a physical problem—well, that’s your karma. And it’s a tragic history, isn’t it, Tom? It’s not a place that birthed us the compassion that we see from the Judeo-Christian worldview. It birthed the concept of “Stay in your suffering and your misery, because that is your karma. And hopefully, you can break through that at some point.”
But it hasn’t been a good experience.
Tom: No. I think about “the Wheel of Sorrows.” I remember, as a teenager, I thought “Reincarnation—that’s a really cool thing! Because if I don’t get it right now, I get to come back and try it over again,” and so on. I remember—I don’t think this man was a Christian, but he was an uncle of mine, and he said, “Tom, are you thinking straight here? Tom, first of all, you don’t understand that it’s not a matter of coming back because you get another chance to do it again. It’s coming back as somebody who has broken a law and pay for that whole thing. It’s without end.”
I think even Gandhi said it was something that…I don’t know that he said it was hopeless, but it was like, “How’s thing going to work?”
Carl: It doesn’t work, and it puts the burden of you becoming perfected on yourself. And nobody can hold up to that! Paul addresses the problem of adding on the laws of Judaism in the Book of Acts that, look, even our forefathers couldn’t uphold that weight! But it’s the weight of looking for perfection. It’s the question of, “Are you placing your hope in positional perfection, or in what’s called practical perfection?” Practical perfection, being what you do, what you look to achieve, how you measure up to the religious systems of the religion you’re under. Or positional perfection—recognizing that your perfection comes through the position of a Person, who came to earth without sin, lived without sin, died without sin, and because He was without sin, Jesus Christ was able to resurrect; and us, having our faith in Him, are now placed positionally in that context. Whereas practical perfection says, “No, no, no! No, you’ve got to work it out.”
So, it’s either by the grace of God or it’s your works. Good luck with your works!
Tom: You reject God, you’ve got to work it out yourself. And it really comes down to there’s God, the true and living God, the biblical God—or Self. That’s it! If you reject the God of the Bible, you’re just left with Self. And now, the gurus have come to this country (I’m talking about the United States, Canada, and so on. They’ve come West! And they brought this. And you’d have to ask, “Well, fine, you brought this. But how did it work out for you?”
Carl: It hasn’t! Right. Right.
Tom: So that’s the long run of it. But even in the short run, they keep trying and trying, and it never works out! Humanity needs to be reconciled to the Creator of the Universe.
Tom: How’s that happen?
Carl: Well, first of all, it doesn’t happen by us continually worshiping the creation. It’s a recognition that God isCreator. That He is the One who owns. He is the One who sets the standard. He has a moral standard that is beyond our moral standard. He has a higher position—He is above humanity. He’s not the same as humanity. He’s not the same as nature. This is something that is so fundamental, so simple, yet it’s not simple. And it is missed continually that He is not the same as creation.
The aspect of “fearing God” comes into this, Tom. And when you read Job 28, the beginning verses, the writer is talking about how man will search for treasure. We will search for gold. We will dig into the heart of the mountain. We’ll overturn mountains—go where no eye has ever seen, no bird has ever flown, where the lion has never, ever walked—and we will expend all this energy in search of treasure. And then the question is asked, “Where does wisdom come from?” And death and destruction is asked, “Do you have the answer? Where is wisdom found?” They don’t know. Nobody seems to know where wisdom is found. And then we realize that, as you read through the rest of Job 28, “Ah! Wisdom is found in the fear of God! And God is the One who exhibits wisdom, because it is through Him that wisdom is obtained, and it starts by fearing Him.”
What does it mean to fear God? Is it just reverence? Is it just saying, “I’m in awe of God?” No! The Hebrew for “fear” is “terror.” It’s a recognition that this God is outside of time and space. He is nothing that you can compare Him to at all! Period. There are no bases of comparison with Him because He is different. He is distinct. The closest example that I can come to this is the ocean. I love the ocean. Tom, I love going to the ocean. And it scares the willies out of me, because it’s so powerful! And yet this metaphor—pardon me—this metaphor sucks because I’m comparing a natural process, the ocean, with God! The God we serve is greater than anything we can imagine. The One we put our hope and our trust and our faith in is bigger than this world! Bigger than any problem of this world. And so, we need to go back to Scripture and recognize that the God that we serve is a God to be feared, and our sin, our separation from Him, is a fearful thing in its own right.
And Jesus Christ is the only answer, the only hope that we have to be able to reconcile us to Himself.
Tom: So humanity needs to be reconciled to the Creator of the Universe, so it’s the sins of mankind that caused eternal separation. And that was the penalty for sin: “The day you eat thereof, you will die.” But Adam and Eve, they didn’t die physically right at the time, but death began, and, as we talked about last week, death is separation, and physical death, the separation of the spirit from the body. Once the spirit is gone, you’ve got a cadaver. It’s also separation in terms of relationship with Him—that even for a believer, sin causes separation in the relationship—not in terms of the gift of eternal life (that doesn’t go away)…
Carl: You’re right. It’s a spiritual death. It’s a physical death. It’s death in every sense of what that looks like, because we have rejected the Author of life. And so, what else is there but death? Which requires, therefore, the One who authored life to overcome death.
Tom: Mm-hmm. And, again, we’re talking about reconciliation here. What does the Word say about fixing the problem? Well, it’s [………], the separation from Him forever. It’s an infinite penalty, which is impossible for finite man to pay, okay? He’s going to have to suffer it out if he rejects Christ. But God therefore had to pay the penalty by Himself. Because He’s infinite, which He did by becoming a man, Jesus Christ, whose full payment for all the sins of mankind was accomplished by Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection.
So, Jesus’s achievement was made available to all who accept His payment for their sins by faith alone. As a former Roman Catholic, when people were witnessing to me, Carl, “faith?” “Come on, man! You’ve got to do something…” Because that was my life for thirty years—works-salvation.” There’s so many reasons why works-salvation is so contrary to the Word of God.
Carl: But, Tom, I can understand the appeal of why works-salvation has such a grip on our hearts, because we’re doing something. We feel like we are now doing, we’re participating. It’s in our hands. We’re responsible for this. Or some system is responsible.
Tom: So, it comes back to God does it or you do it.
Tom: So it’s God or self. And if you reject God, that’s all you’re left with.
Carl: This is a number of years ago—in 2013 I was given the opportunity to speak to the Mormon Transhumanist Association. The organization is Mormon based, all right? And they are transhumanists in their outlook, believing that through science and technology they can become “godlike” or “as God.” I was offered the opportunity to speak for 15 minutes, to give a Christian criticism of that worldview. And the bottom line that I had to come to was Jesus on the cross. And I bring this out in my book as well.
What happened at the cross? You see Jesus being crucified; you have two other thieves around Him. One thief chastises Christ, calls Him down. The other thief recognizes, like, “Here’s an innocent man.” Jesus is innocent. And [he] says, “Don’t you fear God?” responding to the first thief. And then he turns to Jesus (I’m just paraphrasing), he asks Jesus to remember him. What hit me, Tom, is what Jesus didn’t say to the thief on the cross. He didn’t say to the thief on the cross, “Well, good luck, buddy. Good luck. In a few moments you’re going to die. Good luck finding some technical scientific solution to your problem of death.” He didn’t say, “You should have done more good works. You have to go do religious obligations and duties.” He didn’t say, “Start an orphanage!” He didn’t say any of those things. And that was the point. The thief could do nothing, except trust on the One, have faith on the One, who could do everything. And that’s the difference between the world system—between, really, Genesis 3: “You’re going to be as God if you do all these things. And it’s a simple thing—just transgress!” vs. God saying, “No, the problem doesn’t fix itself. I have to intercede.”
Tom: Well, Jesus could have said, “You still have a chance! If you could get down from that cross, and do some good works, rituals, and stuff.” Now, you smile at that. That was my life for 30 years! There had to be something I must do, but anything that I think that I must do, it’s a rejection of what Christ has accomplished for us, what God wants.
Carl: And Paul brings that out in Romans, when he talks about having a “new mind.” It starts at the level of you understanding this with your mind. It’s not a feeling. It’s not an experience. It’s understanding and recognition. You put on a new mind, the mind of Christ. And that’s important for people to understand—that what we’re talking about here, it’s a heart issue that comes from the mind first. If we’re unwilling to see our own sin, if we’re unwilling to see our own separation, you can have all the feelings in the world….
Tom: Yeah. Folks, we’re not denying feelings. Carl, when I became a believer, I came into a personal, intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. If there are no feelings there…
Carl: Oh, oh, exactly!
Tom: I don’t know what about… But the problem is, I like to call it “the cart that follows the horse.” Carl, you’re a farmer. Okay, what happens when the cart gets ahead of the horse?”
Carl: [Laughing] You’ve got a tangled mess! You’re not going anywhere, my friend!
Tom: You’re going right into a ditch.
Carl: That’s right. Yes, [laughing].
Tom: So, we’re not denying the emotions that God has built into us, and so on. But if that becomes your rule, you’ve got serious problems. And sadly, that’s become the rule, and, folks, as we continue this series, we’re going to say we’re moving from reason to emotions to feelings. I call this my worst living nightmare is when I’ve talked… Somebody comes up to me and says, “Well, Tom, I heard what you had to say. It seemed very reasonable. You used a lot of scriptures. But, Tom, I’m sorry. I just don’t feel that way.” End of conversation. Where do you go from there?
Folks, that’s the way everything is going, which we will document. So the biblical solution can only be found in Christ and His payment for our sins. That’s what God provides. And He woos us, He draws us to Himself. But God can’t make that decision. That is on us. It’s a gift. We either receive it or we don’t.
But let’s move on to the world. They’ve got some solutions. Or, they claim to have some solutions. I know we dealt with that a little bit, but anyway, last week we talked about materialism, a worldview that believes that there is only matter. Aren’t all problems, according to them, going to be resolved, fixed, by science?
Carl: Yes! But science falls short, Tom. You can’t even explain “evil” through science. Science has tremendous value in explaining the material world, but we live in a world that goes beyond material. And so this brings us to the important point of looking for a new roadmap. The world was already looking for a new roadmap in the 1960s. The 1960s, in a sense, was kind of the end point of hard materialism. Hard modernity, as now people were saying, “Our soul is being stripped away. There’s no hope in this. It gave us mushroom clouds, it gave us Auschwitz, it gave us the killing fields; it gave us the blood and the sweat of conflict. There has to be something more. There has to be something magical. There has to be something ‘feeling’ oriented. Emotionally oriented.”
And that’s mysticism. The heartbeat of mysticism is a feeling. You could even call it a collective emotionalism, because that’s a part of it. Mysticism can display itself as an individual’s feeling. But it also has a collective, or even a social, feeling that you can experience as well. And there was this recognition that there has to be something more.
But it’s not found in Christianity. That’s been rejected by the culture. And materialism was being rejected by the culture. I mean…what was it? In 1966, Time Magazine had the big display, big red letters, “Is God Dead?” Well, now, you couldn’t display something like that, because we have a smorgasbord of spirituality. “Pluralism” is the name of the game. Not secularism. Not—not even atheism. I think it was 2014, maybe 2015, I like going to Half Price Books. It’s a book chain across the US Midwest, okay? And I remember in 2014 or 2015, I was at Half Price Books in Minneapolis. I did a little personal survey. Atheism had one shelf, and every bookcase had seven shelves. Atheism had one shelf. That’s it. Judaism had a number of shelves. Eastern Mysticism, I can’t remember what it was, but I think it was a [book] case or maybe a case and a half. And the New Age section had two or three [book] cases. And Christianity had three or four cases. A lot of that should have been shelved in “Self-Help” or in the Eastern Mysticism side—or just put in the garbage can!
But what struck me was in this age of secularism and in this age of hard atheism, militant atheists, they only had one shelf, whereas the other worldviews, the religious worldviews: pluralism, mysticism, the New Age—multiple cases. That, for me, Tom, was telling! Because Half Price Books, for those who don’t know, is a chain of bookstores that buys and sells books from within the community, and then re-shelves them and sells them back to the community. It’s a barometer for what your community literally is reading! And I found that fascinating because it pointed to the fact that we’ve stepped away from materialism, we’ve stepped away from naturalism. It’s still there, but now we’re looking for an expression of it that is more in tune to our feelings.
Tom: Yeah, see, Carl, that’s the barometer that you’re pointing out here, that the materialistic philosophy, so-called science of that, is proving that the more they get into it, the more problems that there are! It doesn’t solve anything. We’re thankful, because we have a God who created things in order, and we do have true science, which has been very helpful to mankind. But nevertheless, to say the solutions can be found in what man comes up with through science, some benefits. But it can’t happen. It cannot resolve the problem. It can’t even speak to the issues that you just mentioned earlier—love, charity, relationships that are based on feelings and interactions and so on. No. It’s not going to happen.
I want to move onto Naturalism. Again, what are we talking about here? We’re talking about what the world brings forth that’s going to solve the problems, and so on. Well, “Naturalism”—that’s evolution. There’s a thrust in that that all problems are going to be resolved through nature, so let’s get back to nature. Not only “get back” to it; let’s worshipnature!
Tom: How about Mother Nature? Or how about Gaia? So, if we could “just realign ourselves, because we’re a product of nature,” it’s going to work out!
Carl: And it’s not just simply recognizing nature or creation. Take it one step further. You could have an emotional relationship with it. As you know, I go to pagan events as a researcher. I was at PantheaCon, the largest gathering of witches in the world, back in February before Covid hit North America. And it was expressed over and over and over again that witchcraft and Wicca is, at its core, a religion of nature. And it’s not just an intellectual pursuit. It’s an emotional pursuit. A “feelings” pursuit. You are seeking an experience that transforms you and allows you to feel like you are one with the energies of nature. It’s not just an academic exercise. It’s not just casting spells. It’s not the Hollywood version. It is the religion of nature.
I find that very telling, because whether people recognize it or not, what the world has done is deified nature. That iswitchcraft in its most essential form, where we have placed the worship of creation above the Creator.
Tom: Right. And it doesn’t make any sense! Why would I say that? Because I could give you Carl Rogers, I could go through and talk to you about many individuals who have bought in to this—Carl Jung—over and over and over again. So, what is it telling us? They’re saying, “Look, if we could get back to nature and develop a relationship with nature…” Now, folks, I’m not talking about the abuse of nature. I’m talking about the worship of nature, developing a relationship with it. So, you’re going to cozy up to a volcano, for example? Or how about a plague that comes along? “Well, it’s nature.” Or, you know, my favorite example—I’m here in Oregon. Did you ever see a beaver create an abode for himself?
Tom: You know? You want to talk about half-trees knocked down, flooding, all of that stuff.
Carl: Mm-hmm. We have problems with that! We have problems with that where I live!
Tom: Well, and then we have humanity not being “natural.” If we could be “natural….” Nature is not going to solve the problems, which they would say, “Yes, they are. We’re just not close enough to it. We haven’t developed a relationship to it,” and so on. No! It doesn’t work.
Now, Carl, last week, we stopped at “Mysticism.” “We’re going to pick up on that next week, the Lord willing.
Brother, I totally enjoy our discussions. I hope, folks, that you feel the same way. If you’ve got some questions, as we’re developing this series, if we hear from you, we’ll touch on it! And, of course, if it’s a really difficult question, I’m going to defer to you, Carl.
Carl: [Laughs] Thanks, Tom! [Laughs]
Tom: Because your book is a lot thicker…[Laughing] Okay?
Carl: Big print! [Laughs]
Tom: Exactly! [Laughs] But anyway, Carl, God bless you, brother. Thank you for being with me, and I look forward to our next session.
Carl: Thank you, Tom. We’ll talk to you later.