Archive for the ‘Occult’ Category

Demonic Activity In The World Today

February 10, 2015

Title: Demonic Activity in the World Today
Text: Luke 11:24, Matthew 4:1-3, 10-11, Luke 5:1
Time: October 28th, 2014

 
We’re in the Halloween season this year and unfortunately we have to be reminded again and again about the demonic world. It’s particularly bad this year because retail stores have figured out that they could turn a somewhat amusing holiday, Halloween, into a full-blown season through the use of pumping up the sale of products, costumes, candy and decorations. I’ve noticed over the last few years that more and more Halloween decorations are appearing in the stores and also consequently in the neighborhood, in yards and on houses. Halloween used to be a kind of fun day, but today it’s an entire season of occult symbols all over the place in public. We shouldn’t be happy to see this development because whether people know it or not, it introduces them to the world of the occult, which is the realm of Satan. Now most people don’t take the devil so serious today but that’s because they are truly ignorant of his reality. If people really understood the dangers of the occult and the demonic spiritual world, they wouldn’t decorate their homes or decorate themselves with occult symbols. There is also the question of mental health. What are the effects of promoting the scary, the frightening, and nightmare-like images among children? I don’t hear much discussion or talk about this concern. If we can believe the mental health statistics, we’ve never had so many people on psychiatric drugs as today. People suffer from depression in record numbers. Anxiety is a major mental health problem. And on and on the list could go. All the while, we give the Halloween season a free pass in culture, with its awful dreadful images, outright gruesome figures, and demonic inspired sights and sounds. It isn’t any wonder that mental health problems are multiplying. As they say in the computer field, GIGI – garbage in, garbage out. If we pump devilish images into our minds, we’ll get devilish results in our lives. To be honest, if I were a parent, I wouldn’t allow my child to participate in devilish activities and decorate the yard or house with the symbols of the devil. As Christians we know from the Bible that demons are real, and we also know that they can cause great harm to individuals. The reality of Satan and his demons is nothing to play with, even during Halloween. So while we’re on the subject, I’d like to go over again just a few areas that demons are active in the world today; or you might say, the major ways they show themselves to be active. First, there is demonic activity in the form of infestation. They can dwell in certain places or specific locations, such as a house or area. Second, there is demonic oppression, which is where a demon or demons attack an individual or individuals. People can come under mild to severe demonic attack, which is called oppression. And finally, third, there is the reality of demon possession where a demon or demons actually take over control of a person’s mind and body. Thankfully, this last case is not common, but it’s always a danger that must be recognized. So let me review these three basic forms of demonic activity. (more…)

Is ESP Real

November 7, 2013

Normal
0

Title: Is ESP Real?

 

Text: Genesis 3:1-5, Exodus 7:10-12, 1 Corinthians 12:1

 

Time: October 30th, 2013

 

 

While we’re on the subject of occult powers I thought I’d cover the topic of ESP, or Extra Sensory Perception. What is ESP? It’s really a wide variety of things, but it usually boils down to so-called paranormal powers. It’s the ability to do things that are seemingly unexplainable through modern science, usually involving the powers of the mind – the ability to read someone’s mind, or  move an object without touching it through merely willing it to move, or knowing something without gaining information through the five normal senses, and so forth. It’s often claimed that it’s using an additional sense beyond the five known senses. It’s extra or additional senses being used, some claim. Now as Christians we need to figure out what we believe in respect to ESP because we need to know whether we are dealing with something legitimate or not. As Christians we are familiar with the gifts of the Holy Spirit, where through the power of God ordinary Christians can have extra-ordinary powers or ability or insights or knowledge. But that’s different from ESP, where there is no obvious connection with God. ESP is more connected with magic than it is with the Christian faith. Magicians like to fancy themselves as having special para-normal abilities to make things appear and disappear at will. While that’s their stage claim, magicians are usually just really good at working out the art of deception on their audiences. They trick people seeing and not seeing things in order to pull off a magic trick. That doesn’t mean that some magicians don’t really utilize ESP, it just means that most or the vast majority of magicians operate through totally natural means. Now what concerns us as Christians about ESP is that we are very careful with anything that is hidden or secret in nature, since the very word “occult” means hidden or obscure. We want to be sure that we don’t get sucked into the world of the occult, and hence, into the world of evil spirits. ESP is one of those areas that interacts with the world of the occult, and so we want to be especially cautious with it. Is it an occult activity? Or is it a para-normal realm that we simply haven’t developed science for as of yet? Are the abilities of ESP simply latent natural human abilities we haven’t yet discovered or rediscovered? Or are they powers from the devil intent on getting us drawn into a life of rebellion against the God of the Bible? These are important questions, and relevant. Most people have come into contact with some form of ESP at one or more times in their life. What is it? How should Christians approach the whole topic of ESP? Let’s look into this subject further. (more…)

Is There Anything To Ghost Hunting?

November 7, 2013

Normal
0

Title: Is There Anything to Ghost Hunting?

 

Text: 1 Samuel 28:11-16,

 

Time: October 31st, 2013

 

 

We’re near Halloween, so I’ll continue teaching on the dangers of the occult and related topics. Today, I’d like to talk about the so-called “ghost hunting” phenomenon that is sweeping the country. It’s hard to turn on the television without running into one show or another about paranormal activity, ghost hunting, and so forth. In fact, there are entire TV series devoted to searching for and finding traces of supernatural and paranormal activity, such as the famous series “Ghost Hunter” and similar copycat shows. The modus operandi for these paranormal shows is to assemble a team of so-called paranormal experts who then visit a supposedly haunted site and seek to find out what the source of the haunting really is, and then, ultimately to contact it and cause it to stop causing trouble. The whole genre of paranormal ghost hunting was made popular a few decades ago with the movie “Ghost Busters.” But that movie was supposed to be entertainment and comedy fiction. But today, people are taking the whole thing seriously, as if hunting for ghosts is possible. Well, is it possible? Can one track down, contact, and communicate with a ghost? And to get specific, what is a ghost anyway? Following the Ghost Buster movie script, a ghost is the spirit or soul of someone who died. That’s basically the assumption all the “ghost hunting” shows follow as well. But from a biblical Christian perspective we need to question this assumption. Instead of the departed spirits of the deceased, it’s more likely, and in fact, very probable, that these spirits are demons or fallen angels trying to impersonate the deceased. But we’ll deal with that later. For now, I just wanted to point out that more and more people are buying into the whole scenario that ghosts are the souls of deceased persons and that they sometimes haunt certain locations for their own reasons. So-called “ghost hunting” teams are able to detect the presence of theses departed souls, and more importantly, deal with them so that they stop bothering people in the here and now who want to get on with life without interruption from the spirit world. That’s the understanding that more and more are adopting today, as is evidenced by the popularity and multiplication of the paranormal TV shows. Well, the question we need to ask is, “Is there anything to the notion that ghosts can be detected, communicated with, and dealt with?” Is there any reality to ghost hunting? From a Christian perspective we must say that there is a mix of truth and false, real and fake to the whole “ghost hunting” fad. Yes, there is an element of the supernatural, but it’s not what most people think. But let’s explore further. (more…)

Top Three Movies That Warn Of Occult Dangers

November 7, 2013

Normal
0

Title: The Top Three Movies That Warn About Occult Dangers

 

Text: Luke 8:30-33, 1 Samuel 28:7-25, Hebrews 1:14

 

Time: October 24th, 2013

 

 

As a Christian pastor I always take the opportunity around the Halloween season to warn people about the world of the occult, although my warnings go largely ignored, I’m sad to say. The world just doesn’t listen to spiritual leaders like it once did, but especially it doesn’t listen to warnings about spiritual dangers. Why not? Because our modern, secular world mostly rejects spiritual reality, and instead embraces materialism. Therefore, it pays no heed to warnings about spiritual danger coming from the occult world.  But ever once in a while people, even worldly people, do listen, do think about and consider spiritual reality – and that’s usually after they’ve seen a realistic movie depicting it. They say “a picture’s better than a thousand words.” Well, that’s usually true, and it’s particularly true in trying to teach people about spiritual reality. A couple of movies have come out that really got people thinking about the spirit world and have had a lasting impact on how people view the hidden, unseen spiritual reality. These movies are, first, The Exorcists, which described a person possessed of the devil; second, Ghost, which illustrated the reality and dangers of occult spiritualism; and third, City of Angels, which showed the reality of angels. Now all three of these popular, big-budget Hollywood productions got some things right and some things wrong as far as accurate theological correctness. If I were to review each movie in detail I’d have to point out both what each movie showed that was true, and also what each movie showed that was false – because each one has a mixed bad of true theology and bad theology. Theology, of course is thinking about God, or correct thinking about spiritual subjects. According to the Bible, all three movies got it right sometimes, and got it wrong other times. But what all three popular movies did was raised people’s awareness of the reality of the spiritual realm. It showed secular people that there is more to this world than meets the eye, that there is an invisible spiritual reality that affects us all and in which we interact, whether we know it or not, every day. So what I’d like to do today is simply outline how each of these Hollywood movies help get people thinking about the spiritual world. Now I’m not endorsing these movies, or even recommending them for viewing, I’m simply using them as tools to teach a secular world that doesn’t normally take spirituality seriously. I’m trying to use the popular images and languages of pop culture to teach modern people how to think about spirituality and teach it true Christianity. So let me start. (more…)

Touched By A FAllen Angel (How To Avoid It)

November 7, 2013

Normal
0

Title: Touched By A Fallen Angel (How To Avoid It)

 

Text: Ephesians 5:15-17, John 14:30, James 4:8

 

Time: October 23rd, 2013

 

 

Every year I take Halloween as an opportunity to warn people of the dangers of the occult and related topics. I’ll continue that practice this year and talk about how to avoid contact with the devil and demons. Yes, there is a devil and there are demons! We live in a secular, modern, and materialistic world today where talk of devils and demons is out of place, but that doesn’t in any way negate their reality. In fact, it just makes it even harder to warn people of their reality and how to avoid contact with them. People are easily persuaded that there are angels, as evidenced by the widely popular TV series “Touched By An Angel” a few years back; but when it comes to fallen angels or demons, people live in denial or outright disbelief. But that’s a contradiction of logic – if you’re willing to believe in good angels, by what rule of logic would you deny the existence of the opposite or bad angels? You can’t. If you accept one, you must logically accept the other. Besides, the Bible is very clear that there are fallen angels or demons. It first indicates that the angel Lucifer sinned and was expelled from heaven by God: “How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn. You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations,” Isaiah 14:12. Then, Jesus himself says, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven,” Luke 10:18. In addition to Satan falling, other angels also followed him into sin and were cast out also: “Then another sign appeared in heaven; an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on his heads. His tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth . . . and there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back,” Revelation 12:3-4, 7. So while there is no single verse or section of the Bible that specifically says the devil and one-third of the angels rebelled and became evil, it hints at the fact. Just as there are good angels who remained loyal to God, so too are there bad angels or demons who rebelled against God. Now in dealing with this reality we must face the scary fact that there are not only good angels who aid and assist us in our walk with God in this life, but there are also fallen angels, demons, who oppose us in fulfilling the will of God with our life. The question is, how do we avoid contact with these fallen or demon angels? How can we minimize interaction with them, and so limit their influence in our life? That’s what I’d like to talk about today. It may not be possible to stay completely clear of demons, but let’s do all we can to minimize contact. Not that we are afraid or should be afraid, but let’s not go looking for trouble either. Here’s how. (more…)

Is Fortune Telling Real?

November 7, 2013

Normal
0

Title: Is Fortune Telling Real?

 

Text: Acts 16:16-18

 

Time: October 17th, 2013

 

 

We’re getting close to the secular holiday of Halloween for this year, so I thought I’d address a few topics related to the world of the occult. Every year or so I try to use the season of Halloween as an excuse to remind people just how dangerous the occult world really is, contrary to our culture’s attitude towards it that makes it out to be fun and games.  It’s disturbing to see how many homes are being decorated in elaborate and morbid ways in celebration of Halloween. In never used to be that way. Years ago there might be a pumpkin on the front porch, but not much more than that. Now days, it’s normal to see tombstones in the front yard, demons dangling from the front porch, witches and ghosts and all kinds of things hanging from windows, and so forth. Unfortunately, people have really taken a liking to what the occult world considers the most important day of the year – Halloween. Now why does the world of the occult see Halloween as so important? They say it’s the one day of the year when there’s the most of spiritual energy flowing, and when people believe the strongest in the secret occult world. It’s also a platform for recruitment into the world of the occult by various groups, which as a fact should be disturbing to any parent. Even though most people see Halloween as harmless fun, as nothing serious, and as merely something different mostly for kids, there’s real power and real danger in treating occultism so lightly. Just because we live in a secular, materialistic modern society doesn’t mean that demonic spirits don’t exist. In fact, there is a lot that demons can do when and while people don’t believe in them. For example, imagine how much damage terrorists could do if governmental authorities didn’t believe in terrorism. The enemies of the United States, for example, could silently, secretly enter the country and strike without any notice, and quietly exit without detection. Then they could repeat the same destructive process again and again. That’s exactly what demons or evil spirits do, especially now, today, when most people don’t believe in them. It may comfort most people to not believe in the world of the spirit, but it doesn’t save them from the danger of demons, or the destruction demons cause. Look at marriage and family break-up. Look at rising suicides among teenagers. Can you explain all these merely on the basis of social problems? Hardly. Something far deeper and darker is occurring behind the scenes. Today, I’d like to talk specifically about Fortune Telling because millions and millions of people seek out information about their future through this means. Little do they realize that it’s part of the world of the occult. I’d like to warn everyone against using any form of fortune telling. There’s just too much spiritual danger in it to risk playing around with it. Please turn to Acts 16:16-18 (read). (more…)

The Top Three Dangerous Ways The Occult Influences Us Today

October 31, 2012

Title: The Top Three Dangerous Ways the Occult Influences Us Today

Text: 1 Timothy 4:1

Time: October 26th, 2012

I’ve been talking about the world of the occult, and warning everyone about the dangers therein. The word “occult” means “hidden or secret,” and so in conjunction with the world of the spirit, it means “hidden or secret spiritual reality.” And more and more people are fascinated with the secret world of the occult today, especially since more and more people are turning away from historic Christianity and the traditional church. In order to fill the spiritual vacuum left by their fleeing Christianity, more people turn to the world of the occult for answers. It’s hardly possible to live in modern, 21st century America and avoid the occult world. We’ll run into it in one form or another almost every day. Now that may be hard to believe for some people because they aren’t conscious of the hidden, spiritual world around them. But the occult is everywhere, literally, whether we know it or not, or whether we want to admit it or not. Take for example the perfectly harmless act of visiting the neighborhood Wal-Mart store. What could be as safe as going shopping in a national family discount chain? It’s as far away from the spiritual world of the occult as anything could be, right? Wrong. Walk past the Halloween costume aisle and observe all manner of occult objects, ranging from ghost and witch outfits, to crystal balls and other occult tools. The same things can be found in Target, K-Mart, and other stores. It’s hard to avoid the occult influence today. Or consider the many movies and television shows that deal with occult topics. You’d be surprised by how many television series devote at least some time to the world of the occult, especially around the season of Halloween. Of course, the movies theaters are filled with occult related themes – it seems that script writers, producers and directors are obsessed with the occult, based on the number of movies that come out on the various dark spiritual topics. And on and on we could go through our modern, contemporary world. It’s truly amazing how often our daily lives are touched by the world of the occult. Of course, someone might object and say, “Yes, I admit that occult themes are commonplace in the modern world, but it’s mostly the harmless kind, not the serious spiritual type.” That’s true, most of the occult encounters we have during our daily lives aren’t the heavy duty, serious type, but even the small, seemingly insignificant brushes with the world of the occult have influence on us, on all of us, on all of society. So today, as I continue in the series on the occult during the month of October, I’d like to simply review some of the top three ways the dark world of the occult influences us today, in order that we might be aware and beware. If we know how we are being influenced, then we don’t have to fall prey to the damaging spiritual effects. It’s when we aren’t aware of the dangers of the occult that we run the risk of getting injured. If we can stay aware of common occult influences around us, then we can resist them, and help others resist them as well. So with that, let’s review the top three ways the occult influences today. (more…)

Is The World of The Occult Real?

October 31, 2012

Title: Is The World of the Occult Real?

Text: 2 Samuel 28:3-20

Time: October 25th, 2012

 

I’m continuing in a Halloween series for 2012, and today I’m dealing further with the world of the occult. What do I mean by the occult world? Simply, everything connected with the world of the spirit outside legitimate Christian activity.  But to be more specific, things like ouija boards, tarot cards, fortune telling, séances, mind reading, ESP, levitation, astrology, black and white magic, witches, spirit mediums, table tipping, Satanism, crystal balls, haunted houses, poltergeists, parapsychology, spiritism, psychic surgery, water witching (dousing), demon possession, vampirism, trans-channeling, automatic writing – to name just a few topics. There are, of course, more themes I could mention in respect to occultism, but these few give you the idea. If we look through the short list I’ve outlined, I’m sure we’re all familiar with one or two of them, either we’ve heard or read about something, or we’ve personally experienced it before. The world of the occult is pretty big, because it covers so many things and so much territory.  I could mention Voodooism, the religion of Haiti, because of the occultism found in it, particularly spirit possession, evil curses, and zombies. Now what characterizes all occult activity is an attempt to communicate or gain power from the world of the spirit outside of the Bible or outside of legitimate Christian channels. For example, God speaks through his Word, the Bible, to reveal his will to Christians. He also speaks through the Holy Spirit, through the Christian church, and other legitimate biblical means. But occultism attempts to by-pass the Bible and Christianity in order to deal directly with the world of the spirit. The truth is, there is a spirit world, and spirits inhabit it – but not everything spiritual is good and right. From the Bible, we know that God and righteous angels exist in the spirit world, but they aren’t the only inhabitants of the world of the spirit. The devil and demons are also spirits who exist in this non-material world. Of course, departed souls of the dead live in the spiritual world, either in heaven or hell. So we see there are a number of living entities that exist in the world of the spirit. Now occult practices attempt to deal with the spirit world directly without going through means and methods approved by God in the Bible. But this is dangerous because there is no telling who or what one is dealing with in the world of the occult. Unfortunately, if someone isn’t communicating with God in prayer or the Holy Spirit, it’s probably the devil or demons with whom one is dealing. The bottom line is, the occult puts people in touch with the devil, either intentionally or unintentionally. That’s why as Christians we must warn people about the dangers of the occult, and also, keep ourselves as far away from it as possible. Let me explain further from a famous passage in the Old Testament dealing with the occult – 1 Samuel 28, Saul and the witch of Endor. (more…)

Is Halloween a Healthy Holiday?

October 31, 2012

Title: Is Halloween a Healthy Holiday?

Text: Philippians 4:8, Acts 19:18-20, 1 Timothy 4:1

Time: October 24th, 2012

 

I just read in Time magazine that spending for this year’s Halloween season is up one billion dollars over last year, from $7 billion in 2011 to $8 billion in 2012. I noticed over the last few years how Halloween has grown in popularity, from just my own observations. For example, I see more houses being decorated with scary decorations such as tombstones, skeletons, skulls, witches and ghosts, to name just a few. I’ve also seen stores selling more Halloween paraphernalia in recent years, although, strangely enough, I haven’t noticed any more kids going door-to-door lately; they may well be going door-to-door as much, it’s just I haven’t noticed it on the increase, like I’ve noticed the commercial aspects of Halloween increasing. Is the growth in Halloween the sole creation of big business trying to cash in on anything that has the potential for making them money? No doubt there is the profit motive for driving some of the popularity of Halloween, but I get the feeling there’s something more going on. It’s no news that traditional, historic Christianity is declining in our country, as well as all Western nations, particularly in Europe. That’s not to say that churches are not growing and that there isn’t activity in some quarters of Christianity still today; there is enthusiasm in some spots. But the general trend is a decline in conviction and commitment to historic Christian doctrine and morality all around. While at the same time there is an increase in the world of the occult, that is, in the world of spirituality outside the bounds of traditional religion, particularly Christianity. People are turning away, generally speaking, from historic Christianity, and turning towards other forms of spirituality, including the world of the occult. Halloween is exciting for many people today because it allows them to dabble in the occult without being labeled fanatical about it. To be interested and pursue knowledge of ghosts and witchcraft, for example, might quickly label one kooky, but to play around with these things at Halloween is perfectly acceptable in today’s society. One can even dress up like a witch today at Halloween and not raise any eyebrows, whereas as other times of the year it might make one appear fanatical or weird. So Halloween gives a population of people who are turning away from Christianity more or less an excuse to try out aspects of a different form of spirituality, namely, the occult. This, from a Christian perspective, is not a good thing; in fact, it’s pretty alarming. Chesterton was right when he said, “When people stop believing in God, they don’t stop believing in anything – they are likely to believe in just about everything.” That’s true. As a Christian pastor, I’m aware that Halloween, for some, can be just a little harmless fun. But I’m also aware that for others, for a growing number in our society, Halloween is not a healthy holiday at all. In fact, it’s becoming a very unhealthy holiday. Let me explain. (more…)

The Devil and Demons — Do We Have To Worry About Them?

October 31, 2012

Title: The Devil and Demons – Do We Have To Worry About Them?

Text: Matthew 16:21-23, 1 Peter 5:8, Luke 22:1-6

Time: October 22nd, 2012

 

We’re into October, which is traditionally the month of Halloween, a time when the occult world supposedly is energized and occultists come out of the shadows and celebrate October 31st openly. It used to be that kids would dress up in funny costumes and go trick or treating door-to-door in harmless fun. But I’ve seen the whole Halloween season grow proportionally over the last twenty or thirty years. Now, adults get into the season and dress up in costumes. Now all kinds of movies and television shows present scary and occultic scenes. It seems that Halloween is growing in popularity, not diminishing, and with it there is a growing fascination with the world of the occult – ghosts, spirit mediums, ouija boards, fortune telling, black magic, witchcraft, ESP, séances, Satanism and so forth. These are all different aspects of the occult. The word “occult” simply means “hidden or secret.” But in the phrase, “the world of the occult,” we mean all forms of secret or hidden power or knowledge that is obtained outside the approved Christian channels of prayer, Bible or church. In other words, Jews and Christians have been warned in the Old and New Testaments that it is forbidden to seek after or receive secret or hidden knowledge or power outside of the realm of God. There is a spirit or spiritual world. God dwells in the world of the spirit, but that doesn’t mean everything in the spiritual world is under the direct control of God. Satan or Lucifer, or as he’s most often called, the Devil, also inhabits the spirit world, in opposition to God. Satan and his demons, or fallen angels, war against God and God’s righteous angels, in the spiritual world. Unfortunately, earth is also battleground for good versus evil, and so men and women are caught up in the battle also. The devil and demons are trying to recruit men and women on their side against God, while God and angels are attempting to win over humans for the Kingdom of God. The Bible in both Old and New Testaments describes this warfare. Now the world of the occult is all power and knowledge in the spirit world outside of will of God. In other words, it’s source is the kingdom of the devil, not the kingdom of God. Many people are confused on this point because it’s a common false assumption that anything paranormal or supernatural is automatically from God. Well, it’s not. There is plenty of paranormal or supernatural activity that comes from the devil or demons. All occult activity is probably from either the devil himself or from demonic spirits. That’s why we must beware of the occult. I’ve given a message on the dangers of the occult world previously, but today I’d like to warn us once again to beware of the devil and demons. They are real, and they really can oppose us in life. Here are a few ways the devil and demons can oppose us, and how we can beware and be ready. (more…)