Tag Archive: Witchcraft


Halloween-Shining with Consistency

Halloween-Family-Night

“Consistency is Key”— This phrase may be short, but it’s tremendously important and one we’ve all probably heard and maybe even said. As a parent and a teacher, I’ve seen first hand just how true it is; and as a born again believer, even more so. Consistency truly is a crucial key.

When considering the challenges of being a parent, it’s often not a lack of knowledge, but a lack of consistency that causes the most long-term issues. As parents, we tend to say one thing to our children but then do another. Or we see an area that needs improvement in their lives and then introduce a new pattern to help hold them accountable, only to find ourselves not sticking with it for very long.

Although there is an endless depth to our Creator and Savior, and although He works in ways that are far above our own, one thing can be said with certainty. The Lord’s consistency is just that, consistent. He is consistently faithful. He is consistently loving. He is consistently just. He is consistently full of mercy and grace. He is consistently true. And praise God for that! How difficult would it be to try to understand and know, let alone serve and follow, an inconsistent King?

Fellowship with the Lord— One of our major roles as Christian parents is to carefully, correctly, and consistently point our children to the true and living God and His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. To do this well, we need to be consistently in the Word, continuously praying on our heart’s knees, keeping fellowship with other believers, and consistently keeping our eyes on Jesus as He daily directs our steps. We also desperately need a love for the truth of God’s Word and Godly discernment to help our children see both the truth of God and the lies of the devil. God’s Word is crystal clear. “Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices” 2 Corinthians 2:11. Lest we forget, an important part of holding to the truth of God’s Word is not being ignorant of the enemy’s lies.

Shining the Truth— We cannot change the hearts and minds of our children, at least not in relation to the eternal and permanent sanctification spoken of by the Lord in the Scriptures. Jesus’ prayer to His Heavenly Father, “Sanctify them by Your Word. Your word is truth” John 17:17. And we should be elated that we can’t! We can, however, set up consistent patterns that will help direct the next generation to the only One who can.

It is true that we will all make mistakes and struggle maintaining steadfast, Godly patterns of obedience. That is why we must first take seriously our own responsibility to personally and daily abide in Christ. (John 15:1-5) From there we must seek to demonstrate clear and consistent devotion to the only One who could justly redeem us from our sin. If we are to shine the light of Christ to help illumine our children’s steps, we must seek to shine with consistency.

No fellowship with the works of darkness— As a child, growing up in an unbelieving home, I can remember always looking forward to Halloween. I never turned down the chance to dress in ghoulish garb, embracing all things macobre. One year I even won a community award for wearing the most gross costume. Even at a very young age, I knew quite well what Halloween represented. While some may not understand the depth of occultism involved, the world readily recognizes the generalized celebration of death and darkness we call Halloween. During the month of October, millions of homes, stores, restaurants, and schools all across the world morph into a cauldron of darkness, fear, and death.

Confusion or Consistency— As mentioned before, born again believers should desire to be clear and consistent in all we say and do, both for our own growth and the spiritual growth of our children. Being consistent in our daily walk with Jesus not only involves the things we do, but also the things we choose not to do. Arguably, one such activity that continues to cause tremendous confusion is Halloween. How utterly confusing it must be for children to be told on Sundays and Wednesdays that sin brought death, Satan is a liar and a murderer, and that we should avoid corruption, deception, and witchcraft, only to then be turned around to celebrate the most dark and deceptive night of the year! Even if we dress our children as angels, they are annually being led from scary house to scarier house and for what purpose? An overflowing bucket of candy? Let’s celebrate all thing wicked for a bucket of candy. What a confusing and deceptive message indeed!

Unlike the deceptive inconsistency found in the human heart, God’s Word is clear, shining bright on the issue of embracing/fellowshipping with the darkness. During the Halloween season, and throughout each year, may we choose to carefully and humbly examine our own hearts and minds, desiring to shine God’s truth and love with complete consistency, both for the sake of our own walk and the footsteps of our children!

“For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?” 1 Corinthians 14:8

“Of old have You laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of Your hands. They shall perish, but You shall endure: yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shalt You change them, and they shall be changed: but You are the same, and Your years shall have no end. The children of Your servants shall continue, and their seed shall be established before You.” Psalm 102:25-28

“For you were sometimes darkness, but now are you light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” Ephesians 5:8-11

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“You shall not walk in the manners of the nation, which I cast out before you: for they committed all these things, and therefore I abhorred them.” Leviticus 20:23

Biblically speaking, Jesus’ resurrection occurred on the first Sunday after the Jewish Passover meal. So why is it that some years “Easter” occurs before the Passover?

In 325 AD, the Council of Nicaea voted to hold “Easter” on the Sunday after the first full moon on or after the vernal (Spring) equinox (the day when sunlight is equal on both hemispheres of the earth; aka the first day of spring. After this point, days get longer and nights shorter.)

Choosing this pattern for dating Jesus’ resurrection is curious at best. Why did those overseen by Constantine (the Roman Emperor) ignore the actual pattern (the Sunday after the Passover meal) established by the Lord? Why did they adopt a pattern practiced by paganism for centuries? And does it even matter?

It only matters if we first understand what paganism, witchcraft, occultism, etc. has wholeheartedly embraced for centuries prior to Jesus’ resurrection regarding Easter. A simple search online will reveal the many deceptive pagan connections between rabbits, eggs, the word and timing of Easter and false, fertility goddess worship.

One brief example-

“Dating Easter in conjunction with the vernal equinox and full moon had nothing to do with the biblical account of Christ’s resurrection or the Passover. It was pagan practices, such as the spring fertility goddess rituals that the Catholic Church “absorbed” and attempted to Christianize, that resulted in Easter’s being linked to the vernal equinox and the full moon. The only thing that is biblical regarding when Easter is now observed is the fact that Easter is always on a Sunday. However, this is not the case. Easter is celebrated on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox (March 21 in 2008, the first day of spring). (Got Questions)

Does it matter whether or not Christians embrace the world’s rituals? I believe the answer is yes. Jesus didn’t lay eggs (nor do rabbits for that matter). He did, however, tragically suffer His Heavenly Father’s spiritual and eternal wrath while He was upon the cross. He chose to obey His Father wholeheartedly, taking the penalty we deserve. “You [LORD] shall make His soul an offering for sin…” Isaiah 53:10. Jesus paid the price in full and then willingly laid down His life only to triumphantly raise to life again three days later just like He said He would. Jesus fulfilled hundreds of Old Testament prophesies all to prove that He is the very Christ. He made the truth absolutely and abundantly clear so not to add to all the confusion surrounding Him. 

Am I saying we should boycott church on “Easter” Sunday?  That would be ridiculous! But should we “dress” and “dance” like the world just because it’s popular and pleasing to the eyes?  God forbid!

Resurrection Sunday is the exclamation point, the heart of God’s Gospel, yet too often the waters are muddied and lines blurred within the Church. We tell others to believe God’s Word, but then behave like world when practicing its high days. Sadly, adults are many times motivated to follow the world’s lead simply because it makes our children happy. But Jesus didn’t say do whatever makes our children temporarily excited. He said, “Let the children come to Me, and forbid them not” Matthew 19:14. This generation is confused enough as it is. They are literally inundated with the world’s Antichrist messages carefully, creatively, and intentionally force fed to them through videos, games, toys, TV, movies, music, books, school, friends… and more and more, even today’s Christianity.

Satan’s strategy hasn’t changed. Water down, confuse, and corrupt from the inside out. Why should we, the body of Christ, muddy the waters? Why blur the lines? Why add confusion to an already overly confused generation?

Why not present a different message? Why not lovingly speak the truth? Why not simply preach Christ and Him crucified? Why not be separate? Why not shine forth the pure light of Jesus? Why not offer the world the pure water of the Word?

Why not?

Pokémon Go- Where is it Taking You?

untitledThe new Pokémon app- Pokémon Go has truly captured the hearts and minds of millions across the globe. Launched in the US on July 6, 2016, the Pokémon Go app has quickly become a full-fledged phenomenon. In case you’re not familiar with Pokémon Go, you can click “HERE” to read Wikipedia’s explanation. Some news websites claim it is currently the most repeatedly frequented app throughout the day, more so than Facebook or Instagram. According to at least one site, Nintendo’s stock went up 30% upon its release. Many are already speculating as to its wild and rapid popularity. Some suggest nostalgia along with the general escapist mentality flooding today’s society have combined to make an almost perfect breeding ground for Nintendo’s first augmented reality game.

Although augmented reality is not a new concept for today’s culture, Pokémon Go has definitely captivated the imagination of the masses and undoubtedly opened the flood gates for many more games to come. Clearly, there’s a place for careful and biblical examination and discussion of the challenges of embracing technology which allows people to mentally and emotionally escape while still feeling somewhat physically connected to the real world. This article, however, will not be that platform. This post will mainly address a third area of escape; one I believe is even deeper than anything emotional or mental. This area is the spiritual component and it is this author’s conclusion that the spiritual component is truly the heart of the matter.

There are plenty of physical concerns already being reported as well. For example, two men died in Southern California Thursday by falling off a bluff while trying to capture digital Pokémon creatures. Two men were rescued the day before after falling 50-100 feet off a crumbling sandstone bluff. One of the men was found unconscious by the fire fighters who saved them. Other people have been robbed, found wandering into traffic and straying into dangerous locations, at least one person was stabbed, and the stories continue to roll in.

Most articles I found claim Pokémon Go is a good thing because it gets people outside and exercising (mostly walking). It also helps players explore some of their local and historic landmarks. There’s even been one recent report of someone playing the game who witnessed a child pass out from heat exhaustion after being bullied by two boys. The article concludes if it weren’t for playing the game, that child may have never been rescued. Understandably, there have been some practical benefits, but those of us who have been born again by the power of the Lord Jesus Christ are no longer pragmatic in our beliefs and practices. Pragmatism says if it works, then do it. But born again believers should not hold to this philosophy. We should exclusively cling to God’s Word and often God’s Word does not “work” in this dark and dying world. Even though we still fall to the flesh, we don’t run to the world and its vain ideas for the answers. Born again believers are being sanctified and growing day by day by the power and Word of God. No, we are not practically perfect or completely mature yet, but our desire should be nothing less. Our heart should always recognize that Jesus plus nothing equals everything. And when it comes to things like games, video games, movies, and entertainment, it should be no different.

Arguably, our world has undeniably and unashamedly become completely infatuated with pleasure and amusement, ever increasingly blurring the lines between what’s real and make believe. And arguably this same desire has infected much of today’s church. We all desperately need a strong, daily dose of God’s Word and self-denial, no matter how long we’ve been Christians. The lusts and pride of this world will always pull on the old man, causing us to lose sight of eternity. Sadly, many do not seem to notice how many are being caught up in the wake of this world’s folly.

Yes, Pokémon is just one of many of today’s entertainments vying for our attention and adoration, but hopefully by briefly examining its methods and message, readers might grow in their understanding and discernment, helping them correctly weigh out other avenues of today’s amusement as well.

The Heart of the Matter is Spiritual

Spiritually speaking, there are three dangerous deceptions specific to Pokémon and its underlying message briefly examined below. (Note: There are several other issues worth investigating, but for the sake of brevity, this article includes only a few of the main concerns.)  

First, consider the pattern of Pokémon. The pattern is essentially for each trainer to catch as many Pokémon (which incidentally comes from two words: “Pocket” and “Monster”) as possible. “Gotta Catch Em All” is the slogan oft repeated in Pokémon. To catch the creatures which live in an alternate Pokémon universe/reality, the owner must have one of his monsters battle the monster he seeks to capture. If the monster he possesses defeats the “wild” one, the trainer gets to keep it. This makes the winning monster and trainer more powerful and eventually the trainer can become a master.  This pattern is the same basic one practiced within much of the occult throughout time. In the occult, much time is devoted to capturing both spirits and knowledge to help one ascend to higher levels. Here some might argue that none of this was the intent of Pokémon’s inventor, Satoshi Tajiri. Frankly, it’s irrelevant what the inventor of Pokémon says was his inspiration. The spirit world has its own doctrines and is happy to disseminate its false teachings and practices through any and all means available, regardless of the spiritually-blinded human host’s intended inspiration.

Secondly, consider its message of evolution. Evolution was taught and embraced way before Charles Darwin or Charles Lyell attempted to sanitize and popularize it by falsely calling it science. Evolution has been the foundation for ALL spiritual mysticism and occultism since Satan introduced his lie to Adam and Eve in the Garden. After all, how can a human become a god without evolution? Pokémon undeniably depends on evolution. Each creature can evolve, making it more powerful than before. This, of course, is essential if the owner/trainer is to win more battles and collect more and more monsters. At one point, Wizards.com explained it this way, But what is a Pokémon, you ask. ‘Pokémon are incredible creatures that share the world with humans,’ says Professor Oak, the leading authority on these monster. ‘There are currently 150 documented species of Pokémon. . . . Each Pokémon has its own special fighting abilities. . . . Some grow, or evolve, into even more powerful creatures.. . . Carry your Pokémon with you, and you’re ready for anything! You’ve got the power in your hands, so use it!’” 

On Wikipedia’s Pokémon site, it says,If a Pokémon fully defeats an opponent in battle so that the opponent is knocked out (i.e., “faints”), the winning Pokémon gains experience points and may level up. When leveling up, the Pokémon’s statistics (“stats”) of battling aptitude increase, such as Attack and Speed. From time to time the Pokémon may also learn new moves, which are techniques used in battle. In addition, many species of Pokémon can undergo a form of metamorphosis and transform into a similar but stronger species of Pokémon, a process called evolution.” [Emphasis added.]

Lastly, consider its message of witchcraft. Most of the monsters in Pokémon are essentially categorized into the same four basic elements embraced in witchcraft and the occult: Earth, Wind, Water, and Fire. Also consider this basic explanation from Wikipedia’s Pokémon site, In most incarnations of the fictional Pokémon universe, a Trainer that encounters a wild Pokémon is able to capture that Pokémon by throwing a specially designed, mass-producible spherical tool called a Poké Ball at it. If the Pokémon is unable to escape the confines of the Poké Ball, it is officially considered to be under the ownership of that Trainer. Afterwards, it will obey whatever its new master commands, unless the Trainer demonstrates such a lack of experience that the Pokémon would rather act on its own accord.” [Emphasis added.] The same is readily understood in shamanism and new age/occult practices. In occultism, those seeking to tap into the “spirit world” are repeatedly warned not to take it lightly because spirits can recognize one’s power or lack thereof and choose whether or not they will be subject to that practitioner (at least for a time).

The ultimate focus is not merely on training and collecting pocket monsters with the intent of making them become more powerful. The major goal is to skillfully use your evolving monsters to assist in making you the most powerful person in the entire world/universe. Attaining power through subjected, spiritual monsters for the goal of ultimate ascension is the actual message of Pokémon. The intro song to the Pokémon show starts out with, “I will travel across the land, searching far and wide, Each Pokémon to understand the power that’s inside. Gotta catch them all!”  Witchcraft/ occultism is essentially focused on using the physical world to assist in attaining spiritual power and so it is with Pokémon.

What does God’s Word say about witchcraft and practicing magic? “There shall not be found among you any one that makes his son or daughter to pass through the fire, or that uses divination, or observer of times, or a witch, or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer.  For all these things are an abomination unto the Lord…” Deuteronomy 18:10-14

“For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft…” 1 Samuel 15:23a

This article is not meant to be extensive or exhaustive, but hopefully encourages the saints to keep from getting caught up in escapism, nostalgia, or blindly following steps that might lead to spiritual deception. I completely understand that most kids and adults, regardless of whether or not they’re Christian, are not playing Pokémon to intentionally practice sorcery or get in touch with demons. (Although some do.) But we must understand that our intentions do not negate the dangerous and deceptive inventions devised by the enemy of our souls. Even thistle seeds appear small and quite harmless until they take root and begin to grow. Satan knows this. His goal is to keep us shortsighted and completely fixated on our feelings and flesh.

***For more details on specific Pokémon creatures and some of their deceptive and dangerous Shintoist/Buddhist and mystical characteristics, go to this very well researched article:

A Christian’s Mission: ‘Gotta Know, Gotta Learn, Gotta Discern, Gotta Go!’ into the Pokemon World with Truth

Remember, to play Pokémon correctly, children need to not only know, but understand the “power” inside each Pocket Monster. (Note: After 20 years, there are now over 750 of these creatures!) What are some of the powers involved? How about the power of hypnosis, the power of catching and destroying dreams (eating dreams), casting evil spells (hexes), levitation, and incantations. Some of the other practices well recognized and understood in Pokémon culture – The power of the aura, spiritual evolution, eastern meditation, and even the practice of yoga. These are just a few of the spiritual philosophies and practices taught in this “game”.

Where will you “GO”?  

Games like Pokémon are designed to take their followers somewhere. They have seeds, seeds which once allowed to take root in our hearts and minds, can potentially have long-lasting and very ill effects. If fed and watered, they will grow into weeds that can consistently rob us of the true Light and Food necessary for our spirit to grow closer to our precious Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. There is a very real danger of being led away from the Lord. 

Perhaps you disagree. Or perhaps you believe this to be such a minor concern that it’s not worth examining any further. But before you simply dismiss this as unimportant or foolishness, please prayerfully go the Lord and search His Word to see if these things be so. I would also recommend the articles below. This world is only temporal, but while we’re here, we must recognize there are many things beyond this physical universe that seek to draw us away from our marvelous Creator and Savior, Jesus Christ!

May we sincerely seek the only One who bought us with His blood, loving and serving Jesus with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength each and every day! That’s where the Lord wants to take us! May we be willing to go His way, not our own!

“Then said Jesus unto His disciples, If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” Matthew 16:24

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made. And the light shines in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.” John 1:1-3, 5

“Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.” 2 Corinthians 2:11

“For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” 1 John 2:16-17

Jesus said, “Now you are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can you, except you abide in Me.” John 15:3-4

 

A Few Other Helpful Links:

Star Wars: In Light of God’s Word

“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. The light of the body is the eye: if therefore your eye be single, your whole body shall be full of light. But if your eye be evil, your whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you be darkness, how great is that darkness! No man can serve two masters.” Matthew 6:21-24a

“For the past 35 years, one of my greatest pleasures has been to see Star Wars passed from one generation to the next,” said George Lucas, maker of the Star Wars movies. Over the last four decades Star Wars has consistently won the hearts and minds of viewers of all ages and is arguably one of the most lucrative and widespread cinematic enterprises ever to hit the silver screen. And with Disney’s purchase of Lucasfilm back in 2012, provided the Lord tarries, Lucas’ legacy and message are all but guaranteed to thrive for years to come.  According to an online article from USA Today, “Disney expects to more aggressively expand the Star Wars film schedule, Iger [Disney CEO] said in a statement. Following the release of Episode VII in 2015, “our long term plan is to release a new Star Wars feature film every two to three years,” Iger said. Star Wars Episodes VIII and IX, Iger said, would follow “probably on a cadence of every other year and then go from there.” http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2012/10/30/disney-star-wars-lucasfilm/1669739/

Over the years, many studies have examined the marketing and message of the Star Wars industry in hopes of gleaning some of its “industrial magic”. It truly is one of the first movies ever to build such an enduring and successful toy/product line reaching almost four decades and spanning around the globe. Anyone alive in the late 70’s-mid 80’s should be able to testify to the Star Wars fan frenzy every December. There were literally empty toy shelves across the country and frantic parents braving the rain, sleet, and snow to make sure their children had the latest and greatest Star Wars action figures and accessories.

Very few movies have ever cemented themselves so thoroughly into the psyche of the masses.  Its enduring popularity alone should cause even the moderate Christian to pause and inquire a bit further. Interestingly, there are not that many resources thoroughly examining the spiritual/biblical implications of Star Wars.  With that in mind, along with the long anticipated Episode 7 on the virtual horizon, I hope this brief article serves to help readers understand some of the core concerns with the Star Wars message.

A Brief Testimony

As a child I was mesmerized by the Star Wars movie series (IV, V, and VI).  I had watched them so often I could recite almost every line from all three movies.  My parents did not raise me in the New Age (New Spirituality) or any religion for that matter.  My temple was mostly the theater and my doctrines formed from the movie mysticism I fed upon.  I can say without equivocation that Star Wars was one of the greatest influences on the false understanding I grew to embrace pertaining both to God and to myself.

There may be readers thinking that compared to the horror and gore riddled throughout today’s TV, video game, and movie entertainment, Star Wars is really nothing more than a benign sci-fi alternative featuring fanciful creatures, heroes, and villains from galaxies far, far away. But nothing could be further from the truth. Arguably Star Wars doesn’t contain much graphic gore. Neither is there much in the way of swearing, sex, and intense violence, but there is most definitely a message; one that is diabolical and deceitfully destructive through and through. It is a message that resonates with people from around the world and was intentionally designed to cement one simple idea into the hearts and minds of everyone watching, “May the force be with you.

The rest of this article will focus on several main points that readers should then be able to use to share with others. Hopefully these tools will add light to a message that has very much been injected and embraced even by many Christian families.

Point 1: The Family Structure

For a variety of reasons moms, not dads, tend to be the spiritual leaders in their households. And since that’s the case, moms are usually the ones guiding the spiritual landscape of their families. But who’s typically more interested in sci-fi, guys or girls? Typically guys are.

Over the years, I’ve spoken with many parents and fellow teachers and when talking with moms and female teachers, I almost always hear the same two basic responses, “I’m not even interested in things like Star Wars” and “I’m just happy my husband is doing something with our son”.  Can you see the problem here?  If moms are typically the spiritual leaders and they are not interested in the very thing their husbands and sons are bonding over, then how does that family really know if the messages they’re feeding on are spiritually “safe”?  The simple answer is they don’t.  

Point 2: George Lucas’ Message

It’s easy to forget that this world is full of messages and most of them don’t even originate from the pulpit.  Some messages might be hard to “swallow”, especially when shared with a Christian crowd. That old phrase “a spoon full of sugar makes the medicine go down” can definitely be applied to today’s media/entertainment industry.  Granted, some films are mostly made for entertainment value with little real content behind them; however there are others that have seemed to find a perfect mix of “sugar” and “medicine”. In other words, there are some movies that do a very good job of feeding the audience their message in such an entertaining and amusing way that the medicine (message) is widely and readily received.

disney-bought-george-lucas-ideas-for-the-new-star-wars-trilogy-and-then-scrapped-themGeorge Lucas is a master storyteller. He understands the nature of the viewer quite well. Some might argue that the message behind Star Wars is really not that intentional and that Lucas simply wanted to tell a story that would translate well on the big screen.  The following article shows a little insight into what Lucas had to say regarding the Star Wars message and his own understanding of what he was actually teaching the audience:

“Lucas, even after Empire, said as much in his story conference talk with scriptwriter Lawrence Kasdan and director Richard Marquand before they started shooting Jedi:

      Kasdan: The Force was available to anyone who could hook into it?
      Lucas: Yes, everybody can do it.
      Kasdan: Not just the Jedi?
      Lucas: It’s just the Jedi who take the time to do it.
      Marquand: They use it as a technique.
      Lucas: Like Yoga. If you want to take the time to do it, you can do it; but the ones that really want to do it are the ones who are into that kind of thing. Also like karate.” http://www.starwars.com/news/so-what-the-heck-are-midi-chlorians

Despite any arguments to the contrary, Lucas most definitely understood what he was doing when he wrote the Star Wars saga. He understood how to to introduce a spiritual message that would appeal to the masses in a very personal way. Unfortunately, it worked.

Point 3: The Main Message

When audiences, both young and old alike, exit the movie theater, there is one simple message they will undoubtedly take with them, “May the force be with you.”  This sounds harmless enough, right?  Wrong! One day I was in another teacher’s classroom after school and her fourth grade son came in. She asked him to help pick up all the music stands and arrange the chairs. After she walked away, he looked at me with his hand stretched out, a smile on his face and remarked, “I wish I could use the Force right now.”  Understandably, he was somewhat just saying he didn’t want to work that hard in rearranging his mom’s classroom, but even though he might not have grasped the implications, he clearly understood the appeal.  After all, wouldn’t it be nice if we could tap into some sort of energy to manipulate both minds and matter to our will?  Oh, the flesh would love it!  We wouldn’t even need to summon a genie out of a lamp to do our bidding. We could actually become the genies and do whatever we wanted.  Isn’t that an appealing message, especially to children!  The apostle Paul, however, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit reminds us, When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things” (1 Corinthians 13:11). The message of Star Wars, albeit simple, has been effectively taught with mass appeal and long lasting devotion. 

Point 4: The Main Character

As with all good stories, audiences have favorite Star Wars characters. Some are cute and others are brave. Some are perfect villains and others great victors. But there is arguably one character that rises above the rest; one character without whom the Star Wars story would not be a story at all. That character is the Force.

Star Wars SignThe new movie coming out December 18th, 2015 is number seven in the saga and entitled Star Wars: The Force Awakens. In one of the movie trailers, the voice of Luke Skywalker states, “The Force is strong in my family. My father has it. I have it. My sister has it. You have that power too.”

There are many clues woven throughout the saga as to how the Force actually works, but without getting too in depth, the Force is simply an impersonal energy/power that is neither good nor evil. This amoral Force is nothing new. George Lucas simply borrowed concepts from Hinduism, witchcraft, etc. and repackaged them to appeal to the masses.  Sorcerers, yogis, and shamans have long understood the reality of some power that can be “tapped” into and used to both benefit self and others.

Again, despite those who might think otherwise, the Star Wars Force, although a false replacement for the true God, is neither good nor bad. It is neither right nor wrong. Nor does it really care one way or the other about anything.  The western mind thinks in terms of morality, i.e. good vs. evil, however the Force is actually better understood in line with the yin and yang found in many eastern philosophies and religious practices, i.e. Taoism. The white side (yang) is not necessarily good. It simply is what it is. The black side (yin) is not evil. It is not understood to be anything other than the other side of the yin. Both are actually necessary and neither can be strictly measured morally.

As chapter 8 of the Huainanzi (an ancient Chinese text that consists of a collection of essays) claims:

“Yinyang embodies the harmony of heaven and earth, manifests the forms of myriad things, contains qi to transform the things and completes various kinds of things; yinyang extends and penetrates to the deepest level; begins in emptiness then becomes full and moves in boundless lands.” http://www.iep.utm.edu/yinyang/

This same article also explains, “Yin and yang are the qi [life force]of the universe. These qi flow within the natural as well as the human worlds. Thus qi, a force arising from the interplay between yin and yang, becomes a context in which yinyang is seated and functions.”  In other words, both sides (light and dark) are necessary for the force to properly function and eventually harmonize.  Witchcraft is understood in much the same way. White magik, although supposedly benevolent, is not defined in a morally “good” sense. Nor is black magik inherently evil. However since witchcraft has become so popularized in the west over the last few decades, there has been much westernized confusion mingled into its actual teachings.

One online article states, “Star Wars producer George Lucas said, “The Force is neutral, and it can be used for good or evil… The Force has two sides. It is not a malevolent or benevolent thing. It has a bad side to it involving hate and fear, and it has a good side, involving love, charity, fairness and hope. If you use it well, you can see the future and the past. You can sort of read minds and you can levitate and use that whole netherworld of psychic energy.” [TIME magazine – May 19, 1980]  His description of “the Force” seems to be right out of the occult and witchcraft. Constance Cumbey first alerted Christians to the New Age Movement’s occult association in her book The Hidden Dangers of the Rainbow. She refers to Eva Dowling’s comment in a New Age “bible” that “…one may enter fully into the spirit of the ‘God of Force’”, which, in the New Age Movement, is a central spiritual being.  “Force” is a technical term used in witchcraft, which is what the films feature. Black (“bad”) and white (“good”) witchcraft are contrasting uses of the force of nature, which is defined as neutral but can be employed either way.” http://wordandtheworld.homestead.com/StarWars.html

Another online article says, “Christian author Pastor David J. Meyer, once a practicing witch, explains the true meaning of “May the Force be with you.” He wrote: “When real witches have sabats and esbats and meet as a coven, they greet each other by saying “Blessed be”, and when they part, they say “The Force be with you.” Both sides of this “Force” are Satan. It is not a good side of the force that overcomes the bad side of the force, but rather it’s the blood of Jesus Christ that destroys both sides of the satanic Force.”  http://www.vigilantchristian.org/starwars.html

The Star Wars Force is nothing less than the mystical and ancient power that has tied all religions together throughout the centuries.  It is not the same as the personal God of the Bible, but instead the Force provides the potential for people to have their own power as they discover how to tap into this universal power, essentially causing them to ‘evolve’ into their own gods.  This power has no will of its own, nor does it have a mind. Ultimately, who gets to make their own decisions, choosing their own fates and fortunes? We do. The Star Wars Force is really just a repackaged version of the original lie which Satan has been spreading since he first spoke with Eve in the Garden- “You shall be like gods…” (Genesis 3:5). 

The Force is not simply some creative, made-up character to help propel the Star Wars saga. In truth, it is the oldest and most popular of Satan’s lies, the one used to plague and propel billions of people into a horrible, Christ-less eternity.

Interestingly, the Force is actually found in the Bible. In Daniel, the Lord wrote pertaining to the Antichrist, “But in his estate shall he honor the God of forces: and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honor with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things” (Daniel 11:38). [Emphasis mine]  This is the only time this Hebrew word is translated “forces”.  It is perhaps more than a little interesting that the only time God’s Word uses the idea of a false “god of forces” is to describe the Antichrist himself.

Point 5: A Jesus Replacement (An Anitchrist)

There are all sorts of occult ideas riddled throughout much of today’s media/entertainment; however there is a consistent theme routinely employed to pull in audiences. The story usually starts with a child or young adult who is either an orphan or in an environment he/she wants to escape from. The young person soon finds a mentor, or the mentor finds the child. And what is the mentor’s message?  “You’re special. You’re different. You have so much hidden potential within you. You just don’t know it yet. You have the potential to lead people to victory.” It then becomes the mentor’s duty to help the young, naïve child discover how to exercise his/her untapped mystical skills through a variety of eastern practices, i.e. mindless meditation, visualization, etc.  Soon the mentor takes a backseat, letting the student become the leader in some sort of rescue mission to save humanity.

Luke with LightsaberThis kind of message is often confused within Christian communities who are too often looking for ways to build bridges to a lost and deceived world. Over the years there have been a variety of so-called Christian books, Bible studies, and outreaches based on movies such as The Matrix, Star Wars, etc.  When The Matrix was still really popular, I had a seventh grade student who insisted that Neo (the main character in The Matrix; similar to Luke Skywalker) was a type of Jesus.  Plenty of people have made the same incorrect connection with Luke Skywalker.  After all, Luke rises in power to rescue the universe.  But there is one big problem with this conclusion.  In every occult based movie, whether Dune, The Matrix, or Star Wars, the main character rises in power to rescue civilization, but not for the purpose of knowing the personal and loving God who created the universe.  They always rise up with a message of self-discovery leading to self-deliverance which is passed on to others so they too can become their own empowered self-deliverers (gods).

This isn’t the message of the true Jesus Christ, rather the message of the “God of forces”, the Antichrist. This is the message of Satan, and it’s been the same lie since the Garden of Eden!

After peeling away the personalities and general likability of Luke Skywalker, Obi-wan Kenobi, Yoda, other Jedi knights and masters, viewers are left with the clear conclusion that these characters are nothing other than wizards, sorcerers, and priests practicing mysticism in hopes of ascending until they reach their final goal: godhood.  Interestingly, there has been a steady interest and acceptance over the last couple decades in actually developing and practicing a Jedi Knight religion, especially in the UK. It’s being called Jediism and is recognized as an official religion. In the 2010 UK census, almost 200,000 people identified as holding to the teachings of the Jedi Knight. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/9737886/Jedi-religion-most-popular-alternative-faith.html. Clearly, many people around the world understand the mystical doctrines which have so very plainly and intentionally been intertwined into the Star Wars storyline.

Sorcery’s rebellious foundations and seductive and dangerously deceptive doctrines all come from devils and are completely opposed to the true Gospel. Because of this, the Lord has understandably given very harsh consequences for those practicing such things.  Carefully consider a few familiar Scriptures:

  • “A man also or woman that has a familiar spirit, or that is a wizard, shall surely be put to death…” Leviticus 20:27.
  • “There shall not be found among you any one that makes his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that uses divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer.” Deuteronomy 18:11.
  • “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.” 1 Samuel 15:23. [Emphasis mine]
  • “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” Galatians 5:21-23. [Emphasis mine]
  • “But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” Revelation 21:8. [Emphasis mine]

Point 6: Altering the Very Character of God

“It’s just a movie” is often the excuse heard when people are confronted with content concerns.  Perhaps we too have essentially said the very same thing, maybe not aloud, but by our actions. While it is clear that movies are a modern form of entertainment, there is nothing that says entertainment is intrinsically harmless. Those who have become addicted to and corrupted by pornography can testify that movies can be much more than just movies. Again movies often contain messages and messages (words) have meaning. Once those messages are embraced, even a little bit, they have at least the very real potential of altering our view of the truth.

Jesus said, “If you stay in My Word, My disciples you will be, and you will know the truth and the truth will set you free” (John 8:31-32). Ultimately, the goal of God’s Word is to know God.  Jesus taught that the Word of God is the seed which needs to be planted in soft hearts. But the world has seeds as well. The Bible doesn’t have the market cornered on the meaning of life.  There are many false ideas of life and its purpose, all of which emanate from the deepest of all concepts… the character of God Himself.  The highest goal for any human is to truly know God, to understand and know the One who created this universe, the One who rescued humanity by dying for all their sins so we could freely and fully return to Him through His one and only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus is our door, our only door, yet Satan is subtle and knows that in order to keep people from coming he must provide other doors. And to keep Christians for growing closer to our Savior, at least some of those doors must look pretty close to the original.

Specific to Star Wars, since the main character (the Force) is really a pseudo-type of god, the danger with this movie’s message in particular is the potential it has in manipulating viewers’ understanding of the true God revealed in the Bible.  There are many ways of corrupting our understanding of the Lord; however one of the main methods is two-fold: deprivation and supplementation.

If a person is deprived of the truth found in God’s Word he will most likely be much more susceptible to receiving a supplemental replacement.  This won’t necessarily mean a believer replaces his ultimate understanding of the true God for a lie. It does mean that a lie can be introduced as a supplement (in addition to), over time leading to a synthesized (mixed) god.  Some of the believer’s understanding will be biblical and some will not.  This of course is true at some level for all of us since we all deal with the flesh and the world every day; however we should all be seeking to increase our understanding of the true God, not running out to be fed a bunch of amusing lies.

There are several so-called Christian books and articles seeking to make comparisons between the Force and the Lord God of the Bible. The issue here is that although there may be a few similarities between the two, there are also differences and it’s always the differences that make the difference. As within all areas of life, one does not learn to exercise discernment by simply focusing on similarities. We must always examine the differences if we are to actually build our understanding properly.  A doctor never simply looks at what’s right with her patient. She must examine what is wrong if she is to correctly diagnose and treat the person. The same is true for the mechanic, the teacher, the parent, etc.

A few vital differences between the Force and the true God of the Bible:

The Force The True God of the Bible
Impersonal Personal

(John 17, 1 John 5:20)

Part of Creation Outside of Creation

(Genesis 1, John 1:1-3, Col. 1:16)

Not a Savior The one true Savior

(Isaiah 45:21-22, John 3:16-17)

Point 7: The Faith of Feelings

Trusting in our feelings is one of the biggest lies ever sold to humanity. Sadly, we live in a generation that is not only encouraged to embrace their feelings, but celebrate them regardless of how depraved. The moral line that at least used to be outwardly recognized has now been erased and replaced by a much more deceptive and subjective standard – feelings.  There seems to be no part of today’s society that does not tell us to “let our hearts be our guide” and Star Wars is no different. Consider a couple excerpts from the following articles:

“Unraveling Absolutes by focusing on subjective feelings:  “God is perfect and absolutely perfect. Obi-Wan teaches Anakin the concept that absolutes belong on the evil side when he says “Only a Sith deals in absolutes.” As Christians we understand that Jesus was without sin and God is absolutely good. By teaching Anakin absolutes belong on the evil side, Obi-Wan is teaching a Luciferian concept that the God of Moses, absolutely good, is evil.” http://www.vigilantchristian.org/starwars.html

Referring to Obi-Wan’s teacher, the author of Naming a Jedi writes, “He became Qui-Gon Jinn, a powerful Force-adept who relied on his subconscious urges (‘the will of the Force’) to a degree that discomfited those around him, a quality destined to bring both great suffering and, in the end, the salvation of the galaxy. Young Obi-Wan would learn from him a commitment to trusting his instincts, something he would pass on to Luke decades later (‘trust your feelings!’). … “In Star Wars, there is more ambiguity — ‘use the Force’ and ‘use your instincts’ are synonymous, and yet one implies faith in the supernatural and one implies faith in the self. I explain this as two different ways to characterize the intuitive impulses that well from within us….”  Originally from Naming a Jedi. Quoted in- http://www.crossroad.to/articles2/05/star-wars.htm.

While Luke is unsuccessfully learning to use his lightsaber during training, Obi-Wan Kenobi instructs him to cover his eyes and let his mind go blank and simply trust his feelings.  Basically to become an expert in the Force, Luke and all Jedis must cease from thinking and instead put all their trust in their feelings.  There isn’t one single Scripture that even eludes to mankind ever putting trust in their hearts.  There are plenty of verses, however that give very clear reminders of just how deceptive and destructive the human heart truly is. Here are just a few examples:

  • “Every one of them is gone back: they are altogether become filthy; there is none that does good, no, not one.” Psalm 53:3
  • “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” Jeremiah 17:9
  • “He that trusts in his own heart is a fool…” Proverbs 28:26a

To See or Not to See (Should you see the movie?) 

Some will say yes. Some will say yes, but then want to point out the errors to their children. Some will say no. No matter what direction people are led, may we choose to be led by the Lord and His Word, not man’s opinions and certainly not our own personal feelings. Job’s reminder to make a heartfelt  covenant with his eyes most definitely applies to every area of our lives, including the entertainment we choose to watch. (Job 31:1)

A few things to consider… Some will choose to see the movie and simply dismiss it as entertainment. Hopefully this article has helped to address enough issues to make it clear that Star Wars is far from simple amusement. For those who might choose to watch the movie with their families and then point out the errors, you may want to evaluate the most beneficial way to teach about the dangerous errors of doctrine and practice. For example, do we take our children to strip clubs or bars to explain the issues of drunkenness and lust? There may be wisdom at times in engaging head on with particular errors, however involving our children, especially our young children in these engagements, is questionable at best.  We also might need to be honest with ourselves, making sure we really want to examine and expose error and not simply find a reason to enjoy a little “entertainment”.

Now what?  What to do from here? 

Although this article is specific to Star Wars, I hope it encourages readers to remember that all media contains messages, many of which are not made for the purpose of glorifying the Lord. Keep praying and studying God’s Word and continue keeping your ear to the ground. There are always new avenues for the enemy to transport his lies; however the lies are typically not that different. Repackaged? Yes. New and improved? Not really.  The basic story in Star Wars is found in many books, movies, and video games.  Don’t be afraid to engage your children. Ask them questions. If they have a favorite show, book, or video game, children typically won’t hesitate to tell you everything about it. Be patient and let the Lord work in their hearts and minds as you continue reading the Word and praying with them.

The goal isn’t so much to get believers to stop doing certain things as it is to get them to keep growing in their love for Jesus. As we draw closer to Jesus, we will always begin to see just how destructive this world really is. As the song goes, “Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in His wonderful face. And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.”  Teach your children to understand and know the Lord by studying His Word and personally praying to Him regularly. (1 John 5:20-21) In doing so they will begin to understand they’re not giving anything up by letting go of this world.  After all, it’s difficult to cling to Jesus when both hands are full of the world. But when we see the glory and splendor of our King, how can we do anything less than hold tightly to Him with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength?  Ultimately, no matter what the influence, it should always boil down to one simple thing… love Jesus more, and love the world less.

“For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, has shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” 2 Corinthians 4:6

A few helpful resource article links: (While the information in the articles below is helpful, we are not necessarily endorsing everything from these ministries. As always, we are all responsible for searching the Scriptures, as well as examining the avenues of Satan’s lies for ourselves.)

 

Bible Light Bulb ImageGod’s Word is literally a never ending subject designed to perform a vast array of functions.  Ultimately it’s THE unique love letter from the Creator and Savior Jesus Christ, who is by no coincidence called the Word of God. John 1:1.  It is the only pure and sufficiently perfect revelation of God to mankind and is filled with eternal instruction for righteousness. It is the true and complete map leading every humble seeking sinner to the Righteous One- Jesus Christ.  In 2 Timothy, the Lord, through Paul, also reminds us that “all Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17.  The Word of God is most definitely and eternally profitable, but it is also most assuredly practical!

One of the very practical purposes it serves is to remind mankind that there really is nothing new under the sun. God’s Word is a historical reminder of His love and justice, mankind’s arrogance and pride, and Satan’s repeated attempts to kill, steal, and destroy. This historical and prophetic record we call the Bible is a very practical guide, revealing past and future accounts all for our benefit. The Holy Spirit reminds us in Romans 15:4, “For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.”  God went to great lengths to not only preserve His Word, but also to make sure certain historical events were meticulously recorded.  And since it is God who inspired the men who wrote His Word, not only are the events revealed accurately, but also those unseen areas, the intentions of men’s hearts.  May we take careful heed to what has been recorded and preserved for every generation! 

The Old Testament is filled with Israel’s choices, both godly and ungodly.  Sadly, many were the latter.  Their decisions, though, serve two very important purposes for us today.  First, they remind us that godly choices always lead to a beautiful walk with the Lord.  Second, they remind us that ungodly choices are deceptive and common to every generation, even in our’s today.

After reading through 2 Kings 17 the last few days, I couldn’t help but think of the constant barrage of today’s false doctrines, namely the purpose driven and emergent teachings not only infiltrating churches, but being warmly embraced and taught, all in the name of the Lord.  It seems just as Israel had sought out so many false doctrines from the world around them, fearing men instead of God, so the same  is being repeated today.  Perhaps a bit repackaged, Satan’s strategies are actually all too familiar, promising something new, but in the end always leading men further and further into darkness.

I’ve chosen to include a few comments below in brackets. Just a disclaimer and loving reminder- the comments are not inspired.  May we truly take heed to God’s Word, letting it thoroughly transform and renew us, bringing eternal patience and comfort, all for our hope and His glory!

————————————————————————————————————————————————-

2 Kings 17:7-17

7 For so it was, that the children of Israel had sinned against the Lord their God, which had brought them up out of the land of Egypt, from under the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and had feared other gods,  

[God brought His people out of Egypt, never desiring to lead them back.  Egypt serves as a continual and clear example of man’s empty and dangerous philosophies and methodologies, teachings derived many times through sorcery and other occult practices. Exodus 7:112 Timothy 3:8.]

8 And walked in the statutes of the heathen, whom the Lord cast out from before the children of Israel, and of the kings of Israel, which they had made.  

[Not only did they fear other gods, the gods the Lord cast out, they also walked in the statutes or philosophies of the heathen. Today it’s even easier for professing saints and true believers to pick up the latest psychology and church growth books without even “walking” anywhere.  Now we can simply google the information in our own homes.]

9 And the children of Israel did secretly those things that were not right against the Lord their God, and they built them high places in all their cities, from the tower of the watchmen to the fenced city.

[Even though their false deeds were done in secret, they weren’t hidden from God. The Lord knew what was going on.  Also, it’s more than a bit ironic that the people built high places starting with the tower of the watchmen.]

10 And they set them up images and groves in every high hill, and under every green tree:

11 And there they burnt incense in all the high places, as did the heathen whom the Lord carried away before them; and wrought wicked things to provoke the Lord to anger:  

[This generation wasn’t the first to provoke the Lord to anger.  May we consider carefully our actions against our loving God, never provoking Him to anger! Let us not forget that one of God’s names is Jealous. Exodus 34:4.]

12 For they served idols, whereof the Lord had said unto them, Ye shall not do this thing.

[God spoke plainly.  No means no, no matter what a relativistic society says. God was not merely addressing a belief system or He would have said, “Ye shall not believe these things.”  God is clear.  Whatever one believes will be practiced. It’s not enough to just say we don’t believe something.  We must also stop doing those things as well.  May we seek the Lord in giving us the power to overcome those areas that hold us close to this world.]

13 Yet the Lord testified against Israel, and against Judah, by all the prophets, and by all the seers, saying, Turn ye from your evil ways, and keep my commandments and my statutes, according to all the law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you by my servants the prophets.  

[Be encouraged, in every generation, there are always a few willing to speak God’s Word. May we choose to be among the minority desiring to earnestly stand upon the Rock, boldly and faithfully proclaiming His truth, not willing to embrace this world’s evils.]

14 Notwithstanding they would not hear, but hardened their necks, like to the neck of their fathers, that did not believe in the Lord their God.

[It was their desire, not God’s, to harden their necks.  A stiff neck is very painful, preventing a man from ever looking up.]

15 And they rejected His statutes, and His covenant that He made with their fathers, and His testimonies which He testified against them; and they followed vanity, and became vain, and went after the heathen that were round about them, concerning whom the Lord had charged them, that they should not do like them.  

[This one verse speaks of God 6 times, 5 in pronoun form, all pointing to God’s strong desire to be faithful, just, and true with Israel.  Yet despite the Lord’s pursuing love, they chose to follow after vanity, which ultimately led to becoming altogether vain.  We’ve all heard it said you are what you eat.  A true saying from 2 Kings 17:15 would be, “You become what (or who) you follow.”  As men followed after vanity they became vain.  Just like Adam and Eve’s desire for knowledge apart from God, Israel diligently sought the God-hating, idol worshiping nations around them for earthly wisdom and methods to conduct both their lives and the nation as a whole.  This verse speaks loudly of the dangerous potential of every unchecked heart, even of those born again.  The vain doctrines of Satan have been passed along to foolish unbelievers seeking ungodly knowledge, power, glory,and honor.  Sadly, many of these doctrines have been embraced and even taught in today’s professing church. Today’s relativistic, sight-walking emergent church movement is a prime example.  Despite the many clear warnings from Scripture not to run after the world’s teachings, the emergent movement has willingly become a mixture of New Age philosophies and Catholicism wrapped in church growth methodologies.  Just as Israel ran after other methods and doctrines, so the warning from God for our generation stands- “We should not do like them.”]

16 And they left all the commandments of the Lord their God, and made them molten images, even two calves, and made a grove, and worshiped all the host of heaven, and served Baal.

[They didn’t leave some of God’s commandments, but all.  To run after the world, one must turn his back altogether on God and His Word.]

17 And they caused their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire, and used divination and enchantments, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the Lord, to provoke him to anger.  

[Many of the false doctrines of witchcraft have been deceptively introduced into the professing church through the idea of methodology.  Yoga isn’t a form of occultism. Rather it is now simply a method for centering one’s mind to know God better.  Vain, repetitious prayers are nothing more than methods for helping one be still and know God. On and on go the lies.  Yoga isn’t just a neutral method. It is a Hinduistic practice centered around worshiping many of their false gods, serving as a means to attain freedom from the wheel of reincarnation. And although vain, repetition prayers are strictly forbidden by Jesus in the Bible (Matthew 6:7), many of those in emergent churches, and even other churches, have begun practicing and teaching people this awful doctrine rooted in Eastern mysticism.]

2 Kings 17:20-29

20 And the Lord rejected all the seed of Israel, and afflicted them, and delivered them into the hand of spoilers, until He had cast them out of His sight.  

[Praise God for His correction.  God does not behave like many of today’s parents.  He didn’t just turn a blind eye on Israel’s actions, rather He lovingly and justly corrected them.  Even though Israel was disobedient, God promised Abraham that He would preserve Israel.  Just like them, all who have been truly born again can rest assured, confident in the faithfulness of God.  He promises eternal life to all who believe in Him.  We have the Holy Spirit in us as a deposit, sealing us to the day of redemption.  (2 Corinthians 1:22. Although we stumble, we can have confidence that He who began a good work in us will complete it unto the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6.  God’s Word of course will by no means serve as a cloak for those false prophets who are deceiving and being deceived.  Nothing is hid from God.  May we carefully examine ourselves to be sure we are truly in the faith, to be sure we truly understand the grace of God. 2 Corinthians 13:5.]

21 For He rent Israel from the house of David; and they made Jeroboam the son of Nebat king: and Jeroboam drove Israel from following the Lord, and made them sin a great sin.  

[Here is a perfect example of a people driven from following the Lord.  The flock of God ought never be “driven”, rather a good shepherd leads the sheep. As examples of Christ, we should first be good followers of Him, then choosing to intentionally lead others to Jesus.  It’s been said that cattle are driven, but sheep are led.  To do this correctly, we need God’s love, both for the lost and for His bride.  Driving people implies forcing them to do something against their wills.  Jeroboam drove people from following the Lord and made them sin a great sin.  May it never be said of us today!]

22 For the children of Israel walked in all the sins of Jeroboam which he did; they departed not from them;  

[Although we sometimes may step into the sins of this world, we can choose to depart at any time.  May we choose to depart quickly, remembering the longer we stay ensnared, the more difficult departure becomes.]

23 Until the Lord removed Israel out of his sight, as he had said by all his servants the prophets. So was Israel carried away out of their own land to Assyria unto this day.  

[God told them what would happen before it happened so that men might know that He is God. John 13:19.]

24 And the king of Assyria brought men from Babylon, and from Cuthah, and from Ava, and from Hamath, and from Sepharvaim, and placed them in the cities of Samaria instead of the children of Israel: and they possessed Samaria, and dwelt in the cities thereof.  

[When God’s Word is abandoned the world will always fill the vacuum in abundance.  So it is in many of today’s professing churches.]

25 And so it was at the beginning of their dwelling there, that they feared not the Lord: therefore the Lord sent lions among them, which slew some of them.

26 Wherefore they spake to the king of Assyria, saying, The nations which thou hast removed, and placed in the cities of Samaria, know not the manner of the God of the land: therefore He hath sent lions among them, and, behold, they slay them, because they know not the manner of the God of the land.  

[God’s expectation is that all people would seek after Him.  His judgment here would be foolish if the people from these nations could not choose to turn to the True and Living God.]

27 Then the king of Assyria commanded, saying, Carry thither one of the priests whom ye brought from thence; and let them go and dwell there, and let him teach them the manner of the God of the land.  

[What an opportunity to teach God’s Word!  God truly desires that all men would understand and know Him!]

28 Then one of the priests whom they had carried away from Samaria came and dwelt in Bethel, and taught them how they should fear the Lord.  

[The faithfulness of the few. May we seek to teach men the fear of the Lord wherever the Lord sends us.]

29 Howbeit every nation made gods of their own, and put them in the houses of the high places which the Samaritans had made, every nation in their cities wherein they dwelt.

2 Kings 17:32-40

32 So they feared the Lord, and made unto themselves of the lowest of them priests of the high places, which sacrificed for them in the houses of the high places.

[What a curious statement.  They feared the Lord, yet sacrificed to false gods.  This reminds me of Jesus’ statement, “They honor me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me.” (Isaiah 29:13, Matthew 15:8.)  How is it that men can fear God, but not truly follow Him?  There is only one way. They have no true knowledge of the Holy One.  They lack true understanding of God and their own sinfulness. “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the Holy is understanding.” Proverbs 9:10. Perhaps these people feared God like a bug fears the light.  It runs away from the light, fleeing into the darkness in hopes of preserving its own life.  These men outwardly feared the Lord God, recognizing His authority, yet chose to flee from God instead of to Him.  This is so true today. Too many people in churches profess to know God, yet run to the world’s teachings in psychology and occult methodologies in hopes of staying far from the true Light of the World.  One of the sad things here is young believers, ignorant of some of the dangers, have the potential of getting driven down these roads, and, as we all know, the longer someone goes down the wrong road the longer it takes to get back.  Secondly, it’s interesting that the people chose to make the lowest of them priests.  In 1 Timothy 3:6 God warns us that a leader in church should, “not [be] a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil.”  Choosing immature, weak men to be priests would guarantee less discernment and conviction, as well as easy manipulation.]

33 They feared the Lord, and served their own gods, after the manner of the nations whom they carried away from thence.

34 Unto this day they do after the former manners: they fear not the Lord, neither do they after their statutes, or after their ordinances, or after the law and commandment which the Lord commanded the children of Jacob, whom He named Israel;

[Israel was and continues to be God’s property.  By giving them a new name, God signifies His rightful authority over Israel.  They are truly God’s chosen nation.  Just as Jacob was given a new name, so it is with everyone who’s turned from his sinful self to receive God’s full and free forgiveness found in Christ alone.  A new name not only signifies ownership by the one who names us, but also the reality of a new life.  Jesus says in John 12:46, “I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness.” Paul, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, wrote, “You are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.” 1 Thessalonians 5:5-6.]

35 With whom the Lord had made a covenant, and charged them, saying, Ye shall not fear other gods, nor bow yourselves to them, nor serve them, nor sacrifice to them:

36 But the Lord, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt with great power and a stretched out arm, Him shall ye fear, and Him shall ye worship, and to Him shall ye do sacrifice.  

[Lest we forget, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise.” Psalm 51:17.  God led them out of sorcery, witchcraft, idol worship, and the wisdom of men.  We are called to fear God because the fear of the Lord is the beginning of true, eternal wisdom, and this wisdom is foolishness to the world. The world has nothing to offer Israel, and the world has nothing good to offer the true church of God!]

37 And the statutes, and the ordinances, and the law, and the commandment, which He wrote for you, ye shall observe to do for evermore; and ye shall not fear other gods.  

[We shouldn’t revere or fear the ways of the world.  Too often the successes of the world become a snare.  We wonder why the world is doing so good.  We become enticed as did Lot’s wife.  May we never look back.]

38 And the covenant that I have made with you ye shall not forget; neither shall ye fear other gods.

[One of the Holy Spirit’s jobs is to help us never forget the truth found in Jesus Christ and revealed in His Word. “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” John 14:26.]

39 But the Lord your God ye shall fear; and he shall deliver you out of the hand of all your enemies.  

[God is not only the Lord their God, but the Lord your God.  He is personal and intimate.  We can each have a deep, everlasting relationship with Him. Not only does the fear of God bring wisdom, it also brings true deliverance from our greatest enemies – sin, self, and Satan.]

40 Howbeit they did not hearken, but they did after their former manner.

41 So these nations feared the Lord, and served their graven images, both their children, and their children’s children: as did their fathers, so do they unto this day.  

[If the Lord tarries, the choices of today’s church, both godly and ungodly, will have eternal repercussions for many generations.  Let us never forget that our faithfulness unto the Lord to walk after His ways will not only bless us. Like a tree bearing much fruit, heartfelt obedience to the Lord will bring eternal nourishment to many others for years to come, bringing all the glory to the One who brings the increase.  “So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase.” 1 Corinthians 3:17.]

Many of today’s churches are seeking something new, fresh, and ever changing.  By doing so, they are choosing to abandon the old paths of God’s sound and secure Word.  They are choosing to fill themselves with empty, dangerous, and foolish doctrines instead of allowing the power of God transform and renew God’s people.  May Israel’s history be a very real reminder of just how dangerous it is to play with the world and it’s doctrines taught by the god of this world.  Instead of dabbling with this world, why not be sold out for the truth of God?  After all, what could be more profitable, and what could be more practical?

“Thus says the LORD: “Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; then you will find rest for your souls.” Jeremiah 6:16

star-wars-logoAs a child I was literally mesmerized by the Star Wars movie series (IV, V, and VI).  I had watched them so often, I could literally quote almost every line from all three movies from memory.  My parents did not raise me in the New Age (New Spirituality) or any formal religion for that matter.  My temple was the theater and doctrine formed from the movie mysticism I chose to feed on.  I can say without equivocation that Star Wars was one of the greatest influences on my false understanding of myself and of God.

Sadly, the lies fed through the pop/entertainment culture today are even more seductive and influential in shaping the hearts and minds of this generation.  Watching movies is not like going on a roller coaster ride.  We should never, NEVER allow our children to be taken on a “ride” that will, in the end, lead them far away from Jesus.  I would never allow a child to get into a car with someone he didn’t know, so why would I allow him to take a mental-heartfelt journey with some godless movie, TV show, video game, toy, or book?

We are called to be active, not passive viewers, guarding our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus, carefully discerning every message by weighing everything against the Word of God.  Tragically, too many  authors  intentionally design entertainment in such a way as to grow the old, selfish man, leaving viewers more satisfied by the world than with the God who loved them and died for them.  Then we wonder why our children have no interest in the True God and His Word.  

For a few of the many unbiblical concerns with Star Wars, I’ve included a Q&A from The Berean Call below.

“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.” 3 John 4

Related Articles:

God is not the God of the Force ~Dave Hunt

Is Jesus or the Force with You? ~Unity in the Truth Blog

Can You Believe in the Bible and Evolution (Audio Link) ~The Berean Call

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The Berean Call Newsletter 

Question: Our grandson and some of his friends from church seem to be obsessed with the Star Wars film series. They trade Star Wars cards and play Star Wars games. I don’t feel good about it but don’t know why. Can you give me some information?

Answer: I remember when the film Star Wars first appeared. Rabi Maharaj (the ex-guru whose story is told in Death of a Guru) and I went to check it out together. We sat there poking one another in astonishment as evidence piled upon evidence that this was pure witchcraft and Eastern mysticism and that its creator, George Lucas, knew exactly what he was doing.

The Force is obviously the “god” of Star Wars. One thought remained after the action had faded from the screen: “May the Force be with you.”  We saw that on T-shirts and bumper stickers. A whole generation began to believe in this impersonal Force that can be used to empower one to do magic feats but holds no one accountable, as does the personal God of the Bible.

This is the Force of witchcraft with a dark and light side: black magic and which magic. Darth Vader and Obi Wan Kenobi were the followers of the “the old religion,” as one of Vader’s soldiers reminded him. The “old religion,” of course is “wicca,” or witchcraft. The Force with its Dark and Light side is amoral. There is no right or wrong, just alternative sides of the Force.

The “laser sword” which Luke Skywalker learned to use is a divination device (forbidden in Deuteronomy 18 and elsewhere.) which only a Jedi Knight can wield. To become a Jedi Knight one must be initiated into that altered state of consciousness through which one enters the occult world.

Luke tried unsuccessfully to use the “laser sword” with his own intellect and skills. So Obi Wan covered Luke’s eyes with a visor. Unable to see, Luke could instantly deflect the laser emanating from the little ball dancing about in mid-air because he “let the Force take over.” This is the altered state of consciousness which opens one to possession by evil spirits.

Obi Wan is a false “Christ.” After he gave his life to save his companions, he became Luke’s spirit guide, speaking to and guiding him from the spirit world of demonic power.

Luke could not destroy the Death Star with his high-tech spaceship and weapons. But hearing the voice of his spirit guide, Obi Wan whispering, “Luke, let the Force take over,” he went into his altered state of consciousness, the Force possessed and worked through him, and he destroyed the Death Star — which meant nothing because the Force was still in place with both its Dark and Light sides.

In The Empire Strikes Back, Yoda was a yogi. He taught Luke that his mind was actually the channel of this power, and that he could do whatever he believed he could do — which Yoda demonstrated by raising Luke’s spacecraft out of the swamp with his mind. This is, of course, the witchcraft power of positive/possibility thinking and positive confession.

Luke went into the cave to do battle with Darth Vader. When he cut off Vader’s head the audience cheered. Then came a perfect Zen Buddhist twist: When the severed head was exposed, it was Luke’s own head. As the popular song goes, “I am you, and you are me, and his she, and all is on.” This is the pantheistic lie of Hinduism, that in fact you are God, you are the universe.  That has been experienced on drugs, in yoga or in hypnotic trance by millions, the state of so-called cosmic or unity consciousness.

Throughout the film, a large serpent was frequently seen giving its blessing by moving in and out of the frame, again a very subtle message.

Amazingly, when Vader was finally vanquished, he joined Obi Wan and Yoda in the spirit world of Ascended Masters. Such was his reward for playing the Dark side of the Force! These three comprise the unholy trinity that would continue to guide Luke!

There is much more, but hopefully this will convince your grandson and his friends that they are being led into the occult.

~Dave Hunt, The Berean Call Newsletter, May, 1998

Related Articles:

God is not the God of the Force ~Dave Hunt

Is Jesus or the Force with You? ~Unity in the Truth Blog

Can You Believe in the Bible and Evolution (Audio Link) ~The Berean Call

star-wars-logo

“Jedi Knight, a popular religion,” dateline, London . Centuries after King Arthur, a new type of knight is wandering Britain . Obi-Wan Kenobi and Luke Skywalker would be proud. “When asked their religious affiliation on the 2001 census forms many Britain are writing in, ‘Jedi Knight’ government officials,” said Wednesday. So many in fact, that the government has been forced to give “Jedi Knight” its own category when compiling census results.” Bulletin, Bend, OR , October 6, 2001.

Sadly, Luke Skywalker was developed as a type of christ (anointed one, see: Matt: 24:11), but not to be the savior of others by dying for their sins so they could finally approach the One True God. Rather, he grew to become a savior of another sort. Becoming an ascended master, he leaves viewers of all ages with the foolish, unbiblical notion that they too can become wielders of some mindless, mysterious force, affording them the opportunity to become their own gods (Genesis 3:5).  The message is simple. You too can become an anointed one.  You too can become a christ. Instead of leading to true freedom, this message only leads its pursuers deeper into spiritual bondage and rebellion.

Over the the last 35+ years, many viewers, both young and old have left the theaters (and TV screens) emboldened to pursue the worldly notion that over time they too can “tap” into the force/power, giving them “supernatural” abilities.  Why is it that many in the world recognize the potential of this power, wholeheartedly embracing its occult message, while Christians also embracing the series argue it’s simply a harmless, make-believe story?

“My son, if you receive My words, and treasure My commands within you, so that you incline your ear to wisdom, and apply your heart to understanding; yes, if you cry out for discernment, and lift up your voice for understanding, if you seek her as silver, and search for her as for hidden treasures; then you will understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.” Proverbs 2:1-5

The problem is, witchcraft is not fantasy; it is a sinful reality in our world.

“J.K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter series, has gone through an awful lot of research. She is very accurate (otherwise we would have witches all over the country and the world saying ‘this is not a true representation of our religion.’) This is a true representation of witchcraft, and the black arts, and black magic. And yet we have people that say this is merely fantasy and harmless reading for our children. Actually, what makes this more dangerous is that it is couched in fantasy language, and children’s literature, and made to be humorous, and beautifully written and extremely provocative reading. and it just opens up children to want to have the next one. This is what is so harmful.”

~Caryl Matrisciana as quoted in Harry Potter: Witchcraft Repackaged © 2001, Jeremiah Films

Occultism in Children’s Toys?

There is a simple, consistent, yet effective formula found in the story of many of today’s (occult) toys and games for kids.  The story goes something like this: creatures, spirits, monsters, etc. from another dimension or world come to this planet.  Kids discover them and then discover they can play/fight against other kids, all the while learning how to utilize their creatures’ powers.  Usually the battles are done in an alternate dimension where the creatures’ powers can be activated to their full potential. The winner of each fight captures not only the creature that has lost, but also its power. The more creatures you catch, the more options and power you have for later rumbles.  The goal is always to win as many creatures as possible. The best case scenario would be to win every creature, thereby receiving all the power, enabling you to take over the world.  In Pokemon the theme is “Gotta catch’em all!”  The story line typically pits “good” kids against “bad” kids. However regardless of “good” or “bad”, both sides are practicing unbiblical practices which involve activating, utilizing, and collecting power through certain techniques usually accompanied by repeating particular word phrases (aka: enchantments).  Also, many of these games and toys choose to intertwine in their story line the four basic elements of creation (nature): wind, water, fire, and earth. One other interesting part of the story is the subtle and many times, not so subtle doctrine of evolution.  Most of the creatures, after winning enough battles have the potential to evolve upwards into bigger, more powerful entities, making them almost invincible. So is this just a fantasy fairy tale meant to entertain and sell products to children of this generation?

Interestingly, occultism, shamanism/sorcery, and witchcraft across the world share many of the core elements mentioned above. For example, in tribes around the world, a shaman’s job is basically to transport himself spiritually into the spirit world/alternate dimension to engage and collect as many spirit ‘gods’ as possible, securing their wisdom and power to aid his tribe.  Generally speaking, shamans are warned not to capture “bad” spirits because of the trouble they will bring. Usually the theme of “good” and “bad” spirits is fundamental in a shaman’s search for power, knowledge, healing, etc. Ironically, the practices of spiritism and sorcery are not discerned to be good or bad, just the spirits one might encounter. Many times spirit guides will pretend to be under the control of the one who has captured them, but all the while they are actually taking control of the person.  This idea also is revealed in some of today’s cartoons.  One such show is called Bakugan.  In an early episode, the main character, Dan believes he is in control of his Red Dragon creature called Drago. But later the dragon reveals to Dan that it is actually the one in control. Unfortunately, the doctrines involved in sorcery, etc. can easily be transformed into cartoon plots and story lines, with very little resistance or awareness.

Another intentional similarity is the use of creation (nature). Occultism, generally speaking, teaches that power can be accessed through the four basic elements of creation: wind, water, fire, and earth.  (Many times this is known as divination.) Is it coincidental that many of the card games, such as Pokemon and YuGiOh place symbols of wind, water, fire, and earth on them to serve as categories and identification for the power they contain?  Witchcraft, sorcery and the like also highly embrace evolution as a spiritual reality.  Long before evolution was popularized ‘scientifically’ by Charles Lyell, Charles Darwin, Thomas Huxley, etc. it was widely accepted in occult practices around the world.  After all, the logical and final step in man’s evolution will be to become gods.  That is not a scientific philosophy, rather a spiritual one dating back to our original parents in the garden.  (Genesis 3:5– Satan, in the form of a serpent said, “For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.”)

Perhaps it goes without saying that today there is an increased interest and activity in the occult.  Whether in movies, TV shows, books, video and card games or toys, the themes of power and magic are ever-increasing in popularity. Popular sells and companies know it!  Sadly, these companies are making millions, if not billions spreading more than just entertaining media.  Could it be that this generation is actually learning occult techniques that were once only privy to a select few known as shamans, yogis, priests, etc.?

As Christians, may we never allow the intoxicating influences of the world to impact this next generation!  Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me.”  Matthew 19:14  Too often children are handed over to the latest TV shows and video games, only to be indoctrinated by pagan doctrines from polytheistic and pantheistic cultures such as Japan and China.

Sadly, these influences have always affected mankind. Historically, Manasseh was one tragic example of how influential and destructive the doctrines of devils can be. God did not call Israel to get rid of most of the other nations’ gods.  He commanded them to utterly destroy them all! But instead of eradicating them, many Israelite kings embraced and popularized them.  Manasseh was only 20 years old when he became king.  2 Chronicles 33 records much of his awful exploits engaging in sorcery and idol worship.  In verse 6 it says, “Also he caused his sons to pass through the fire in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom; he practiced soothsaying, used witchcraft and sorcery, and consulted mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke Him to anger.”  (Emphasis added) What was the result of this young king’s rebellious actions? Soon the people stopped listening to the Lord altogether.  And eventually Israel became even worse than the nations around them.  This is a good warning for every generation, especially the one we now live in.  There is a reason that occult practices, no matter what name they are give, no matter how fun and innocent they might seem, are absolutely and unequivocally forbidden by God.  For a few biblical references, see: Exodus 22:18, Leviticus 19:26, Leviticus 19:31, and Deuteronomy 18:10.

Satan’s lies are seductive and solely aimed at destroying us and our relationship with our Great God and Savior, Jesus Christ!

May we never allow the god of this world’s doctrines to draw us away from the amazing love and truth of the One who came to set us free! 

“Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth…” Ecclesiastes 12:1

***FYI: A relatively new toy/game worth examining is called DaGeDar.  (For more info go to their website story line:  http://dagedar.omeletla.com/story)

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