February 15 2016

Occult Hidden In Our Society

occult

I know many people who believe that the world of the occult is limited to those who do witchcraft or magic, such as witches and satanists. They believe that they are not influenced by the occult in any way, and are safe from it. They celebrate satanic holy days such as Halloween, believing there is no harm in it. They watch television shows about witches and read books about magic and feel there is no involvement with the occult in these practices. However, the fact is that the occult is actually hidden in so much of the media and movies that you almost cannot help but be exposed to it.

Before we go into the occult in our world today, we must first define what the occult means. Here is the definition from Dictionary.com:

Occult1) of or relating to magic, astrology, or any system claiming use or knowledge of secret or supernatural powers or agencies. 

2) beyond the range of ordinary knowledge or understanding; mysterious.

3) secret; disclosed or communicated only to the initiated. 

4) hidden from view.

As you can see, the occult is the use or practice of witchcraft or supernatural powers, and it is secret or hidden. Let’s look at some examples of practices of the occult so we can get a better understanding of how to recognize it around us. These are all things also mentioned in the Bible.

contacting dead ancestors through mediums, predicting or telling the future through psychics or fortune tellers, knowing the future, astrology and horoscopes, magic charms, astral projection, calling on the dead, channeling spirits or dead ancestors, seeing or speaking to the dead, Ouija boards, palm reading, chakras, energy reading or moving energy around or aligning energy, spirit guides or spiritists, tarot cards, crystals, yoga, I Ching, automatic writing, white magic, incantations, chanting.

Then there is anything that is included in witchcraft and Wicca, and Satanism, as well as many practices of cults, secret societies and other religions that worship false gods, such as animal sacrifice, baptizing the dead, casting spells, doing rituals, cursing people or objects, worshiping idols, summoning demons, seeing and speaking with demons.

This is just a short list of the many things that are practiced in the occult. The occult is a creation of the devil. The devil uses things that look good and helpful to us to deceive us into stepping into them and then getting caught in his trap. Most people who get involved with the occult do so either by force or by deception. There are few (in my opinion) who knowingly step into worshiping darkness. There are those who also get forced or tricked into involvement, but then willingly decide to commit themselves to darkness.

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

What makes the occult so dangerous? The occult is a gateway to the demonic. Once you open up the door to your soul through occult practices, you are giving the devil and his demons rights to you. Theses rights allow them to come inside you (not possess you if you are Christian), to mess with the way you think, what you believe, how you see the world and God, and your physical being and emotional/mental state. Some believe that only doing astrology or yoga or reading books is not dangerous. You are not really involved or it is not really too bad, because you are not actually practicing magic. You are involved and you are practicing magic. What about those who are just passively watching while it happens? Are they really participating or involved. Very much yes. You are right there open and allowing the demonic to enter in to you. Even just watching is a form of submission and acceptance to what is happening and is opening you up to evil. Even if you are just watching it on TV or a movie.

Now some things in our society are pretty obvious in showing magic – they are about witches, vampires and things of that nature. Other things are not so obvious to those who don’t have an understanding of the occult and how it works. That is why it is so deceptive, because it is hidden in plain sight. So you may be watching one of your favorite movies, such as Star Wars, Maleficent,  or The Matrix, or one of your favorite TV shows, such as the Super Bowl, Big Bang Theory or Game of Thrones which are laden with occult activity and symbolism and be involved in the occult. That is a pretty heavy statement to make I realize, and there are many who will shut down and not be able to hear this. I completely understand that. I lived most of my life involved in the occult and half the time had no idea. That is because as the definition says, it is a secret hidden from the uninitiated.

Nobody wants to think they are being indoctrinated into the occult or the belief systems held by the occult without their knowledge. That is something that is too shocking and upsetting to even consider for most people. And the truth is that the media that has the occult weaved throughout it, is de-sensitizing us to the occult and witchcraft in the movies and music, etc. It is hiding the occult in these things, so that the occult is normal and acceptable, not something bad or evil. More than that even, it is just unnoticed and therefore nonexistent to us. But our minds and souls are taking it all in, integrating it into our thoughts and actions subconsciously.

But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. 1 Corinthians 11:3

 It is not limited to TV or movies either. It is in music, books, commercials and more. The occult is deeply immersed into our culture, in every way possible. Why? Because the devil runs the show on earth. It is his domain. He is prince of the earth, and does what he wants, which is to fill each of us up with as much evil as he possible can. That way he can steal us away from God, kill our souls, and destroy ever shred of hope we have to go to heaven and to know Jesus. He has succeeded many times in destroying souls and bringing them into darkness with him. I am living proof of what the devil tries to do – but God is greater! He has redeemed me from a life in the occult and witchcraft, even when I thought I wasn’t a part of it anymore. The occult gets so deep into your soul that you cannot just renounce it and walk away. It takes time and work to cut all of the ties that bind you in. That is the way it was designed. The devil is not stupid. He gets you started as a child – just look at the cartoons for children now days – Gravity Falls, The Lego Movie, Frozen – they are all rife with magic. Children as young as 2 and 3 are obsessed with Frozen and have it on everything they own; clothes, bedding, lunch boxes, toys, toothbrushes. Frozen does a wonderful job at making magic look good. After all, the sister who has the magic powers has suffered and is really just a good girl. It is not her fault. And in the end she can use her magic powers for good. Children sing the theme song, which is a tribute to the occult. Just read the lyrics.

So as children we begin our descent into the occult, without ever realizing it. The devil is very sneaky. As we get older we naturally gravitate towards the things of the occult. Again they seem harmless and fun. Things like yoga, astrology, psychics, and movies about witchcraft (Harry Potter, etc), crystals, karma, numerology, Ouija boards, Reiki, auras, meditation, therapeutic touch and much more. These are things that are acceptable in our society, and many Christians participate in them or watch them on a regular basis without realizing that it is a practice of the occult. All of these things are tapping in to the power of the demonic and harnessing the energy of said demons. All of these things open a gateway for the devil into your heart and mind. There is nothing more dangerous in this world than inadvertently opening yourself up to demonic oppression, because you don’t even know you have done it. Then the devil has an in and you are completely unaware.

Once the devil gets a way in, he begins to cause problems first with our beliefs and thoughts about the world and God. We slowly start moving away from the Biblical mindset and start moving into a worldly mindset. Remember, the world is the devil’s domain and the opposite of the Truths of God. Once we began to believe the lies that he implants, we stop listening to the convictions of the Holy Spirit. We go back to the same place as Adam and Eve, when the devil tempted them in the Garden. “Did God really say?” he asks you. And you question whether or not God said not to watch movies about witchcraft or whether Frozen really has witchcraft. You question whether or not visiting a psychic is really harmful, or if getting healing in a Reiki session is wrong. The Bible doesn’t actually list any of those things specifically. And if I am hurting and haven’t found an answer, then why not give it a try.

 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:12

But guess what – part of the reason you are hurting and searching is because the devil has already done a job of causing a rift between you and God. He has also gotten into your body to cause you pain, infirmity, sickness, disease, depression, anger, despair, and many, many other problems. If you want to walk through life believing your problems are just due to having a bad season or bad circumstances, etc, then you are not remembering the Truths of the Bible. You have an enemy who wants to destroy you. Only one enemy – and you have to stop giving him the power in your life to wreak havoc. You have to open your eyes to what you are allowing into your home, your heart, your mind, your children. God has warned us countless times in the Bible to not fall prey to the ways of the devil, but we keep ignoring Him, and falling into the ways of the world, just like the Israelites did.

JesusGod is not angry with you for letting the occult into your life. He understands the ways of the devil and knows that we are weak and fall prey to temptation easily. But God always gives us a way out. God gives us strength in our weakness. He is here with us, every day, for all of our lives on earth, to help us learn more about Him, so we can rely on Him to do this thing. Once you become aware and know the Truth, you are now responsible for acting on it. If you do not, you will be held accountable for your choices. God wants to help you, but you must draw closer to Him. There is not condemnation in Christ Jesus. He loves you, and He wants only the best for you. He knows how difficult life can be, but He also knows how a deep intimacy with Jesus can bring you the greatest joy and freedom you have ever experienced. There is nothing more exciting and satisfying in this world than Jesus Christ!

If you are struggling and feel like you are addicted or obsessed or have no control over things like watching Harry Potter, or the Ouija board, or anything else I have listed (or maybe didn’t list) then you are in very deep and need help. God will free you and send help for you, if you just cry out to Him. You are not alone!! Jesus will never, never leave you – no matter what choices you are making, or have made. Just know that God has the most amazing plan for you! Bigger than any dream you could even imagine for yourself. You just have to begin a trust walk with Him, to move closer to Him, and let His light bring you healing and redemption. The occult is not bigger than God. Jesus has defeated the devil, and he will not win. No matter how bad the state of the world looks, this Truth will never change. So step out in trust and see what God has for you! You have an amazing journey ahead my dear brothers and sisters! It is time to persevere!

 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

1 Peter 5:8

January 18 2016

Paganism Is Not The Real Enemy

paganismWhen I first became a Christian I was walking away from a life of what I called paganism. To me, I identified as a pagan, because I worshiped the earth, was at one with the universe and practiced ‘magik’. I was also completely against organized religion, so I did not align myself to any one pagan religion, such as Wicca. So I was just a pagan, or a witch. I associated paganism with witchcraft, because to me it was one and the same. What I didn’t understand was that paganism and witchcraft were not the same thing. This is simply how I chose to identify myself so as not to be indoctrinated into a religion. The truth is not all pagans do witchcraft.

It is a common misconception that paganism is inherently evil. It actually is not. Let’s look at the definition of the word pagan, according to dictionary.com:

Pagan: 1) one of a people or community observing polytheistic religion, as the ancient Romans and Greeks. 2) a member of a religious, spiritual, or cultural community based on the worship of nature or the earth; neopagans. 3) a person who is not a Christian, Jew, or Muslim; a heathen.

So as you can see a pagan is not someone who practices witchcraft, but someone who subscribes to a religion that is polytheistic or don’t believe that Jesus Christ is God incarnate, who died to save the world from sin. Now let’s look at the definition of paganism:

Paganism: 1) pagan spirit or attitude in religious or moral questions. 2) the beliefs or practices of pagans.

Paganism is not related to witchcraft. I have researched what the Bible says about pagans or paganism, and these words are not found. The words commonly used are idolaters and unbelievers or gentiles. Let’s look at the definition of these words as well:

Idolaters: 1) a worshiper of idols:  2) a person that admires intensely and often blindly one that is not usually a subject of worship.

Unbeliever: a person who does not believe something; especially : a person who does not believe in a particular religious faith

Gentile: 1) a person of a non-Jewish nation or of non-Jewish faith; especially :  a Christian as distinguished from a Jew.  2) heathen, pagan

So a pagan is basically the same as someone who is not Christian, and who has other religious beliefs that include worship to gods other than the One True Living God. This does not mean that a pagan is practicing witchcraft. So this bears the question, why is paganism so wrong and bad in the eyes of so many Christians? The argument is that  paganism is a problem because it leads us away from the One True Living God. The problem with this argument is that our entire culture in America is pagan, even our Christianity. Christianity is rooted in Judaism, but then took on many pagan practices over time. Our society is filled with paganism, and incorporated into most everything there is. Let’s take a look at some of the examples of paganism in our society today:

The Church Building – There is nothing in scripture that tells us to create buildings for the purpose of meeting together and talking about God. The first Christians met together in homes. Churches began to be built during the reign of Constantine, and they were not called church, but temples. Temples were in all the big cities in that time, but they were dedicated to various gods and goddesses. People would go to meet and worship their gods and goddesses in their temples daily. The very idea of a church is pagan in origin.

Weddings – Almost every wedding practice we have today is based in pagan roots. There is no place weddings are commanded in scripture, nor the use of wedding rings. The bridal veil, flower bouquet, wedding cake, and much more are all practices from the Romans and Greeks and symbolic of their polytheistic beliefs and superstitions. None of these things is Biblical.

Makeup – Ancient Egyptians used makeup because they believed the powders contained magic powers and believed green paint around the eyes protected them from evil spirits. They also used the dark eyeliner to make the almond shape around their eye, because it represented the Eye of Horus. Horus was their patron god and his eye was a symbol of restoration and sacrifice.

Calendars – The Gregorian calendar that we typically use is completely pagan. It is based on the sun, not on the moon as the calendar of God and the Jews. The sun-god was one of the most important gods in Roman and Greek society, so their based their calendar on this, so it would revolve around their holy days. The names of the days of the week and the months are all based on gods and goddesses.

Thanksgiving – Celebration of the harvest has been around since ancient times, and is not something new created by Americans. While the first Thanksgiving was reportedly done by Puritans, it was a custom taken from pagan practices. Other religions commonly offer their first crops to their gods and goddesses in thanks, so as to assure continued prosperity. Thanksgiving is not in the Bible as a mandated festival, and neither are any holidays we celebrate for that matter.

Birthday Celebrations – There is no mention of celebrating your day of birth in the Bible. It is said that the first birthdays were celebrated by ancient kings, who executed people as part of the festivities, as well as drunken orgies and the like.  Did you know that the most important Satanic holy day is one’s own birthday?

This is just a short list of the many practices that are pagan in origin that we do or use on a regular basis. The bottom line is we live in a broken world full of sin, in which the devil has his playground. There has never been a time when paganism wasn’t predominant. If we try to escape paganism, we become legalistic, using the idea that paganism is evil to fight against people we see in the midst of practicing paganism. It become a vicious cycle, in which we lash out with hate and pride, instead of loving people into the arms of Jesus. Am I condoning paganism? No. What I am saying is, paganism is not the real problem or the enemy we should focus our fight against.

When I first began my research two years ago into Christmas and whether or not it was right to celebrate, I came to realize that not only is Christmas full of pagan roots and origins, but so are most things we incorporate into our daily existence. I became despondent, as all I wanted was to remove myself from paganism after coming out of it, and yet here I was still in the midst of it. It is true that other religious beliefs, practices and customs can lead us away from God, but more importantly it is witchcraft that leads us away from God, and into danger. Paganism in itself is not evil, and I propose to you that the real problem is witchcraft. What exactly is witchcraft?

Let’s look at what the Merriam-Webster has to say about witchcraft:

Witchcraft1)  the use of sorcery or magic 2)  communication with the devil or with a familiar (spirit)

Witchcraft by definition in the Bible: worshiping idols (demons), necromancy (contacting dead ancestors), mediums (contacting the dead, seances), divination or fortune-tellers or omen interpreters (predicting the future), human sacrifice, animal sacrifice to idols (demons) sorcerers, wise men, enchanters, magicians, astrologers, drinking blood, cutting your body for the dead or marking your body i.e. tattoos (blood rituals), curses, spells, magic charms (cursed items), soul selling.

And they burned their sons and their daughters as offerings and used divination and omens and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the Lord, provoking him to anger.

2 Kings 17:17

As you can see, this is quite a comprehensive list I have found, through researching scripture. The reason God hates witchcraft, is because it is the practice of using the power of demons to either harm others for self gain, or to seek to find power, blessing or fortune from demons by worshiping them and giving them rights into our bodies, souls and minds through blood covenants, etc. Opening yourself up to witchcraft can kill your spirit, destroy your relationship with God, and you can potentially give yourself to Satan for life. God does not want to see His children falling prey to the evil devices of the devil. The devil lures many, many people in with promises of fame, fortune, power and more, as they give over their lives, or even the lives of those they love in order to gain these things. In exchange for these things they give the devil the control of their free will and the keys to generations to come.

Magic or witchcraft is extremely dangerous, yet it is also very seductive and deceptive. It comes wrapped up in a pretty package as everything you ever wanted, and more. It comes in the form of music, tv shows, movies, religion, and charms (crystals and other new age trinkets). It draws you in pretending to know your future or give you insight into life or a higher spiritual awakening. It disguises itself as fun and games, and it is the most deadly weapon the enemy has in his hands right now. Witchcraft is everywhere in our society, and just about everyone I know enjoys it in one form or another. Yet they do not label it as witchcraft, but rather their favorite book or movie they love (are obsessed with). I have experienced the danger of witchcraft first hand, and I know how deadly it truly is.

God’s warnings to us in the Bible are not to stay away from paganism, but rather to stay away from magic in all of its forms. In ancient times it was quite common to sacrifice your child to your “god” which was really a demon. It was also quite common to perform sexual rituals or blood rituals to make a sacrifice to your “god”. It was also believed to be necessary in order to appease to gods and receive whatever gain you are hoping to achieve. These gods often were represented by idols or statues which made people feel that their gods were more tangible and real, while the One True Living God was inaccessible. These sacrifices and rituals are witchcraft. Practicing witchcraft is akin to selling your soul to the devil.

No, but the sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not to God, and I do not want you to be participants with demons.

1 Corinthians 10:20

The devil is very busy distracting many Christians with the bait of paganism. He tells us how evil paganism is, how much God hates it, and how we need to fight against it with all of our might. Meanwhile we are being completely blinded to the depth and level that witchcraft has pervaded the entire world. Take Christmas for example. There is a group of Christians who believe that God hates Christmas, the Christmas tree, and thinks the whole thing is evil and pagan. Yet the rest of the world is using this as a time of peace, joy, giving, and sharing Jesus Christ. These Christians are actually at war with other Christians yet they believe in their hearts they are being righteous. Pitting yourself against other Christians never brings righteousness. Human anger does not bring on righteousness. We are called to love one another and lift them up to the One who has the power to transform lives. Not condemn them for what we believe is wrong. The devil has a heyday watching Christians fight among each other, whether it be over Christmas, the rapture or whether or not you can lose your salvation.

That is why I say paganism is not the real enemy. We need to stop focusing on paganism because it is only causing us to judge and condemn others, spreading hate and self-righteousness. It is causing us to turn away from God, and make ourselves our own Gods. Paganism is a part of this world, and as long as Satan has free rein here, paganism will prevail. You cannot stop it, but you can love others right where they are, even in the midst of paganism. You can accept them for who they are and love them with the love of Christ. Only Christ can bring these people where He wants Him to be. We have no say in where people need to be with their walk with Christ and we cannot try to control them through our own beliefs. Focus yourself on Jesus Christ, and through Him alone great things will happen.

Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God;

Romans 14:10

I can say all this because I have spent the last two years judging everyone around me for their involvement in paganism. Everywhere I looked Christians were getting drunk, dressing provocatively, watching television shows about sex and drugs, watching movies about death and destruction, etc., etc. I was painfully aware of every single person being involved in things ungodly and unrighteous, meanwhile unknowingly lifting myself up onto a pedestal above them all. If God convicted me not to do any of those things, if He showed me the Truth of the wrong in those things, then they must be lying to themselves. I was on my way to becoming holy in my own mind, but in reality I was only becoming holier than thou. It was never my intention, nor my heart, but it was only a symptom of something greater.

What I failed to recognize is that people who are involved in paganism are doing so out of pain. Paganism at the core is all about pleasure and self fulfillment. It seems to be an instant remedy to pain, misguided as it may be. And while many people cannot even recognize nor admit their own pain, many are still operating out of it nonetheless. The devil has done a great work in this world to cause us more pain than we can even bear, and then try to numb ourselves to it as we bury it as deep as we can. Paganism is just another symptom of a broken world run by the devil. Witchcraft is the real enemy. Witchcraft will destroy your very soul. Witchcraft can take you straight to hell and you won’t even realize it until it’s far too late

God does not hate anyone who has been involved in paganism or witchcraft. He loves every single person that has ever been, or will ever be. He loves them no matter what – whether they are trying to find righteousness based on the law, or turning completely against Him. God’s love knows no bounds, no constraints, no matter what you have done. Even if you have knowingly chosen to practice witchcraft God does not hate you. He loves you more than you can ever know and wants to save you and bring you home with Him forever. We need to cast of our own constraints of religious thinking and find the truth in God’s own heart. His heart is for all of His people – to save them and bring them restoration. Come to Him now, and see what miracles He has waiting in His storehouse for you!

Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother.

Romans 14:13

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

December 14 2015

Witchcraft In Mainstream Media

witchcraftIn my pre-Christian life, I had a fascination with witchcraft and vampires and horror for a long time. I remember being a teen and loving the Dracula movie and the Vampire Lestat books. Witchcraft seemed so romantic and exciting! I often fantasized about meeting a vampire and living forever or becoming a witch. A life of witchcraft and romance sounded amazing, and from the books and movies I saw, it was. This fascination never left me, and even as an adult, the shows on my DVR were shows like The Walking Dead, The Vampire Diaries and The Following (about a serial killer). I loved these shows and they were the highlight of my week. It wasn’t just TV shows that filled my life, but a general fascination with witchcraft, fantasy and darkness. Our culture has a never-ending stream of shows, movies, books, etc to feed these kind of fantasy worlds. It starts with our children. Disney is a huge proponent of magic, but their magic is safe and innocent because it’s a cartoon. I mean, who doesn’t love Disney? They have been number one for kids movies since they began making movies for kids. And almost every single Disney movie has witchcraft of one form or another in it.

We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one.

1 John 5:19

It’s not just Disney that brings witchcraft into our children’s lives. Harry Potter, Monster High, Pokemon, My Little Pony, Every Witch Way, Adventure Time, Percy Jackson, and Mike the Knight are just a few of the programs that is popular right now for kids. These shows all openly have witchcraft in them as a normal part of life. I know I have always had shows about witchraft to watch through the years: Charmed, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Game of Thrones, True Blood to name just a few. I never thought much about watching these kinds of shows or letting my kids watch them before I became Christian. After all, I was a witch for a season in my life, and I was pulled in to the lies of  the new age movement and the occult. Magic is good, fun, enchanting and exciting. Who isn’t attracted to it? Witchcraft opens up new worlds to us and new possibilities. Yet when I became a Christian I began to see the world in a whole new way. The veil had been lifted from before my eyes, and the evil hidden in all the world that we see as normal, became exposed for what it was.

It didn’t take long for me to feel very wrong about watching these shows, and let me kids watch them also. Once the Holy Spirit invaded my soul, everything changed for me. I could not watch my favorite show about vampires that I had been following for years without feeling very wrong. I did try quite a few times, but I knew in my spirit that it was wrong and displeased God. Yet everywhere I would go, Christians loved Harry Potter and other shows with drugs, murder and sexual immorality. Honestly that was one thing that baffled me completely. I had lived in the world for so long, and here I was removing myself from it many of the Christians around me were completely immersed in it.

And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.

2 Corinthians 11:13

It was a process to really understand how much witchcraft I was letting into my home. It took even longer to realize how much witchcraft I was bringing in just with Disney alone. We bought Frozen and Brave and watched them half a dozen times, not even thinking about the fact that the whole premise of these movies was about spells being cast on people and the effects of the magic, (usually harmful). It was visually pleasing, we were drawn into the characters and the plot was suspenseful and moving. The witchcraft just sneaked right past me! I know a lot of people don’t think that this type of magic is relevant to witchcraft and the occult. After all it doesn’t look real and it doesn’t seem to be based on reality. It’s just fantasy and entertainment and therefore should not be a problem. That is why it is so deceptive! We are not carefully guarding our hearts and minds, but instead just exposing them to whatever the world throws at us. The more we see other Christians watching Harry Potter or Frozen, the more we feel that it must be OK. Witchcraft becomes normal and acceptable, and just innocent magic that is for fun.

Satan will always be there tempting us with something pleasing and delicious, just as he was in the Garden of Eden. He did not tempt them with something awful that would be easy to detect as evil, but instead with something forbidden and alluring. “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” The next thing you know, Eve was questioning what God had told her, and giving in to that sweet moment of satisfaction. She could have never known that by eating that fruit she would cause her own death, as well as every generation under her. If she could have foreseen how fatal this decision would have been, she would surely have not done it. And it is the same way for us now. Satan is holding out shows and movies full of all sorts of witchcraft, sexual perversion, murder, and the like to our us and our children and asking us “Did God really say not to have anything to do with witchcraft? Surely he did not mean this magic. It is harmless fun!” And we bite into the apple, believing the lies once again.

Magic is a term often used by witches when describing spells they cast. Magic is indeed the same thing as witchcraft. All magic is witchcraft. What exactly is witchcraft? Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary describes witchcraft as the use of magic or sorcery. Witchcraft includes, but is not limited to: harnessing the power of demons to effect change in people, or to gain material possessions; gaining power or wealth; gaining knowledge; reaching or accessing higher levels of consciousness; achieving powers to become like God; hurting other people or hurting animals; getting revenge; spying; protection; and much more.

There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, one who uses divination, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who casts a spell, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead.

Deuteronomy 18:10-11

All magic is of Satan, no matter which way you slice it. Whether it is a witch in a Disney movie, a character in a Harry Potter story, a cute teen witch or a sexy vampire, it is all of the devil. I know that can be a hard pill to swallow! Believe me, I fed myself on this stuff and much, much more for many years. God does not do magic or make magic. No matter how cute or innocent or fun or sexy the character wielding the magic is, it does not make the magic innocent or unreal. It is a portal into your home for the demonic to enter. It is a subliminal message in your mind that magic is good and right. It is letting in the lie that God did not say it was wrong. It is dangerous.

The things that we expose ourselves to on a daily basis are defining and shaping factors of who we are. Even more so for our children, who are so young and impressionable. If we spend more time filling up on the ways of the world, instead of God’s Word, that is how we start to shape the way we think and see things around us. We begin to forget the Truths of the Bible as we feed ourselves the lies of the world. We must be diligent to hold fast to what is good and right and true, according to the Word of God. Even when it is hard, and even when it means being set apart from those around us. I know how hard it is to be set apart and feel different. Yet I am willing to go down the narrow path in order to be closer to my Lord Jesus. What I have found in Him is worth more than anything in this world I have ever had. I have seen and done many things seeking pleasure and entertainment, but none has been as satisfying, as wonderful and as delightful as God Himself.

Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Psalm 34:7

childGod does not look down on you for exposing your children to Disney movies or for watching Harry Potter. He does not hate you because you have let witchcraft into your home inadvertently. It is a work in progress as you learn to navigate the world and all the illusions it throws at us daily. But once you are exposed to the truth, you are responsible to take ownership of the decisions you are making. Don’t let the devil continue to have a foothold in your home and teach your children what he values in this world. Do not be conformed to the world, but test everything instead, to see if it is of God. God didn’t tell us not to participate in witchcraft because He wants to steal our fun, but because He cares about us and He knows the hidden danger in magic. The Bible has story after story of His children who became lost into a world of witchcraft, because they were led astray by other cultures and religions of the day. That is why He is so adamant in His warnings on witchcraft.

See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.

Colossians 2:8

Pray for God to give you insight and wisdom into witchcraft you have let into your home without realizing it. Repent and ask Him to forgive you for allowing witchcraft into your home, and then be willing to give Jesus access to bring healing and restoration into your home and your relationship with Him. Allow Him to show you what He wants you to remove from your home and why. He loves you so dearly and only wants the very best for you. Jesus died for each one of you, so that you could experience freedom by His blood. You can experience so much more than what you have been, if you tear down the strongholds in your life and bring them before the Lord Jesus Christ.

For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1

December 7 2015

The Magic of Christmas

christmasI have to admit, I love Christmas and I always have. I have many nostalgic memories of growing up and spending time with my family; which has always been my favorite part.  I always felt Christmas was a magical time and I wanted very much to believe that Santa and his reindeer were real. I was completely enchanted by the magic of Christmas: Santa travelling the whole world in one night to deliver presents, reindeer that could fly, waking up to a Christmas tree with presents spilling from underneath it and stockings full of candy, that magically appeared over night. Everything I knew about Christmas was magical – I knew very little of the story of Jesus and His birth because my family did not talk about it. I always saw the beautiful nativity scenes, but it meant nothing to me because it was not a story I knew well.

Christmas continued to be a magical and enchanting time for me, even as an adult. I continued the traditions of Santa Claus and an abundance of presents for my own children. I had to make sure that there were no presents under the tree until Christmas morning, as to recreate the tale that Santa actually came during the night. It was so important for me that they believe that it was Santa who brought the presents (with the exception of 1 or 2 special ones from my husband and I). I had them put out cookies for Santa on Christmas Eve, and reindeer food on the front lawn. I wanted to make the magic real for them, as it was for me. In my heart I wished still, that Santa was real, because how wonderful it would be if it was true. To me there was nothing like the magical tale of Santa on Christmas and the romance and grandeur of it all.

And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”

Luke 2:13-14

I loved everything about Christmas – the decorations, the lights, Christmas cards,  cutting down our tree and putting up stockings, Christmas carols, baked goods and pumpkin pie. What’s not to love, right? Only a Grinch doesn’t love Christmas! The traditions of Christmas were very important to keep up with my own children. The best movies were the ones that really showcased the magic of Christmas: Santa. Santa is a magical figure. He is all-seeing and all-knowing. He is able to make enough presents for every girl and boy in the entire world at his secret workshop hidden by magic. He has little elves who are also magical creatures to do his bidding for him. He has reindeer and a sleigh that can fly around the world. He can defy space and time. He never ages and never dies. Not to mention he can go up and down a chimney with little effort, and if there is no chimney he can still get into a house to deliver presents. You might even say Santa is god-like. Of course I never thought of Santa that way. I just loved the magic of it. Now that I have been exposed to the spiritual realm and the truths of God, I can’t help but see Santa in a whole new light.

When my husband and I became Christian, almost 3 years ago, I realized how wrong I had been about Christmas for all of my life. There is no magic in Christmas. That is a lie from the devil to turn us away from hearing about the beautiful love story that Christmas really is. God sent His only son into the world as a helpless infant. Jesus came into the world, not as God, but as a nobody, and chose to die to save us from death and hell. Satan wants to keep us from celebrating this wonderful miracle of unconditional love, and keep us focused on magic and greed. I taught my children to be very self-centered when it came to Christmas. It was all about how much they could get and if it was good enough. They didn’t care about anything else. I did them a huge disservice by keeping the focus on Santa and what he will give them, and they still struggle with it today.

But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.

Galatians 4:4-5

It is so hard because the world bombards children with messages that feed the gimme, gimme, gimme attitude. Toy ads come in the mail full of all the great things kids “need”, TV shows are all about getting presents for Christmas, commercials are more toy ads. And Santa is just another symbol of what presents kids will get, which fuels the greedy fires inside. It’s just as bad for adults. Adults are rushing around giving, doing, serving. Giving to the point where it hurts, even when they have nothing left to give. Taking on more and more service projects and tasks without time to stop and rest or take care of their own families. Buying more and more presents for friends and family even when they can’t afford it, because it’s the thing to do. The world takes something beautiful like generosity, and twists it to make it a counterfeit of God’s loving kindness. People are stressed out, exhausted and angry by the time Christmas is over, because they have burnt themselves out over doing for others in an unhealthy way.

The world sends a message about a Christmas that is about indulging yourselves and getting swept away in magic. But the spirit of Christmas is so much more simple. It’s all about Jesus. Jesus is the ultimate gift. A gift that far surpasses anything I will ever see under a Christmas tree. Our Father in Heaven is a good Father, and He loves to give good gifts. He loves us so much, that He was willing to part with His one and only Son, Jesus, who was living a wonderful life in heaven. Yet God asked Jesus to forsake all He had known and come down to earth to be with His children for a season. Then, at the end of that time, Jesus died a criminal’s death on a cross. What love is this, that would die for us? Love that would suffer and be humiliated, despised and rejected by his own people, all for us? That is True Love.

For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given,
    and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
    Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the greatness of his government and peace
    there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
    and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
    with justice and righteousness
    from that time on and forever.

Isaiah 9:6-7

And who are we that we deserved Jesus to come to earth as a helpless baby? No one. We do not deserve anything from Jesus, not one shed tear, not one drop of blood. Yet Jesus gave it all, because in His eyes, we are worthy. Yes, to our loving God, we are worthy to be loved. What an amazing miracle. What a beautiful picture of grace and mercy. You see Christmas is not just a story of Jesus being born; it is a story of our perfect redemption and salvation from the God who created us. I stand in awe and amazement at our God. His perfect love has bought us for all eternity. That is what Christmas really means.

It is just like the devil to lie. He steals, kills and destroys, and that is his goal for Christmas. It has worked pretty well for many people. I see many Christians, who are caught up in the magic of Christmas and Santa. It is a long-standing family tradition brought in by the world. They see no harm in the fun that Santa and magic bring into Christmas. After all, magic isn’t real, and neither is Santa. It is just a wonderful tale and all in good fun. No, God does not hate Christmas or trees or people who celebrate Santa, but He does grieve His children getting lost in the magic that Satan has turned Christmas into.  This is a counterfeit of the True Spirit of Christmas: Jesus.

Magic is real and it is a part of Satan’s grand plan to bring his realm into our homes. It harms our children, by teaching them that Santa can compete with Jesus for their affections. Santa is more tangible – you see him at the mall, on TV, on wrapping paper, decorations, and just about everywhere during December. Jesus is Spirit and often times children only hear about Him at church. Santa brings presents, magic, and fun. He has a magical tale being told year after year. Jesus story isn’t magical and can even seem quite ordinary to those who don’t understand  the deeper meaning of what Jesus has done for us. Children may hear the story of Jesus birth year after year and become desensitized to how valuable the message is, while the story of Santa can be told 101 ways and never grow old.

Magic is seductive because it appeals to our senses and our desire to escape into a world that dulls the pain and boredom we face. When we teach children that magic is OK, we are teaching them to explore a world that turns us away from God and towards pleasure and sensuality. Magic is very real, and all around us. People are turning towards it daily, through the occult and new age practices that are so prevalent. If we are not careful to lead our children towards Christ and value Him above all, then they are in danger of being led astray by the many lies the world has to offer. Satan does not come dressed as a scary devil with horns, but instead wrapped up as everything you ever wanted. Let us not forget the Israelite’s and how they stopped teaching their children about God, and the following generations all fell away and into idol worship and paganism. It is an important example to use now, as we celebrate Christmas.

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Colossians 3:17

wisemenChristmas is a beautiful reflection of God the Father and His love and generosity. If we can keep the true Gift of Christmas in our hearts, I don’t believe it will offend God if you give your children gifts or put up a Christmas tree. I do think He would be hurt if you completely removed Him from Christmas, but Jesus is not so easily offended as we may think. He did not come and die so He could judge us, He came to give us freedom from sin and death and hell. The day will come when we are all judged before the throne of God. I would worry more about your heart and where you stand with Christ, then whether or not you celebrate Christmas. If you keep your intimacy with Him, the you will be right where He wants you to be. That is the deepest desire your heart so longs for. Come to God and give Him your life, your thanksgiving, your heart. Let Him show you His truth and cleanse you from whatever lies about Christmas you have been holding on to. He loves you dearly, and I pray this Christmas you are able to give Jesus all of you.

Christmas has a special place in my heart and I hope to be able to teach my children to see it the way I see it. For me Christmas is the light in the darkness. It is Jesus, the Light of the World. It is hope, freedom, redemption, love, peace, joy, generosity, and family. These are all things that describe our Lord Jesus. I have taught my children in the past that Christmas is all about getting and pleasure and magic. Slowly I am trying to rectify this and bring Truth into our home. For our family, Christmas has been redeemed, and it is all in thanks to Jesus for saving us. Thank you Lord, for bringing us out of darkness and into light!

And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.

1 John 5:11

April 16 2015

The Seduction of Magic

magicThere is a battle waging for your soul, right in this very moment. Whether you have any idea at all, there is an enemy lurking in your life, and pitting the powers of hell against you. Sounds crazy, huh? Yeah, I would have thought so too a few years ago. As a matter of fact, I did not even believe in Hell or the Devil. That is exactly what he wanted though. To convince me that all the lies he spun in my mind were true. Once I became a Christian I started to read the Bible. And the Bible makes it very clear that Hell and Satan are very real indeed . And because I choose to believe that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God, I had to believe that things did exist, whether I could see them or not.

And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. Revelation 20:15

As a brand new Christian I had very little understanding of the spiritual realm and how it worked, even though I had entered in to it many times during my time with the occult. Little did I know, all those years I was opening up the door to Satan and welcoming him in. I had no intention of doing so; only intentions of doing good. You see as a witch it was very important to never harm anyone or anything, and to never use black magic, which would be of the devil. Another lie I believed. All magic comes from the power of evil and darkness, and is a counterfeit of God’s power, which is holy and pure. You are literally harnessing the powers of darkness to do magic and other occult and new age activities.

Ouija boards, tarot cards, divination, crystals, chakras, mediums, psychics, astrology, numerology, palm reading, yoga– these are just a few of the examples of participating in the occult. Many people have dabbled in these seemingly innocent things all in good fun. I got my start into the occult as a pre-teen when my sister made a ouija board one night. I had no idea what it even was, but when it began to move on its own it opened my eyes to a whole new world. It was scary, but intriguing. That was just the beginning of my fascination with things of darkness and mystery. Soon I was obsessed with vampires, witches, checking my horoscope daily and trying to understand astrology and how to predict how my life would go.

It seemed innocent enough, but it was really a path leading me straight into darkness. I began to desire more, to  fantasize about a life in darkness as a witch, or to meet a vampire lover. It sounds so silly now, but as a young girl it was very real to me. I wanted to wield magical powers and have a life that was so much more than the mundane and depressing one I was living. I wanted to escape into a world of magic. It was not hard to do as I spent my time watching movies and reading books and writing my own stories. I could not see the bigger picture of how romanticized these things was so very dangerous to me. I could not see I was entertaining evil or how it was enticing me into a seductive life that was far away from God. Of course at that point in time I cared very little for God.

It is very easy for me to look back now as see how this fascination as a young teen drew me into the world of the occult as an adult. A world that held on fast to my heart and wrapped itself around everything that I believed. I can see now, in hindsight, how dangerous walking into the world of the occult was, and the repercussions of it that I still am dealing with so many years later. At the time it was just innocent and fun; a fantasy. I can see now how it was no accident that drew me into this darkness, but someone with an evil intent for my life. An intent to steal me away from the life I was created to live.

It was not until about a year ago, when I realized that spiritual attack was real and it was happening to me. I began to have horrible brain fog (confusion, memory loss, inability to focus and understand things). At first I just thought there was something wrong with me. I began to seek treatment for my problem, desperate to find out what was wrong with me. But as time passed I would seem to get better and then I would just get worse. More symptoms began to appear. I sought out prayer from healing ministries and would begin to get better, only to get worse again. It made no sense, and I could only come to the conclusion that is was not just a physical problem, but a spiritual problem.

Why would Satan want to keep me oppressed in brain fog? Because when I had brain fog, I could not read the Bible, I could not pray for myself, I could not encourage and pray for others as I had become accustomed too. During this year my spiritual gifts began to blossom and God was moving me in amazing ways. But with horrible brain fog, those spiritual gifts were of little use to anyone who I might help. It is like being held captive in your own mind.

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8

It was through many different prayer sessions that God began to reveal to me truths that had been hidden from me by the lies of the enemy. Lies I had completely bought into. Satan had been working hard to oppress me since I was a young girl. He wanted to turn me far away from the path God had before me, and it worked. I fell into a life of drugs and the occult. But Jesus is so much bigger than that, and His plans would be accomplished. I was saved by Jesus and now here I was, still held captive by the devil. How miserable it is to find the most amazing saving grace and mercy of God, to know Him, to experience Him, and then to be cast into darkness all over again!

Do not think you are exempt from the schemes and attacks of the devil. He is a hunter, and you are his prey. He knows all your weaknesses, your fears, your guilt and your shame. He knows your past, and the darkness inside that haunts you. He will use all of it against you, to feed a never-ending string of lies to you so he can keep you in some form of bondage. Many of us are captive to a stronghold in some area of our lives, and Satan is all to happy to keep us there. He will place temptations before us and try to keep us distracted.

The New Age Movement has only grown in the past 20 years since I became involved in it. It has seeped into many Christian homes, with seasoned Christians falling prey to its seductive ways. All Satan needs is an open door into your life, and he can begin to bring his demons into your home. He can start with something as simple as a TV show or music, and once you let that in, it opens the door to more. God has warned us many times not to have anything to do with things that take us away from Him. It is a subtle trap, waiting for someone to stumble into it.

Psalm 91: 1-6

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
    will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
 I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress,
    my God, in whom I trust.”

 For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler
    and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his pinions,
    and under his wings you will find refuge;
    his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.
 You will not fear the terror of the night,
    nor the arrow that flies by day,
 nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
    nor the destruction that wastes at noonday.