This "intelligence" of plants and nature is common to New Age philosophy because
it is a component of it. An example is Deepak Chopra's view of God as a divine
intelligence permeating creation. This is a view also from New Thought, a
movement claiming to be Christian but which denies all the essentials of the
New Thought gave rise to Unity, Christian Science, and the Church of Religious Science (the teachings of the latter church's co-founder, Ernest Holmes, influenced Norman Vincent Peale and Robert Schuller as well as many Christians).
Expressing this view about intelligence, a New Thought luminary, Abel Leighton Allen, writes in his book, The Message of New Thought:
The adherents of New Thought conceive of a universal mind or divine intelligence pervading and permeating the universe, manifesting in all forms of creation; that there is also a unity of life and that each individual is a part of that intelligence and that universal life and spirit. The visible forms of nature are the expressions of that divine life and intelligence, and the same life and intelligence that seek expression in the bud, the grass blade, the flower, the bird and animal, are also seeking expression in man.
The highest conception of religion as taught by New Thought is to unfold and develop the soul into harmonious relations with divine intelligence, and thus come into spiritual unity with God. From http://cornerstonebooks.net/tmont3.htm
Why is it so essential to have this life force and vibration from the plants via (supposedly) essential oils? Stewart tells us:
One of the most important modalities of the oils is their ability to lift our bodily frequencies to levels where disease cannot exist (33).
If you have not been involved in or studied the New Age, this statement might seem strange. But in the New Age, this makes sense because the body is seen as existing on vibrational levels, and the higher the level is that one reaches, the purer and healthier one becomes. Here Stewart claims that the oils will help raise the vibrations of the body to higher levels, a distinctly New Age idea.
The concept of spiritual levels is in the New Age and the occult and could be classified under Gnostic esotericism, which is the foundation of such thinking.
Stewart extolls something he calls the seven levels of heaven, a supposed secret
teaching of the Jews, which is the name for his 7th Heaven Kit of oils. Stewart
explains what this term means:
In order to reach God, one ascends through seven 'levels' or 'rings' of consciousness (or spiritual awareness) with the top, or seventh level, being total awareness of or complete communion with God, himself (273).
Why is this teaching not in the Bible? Stewart's explanation is a very elitist and Gnostic one, namely, that the Bible's authors did not share this because it could be shared only with persons of sufficient spiritual development (273).
Stewart then tries to support this view from the Second Corinthians 12 passage where Paul writes about going to (or his vision of) the third heaven as well as the repeated use of the number seven in the book of Revelation.
Did Jesus teach the seventh heaven concept? Stewart writes that we cannot know but claims that Jesus did teach secrets and esoteric and hidden matters via parables, allegories, and symbols (275). While parables veiled the meaning from those who refused to recognize Jesus as the Messiah, Jesus never taught esoterica, which is a hallmark of occultism. Esoterica is intended only for a few who are initiated into a secret group or body of beliefs, such as the Gnostic beliefs which attacked the teachings of Jesus and denied his true nature. Jesus never referred to symbols, much less teach them. In fact, Jesus himself said:
I have spoken openly to the world; I always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all the Jews come together; and I spoke nothing in secret. John 18:20
This erroneous occult concept from Stewart is compounded in the discussion of the seven oil blends in the 7th Heaven Kit (where the assertion that Paul's term third heaven supports seven levels of heaven is repeated). Claims for all of these include a promotion of New Age views.
The most egregious oils in this kit are Awaken, which is to awaken our spiritual awareness and consciousness of our true inner selves to bring an inner knowing to reach one's highest potential (277), and White Angelica, whose oils allegedly were used to increase the intensity and size of the aura (electric field) around the body) as well as claiming that its frequency neutralizes negative energy (278).
A New Ager could not come up with a more New Age description than that!
The information on the 7th Heaven Kit is to be passed on in sales situations, so this New Age occultism is being promoted to even more people than those who read the book. This is deeply disturbing.
So what was Paul's third heaven? Is this a level of heaven? The third heaven referred to the location of God:
Paul was suddenly snatched up into the third heaven which, transcending the first (earth's atmosphere; Deut. 11:11; 1 Kings 8:35; Isa. 55:10) and second (interplanetary and interstellar space; Gen. 15:5; Ps. 8:3; Isa. 13:10) heavens, is the abode of God (1 Kings 8:30; Ps. 33:13-14; Matt. 6:9). From https://www.gty.org/library/bibleqnas-library/QA0088/caught-up-to-the-third-heaven (Also see http://carm.org/what-does-it-mean-when-bible-refers-third-heaven).
There are numerous misuses of Scripture but two examples are especially
God told the Israelites to strike the lintels and doorposts in Egypt with hyssop during the last plague, claims Stewart, because the fragrance of hyssop was a part of the ritual to cause the evil spirit of death to pass over them (209).
But there was no evil spirit of death! The Lord himself announced that He would pass over them:
The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live; and when I see the blood I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt (Exodus 12:13; also vv. 23, 27).
How can Stewart ignore the clear words of the passage and tell his readers that it was an evil spirit of death that was passing over Egypt? It is difficult to know what to conclude from such a gross error except that one should be strongly skeptical about anything Stewart states about the Bible.
When David begs forgiveness from God in the anguished Psalm 51, he states in verse 7:
Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Stewart writes that the hyssop oil directed by our sincere intent can create a clean heart and restore a right spirit in ourselves and can blot out our transgressions (both statements are quotes from Psalm 51) as well as
erase the sinful tendencies (negative emotions) stored in cellular memory, thus releasing and cleansing the root cause of wrong action (210).
Note that Stewart points to the hyssop oil as the agent of healing and forgiveness. This is an audacious and blasphemous assertion. Verse seven in Psalm 51 is a parallelism where the purifying with hyssop is referring to and representing God's washing of David through forgiveness. Secondly, no substance can do what Stewart is stating hyssop (oil) can do.
Everything Stewart writes about this is wrong. David did not use hyssop oil; it was not hyssop since hyssop did not grow in that area; no substance can erase sinful tendencies or negative emotions; cellular memory is an unproven pseudoscience theory; and no substance can spiritually cleanse anyone.
Furthermore, what does directed by our sincere intent mean? That we are in charge of creating a clean heart and restoring a right spirit through our intention? New Thought-New Age author and speaker, Wayne Dyer, would agree (ironically, or maybe appropriately, Dyer has been a speaker at Young Living conventions, the company for which this book was written).
The hyssop (though it was probably not hyssop) in Psalm 51 is possibly alluding to the cleansing of the leper in Leviticus 14, but it is not the hyssop that heals the leper, but God who forgives and heals based on the sacrifices delineated in the rest of that chapter. Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness (Hebrews 9:22). This is a picture, as all sacrifices were, of the blood that would be shed by Christ in the atonement as payment for the penalty of sins. Hyssop in Psalm 51 is clearly a picture of God's forgiveness based on God's mercy and grace due to David's repentance.
By ascribing healing and forgiveness power to a plant, Stewart undermines God's majesty and power and gives magical abilities to a plant. If it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to remove sin (Heb. 10:4), how can our intention and the oil of plants do so?
Contrary to Panentheism, Gods word makes it clear that God is holy and distinct
from creation. See Genesis 1 and 2; Job 38:4-41; and Isaiah chapters 44, 45, and
46. There is no supposed intelligence from God or his word that permeates plants
or creation, as asserted by Stewart.
We are to use reason and the rational mind: Psalm 16:7; Proverbs 1:2-5, 18:15, 22:17; Isaiah 1:18; Matthew 22:37; Acts 17:17, 18:4, 19; Romans 12:3; 1 Corinthians 14:15; and Philippians 4:8. The Bible is in words, and language is based on logic and reason, all of which come from God's character.
Science and the Christian faith are not in conflict. In fact, the ability to think and reason that God has given man has enabled him to produce solutions to many problems and to illnesses people used to die from. This is due to God's order in the world and the reasoning function created by God in man's mind.
The filter for a Christian is God's word when one encounters teachings that cite the Bible and uses it to support a philosophy. We must be on guard for the mishandling of God's word and for spiritual views that conflict with it. It does not matter how popular the book or author are, how many other Christians recommend it, or how appealing it is.
Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment. John 7:24
Anointing with oil
Regarding the Greek word pharmakeia, translated as sorcery and witchcraft in some passages, as being equivalent to modern day pharmaceuticals and medicines, see