BONDAGE BREAKER SERIES | REVIEW
Manipulating Spirits |
7.30.17 OUTLINE | THE LURE OF KNOWLEDGE AND POWER
INTRODUCTION | PLAGIARISM SAVES TIME
A TRAP AS OLD AS THE BIBLE
KNOWLEDGE FROM THE DARK SIDE
Charlatans and Real Mediums
The Down Side of Seeking The Dark Side
An Old Idea in New Clothing
A TRAP AS OLD AS THE BIBLE | DEUTERONOMY 18:9-13
DEUTERONOMY 18:9-13 NLT 9 “When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you, be very careful not to imitate the detestable customs of the nations living there. 10 For example, never sacrifice your son or daughter as a burnt offering. And do not let your people practice fortune-telling, or use sorcery, or interpret omens, or engage in witchcraft, 11 or cast spells, or function as mediums or psychics, or call forth the spirits of the dead. 12 Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord. It is because the other nations have done these detestable things that the Lord your God will drive them out ahead of you. 13 But you must be blameless before the Lord your God.
ANDERSON | “This command is as viable for us today as it was for the Israelites under Moses’s leadership. We live in a contemporary Canaan where it is socially acceptable to consult spiritists, mediums, palm-readers, psychic counselors, and horoscopes for guidance and esoteric knowledge. This is unfortunately true among Christians also. During a 1990 survey of 1725 professing Christian teenagers, we discovered the following about their activity in the occult:1
Almost 50 percent of these Christian teenagers indicated some type of involvement! And we never even asked about witchcraft or sorcery, which Moses also mentioned in Deuteronomy 18.
It is hard for some people to believe that young and old alike are actually worshipping Satan. Our police departments are trying to tell parents today, “Wake up! Your kids are not just into drugs and illicit sex. They’re into Satanism. We’ve seen the blood and the mutilated animals.” The man who was the head of campus security where I taught belonged to a group of security officers from campuses across southern California. This group met once a month. When it was our school’s turn to host the meeting, he asked me to speak to the group about spiritual phenomena in our culture. “There aren’t many Christians in the group,” he said, “but they’ll be on our campus, so I want you to speak to them.” I agreed to do so.
It was a veteran crowd of former military men and police officers. When I started talking about the rise of Satanism in our community, there wasn’t a doubter or a scoffer in the bunch. Every one of them had a story to share about finding grisly evidence of Satanism being active on his own campus. Every security officer was told to cover it up. School administrators don’t want the public to know about such things for the same reason they don’t like to report rapes.
Every cult or occult practice that Moses warned the Israelites to avoid in Canaan—from “harmless” horoscopes to unthinkable atrocities of animal and human sacrifice—is in place and operating in our culture today. Anderson, Neil T.. The Bondage Breaker® (pp. 125-127). Harvest House Publishers. Kindle Edition.
KNOWLEDGE FROM THE DARK SIDE
1 JOHN 4:1-6 NLT 1 Dear friends, do not believe everyone who claims to speak by the Spirit. You must test them to see if the spirit they have comes from God. For there are many false prophets in the world. 2 This is how we know if they have the Spirit of God: If a person claiming to be a prophet acknowledges that Jesus Christ came in a real body, that person has the Spirit of God. 3 But if someone claims to be a prophet and does not acknowledge the truth about Jesus, that person is not from God. Such a person has the spirit of the Antichrist, which you heard is coming into the world and indeed is already here. 4 But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world. 5 Those people belong to this world, so they speak from the world’s viewpoint, and the world listens to them. 6 But we belong to God, and those who know God listen to us. If they do not belong to God, they do not listen to us. That is how we know if someone has the Spirit of truth or the spirit of deception.
CHARLATANS AND REAL MEDIUMS | 1 TIMOTHY 1:1-4
1 TIMOTHY 1:1-4 NLT 1 This letter is from Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus, appointed by the command of God our Savior and Christ Jesus, who gives us hope. 2 I am writing to Timothy, my true son in the faith. May God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord give you grace, mercy, and peace. 3 When I left for Macedonia, I urged you to stay there in Ephesus and stop those whose teaching is contrary to the truth. 4 Don’t let them waste their time in endless discussion of myths and spiritual pedigrees. These things only lead to meaningless speculations, which don’t help people live a life of faith in God.
THE DOWN SIDE OF SEEKING THE DARK SIDE | 1 SAMUEL 15:12-23
1 SAMUEL 15:12-23 NLT 12 Early the next morning Samuel went to find Saul. Someone told him, “Saul went to the town of Carmel to set up a monument to himself; then he went on to Gilgal.”
13 When Samuel finally found him, Saul greeted him cheerfully. “May the Lord bless you,” he said. “I have carried out the Lord’s command!” 14 “Then what is all the bleating of sheep and goats and the lowing of cattle I hear?” Samuel demanded. 15 “It’s true that the army spared the best of the sheep, goats, and cattle,” Saul admitted. “But they are going to sacrifice them to the Lord your God. We have destroyed everything else.” 16 Then Samuel said to Saul, “Stop! Listen to what the Lord told me last night!”
“What did he tell you?” Saul asked. 17 And Samuel told him, “Although you may think little of yourself, are you not the leader of the tribes of Israel? The Lord has anointed you king of Israel. 18 And the Lord sent you on a mission and told you, ‘Go and completely destroy the sinners, the Amalekites, until they are all dead.’ 19 Why haven’t you obeyed the Lord? Why did you rush for the plunder and do what was evil in the Lord’s sight?” 20 “But I did obey the Lord,” Saul insisted. “I carried out the mission he gave me. I brought back King Agag, but I destroyed everyone else. 21 Then my troops brought in the best of the sheep, goats, cattle, and plunder to sacrifice to the Lord your God in Gilgal.”
22 But Samuel replied, “What is more pleasing to the Lord: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams. 23 Rebellion is as sinful as witchcraft, and stubbornness as bad as worshiping idols. So because you have rejected the command of theLord, he has rejected you as king.”
ANDERSON | “Not much is known about the biblical terms “medium” and “spiritist.” Since “medium” (ob, meaning “witch or necromancer”) is feminine, and “spiritist” (yidd oni, from the root “to know”) is masculine, some students of the Bible think that they are male and female counterparts of the same role. The Old Testament abounds with illustrations of kings, false prophets, and mediums leading the nation of Israel in rebellion against God. One of the more well-known cases was Israel’s first king. Saul began well by seeking God’s guidance and was appointed by Samuel as king of Israel he served (1 Samuel 9) well until his infamous rebellion against God’s will (1 Samuel 15), a sin which God equates with the sin of divination (verse 23). Why did Saul sin and reject the word of the Lord? Because he feared the voice of the people more than the voice of God—a problem all too evident in our world today.” Anderson, Neil T.. The Bondage Breaker® (p. 130). Harvest House Publishers. Kindle Edition.
AN OLD IDEA IN NEW CLOTHING | GENESIS 3:1-5
GENESIS 3:1-5 NLT 1 The serpent was the shrewdest of all the wild animals the Lord God had made. One day he asked the woman, “Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?” 2 “Of course we may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,” the woman replied. 3 “It’s only the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden that we are not allowed to eat. God said, ‘You must not eat it or even touch it; if you do, you will die.’”4 “You won’t die!” the serpent replied to the woman. 5 “God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.”
ANDERSON | “The New Age movement cloaks the occultic message of enlightenment: “You don’t need God; you are God. You don’t need to repent of your sins and depend on God to save you. Sin isn’t a problem; you just need to turn off your mind and tune in to the great cosmic oneness through harmonic convergence.” The New Age pitch is the oldest lie of Satan: “You will be like God” (Genesis 3:5).
This thirst for knowledge and power has lured a gullible public to seek guidance from mediums and spiritists, and from such occultic practices as fortune-telling, tarot cards, palm-reading, Ouija boards, astrology, magic charming, and automatic writing. “Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are going to inquire of Baal-zebub?” Elijah lamented (2 Kings 1:6). People all around us are ignoring the God who loves them and wants to guide their lives, and are instead seeking light and peace in the kingdom of darkness. We may well ask with Jehu, “What peace, so long as the harlotries of your mother Jezebel and her witchcrafts are so many?” (2 Kings 9:22). Peace can only be found in the Prince of Peace, not in the prince of darkness.
Don’t be carried away by the prospect of knowledge and power which is luring so many people in our culture away from God. People such as the devotees of Simon in Acts 8:9,10 will continue to be astonished by those who practice New Age sorcery. Others, such as the customers of the demon-possessed slave girl in Acts 16:16-18 will contribute to the profit of those who exercise a spirit of divination. As in these examples from the early church, those who seek knowledge and power from the dark side will greatly interfere with the work of God, deceiving many by the counterfeit forces they employ. Other people will thirst after power to such an extent that they will sacrifice to the “goat demons” (Leviticus 17:7) and even sacrifice their own children to demons (Psalm 106:36-38). I can verify firsthand from my counseling experience that these kinds of things are actually happening today.
Let these words from Scripture sober us to the reality that even believers are vulnerable to being lured away from the knowledge and power of God by our enemy, who exaggerates our sense of independence and importance apart from God:
But Jeshurun grew fat and kicked—you are grown fat, thick, and sleek—then he forsook God who made him, and scorned the Rock of his salvation. They made Him jealous with strange gods; with abominations they provoked Him to anger. They sacrificed to demons who were not God, to gods whom they have not known, new gods who came lately, whom your fathers did not dread. You neglected the Rock who begot you, and forgot the God who gave you birth (Deuteronomy 32:15-18). Anderson, Neil T.. The Bondage Breaker® (pp. 133-134). Harvest House Publishers. Kindle Edition.
NEXT UP | TEMPTED TO DO IT YOUR WAY (AUGUST 6)