War of the Ages is a complete guide to spiritual warfare. Is the devil real? What about demons, angels? What does the Bible say about these things? How can we fight and overcome the power of darkness in today’s world? Nearly 400 pages of scriptural and practical insights from over 45 years of experience battling the forces of evil. Solid truths and real stories. Spiritual warfare for the next generation.
Roma Downey first came into our lives and hearts as “Monica,” the angel in training in the successful television series, “Touched by an Angel.” A feel-good, moral and new-age tinged show, many people’s memory of Roma was her angel character saying, in an angelic Irish brogue, “God luvs ya!”
Years passed. Suddenly, Roma Downey and her husband Mark Burnett lit up the media sky with their successful television miniseries,The Bible. Christians – especially those with fond memories of Monica – were thrilled at the presentation of the Bible by what seemed to be the newly evangelical team of Mark Burnett and Roma Downey, founder of Lightworks media production company. The church embraced them – no questions asked. (Note: Even the name of their production company, Lightworkers, is very telling. In the New Age, a “lightworker is “any being dedicated to the cultivation of inner presence and the elevation of awareness in self and other selves. This being is called a lightworker and is an evolutionary step toward a state of “LightBeing.”) (http://lightworkers.org/what-is-a-lightworker-are-you-a-lightworker)
Much of what we call the evangelical church has for decades been enamored with “Hollywood conversions” and saved entertainers. From Donna Summer to Eldridge Cleaver, from Bob Dylan to Stephen Baldwin, we have too often promoted and used their testimonies without giving them time to grow in their faith, and many did not make it.
Unfortunately, our longing for affirmation and importance in “the real world” and desire to be accepted and “relevant” in this media-driven age has created a church that will automatically accept someone who says “Jesus” as being one of us without asking any questions as to what they really believe.
Thus is the case of the meteoric rise and wholesale embracing of Mark Burnett and Roma Downey.
After The Bible series came the movie Son of God. It was the most highly promoted Christian event I can remember in 40 years. Soon Mark and Roma were on nearly every Christian television and radio program there was.
They sound like us. They say the right things. And to our shame, they are in many ways more Christ-behaving and giving than many Christians.
But they are not of us. Roma Downey is, in fact, a New Age initiate.
She is not a “dabbler.” She hasn’t merely got a few unsanctified New Age ideas. She is, in fact, a deeply committed follower of the new spirituality and its ideas.
- She is a graduate with a degree in “spiritual psychology” from the University of Santa Monica, a premier new age training center. Its founder, John-Roger, (http://www.john-roger.org/)
is one of the most well-known new age teachers over the last thirty years. Experiencing an auto accident when he was young, a spirit known as the “mystic traveler” began to speak to him, then “through” him. Everything he does – and teaches – is based on that experience. He is a “trance channeler.” His organization, MSIA or Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness, is well-known in the New Age world. This is some of what he teaches:
“When a person participates in MSIA and works with the Mystical Traveler, that person is, if anything, “submitting” to himself/herself, to the Christ within, to the God within. And that is really a joyous surrender to love. To be an initiate of the Traveler is to devote yourself to the God within you, to devote yourself to Spirit, to returning to your home, the Soul, from which you originally came before you incarnated onto this earth. It means devoting yourself to working out the karma you’ve accrued while being here and to releasing yourself from that karma through grace and your good works, so that you are free to rise into the heart of God.”
“If you feel you aren’t worthy of God, that you’re too small or not as good as God, then stand up. Face God on equal terms, as a co-creator and one who also owns the sun, the moon and the stars.”
This is the teacher – and the foundation of the education – that Roma Downey is proud to have learned under, and graduated from. Ms. Downey is a new age initiate. There is no way that Ms. Downey could have gone through this university without knowing exactly what it was. Any believer in Jesus and His Word would have never gone to such a school, or, if they became believers afterward, they would have renounced it. Unfortunately, Ms. Downey was still finishing her degree in “spiritual psychology” when she gave her interview about the Bible series. (http://becksmithhollywood.com/2009/04/roma-downey-happy-out-of-spotlight/)
What kinds of things was Ms. Downey learning in her education at Santa Monica University? Let’s take a look:
– Soul-Centered Co-Creation
– Experiencing enhanced spiritual awareness through knowing yourself as a Divine Being having a human experience.
– Tools for spiritual evolution.
– Working with the patterns associated with each of the eight chakra centers in service to deep healing physically, mentally, emotionally, and within the unconscious, with the focus of further awakening to the Authentic Self.
From their own curriculum description, we read:
“(Spiritual Psychology) empowers them to convert their everyday life experiences into rungs on the ladder of Spiritual Evolution …Spiritual Psychology is the study and practice of the art and science of human evolution in consciousness.
Practically, it means learning how to surrender—or let go of— anything that disturbs one’s peace. It also means sacrificing our illusions of separation. Essentially, this ‘surrendering’ and ‘sacrificing’ is work that can and has been called ‘healing,’ which includes healing on the physical, mental, and emotional levels in service to the deeper revelation of who we truly are as Loving, Peaceful, Compassionate, and Joyful beings. We refer to this level of awareness as the Authentic Self. And, by the way, assuming we get through the current challenges, these very same skills will be exactly the same ones that will be highly valued as we transform into a more peaceful highly globalized world.”
This has been the education of Roma Downey. But it gets worse.
Ms. Downey recited a rosary prayer for a CD called, “Practical Praying” by John Edward.
John Edward is best known for his psychic TV show in which he “talked to the dead.” Ms. Downey has been on his show and allowed him to “channel” her “mother.”
Ms. Downey is an avid reader of new age material by such well-known new age writers as Tony Robbins and Eckhart Tolle who are worlds away from any biblical truth. Ms. Downey’s husband speaks to Roma’s spirituality in glowing terms this way: “You’re so self-realized you’re practically levitating.”
Roma Downey’s acknowledged mentor is Della Reese, her angel-boss Tess on Touched by an Angel. Della is a well-known and acclaimed singer and actor for many years. She is also the pastor of UpChurch in Southern California. Her mentor is Minister Johnnie Colemon, pastor of the megachurch Christ Unity Center in Chicago. Colemon was a pioneer of the “new thought” movement, which is a new age metaphysical teaching that is based on “healing meditation and positive thought.”
What does Rev. Reese believe and teach?
“These are core, foundational principles that we teach.
God is everywhere, evenly, equally present! Omnipresence
(There is no spot or situation where God is not!)
God is all the power in the universe! Omnipotence
(God is all there is, there is nothing else!)
God is all the wisdom/intelligence in the universe! Omniscience
(In the beginning, God!)
All humankind is made in the image-likeness of God. We are all spiritual beings having a human experience.
Thoughts are things! Our thoughts are creative. They produce definite results. When we control our thoughts, we control our lives.
When we are aware of God’s Presence in all that we do, we can experience God’s Goodness in all that we do. We spend quality time in prayer (speaking sincerely with God and listening for God to speak with us) and meditation (taking time to become still and focus on God’s Truth).
When we practice truth principles, we set the Law of God in motion to bless our lives. Divine Law produces Divine Good. A child of God, we can look to God for:
While many of these ideas have tiny shreds of scriptural backing, they are most akin to some of the modern power of positive thinking Christianity put forth by people like Joel Osteen and Kenneth Copeland. But these are not rooted in sound doctrine, but rather its genesis comes from from Unity School of Christianity sources.
Below are some of the people Rev. Reese admires and emulates:
“Thoughts from Great Spiritual Leaders:
‘The philosophy of Jesus is a workable philosophy, a way of life. Jesus taught of the depth of potential of man and his spiritual unity with God. Perhaps he was ahead of his time. Only recently have scientists, philosophers, psychologists and educators began to catch the idea of an integrated whole as the guide for studying man or life or the universe. This is the concept of spiritual unity that is found between the lines in all of Jesus’ teachings.
Eric Butterworth – Discover the Power Within You.
‘I am a firm believer that Jesus was the WayShower, the model for each of us to follow. As he explained to the disciples, if we know Him, then we automatically know the way to the Father, which is also the way to Truth and to Life. This, then, is the first thing which we should understand about the meaning of, Try Jesus. Jesus is our perfect model. If we accept his words as true and accept his life as the perfect example, then we have at our disposal the means to teach, heal and bless ourselves and our others in our daily activities.
Dr. Barbara King – Transform Your Life.
‘We must instill into the mind the fundamental proposition that good is without bounds. Only good and loving-kindness shall “follow me all the days of my life.” (Psalms 23) We must get this concept, rather than continuing to think there is a power of evil as opposed to the power of Good. We experience good and evil because we perceive a presence of duality rather than unity.
Ernest Holmes – The Science of Mind.’
Every existing thing is the expression of thought. Man-made things are the expression are the expressions of man’s thought; all else and man himself, is the expression of Divine Thought. The entire solar and planetary system; the sun, the moon, the stars, the clouds, the rivers, the mountains, valleys, trees, flowers and birds; all, all are expressions of thought. And just as the creations transcend infinitely the work of man, so naturally must the mind in which they originated transcend the mind of man. The universe is the expression of the Universal Mind, …of God.
Rabbi Morris Lichtenstein – How to Live.
Live from the premise the the spiritual-world is real, that it is friendly to you. Make God your only source of energy, and let his infinite wisdom determine the channels through which your every need is fulfilled.
Charles Roth – Mind: The Master Power.
‘Think enthusiastically about everything, but especially about your job. If you do, you will put a touch of glory in your life. If you love your job with enthusiasm, you’ll shake it to pieces. You’ll love it into greatness.
The Reverend Norman Vincent Peale.
‘As we grow as unique persons, we learn to respect the uniqueness of others.
The Reverend Robert H. Schuller.”
Although Rev. Reese also includes a couple of quotes from well-known Christian pastors, her base theology clearly comes from new spirituality teachers such as Eric Butterworth and Norman Vincent Peale, people who were clearly outside of Biblical faith. You will not hear her proclaim Jesus as Lord, or the Bible as the perfect Word of God, or Jesus as the only way to the Father. He’s just a “way-shower.”
This is Roma Downey’s spiritual mother and most cherished mentor.
It is neither inaccurate nor speculative to say that Ms. Downey is rooted and grounded in metaphysical new age beliefs.
I truly love Mark and Roma. And I truly pray for them, as one who came from that world, to come to meet the real Jesus.
I fear that the likelihood of that is greatly hindered by the evangelical leaders who have surrounded them, adored them, courted them even – without (1) Discerning whether they are truly biblical Christians, or (2) Asking the questions that might uncover their true beliefs and thus give them a chance to be brought into the truth by those who CARE enough about these things and KNOW the dangers of new age thought to help them come to know the real Jesus.
When the History Channel movie series was first released, I had obvious concerns because I knew where Ms. Downey came from spiritually. Then Son of God was going to be released, and I saw everyone accepting that they were believers without question. What I knew stood in clear contradiction to what everyone assumed about them.
When a major Christian book retailer started stocking The Story of God and All of Us, a book based on the movie The Bible with Roma and Mark as authors, I felt I needed to inform the bookstore’s representatives of the concerns I had unearthed. I received a brief e mail reply in which the representative said yes, we are aware of some issues, and we decided they would release it “for the greater good” in spite of the issues. But what he ended with completely floored me:
“I listened to Roma Downey tell about her involvement in making the miniseries and was impressed by her powerful Christian testimony.”
It was as if nothing I had brought to his attention made him think that Roma was anything but someone “with a powerful Christian testimony.”
It was clear that people were unwilling to consider these concerns, either for financial reasons, or because they were afraid of being “divisive,” or because they themselves did not see an issue with Ms. Downey’s core spiritual belief system.
So here we are now, and Ms. Downey is doing a new series on the women in the Bible. And I can already be fairly certain that they will include Mary Magdalene, who was also prominently featured in Son of God. Why? Because in the ancient occult teachings that had infiltrated the early church through Gnosticism, they taught that Mary Magdalene was in fact the thirteenth disciple.
With all this in mind, would it not be of great importance, considering Mark and Roma’s vast influence on the western Christian media, to ask some very crucial questions to make sure they are truly Bible-believing, evangelical believers that adhere to the basic doctrines of the inerrancy of scriptures, the supremacy and exclusivity of Jesus as the way of salvation, and that salvation only through the cross?
No one appears to be asking those questions. No one seems to know why it matters.
Here is the simple truth: Either Mark and Roma know exactly what they are doing, and are aware of their role in bring about synchronicity between Christianity and all faiths, or they do NOT know the difference between what THEY believe and what Biblical faith requires. If it is the first, then we are in real danger in letting them even deeper into our circles of influence than we have. If they do not, then we are indeed poor stewards of God’s things and God’s house. And if people who are in a position of influence DO know that Mark and Roma represent another belief system foreign to the faith we hold dear and choose to ignore those issues for the “greater good” of “spreading the good news,” then we are the ones that should be in great fear. For it is our responsibility to care for the flock:
“For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.” (Acts 20:29)
Last year I had an opportunity and a mandate to hand Ms. Downey a copy of my friend Warren Smith’s testimony book, The Light That Was Dark. I do not know if she has read it. I do believe God is reaching out and trying to save them. All of this is written with the understanding that these are people Jesus died to redeem, and He loves them very much.
Knowing that is all the more reason that we should NOT purchase these products, promote these media ventures nor embrace these people UNTIL we have clarity on who they really are. And if they turn out to have been masking new age religion through words like Roma’s “I have always loved Jesus since I was a child” to try to convince us they are one of us, then the truth needs to be known and we need to hear it from THEM. And if it turns out that they are confused followers of a false belief system that teaches that “we are all divine,” then SOMEONE needs to sit down with them and explain to them who the real Jesus is.
I believe a very simple set of questions needs to be asked and answered by our friends:
Is Jesus the only way to God? Do we all have the “Christ spirit?” Are we all divine? Is the Bible the infallible Word of God? Knowing that the Bible forbids necromancy, are you sorry you worked with John Edward? Is what you learned from John-Rogers University compatible with your Christian faith?
These are basic, reasonable and crucial questions, and it’s on us if we do not ask them but continue to promote people who by all appearances and facts on the ground, are very much following another Jesus than the one that the scriptures attest to. And God will hold us responsible for not doing so.
Roma was recently asked to host one of the largest contemporary Christian music events in decades to help raise money for persecuted believers worldwide. Good cause, to be sure. But again, a little leaven leavens the whole lump. If we are willing to ignore or accept the clear biblical conflicts that Roma has presented us with “for the greater good,” then how much MORE will we be willing to overlook next time? Or even start receiving and believing? We are, in the western church, already on the slow slide to doctrinal dissolution and biblical rejection of the essentials of the faith that have stood for thousands of years. Every compromise is a snowflake in the landslide we are about to witness.
The greater concern – one that those I have communicated with in places of influence have failed to understand – is that it’s not about one series, one movie, or one book. It is about new or innocent believers seeing not only these movies or reading the book but watching those in Christian media and evangelical positions of influence give their complete stamp of approval to them, even if they hide the little secrets of new age issues they are choosing to ignore “for the greater good.” What happens when, as often happens, the average believer does see the movies or read the book and thinks, “I wonder what else Roma has done?” And then they find themselves getting Roma’s CD that she did with necromancer John Edward, or reading Eckhart Tolle, or Tony Robbins, or heading to the UpChurch website and slowly finding themselves seduced by another Jesus? Do we not owe it to God to be responsible stewards of His flock to raise the warning and make sure we do not participate in such compromise that can injure those who are trusting our spiritual leadership in these matters? I believe to not do so is to stand before God saying that we knew, but we did nothing about it. We cannot afford to be so complicit.
Let’s pray diligently for Mark and Roma, for we too were once in darkness and ignorance of the true Savior, and He redeemed us from a dark pit. And let us do all we can to hold our leadership’s feet to the fire and make sure they do not promote what God clearly has warned us about.
Gregory R Reid, YouthFire Ministries
1. JESUS IS NOT “PART” OF MY LIFE!
Jesus IS my life. I will not give Him 10% of my
money, time or obedience. By His grace, I will lay
my life down at His feet and give Him 100%. I am not
2. I WILL WATCH MY WORDS.
Proverbs says that life and death is in the power of
the tongue. More people have been destroyed by
lying, criticism, judgementalism and gossip than by
any war. Before I speak, I will weigh my words, and
the consequences. I will pray, “Set a watch at my
lips, O Lord.”
3. I WILL VALUE SILENCE.
The more a person talks, the more it shows how
empty their heart is and how shallow their
relationship with God. I learn far more from listening
than from talking. I will listen to others – there are far
too few listeners. And with my Father, I will listen as
much as I pray. He wants to talk. I cannot expect
guidance or comfort, challenge or growth if I simply
hand God my wish list and walk away. The world is
too full of noise. I will remember that when God
spoke to Elijah, first there was a whirlwind, then a
fire, then an earthquake, but “The Lord was not in
them.” Then came a still, small voice. I cannot be
greatly used unless I take time to listen.
4. I WILL VALUE ALONENESS.
This is the loneliest generation in history. We are so
afraid of being alone that we will take any
friendship, date any person and go any place just to
make sure we aren’t alone. But I accept that
loneliness is a gift. It is God on the telephone. Even
if I have friends., even if I marry, there is still a
God-shaped loneliness which will never be
completely filled until I am with Him, but which
drives me to His heart while I am in exile here. I will
set apart time without TV, without radio or music,
without people and without hurrying, to just be with
Him, worshipping Him and loving Him. A great
leader once said he would not see the face of man in
the morning until he saw the face of God. By God’s
grace, this will be my goal as well.
5. ALL THAT MATTERS IS THAT WHICH IS ETERNAL.
I will set my affections on things above (the things
Jesus cares about -not success, money, power, etc.)
I am determined not to be counted among those who
have just enough of the world to be miserable with
Jesus, and just enough of Jesus to be miserable with
the world. I will count myself as a pilgrim and a
stranger in this world and strip myself of every
worldly entanglement I can, so I can please Him who
has called me to be a soldier.
I will not sacrifice eternal reward on the altar of
temporary pleasure. Knowing that the great tragedy
of judgment day will be what I could have been if I
had let Jesus really run my life, I will keep a daily
awareness that only those things I do for Jesus will
never be forgotten. Because I am away from my real
Home, wherever I find a true believer and share in
the fellowship of God’s love, they will be my home.
6. I WILL LET LIFE BREAK ME, NOT HARDEN ME.
Jesus said the rain falls on the just and the unjust. I
expect hard times, and I am determined to let no
circumstance make me bitter, or hardened to God, or
unwilling to love. In any trial, I will ask Jesus to let
it make me into a broken servant. Only when I am
broken, am I strong.
7. I WILL HAVE AN HONEST RELATIONSHIP WITH
Jesus said I must worship God in spirit AND in truth.
I will hold nothing back from God. I will yell,
scream, cry, laugh, tell the ugliest sin and the
deepest hurt to God without reservation or fear,
knowing He already knows what is in my heart. I will
eliminate all “thees and thous” and formal nonsense
from my prayers and simply talk to my Father as I
would to my friend. He is not frightened or offended
by my anger or my honesty, nor ashamed of my tears
and my wounds. I will hide NOTHING from Him, and
even when I have sinned, I will take it to Him right
8. I WILL ASK TO SEE AS JESUS SEES, AND HEAR AS
Knowing that “man sees the outward appearance but
God sees the heart”, this will be my goal as well. I
will judge no one by their dress, words or actions,
but will ask Jesus to show me their heart. A prophet
is one who “sees with seeing.” God, help me to see
as You do, hear as, You do and feel as You do, as
well as think as You do.
9. I WILL NEVER DENY IN DARKNESS WHAT I KNOW
TO BE TRUE IN THE LIGHT.
The truth of God’s love, Jesus’ power and my
purpose are easy to stand for when things go well. By
God’s grace, I will never deny these truths no matter
how much my personal fires and trials may seem to
say God does not love me, that Jesus cannot help
me or that I have no purpose. “Let God be true and
every man be a liar. Though my faith in these truths
be tested, I will spit in the devil’s face and tell him,
“Though He slay me, I will still serve Him.”
10. I WILL NEVER ASK WHY – I WILL ONLY ASK
I am not exempt from suffering or problems.
Therefore, when they come, I will not ask God, “Why
me?”, but ask Him what the trial is meant to
produce in me. “Why?” is a pointless question. But
“What for?” allows the Holy Spirit to use the
circumstance for my growth and guidance.
11. I WILL ACCEPT ROMANS 8:28 AND N0T CURSE
If I really believe that “God is at work in all things to
produce good”, then I accept that there are no
exceptions. Therefore my past, no matter how
painful, ugly or sinful, can be transformed into a
tool of compassion and forgiveness that the Father
can use to touch hurting people
12. IN THE HEALING OF MY WOUNDS, I WILL
NEVER GIVE UP.
I accept that hurts that took years to form may not
change overnight. There will be spiritual surgeries
and times of tears. I will not settle for a halfway
deliverance, but seek God’s face until my emotions
are fully healed and in God’s hands. A former
prisoner war once asked how he endured all the
years of imprisonment and still had hope. He
replied, “I never decorated my cell.” I will not
become comfortable with my wounds or the
sympathy my flesh seeks from them, and I will not
decorate my personal cell of pain, I will be free.
13. I WILL PLACE OBEDIENCE ABOVE ALL HUMAN
OPINIONS AND EXPECTATIONS.
Although I will listen to all criticism, receive and
weigh all counsel, I will
not allow anyone’s opinion to deflect me from
following Jesus and His will for me. I will always
play for the Coach and never for the crowds.
Knowing that popularity is not approval from God, I
will not allow man’s praise to feed my ego nor his
blame to defeat my spirit. Only Jesus’ opinion
14. I WOULD RATHER MY NAME BE KNOWN IN THE
CORRIDORS OF HELL – AND FEARED -THAN BE THE
MOST POPULAR, LOVED PERSON ON EARTH.
Knowing that God’s Kingdom and message is
advanced more by prayer and obedience than by
personality and persuasion, I am committed to
making sure demons know I mean business, not to
impressing the crowds.
15, I CHOOSE TO BE ALONE RATHER THAN
PARTICIPATE IN CHEAP, SHALLOW, EMPTY,
FLESH-BASED SOCIAL FELLOWSHIP MANY CALL
Paul said, “From now on we know no one after the
flesh, but after the Spirit.” I will not waste my time
socializing but find and addict myself to Christians
whose life is lived in the love of Jesus and His
16. I WILL SEEK TO BE VULNERABLE AND
TRANSPARENT COST WHAT IT MAY.
If Jesus lives in me, then I do not want people to
have to sort through the trash in my heart to see
Him., I will seek to be cleansed from all secret
sins, so that I am like a clear window through which
my Savior can be seen. I will not be afraid to share
my heart, my healing or my struggles, if that will
gain the trust of the wounded, so that I can take their
hand and place it in the Father’s healing hand.
17. D.L. MOODY SAID, “THE WORLD HAS YET TO
SEE WHAT GOD CAN DO IN AND THROUGH THE
PERSON THAT IS COMPLETELY AND TOTALLY
CONSECRATED TO HIM; AND BY GOD’S GRACE, I
WILL BE THAT MAN.”
By God’s grace, I too will be that man. I want no
other thing than for God to use my life as
completely and thoroughly as He can, and whatever
price I must pay to be that pure vessel, I will pay it
and not shrink back.
18. I WILL BE A “SAFE PLACE” FOR HURTING
The world is full of betrayal of trust and of innocence
destroyed. I realize, in the words of Floyd McClung,
that people don’t care how much I know until they
know how much I care. Therefore, I will seek to be a
trustworthy friend and a person who will not
condemn or turn back from anyone’s sins or
problems, but rather give them a place where they
can know the completeness of God’s acceptance
19. I WILL VALUE THE ONE OVER THE MANY.
Knowing that Jesus left the 99 to seek the one,
knowing that Jesus always took time for the one
person who needed Him, I will not prefer crowds to
the one life Jesus may give me to love and disciple.
20. I WILL NOT KEEP MY DISTANCE FROM PEOPLE
WHO ARE HURTING.
I will be willing to get my hands dirty and get into
the blood and guts of their lives to bring them to
Jesus’ arms, I will not be afraid to cry, for tears are
precious to God, and only an insecure and proud
man cannot and will not cry. Paul commanded that
we weep with those that weep, and I will ask God to
break my heart until my tears become powerful
intercession on behalf of the hurting soul. Knowing
that only a man afraid of himself will not show
gentleness, I seek to know God so deeply that I can
say, like David, “Your gentleness has made me
great.” Knowing that God longs to bring people to
him “with cords of human love” (Hosea) I ask God to
let me be the cords through which His love is
21. I WILL PASS ON THESE TRUTHS.
Jesus said to make disciples – followers of Him.
Knowing that Jesus has given me, through spiritual
parents, a great legacy, I will seek to instill that
legacy into all those He gives me to raise up. Then,
I will teach them how to pass it on to those they are
called to. I will never forget that God’s Kingdom is a
family and only grows as I am willing to lay down my
life to raise those He has given me to love for His
22. THE GREATEST THING IS LOVE.
Knowing that 1 Corinthians 13 is true, I will ask God
that love be the starting and ending of all I do, and
everything in between. God is love; may my life be
a vessel of that Love until He takes me Home.
Satan fears the Word of God. I’ve lived enough to see the power of the Word of God change lives, heal the sick, deliver from demons, mend broken hearts, and set people on fire with purpose and power.
I was recently “set” up in a phone interview I did innocently believing I was going to be asked about my law enforcement work. Instead, I was viciously attacked. At one point, they said, “You’re not law enforcement. You have no formal training. What right do you have to post what you do on the internet?” “Because it’s the truth”, I replied. “That’s YOUR truth!” they replied. I nearly laughed. I’d hit the crux of the matter. “Listen bubba”, I replied, “There’s no `my truth’ and `your truth’. A thing is either true or it’s not.”
If I said I was a poached egg, you would call a therapist. “But that’s MY truth!” No, that’s my DELUSION. Clearly I am not a poached egg (though I sometimes resemble one.)
Somehow, absolute truth has been completely lost in the modern lie of “relativism” – you know – that truth is subject to circumstances, social settings and personal feelings. One professor told a student, “There are no absolutes”, to which the wise student replied, “Are you absolutely sure?”
The degree in which relativism has infested the educational system and filled young minds full of junk is deeply disturbing. I can’t even have a rational conversation with most “educated” people. They get emotional and angry when presented with reason and facts that contradict their oft-repeated and little reasoned ten second sound bite opinions, finally ending the conversation with, “Well, that’s YOUR truth!” Which is the liberal version of “Nanny, nanny boo boo!”
Can you imagine, if, for example, driving laws were based on relativism?
– The lights are red, yellow, and green. If your truth says red means go, then go.
– The speed limit is only a suggested one. If it “feels right” to go 90 MPH in a school zone, follow your heart.
In other words, lawlessness and anarchy would rule the road, and it would be a slaughter, when “your truth” opposed “mine” and we met in a fatal crash of relativistic speed limit interpretations.
Can you imagine if scientists worked by that standard? We’d never have gotten to the moon. “it’s about a million miles…we think…but we only use the rule as a `general guideline’. The moon looks closer by eye, so we trust that more than some `absolute ruler.’”
Obviously we don’t conduct science OR road laws by relativism.
But we ARE told by the world to conduct our lives that way. Paul calls it “the Spirit of lawlessness.” It is the ageless satanic lie that says that you can become your own god.
Now that most of the world is under the influence of this lie, satan has now set his sites on the church. The church has always been most powerful when it has proclaimed the pure Word of God. Satan knows it is his biggest threat.
For hundreds of years, he’s been successful at weakening the church through petty doctrinal differences: methods of baptism, tongues, end-time disputes.
Now, he’s about to go for the jugular. He is seeking to completely destroy the standard of truth – the Word of God – in the house of God.
The Bible is the standard – the linchpin, so to speak – the foundation of truth by which we live. All else – relationships, righteousness, directions and destiny – hinge on it, our ability to stay true to it. God Himself set that linchpin – “Forever, O Lord, Your Word is settled in heaven.” (Ps. 119:89) “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away.” (Mt.24:35) And woe be to those who tamper with it!
But tampering they are, to their own destruction.
Two young people I love dearly attended the same Christian Bible school, where they were subjected to a book that contained a chapter that convincingly argued that the Bible really did NOT condemn homosexuality. Talk about confusing! You go to a Bible School to learn about the Bible, and they undermine the very thing they claim to stand for!
We used to joke about seminaries, calling them “cemeteries” and now I don’t think we were too far off the mark. I will be accused of being anti-intellectual, which is fine. I’ve got to tell you, I’ve rarely seen someone argued into the Kingdom of God. Even the great CS Lewis came to Jesus by a burst of spontaneous revelation riding his bike, not by argument. People come into the Kingdom, not by good ideas, but because God opens their hearts to truth. And yes, there is a place for reasoned argument, as Paul speaks to persuading people. But it always strikes me that although Festus said, “Paul, you almost persuade me to become a Christian”, we don’t know that he ever did.
But my concern isn’t just that we’re too intellectual. In fact, there are too many believers that “only believe” but haven’t a CLUE as to why! I always encourage kids to learn all they can, get all the facts and think sharp so they can “be ready to give an answer to every man for the hope that is within you.” (1 Pet. 3:15) Nevertheless, the rise of Christian intellectual elitism that is pervading many seminaries, Christian media and churches is a concern. I realize I am not a scholar. I can’t argue didactic points (or even tell you what didactic means) or give grand outlines. I’m just a truth-teller. And I expect the world to react negatively to what I say and write. But 90% of the assault I get comes from Christians who think I’m too subjective, too “experiential.” Or, too fundamental”. I get it from both ends. I stand in the middle and believe that experiencing God is totally compatible with 100% faith in the Scriptures. In fact it is only when these things become one dynamic that the Kingdom is truly manifest in power.
But given the option of being too “fundamental” or too “experiential,” based on the dangerous place I see a lot of Christians, I’ll take “fundamental.”
For many, that reads as “Pharisee.” But the Pharisee’s problem wasn’t that they believed the Scriptures; it’s that (a) they added a thousand laws and inferences not there, and (b) They did not grasp the TRUTH of the scriptures; “You search the scriptures, thinking you will find eternal life; but these are they that speak of Me.” (John 5:39)
In other words, they took the Word and tried to make it say what they WANTED it to say. You can’t do that.
I recently had a conversation concerning “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers.” (2 Cor. 6:14) Someone had told a young person I know that it was referring to business deals, not marriage. (The logic of that, of course, is absurd – implying that God cares more about keeping our business dealings separate from unbelievers, but in the most spiritual human relationship of all – marriage – it doesn’t matter!) I sat in shock, as this young person said this man had been living with an unbeliever, and she later got saved. (Maybe she did. I pray so and rejoice if so.) The young man I spoke to asked if this guy was in trouble; after all, he was doing well, and was financially blessed, his wife got saved – didn’t that indicate God’s blessing?
First, I explained, his finances were irrelevant. Second, I said, he’s in more trouble than he knows. HE BELIEVES A LIE. Rather than take God’s Word at face value concerning not being unequally yoked, he said, “It doesn’t fit how I’m living. I’ve got to see it in a way so I can make it fit my lifestyle.” Peter spoke of those who “twist the scriptures, to their own destruction.” (2 Pet.3:16)
Worse – he was teaching kids the same thing! I would rather be living in abject sinful failure and proclaim, “I may be in sin, but the Word of God is still true”, than to gloss over the scriptures to cover up my violation of it. It’s about integrity to TRUTH.
Anytime we run into scriptures that speak in opposition to cultural sins or our personal ones – we choose to either receive the truth regardless, or we end up twisting what is there to make it support sin.
Never – NEVER – bend the Word of God to fit around your sins or lifestyle. Bend – and break – your own hardened sinful heart and conform to its truth. Fall on the rock and be broken, Jesus said, or it will fall on you and crush you to powder. (Mt. 21:44) “Is not my Word like a rock…like a hammer?” (Jer. 23:29)
If my EXPERIENCE contradicts the scriptures – my experience is wrong. Period. If my way of life contradicts it – my way of life must change. It’s that simple.
I recently read an article by a mother about keeping kids away from the occult. She agreed with all the scriptures against it. Then she explained how they read Harry Potter with their kids, explaining the GOOD, pointing out the bad. (Either make the tree good and its fruit goodf, Jesus said, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad – Matthew 12:33) She did the usual delusional justification of the difference between “real” magic and “fantasy magic.”
Then, in a stunning piece of advice, she tells parents to steer children away from things that were about talking to the dead, divination or spell-casting! She apparently was completely blind to the fact that Potter was FILLED with spell-casting, teachers who were divinators and the DEAD speaking through the living!
This is a perfect example of moving the linchpin even a little. She moved it just a hair – “Well, the scriptures are probably only condemning REAL magic, not fantasy magic…” The next thing you know, she’s so deceived, in one breath she can tell you to avoid occult practices, and in the next, promotes a story FULL of them – without a CLUE to the contradiction! Once you move the linchpin just a little, it’s just the beginning.
Someone told me, “I don’t accept a certain part of the Bible.” I said, “Well, then throw the whole thing in the trash and get it over with. Because if you can’t trust THAT part, why trust ANY of it? How do you know ANY of it is trustworthy if you just throw out what you don’t like?”
NO. Accept it ALL or accept NONE.
That doesn’t mean it’s all easy to understand. Far from it. Many times I feel like I did when I was a child, crying, yelling, staring at math problems and saying, “I DON’T GET IT!!!” How foolish to abandon math, because it does not always make sense to ME, therefore it must not be true. It’s my understanding that is lacking, not the material.
I play a frustrating computer game where you have to combine similar objects to get points. As the clock runs down, I can rarely find the combinations to keep the game running. But it’s THERE. On occasion, I just take a deep breath, relax, and tell myself, “You can find it. It’s right there somewhere.” And there it is. The game didn’t lie; I just couldn’t see what was there.
I’ve always approached the Word of God that way. If I’m confused or don’t get something, I say, “The answer is here. Show me, Father.” And He does. Sometimes the answer was right in front of me, not able to see it without the Holy Spirit’s help.
Math does not lie. It’s fundamental truth. The Word of God does not lie; it is fundamental truth. Change one math fundamental, you produce chaos. Change one little iota of scripture, then spiritual chaos will follow.
In a time when churches and even denominations are trying to remove the linchpin of the Scriptures to justify adultery, homosexuality, occultism, you name it, in a time when “new translations” are hip and seeker-friendly and the “Old” are being buried by them, it is imperative that men and women of God who guard that linchpin nail it in solid, guard it and TEACH it to this generation, who will be the guardians of the Word of God for the generation to come.
As an old preacher once said, “God said it. I believe it. That settles it.” It’s just like that. Anything less is tampering with the Word of God, to our own destruction.
The subject of “deliverance” is a hot button topic for believers. What I will write will no doubt fly in the face of the conventional thoughts regarding demons and deliverance. I do not have all the answers, but I want to pass on what I do know, to those who may have ears to hear.
First, I want to make something very clear: I am NOT a “deliverance minister.” Youthfire is NOT a “deliverance ministry” at least not in the way most people have come to think of that term. I have and do deal with occult matters. I have been involved in casting out demons and praying over the demon oppressed. But I’ve also traveled to Indonesia, written books, painted a youth center, done evangelism, and even played Larry the Cucumber. (Do NOT call me for that job again!) I babysit a lot. But that doesn’t mean I am a babysitter by calling. Sometimes I wonder if there is a connection there. You know how it is: Babysit a few times, you get on a list and people assume you are available to do this all the time. And if you do a few deliverances…..
The reason I won’t be tagged as a deliverance ministry is the reason I am WARY of deliverance ministries by and large. Praying for demonized people is surely but only ONE PART of a much bigger calling all of us as believers should have. And once you are known for this, people will be sent to you or come to you in droves, and sometimes keep you from the full measure of ministry God wants you to do.
From that scenario, I have seen two things emerge: One, ministers get overwhelmed, caught up in the deliverance work and completely burn out. As one minister told me, “I never want to see another demonized person as long as I live.” Two, many (though not all) of those who hang out a shingle of “deliverance ministry” have been some of the scariest people I’ve ever seen. If you mean by deliverance the overall healing and setting free of a person, I believe in that. If it is strictly a “demon business”, I see no scripture for that. I have seen the fruit of many of such ministries, and it is chaos, convoluted scripture and messed up lives. I think you understand why I don’t want to be associated with that kind of ministry.
Is there a place for demonized people to get free? Absolutely, yes. It is in the church. Unfortunately, 99% of believers are too terrified of the demonic to do their job, and thus, God has raised up those who are willing. It becomes specialized when it is something we should all be willing to handle if the need arises. “In My Name you shall cast out devils.” (Mark 16:17).
There are two situations in which I will engage the demonic: One, when a demon manifests. Two, when I have been made aware of a situation, and have carefully prayed and gotten God’s go-ahead to become involved.
I believe the first situation is the most frequent and the most Biblical. Wherever Jesus went, demons manifested. They could not stand His presence. I truly believe if we are walking in the Power of God as a church and individuals, this will happen, and we must deal with it when it does.
The second situation is crucial for me. I must know in advance, if someone is brought to my attention, if and when I should engage. I need to be prayed up; I need to be prepared and be sure. Many have been trapped because of getting a reputation for doing deliverance, and before long they are completely overwhelmed. You need to understand that not all demonized people want to be free. And if they do not, they will make the rounds of pastors and ministries and their demons cause havoc.
Let me share, from my own experience over the years, a few essentials concerning deliverance.
We must set the rules and terms of engagement. Sometimes people manifest in church. (expect this to happen more as we approach a time of greater occult involvement in our culture.) We must determine by the Spirit whether to confront, deflect, or move the person into another part of the church to deal with it. A few years ago I was confronted with this situation. It was a large youth outreach at a church. I had just finished giving my testimony and was in the process of leading kids to know Jesus and dedicate their lives to His service, when an ungodly scream came from the congregation and someone fell out of the pew in a demonic fit. Conventional wisdom – as well as “instinct” – would say to deal with it right there – but instead the Spirit urged me to have the elders take the person out and into the prayer room to pray for her. It was crucial, because a moment of eternal consequences was attempted to be sabotaged and we could not allow it.
Sometimes demons are sent to be manifest to create fear, chaos and confusion. Do not let them set the battle. Each situation is different and requires a well-discerned action.
Choose your team carefully.
Deliverance prayer is not a free-for-all. It’s not a time for everyone to “give it a try.” It is a time for order, discipline and unity. Everyone on the team must come CLEANSED. Believe me, you don’t want to carry any sin uncleansed into a deliverance. I have seen and heard too many deliverances where uncleansed private sins get very publicly detailed and exposed by demons who use it to fail the deliverance. But what is CLEANSED is untouchable. Make sure every team member is spiritually strong, humble and ready for anything.
One person alone should be the “point man.” Everyone else should pray, support and follow that person’s lead. The worst situations I’ve seen are where there is no order at all and the person being prayed for is put through a round-robin of people all wanting to cast the demon out, or worse, everyone yelling at one. (Demons are not deaf. But they do love that kind of attention.) I don’t care who leads, but if I am called to lead, everyone else MUST follow that lead and back me up. If someone else leads, it is my responsibility to pray, back them up and only engage if called on to do so.
It is not for us to dialogue with demons. Part of their strategy, because they are desperate to maintain their dwelling in the person, is to engage you in conversation. Do not fall for it. If you begin to speak to them, they will twist you, intrigue you, lie to you and wear you out. Your ONLY communication should be the steady and unbending demand for their expulsion. NOTHING ELSE.
Whatever you think you’ve learned from the last deliverance, put it on the back burner. This is a whole new situation. You are dealing with demons that are older than you can fathom. God has NOT required you to match wits with them. You are only to expel them, not with methods or what you learned before or from some book, but with the pure power of God alone. Make sure your team is not made up of people who have their own ideas based on books or “deliverance manuals.” They will only cause division and chaos.
Recently, a well-meaning person who brought a woman with epilepsy cornered me to engage my help in casting demons out of her. I declined. He had already decided that epilepsy = possession. Such assumptions are dangerous and can result in terrible harm, and on rare occasions, even death. I cannot bide that. All epilepsy and sickness is not the result of possession. Multiple personality disorder is not the result of demons. (Though sometimes they may be demonized.) Schizophrenia (healable by God) is not demons but a quantifiable medical brain condition. I have even met occultists who were saved and were not possessed! (They did, however, need deliverance from oppression and occult ties of the past.) I have also witnessed, for example, a good church going lady who came to an outdoor rally I was speaking at and she began to
”preach” from Revelations right in the middle of my message – loudly, crazily, disrupting the whole evening – as demonized as anyone I’ve ever seen. We simply cannot afford to “assume” what we are dealing with. Assume NOTHING but that it is God’s intention to deliver the demon bound, and that we have been given the authority to do so. Perhaps terminology hangs us up too much. The Bible does not use the term possessed, but “demonized.” And demonization can be anything from oppressive headaches to full-blown takeover. Let’s not get too hung up over words here.
Having read numerous “deliverance manuals” I can pretty confidently recommend that you don’t bother with them. There IS no “formula” deliverance.
Know your authority.
“You” do not cast out the demons. It is JESUS IN YOU. They fear you not one whit. In fact they could crush you without God’s protection. Do not allow ONE OUNCE of arrogance, either in you or in your team, when you walk into that room. Let it be only, “It is JESUS who commands you to leave. It is HIS Name, HIS Blood and HIS Power that demands that you leave.” The minute you forget that it is only HIS authority they fear, you become like a uniformless, badge-less police officer in the middle of a gunfight trying to convince them to stop.
A few additional points:
– Do not fear either the devil or the demonic. Fear cuts those in need off from those who could set them free. It is the devil and demons who truly fear Jesus in US. Even a child who speaks the Name of Jesus cam make all hell tremble and every demon flee.
Do not become “interested” in knowing about the demonic realm. Except for Neil Anderson’s books, everything else I have read is either useless, wrong or dangerous – or all three. All you need in order to be able to accomplish the job is an intimate relationship with Jesus, a solid knowledge of the Word of God, humility and availability.
DO NOT tackle a situation alone. Always work with a team, and have plenty of prayer covering besides.
Treat deliverance as just one aspect of all Jesus has called us to do and to be.
There is little doubt that we are living in an age of unprecedented demon influence, which is resulting in vast numbers of demonized people. Be ready for anything. And do not be afraid. This is part of the church’s job, and we need to stop relegating it to a few because the majority are afraid and unprepared. Obeying Mark is for us all.
Dr. Gregory R Reid
There are two kinds of time according to the Scriptures. One is Chronos, which is the linear, point-A-to-point-B time we experience as humans, and mark with clocks, calendars and dates.
The other is Kairos – God’s time. In very oversimplified terms, it’s God’s eternal invading and intersecting of our human Chronos time.
As believers, the measure of our brief lives will be the obedience we gave to God, and our responses to the Kairos moments, when His eternal plans and purposes and Voice intersected and interrupted our Chronos lives. What we do in those moments determines the value of the lives we’ve led, and the eternal reward and destiny we will have.
Jesus, in His 3 ½ years of ministry (and really, His whole life) walked in Kairos. People were constantly trying to pull him into Chronos living and Chronos activities. “Your time is always,” Jesus said. You want what you want, when you want it, how you want it. “Be our king! Show us a miracle! Prove you are the Messiah!”
When they saw a king to free them from Rome’s tyranny, Jesus saw the cross that was going to free us from the tyranny of sin. When they sought a miracle to prove he was the Messiah, He said the only miracle he was going to give them was three days dead and then Resurrection life.
He only did what He saw the Father doing. And while people paved a road for Him to be king, He followed a blood-soaked trail to be crucified. Man’s Chronos demanded of Jesus that their ideas of freedom from slavery under Rome be addressed. But Jesus walked ONLY in the Father’s Kairos, and from the beginning, He knew it would not be the road to success, but to DEATH.
You know, it’s only recently that it occurred to me that Satan was NOT pro-crucifixion. In fact, it was the devil who attempted to get Jesus to AVOID the cross by offering him kingship if he would only bow down to him…just once…come on, just a little Jesus, take the shortcut to Glory…take the easy way…
But Jesus knew that His PURPOSE was the cross. He came to DIE. And then to rise again.
That’s why when Jesus was rebuked by Peter (can you imagine the audacity?) saying, “You can’t go to Jerusalem to die! God forbid!” that Jesus didn’t say, “You’re right, of course. Thanks, Peter” but rather said, “GET BEHIND ME, SATAN!” Why? Because Satan didn’t WANT Jesus to be crucified! He KNEW something bad was coming for him, because Jesus was DELIBERATELY walking toward death on the cross!
I’m not saying Satan didn’t revel in Jesus’ torture and suffering and death, because he IS a sadistic monster that cannot HELP but feed on pain and bloodshed – but he did so likely in spite of his dread in knowing that Jesus CHOSE the cross – and that couldn’t be good news for Satan’s kingdom!
“Put away the sword,” Jesus said to Peter. “Don’t you know I could call down 12 legions of angels, if I wanted to be rescued? But this is how the scriptures will be fulfilled!”
“Now my soul is troubled,” Jesus said. “And what shall I say? `Father, save me from this hour’? BUT FOR THIS PURPOSE I CAME TO THIS HOUR. Father, glorify Your Name.” (John 12:26-28.
He came to die. That was God’s plan – and nothing could deter Him. Nothing did.
My spiritual mother once gave me a beautiful picture of God’s dealings. “Look at the back of a tapestry,” she said. “It’s all threads and knots and is not pretty and makes no sense. But turn it over. Look how beautiful it is on the other side! We’re living underneath God’s tapestry for our lives. Sometimes all we see is the ugly side and the things that make no sense. But HE is weaving a masterpiece of beauty in our lives, and one day, we will see it.”
God’s ways are higher than ours, His thoughts are higher. He sees the END. That is why trust and faith in His timing and His ways are so important to Him. We only see our needs, the things and people around us, the things of Chronos time. He sees it ALL. Faith asks that we trust Him, for all that we do not see – in all that we do not understand. And, faith asks that we give up the need to know. We always say, “Well, it will make sense later.” Sometimes, yes – sometimes, never. Not in this life, anyway. Amy Carmichael said, “The end will explain all things.” In this life, we may never understand the painful weavings, the sharp needle of a suffering, the snapping of a thread of relationship through circumstance or death. But we can know that though we may NOT know in this life the “purpose” of a thing, God has promised – Romans 8:28 – that He is at work in ALL things to produce good – if we trust Him.
When difficult things come, we are taught to fight, rebuke, bind, etc. And sometimes we should. But often difficulties are God’s tools to produce a greater thing. And it is HOW WE RESPOND in the difficult things that determine the value of that work of God in us.
Joshua was a young man who grew up under Moses and became one of his most valued right hand men. He served under him for many years. There may have been moments when he thought, “Moses is old. I’m watching my best years go by. I can probably lead the people as well as he does…” But rather than allow the discontent of human understanding and Chronos to motivate or even embitter him, he trusted God’s Kairos, and when the time came, he was ready, and prepared, and able to do all God asked of him. Had he let discontent and lack of trust move him, he may have tried a coup and ended up in the pit with the others who tried to rebel against Moses – and God’s ways and timing. He waited on God’s time. He was rewarded.
Elisha must have chafed under servanthood to Elijah. He left all he had – career, family and friends, to….wash Elijah’s hands. A woman’s job, by the way. You KNOW he was losing man- points for that when his old friends found out! But he stayed faithful, even though this was NOT what he expected. He trusted God – and His Kairos time. And when the time came – Elisha was given a DOUBLE PORTION of Elijah’s spirit, because he was faithful in the little things, even in the things that he didn’t understand.
Many of us sign on with God thinking, “I’ll get this, and that, and do this, and go there” and end up disappointed and hurt and even embittered because we didn’t get what we wanted or expected. We should have read the fine print of discipleship. It’s not an employment opportunity that we sign on for to get great benefits. It’s a draft notice where we sign our lives away to His service.
Yes, there are extraordinary benefits! But it’s not a negotiated contract. It’s a death warrant to our flesh, our old lives.
But oh, the glory of the surrendered life of trust! HIS choices, not mine. HIS will, HIS leading, HIS plan. The blessings of that road surpass anything we could have designed for ourselves.
I was going to be a politician. God said, “You’re going into MY service.” I was going to enroll in a local college. God said, “You’re going to Christ for the Nations in Dallas.”
I was going to be world-famous evangelist.
God said, “You will serve me in dark corners, forgotten places, bloody battlefields, and will live largely in obscurity.”
I was going to change the world for Jesus.
God said, “You will be used to change the hearts of lost and forgotten ones no one knows even exist.”
Has my life turned out like I wanted? Not even close. Would I have it different? Not for all the treasures, fame and acclaim the world could ever give.
Sometime after one of my big dreams was shattered – I had been set up to be exposed to the largest Christian radio audience in the world, then, without explanation, dropped …
…I found myself at a middle school church camp, signed up because a tiny church in New Mexico didn’t have a youth pastor and they needed someone to go with their kids…
Our cabin was the worst on the campground. Broken curfews, fights, kicked out of worship…making me wonder at first if God was punishing me for some unrepented-of sin or misdeed.
That is, until God interjected several other kids from other churches that had no room for them in their cabins, and they ended up in our cabin. And I fell in love. One had extreme asthma and I had to watch him to make sure he was ok and got his medication. One was a big kid, who, I was told, had something wrong with him – no one knew what – but if he was cornered or made fun of, he’d go violent…
…and one autistic boy of about 11 who connected with NOBODY.
One day, two kids brought Jimmy to me. “He had an `accident’, they told me, and left him with me. This poor boy had completely lost control of his bodily functions and was standing there covered and soaked in humiliation. He looked like he just had gone into another world to avoid the humiliation he was feeling – and who could blame him? I loved the kids who brought him to me and who did not shame him. I took him back to the cabin, got him to the shower, had him hand me his soiled clothes, helped him into clean clothes and sent him back to the others. I wept as I washed his dirty clothes. I felt a love and compassion for Jimmy so deep it broke my heart.
That night at worship, Jimmy came over, sat next to me, put his head in my lap and slept.
And I understood. “Inasmuch as you have done it to the least of these, my brethren, you have done it unto Me.” I didn’t have to be Mega Christian. And, I no longer wanted to be. I wanted THIS. To be with the least, whom to God are the princes and princesses that are to be at the head of His banqueting table.
If I had said, “I don’t want to go, it’s beneath my ministry gifting,” think of what I would have lost. Notice I said what I would have lost, not Jimmy. Because the reality was, instead of leaving thinking, “God must love this boy a lot to send me to him from my busy anointed life,” I left broken, thinking, “God must really love me and trust me to ask me to serve one of His most loved children like this.”
Sometimes I think of Stephen, cut down in his adolescence by the murdering consent of Saul of Tarsus. He would not know the joys of a full life: a wife, children, career, dreams.
No, Stephen was picked to be a waiter. (Acts 6:8) But he didn’t need a big ministry or a public platform; God did wonders and signs through him in his common job – one we’re not trained to aspire to in modern Christian ministry. Notice how most prophecies are, “You’re going to be great! You’ll stand before kings! You’re going to be influential and wealthy!” Not, “God called you to be a waiter, and He’s going to do mighty things through your obedience in your daily job!”
Stephen trusted God’s Kairos time, and His career choice! And he obeyed. And when the moment came, he gave an epic sermon – an entire 53 verse chapter – and then was killed. But friends, even Jesus stood up to see this and welcome him Home! “I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!” Stephen proclaimed before he was stoned. Jesus – who SITS at the right hand of God – STOOD to receive this young hero as he gave up his life.
I promise you, he did not regret his choices. What to us might seem a human tragedy, was woven into heaven’s tapestry and was a glorious and eternal TRIUMPH!
I would rather labor and walk under circumstances that humanly make no sense, if I could have a STEPHEN MOMENT that would define all God has made me for – one brilliant comet streaking through the darkness of this sinful world, then gone – than to have all the earthly success in the world with no eternal definition of my life at the end.
Trust God’s eternal timing. Trust His ways. Never ask, “Why?” Always ask, “What for?” Not ONE THREAD of His dealings or our circumstance will be lost or useless – every one of them is going to make a beautiful tapestry of glory that will last for eternity.
My life is but a weaving
between my Lord and me;
I cannot choose the colors,
He worketh steadily.
Oft times He weaveth sorrow,
And I, in foolish pride,
Forget He sees the upper,
And I the under side.
Not ’til the loom is silent
and the shuttles cease to fly,
Shall God unroll the canvas
and explain the reason why.
The dark threads are as needful
in the Weaver’s skillful hand,
As the threads of gold and silver
in the pattern He has planned.
He knows, He loves, He cares,
nothing this truth can dim.
He gives His very best to those
who leave the choice with Him.
There are some Christians who are obsessed with the devil. Their lives are wrapped up in what he’s doing – not in what Jesus did. But frankly, they are in the minority. Most Christians I know don’t give satan a second thought. In fact, according to a Barna poll, the majority of people in the US who call themselves Christians do not believe in the devil or the Holy Spirit. It is to that I must speak.
I came to know Jesus by direct revelation. I was delivered from the world of the occult and demons because Jesus Himself appeared to me – or rather, He took me to Himself in heaven. I do not say that lightly – it is the absolute truth before God.
My battle to be free of demons was real. The confrontation to demand my full release was not a fantasy. And since that time nearly 32 years ago, that battle has continued in the lives God has brought to me to help deliver from their evil grip. They have made it clear, both in invisible action and visible confrontation, that if they could destroy me utterly, they would. They have tried, and only by God’s mercy, they have failed. But the battle has never ceased.
The Holy Spirit is a real Person. He has comforted and instructed me from the beginning. I dare not engage satanic forces without Jesus’ authority or the power of the Holy Spirit. After all, Jesus cast out demons – and commanded us to do the same.
We stand on the cusp of one of the greatest outpourings of demonic forces in history. And where does the church stand in this country? If the statistics are our indicator, then it appears we are powerless, denying that demons and the devil are even real – or if they are, so what? Just accentuate the positive.
Why should we be concerned? Because the occult is permeating everything around us: TV, movies, music, games, and education. Now, if you don’t believe in the Bible, or just the portions you like, you can stop reading now. But if you do believe in the whole Bible as God’s Word, then you understand that not only is all occult practice (little or big) forbidden, but also that the occult world is owned by demonic spirits, and that practicing the occult results in oppression and often demonization. That means that an increasing number of kids and adults who come to church have this influence. And we aren’t prepared to deal with it. Frankly, we don’t know how.
I have been fishing around the Internet lately in Christian “apologetic” groups. They seem to be made up of the same “like-minded” people who deny ritual abuse and the dangers of the occult, the same ones who have labored so diligently to silence the voices of those who sound the warning cry. Many of these people are the same ones who have, in effect, wiped out the playing field. With the exception of perhaps Neil Anderson, author of the Bondage Breakers, and a handful of tiny ministries, the standard that opposed occultism and its influence has been taken down and shredded. Call it a preemptive strike to ensure the church is powerless and helpless against what is coming.
I am not suggesting we should obsess over the devil. I certainly don’t. But ignore his plan at your own peril. (1 Peter 5:8)
It was common for the New Testament church and leaders to be confronted with demons and the occult. (Acts 8:18-24, Acts 14; 11-14, acts 16:16-18, etc.) Jesus said this would be part of our work. (Mark 16:17-18). If you truly live a Spirit-filled life, you will confront this. And if you minister to broken, addicted people, this may also be part of it.
Instead of equipping and preparing believers to do so, the new wave of Christian intellectuals and apologetic elitists are not only downplaying – sometimes even denying – the existence of the demonic kingdom, they are determined to minimize, criticize and dismiss anyone or anything that promotes the need for “spiritual warfare.”
If our battle, as Paul said, is not against flesh and blood, but against powers, principalities and spiritual wickedness in high places, (Eph. 6:12) then the war is not against philosophies, principles, and secular worldviews in high places. We are fighting an intelligent, invisible army. Even the Archangel Michael contended with their warlords. (Daniel 10:13) These real demons and princes of hell did not go away in the New Testament. They are firmly entrenched against us NOW.
And the tragedy is, their strategy has been to get believers to ignore them, deny their existence, dismiss their weapons and compromise our congregations with occultic cancers. And they have succeeded with barely a protest from the Christian world at large. Once the doors of compromise were opened through the media, music and literature and Christians stopped being concerned about Harry Potter, Halloween, Buffy, psychic hotlines and a host of other occult influences, we surrendered more territory than you can imagine. That’s why Wicca is the fastest growing religion among youth: We denied the seriousness of both occult powers and the need for God’s power in our lives, and the inherent recognition of the supernatural as real and needed by youth and in youth was dismissed – and a whole generation of kids began following the only options left to them – the occult, witchcraft and satanic practices.
In denying the reality of the devil and ignoring him, we’ve played into his hands perfectly. Because the devil, if you ignore him, will be as quiet as a church mouse. He won’t disturb your peace as long as you don’t disturb him. But if you once shine the light of truth on our compromises, you will see him as plain as day – and you will have his full attention. And you had better be armored to fight when you do.
Demonic armies are like spiritual “sleeper cells”- they are among us – hidden in our compromises, our false security and our powerless Christian walks. They avoid obvious “September 11” type strikes. All their poison is coated in honey. And they ridicule, along with those Christian intellectual elitists, anyone who says they are real, or try to expose them. We’re our own Tokyo Rose.
So what do we do? We must wake up adults and equip our youth and children. The greatest preparation we can give our kids is the Power of God and His Anointing to storm hell’s gates. We must teach them “not to be ignorant of satan’s devices”; we must give them basic bootcamp on the enemy’s ways. Then we must make them recognize the war for the lost and bound – that we are not called to be comfortable and happy, but each is called to the fight to redeem the lost.
We must make them know their purpose, and the Power of God to fulfill it. We must make them proactive, reactive, and scrappy little soldiers ready and willing to take the world on for Jesus and to defeat the “sleeper cells” of spiritual compromise in our midst and in the world.
We have a long way to go. To fail to try is to insure our defeat by default, and we will remain an emasculated and irrelevant social club rather than the mighty army God has called us to be.
Dr. Gregory Reid
Conspiracy: A combination of men for an evil purpose; an agreement, between two or more persons, to commit a crime in concert, as treason; a plot.
It has been a long and slippery road since my first involvement in investigating and researching occult crimes in 1987. Everything seemed very simplistic then, and we had no want of information, crimes or cases to work on.
I have learned some difficult lessons since then, lessons that are vital for anyone seeking to do this work in the new Millennium.
No one in this field expected the massive backlash that began in 1989. Certainly, there were nay sayers and critics of our work; but the work spoke for itself. Det. Larry Jones of Boise ID PD released several years of monthly newsletters documenting – carefully, I must add – real satanic crime and activities. This unique law enforcement & professional publication was unprecedented in its subject matter and unchallenged in its information – fair, constitutionally protective of religious rights, and objective – its only challenge came from those who felt ANY investigative work in this field was bigotry and hate mongering. After the FIle 18 Newsletter mailing list was accessed, and addressees were sent letters threatening lawsuits, monitoring, hexes, curses, etc. if we didn’t watch our step and get all our facts straight, it was apparent that this was a taste of things to come.
But we were not really prepared for it when it did come. Most of us, by 1990, were already overloaded and nearing burnout. When it did come, it came in a Tsunami of criticism, ridicule, threatened lawsuits, and a massive media blitz designed to convince John Q. Public that all the “hoopla” about satanic crime was simply hype, false memories, “satanic panic” and “village folklore.” Before it was over, few of us would survive with our mission intact.
Those of us who remain – as well as those who had to leave the fight – know that what we were facing was a real and serious crime subculture. Except for the one or two who later came to believe it was “much ado about nothing”, my recent conversations with many of the “old guard” indicate that there has been no change in the core belief that we were engaging a stealth, and deadly, cancer that in the end, simply evaded and outwitted us. And still does. But what hasn’t changed is the belief that the need for ongoing training, intelligence and investigation into dangerous occult-related groups and individuals is still crucial.
Because satanic crime has left the media spotlight doesn’t mean it has gone away. Rather, it has simply gone unreported – sometimes unrecognized – and unfortunately, when it IS recognized and reported, the skeptics are scrambled into position to say it’s not satanic before you can say “pentagram.”
I don’t presume to know the motive of those who are so quick to jump on these events to “prove” it has nothing to do with satanism. What I do know is that it has made our job increasingly difficult. Because I truly believe we have merely seen a public lull in these events (it seems to be cyclical in the way it surfaces in the public eye) I believe it is imperative that we learn from the last fifteen years, see where we misstepped, see the bigger picture, and regroup in order to be ready when the next wave comes. I would like to see – both for the “old guard” and the “new kids on the block” – our efforts become bulletproof – or, at least, harder to penetrate.
Where We Went Wrong
1. Lack of unified information and networking.
One of the huge snags in our work was lack of coordinated effort. Information is everything – and far too often, we found that we simply lacked the unified network to relay information in a timely and uniform manner. Unfortunately, part of this was due to the provincialism and protectionism of some departments that simply did not want to share their intel with other departments outside their jurisdiction. And when information got the attention of the FBI, generally it went right into the “informational black hole” of that department, where information is known for going in, and never being seen again. And this leads to a second semi-related problem we faced:
2. One man shows and one-upmanship.
Occult crime was a “hot topic” at one time. Unfortunately, a number of people in law enforcement, professional groups and religious settings grabbed up some general information, added their own spin and took their show on the road as “occult experts.” ( We should always be extremely cautious of ANYONE who calls themselves an “expert” in this field. Experts don’t bill themselves that way if they are credible, in my opinion.) Then, these same “experts” began to bad-mouth other investigators and researchers – mainly, anyone who wasn’t them. Over and over, good cases went sour because one of these “experts” decided to hogtie the case themselves, excluding good and valuable individuals that could have been of immeasurable help. In these kinds of crimes, cooperation with others with expertise and coordinated effort is critical. More than a few times, we failed to make that happen. Whether people did this because they were looking for a “career-making case” or simply because of raw ego, I don’t know. But there is no room in this work for those who have to be the “star of the show”.
Along that line, I became aware in the mid 1990’s that we were starting to engage in a weird kind of occult “show and tell” in after-conference hours. I personally was subtly disinvited to one such meeting, where several officers and experts spent the evening bartering for the best occult crime slides and paraphernalia. I realized we had begun to lose the thread. A friend of mine said, “There is no limit to what a man can achieve as long as he doesn’t care who gets the credit.” If we don’t go in with that attitude, we’ve lost before we’ve begun. It is, after all, “not about us” – but about innocent lives being destroyed. There’s no room for grandstanding in this work.
3. One-course experts.
Admittedly, many of us came into this work naive and learning. And we had to learn fast how wide and vast the field was, and be willing to adjust, change and clarify as we went along. However, a number of people attended one or two cult crime classes and took off like a bat out of purgatory, billing themselves as experts and ruining a lot of good opportunities in the process. An associate of mine and I joked recently that one of the earmarks of a one-course experts is if they speak about “SA-TONIC” crime. Or if they still refer to Metallica as a devil-worshiping rock group. I’m trying to make light of a very serious problem, and that problem is that skeptics and “the other side” are watching every word we say and every step we publicly make, and we cannot give them any room for discounting us because our information is flaky, half-researched or borrowed from others. I am constantly researching, deleting some outdated elements of my training, asking questions, and updating my information. This is crucial to being relevant, factual and helpful in an already difficult area of work. We owe it to our audiences and classes to be as close to the mark as we can on what we present.
Which leads me to one of the most common criticisms of what we do: As one writer said, “These ‘experts’ are using the same old ‘signs and symbols of the occult’ that were presented as ‘danger signs of satanic crime’ a decade ago.”
I admit to being one of these people. While I have updated a lot of the signs and symbols I present, most of them remain the same for the simple reason that classic occultism rarely changes its symbology. Some of the symbols we use date back for centuries, some several centuries. Their meaning does not change, and when they continue to be found on crime scenes, the symbols remain relevant and pertinent.
3. Rumors, incorrect information and bad intel.
We probably shot ourselves in the foot more in this area than in any other. I understood from the get-go that having verifiable information was absolutely crucial. And I cringed as I attended workshops where the most outlandish stories were being put forth as truth, and no one challenged them. There were rumors of Halloween blond-hair, blue eyed 13 year old virgin girls that were going to be sacrificed. There were rumors of the president of Procter & Gamble being a satanist and saying so on Geraldo or Oprah. And those were the less absurd rumors. But they caught like wildfire and wasted a lot of valuable time in debunking them with the facts.
In addition, it took us some time to get up to speed on all the facts concerning satanism, wicca, and occult crime. Some were, in the beginning, equating Wicca and satanism as one and the same. They are not. Satanism involves worshiping satan (unless you are a wannabe LaVey styler who claims to only worship themselves). Wiccans worship a pantheon of pagan gods and goddesses. True satan worshipers believe in, and practice, blood sacrifice of animals and humans. Most Wiccans, whose creed is “harm none” do not believe in nor support such activities. Regardless of what you think about the spiritual dimensions and harmfulness of either practice, the fact is, the differences between satanism and Wicca are vast, and it was a huge mistake for some not to recognize and define those differences, throwing them both into the same “criminal mix”. Live and learn -the hard way.
4. The Conspiracy and Paranoia trap.
Perhaps one of the most destructive elements that crept into our ranks in the early 1990’s was the “conspiracy network.” Simply defined, it was a network of people who claimed there was a vast, international conspiracy or powerful and organized satanists bent on world domination. From these ranks grew a frightening paranoia, which resulted in their own “black list” – people who claimed to be on “our side” but were really infiltrators, satanists in disguise, illuminati members.
I looked at each claim as it came up. (I don’t discard any information up front, no matter how outlandish, until I’ve thoroughly checked it out.) What I found was disturbing and unsettling. At a time when credibility was an absolute necessity, people and groups were traversing the country accusing good people I knew were trustworthy of being “one of them”, making claims that were patently false, and making us all look like alien-abductee wackos. The damage this has done is still being measured and felt.
Having said that, I want to allude back to the original definition of “Conspiracy” at the top of this article:
A combination of men for an evil purpose; an
agreement, between two or more persons, to commit a crime in concert, as treason; a plot.
There is no question in my mind that to some degree, according to the above definition, a conspiracy does exist in the satanic underground. Fourteen years of experience have shown over and over, that during some of the most serious investigations into satanic networks, bigger hands have come into play – to close a case – to threaten the investigators – to smear someone’s character – to make evidence disappear. That clearly speaks to a conspiracy at some level, in some places, among some people in places of authority. And why should this surprise us? Drug cartels are a “conspiracy” – buying off people, murdering those who try to get out, greasing the palms of politicians. We can believe that kind of conspiracy reaches into the higher echelons of society where money and power are the only real currency. We can even believe – as is evidenced by the recent Catholic church scandal – that a conspiracy to silence victims, reassign pedophile priests and deny any culpability was clearly in operation at the top ranks of the church. But when you speak of ‘satanic conspiracy”, everyone discounts it as ludicrous. Unfortunately, those of us who are veterans in this field see evidence of it all the time. How far reaching it is – how deep it goes into the court system, political arena and intelligence community – I cannot say. But I would be a fool to say it is not there. But one can’t uncover something of this nature by making outlandish, unproveable claims and calling them truth.
If we are to succeed in our work in the next wave, we must be careful who we align ourselves with. I have seen some good investigators get sidetracked in this muck and ruin the good work they have done – one of them is now pursuing UFO’s at Area 51. They have hurt us. Others have aligned themselves with Militia groups who claim the entire US government is part of the plot and not to be trusted. It is vital to get distance from them as well.
The work we do is so crucial, and so sensitive, that we can ill-afford to misstep, or fail to learn from our mistakes. Because, of this I am certain – organized satanic crime as well as random satanic acts of crime not only will not go away – but they never went away. We have lost ground but we need not lose the war. Live in the past, as the Russian proverb says, lose an eye – forget the past, lose both eyes. It is my hope that in learning from that past that we can be fully equipped to deal with the next wave of satanic crime when it comes. And come it will.
Gregory R Reid, DD
(Many thanks to Eva for this thoughtful, truthful and helpful article – GR.)
The immensely popular “Harry Potter” books have charmed our country. The problem is that even a lot of Christians don’t realize how spiritually dangerous these children’s books are. The author, J.K. Rowling, is highly credited with getting millions of kids hooked on reading. In fact, her books are widely used in schools for reading and class projects. The truth is that those who read the books may get hooked on a lot more than reading. It is ironic that 100 years ago in the U.S., reading and writing were taught from primers which had scripture from the Bible printed on them. These days, many teachers feel their jobs are in jeopardy if they even mention the Bible. However, the “Harry Potter” books are filled with magic spells, sorcery and talking to the dead. They are now acclaimed as the latest ultimate teaching tool by most educators and librarians. That’s a far cry from teaching young people out of the Bible which repeatedly warns against sorcery, to teaching them from a book which encourages it.
I know that we have freedom of speech and freedom of religion in our country. I am very grateful for those privileges. However, it poses a crisis of morality for Christians as they face how they will use their freedom to buy and read these books. Perhaps the biggest crisis comes as we decide how we will handle our children studying these books in school.
We cannot expect society and the education profession to know that God has said sorcery and witchcraft are wrong, but Christians are embracing these books, also. Many are buying the series and all the merchandise that goes along with the books as quickly as everyone else. With that in mind, here goes one mom’s little voice pointing out the fact that God detests witchcraft.
Sorcery and witchcraft have been a problem even way back in Old Testament times, and it is becoming more widespread once again. It seems witchcraft and other forms of occult “religions” have always gained a foothold in society every time God’s people turn more towards the world, instead of Him.
We as Christians are going along with the flow in accepting “Harry Potter” along with all the other movies and TV shows which glamorize occult themes. Children (and adults) who read these books are slowly being desensitized into thinking
that witchcraft and magic are okay. Before you laugh and shrug me off as just another mom on her soapbox, let’s see what God says about it in His word.
What Does God Say About “Harry”
I’ve had relatives, teachers and Christian friends (as well as my own children) ask “What could possibly be wrong with an innocent book about a little boy?”
Perhaps that’s one of the most dangerous things about the “Harry Potter” series. It seems as though it should be harmless since its in a book written for kids. If you aren’t familiar with the story, well get to that in a minute. Then perhaps you’ll see the danger.
In Deuteronomy 18:9-13, it says, ““When you enter the land which the Lord your God gives you, you shall not learn to imitate the detestable things of those nations. 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. For whoever does these
things is detestable to the Lord; and because of these detestable things the Lord your God will drive them out before you. You shall be blameless before the Lord your God.”” It shows a complete lack of trust in God to depend on spells to conjure up the power we desire. It must be a huge insult to the One who made us and desires to guide us through this life, when we turn to others to tell us our future. Here’s what the Lord says in Isaiah 8:19, “”When they say to you, ‘Consult the mediums and the spiritists who whisper and mutter’,’ should not a people consult their God? Should they consult the dead on behalf of the living?””
There’s over 50 places I found in the Bible that tell how God feels about witchcraft, sorcery, magic, fortune telling and trying to talk to the dead for advice. There’s probably a lot more.
When faced with the dilemma of what to do about “Harry” and other occult-type movies, shows and memorabilia, go to the Bible for input on your decision. Better yet, sit down with your children and look together. Then you will both know that you need to make a choice based on Gods clear instructions on the subject.
Who Is “Harry”?
There will be seven books in the series, according to Ms. Rowling. Three books have been released at the time this was written. Apparently, the British single mom has already written the final chapter that will end the series, which is scheduled to be published in 2003. The author has said that the books will grow along with Harry as he discovers the opposite sex and begins to deal with even darker themes.
Warner Bros. has the rights to the movie along with all the merchandise, TV rights,cartoons, home videos and interactive games. It’s been said they will spend $45 million on special effects alone. The craze is bad now, but think of how prevalent it will be then.
In the first book, we find Harry orphaned as a baby. The evil wizard, Lord Voldemort has killed Harry’ parents who were a witch and a wizard. Lord Voldemort repeatedly fails at attempts to kill baby Harry, which leaves little Harry with a lightening bolt scar on his forehead. The infamous Lord Voldemort loses some of his power in the process, making Harry legendary in the world of the occult.
Some “good wizard forces” leave Harry on the London doorstep of his Aunt and Uncle who are Muggles (People who are oblivious to witches and wizards). For the next ten years Harry is treated horribly by his uncaring relatives which earns the reader’s sympathy.
When Harry turns eleven, he learns his true identity and enrolls in Hogwarts, the most famous boarding school for witchcraft and wizardry. Harry learns how to use his power and battles Lord Voldemort and seeks revenge upon his mean relatives.
These books have caused a “Pottermania” as people line up to get the latest release. Rowling’s book signings have gotten out of control across the country as children and parents line up dressed in wizard outfits. Schools, libraries and bookstores host “Harry Potter” parties complete with broomsticks and all the witch paraphernalia mentioned in the books.
What Should The Christian Do?
These books don’t just mention witchcraft, that’s the whole premise of the series. One of the perilous things about “Harry Potter” is that as he is drawn further and further into the world of the occult, and unwittingly- so is the reader. The Bible clearly and repeatedly states Gods detest of witchcraft and sorcery.
My heart has been broken as I have seen some sweet Christian children carry “Harry Potter” books to church. I was shocked once to walk into a Christian Hospital gift shop and see a major display of “Harry Potter” books, along with spell bags and broomsticks.
The first thing we need to do is educate ourselves, our children, and other Christians on what God says about witchcraft. In Hosea 4:6, the Lord tells us “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” That’s why I am compelled to write this article. God’s people need to know we are taking part of things God has repeatedly warned us against. We are encouraging our children in the very things we should be warning them against.
Our family decided together, after researching the Bible on witchcraft, to stay away from all forms of entertainment which glamorizes the occult. There’s a lot right now that’s specifically aimed at youth- “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch”, “Charmed”, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer ”as well as many cartoons and countless video games. Since then, we’ve faced with our hardest battle- how to handle “Harry Potter” at school.
It’s easier to control what is seen and read in the privacy of your own home.
Last year, one of our kids came home saying their whole English class would read “Harry Potter” together for a whole semester. There would also be class activities which would tie in with the book. Now our decision and our child’s decision had to become public.
My husband and I (and our children) are relatively quiet people. We don’t like to cause waves. Having read all that God had said about witchcraft, and having already made our decision to not take part in any of it, we couldn’t change our minds now.
As we sat around the dinner table, we discussed how to handle “Harry Potter” at school. One of our kids rolled their eyes up thinking, “Oh great, here goes my old-fashioned parents again!”
We quickly pointed out that God had given us the responsibility as parents to instruct our children in the way of the Lord. That was our job. We had to answer to our Lord. Some day it would be up to them to make their own decision if they would follow His ways or not. Then they would have to answer to Him for their own choices.
As we struggled with this issue, there was some ridicule and lack of understanding from family and friends, as well as some teachers. In the meantime, people have seen our child (and us) take a stand against
witchcraft and perhaps it’s been a witness for God. We’ve actually had to face this issuetwo years in a row with the same child. I’m sure we will again. I’m also certain many of you will, for “Harry Potter” is being taught in schools across the world. There are even interactive web sites for students and teachers to use in classrooms.
We wrote a letter to our child’s English teacher thanking them for teaching our child. Then we proceeded to explain why our child made the decision not to read “Harry Potter.” We told the teacher that we didn’t expect everyone to agree with us and that we realized how difficult it must be to teach such a wide variety of students in a public school. Then we offered to help our student with their own report at home or suggested they could go to the school library during that class. We sent the letter in a polite respectful manner explaining our beliefs, not condemning anyone for theirs.
Last year, the teachers let our child, along with several others who
felt the same way, wear headphones while reading another novel in the same classroom. There were a few problems. One
time, one of our child’s headphones wasn’t working. Upon hearing the “Harry Potter” reading above the music, our child adjusted the volume to cover the reading. The teacher reprimanded our child and the volume had to be turned down. Our student was exposed to things they didn’t wish to hear.
We prayed as parents and as a family for knowledge on how to handle the
situation. After discussion, our child decided to stay in the classroom unless there were problems with the headphones again. Then they would ask to go to the library. We made it through last year, and our child seemed to grow in strength from the Lord from standing up for God’s ways. When another student tauntingly asked, “Are you a Jesus Freak?” Our child, without hesitation, proudly said “Yes!” There seemed to be an air of respect from that point on.
This year, we are faced with the same exact dilemma (with another teacher),
except the whole room is completely filled with “Harry Potter” memorabilia. Once again, we are faced with how to handle this issue as Christians. This time our child will be completely surrounded by witchcraft trappings.
Sometimes it is tempting to take our kids out of public schools. We would put them in Christian schools if we could afford to put all our kids there. We even talked about home schooling. In many ways, it would be wonderful to have them in a sheltered Christian environment, but they need to learn to be the light of the world. You have to be in the world, not hiding, to light it up!
There also comes a time when it’s right to take an even stronger stand. It didn’t seem right for our child to sit day in and day out in a room that was a menagerie of witchcraft. This time, we talked to the administration, counselors and teachers. We decided the only solution was to take our child out of that class, but felt it was important that the school know why.
Again, I thank God that we live in a country where we have the right to take our child out of a class we don’t agree with.
This “Harry Potter-in-the-classroom” struggle is a prime opportunity to teach our children how we are in this world, yet we must be set apart from it. People need to see holiness in us. Yes, it’s hard to stand up and be different from the world. But that’s what Jesus calls us to do. Christians are to be the salt of the earth. Jesus warned us if we lose our saltiness, we are no longer valuable.
This year, when I realized we would have to face this battle again, I wearily said to our child, “This is one of those times it’s hard to be a Christian.”
My middle school child looked at me with confident determination, smiled and said, “Yes, it is,” knowing full well that we would face it together with the Lord.
This quiet, easy-going child of ours is growing into a strong Christian, knowing they can face anything with God’s help as long as they obey His will. Perhaps we will all learn something from “Harry Potter” at school after all!
WHAT THE BOOK SAYS ON “HARRY”
Words from the Bible on witchcraft for you and your children:
Hosea 4:12 Malachi 3:5 Revelations 18:23
Revelations21:8 Galatians 5:19-21 Daniel 1:20
2 Kings 21:6 Acts 8:9-24 Acts 19:19
Leviticus 19:31 Leviticus 20:6 Isaiah 8:19
2 Kings 23:24 Isaiah 19:3 1 Samuel 28:5-20
1 Samuel 15:23 Numbers 24:1 Isaiah 65:11
Ezekiel 13:20 Revelations 22:15 Daniel 5:7-8
Daniel 2:1-4 Jeremiah 27:9-15 Isaiah 44:25
Exodus 7:6-12 Exodus 4:1-5 Genesis 30:27
Deuteronomy 18:9-13 Acts 16:16-18 Jeremiah 23:33-40
IF YOU’VE READ HARRY POTTER
It seemed appropriate to add a very important message to those of you who have read “Harry Potter” books, or bought them for your children, or participated in any type of magic, sorcery, fortune telling, or mystical practices. I pray that God’s word cut through your heart as it did mine concerning these sins. The good news is that even though God hates these things, He loves you! He wants the very best for you. He is offering you a fresh new start. All you have to do is tell Him you’re sorry for doing things which offend Him. Ask Him to help you live a pure and holy life. He will. He’s already sent Jesus to take the blame for all we’ve done. He even sends Jesus to live in our hearts to give us more power than we could ever dream. No chants or spells are required!
Parents, as you lead your little “Harry Potter” fans through the Bible study and they realize that they have sinned, please share this message of hope with your precious children.
On the heels of the riotous release of the new Harry Potter book, Harry
Potter and the Goblet of Fire, and the yet to be confirmed opinion by a major
ministry that the Harry Potter series is harmless, I have felt it necessary to
write my own comments on this issue. Many parents will not like it. Neither will
some pastors. Please do NOT ask me if I care. Right now I am so angry at the
level of compromise I am encountering among believers on occult matters that I
am not interested in popular opinion. I am just interested in truth as I have come
to understand it, according to the flawless, perfect Word of God. If you don’t
like that, don’t read this. I did not survive and live to be a relatively healthy,
intact adult after suffering horrific abuse, by “ac-centuating the positive and
e-liminating the negative.” When I became a follower of Jesus thirty one years
ago today as I write this, I was a wounded, bleeding mess. No psychology could
have healed me. I’d already been judged as “the most messed up person I have
ever met” by one psychologist I sought help from at 17. No, I survived purely
because of one Book – and I devoured it like a starving man. My first Bible was
tattered in a year, every line highlighted, the margins filled with notes. No one
will ever know what that Book has meant to me. Knowing the Author has made
every word alive to me.
So what does that have to do with Harry Potter? For the believer,
everything. I find it unfortunate and heartbreaking that I am having to go over
basic, simple truth regarding the occult for believers, because they are not
being told – much less taught – the truth, and it is continually being blocked at a
pulpit level. I’ve sounded the alarm about this for years. Now, perhaps, I can
help you see the result of Biblically ignorant believers and blatant disregard for
God’s opinion on the occult. Now we have druids and British pastors meeting to
“dialogue” and find common ground. Now, we have believers slithering like snakes
in church and even sounding like pigs. I am not making this up: They have the
audacity to call it the “anoinking of the Spirit.” THIS is what results from no
real clear teaching on what is of God and what is of the occult.
Now, we have Pokemon and Harry Potter, and who cares? It’s harmless,
right? Just some cards. Just a fairy tale book with GREAT lessons about
good vs. evil, where good always wins! Isn’t that positive for kids, doesn’t it
teach kids to love books? To love reading?
Listen, I know a GREAT book that teaches both WITHOUT witchcraft! But
then, if the parents think it’s so boring and useless that they only read it in
church, and don’t bother reading it to their kids, how can you expect kids to
either love it or learn from it? I’m talking about the Bible of course. And I fully
believe that communicated well, the Bible is flat-out the most interesting,
powerful book in the universe. And unlike Harry Potter, it’s TRUE.
As to teaching kids to love reading, I know plenty of satanist kids who are
profoundly addicted to both reading and learning – from books on the Black
Arts. Better an ignorant teen who loves Jesus than a killer satanist who loves
to learn and has a through-the-roof IQ, don’t you think? And no, this is not a
plea for raising stupid kids. But love of reading and learning is not a virtue in
itself. In God’s hands, it is a gift, though it is not the sainted all-important goal
modern Americans think; in the devil’s hands, it is a weapon; it becomes the tree
of knowledge of good and evil. Love of reading is certainly not evil. Kids
NEED to read. But it is NO guarantee of moral character. Ayn Rand –
Voltaire – Lenin – brilliant readers and writers all – and totally godless,
antichristian influences in their day. I mention this so I can knock down the
ridiculous notion that Harry Potter is good because it teaches kids to love
In my line of work, when you leave the “spiritual” element out of things, there
is in fact a huge difference, for example, between Harry Potter, the Satanic
Bible, and on a more extreme level, H.P. Lovecraft’s satanic ritual book, The
Necronomicon. Harry Potter is not likely to snap some child’s mind and make
him a psychopathic killer. The Necronomicon, a purely evil, incendiary and
demonic book, could. Believe me, I understand the difference. A kid with a
pocket full of Pokemon and wall covered with Potter paraphernalia would
probably not qualify for me as someone who needed immediate crisis
intervention. On the other hand, a kid with black walls and skulls and razors and
clueless parents who stay out of his room so as not to violate his “privacy”,
When you consider the spiritual aspect, however, all of this takes on an
entirely different dimension. The difference between The Necronomicon, for
example, and Harry Potter is the difference between toxic death and subtle
I have a dear relative who experienced slow, gradual arsenic poisoning. It was
so gradual in fact, that she nearly died from it before she realized what had
happened and who was behind it.
Harry Potter is just such a poison. What is the harm of Harry Potter?
Just that it makes magick attractive, exciting, enticing. Kids look at THAT –
and then they look at their own faith and that of the people in church, and
oftentimes what they see is that the God of the Christians is presented as
powerless, someone who is far removed from us and has no authority over evil.
I have never known that God. My God is FULL of power – but many kids
know ONLY that misrepresentation.
Then they look at Harry Potter, and they compare “faiths” – which one do
YOU think they are going to be drawn to?
And it is not so much that Harry Potter is the problem. People have
ALWAYS written spiritual pornography. (That’s what it is.) It is that believers
refuse to take a stand against it, rather compromising with it because “all the
other kids read it.” Well, if you want YOUR kids to be all the other kids, then
that’s what you’ll have. But if you understand how strong the prohibition
against witchcraft is in the Bible, allowing your kids to indulge the Potter
madness is not an option.
Listen to the Word of the Lord:
“Suffer not a witch to live” (Exodus 22:18) And no, I am not suggesting
this as a way to eliminate the problem with witchcraft in our country. It was
something Israel had to do to protect their covenant and their country. But just
because we’re in New Testament times doesn’t mean since we don’t kill ’em
therefore we just let ’em in for dinner. Which is quite literally what you do
when you let Mr. Potter in the door. Now go ahead and call that extreme. But I
didn’t write the Bible. I’m just TELLING you what it says. You can twist it any
way you please to make it say what you want it to. But if you claim to follow
Jesus then understand that acceptance of witchcraft or the occult in any way
shape or form, whether through Potter or the little Astrology bit you just can’t
resist reading in the paper, it is FORBIDDEN and it is POISON. “But”,
someone says, “It’s FANTASY! Don’t you know the difference between real
witchcraft and fantasy for children?” Uh, don’t YOU know the difference
between real sex and pornography? Pornography is more dangerous in the long
run because it blurs the line between reality and FANTASY. Potter is
SPIRITUAL PORNOGRAPHY. And as even mass murderer Ted Bundy
admitted before he was executed what a HUGE role pornography played in
him actually acting OUT the despicable crimes he would later commit, fantasy
books on magick are just as deadly because they ALSO blur the line between
fantasy and reality. The argument that because it’s “fantasy” it is not
“dangerous” is ludicrous.
Now. The next argument is, “It’s not witchcraft like the Bible says. Harry
Potter is a sorcerer.” (Please refer to previous articles on Christians who
have no idea what the occult is.) The New King James reads: “Do not allow a
sorceress to live.”Witchcraft and sorcery are exactly the same thing.
Another key scripture:
“And (Manasseh) caused his sons to pass through the fire…he practiced
soothsaying (telling the future – psychic hotline mean anything to you?) , used
witchcraft and sorcery, and consulted mediums (psychics) and spiritists (those
who talk to the dead.) He did much evil in the sight of the Lord, to provoke
Him to anger.”
“But I don’t do those things!”, someone protests. Well Harry does it all. So
maybe you’re just a “Potter enabler.”
Nahum 3:4 calls this activity spiritual adultery.
Before I hear something about us being in the New Testament under grace,
let’s read Galatians 5:19-20: “Now the works of the flesh are evident, which
are these…witchcraft…” etc. There are dozens of similar passages. Paul
actually encountered a Harry Potter wannabe, who followed them around like
a town crier, saying, “Listen to these men, they show you the way to God!” I
imagine some Christians, who can’t tell the Holy Spirit from a demon spirit,
and who don’t know the truth of the scripture from the deception of the world
through the media, would have said, “Wow, she’s really supportive of Paul!”
But if you read the “original Greek” (I love that phrase, it makes me feel like
I’m back in Bible School!) she is actually saying, “They show you A way to
God!” The devil is very sneaky, and he can fool a lot of people who don’t
understand how fine edged the truth is, discerning between soul and spirit, bone
and marrow. The Bible doesn’t say there are WAYS to God: Just one. “I am
the Way, the Truth and the Life: No one comes to the Father but by Me”,
Jesus said, and Acts tells us that “There is NO OTHER NAME under heaven,
given among men, whereby we must be saved.” Paul of course, knowing the
truth and full of the REAL Spirit, turned around and rebuked the spirit in her,
which came out screaming I imagine. And the result was, she got saved, and a
bunch of big businessmen using her occult talents to get rich got
UNEMPLOYED! When the occult demon left her, she had no powers left! Isn’t
Did you know that J.K. Rowling, author of Harry Potter, is projected to
make $100 MILLION DOLLARS off of the latest Potter book, Goblet of
Fire”? You better believe that the occult is big business, from Potter to
Sabrina, from Marilyn Manson to the Psychic Hotlines. And I am not
endearing myself with the world, nor with very many believers, in taking such a
hard line against such an “innocent” story. Listen folks: I have a right to say
this, most of the skeptics don’t. I paid a price for 7 years of deep occult
involvement, lured in part by “innocent” games like “light as a feather”, Gong
Hee Fot Choy, Jeanne Dixon’s astrology column, and other “harmless” things.
And it has left scars that are deep and permanent. (Not wounds, thank God –
God heals those. The scars do remain.) So please don’t tell me I am an
extremist. First of all, I didn’t shoot the dog. I’m just reporting God’s opinion to
you, and it’s up to you if you want to ignore it because you don’t like it, or
obey it because He said it. Secondly, you are hearing from a man who nearly
lost his life because of involvement in escalating occult activities that started
out with “Potter-type” stuff. And I am a voice crying in the wilderness against
our complacent compromise. Why? Because while we are talking cutesy about
this WONDERFUL book series that makes kids want to read, I am wondering
what the results will be from a satanic rock band that recently came to Dallas
and convinced 5,000 kids to get on their knees in a mockery of the Christian
altar call and give their lives to satan! And you wonder why I am so extreme.
Sheesh. You do the math.
No – kids who read Harry Potter won’t automatically become devil
worshippers. But EVERY kid who reads it will open up the door of their mind –
some a little, some a lot – to the whispers, influences and lies of demonic
spirits. That’s just spiritual fact. Get angry at me if you must – if I’m wrong,
well, then by all means, buy them all and read them with your kids – after all, it
IS a terrific read. But if I am right – don’t call me down the road when your
kids starts participating in a Wiccan group and you are upset because you
don’t know where you went wrong, having raised them in church and all that.
Now’s your best chance to say, “I’ve had enough of the compromise. No more
Potter, no more Pokemon, no more Halloween, no more R rated movies (ouch!)
and no more contamination in my house.”
“But my kids are bored with God!” That’s not His fault. Do you really think
a good antidote to God- boredom is an immersion in Potter mania? If you want
your kids to get on fire, not with Potter’s Goblet but with truth, then get into
the Book of Acts, read it, believe it, live it, and walk it, and get kids to do the
same. There’s more supernatural in that book than a hundred books JK Rowlings
might be yet to write. It’s the REAL power. And if you think “God doesn’t do
miracles anymore” then I truly feel sorry for you, because the Devil knows
differently, and as long as he can convince believers that he has more power
today than God, then he can continue to devour our youth into the black hole
As for me, I’m going to walk in the might of who God really is. I trust you
will do the same, dispense with this silly and dangerous compromise and become
the true warriors God has called us to be.
Dr. Gregory R Reid