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Spiritual Abuse Survey: Is YOUR church a safe place?

Take the survey from wickedshepherds.com and see!

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Here is a questionnaire to determine just how healthy your church really is. To find out how well it ranks, answer “yes” or “no” to the following questions:

•Does your church tightly control the flow of information within its ranks?

•Does the head of your church, along with the other “leaders”, use public shaming as a method to gain the compliance of followers?

•Does the head of your church and his “fellow elders” appear to be intolerant or consider it evil persecution when criticized or questioned?

•Are you discouraged to associate with former members, being warned that they are “evil” or “defiling”; a “danger to your spiritual welfare”?

•Is leaving your church to join another church that “is not approved by the elders” equal to leaving God?

•Do you fear being rebuked, shunned, or ignored for expressing a different opinion?

•At church, is there a sense of control, rather than support?

•Is there a relentless obsession of reminding the sheep of “who’s in authority”?

•Are you told not to ask questions as to why others have left? Are you told to accept the statements that the “elders” give you?

•Are books, tapes and CD’s, speakers, music, etc., carefully controlled to keep only the belief structure of your church before your mind?

•Is there is a relentless campaign to keep you around the activities of your church, expecting you to be at all the stated meetings, except if providentially hindered? And if you are absent, is your spirituality and dedication sometimes questioned?

•Is the concept ever so subtly present that, “when you please the “pastor”, God is pleased and when your “pastor” is not pleased with you, God is not pleased with you?

•Is there present, the breaking of even the closest family ties, to “guard” the flock?

•Is there the constant using of guilt and shame as tools of control?

•Is there present at your church the encouragement of the members to spy and report on each other, lest sin be found in the midst?

•Is there present at your church the dominant climate of fear in the group – fear of failing to keep one of the rules, and fear of being held up to public humiliation and rejection?

•At church, are the normal lines between what is private and what is public knowledge broken, and members confess the most personal, and the most minor sins, as the conscience is being surrendered to the “leadership”?

•Are many (if not all) of the results from voting at “congregational business meetings” announced as….. “it is unanimous!”?

•Is questioning condemned as “whispering, back- biting, vicious slander, gossip, nit picking, signs of a proud rebellious spirit, being disaffected and divisive?

•Are those who dissent publicly punished? Are their reputations murdered by veiled, or not so veiled “revelations” of “sins”; past and present, as confidentiality is broken for the benefit of the leaders?

•Is there a misplaced loyalty from Jesus and God onto the leadership, which is idolatry?

•Is there harsh preaching and full of condemnation for your failures and are you deliberately being kept wounded and off balance by the haranguing and condemnation from the pulpit?

•Is “Persevere or be damned” and “listen to YOUR elders; obey YOUR elders”; “submit to YOUR elders” preached over and over again?

•Is paranoia the “very air you breathe”? Paranoia of falling from grace; thinking for yourselves; breaking the many unspoken rules as well as the clearly spelled out expectations of the leader?

•Are you becoming paranoid – carefully watching your every word and even gesture, lest someone report your faults?

•Does a code of silence reign at your church? Is no one to divulge the business of the church, or the faults of the leadership?

•Do the spiritual leaders at your church seem to give you the impression that either covertly or overtly, they have the right to tell you how you should manage your own family; presuming that they know your own family better than you know yourself?

RESULTS

If you answered “no” to all of the above questions, your church is relatively healthy. If you answered “yes” to a quarter or more, your church is showing signs of being unhealthy. If you answered “yes” to half or more, your church is very, very unhealthy. If you answered “yes” to three-quarters or more, your church is an authoritarian cult. 

http://endtimesdeception.com/?p=681

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INFANT BAPTISM EXPOSED! It’s History and Harm

Infant baptism is not a Scriptural doctrine. It is not found in the Bible. There is not one example in the Bible of one single baby being baptized. We will show that baby baptism is of pagan origin.

It is my purpose in this article to set forth my reasons for saying, as I often have said, that…

INFANT BAPTISM IS RESPONSIBLE FOR SENDING MORE PEOPLE TO HELL THAN ANY OTHER RELIGIOUS ERROR.

From my point of view, it is a dreadful thing to baptize a baby and let him grow up believing that by that baptism he has been saved and is on his way to heaven.

As we have said so many times, we believe all babies and children below the age of accountability are protected by the Lord respecting their eternal soul. I do not believe-that any child below the age of accountability has ever gone to hell. Of course, there is no differentiating between those who were baptized as infants and those who were not.

Little children certainly can come to Christ when they are old enough to understand that Jesus died for them and shed his blood to pay for their sins. If that child is old enough to realize that he cannot take his sin to heaven, and that he is lost and a sinner, than that child is old enough to be saved. What age is that? I do not know. It varies from child to child. Billy Graham and James Dobson claimed they were saved at 4 years of age. I was saved at age 6. It depends upon the religious training environment a child is raised in too.

In fact, we adults must become like ‘little children’ and have child-like faith when we come to Him! Jesus did say in Matthew 19:14,

“But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.”

This verse is not teaching, however, that little infants, just born, are come to Christ by being baptized by a priest! As stated earlier, little children who die in infancy are covered by the Blood of Christ and will go to heaven. They are thus ‘covered’ until they reach the age that they can understand the Gospel, and at that point they must trust Christ on their own, of their own volition.

HISTORY OF INFANT BAPTISM

Infant baptism appeared in the Christian church history around the Second Century, coming from the pagan influences of Baal Worship, as we will show later, but It came about as a result of the doctrine of baptismal regeneration – the teaching that baptism is essential to salvation; or, if you want to turn it around, that water baptism saves the soul (or at least is a part of a person’s salvation). Consequently, as the teaching of baptismal regeneration started being propagated, it was natural for those holding to this doctrine to believe that everyone, should be baptized as soon as possible. Thus, baptism of infants still in the innocent state (and as yet unaccountable for their actions) came into vogue among many of the churches.

Once again I state: These two grievous errors baptismal regeneration and infant baptism – have probably caused more people to go to hell than any other doctrine.

WHERE DID THIS INFANT BAPTISM COME FROM?

Once has to go back to Genesis 10 and 11 where we read of Noah’s Great grandson, NIMROD, and his wife SEMIRAMUS, who started the great pagan BABYLON MYSTERY RELIGION at the Tower of Babel. This great pagan religion was later known as ‘BAAL WORSHIP’ in the Old Testament, simply another name for Nimrod. The great book, TWO BABYLONS by Alexander Hislop gives us a little background on this Babylon Mystery Religion of ‘BAAL WORSHIP’ started by Nimrod and Semiramus.

BABYLON MYSTERY RELIGION

In this mysterious Babylonian Religious System, Nimrod and Semiramis, along with their priests, were the only ones who understood ‘The great mysteries of God’ and since it was the only true religion… all others were false… therefore, only the Babylonian Priests could forgive and absolve sins…and administer salvation. Salvation could be achieved thru various Sacraments performed during the person’s life time. These SACRAMENTS were so-called ‘Channels of grace’ whereby salvation could be achieved. These Sacraments, necessary to salvation ..began at birth with Infant Baptism, other sacraments throughout life, ending with a final anointing with oil at death to prepare one for the hereafter. Now Since the Babylonian Priest was the only one who could administer these ‘sacraments’, the person was ‘bound’ to the Babylonian system helplessly for life! The first essential sacrament Semiramis taught was Baptism by water. The fact that such “Baptism” was practiced 2000 years before it was even mentioned and practiced in Christianity is an established fact, and it can be traced right back to Babylon and Semiramis herself! The ancient historian Bryant (vol.3 p2l,84) traces this pagan baptism back to the practice of commemorating Noah and his 3 sons deliverance thru the waters of the flood, emerging from the ark and entering a New life. To commemorate this event, the Priests of Nimrod would ‘baptize’ new-born infants the fathers chose to keep, and they would become ‘born-again’ and become members of the Babylonian Mystery Religion. (Hislop,Two Babylons, p134) The fact that the Devil practiced the ritual of Baptism over 2000 years before it was even used in Christianity has truly amazed historians!

WHERE DID THIS BABY BAPTISM COME FROM?

Armitage’s History (p73) explains the pagan civil law and social customs of that day. These pagans had no standard of morality as you and I have. Their marriage rites were not on the basis ours are. One man might be the husband of a hundred women, and he might be the father of several hundred children. The mother had no right at all to determine whether the child she bore was to live or not, that was le ft up to the FATHER. Just as the farmer would go down to the pigpen and pick out the pigs he wanted to keep and do away with the runts, so was the father the one who decided if the child was to be kept and allowed to live. The mother could not even name the child if it was kept, the pagan priest did that. If the child was decided to be kept, the daddy would take it down to the pagan priest and the ceremony would be arranged. The Priest first must ‘exorcise’ evil spirits from the infant by anointing the baby’s head with OIL. With the oil the priest puts the occult mark of Tammuz on the child’s head by marking a “T” with the oil. (later to become the ‘Sign of the Cross) The Priest then put SALT and SPITTLE on the baby’s tongue to preserve it from future influence of evil spirits. “HOLY WATER” is now sprinkled or poured over the baby’s head, and the baby is said to be cleansed from any original sin and is now “born-again” and a member of the Babylonian Religion. This process was known as INFANT CHRISTENING and was practiced hundreds of years before Christ, (Hislop,pl38) and is found NOWHERE in the Bible! There is not a single example of a baby being ‘baptized’ or ‘christened’ in the Bible! Knowing what you do now, WOULD YOU WANT YOUR BABY CHRISTENED?

This was called ‘Baal Worship’ in the Old Testament, and God called it an abomination!

MORE HISTORY ON BABY BAPTISM

The professed conversion of Emperor Constantine in A.D. 313 was looked upon by many as a great triumph for Christianity. However, it more than likely was the greatest tragedy in church history because it resulted in the union of church and state and the establishment of a hierarchy which ultimately developed into the Roman Catholic system. There is great question that Constantine was ever truly converted. At the time of his supposed vision of the sign of As we have said so many times, we believe all babies and children below the age of accountability am protected by the Lord respecting their eternal soul. I do not believe-that any child below the age of accountability has ever gone to hell. Of course, there is no differentiating between those who were baptized as infants and those who were not.

INFANT BAPTISM COMES TO THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH

At around the 3rd Century, traces of the Babylon Mystery Religion, now known as Baal Worship, infiltrates the Christian Church. Immediately, Bible Believing Christians reject the idea of baptizing babies and Baptismal regeneration – the teaching that baptism is essential to salvation; or, if you want to turn it around, that water baptism saves the soul (or at least is a part of a person’s salvation). These Bible Believing Christians were labeled slanderously as ‘ANABAPTISTS’ because they rejected this idea of baptizing babies as pagan and not Scriptural. They would ‘RE-BAPTIZE these infants when they got older and trusted Christ as Savior! Thus the term, ANABAPTISTS…which meant “RE-BAPTIZERS”! It was later shortened to ‘Baptists’. So you see, Baptists got the their name at this time, and the issue that started the name Baptists and separated them was this issue of ‘Baby Baptism’!!!! These ‘ANABAPTISTS’ were persecuted greatly because of this issue!

EVERY BABY MUST BE BAPTIZED

When Emperor Constantine made ‘Christianity’ the official ‘STATE RELIGION of Rome, one of the FIRST LAWS passed was the law decreeing infant baptism as the law of the land in 416 A.D. That simply meant that everybody within a certain age limit had to conform to it. When they passed that law in 416 that every baby in the Roman Empire had to be baptized at the hands of an authorized Roman priest… OR ELSE! Those who disagreed with teaching and rejected it were soon slanderously called “ANABAPTISTS”, and they were persecuted without mercy for not conforming. Historian J.M.Carroll declares, ” For 30 miles on the road leading out of Rome were stakes with gory heads of ANAPTISTS….”

INFANT BAPTISM BECAME THE LAW OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE

Occasionally someone will say, “Don’t you think infant baptism is beautiful to look at?” A.A.Davis replies, “If you knew the history of that doctrine, where it came from and the bloodshed that it brought into the world, you would never watch another such service in your lifetime.” (THE BAPTIST STORY, p67). He quotes historian J.M. Carroll from his TRAIL OF BLOOD “no other doctrine that ever found its way into Christendom has caused so much BLOODSHED in this world as the doctrine of INFANT BAPTISM.”

Armitage’s History (p7l-73) tells us that in the 6th century, Emperor Justin issued an edict commanding ALL UNBAPTIZED PARENTS to present themselves and their children for baptism at once. Leo III issued, another edict in-A.D. 723 demanding the forcible baptism of the Jews and Montanists (anabaptists). Toward the close of the 6th century the baptism of–.infants was turned to gain in the shape of FEES ($$$) paid for its administration; but, the charges soon became so enormous that the poor could not pay them. And yet lest their children should DIE unsaved, the frightened parents strained every nerve to get them baptized.” (Armitage’s history, p7l) He continues, “Suppose you owned a section of land with an oil well on it; you had a baby born into your home and you went to the priest to get the baby baptized. The priest would say I want the title to that section of land. When the thing was over, the priest would get the title to the land and the BABY would get a few drops of water on its head. He says this is how the Mother Church of Rome come to own Czechoslovakia, Mexico, etc.

One is reminded of Peter’s Scripture,

“and through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of YOU..” (2 Peter 2:1-3)

We could spend pages here looking at the history books showing how the ANABAPTISTS (those who rejected infant baptism) were persecuted in ways almost too horrible to describe. Many were put in a special iron casket called the IRON MAIDEN, which had dozens of sharp spikes inside … or the anabaptist preacher who, in the 4th century, was laid upon the ground and a horse was hooked to each of his arms and feet, and the signal given so the horses would pull the pastor into 4 quarters…..Why?

… because he believed it was wrong to baptize BABIES. (BAPTIST STORY, p109)

The author continued to tell about those anabaptists who had HOT WAX poured into their EARS…or those who had their tongues pulled out with hot pincers. The wives of the anabaptists had their bodies mutilated in terrible ways, as parts of their bodies were cut off….Pregnant women had their stomachs ripped open and the offspring cast to wild hogs as husband was forced to watch. One anabaptist pastor was taken, his body CUT open, and ears of corn stuffed inside, and hungry dogs not fed for 4 days turned loose to devour the man’s entrails and corn inside. (BAPTIST STORY, p110)

THE ‘HOLY INQUISITION’ RESULTED FROM THIS ISSUE OF BABY BAPTISM

No wonder the Book of Revelation declared in Revelation 17:6 that this great HARLOT false religion had become ‘DRUNK with the BLOOD of the Saints’…Historian and Bible commentator Sir Robert Anderson estimated that thru out the middle ages OVER 40 MILLION people were murdered and martyred over this one doctrine of INFANT BAPTISM! To illustrate this great number of those anabaptists slain, Anderson said if you lined 40 million people in a line, four abreast and four feet apart, and they marched by at normal marching pace, it would take 4 years and 4 months for this number of people to march by!!!

ROME LAID DOWN THE LAW.. ..INFANT BAPTISM ESSENTIAL!

The General Council of Trent, Seventh Session (1547) Canons on the Sacraments in General:

(a) “If anyone, shall say that the sacraments of the New Law were not all instituted by our Lord Jesus Christ, or that there are more or fewer than seven, namely baptism, confirmation, Eucharist, penance, extreme unction, orders, and matrimony, or that any one of these seven is not truly and intrinsically a sacrament – anathema sit.”

(b) “If anyone shall say that the sacraments of the New Law are not necessary for salvation but are superfluous, and that without them or without the desire of them men obtain from God through faith alone the grace of justification, though all are not necessary for every individual anathema sit.”

(c) “If anyone. shall say that by the sacraments of the New Law grace is not conferred ex opere operato, but that faith alone in the divine promise is sufficient to obtain grace – anathema sit.”

THE BABYLON MYSTERY RELIGION AT ROME TAUGHT THAT EVEN LITTLE BABIES COULD NOT BE SAVED AND GO TO HEAVEN UNLESS THEY WERE BAPTIZED…

The Priests of Rome taught-and still do-that it is NOT possible even for newly born infants to be saved so as to enjoy the delights of heaven unless they are baptized. The COUNCIL OF TRENT catechism states in black and white:

“Infants, unless regenerated unto God thru the grace of BAPTISM, whether their parents be Christian or infidel, are born to eternal misery and perdition.”

But what a horrible doctrine that was!! And what a contrast with the doctrinal beliefs of the anabaptists who believed that all those dying in infancy, whether baptized or unbaptized, are saved!

Lorraine Boettner, in his ROMAN CATHOLICISM, p190, declared,

“The Romish doctrine was so horrible and so unacceptable to the public that it was found necessary to invent a third realm, the Limbus Infantum… later shortened to ‘Limbo’…a place where unbaptized infants are sent, in which they are excluded from heaven but in which they suffer no positive PAIN. The Council of Trent and the Councils of Lyons and Florence declare positively that unbaptized infants are confined to this realm.”

Boettner continues,

“The primary purpose of the Church of Rome in excluding unbaptized infants from heaven is to force parents to commit their children to her as soon as possible … the pressure put on members of the Mother Church of Rome parents to see that their children are baptized EARLY is almost UNBELIEVABLE… ..a commitment which once she receives she never relinquishes.” (P 191)

BABY BAPTISM THROUGH THE DARK AGES

Consequently, as the teaching of baptismal of the Dark Ages which endured for more than twelve centuries – until the Protestant Reformation.

During this time God had a remnant who remained faithful to Him; they never consented to the union of church and state, or to baptismal regeneration, or to infant baptism. These people were called by various names, but probably could better be summed up by their generic name, Anabaptists, meaning rebaptizers. These people ignored infant baptism and rebaptized those who had been saved through personal faith.

NOW THIS IS STRANGE

Protestant Churches of the Reformation Bring Baby Baptism with Them!

The strange thing about these two diabolical doctrines of baptismal regeneration and infant baptism is that the great reformers (Martin Luther, for one) brought with them out of Rome these two dreaded errors – the union of church and state and infant baptism. Strangely enough, in those days not only did the Roman Catholic church persecute those who would not conform to its ways, but after the Lutheran church became the established church of Germany, it persecuted the nonconformists as well – of course, not as stringently so and not in such numbers as those before them.

John Calvin in France, as well as Oliver Cromwell in England and John Knox in Scotland, stuck to the union of church and state and infant baptism and used their power, when they had power, to seek to force others to conform to their own views.

BABY BAPTISM COMES TO AMERICA

Unaware to a lot of people, this thing came to the Americas well in the early days of this republic. Before the Massachusetts Bay Colony was twenty years old, the following was decreed by statute:

“If any person or persons within this jurisdiction shall either openly condemn or oppose the baptizing of infants, or go about secretly to seduce others from the approbation or use thereof, or shall purposely depart from the congregation at the administration of the ordinance after due time and means of conviction, every such person or persons shall be subject to banishment..”

Religious persecution existed even in the early days of the United States of America. Roger Williams and others were banished – when banishment meant to go and live with the Indians – because they would not submit to the doctrine of baptismal regeneration or the baptizing of infants.

However, it was the constitution of the Rhode Island Colony – founded by Roger Williams, John Clark, and others – that established religious liberty by law for the first time in thirteen hundred years (over the world).

Thus it was that Rhode Island, founded by a small group of believers, was the first spot on earth where religious liberty became the law of the land. The settlement was made in 1638, and the colony was legally established in 1663. Virginia followed, to be the second, in 1786.

As you can see, the doctrine of infant baptism has a long and bloody history, and it has been one of Satan’s chief weapons to condemn untold millions to hell.

I WILL ATTEMPT TO EXPLAIN IT FURTHER

Many, of course, will ask, “What does the above have to do with us today?” A lot!

You see, the union of church and state continues today in most countries of the world. In these state churches, pastors and leaders christen babies – which means they “make them Christians” by baptizing them; thus the that has been christened as a baby believes he is on his way to heaven simply because he was christened (or baptized) in infancy. Having been taught all his life that this saved him, he naturally considers himself saved by the act of infant baptism.

The Roman Catholic Church still teaches baptismal regeneration and practices infant baptism. Its statement of doctrine says:

“The sacrament of baptism is administered on adults by the pouring of water and the pronouncement of the proper words, and cleanses from original sin.”

The Reformed Church says:

“Children are baptized as heirs of the Kingdom of God and of His covenant. ”

The Lutheran Church teaches that baptism, whether of infants or adults, is a means of regeneration.

Because of the following declaration, I believe the Episcopal Church teaches that salvation comes through infant baptism. In his confirmation, the catechist answers a question about his baptism in infancy by saying this:

“In my baptism. I was made a member of Christ, a child of God, and an inheritor of the kingdom of God.”

(This is printed in the prayer book and can be read by anyone interested enough to look for it.)

Most people who practice infant baptism believe the ceremony has something to do with the salvation of the child. These are traditions of men, and we can follow the commandments of God or follow after the traditions of men; it is up to us.

THE CLEAR BIBLE TEACHING OF SALVATION

I believe the Word of God is clear regarding the matter of salvation. Jesus said:

“He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God … He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him” (John 3:18, 36).

Basically this tells us that there are two groups of people in the world today – those who believe on the Son and those who do not. Those who believe are not condemned; they have everlasting life (whatever church they may belong to). Those who believe not on the Son are condemned already, and they shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on them.

I believe this is the clear, unmistakable teaching and language of the Bible.

If you will notice, the Word of God never says simply believe and be saved; rather, it seeks always to identify the object of faith, which is the Lord Jesus Christ Himself.

John 3;16 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

It is not enough just to believe; a person must believe “in Him.”

The Philippian jailer asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” The Apostle Paul answered, “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.” (Acts 16:30,31)

It was not enough simply to ‘believe’; that belief, that trust, that dependence had to be ‘in Him’…..

If a person is trusting in baptism for salvation, he cannot be trusting “in Him”. Christ is not ONE way of salvation; He is the ONLY WAY salvation.

There is no promise in the Word of God to those who believe partially in Christ. In other words, we cannot trust in the Lord Jesus 90% and in baptism 10%..

We must trust Christ and what He did at Calvary 100% and nothing else.

My friend, just because you were baptized as a baby does not save you!

You must trust Christ alone.

(Much of the following was taken from the pamphlet written by the Late Dr. William Pettingill on INFANT BAPTISM)

Copyright © 2003 Petersburg Gospel Center. All Rights Reserved.

Infant Baptism -part 1  (wma audio, by Dr. Max D. Younce, Th.D.)

Infant Baptism -part 2  (wma audio, by Dr. Max D. Younce, Th.D.)

http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/False%20Doctrines/infant_baptism_exposed.htm

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TITLE: DEMONS AND THE OCCULT

Subtitle: Biblical Reality vs. Popular Misinformation

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Confusion abounds today concerning demons and the occult powers of darkness, due to a lack of serious Bible study. The Word of God is the only authoritative textbook on the subject we need in order to gain a true understanding of its nature. All other sources have their origin in the pit and must be handled with the utmost of care. CAUTION! Only those Christians who are mature in the faith should ever attempt to obtain and study materials of an occult nature—and then only after much prayer and spiritual preparation by “putting on the whole armor of God.” I cannot possibly overemphasize the reality of demonic and satanic influence that is being exerted today—a reality that is consistently being overlooked and/or downplayed by preachers who are supposed to know better!

The word “occult” means “that which is hidden” and deals with the evil side of the supernatural. In stark contrast, the Bible tells us of the goodness and grace of God—knowledge that is to be proclaimed openly and to everyone that will listen. But the point many fail to understand is that the Bible is also a supernatural book and its subject material covers the on-going battle of good versus evil from God’s point of view. God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit, along with God’s angels in heaven are routinely discussed in our churches, but for some weird reason people just do not attach the same level of reality or credibility to their evil counterparts. Why do you suppose that this is true? I believe the answer lies in understanding that if I were the devil and possessed the level of supernatural power that the Bible shows him to have, I too would spend much of my time persuading people that I did not exist! His agenda has been well served by staying behind a cloak of superstition and secrecy—hence the “occult” designation given to his plan and program. In order to try to expose him and what he is up to, I want to delve into what the Bible teaches about this malevolent spirit, along with the various beings who owe their allegiance to him.

Rather than trying to do a definitive study on the origin of Satan and the angels who joined with him in his rebellion against God, (a study within itself) I will assume that you already know these biblical facts and focus instead our attention upon their present location(s) and activities. First of all, it may surprise you to find that Satan (the devil) and his evil angels are not in hell! Quite the contrary, they still have free access to heaven and occasionally appear before the throne of God (Job 1:6). After the fall of man (Adam’s sin and subsequent expulsion from the Garden of Eden), God allowed Satan to become the “god of this world” (2 Cor.4:4). Since he corrupted it, God made him ruler over it. Thus all of mankind came under his rule and became his slaves. Between that day and the present, Satan and his minions have been the highly organized behind-the-scenes manipulators of world leaders and events—ever antagonistic toward God and His revealed will. Isaiah 14:12-14 reveals to us that Satan is the very personification of pride, having an insatiable desire to be like God and attempting to replace God in the hearts and minds of men. Apparently that is one of the reasons he is going to be allowed to have free reign during the Tribulation Period, but the Battle of Armageddon will end his rule and he will be “bound for a thousand years” (Rev.20:2). After this thousand years—during which the Lord Jesus Christ will rule and reign over the earth—Satan will “be loosed for a little season” (Rev.20:3, KJV). He will again attempt to overthrow God by raising an army to fight against Him, but fire from heaven will consume the army and Satan will then be thrown into the “lake of fire” where he will remain forever (Rev.20:7-10).

To further establish the present location of Satan and his angels, I call our attention to Revelation chapter 12 where we learn in verse 6 that, during the Tribulation Period, the woman (Israel) will flee for her life into the wilderness to escape the dragon (Satan). This will occur at the mid-point of the seven year period and elect Israel will be kept safe by God for the last 3 ½ years. Then (verse 7) war will break out in heaven, Satan and his angels will be defeated and cast out of heaven down to the earth! (vs. 8 and 9). Then and only then (during the last part of the Tribulation Period) will they be restricted to earth and denied further access to heaven. Their consignment to hell and the lake of fire will occur even later—(We can only surmise that the fallen angels will be cast into the lake of fire along with Satan at the end of the millennial reign of Christ, because we are not specifically told this.) The still future event of Satan being cast out of heaven may be what the Lord referred to in Luke 10:18, where He said that He “beheld Satan like lightning, fall from heaven.”

Therefore, at the present time Satan and his hordes of fallen angels freely travel back and forth between heaven and earth while pursuing their own evil plan of ruling over creation! And yet God continues to grant them the privilege of access to His throne. Why? We are not given any specifics, but it may be that God is “handicapping” the contest between Himself and Satan in some way, by granting concessions such as allowing him to be “the accuser of the brethren” (Rev.12:10). Something of this nature must be true, because God could have destroyed Satan and his angels long ago. It is fairly plain from the conversation recorded in Job chapter one and the actions of Satan during the “temptation of Christ”(in Matthew 4), that his entire viewpoint is antagonistic and he desperately wants to be worshipped as god. By giving him “enough rope to hang himself,” God the Father is patiently looking to the day when all of the devil’s excuses will have run their course and the matter will come to its terminus. Of course there is no chance whatever that Satan will emerge as the victor—Jesus Christ forever settled that matter on Calvary’s cross, when he died for the sins of His people. Satan is a defeated enemy, but as long as the sands of time continue to flow through God’s hourglass—he will continue the struggle and we (those still living on earth), along with God’s angels, will have to continue to deal with him and his “friends.”

It is extremely foolish to believe that Satan has no human followers! Increasingly, more and more people openly admit to being members of his “church”. Just as the Gospel message of Jesus Christ continues to go forth and captivate the souls of men, so too the occult message of the devil continues its evil work. The gospel redeems men from among the spiritually dead, while the occult works to blind their eyes to its message. The power of Satan is enormous and he utilizes that supernatural power to full advantage through the vast organization of his angelic followers. We get a glimpse into this organizational structure in the Book of Daniel, chapter 10 where we read in verse 13 that “the prince of the kingdom of Persia” (an evil angel) withstood (fought with and hindered for 21 days!) the unnamed angel sent from heaven to minister to Daniel. In verse 20 we see that the angel tells Daniel that once he (God’s angel) leaves, the “[hostile] prince of Greece will come.” Bible scholars infer from this and other Scriptures that the fallen angels are organized and have specific spheres of responsibility and influence. The apostle Paul refers to this organizational structure in Ephesians 3:10 and Colossians 2:15, by calling them “principalities and powers.” In Ephesians 6:12 he mentions them again and adds the words, “spiritual wickedness in high places”(KJV)—literally “in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere” (Amplified Bible).

Perhaps by now you have noticed that I have refrained from using the word “demon” to describe these evil angels. I believe that they are two distinctly different entities! The reason for this belief is found in the New Testament account of Christ’s healing the “maniac of Gadara” (Luke 8:27, ff.). This poor man was possessed by so many demons that they referred to themselves as “Legion”! When the Lord commanded them to leave the man, they pleaded with Him to allow them to enter into a nearby herd of pigs. From this primary reference, along with other Scriptures, we gather that demons per se are disembodied spirits and are constantly seeking to possess someone (or something). Since this particular trait or tendency is nowhere in Scripture ascribed to the fallen angels, we must conclude that they are actually two different entities. If they are not fallen angels, then what, or who, are they? Chuck Missler, a well-known business man and Bible teacher, maintains that they are the spiritual remains of the “Nephilim”—the “giants” of Genesis 6:4, who were the offspring of fallen angels (”sons of God”) that cohabited with women (”the daughters of men”)! The flood of Noah was God’s judgment upon mankind for that corruption of the “gene pool” (Satan’s attempt to thwart God’s human Messiah). In the flood the humanity of the Nephilim was destroyed, but their supernatural element survived as disembodied spirits—demons, if you will! Once is never enough for the devil, so he re-introduced Nephilim (also known as Anakim and Zamzummim, Deut.2:20-21), after the flood among the Canaanites and this was probably the reason God told Joshua to kill them all—men, women, and children!

Theologians generally agree that neither Satan, his angels, or demons are omnipresent. Only God Himself possesses the attribute of being everywhere present at the same time. Therefore it is statistically and logically improbable that any of us have ever encountered Satan personally. More than likely, he spends his time directing and influencing world leaders and others who are in positions that could prove advantageous to his cause. Some preachers have said that if we were to see him, he would probably be standing behind a highly regarded pulpit somewhere! The reason for this is found in 2 Corinthians 11:13-15 where we read the following:

“For such men are false apostles—spurious, counterfeits—deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles (special messengers) of Christ, the Messiah. And it is no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light, so it is not surprising if his servants also masquerade as ministers of righteousness. [But] their end will correspond with their deeds” (Parallel Bible, KJV/Amplified Bible Commentary, emphasis mine).

When we study the Gospel accounts of Christ’s earthly ministry and then on through the history of the early church as recorded in the Book of Acts, we find numerous references to individuals being demon possessed—along with accounts of some of the demons being exorcised. Referring to this, some of the Bible commentaries express the opinion that demonic activity was especially strong at that time because of the Lord’s physical presence upon the earth. If that is true, then we should expect the same, or even greater, activity when the false christ—the antichrist is present. His coming is said to be with “all power and signs and lying wonders” (2 Thess.2:9). I am convinced that demonic activity is absolutely raging at the present time due to several factors—Not the least of which are the emails we receive from individuals experiencing problems which bear the unmistakable marks of spiritual oppression. Many of these people were involved in the occult before they were saved and are acutely aware that their problems have a supernatural basis. The senseless taking of human life is becoming pandemic— through mass murders involving guns, through abortions and suicides—all of which should alert us to the evil behind them. Another factor—and one that is not usually stressed—is the “signs and miracles” movement within Christendom. To those who would take exception to my assertion that this is demonic, I want to ask you one simple question: What good is it? What does it accomplish other than make those who participate in it “feel good”? The usual alibi is that “it increases my faith!” If that is the case, then why does Hebrews 11:1 state:

“Now faith is the assurance (the confirmation, the title-deed) of the things we hope for, being the proof of things [we]do not see and the conviction of their reality—faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses.”

Genuine faith is not predicated upon, nor built up by, that which titillates our flesh! And those poor benighted souls who are so infatuated by the “laughing revivals”, “being slain in the Spirit”, Marian apparitions, icons that weep tears, etc., etc., are being seduced by demons into chasing rainbows—thereby effectively captivating them and neutralizing them from anything spiritually productive. Remember that Satan just loves “religion” and is tickled to death to get people totally immersed in it—so that he can divert their attention from what the Bible teaches is really important. If this describes your so-called spiritual life, I beg you to wake up and grow up before you are totally swallowed up! 1 Peter 5:8 echoes this sentiment:

“Be well-balanced—temperate, sober-minded; be vigilant and cautious at all times, for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring [in fierce hunger], seeking someone to seize upon and devour” (Parallel Bible, KJV/Amplified Bible Commentary).

The apostle Paul, writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, makes it crystal clear to us that our Christian warfare is not against mere mortals—when he says to us in Ephesians 6, verse 12:

“For we are not wrestling with flesh and blood—contending only with physical opponents—but against the despotisms, against the powers, against the [master spirits who are] the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere” (Parallel Bible, KJV/Amplified Bible Commentary, emphasis mine).

He then goes on in verses 13 through 18 to exhort us to protect ourselves by putting on the “armor” that God has provided for us: truth, integrity and moral rectitude, spiritual preparation through Bible study and prayer, saving faith, and then salvation itself—while all the time standing our ground and wielding the sword of the Spirit—the Word of God.

This allusion to military armor, so necessary for our personal protection amid the battles of life, reminds me of Elisha’s servant in 1 Kings chapter 6. The King of Syria was very upset because all of his attempts at warfare against the King of Israel had failed. Each time they had tried to spring a surprise attack against Israel, it was obvious that Israel knew about it beforehand. Syria’s king was so upset that he ordered that his men ferret out the traitor in their midst! That is when one of his servants informed him that none of his men was betraying him—the culprit was Elisha, God’s prophet in Israel! He was keeping the King of Israel up-to-date on everything Syria was doing. The Syrian king then ordered them to find Elisha and take him captive. When the Syrian army located him, they came by night and surrounded the city of Dothan, where he was staying,. The next morning, Elisha’s young servant went outside and when he spotted the huge army surrounding them he panicked! He immediately went inside and said to Elisha, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” To calm his fears, Elisha said to him, “Fear not; for those with us are more than those with them.” Verse 17 of chapter 6 records what happened next:

“Then Elisha prayed, Lord I pray You, open his eyes that he may see. And the Lord opened the young man’s eyes, and he saw; and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire about Elisha” (Parallel Bible, KJV/Amplified Bible Commentary).

Thus the young man literally saw the supernatural army of God standing between them and their enemies! He had already been told by Elisha that their protectors were more numerous than their enemies and now he knew for sure, because he could see them. The same thing applies to us today—the very angels of God are on constantly on guard, standing watch over His people. And it is a very comforting thought to realize that they outnumber Satan’s angels 2 to 1! Remember that Revelation 12:4 (along with Jewish tradition) says that a third of the angels of heaven fell with Satan and that leaves two thirds on our side!

Do you sense the presence of “another dimension”—another sphere of reality that we refer to as the supernatural? Many have no hesitation at all to answer in the affirmative where the “good” aspect is concerned, but seem almost embarrassed to admit belief in “the dark side.” Most of our children have no problem at all in relating to “the dark side” because Hellywood (spelling intentional) has thoroughly indoctrinated them through movies such as “Star Wars”, “E.T.”, and a host of others too numerous to mention. At this time of year (the end of October) we are again confronted with another unwelcome celebration of “Halloween”, a pagan holy day sacred to the ancient druids as well as modern day witches, Wiccans, Illuminists, Satanists, and other assorted and sundry devils. If you think that Halloween is just “harmless fun”, you are part of the majority—but let me inform you that you are an unwitting participant in a world-wide deception of staggering proportions. Deception is the stock and trade of hell’s angels and they have, over a long period of time, lulled this world to sleep and have it set up for the ultimate deception: the revelation of their antichrist, Lord Matreya—Satan incarnate! His coming will doubtless be viewed by the people of the world as the most spiritually moving event in their lives and they will welcome him with open arms. He will “wow” them with his signs and miracles (just as his conditioning program is already doing within Christendom) and they are going to eat it up. But little do they know or understand that his bait has a hook from which they cannot escape. His plans for the world will be implemented with unprecedented efficiency and soon war and hunger and poverty will appear to be things of the past. Millions will sing his praises and, in the midst of it all, Israel will be worshipping him as their Messiah—thrilled beyond the ability of mere words to express—once again offering blood sacrifices at their own Temple after nearly 2000 years of exile. But their euphoria will be short-lived, because at the mid-point of the 7 year Tribulation Period the antichrist will reveal his true nature. The Bible tells us that he will stand in the “Holy of Holies” (the most sacred spot in their newly re-built Temple) and demand that both he and some kind of image, or idol, be worshipped as god! The prophet Daniel refers to this as being “the abomination of desolation” and Jesus Christ Himself refers to it in Matthew 24:15. This incident will be the “wake-up call” to God’s elect among the Jewish people. They will recognize the spiritual implications of what has occurred and flee for their very lives. What follows will be beyond description! The antichrist—Satan incarnate—will unleash his fury upon the Jews in particular and the rest of the world in general. That last 3 ½ years will be so terrible that God’s Word calls it “the great tribulation”. Hell will finally “boil over”!

We constantly get email from those who insist that Halloween is only a harmless tradition in which kids can mooch candy from their neighbors. Others say that the practice of Wicca, or witchcraft, or Ouija boards, or Tarot cards, or “native American religion”, or Freemasonry, or Roman Catholicism, or a great number of other “innocent” practices and religions—are not wrong and therefore we should not criticize them. Please believe me when I say that I derive no satisfaction from criticizing the beliefs of others and my criticism is not offered from the standpoint of personal superiority. When one takes the time to study the Bible carefully, it will quickly become apparent that everything associated with the occult is soundly condemned! And each of the aforementioned religions and practices contain an occult component that can be proven with a minimum of diligent study—along with a willingness to admit the truth as found. There are none so blind as those that just will not see! If you are currently involved in any of these religions and/or practices, I urge you to take stock of what you are doing and wake up to reality. Because if you are not aware of the inherent evil present, to put it in the common vernacular, you are being “suckered” big time!

If you have accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, but have been very lukewarm in your spiritual walk with Him, you need to immediately ask Him for forgiveness and for renewal. He will instantly forgive you, and fill your heart with the joy of the Holy Spirit. Then, you need to begin a daily walk of prayer and personal Bible Study.

If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as Savior, but have come to realize His reality and the approaching End of the Age, and want to accept His FREE Gift of Eternal Life, you can also do so now, in the privacy of your home. Once you accept Him as Savior, you are spiritually Born Again, and are as assured of Heaven as if you were already there. Then, you can rest assured that the Kingdom of Antichrist will not touch you spiritually. If you would like to become Born Again, turn to our Salvation Page now.

We hope you have been blessed by this ministry, which seeks to educate and warn people, so that they can see the coming New World Order — Kingdom of Antichrist — in their daily news.

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Cutting Edge Ministries, C/O Pastor Ron Riffe
P.O. Box 26
Gordo, AL 35466

You can also E-Mail Pastor Ronald Riffe regarding questions or comments about this article.

God bless you.

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