Is Sickness Demonic?

In the Gospel we find many accounts of individuals who suffered from disease, epilepsy (Mat 17:14-18), muteness (Mat 9:33), blindness (Mat 12:22), self cutting (Mrk 5:5), fever (Luk 1:33-36) yet these same individuals found their wellness after Jesus (or a disciple) had delivered them of a demonic spirit (Mat 8:16). This inescapable subject has brought forth many questions and even more interpretations of the same scriptures. Many common questions include:

  • Are all modern illnesses demonic?
  • Are only some of them demonic?
  • If someone is sick or mentally ill do they simply need demonic deliverance to be healed?
  • Are we super-spiritualizing medical issues with the idea of demons?
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Blinded by the Dark

Why do people not choose Christ? I ask myself this question often when I meet people who are willfully unbelievers. Is it that they don’t see enough hard evidence? Is it that they have had a bad experience with Christians or church and avoid it altogether? Is it that they find the requirements of Christianity to heavy a burden? It is often a mixture of these, but ultimately the reason for continued unbelief is none other than the Devil. He has blinded those who continue in unbelief from Christ. Now I know that  this sounds quite radical and it also may sound as if I’m giving too much credit to Satan;’s abilities but I believe I am simply acknowledging his tactics. Satan simply does not want people to turn to God through Christ.  And when they are not born again they are more to Satan than to God being enemies of God. Let’s look in to this dynamic of the spiritual world and where it meets the minds of men.

Satan’s Agenda

2Corinthians 4:4 – whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.

The context of this scripture reveals who Paul is talking about – they are the people who “are perishing”. And who is perishing but those who do not heed to the Gospel and give their lives to Christ (John 3:16). So in verse 4 the unbelieving are identified as being blind to the truth of Christ, who blinded them? The Devil, and he did this so that “the light of the Gospel of Christ (would not) would shine on them”.

2Corinthians 3:14 – But their minds were blinded. For until this day the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the Old Testament, because the veil is taken away in Christ.

Ever since Lucifer was defeated in battle and kicked out of Heaven he seems to be on an unstoppable mission to spoil anything and everything he can just to tick God off. And since he realized he could not win in against God and His army what was left? Us! From the very beginning Satan has been steering us away from God. Satan is using everything he has to keep us from realizing the truth which is God’s reality, love, and forgiveness. When a person allows Satan to deceive them (and the individuals free will does play the lead role in their becoming blind) they will not accept Christ for who He really is, they will remain alienated from God and unforgiven of their sin.

1John 2:11 – But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.

The Liar

Other then trying to spoil everything God has made, Satan has also been a liar from the very beginning (John 8:44). Can you think of another story in the Bible that has to do with Satan, sin, and “vision”? The Garden of Eden.

Genesis 3:4 – Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die.
Genesis 3:5 – “For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

If you take everything Satan has ever said and flip it around to the opposite meaning you will almost always end up with God’s truth. Satan says “Look at you, you’re a terrible sinful person who can’t be used by God”. However, God’s truth is “In my eyes (the only ones that matter) you’re forgiven and perfected by Christ, people like you are exactly who I always use!”.

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Religious Truth and Jesus

To piggy back on my last post which focuses on the problem of pluralism and the unavoidable contradictions between mainstream religions here I want to focus on identity of Jesus Christ when it comes to the world religions. He is, after all, the stumbling block and the rock of offense!

Departure From Truth

The Bible tells us that there will be an increase of deception and lies as the days draw closer to Christ’s return. This will come through confusion of the truth (Rom 1:25, Gal 3, 1Tim 6:5, 2Tim 4:4, 2Pet 2:1-3) and by false prophets (Mat 24:11, 2Tim3:13, 2Pet 2:1-3). It is crucial that we be able to recognize an untruth when we hear one and separate it from the Truth so that we are not misled as many surely will be (Mat 24:24). When approaching this subject Biblically we must recognize that Satan is ultimately behind this global departure from the Truth and that he will use the intentions of wicked and innocent men alike as long as his goals are accomplished.

2Corinthians 11:4 – For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted–you may well put up with it!

Anti-Christ

The message of Christ is precisely what Satan has labored so intensely to get rid of so that we would not embrace the saving truth of Jesus Christ. The true gospel message of Christ has been pushed aside by entire religious movements claiming new deities and methods of redemption, it has been corrupted by false doctrines from within the church such as Unitarianism and Universalism, and it has been discredited by atheistic theories such as Agnosticism, Buddhism, and Atheism.

Galatians 1:6-8 – I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel,
7 which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ.
8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed.

1John 4:3 – and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.

Types of Truth

  • Absolute Truth- A truth or set of truths that is believed to remain true despite the circumstance, personal perception or personal opinion. Unalterable facts and inflexible reality.
  • Relative Truth   – What is considered truth is not consistently true but flexible depending on the circumstance or outcome.
  • Existential Truth – Truth is discovered personally and one must choose what is truth, what you choose to be true is true for you.

Types of Religious Truth

  • Pluralism – All major world religions lead to God and salvation. Thus, no one religion is inherently better or superior to any other major world religion. Pluralists acknowledge the differences among major religions but consider them minor and focus more on the “major” similarities such as love for God and love for others.
  • Inclusivism – One religion is best but salvation is possible in others. Inclusivists do not go as far as pluralists in that inclusivists do not claim that all religions are equal. They do believe, though, that truth and salvation can be found in other religions. Some Christian inclusivists claim that the salvation of Jesus is unknowingly applied to adherents of other religions who live good, moral lives.
  • Exclusivism – Salvation is found in only one religion which is uniquely and supremely true and all other religions are false. Christianity is an exclusive religion because of the many of the claims Christ made about Himself such as John 14:6.

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Are All Religions True?

“I think all religions are equally true and that there’s no right or wrong religion.”

“All religions really worship the same God.”

“All religions are just different paths to the same God.”

“Whatever you believe is right for you.”

“The basics of each religion are really the same, there’s a lot of similarities, so I think that’s what’s truly important.”

These are things you will hear from people all around the world today, especially here in Austin Texas (trust me, I’ve heard it all)! These opinions have gained popularity in the past 50 years with people who were either raised religious and left their formal beliefs or just enjoy the idea of a God/belief system. Yet they base their belief on one common opinion – all religions can be simultaneously true. Of course their are variations to this opinion but I want to address in this blog the problem of pluralism.

“Religious pluralism” – A term used to describe the acceptance of all religious paths as equally valid, promoting coexistence. A loosely defined expression concerning acceptance of various religions, and is used in a number of related ways. (wikipedia)

Christianity’s Exclusivity

“Religious exclusivism” – The doctrine that only one particular religion is true. In its normative form it is simply, the belief in ones own religion and non-belief in religions other than ones own. (wikipedia)

Exclusivism is the opposite of Pluralism, if you are a believer in Religious exclusivism you believe that all other religions are wrong and that your religion is true. Exclusivism excludes all other religions from truth, it’s exclusive. This subject really ticks some people off because they see it as arrogant, prideful, self righteous and even hateful! However truth is something that is independent of ones pride, opinion, or location. Truth is always true.

It’s hard to escape the exclusive claims about faith in Christ that the Bible states, here are some to not forget:

  • “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16
  • “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me’ “. John 14:6
  • “Then they said to Him, “Where is Your Father?” Jesus answered, “You know neither Me nor My Father. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also.” John 8:19
  • “If we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed.” Galatians 1:8
  • “This is the ‘stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.” Act 4:11
  • “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12
  • “He who hears you hears Me, he who rejects you rejects Me, and he who rejects Me rejects Him who sent Me.” Luke 10:16
  • “He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day.” John 12:48

So it is apparent that if you are a Christian that you must recognize the importance of Christ – that you cannot be with God in heaven without knowing Christ here. The message of the Gospel and the Words of Christ carry exclusive claims and exclusive truths, Jesus is the only way to God, heaven, and forgiveness.

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Who is Satan?

Satan is the enemy of God, Christians, and Christianity as a whole yet many Christians do not understand who Satan is, they fear him as the boogie man and feel they cannot escape his hand. Satan has used ignorance to his advantage in this area. I encourage you to read through this list and check the scriptures as you compare it to your current view of Satan, let the Word wash and cleanse you of any misconceptions or religious assumptions.

Origin of

Satan was created by God -Ezekiel 28:13

Satan was perfect before he sinned -Ezekiel 28:15

Many ask in vain why did God create evil, well the answer is that God never made anything evil. God made humans and angels with the free will capacity to choose right or wrong. The evil that exists now was caused by Lucifer choosing against God (and no longer being called by his angelic name) and man’s choice to do evil. Satan was good at first but then became evil on his own doing.
Because Satan was created by God; he is still under the authority and power of God. We have been given spiritual authority over Satan as well but it’s not of our own right, but by the powerful name of Jesus that Satan and his angels must flee. No matter the darkness God is always bigger and if He’s on your side you have nothing to fear.

Fall of

Satan planned to overthrow God -Isaiah 14:13-14,

Satan sinned on his own -Ezekiel 28:15-18, 1John 3:8

Satan was sent out of heaven -Isaiah 14:12, 15, Luke 10:18, Revelation 12:9

Satan engaged in battle in heaven -Revelation 12:7-9

Satan’s sin was pride -1Timothy 3:6

So at first Satan was good, in fact he was the highest ranked angel and because of this powerful position he became prideful. He took for granted his blessings and did not remember his proper position under God. Satan wanted to do his own will instead of God’s and he wanted to be above god. Satanism as well as Atheism follows the same route – you are your own god and sovereign authority.
Because of Lucifers sin there was no place in heaven God created hell for him and his rebellious angels to dwell in. This is similar to how Adam and Eve were sent out of the Garden of Eden because of their sin. Imperfection cannot dwell with God, this is why we cannot go to heaven on our own account, we must have the righteousness of Christ on us before we enter heaven.

Image of

Satan was covered with beautiful stones -Ezekiel 28:13

Satan had timbrels and pipes made for him -Ezekiel 28:13

Satan fought as a dragon in heaven -Revelation 12:7

Satan can appear as an angel of light -2Corinthians 11:14

Satan used a serpent to deceive Eve -2Corinthians 11:3

When talking about the image of Satan first, remove from your mind any skinny red suited being with a tail and a pitchfork. Second, remember Satan is a spiritual being which are not subject to the same rules as us physical humans. Satan is seen represented or taking different forms throughout the Bible story so it is not too far fetched to believe that rebellious spiritual being have some ability to control or morph their form at will. Angels however, being obedient to God have not changed their form but are able to enter in to the physical world and interact with it tangibly. Many people have claimed divine revelation from angels, or have spoken with Mary/others who appear as beautifully shining beings. This should worry anyone who has studied the Bible because Satan knows how to appeal to our senses and grab our attention.

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Battlefield Earth

Sorry L. Ron Hubbard, this isn’t a review of your most excellent science fiction movie… (sarcasm!) it’s about how Earth is a battlefield and we are the prized possession.

Ground Zero

We were all born in to a world under siege, a ground zero for the most ancient and primary of enemies. The moves of these two forces  sculpt our society, our future and fill our past.

Who are the two forces at war? Heaven and Hell.
What are they fighting for? Our heart and our eternity.

The Prize and Strategy

God wants mankind to come to and be with Him. Satan does not want mankind to be with God. You could also say God wants us to worship Him and Satan simply does not want us to worship God.

I did not say “God wants us to worship Himself and Satan wants us to worship himself“. Satan doesn’t care what you do with your life so long as you don’t worship or have a relationship with God. I do not say that there aren’t people who don’t worship Satan, because there certainly are however Theistic Satanism is one of the many paths by which Satan keeps people from God.

Satan’s will is accomplished through uncountable avenues. There are infinite ways to not be with God but there is only one way to be with God – Christ. And the true Christ is who Satan wants to keep us away from, this is the force behind all of the attacks against Christ and Christianity. I think Satan is even happy with a lot of people who attend Churches in America because he has kept them from accepting the true Christ, but placed them in an atmosphere where they think they are fine when in reality they are not actually saved. I also strongly believe Satan does not care if you are a Hindu, Buddhist, Agnostic, Muslim, Atheist, or a New Ager; as long as you don’t know Christ, Satan is happy. What he does care about is if you are a true Christian. This is the one thing Satan wants to prevent – you knowing God here on Earth and spending eternity with Him afterward.

Why Does Satan Care?

So why does Satan care so much about man kind that he would involve himself in such detail? What does he get out of it anyway? Well my opinion tells me that because of Satan’s defeat and excommunication from heaven encourages him to try and pull down as much of mankind as possible, which is the apple of God’s eye. If he can’t have God anymore than he thinks neither should we!
Satan was the rebellious leader in Heaven who rallied and deceived 1/3 of heavens angels in to an attempt to overthrow the throne of Heaven!

Isaiah 14:13
For you (Satan) have said in your heart: ‘
I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation On the farthest sides of the north;
I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.

Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, To the lowest depths of the Pit.

However, Lucifer and his angels did not prevail against their own creator, they were all kicked out of Heaven and out of fellowship with God which twisted their good nature and filled them with evil intent to all they did whereas before worship and honoring God filled their every action. I do not know the mind of Satan (which is probably a good thing), but I suppose he thinks he can spoil God’s newest and unique creation with his efforts of evil against man kind. And in doing so get back at God for hurting his angelic ego. If Satan can no longer be in God’s presence perhaps he figures neither can we and so efforts to depopulate Heaven and populate hell.

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The Truth Behind Yoga

I am writing this blog to inform Christians about Yoga and it’s origins and connections which many are ignorant to. The main issue that we are presented with is “Can it be done as physical fitness without spiritual ties or is it inseparable from it’s demonic origins in Hinduism?”

Yoga’s Origin

Yoga’s origin is in the religion of Hinduism. Within Hinduism there are actually five different types of Yoga: Rāja, Karma, Jnana, Bhakti, and Hatha. Yoga makes up the substance of what it means to be a practicing Hindu.

Despite the many types of Yoga, most Westerners refer only to Hatha Yoga when they simply say “Yoga”. Hatha Yoga focuses on first purifying your physical body in order to purify your mind so that you may achieve spiritual oneness with Brahman and free yourself from this illusion of life they call Maya. Hatha Yoga was pioneered by Yogi Swatmarama in the 15th century before Christ. It is a form of physical purification for the body of yogi’s to aid in deeper and longer levels of meditation to their gods. Hatha Yoga attempts through different body postures and breathing techniques to balance the two opposing forces within ones self so as to bring one to completeness and balance.

Though Swatmarama popularized the practice of Hatha Yoga it is believed to of existed in ancient doctrine long before Swatmarama. The source of knowledge of Hatha Yoga is said to originate from Lord Shiva that was overheard by Parvati. Shiva is a major deity of the Hindu religion also known as Shiva the Destroyer and is the Master of Yoga.

The Goal Of Yoga

In actual practice the word Yoga signifies both the object attained, namely, union of the Soul and the Over-Soul, and also the method or methods by which this union is achieved.
-Purpose of Yoga, Gopi Krishna (pg.1)

Yoga means to yoke or join. Hindus practice Yoga in order to yoke themselves or join themselves to Brahman through various practices.  Hatha Yoga has two general sub-goals that it accomplishes through postures, meditation, and breathing; to attain Samadhi and awaken ones Kundalini.

Diagram showing the 7 chakras in the bodyDiagram showing the kundalini wound around the chakras

Samadhi is a place of deepest meditation where ones consciousness merges with the object being observed, the observer and the observation become one. Samadhi is the 8th and final step of Yoga.

Kundalini, as the Hindus believe, is the wound up dormant energy at the base of your spine that is pictured as a serpent coiled three and a half times around the spine. Through Yogic practices such as Pranayama (breathing control), chanting, and visualization it is believed that one can awaken their Kundalini. When one awakens their Kundalini through Yoga the coiled up force will uncoil and rise through the Chakras up the spine to above the head leading one to deep meditation and bliss. Common effects of this state of meditation include involuntary seizures, increased body heat, spontaneous postures, and visions.

“How these very desirable objectives can be achieved no one cares to explain or even to understand. What is generally supposed is that Yoga does possess some power to lift up the human mind out of the harsh, objective world of battle for existence… even unrestricted power over the elements and forces of nature. These impressions are based on accounts contained in books, both ancient and modern, or hearsay. ”
-Purpose of Yoga, Gopi Krishna (pg.2)

Aside from the five types of yoga there are eight “limbs” of Yoga which are the actual practices that are done. Only one of the eight limbs of Yoga are postures and positions, another includes breathing control. These two limbs combined make up Hatha Yoga which is extremely popular in America and synonymous with simply “Yoga”.

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