February 22 2016

Are Tattoos Blood Rituals?

tattoosI was very excited to get my first tattoo. It was my eighteenth birthday and my best friend had offered to pay for it as a gift. I had been looking forward to getting a tattoo for quite some time! To me it was a symbol of who I am and of my freedom. She even picked out a place for us to go and have it done. I was a little leery when she drove me out to a part of town I didn’t know very well and it didn’t look very nice. This was about 20 years ago when tattoos were not so popular, and more hidden in the seedier areas of town. The guy that gave me a tattoo had his shop in the front of his house and was a biker. Perfectly nice guy, but very out of the ordinary experience for me. I originally wanted a small tattoo on my hand of the moon. Thankfully he talked me out of getting it on my hand and someplace I could hide it easier. So I got a medium-sized moon with stars on the inside of my right ankle. Truth be told I hated it afterwards. I felt like I made a huge mistake. It was not what I imagined, yet I was now stuck with it because I was going to have it forever!

That tattoo would come to mean more to me later as I began to worship the moon. It was more of a symbol of who I was as a pagan and witch. I would sit in the back yard on a full moon and worship it. I adored the moon and believed it was a goddess. I was in awe at the power and majesty of the moon. I would talk to the moon and bask in its light. It’s what I believed. I grew further in my beliefs of New Age and the occult while my practice of witchcraft intensified. A few years later I finally had the chance to get another tattoo to commemorate my dedication to my pagan faith and being a witch. I got a pentagram tattoo on my left shoulder, with a vine wrapped around it. I loved it. It was everything that I was.

 They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

Romans 1:25

My next tattoo was many years after that. I let my at the time boyfriend tattoo me. He was not a tattoo artist, but aspiring to be. I let him tattoo a large black dragonfly on my right shoulder. It was big and badly down and black. Dark black. It was a very abusive relationship. It ended soon after that (after 5 years of hell) and I wanted very much to never see the vile tattoo again. Unfortunately it is very hard to cover up a black tattoo. I got a lotus flower over it, but it bled through. Three times. I could not cover this monster and reminder of pain up. Finally I went to seven tattoo artists to see about getting it covered up. I was told I would have to go big to distract away from the tattoo I was trying to hide. So I ended up getting a half sleeve. I didn’t really have anything I wanted to add to what I had, so I went with the suggestion of a koi fish and some water. It is a very pretty tattoo. I get compliments on it all the time. I really hate it. I never wanted a tattoo so big and I know the meaning of it. Pain.

When I became a Christian my tattoos became a symbol of my past. My involvement with witchcraft and the occult, and the pain of my broken life. I hated, no despised them completely. I was embarrassed by my pentagram tattoo. I was committed to Jesus Christ now and didn’t want anyone thinking I was still pagan. I went to a tattoo shop to find out about getting it covered up. I really didn’t even want another tattoo. It was another seedy tattoo shop with a guy who pronounced not only his love for Jesus but also smoking pot. He was very nice, but I was quite shocked by the whole thing. I didn’t have a lot of options for covering up the pentagram, except a flower. Or I could go big again. No way. I walked out thinking about just doing it, but not feeling very good about getting another tattoo.

“ ‘Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the Lord.” Leviticus 19:28

The verse about tattoos in the Bible really got me to thinking. It seemed pretty clear that God was saying not to get tattoos. Yet I knew Christians who had tattoos, some were even in memory of the dead. I wanted to follow what God said, because let’s face it, He knows better than we do. If God said we should not do something, it is for a good reason. I just wasn’t sure what the reason was. I decided to explore more about tattoos and why Christians shouldn’t get them. I found many reasons on why a Christian shouldn’t get a tattoo, such as our body is a temple of God and we should not defile it, or we should be set apart and holy. There are some very good arguments for why a Christian should not get tattoos. Then I found an article about tattoos and blood rituals of ancient times. The article was very eye opening to me, because I was still very naive to the spirit realm and the ways of the devil. I never have been able to find that article again.

Since then I have learned quite a bit about blood rituals and sacrifices. In my deliverance from demonic oppression I found out that my grandfather gave the rights to my life over to the devil in a blood ritual, where he shed his own blood. A blood ritual is a satanic ritual that is done as a covenant or pact. There are at least two people involved in this type of ritual. The person who is shedding their own blood, and the person who is invoking a demon and its power.  The person who is shedding their blood is the recipient in this transaction. They are giving their blood (life) in order to receive some sort of benefit, such as life, prosperity, fame, fortune or power. The cuts are now an open doorway for the entrance of evil spirits (demons) which you have granted permission. By agreeing to and participating in the shedding of your blood, you have give the devil a right to you. Often people who participate in a blood ritual also give over rights to future generations.

These blood rituals have been going on for thousands of years, in many different cultures. Other forms of blood rituals involve cutting or mutilating yourself in mourning for the dead, or to appease the gods (demons) that you worship. It was believed that the gods were in control of everything from weather to health and people wanted to do whatever they could to show the gods that they would make them happy. That included shedding your own blood, or killing another human being. The gods were often angry and demanding and the people were very scared of what the gods would do.

For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it for you on the altar to make atonement for your souls, for it is the blood that makes atonement by the life. Leviticus 17:11

I realize that tattoos are not exactly the same as cutting yourself. You are not taking a knife to your arm and cutting it. However, you are piercing your skin with a needle between 50 to 3,00 times a minute. You are also shedding your blood, and you are making a choice to pierce your skin and shed your blood. You also have to consider the person who is doing the tattoo. Where are they at religiously or spiritually? If they are another religion or hold spiritual beliefs of the New Age or occult, what does the tattoo mean to them? The one who holds the tattoo gun is the one who is shedding your blood. That is a very powerful position over you. If they are praying over you to their god or goddess, how does that affect you while you are openly submitting to them shedding your blood? Does it really matter if your tattoo is of a cross or a Bible verse in this case?

In this day and age tattoos are considered art work and symbols of things that have influenced our lives. Yet in ancient times tattoos were much more than that. In Egypt during the 1400 B.C. era, tattoos were often tributes to gods and goddesses, as well as symbols of protection from evil or a permanent magical talisman. They were also possibly used in rituals to mark allegiance with a certain god, or even a covenant to that god. These rituals would have needed shed blood and probably were sexual in nature as well. The Israelistes would have been highly influenced by the world of the Egyptians, coming out of Egypt and it being such a powerful nation. Egyptians are well known for their worship of many deities, as well as their obsession with sex, death and magic.

In ancient Greece and Rome, tattoos were used as a punishment and a sign you were a slave or criminal. Tattoos were used the same way in ancient Japan until the 18th century. Primitive tribes use tattoos much as the Egyptians did – as a form of connection with their deities and for protection. Tattooing has had some part in different cultures for centuries. Tattoos, from their origins are from the occult. Over time, tattoos have changed to go with modern times. It would not be acceptable in many cultures to use them as punishment anymore and most people claim tattoos as artwork. Yet tattoos hold very deep meaning for the people who get them most of the time.

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20

I have no hard evidence that tattoos are a part of a blood ritual, but I think we can see from research that tattoos certainly are a part of a deeper spiritual practice that comes from ancient times. The Bible warns against getting tattoos or cutting yourself, because during that time it was common for the Israelistes to fall away from God and into the practices of the world around them. The world around them was steeped in the occult – witchcraft, worship of multiple deities, rituals, and sacrifices. Even though many people today do not have any intention towards being involved in witchcraft or blood rituals when they get tattoos, does not mean they are inadvertently doing so. The occult is deeply rooted in our world, as it is the tool of the devil to bring us into his kingdom. This world is the devil’s domain, and we are just here visiting. It is very easy to get caught up in this physical realm and all that we see, and forget there is a spiritual realm that is affecting us every minute. It is also easy to take everything at face value and not look deeper into the meanings and origins of what we do.

shedbloodDoes God hate tattoos? Is He angry at you because you have a tattoo? No. God hates evil, and God knows your heart. If you have tattoos that does not mean you are evil or against God. You must take your heart before the God of mercy and love and let Him work it out with you. God will show you what is right before His eyes and what is harmful to you. I am writing this because it has been on my mind for a long time, thinking about tattoos and why the Bible speaks out against them. I have heard many arguments about why the verse in Leviticus about tattoos isn’t relevant today, and that is why I wanted to present food for thought. As I learn more about my life and about the inner workings of the spiritual realm, I have realized how deep the deceptions of the devil go. He has layer upon layer of deception in this world, so that he may keep his lies and his devices against us a secret. He does a great job at it. I am here to help uncover them.

No matter what, you are a child of the One True King, and you are deeply and wholly loved by Jesus. He has died for you, so that you may have an abundant life. Yet it is God who determines what abundance is, not us. We look to things and accomplishments to find our riches, but our riches lie in Jesus Christ alone. We have no idea the wonderful things God has in store for us if we cannot stop and connect our hearts with His. We need to stop daily to align ourselves with the heart and will of our Creator God. He will lead us into righteousness, not this world. We just need to keep trusting in God, to bring us closer to glory, day by day, as we look to Him for all of our needs, and all of the answers for our life.

He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. 1 Peter 2:24

 

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

November 23 2015

Is Christmas A Pagan Holiday?

ChristmasI grew up in a home where we celebrated a “traditional” Christmas every year. My parents and I would go into the hills and cut down a tree at a Christmas tree farm. We would bring it home and put it in the Christmas tree stand and then decorate it with glass ornaments, tinsel, colored lights, and a star at the top. We would meet with my grandparents and other extended family and share a meal and exchange gifts. My dad would put on a record of old Christmas music and I would sing along. My sister and I would wake up early on Christmas morning and wait for my dad to tell us we could come out of our room. We were giddy with excitement when we saw the beautifully wrapped presents under the tree, and the stockings filled to the brim with treats. I have many found memories of Christmas as a child. There is just something about the nostalgia of the traditions of Christmas that warm my heart.

It was not until I was a young adult and I became heavily involved in the occult and witchcraft that I changed some of my opinions about Christmas. I did not grow up as a Christian and I don’t remember talking about Jesus on Christmas very often. I remember a beautiful nativity scene my mother would set out every year, one that I would lovingly play with. I can’t really say whether I understood what the nativity was really all about. As a child there was more talk about the birth of baby Jesus being born on TV, so it was something that was a part of my small world. But I doubt the meaning of it registered with me, the way it does now.

As a pagan or witch, Christmas lost most of it’s meaning to me as I traded it in for Yule or Winter Solstice. As a pagan, most of the traditional holidays (except Halloween) were not celebrated or important. As I studied more about the ancient roots of paganism and the traditions that it brought into our world, I began to have more disdain for Christians. It turns out that Christians stole all of their holidays and celebrations from pagans. So the Roman Catholic church tried to take Winter Solstice celebrations, a deep and meaningful night of celebration, and tried to change it to celebrate their God instead. In doing so they hoped to convert the pagans to Christians. It wasn’t just Christmas/Winter Solstice they were trying to use to convert pagans, but also Easter. I was absolutely sickened by the audacity of these Christians. I had never liked them before because I found them judgmental hypocrites, but this just took the cake. As a pagan, the ancient roots of our ancestors were of the utmost importance to me. And I was determined to learn more about the truth of paganism so I could uphold these ancient traditions.

 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Romans 1:21

Winter Solstice is not actually on December 25th, so I did end up celebrating both, because my parents still celebrated Christmas. It was hard to completely walk away from Christmas without pushing away my family during that season. So as angry as I was about the Christmas rip-off, I still celebrated it, but knowing the truth of where it came from at least. Winter Solstice is a few days before, and it is the longest night of the year. It was a time to celebrate the birth of the sun god and the changes in the earth. The nights are long and the days shorter up until the Solstice, but now the nights would be getting shorter and the days longer. It was symbolic when paired with the birth of the sun god and the changes he brought to the earth. You light a Yule log and let it burn all night long, to represent the rising of the sun god.

As I got older and my life changed, I stopped actively practicing witchcraft, but did not stop my beliefs. I still reminded myself about the ancient traditions and roots of paganism and studied them when I had time. I still added in some practices where I could. But as my life changed in many ways, I gravitated more towards traditional Christmas celebrations again, to give my children the same traditions I had while growing up. I did teach them about Winter Solstice and some of the origins of it, because it was important to me. I wanted them to have an understanding. I never taught them about Jesus or His birth, because it meant nothing to me, except a lie to trick pagans. So when my husband and I came into a saving relationship with Jesus Christ, you can see why I had some conflict about celebrating Christmas. I understood the pagan roots of Christmas and I had never used Christmas to glorify any god except the ones I previously believed in.

My husband and I prayed a lot that first year and what we took away was a great lesson. Simplify what we had been doing for Christmas. Which for us was huge. Previously we were going broke giving our kids gifts that we could not afford and glorifying Santa. We started teaching our kids about giving instead of receiving by supporting ministries such as Operation Christmas Child and Angel Tree and spent much less on our children. I was worried that we were doing something wrong by celebrating Christmas, especially after being so convicted about Halloween. I prayed fervently along with my husband and felt that God indeed wanted us to continue to celebrate Christmas.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6-7

I have heard many Christians say that it is wrong to celebrate Christmas, because it is a pagan holiday. This statement in itself is not accurate. Christmas was never a pagan holy day. Yes, it is derived from a pagan holy day, but Christmas was never celebrated by pagans. Christmas  does have many traditions that are from pagan practices. But so do many other things we do in this world. For instance, did you know wedding rings are pagan? There is nowhere in scripture that talks about wearing wedding rings. This tradition comes from ancient Rome, as do many of the other practices of weddings we use today. Funerals are also pagan, and come from the ancient Egyptians. Flowers for the grace, embalming and more, and based on the belief that the body was going on into the afterlife. Our U.S. money has pagan symbols on it. Some coins have the goddess Liberty on them. Calendars are also pagan, as well as the names of the days of the weeks and months. Church steeples are also pagan in origin, coming from the phallic obelisk of fertility gods from ancient Egypt. And don’t get me started on the pagan idol worship in the Catholic Church. I could keep writing pages about the many things that we have adopted from paganism. It started back in Rome when Constantine the first Christian Emperor in Rome came into power and gave Christians the rights to freely worship God and believe in Jesus openly. Many pagan customs and traditions were adopted into Christianity and have stuck for centuries.

If we stop celebrating Christmas, because it is pagan, then what else are you willing to stop participating in because it’s pagan or rooted in paganism? You would need to leave just about everything in this world behind  and go live outside of society in the woods if that were the case. It would be impossible to completely remove paganism from our lives. The point is not to remove paganism from our lives, but to walk with the Spirit of God, letting Him teach you what His will is. Yes, there are many things in this world we need to remove from our lives, such as TV and media that promotes violence and sexual immorality. That is truly more offense to the Spirit of God then celebrating Christmas. I have also seen the Hebraic Roots movement where they teach not to celebrate Christmas, but to celebrate Hanukkah instead. Hannukkah is not a Biblical mandate and we are not Jewish, so there is no reason that we need to trade in one for the other. If you want to celebrate Hannukkah over Christmas, that is your choice, but don’t do it with the idea that you are glorifying God in one more than the other. We are told to live as sacrifices to God, and to glorify Him in everything we do. We are also told not to make another brother stumble by our judgments of each other. If a Christian celebrates Christmas and glorifies our Lord Jesus in this way, then who are you to tell them they are wrong and practicing paganism? We are to live in unity and peace, and to encourage and love one another.

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.

Romans 12:1

This brings me to the next argument from the opposite side, that it is OK to celebrate Halloween, because it is a perfectly innocent and fun day and it is no longer pagan. Please do not compare Christmas and Halloween. That is like comparing a murder to a birth. They are total opposites. Halloween is a not just rooted in paganism, it is actually a high holy day for Satanists and witches. Christmas is not a holy day for pagans, but simply another day on the calendar to them. Halloween is a time when witchcraft is at an all time high, and human sacrifices are being performed. It is a celebration of death and evil. Christmas is not about any of those things, and neither is it’s counterpart, Winter Solstice. Much like Christmas, winter solstice celebrates light, hope and joy – except it is just misconstrued into a celebration of false gods and earth worship. Although during December there is a higher level of witchcraft than some other times, because of the witches celebrations and rituals during this time.

So this begs the questions, is Christmas evil, and is it wrong to celebrate it? No, Christmas is not evil. There is nothing evil about the day of Christmas or any of the pagan traditions that come along with it. It is a day where families get together with love and gratitude and exchange presents. It is a season where people are geared toward serving others and are willing to open up their pocket books and give to the needy. Compassion is at an all time high and we open our doors to friends and neighbors who would otherwise be alone on Christmas. We spend an entire month focusing on doing good for others and spreading love and joy. Of course there is always the other side of commercialism, but that doesn’t take away from what you can do with Christmas. This isn’t the time to say, what can Christmas do for me, but instead, what can I do for Christmas? I can use Christmas to honor my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I can humble myself and serve those in need around me. I can reach out and give even when I have little. I can talk about the Good News of Jesus Christ, because Christmas is all about Him! I can bring light into the darkness of the winter by shining the light of the Holy Spirit inside of me.

treeI do not need to do these things with Santa Claus, stockings, reindeer and things that have little to nothing to do with Jesus. But giving gifts is a beautiful thing, and it is very appropriate I feel, because our Father is a good Father who loves to spoil His children. We deserve nothing from Him, yet He gives us so many blessings and gifts in abundance! The best gift of all being His one and only Son! Who came into this world as a helpless baby, making Himself nothing so He could give us an inheritance! Who wouldn’t want to spend an entire season focusing on the selflessness and humility of Christ and His birth? Who cares if He wasn’t born in December – we don’t really know for sure. But what I do know is that the entire world in one way or another is celebrating Christmas and the birth of Jesus Christ, Savior of the World. So why should I shun Christmas because of paganism in the traditions and push away friends and family? That would cause a huge division in a time of hope and joy and unity.

If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.  And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but is coming to an end.

Mark 3:24-26

Division is not of God. Our God is a God of community. God Himself is community as the Holy Trinity. He wants us to partake in community and fellowship. The devil wants to divide us and keep us alone. If we stop celebrating Christmas we are dividing ourselves from the church as a whole, our friends and family that celebrate. for most of December, because that is how long Christmas is celebrated. It is an entire season. Wouldn’t the devil just love to keep Christians from celebrating a holiday that was all about Jesus Christ?? Of course he would! He can convince some Christians to celebrate a satanic holy day such as Halloween, and others to not celebrate a holiday for Jesus. That is absolutely backwards! Enjoy the Christmas season by first asking God how He wants you to celebrate it. You may need to strip some of the things from it that He is displeased with, or you may need to add in new traditions of serving others. The most important thing is to be in connection and intimacy with God, loving Him and honoring Him above all. I am going to continue to write about Christmas as the Spirit leads, as I feel there is more to be said on this subject. Be blessed brothers and sisters!

And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.

Matthew 2:11