Here are 3 Mission Statements. Can you guess who they belong to? Try not to peek below.
“To Make People Happy”
“To Help People Save Money So They Can Live Better”
“To Steal, Kill, and Destroy”
#1 goes to Walt Disney!
#2 goes to Walmart
#3 goes to the Devil
Yes, that is the Devil’s mission statement. His very purpose is to steal, to kill and to destroy as stated in the first part of John 10 : 10.
I think it is in our nature to give people the benefit of the doubt at least once or maybe twice before we decide they really aren’t our friend and definitely mean us harm. But seriously, if you read someone’s mission statement that said their purpose of existence was to steal, to kill and to destroy…don’t you think you would steer very clear of that person?
Yet despite the explicitly clear statement of purpose and the warnings we read in previous devotions, people are still drawn into the occult by lures of ghost tours, haunted house dinners and a multitude of other things like, tarot cards, yoga, secret societies, voodoo, shamans…the expanse of reach to all ages, all societies is extraordinary.
In 1973, I was a barely a teenager and went to see a scary movie. To date, there has never been another movie that scared me as much as that one did at the time. The Exorcist.
I clearly remember looking behind me to the back seat just expecting to see something horrible back there. I probably did not sleep well either. That movie should have been rated R for the fear factor. I had never heard of such a thing before. I thought it had to be fiction, however, I happen to live in St. Louis, MO and that movie was based on a true life incident that took place near St. Louis University. People still tour the home today around halloween and say it sends chills down their spine.
The fact is that demons are real. They are spoken of in the Bible extremely often. Nearly every time Jesus went anywhere, He was casting out demons.
“When evening came, many who were demon-possessed were brought to him, and he drove out the spirits with a word and healed all the sick.” Matthew 8 : 16
“And when the demon was driven out, the man who had been mute spoke. The crowd was amazed and said, “Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel.” Matthew 9 : 33
Ghosts and Hauntings
Since that blockbuster, there have been many movies, books and now even television shows to follow. There is one issue that is skewed in the presentation of the supernatural and that is what it actually is. If you have ever watched “A Haunting” or “Paranormal Experience” to name just two, you will hear that when paranormal events become apparent that it needs to be determined whether they are friendly or not. They will often say that the entity is harmless and merely a human soul that failed to find its way to “the light.” So then depending on the person managing the assessment, there are rituals and/or prayers done that assist this friendly human soul over the threshold from this dimension to the next and often they display a bright light in the re-enactment and show this figure walk into it.
Now before I say anything else, I will say that nothing is untrue because it is too unbelievable. Jesus rising from the dead is a pretty big argument against that defense. The truth I seek comes from the Bible and it can be pretty unbelievable at times but that is why faith is important. Once when I shared my testimony with another Christian, he did not believe me. He did not believe it was possible. I could go on and on about what the Bible says regarding healing and miracles to which his statement would be in direct opposition to what the Bible says…but all I really had to say was if you can’t believe that I received healing because it sounds too unbelievable, how then can you believe that Jesus was immaculately conceived, lived a holy life, healing and doing miracles, died on a cross and three days later was raised from the dead and because of that every sin for all of mankind has been paid for and we get to go to heaven?
So believability has nothing to do with why this is not true.
It can be pretty convincing as the psychics or mediums go about telling what these “ghosts” look like or how they behave and the descriptions match what people living in the homes have seen. In some instances they do research on the history of the land or events that took place in the town or previous owners and find someone who looks just like the person they have seen “haunting” their home.
The only ghost ever mentioned in the Bible is the Holy Ghost which is a translation from Holy Spirit. But we do hear about familiar spirits.
There is a supernatural realm. There are two forces only in it…Divine and Demonic. When God includes familiar spirits in the realms of enchanters, witches, charmers, wizards, etc. it makes clear that a familiar spirit is not from the Divine realm.
Here is what you never here on a ghost show. A familiar spirit is called that because it is familiar with you. An example can be when a medium begins to tell you what your passed relatives said or something you keep in relation to them that no one would know. The devil is supernatural. He cannot see into the future, but he can see into the supernatural realms of the past and the present. When someone seeks a medium, psychic, uses electronic voice recorders and speaks to the spiritual realm, they open the door wide and invite the demonic realm into their life and home.
All of that is said so you understand that when an entity appears to people and it looks like a child that used to live there, in reality it is masked itself as a familiar spirit when in reality it is a demon. Every now and then you will see that unfold in one of these shows. A child starts playing with an imaginary friend and suddenly it doesn’t look like the friend any longer but has taken on the appearance of a horrifying creature that we would be frightened of.
These are not human spirits changing forms. They are demons.
God Does Not Require Our Assistance to Help Souls Cross Over
Looking to the Bible again, if you were to read every Scripture that says death or die in it, there is a finality to it. Never does it say when we die, we have a choice of staying on the earth in a spirit form because we wish to haunt people or we were killed so quickly that we didn’t know what to do.
We do not need assistance crossing over or finding “the light.” God is completely in charge of our afterlife, not us and not even the devil.
“Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.”
Ecclesiastes 12 : 7
This may all sound a little too far removed to even matter to you, but I want to tell you that you need to be aware and mind the warnings from God.
As I mentioned in a previous devotion, as a child I was never taught that anything having to do with the occult was wrong or dangerous. I really did not even know what the occult is.
BTW, the word occult means hidden, secret, not detectable. The category of things related to it and their power are meant to be hidden from you so you innocently begin dabbling in something and by doing so open a door to the demonic realm into your life.
How difficult is it to even know all of the things that are of the occult. I mentioned some earlier that may have left you thinking I made a mistake, but I did not. One most overlooked is yoga. It is so healthy, great stretching. But it is actually a form of worship and if you delve deeper into it you would be meditating, imagining a third eye, chanting mantras and as you know that would be in direct defiance with the 1st commandment. I can hear someone saying…that is just legalistic and what about Christian yoga? Remember the mission statement we began with? Why would you even consider entertaining that which could draw you into a realm that is powered from an unholy source?
“The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.” 1 Timothy 4 : 1
Friends, when the door to the occult is opened in your life, the Devil has gained free license to enter. Just because you do not know that the speed limit was 30 does not mean you are not subject to the law if you break it. The same can be said about the supernatural. You don’t have to know that it is dangerous, you simply start walking down that path and eventually you will pay a price for inviting evil into your home or life.
I did open the door to the occult in many different ways as I have mentioned previously. I have had at least two physical encounters and I recall my husband having one.
The first I remember happened during the daylight hours while I was napping. I was awakened by a presence that seemed to hover over me. I prayed to God saying if this is an angelic being, let me know…but immediately it made pressure upon my body in a way that was very apparently not from God. Immediately I saw Scripture scrolling past my eyes as though I were looking at microfiche reader at the library. I prayed again and somehow knew it was the Holy Spirit and said if you want me to read it could you please slow it down. But it just continued. Then suddenly a growl, that scared me to the depths, came out of me! And immediately in the best voice I could muster, came the word “Jesus.”
Then it was over.
I am no demonologist, I am no theologian, I am just an ordinary person who just experienced a supra-extrodinary experience. It was not a dream. I was awake, I could not move but I was awake. I was confused at what had just happened and of course I was extremely shaken up.
But looking back on it, I believe I was being overpowered by a demon that was hovering and then entering me. As a child of God, having the Holy Spirit dwelling inside me, His role is to help me.
“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” John 14 : 26
We know from Ephesians 6 : 17 -“the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.” – that the Word of God is the Sword of the Spirit. So the Holy Spirit literally used the Words of the Bible set before my eyes which is an opening into my spirit to cast out the demon that was attempting to attach itself to me.
I am not going to talk about the other encounters because I do not want to glorify them. My reason for exposing this was to let you know that there are consequences to our actions regardless of whether we are believers or not. If we walk outside of the path that God has put for us, we allow ourselves to be attacked.
“And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Matthew 10 : 28
There is another reason to be aware of the demonic and that is because if you are a Christian you have actually been commissioned to expel or cast them out. Jesus gave us a Mission Statement!
“And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.” Matthew 10 : 7 – 8
“He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons;” Mark 16 : 15 – 17
So I imagine I have taken this to another place where you may be thinking, I’m no exorcist. I’m no priest. I’m not Catholic. None of that was a condition in the commission above. It simply says that these things will accompany those who believe.
I have been in circles where someone says “that is a demonic manifestation.” Well, I am not certain how you can tell that. If you look on youtube you will see people claiming that Christians are displaying demonic manifestations if they fall down and shake from someone laying hands on them. I can’t say that is true or not. I have however witnessed a demonic manifestation and there was absolutely no doubt about it. The demon spoke to me.
I was in my home. It was my pastor, his wife and my husband present. The pastor had been mixed up in several things we were just uncovering. He had insisted on having a meeting with some members who had left our church and wanted to have the meeting at our home. My husband was an elder and another elder was present. After the people left, it was just the four of us and the pastor was speaking about moving to California. So I questioned him because of something he had told me before. I said, “but didn’t you tell me that God called you here for revival?”
In a different voice, and a cold dark stare he looked at me and said, “I AM REVIVAL.”
I shuddered. I was speechless. We all were.
What should have happened is that we should have cast the demon out of him that very minute. However, not only was I unprepared, this was my pastor! I regret to this day that we did not take some kind of action.
A moment later, he was himself and had no recollection of having said those words. Denied it twice and then said he had to repent for it. He also should have realized that he needed someone to cast it out. But he was too proud to even seek counseling for the other things he was doing.
You Are A Warrior Against The Demonic
We are warriors for the Kingdom of God.
“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8 : 37 – 39
We contain the power within us commissioned by the Lord Himself to do the works He has given us to do.
“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.” John 14 : 12 – 14
Yes, but this is out of our comfort zone.
“And, “But my righteous one will live by faith. And I take no pleasure in the one who shrinks back.” But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.”
Hebrew 10 : 38 – 39
But Jesus never told us we would be comfortable. Not at all. In fact He warned us of persecution, trials and that we would be hated because of our faith.
“Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great isyour reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.” Matthew 5 : 11 – 13
“Whoever listens to you listens to me; whoever rejects you rejects me; but whoever rejects me rejects him who sent me.”
The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.”
He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” John 14 : 16 – 20
We are called. We’ve been equipped. We have the power that Jesus gave us. Revelation tells us in the last days:
“They are demonic spirits that perform signs, and they go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them for the battle on the great day of God Almighty.” Revelation 16 : 14
While Jesus was still here, they called Him a demon because He cast them out. Herod wanted to kill Him.
“He replied, “Go tell that fox, ‘I will keep on driving out demons and healing people today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will reach my goal.’” Luke 13 ; 32
Friends, we need to have the perseverance of Jesus, the faith and the power given us to do the work He has left for us to do.
One week from tonight
we will remember
our Lord and Savior
hanging on a tree
beaten and dying
He gave everything He had to give
What can we do in the time we have left?
We can live the Mission Statement He gave us!