“And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power. And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads. And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man.” (Revelation 9:3-5)
As man seeks to live apart from God, he constantly tries to fill that spiritual void left empty at the fall of Adam with something other than God. But no matter how much wealth, pleasure, philosophy, religion, and self esteem he is able to acquire, he finds that it never really fills that void. Glittering opportunities and promises prove again and again to be empty of any real substance, and in fact end with the tormenting sting of pessimism. Individuals, as well as whole generations experience the sting, when promises of peace and security are shattered by war or economic recession.
In the book of Revelation, God reveals to John and to the church, a vision of locusts with the attractive face of power, victory, beauty, and security; but with tails that sting with an agonizing torment and leave men in such a state that they “seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them.” (Revelation 9:6). Hoeksema in his commentary Behold He Cometh explains the sounding of the trumpet by the fifth angel and the resulting swarm of locusts from the bottomless pit as an enhancing and hastening of the world toward its destruction as we draw nearer the end of all history. He writes,
These same spirits who have incited the wicked world to plunge still more deeply in sin and vile transgression fill the hearts of men with the darkness of despair. They are the spirits of pessimism. And after men have followed their inspiration, they find that their end is more bitter than death itself. Just as the children of God have sometimes a foretaste of the pleasures of heavenly glory because they walk in the way of God’s covenant and of His precepts, so the children of the world, under the influence of these infernal locusts, are given a foretaste of the despair of hell. They follow their sinful ambition for power and victory to its very end. But despair follows in its wake. They give themselves to the satisfaction of their lion-like greed; but also this is immediately followed by a gloomy pessimism. The path of philosophy they tread to the end, only to look into the mocking eyes of the devil of despair and dissatisfaction. Art and pleasure and vile lust are worshipped as the saviors, until the dissatisfaction of them is proved and a gloomy pessimism is the result. Thus the purpose of these demons is to emphasize sin and all its pleasures and all its evil passions so that men follow them to the full, only to be tortured by them in the end by these same demons on the rack of pessimism and despair. (Chapter 21) (complete text of Behold He Cometh published by the RFPA can also be found at http://www.spindleworks.com/library/hoeksma/intro.htm)
In response to the increasing mental torment that the modern man suffers, we find a multitude of remedies. The religions of Buddhism, Hinduism, New Age, etc., all promise relief and have served for ages to sooth man of the deadly sting. Western man has stared long into the face of the locusts and relished its glory and beauty, but in doing so grows more frantic with the turning away of that power, beauty, and security. Increasingly he feels the agonizing sting of its tail, and turns to anything but God for relief.
This past spring, an event occurred in which millions of suffering people from every religious background around the world from 139 different countries were able to sample and experience together a new balm. Millions experienced profound relief as their minds were opened to a new knowledge and their souls awakened to a new life. This was possible with the cooperation of internet technology, the popularity of Oprah Winfrey (arguably the world’s most famous woman), and her promotion of this balm that was formulated by a man named Ekhart Tolle. This new knowledge comes in the form of a new book entitled A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose. Just listen to a review of the book by Janet Boyer on Amazon.com:
Do you hate your body? Get this book. Are you plagued with thoughts that you’re not “enough”? Get this book. Do you fear that if you lose something precious (money, spouse, youth, vigor, job, etc.) that your life will be “over”? Get this book. Is your attachment to “stuff” and striving to live up to the expectations of others wearing you out? Get this book. Do you want to heal from painful emotions and negative states of being? Get this book.
Do you want to experience peace that passes all understanding? Get this book.
I’ll leave you with a quote from A New Earth:
“‘And I saw a new heaven and a new earth,’ writes the biblical prophet. The foundation for a new earth is a new heaven—the awakened consciousness. The earth—external reality—is only its outer reflection. The arising of a new heaven and by implication a new earth are not future events that are going to make us free. Nothing is GOING to make us free because only the present moment can make us free. Thus realization is the awakening…So the new heaven, the awakened consciousness, is not a future state to be achieved…What did Jesus tell his disciples? ‘Heaven is right here in the midst of you.’”
As a result of the ten-week worldwide interactive broadcast of the discussion of Oprah Winfrey with spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle, sales of his book quickly broke multiple records in sales. The book is now found in households all around the world including many Christians who belong to Reformed churches.
It is attractive to nominal Christians who don’t know the Bible very well because it is filled with biblical quotes and references. In fact it picks up and absorbs some very profound biblical concepts. It claims to be safe and completely compatible with the Christian faith. After all, it targets one’s state of consciousness and has no effect on one’s spiritual beliefs.
It is powerful because it does more than just treat symptoms, it actually addresses the real essence of the sting of the locusts from the abyss. It directs its users to the fact that man’s attraction to the power, beauty, and security found in earthly materialism, institutions and traditions is the source of the sting. It penetrates deeply into the areas of man that other balm can not reach.
According to Tolle, if enough people become enlightened to his truth, then humanity will finally be able to achieve worldwide peace and harmony—i.e., a New Earth populated by “a new species” of human being. Crime will be eradicated. Wars will cease. Selfishness and greed will no longer reign in our governments. Awakening is our only hope for survival, asserts Tolle, who believes that “[a] significant portion of the earth’s population will soon recognize, if they haven’t already done so, that humanity is now faced with a stark choice: Evolve or die.”
We are coming to the end, Tolle says, of all mythologies, ideologies, and belief systems—i.e., “A NEW HEAVEN AND A NEW EARTH.” (Excerpt from New Earth, An Old Deception: Awakening to the Dangers of Eckhart Tolle’s #1 Bestseller by Richard Abanes. Bethany House.)
The balm is really just a reformulation of the same lie that Satan brought to the garden of Eden. Repeatedly in A New Earth we read things like this:
- The divine life essence,…recognize it as one with [your] own essence (p. 4).
- There is only one absolute Truth, and all other truths emanate from it…. Yes, you are the Truth. If you look for it elsewhere, you will be deceived every time. The very Being that you are is Truth. Jesus tried to convey that when he said, “I am the way and the truth and the life.”…Jesus speaks of the innermost I Am, the essence identity of every man and woman, every life-form, in fact. He speaks of the life that you are (p. 71).
- The Presence that you are, the timeless I Am… (p. 105).
- Your true nature emerges, which is one with the nature of God (p. 184).
- God, the scripture [here, the Hindu Upanishads] is saying, is formless consciousness and the essence of who you are (p. 219).
It is the same old lie: “you can be as God,” dressed up in yet another set of clothes.
Has God allowed man to find a cure for this sting of the locusts? We read that the time of torment is limited to five months. We also know that such a cure would only be a preparation for the worship of the beast that comes from the earth. Time will tell. Whatever it is, it really does not matter to the believer because the locusts with their sting have power only over “those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads.” We have no need of the balm offered by Eckhart Tolle and Oprah Winfrey. Being joined to God by faith, our hearts find rest and peace in Christ. We do not look to the power, glory, and security offered by the earthly treasures, governments and economies of this world.