Snared by the Rising Evil
By Berit Kjos ~ November 1, 2013
With excerpts from A Twist of Faith, chapter 8: "Deliver us from evil"
"...they glorified him
not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in
their imaginations, and their foolish heart was
"Professing themselves to be wise,
they became fools, and changed the glory of
the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible
man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts..." (Romans 1:21-23)
"Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts..." (Romans 1:21-23)
Years ago, I picked up a free magazine called Well-Being Journal in a local health food store. I threw it away, but not before saving a quote by a woman who received this bit of "wisdom" from her inner guide. She wrote,
"Many people believe in evil, sin, and dark forces. It is your purpose to teach the opposite which is the Truth: there is no devil, no hell, no sin, no guilt except in the creative mind of humankind."
The fact that people believe this lie suits the devil just fine. He has always tried to blur our view of evil and sensitivity to sin. So while evidence for supernatural evil multiplies around us, the masses deny it. Sure, they may believe in cosmic forces and bad vibes. But sin or Satan? Such old-fashioned notions simply don't fit the new paradigm.
Back in the nineties, our local school district held a large public meeting to discuss Halloween festivities. Most parent were upset by some proposed limitations on the traditional in-school celebration of a "harmless holiday." After all, why should they listen to a small minority of Christians who felt offended by a dead pagan religion?
A former Wiccan priest explained that the old Celtic witchcraft that gave birth to Halloween is anything but dead. Flourishing in today's pagan revival, it has become an official religion with tax-exempt status.
Then a few Christian parents shared their concerns about programs that compelled children to celebrate occult themes. They knew well that pagan symbols and occult amusement were desensitizing children to a fast-spreading subculture obsessed with death, spells and black magic -- not just at Halloween but all year long.
The majority booed, jeered, and refused to listen. "These are religious objections to secular events," declared the president of the board, Phil Faillaice. Everyone seemed to have forgotten that a different minority had, only nine months earlier, banned Christmas songs as offensive to their beliefs. But times have changed. By the end of the evening, the pro-Halloween group had won its case, and the media spread the "good" news from coast to coast.
"We have the holiday back again," declared Bay Area witch, Zsuzsanna Budapest. "These pagan calendars are imprinted in our genes. They cannot be taken away."
"It's hard to give up a good party," added Daniel Melia, UC Berkeley professor of Celtic languages. "Satan is a Christian notion. This is a pre-Christian celebration."
He was wrong about Satan. The Old Testament mentions Satan fourteen times, and that doesn't include all his other names. From beginning to end, the Bible shows how Lucifer has always been stirring rebellion against God and hatred for His people. But then as now, the good news outshines the bad: the evil one could never cause more trouble than God would allow.
The clash between two worlds at Halloween is part of the war raging in the unseen, and the enemy's strategy hasn't changed since the Old Testament days when God warned,
"Woe to them that call evil good, and good evil;
who put darkness for light, and light for darkness." (Isaiah 5:20)
Merging the Minds of Man and Beast
One of today's most effective "change agents" is Scholastic Inc. which published the Harry Potter series a decade ago. This year it offers our schools and our children a new reading series titled Spirit Animals, which may prove to be just as seductive as the Hogwarts tales. Authored by Brandon Mull, its first book is titled Wild Born. Its back cover offers the following summary:
"In the world of Erdas, four children are about to discover if they have a spirit animal bond, a rare link between human and beast that gives great powers to both. Separated by vast distances, Conor, Abeke, Meilin, and Rollan each see a flash of light... and then the animals emerge.
"Wolf, leopard, panda, falcon. Each of the children has summoned a beast from legend. Now their fate is set. The four new heroes and their animals just band together on a dangerous quest. A dark force from the past is rising and only they have the power to stop it."
In the first chapter of Wild Born, the people of Trunswick (in a world called Erdas) are gathering in the square to watch the rare but magical Nectar ceremony. The goal of this most sacred rite was to witness the mystical calling of a spirit animal. If indeed the mysterious animal appeared, the chosen person would be bound to that animal for life. Through their mystical union, they would strengthen and equip each other for the battles ahead.
Young Lord Devin, the spoiled son of the earl of Trunswick, was the first to drink the mysterious Nectar. Hoping that a spiritual transformation and a public celebration would follow, he was angry and embarrassed when no animal answered his call.
Conor, Lord Devin's servant, did better. When he drank the mystical, sweet nectar, a burning sensation spread through his chest and the ground began to tremble. The sky darkened, and a brilliant flash of light pierced that darkness. A tingling sensation spread through his body and filled him with joy.
Suddenly a massive wolf with strange blue eyes appeared. It padded toward Conor and licked his palm as if he recognized the boy as his new partner. This was no ordinary wolf, for Briggan the Wolf was already known as one of the "great Beasts."
A voice rang out in celebration: "Good people of Trunswick! News of this day will echo across all of Erdas! In our hour of need, Briggan has returned!"
And just in time! A war was spreading fast, and the "good" masters of magic -- be they man or beast -- must take their stand.
This deadly war between "good" and "evil" continues throughout the series. But remember, from a Christian perspective, both sides are occult. The main difference is simply the fact that the "good" side of evil seems far more less threatening to children than the dark and scary side.
This is spiritual warfare! In reality, there's no real separation between the light and dark side of the occult. Both lead to corruption and separation from our God. Starting in Chapter 3 in Genesis (first book in the Bible) we catch a glimpse of the evil forces that continue to oppress mankind around the world.
While America's God-given Christian roots built a moral foundation that lasted through its first centuries, that foundation is sinking fast. Our children have a choice. If they trust God and follow His way, they will find the peace and strength to persevere each day. But those who reject His Word may well face the dangers below:
"We're in an impossible situation," Tarik said. "We will not find these talismans without the great Beasts. If the Devourer gets them, that will be the end of Erdas (the world) as we know it."
The Deadly Repetitions of the Occult
Few contemporary Christians understand Satan's schemes better than Valerie Duffy, a former witch. "The feast of Samhain (sah-ween) is an unholy Sabbath observed by occultists worldwide," she told me. Freed from the demonic forces that once controlled her life, she now lives in an "upstate New York" community that often publicizes Wiccan coven meetings and "full moon" celebrations. Each October, she fights -- and wins -- a spiritual battle against oppressive forces that intensify their attacks with the approach of Halloween.
Valerie knows all too well why Neopagans love their unholy day. The old Celtic "sabbat" is their main feast -- a window of time when the walls between the physical and spiritual worlds supposedly become thin enough to allow easy crossovers. But don't think the Vigil of Samhain was just a fun holiday. The "Lord of the Dead", Samhain himself, is no deity to laugh at. Valerie tells us why:"On October 31, black-cloaked Druids bearing torches would go door to door to select humans for their New Year's sacrifice to the Lord of the Dead. In return for the child or infant, they would leave a hollowed turnip with candle light shining through the carved face -- a satanic counterfeit for the biblical Passover."
In the reveling that took place during Samhain, the demons would pass over the homes "marked" by the carved lantern. Those families had provided the required gift or sacrifice. Other homes could be hit -- sometimes with sudden death.
Children selected for the gruesome sacrifice were tossed into a bonfire. The Druids called it a bone-fire since only the bones were left. From the agonizing screams of the dying, the divining priests would foretell the future of the village.
Does the last statement sound familiar? Remember how the shaman or medicine man in Disney's Pocahontas read the future in the smoke from his ritual fire. When you look behind today's idealized images of the world's pagan religions, you find some interesting similarities. Small wonder since Satan, the mastermind behind the Druid rituals, would often repeat the same basic strategies in many parts of the world.
Twists truth to seduce God's people
1 Chronicles 21:1
Prompts people to sin
Determines to "be like the Most High"
Waits for "opportune" times when we are vulnerable
"takes away the word out of their hearts"
Puts people in bondage
Evil is back
Throughout history, whenever God's people traded truth for myth, they slid back into decadence. Today we see the same downward trend reflected in newspaper headlines week after week.
Some of the most shocking stories deal with children who run wild. Lacking any sense of shame, three teenage boys stabbed, strangled, and beat a 55-year-old man crippled by multiple sclerosis -- then feasted on the spaghetti in his refrigerator. He "didn't have a chance," concluded the Newsweek story. "The boys who allegedly attacked him. . . were ruthless."
The lack of remorse baffles law officers. Why are both children and adults losing the old sensitivity to the horrors of evil? Why can't they tell right from wrong?
The answer is: all of the above. People delight in evil. Children gleefully watch televised death scenes that might have shocked hardened spectators in the old Roman coliseum. To those who reject God, it feels exciting, not repulsive. And Satan is pleased.
Fictionalized evil separates people from the reality of human suffering, which is just what the evil one intended. Many become spectators rather than participants in real community life. Eventually, both real and imagined violence becomes significant only as entertainment.
Some years ago, I talked with a nurse involved with holistic medicine. Jane and her husband had learned an holistic form of massage therapy that seemed to relieve her back pain, at least for a while. Like the Chinese ch'i and the Hindu prana (taught at a Re-Imagining conference), a spiritual force would flow through their hands, bringing healing by balancing their energies. But as the time passed, Jane grew more and more dependent on her husband's treatment. Each time he massaged, the pain would fade. But the pain-free periods between massages grew shorter while the pain that soon followed grew more intense. She became desperate for lasting relief.
Lying in bed one night, Jane sensed something dark approach her. Terrified, she cried out, "In the name of Jesus, get out of here!" The unearthly presence left, but Jane and her husband realized that something was terribly wrong. What had they done to invite this kind of demonic manifestation?
After a brief search, they found a pastor who helped them understand the occult links to holistic healing. Like Valerie, they had to confess, renounce and stop all the practices they had learned to trust. Guess what happened to Jane's back? God healed it. When she chose to trust and follow Him, He set her free."Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place." 2 Corinthians 2:14
1. This magazine was probably published in 1992,
2. "Witches use taxes to gain public OK," The Journal (Providence, RI), August 14, 1989.
3. While the Bible warns against any contact with witchcraft, magic spells and spiritsm, the obsession with occult books and games and is multiplying from coast to coast.
4. Annie Nakao, "Pagan Ways Live On," San Francisco Examiner, October 22, 1995.
6. Brandon Mull, Wild Born, Spirit Animals, Vol. 1 (Scholastic Inc., 2013) Back cover.
7. Ibid., p. 12.
8. Ibid., p. 150.
9. Merle Severy, "the Celts," National Geographic (May 1977), pp. 625-626.
10. Barbara Kantrowitz, "Wild in the Streets," Newsweek (August 2, 1993); 40.