First of all let’s get a short definition of “cult of self”. It is a prevailing “philosophy” that promotes the idea that “we are all one, and the one is God; therefore, you are God”. God is within you and is you. Christ is within you and is you. You have no need of repentance, redemption, or regeneration. You are OK as you are. Since “you” are the only one who is, your wants are all that matters. That’s how it works out. It is an infantile perspective – like a baby whose only awareness is itself and what it wants.
It is claimed by its promoters that this teaching is in agreement with Christian Scripture, as there are “christianized” versions of it, but Scriptures used are cherry picked – as in most Eastern based teaching – claiming that “God is within you.” It is promoted in the same way that most New Age / New Thought teaching is presented: that it’s all the same and does not matter what you believe. It’s another aspect of this “we are one” theme.
For awhile I was influenced by so called “New Thought Christians” (there is no such creature actually!) who were followers of A Course In Miracles. However after awhile I started to ask, Where’s Jesus as Savior and Lord in all this? These people will only acknowledge Him as a “teacher”. In fact, some of them were reactive to the idea that He is the one Savior of mankind. So I got serious about that question – prayerfully, persistently studying the Holy Bible myself, the whole counsel of God, which reveals that Jesus Christ is the only One to whom we must come for salvation. Scripture says self is the problem, that it must be reckoned crucified in Jesus Christ!
So, what says the Scripture – does everyone have “God within” himself? Are we born that way?
“However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, IF indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But IF anyone DOES NOT HAVE the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.” (Romans 8:9). Ouch – we have to acknowledge the “ifs” in this verse. That’s pretty clear: it is possible not to have the Spirit of Christ, and if this is so, then you do not belong to Him…
It shows instead that we are sinners who have rebelled against God, have fallen into sin, that we are in need of being saved from that sin, and in need of restoration and formation as children of God. No one who has been hoodwinked by the cult of self will ever tell you this truth. He will instead tell you that you are Jesus Christ, or that you have “God within” or some such idea. This is anti-Christ and the presentation of “another Jesus”.
How can we actually tell if we have the Spirit of Christ (Holy Spirit)?
“Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us.” (1 John 3:24).
There are signs that the Holy Spirit has come to live within us in other words – we keep His commandments – as the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Christ Who always lives in obedience to the Father. Scripture calls this the “fruit of the Spirit.” Our motivation and inclination is away from the practice of sin and toward the practice of righteousness, love for God, love for our fellow human beings that is like the love of Jesus Christ – unconditional.
Scripture clearly informs us that the Holy Spirit must be given to us by God; it is not an automatic thing that we are born with.
How do we receive the Holy Spirit? Here’s what Jesus says.
“And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened… If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” (Luke 11:9-13.)
We are not born with Christ within. Neither does God force His Holy Spirit upon us. We must ask, or pray, for the Holy Spirit.
Ask, seek, and knock persistently. The point is, the indwelling Christ is not automatic. We must ask for His Presence to come and live within us. There will be a great hunger and thirst for Him!
“Jesus answered and said to him, ‘If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.’” (John 14:23).
To believe that “we are all one” is not Biblical truth. Jesus Christ says, “Flesh is born of flesh, but spirit is born of the Spirit. Do not be amazed that I said, ‘You must be born again.” (John 3:6,7) We must receive Him and surrender to His word, will, and way. We must first genuinely be born again of His Spirit!
For “Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and may enter the city by its gates. But outside are the dogs, the sorcerers, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood. “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the bright Morning Star.” (Revelation 22:14-16)
It is my conviction that those who teach this idea that “we are all one, and the one is God, so you are God” are master deceivers, appearing since the mid to late 20th century and continuing on today. Some names: Joel Goldsmith (The Infinite Way), Helen Schucman (A Course In Miracles), Neale Donald Walsh (Conversations With God), David Wilcock (Law Of One), Paul Leon Masters (founder of International Metaphysical Ministry), Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now) and many more. Oprah Winfrey is a huge proponent and promoter of this idea that “I am God”.
Looking deeply at what they actually present, as these are simply different variations on the foregoing theme, combined with pantheism (the “universe” worshipped as God) , and packaged in Eastern meditation practices where you “go within” to contact your so called higher self.
We are warned of a time when we must “Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and encourage with every form of patient instruction. For the time will come when men will not tolerate sound doctrine, but with itching ears they will gather around themselves teachers to suit their own desires. So they will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.” (2 Timothy:2-4)
Beware, beloved in Christ! Keep your eyes on Jesus only, and remember: “… 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)
Buddha did not die for your sins. Krishna was not raised from the dead, nor did he ascend to the Father. You are not going to be saved by Eastern meditation or yoga techniques. And being a devotee of your own “god within” certainly cannot save you either, since s/he does not exist!