Tag Archives: Satan

Lucifer Morningstar

ESV Isaiah 14:12 “How you are fallen from heaven, O Day Star, son of Dawn! How you are cut down to the ground, you who laid the nations low!” There are different translations. Lucifer is “Heylel” in Hebrew meaning “light bearer, shining one, morning star, also described the King of Babylon.” (Bible Works) For those who like to claim that the Old Testament doesn’t talk about Hell or Satan, well apparently they haven’t read Job or Isaiah. Matthew Henry notes how the Kings of Babylon were oppressors of Israel, so for the Israelites to think of Satan in these terms would seem natural.

The pericope in Isaiah goes on to say: “ESV Isaiah 14:13 You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God I will set my throne on high; I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far reaches of the north; ESV Isaiah 14:14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’ ESV Isaiah 14:15 But you are brought down to Sheol, to the far reaches of the pit. ESV Isaiah 14:16 Those who see you will stare at you and ponder over you: ‘Is this the man who made the earth tremble, who shook kingdoms, ESV Isaiah 14:17 who made the world like a desert and overthrew its cities, who did not let his prisoners go home?’ ESV Isaiah 14:18 All the kings of the nations lie in glory, each in his own tomb; ESV Isaiah 14:19 but you are cast out, away from your grave, like a loathed branch, clothed with the slain, those pierced by the sword, who go down to the stones of the pit, like a dead body trampled underfoot.” (BibleWorks)

Seems to be pretty cut and dried, no wiggle room here, Satan chose his own way. Jesus described how Satan was cast out: “ESV Luke 10:18 And he said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.” Revelation makes it very clear what happened before God created man: “ESV Revelation 12:7 Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought back, ESV Revelation 12:8 but he was defeated and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. ESV Revelation 12:9 And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world- he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.” (BibleWorks)

Clearly the issue has been settled. Lucifer was made to be the most perfect, created, being. To such an extent that he convinced himself that he should be “god”, and tried to establish himself as god. He was defeated by the Archangel Michael and tossed out of heaven. Clearly putting himself outside of any possibility of redemption. But that, obviously, hasn’t stopped Satan. He tried to swing Jesus over to his side and Jesus dismissed him. But the effort continues and apparently his PR people make another attempt, among many, in the Fox television series “Lucifer”. I stumbled on it by accident, I was traveling didn’t have my usual list of recorded programs and just happened to land on the program. I did end up recording it and was able to examine it closer.

The program posits that Satan is actually warming up to man, although his track record has been to try to destroy man. Lest we forget he is the one who enticed Eve to eat the fruit in the Garden of Eden that got her and Adam kicked out and condemned to a life of sin and out of communion with God the Father. We know that through Jesus, Satan was defeated and our relationship with the Father reestablished through Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins on the cross. Let’s also remember that Satan in Hebrew means “adversary” and “accuser”. We’ve taken that to mean God’s adversary, although to quote a New York Times reporter, writing before the 2004 World Series who described the Yankee – Red Sox rivalry has a hammer hitting a nail. That obviously the hammer is the active punisher and the nail receives which would more accurately describe the “rivalry” between God and Satan,. It may be adversarial, but God is clearly the punisher. The Greek word translates diabolos, meaning slanderer, the one who accuses and tries to misrepresent man.

Satan finds a woman police detective fascinating in her convictions as one trying to pursue her job with conviction and also able to resist the advances of Satan. This despite her somewhat unvirtuous background. Apparently in her rebellious period against her parents she made a movie where she appears nude, for which she confesses to her young daughter for forgiveness. Part of the plot is Satan trying to figure out why he doesn’t seem to have an effect on her. It’s obvious in the program that he rather easily affects everyone else. Another power of his being to draw out the desires of those he confronts. He uses his celebrated charm (Sympathy for the Devil by the Rolling Stones), to manipulate people who presume to be so much smarter, superior to everyone else, in a kind of Pharisaical way. Lest we forget Satan is beyond redemption, he made his decision by rebelling against God in heaven. Sure we humans rebell, but we were only kicked out of the Garden of Eden. The Father, through the Son, has made a way for us to be in relationship with Him. Satan chose to shoot for the top and ended up in Sheol.

A waitress at Satan’s night club, who is a demon, challenges Satan, accusing him of becoming soft, almost in the sense of selling out. The character makes it clear that he is still very much in control, but maybe becoming, at least, a little more respectful of humans. The Biblical truth is that Satan has an implacable hatred of man and he continues by any means to destroy man and undermine God.

Another character in the program is Ariel. This is a very obscure reference and is not biblical. But it is an apocryphal reference. According to Wikipedia he is an Archangel described in the Book of Enoch. “”Ariel” has been called an ancient name for the leontomorphic Gnostic Demiurge (Creator God).”(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ariel_(angel)) Gnosticism is a very early “Christian” heresy that kind of creates a non-Biblical paradigm around Jesus. Ariel is Hebrew meaning Lion of God, hearth of God. Interesting note, the angel is played by an African- American man, who is clearly not the contemporary image of a fluffy, beautiful woman. He is clearly a warrior, so I will give the show credit on this score. Angels are very much warriors and men, not at all the feminine, cuddly, nurturing types.

Now Satan does have the power to punish those under his authority, those being people who are not saved in Christ. Ephesians 2:2 grants that: “ESV Ephesians 2:2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience-” (BibleWorks) Having said that Lucifer claims in a couple of instances, that he will be passing judgment on humans. Lucifer is sitting across from a papparazzi, Nick, who is a rather unsympathetic figure, trying to convince him to tell him who the real murderer is. Nick is having some guilt re-assessing his life and the lousy things he’s done to “succeed”, “at what cost to my soul”. Lucifer tells him that he will be deciding the cost to his soul; “Well that someone is sitting opposite of you and it’s not looking good.” No, that is above Satan’s pay-grade. Jesus will be making those calls and even a sleezey papparazzi is not beyond redemption. It’s odd though that Nick would think that he could somehow get redemption from Satan, but it seems as if many in the world today think that they can somehow be justified or protected by Satan and ignore Jesus.

Another scene to try to demonstrate Lucifer’s new found virtue is with a street preacher. It becomes obvious that the man is just putting on an act, has found a way to make money doing this. (Why? I have no idea.) Certainly such a man is guilty of simony, described in the Book of Acts. And certainly this man is also on his way to Hell for this sin. Dante describes the level of Hell from simonists, granted it’s not biblical either, but shows that this sin is historically considered a heinous sin. Lucifer frightens the poser into knowing that Satan is very much real. My question is did Lucifer do this as a way to frighten the man into taking Satan seriously, for mocking Satan? Or is he trying to scare the poser street preacher straight. I have to go with Lucifer was more angry that the man was really mocking him.

There’s more, but I’m not really sure how to posit the rest. I was interested in the depiction of Satan going to a psycho-analyst to hash out his issues. Yea, this may be the cynical wise guy talking, but I found it interesting that he seems to be, somehow, confessing to what many think of as a priestess of this worldly religion of psychology. Why not bring a liberal clergy person in? But the science of self-obsession/self-appraisal and of course for Freudians, that everything in our psyche really comes down to sex, that this is almost confession/worship for him.  Each session begins and ends with Lucifer having sex with the attractive woman who is the psycho analyst. Seems to be in the sense of the temple prostitutes of the various cults in the ancient world.

There is a lot more that could be analyzed. Certainly the writers of the program are trying to portray Satan in a sympathetic light. Calling himself Lucifer Morningstar linguistically speaking, is a much more positive, uplifting name meaning morning star (literally his name would read Shiningone Lightbearer Morningstar) Lucifer also means shining one/lighbearer. Maybe I’m reading too much into the imagination of some writers who really don’t know anything about who Satan really is, but, I don’t know, identify with him more than Jesus. A case could be made that most of the world feels that way. Night clubs, sex, drunkeness, fornication, those are a way of life for most people in the world today, all in all it does seem as if the attempt is “Sympathy for the Devil”. In today’s biblically illiterate world, I’m sure there are lots of people who are buying what the Fox program is selling making Satan attractive, charming, relatable. They did show their hand once with the street preacher, Satan is the Beast, he is unredeemable. Unfortunately anyone buying this and rejecting true salvation in Christ, is condemning themselves with a lie. The sad fact is that God is in control and the rest is another attempt by the Prince of the Power of the Air, to delude people into their own damnation.

We take way too lightly both God and Satan, beings that are far superior to us in so many ways. We really are arrogant enough to think that we can somehow control and sway, both/either. Let’s be clear, God is there for your eternal good, your eternal redemption and salvation in Jesus to true life in the resurrection, the New Jerusalem. Satan is there to corrupt and destroy you, he will try to do this in any winsome way he can or try to terrify you into it, either way that works. Your only refuge is in Jesus, no matter how shiny and pretty Satan looks.

The television show? Really cute, but dangerous as hell.

Suffering as a Christian, supported by the Body of Christ, the Church

Despite what others say and might think it’s supposed to be, quite often becoming a Christian does mean that you are going to experience, at least, challenges, if not more. Now before you go running back to your little hiding place, where you’ve been hoping the rest of the world will just pass you by, I ask you, do you have a better idea? I don’t care if you’re a big tough guy, or a little woman, you all have your hiding places, thinking no one will see you and just pass you by. If you just let things alone, pass from life into death, you might just get through life without much difficulty. It is a lousy way to live the life that God has given you, but I guess you managed to get through without having your prissy little sensibilities hurt.  Good for you, you had a sad little life, you’ve sinned against God by piddling away your life and ignoring Him and since you did it all your way, and ignored God, well God has ignored you and let you condemn yourself to eternal separation from Him and eternal condemnation in Hell. You sent yourself there, God did permit it, goody for you, you had your free will.

For those who are in Christ you will experience challenges, there will be difficult times. It stands to reason, if you put yourself out there and are serving others you are going to take hits, you just are. In fact if you consider yourself a Christian and have just been cruising through, you might want to take a serious look at your relationship with Jesus, been a little too much about you and not really much about Him? I would question if you are still in relationship with Jesus and have slipped into the nice, cozy little world of condemnation.

My theme, lately, has been about the Body of Christ and how we all seem to feel like free agents, it’s all about me and Jesus and forgetting that it’s really about Jesus and His Body, His Bride, the church. All those fellow believers who are all experiencing challenges. Doesn’t it make more sense to turn to and rely on Christian brothers and sisters in times of trouble? Who else would know better the attacks of Satan and the world then someone else who has undergone those attacks? A brother or sister, someone who is in the Body, who also hurts when another part of the Body, you, me, brothers and sisters, has been hurt, we should be there to support others and know they support us.

We certainly have the Holy Spirit who is watching over us, we are protected, although we will stay take shots and hits in the world. But doesn’t it help more to have a flesh and blood brother watching over you and you watching over him? To build each other up and support each other? that other person may not be in the same church. I may not totally agree with him, but if he is genuinely in Jesus, we need to have each other’s “six”.

Whether you are new or been a long time in the Body of Jesus, you will experience adversity in the world. If the world rejected Jesus, it will challenge and reject you. That’s why you have the church and brothers and sisters. For those guys who think they’re so tough and can do it on your own, don’t be surprised when you are chewed up and spit out and leave yourself condemned to hell also, it will happen, I see men and women like that all the time. Tough guy, know it alls who end up flat on their back looking up at the sky and then expecting someone else to pick up the pieces because they were smart guys. If not for yourself, be there, at church, daily lives of Christians, for others to help them. I will bet an enormous amount you will be blessed and start wondering how you ever survived without brothers and sisters in Jesus.

The Ocean is deep but doesn’t come close to the depth of the love of Jesus Genesis 9: 8-17 First St Johns July 26, 2015

[For the audio of this sermon please click on SoundCloud icon]

We make our beginning in the Name of God the Father and in the Name of God the Son and in the Name of God the Holy Spirit and all those who know the promises of God said … AMEN

This is one of those passages that the world likes to say is some kind of fable, mythology. The church hasn’t done a very good job with these Genesis passages either, letting them be some sort of similes or parables. Too many like to back off and say it didn’t really happen, but makes for good Sunday school material. The adults really don’t believe this stuff. The church has, essentially rejected, what God has given it to teach as truth. There was a Noah, that there was a world-wide flood, that there were people on the earth who needed to be destroyed because they had become so profoundly evil and irredeemable and that God then made a subsequent promise/covenant with Noah. Where He promised that He would never destroy the world again, through a flood. He will destroy the world again, as we see in the Book of Revelation, what was probably the last book of biblical revelation, but when He destroys the world again, it will be for the final time. In it’s place we will have the resurrection, where we and the world will be made into a place that God intended it to be and for us to be what we were intended to be. There will be no sin, no death, no fighting, there won’t be people creating artificial, phoney debates, we will all be one Body, God’s agents in creating a perfect world, where there will be few limitations, where as I’ve said many times, we will have life and life more abundant, Jesus’ words.

But today, the world, Satan, love to hijack what God gives us and apply it to the things of the world. God is, obviously, the most creative, the most uplifting, positive element in creation. He created everything, we are all pretty much in agreement that even in the evil, fallen, world, there is still amazing beauty, staggering evidence of God’s genius, His incredible creativity. As we go into space, we will see more evidence then we already know. Even now we are receiving pictures from the “dwarf-planet” Pluto, which is now bigger than was thought, that is showing some amazing aspects of that planet. But we love to live in denial about Noah’s story, because after all, we’re in charge, we call the shots. This bizarre idea that it’s all subject to democratic vote and the world’s not going to end because we say so, we have the technology, we moved beyond God’s will, if His will was ever a factor to begin with.

Noah’s ark and a world wide flood is an event that many feel is limited to this one fable from a people in the middle east and really has had no effect beyond that tiny group of people. That is also a fallacy that the world likes to live in ignorance of. Virtually every people in the world have a story about a devastating, all destructive flood and a man or family that were guided by God to save a remnant of people and animals. The geological evidence that has been discovered in very recent time, points to such a flood. The historical and geological evidence, again, destroys the worldly/Satanic lie that this is only a fable, it really did happen.

The upside to the flood is Yahweh’s words to Noah: “I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood,…” this is God’s first covenant, His first contract, promise with His creation. His subsequent promises will be to Abraham, to David, then finally Jesus, God the Son, who in His word says what I will be repeating in a few minutes: “In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” (1 Cor 11:25) This is the covenant Jesus makes with us, His people, those who have been given new life, have been saved from the death of sin in the world. His promise “For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.” (1 Cor 11:26) that He will return, that He will save those who are in Him, His Body, His church, and they will be restored to true life in the resurrection. After Noah, He tells Abram, that he will be the father of many nations, an old man who had no children at all. He tells King David that the Messiah, the Savior of man-kind will not only be born and deliver His people, but that Messiah, that anointed one of God will be David’s direct descendant.

But the world, in its cutesy way to continually undermine God, takes a symbol that God said is an “everlasting covenant”, of life, of a world of hope and promise and the world has turned it into a symbol of its own lusts and its hatred of God and His will, that is the symbol of the rainbow.

As I’ve said before, we shouldn’t be surprised when the world does things like this, it is the world, it is unsaved and doomed. The world has no promise, no hope. As the Prince of the world, Satan knows his destiny, he knows he is doomed to eternal destruction along with those who also refuse, defy and hate God. Satan has no compunction to take those who are also doomed and use them as pawns to further his fight against God in the world, to guide them to use God’s symbols in an evil way, to deny God’s teachings, such as Noah, and to turn them into symbols that lead us to believe it is all about us, that we are God, that we can do whatever we please, regardless of the consequences to us and those around us.

The non-believer wags his finger at God and says “how could God destroy the earth, He must be evil!” They will stipulate to a destruction story if that gives them a reason to spew their hatred against God. But they will not accept that God is serious, He has a people whom He does want to save and establish a world that will be perfect. He is showing all of us, He is not going to tolerate a sinful and base world filled with evil people. If people continue to be so willfully evil, as we see all-around us at this time in history, He will destroy it again and leave those who are condemned to face the penalty of their sins which is eternal condemnation.

God the Father is a loving, merciful, compassionate God. He has shared His promises with us, His Word, the Bible is filled with hope, promise. His Son Jesus Christ came that we would have life and life more abundant, not only in this world, but where it truly matters, to all eternity. We who are in Christ know that we have the promise that through Him we have forgiveness, we need forgiveness, because God is truly Holy, righteous and just. He does not tolerate sin and in His creation in the New Jerusalem, He will not tolerate sin. His new creation will only be populated by those who are saved in Jesus. We who are righteous, only in Jesus, because of the price that He paid, His perfect life, a ransom for many, that gives us the promise of eternal life.

What other things does the world promise us, what other symbols, what other failures of the world do we tolerate because, well we just all want to get along? We are not here to compromise with the world, because the world is wrong, sinful, seriously messed up. We do not buy into the world’s story, because we have the true story. The world likes to tell us that the story of Noah and Jesus are fables, that the stories of Darwin, Marx and the Kardashians are real and that’s what we should trust in. Take a step away from the nonsense of the world, can we all get along? In reality, not really. We reach out into the world with the love and mercy of Jesus, the world loves to think that it’s so tolerant, but when Jesus, the cross and His church comes up you can see the hate and poison in the eyes of the world. Despite that we do have to continue to love, serve in compassion, have mercy, but also have righteousness, assure that our witness is always for Jesus and not the things of the world. This is not going to make us popular, but John tells us, “Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you.” (1 John 3:13) The world hated and still hates our Lord Jesus, it’s going to hate those who are faithful in Him. But it doesn’t matter what the world thinks, it does matter what Jesus thinks. The world can take the symbols of Christianity and try to corrupt them and try to make it in the name of tolerance, but that is a lie straight from Hell and another attempt by Satan to corrupt the church and Jesus’ people. So write in your journal about what the rainbow really means, as well as God’s other covenants, and how you can use them to show others the love of Christ that is in you.

The peace of God which surpasses all understanding keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Amin and Shalom.

Exclusive Report—The Devil in Detroit

Exclusive Report—The Devil in Detroit.

This is by a Roman Catholic priest, who gives a little more detail into the unveiling of the Satan statue of Baphomet in Detroit. There is more than just an exercise of “religion” involved, this episode involves sexual expression that goes along with Satanic worship.

 

Ghosts, spirits, demons

This may seem like kind of a goofy subject, but frankly considering all the supernatural themed shows on television, and a couple of experiences I’ve had as a parish pastor, this subject really should be raised and discussed from a Christian perspective. I happen to agree with the writer, that there are demons in the world, that they do try to convince people they are  ghosts of relatives, friends that kind of thing. OK, goofy, but the demonic wants only one thing, to take your attention away from Christ. So if you get caught up in doing “ghost hunts” through old houses, hey so much the better, keeps you from being a Christian disciples. So consider the following and I certainly would like to hear back from you to discuss further.

Do You Believe in Ghosts?

Biblical Worldview

by Rick Barry on June 3, 2010; last featured October 28, 2014

Audio Version

Ghosts. What do you really think about them? If someone pushes us, most will admit a degree of love for scary stories. But what about reports of real ghosts, even by sincere Christians? Few Christians seem to know what to think. If we look to the Scriptures, however, we find solid answers, even on this murky subject.

The Fall of Satan

In The Fall of Satan you will discover who Satan is, when he rebelled, and other biblical teaching about this spiritual adversary and his angels.

Both children and adults alike wonder about the existence of ghosts. Some reject the notion. Others insist that ghosts exist and cite experiences—their own or friend-of-a-friend stories—as proof.

But what is a ghost? Although definitions vary, the most common one is that ghosts are the disembodied spirits of dead people that linger on earth. According to tradition, ghosts are invisible but can permit humans to see them.

Of course, either a thing exists or it doesn’t. No amount of belief will cause ghosts to exist if they don’t; nor could personal opinion cause ghosts not to exist if, in fact, they truly do exist. Because a person’s belief in ghosts creates very serious and far-reaching ramifications, it’s a topic that no Christian should ignore.

Classic Ghost Stories

Tales involving apparitions drift down to us from ancient times. Various languages contributed words such as wraith (Scottish), phantom (French), specter (Latin), shade (Old English), banshee (Gaelic), and poltergeist (German).

In ancient Iraq, the Epic of Gilgamesh portrayed Gilgamesh conversing with the spirit of his dead friend Enkidu. Old Egypt left a cryptic tale about the ghost of Nebusemekh chatting with the high priest of Amun-Re. Such stories prove nothing, of course, except that the concept goes back a long way. In fact, even Christ’s twelve disciples fearfully mistook Jesus for a spirit when He appeared walking on the sea at night (Mark 6:49).

Homer included ghosts in his Odyssey and Iliad, and Shakespeare cast roles for spirits in Hamlet and Macbeth. Whether these authors believed in ghosts is unknown. What they understood, however, is that a truly chilling ghost story can grip an audience.

Growing Interest

Yes, ghost stories have been around for ages, and some (such as Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol) have become fixtures in modern culture. However, in recent decades the genre has exploded with an abundance of movies (Field of Dreams, The Haunting in Connecticut, The Sixth Sense, as examples) and TV shows (such as Lost and Ghost Whisperer) that depend on spirits to drive the plots. Nonfiction programs such as Ghost Hunters attempt to investigate claims of ghosts using infrared cameras and other devices.

DO YOU BELIEVE IN GHOSTS? THE QUESTION IS HUGE. GETTING PEOPLE TO BELIEVE IN GHOSTS AUTOMATICALLY FORCES THEM TO REJECT KEY BIBLE VERSES.

Does a diet of such entertainment influence anyone? Undoubtedly. In 2006 the Barna Group published the results of nationwide studies involving more than 4,000 teens. The study found that 73% of the youth surveyed had “engaged in at least one type of psychic or witchcraft-related activity, beyond mere media exposure or horoscope usage.” One tenth had participated in séances. Nine percent had visited a supposed medium or spiritual guide.1

The Barna Group’s vice president noted that teens “cut and paste supernatural experiences and perspectives from a variety of sources—from the movies and books they read, from their experiences, from the Internet, from their peers and families, from any place they’re comfortable with.” This is a problem for adults as well.

An astounding find is that only 28% of churched teenagers could recall hearing any teaching at church in the past year that helped to define their understanding of the supernatural. Is it any wonder that so many teens enter adulthood without the answers they need on this topic?

Shadows of Doubt

Most reports of ghost sightings include details that defy logic. For instance, most alleged apparitions are clothed. But if a ghost is the spirit of a dead person, shouldn’t a spirit appear unclothed after shedding his earthly body and its garments? Is one to conclude that pants, shirts, dresses, and medieval armor contain spirits of their own that faithfully cling to the ghost of a person?

Further challenges to logic stem from stories of ghost ships (such as the Flying Dutchman), ghost trains, and similar accounts. Does a vehicle constructed by human hands gain a “soul” that reappears later?

People who listen to ghost stories around a campfire understand that their friends have concocted those tales. The wish to embellish a spooky yarn naturally explains the addition of such silly details as ghostly nightgowns and horse carriages. But what about people who insist they really did see spirit manifestations, clothes and all? Is it possible that some individuals—including sincere, Bible-believing Christians—truly observe supernatural apparitions?

God—the Creator of the universe—offers solid answers to man’s questions. His Word, the Bible, is the foundation for understanding both the visible and invisible world because God is Lord of both the natural and the supernatural. Regardless of whether a question concerns the origin of life or human souls, the first resource to check is God’s Word.

Even new students of the Bible quickly notice that it never portrays souls as lingering after death. (The immediate destination of heaven or hell rules out that idea. See, for instance, Luke 16:22–23, Luke 23:43, and 2 Corinthians 5:8.) Yet Scripture bluntly affirms the existence of immaterial intelligences. Mark 5:2–15 details Jesus’s encounter with a man indwelt by a multitude of unclean spirits. Christ ordered them out but permitted them to enter a herd of swine. In Samaria, Philip preached and “unclean spirits, crying with a loud voice, came out of many who were possessed” (Acts 8:7). Later, Acts 19:14–17 tells of a man inhabited by a demon. The sons of Sceva tried to exorcise it, but the man attacked them. However, these aren’t ghosts; they’re demons—fallen angels—governed by Satan (Matthew 12:22–28).

Bible scholar Charles Ryrie noted, “The very fact that demons can enter human or animal bodies shows they can pass through barriers that would restrict human beings. . . . Demons are not humans; neither are they God. But they are superhuman with superior intelligence and experience and powers. To deny the existence of demons is not skepticism; it only displays ignorance. To be unrealistic about their power is foolhardy.”2

Interestingly, the Bible records one occasion when the living appeared to contact the dead. King Saul donned a disguise and visited a medium to summon the dead prophet Samuel (1 Samuel 28:7–21). An apparition that looked like Samuel appeared to the witch—causing her to cry out in fright.

However, this passage doesn’t suggest that séances work, and it absolutely doesn’t condone witchcraft. Some scholars believe that God sent Samuel on this unique occasion.3 But others believe a demon was impersonating the prophet based on the fact that he made some false claims. For example, commentator John Gill notes that the apparition warned that all of Saul’s sons would die on the next day, but some survived.4

Either way, the emphasis is that Saul had sunk so low that he tried to dabble in the occult, which God condemns. The next day Saul died.

Grave Conclusions

No evidence has produced a single fact that should sway a Christian into believing that the spirits of deceased people can loiter on earth. In light of the Bible, the only conclusion is that ghost sightings are either the figments of overactive imaginations, or else they are demons.

In his book The Truth Behind Ghosts, Mediums, and Psychic Phenomena, Christian author Ron Rhodes states, “People sometimes genuinely encounter a spirit entity—though not a dead human. Some people encounter demonic spirits who may mimic dead people in order to deceive the living (see 1 John 4:1; 1 Timothy 4:1–3). Many who claim to have encountered such spirit entities have some prior involvement in the occult.”5

But why would demons want to deceive the living by impersonating the dead?

As servants of Satan and enemies of God, they would have every reason to cast doubt on God’s Word and its warnings about future judgment. Getting people to believe in ghosts automatically forces them to reject key Bible verses (seeHebrews 9:27).

Do you believe in ghosts? The question is huge. Coming to a wrong conclusion about the afterlife has eternal consequences, and the wrong choice on this side of the grave can condemn a soul to eternal agony on the other side.

Mars Hill without the intellectual pretense

This overnight radio show drove home how really unintellectual this country has become. This is especially ironic and tragic when you consider how much money is spent on “education”. People really aren’t educated today, they’re trained, indoctrinated and made competent, but assuredly not educated.

In respect to that we have the great enabler, the media, this particular show is such a graphic example. Call in with the most ludicrous subject, conspiracy theory, any kind of theory, so long as it’s not about Jesus, and he will tell anyone who calls that they are right about anything they submit. His attitude seems to be “they said it so it must be true, again so long as it’s not Jesus”. No matter how impossible it is to reconcile with reality or with anything else that’s been proposed on the show, that night or any other night in the years this show has been on. It’s on seven nights a week 365 days a year.

The regular host, at least, rarely questions anyone and when he does it’s in the sense of “well ok, if you say so”. So many of the callers are almost obviously delusional, even over the phone/over the radio it’s pretty apparent. The paranoid and obviously delusional, and others suffering from an apparent mental disorder call into this show and just throw it right out there and no one questions them in the least. There is a constant stream of guests who go on, often for hours, spouting their latest theories, conspiracies and/or coverups. They label something a coverup, no matter how obvious or implausible and the host will give you a microphone and an audience.

Isnt this really how society is today? Anything/everything is possible, label anything/anyone you want with some kind of conspiracy, some kind of a conspirator and this host will let you rant on so long as it’s politically correct (although he will let some right wing fanatics and/or religious nut ramble on just to show they’re obviously somehow paranoid or delusional). The rest he just let’s go on their merry way, pats them on their head, tells them how obviously right they are, while making no effort to try and reconcile this ones story with the one from the day before. There must be UFOs, they must be a part of a government plot or coverup.

One could certainly make the case that this is a modern day “Mars Hill”, but while the people there were some kind of intellectuals, there is no pretense of any kind of intellectual at all in contemporary society. Frankly I submit if anything it’s anti-intellectual. We will tell you what the truth is (or that there really isn’t any truth) and you just need to fall in line. You get all these people who tell you they don’t need an education, because they know all they need to know. I’ve learned all I need, when they can’t demonstrate that they’ve done anything to learn anything. I’ve seen more than a few of these types.  No education to speak of, no real life experience, no personal study, it’s obvious that anything they know is very superficial. But that doesn’t stop them. They have somehow absorbed the information, some form of osmosis, and everyone should follow them and believe everything they say.

You certainly see this in big-box churches. No real background, but let’s put on a good show, say the right words (although they fill those words with ideas that don’t at all match their biblical use or any other genuine Christian doctrine).

There is ridiculous anti-intellectualism in this country. All you need is a superficial, if any, understanding on a subject and you can just pontificate away and expect everyone to unquestionably accept and act on what you say. Ya, that’s how Jim Jones, Charlie Manson, Joseph Smith, on and on, with no real understanding of reality, just blah-blah-blah, now go do it.

We also have the uncritical, anti-intellectual like this radio host perpetuating this. The creed being, just be an enabler, don’t challenge, don’t question, don’t rebuke. Nah, I just want to be liked, be successful, make money, and then? Well we will deal with that then, but hey I’ve been a good person.

That is why we want people to grow in their faith, to be good disciples and disciplers. That is why we cannot tolerate those churches that just make Christianity a form of entertainment. Jesus said “I am the way, the truth and the life”. We have to live that, lead that, teach that and not give in to the silly babbling. We cannot concede souls to those who have no scruples except to make money and try to distract people from the truth in Christ. Satan really doesn’t care what you believe so long as it’s not Jesus.

It’s God’s will, we are in His will or we are condemned.

What seems to be missed by people is this idea that there are “choices”. When it comes right down to it, there really aren’t. Sure there are choices that you make like, I like the whopper better than I like the Big Mac. I like the Red Sox, I don’t like the Yankees. What house I’m going to buy, yea, maybe. When it comes right down to it, like it or not, the real choices are in God’s hand. We are either in His will or we are separated from His will.

That doesn’t mean we sit and obsess if we really can’t discern God’s will. A lot of times in my life, I can honestly say that I knew what His will was/is, and He made it very plain how I should follow it. At other times, I did the best I could, put it in prayer and trusted Him that what i was doing was the way He wanted. I can’t say that I was always right or that I did it faithfully, that I did it according to His will. Sometimes, frankly, I have to admit I didn’t even take His will into account. Seemed obvious, jumped in and then afterwards realized that I should have given it more time, more work, more consideration. As in anything in humans, we’re just not going to be perfect. We do the best we can to pull it together, to execute the plan and then leave it in His hands. Sometimes it doesn’t work because He wanted us to do it and He used it to His own will, even if it seemed that it wasn’t such a good deal to us. “ESV Romans 8:28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” [Bible Works]

I am trying to write, that for those who pursue this attitude, that God is somehow unfair, because many go to Hell, Jesus made it very clear that many would chose to ignore Him, that they would chose their own path: ” ESV Matthew 7:13 “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. 14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” [Bible Works]
Dr Martin Luther in his book Bondage of the Will addresses the idea that there is “free-will” in terms of our salvation. The idea that we are in some way “free agents”. The only way that works is God’s way in Jesus. Any “free-will” is purely from Satan and puts the individual on the path of destruction.

Luther writes: “You describe the power of ‘free-will’ as small, and wholly ineffective apart from the grace of God [Luther’s NB – As in those who lack grace (special grace, I mean) reason is darkened but not destroyed so it is probable that their power of will is not wholly destroyed, but has become ineffective for upright actions.’] Agreed? Now then, I ask you: if God’s grace is wanting, if it is taken away from that small power, what can it do? It is ineffective, you say, and can do nothing good. So it will not do what God or His grace wills. Why? Because we have now taken God’s grace away from it, and what the grace of God does not do is not good. Hence it follows that ‘free-will’ without God’s grace is not free at all, but is the permanent prisoner and bondslave of evil, since it cannot turn itself to good…it is ineffective apart from God’s grace, straightway you rob it of all its power. What is ineffective power but (in plain language) no power? So to say that ‘free-will’ exists and has power, albeit ineffective power, is, in the Sophists’ phrase, a contradiction in terms. [Luther’s NB – oppositum in adiecto]” p 104

“…that we do everything of necessity, and nothing by ‘free-will’; for the power of ‘free-will’ is nil, and it does no good, nor can do, without grace … The term ‘free-will’ is too grandiose and comprehensive and fulsome. People think it means what the natural force of the phrase would require, namely, a power of freely turning in any direction, yielding to none and subject to none. If they knew that this was not so, [p 105] and that the term signifies only a tiny spark of power, and that utterly ineffective in itself, since it is the devil’s prisoner and slave,…” [p 106]

“…However, with regard to God, and in all that bears on salvation or damnation, he has no ‘free-will’, but is a captive, prisoner and bondslave, either to the will of God, or to the will of Satan.” [p 107]

You have either stopped resisting what God is doing to you and are chosen by Him to be your Lord, or your right where you are because you have resisted the Holy Spirit and simply want to wallow in where you are. If you aren’t in Jesus, you are already condemned. While you continue to assert your own will, to think it’s all about you, that you are the master of your own fate, then it’s just another way for Satan to assert his control over you. If you come to the realization, that God is in control, that it really isn’t about you, that it’s all about what the Holy Spirit is doing in you, then you are saved.

Once we accept that it is about God and His will, that what we do outside His will is separation from God, that separation is Hell, is condemnation. There is no will for salvation other than God’s. Anything is the path to destruction. Separation from God is Hell.

In Revelation 12: 7-17 and 13:5-8 God has removed His hand from earth, Basically He has said that this is the end, that there is no more grace and man is left to his own devices. Honestly, how do you really think that’s going to work out? I know there are times when things look crazy and out of control, but God is still very much in control. The difference will be very obvious when Satan rules and there will then be unrestrained evil. We like to think we are somehow able to conduct ourselves properly, but when God removes His hand, when God simply allows us to do our own will, is there any doubt that the outpouring of evil, of violence, of greed will be absolutely stupefying? Is there really any doubt in anyone’s mind that when God has removed the Holy Spirit, when Satan rules that there will be unrestrained evil? This is what those who reject God will have, what they’ve accepted, there will be survival of the fittest. They don’t want God’s control, His blessing, although they think they’re entitled to the benefits of His blessing. They don’t realize what unrestrained evil is and they’ve shown that they really don’t care. And we’ve all met people that fill that bill, there are those who are obvious and the rest, not so obvious.

God is good, God is perfectly Holy. Being in a downtown church, being in the inner-city, albeit a small city, there are still lots of people who will knock on the church door and expect that I will just hand over money to them. In more subtle ways, there are plenty of people out there who have the same attitude, they expect God to hand over everything, including salvation on their terms. Then they will accuse God of not being “good” because He won’t save them! God is perfectly good, not according to our individual agenda (let’s face it, there’s God’s agenda, then there’s yours. In the end, which one do you really think is going to win out?)

God is perfectly good, perfectly holy, perfectly all knowing, all powerful, transcendant beyond anything that we can understand. Your agenda is just not going to be perfectly good, come on, it’s going to be covered in sin, if not completely submerged. It’s all of us, we are all completely unredeemed sinners and the only way to redemption is through Christ, The Son of God. God certainly does have an agenda, He revealed it, in His revelation, the Bible. We look to God for Him to guide us in how we fit in that agenda. Not our way, but His. Certainly that agenda is different for different people. If you are a great Christian mom, or Christian office worker, or Christian soldier/sailor, or Christian plumber, Christian factory worker, does that not serve God? We are put where we are at to serve God to the best of our ability, to be the best Christian factory worker we can as a witness to those around us to Jesus. We like to think that it’s all about us, it’s all about our control. Let’s face it the more you try to assert control, the more you realize that you just don’t have control. You can keep wrestling with God over it or figure out that it is all about Him and not about you. When we stop resisting the leading of the Holy Spirit and surrender to His will, when we are concerned about God’s agenda and not ours, when you trust His control, His will, and operate our life accordingly, It may not be “easy”, but it will be much easier then struggling against God.