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Are You Dancing with Darkness?

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  An Invitation to the Occult?

Halloween – 1997

 Author: Chuck Missler

Source: Koinonia House-Update

This is always a difficult time for Christians, especially those with children. It has been suggested that for a Christian to be asked to celebrate Halloween is like asking a Holocaust survivor to celebrate Hitler’s birthday!

It is also a dangerous time for some, since many of the seemingly “harmless” involvements associated with Halloween can also be “entries” for the occult, and can prove very tragic for the unwary.

Pagan Background
In ancient Britain and Ireland, the Celtic festival of Samhain was observed on October 31, the end of summer. November 1 was the new year for both Celtic and Anglo-Saxon calendars and was one of the most important and yet sinister calendar festivals of the Celtic Year.

Settling in northern France and the British Isles, the Celtic people engaged in occultic arts and worshiped nature, giving it supernatural, animistic qualities. (Much like our Federal government is attempting to enforce today.)

The ancient Druids were the learned priestly class of the Celtic religion. Many of their beliefs and practices were similar to those of Hinduism, such as reincarnation and the transmigration of the soul, which teaches that people may be reborn as animals. The Druids believed that on October 31, the night before their New Year and the last day of the old year, Samhain, the Lord of Death, gathered the souls of the evil dead who had been condemned to enter the bodies of animals.

The Druids also believed that the punishment of the evil dead would be lightened by sacrifices, prayers and gifts to the Lord of Death. (This begins to reveal the strange link between this holiday and the non-Biblical concept of purgatory.)

The souls of the dead were supposed to revisit their homes on this day, and the autumnal festival acquired a sinister significance, with ghosts, witches, hobgoblins, black cats, fairies, and demons of all kinds said to be roaming about. It was the time to placate the supernatural powers controlling the processes of nature.

And, on October 31, 1517, Martin Luther drove a stake into the heart of many of the prevailing non-Biblical concepts by nailing his famous 95 theses to the Castle Church door in Wittenberg, Germany, which started the movement known today as the Reformation-the single most important event in modern history.1 Appropriately, he did this on Halloween.

Modern Halloween Traditions
In early American history, Halloween was not widely practiced until the 20th century, when it was introduced by the Irish Catholic settlements. Gradually, Halloween became a secular observance, and many customs and practices developed. The carved pumpkin may have originated with the witches’ use of a skull with a candle inside to light the way to coven meetings.

Since 1965 UNICEF, an agency of the United Nations, has attempted to incorporate into the Halloween observance the collection of money for the United Nations Children’s Fund. This exploitation by the ungodly United Nations of this pagan holiday seems strangely appropriate.

The Occult is Increasingly Popular
Halloween is, for many, a “crossover” involvement in which innocent games can lead to serious entanglement with real witches, neo-pagans, New Agers, and other occultists.

2 A common pastime is the use of a Ouija board to attempt to contact ghosts or spirits that are believed to be roaming about. This can lead to serious consequences including demon possession.

3 Demons have a vested interest in Halloween because it supports the occult, and it also offers novel and unexpected opportunities to control and influence people.

Forms of the occult can include mediums, channelers, clairvoyants, psychics, spiritists, diviners, mystics, gurus, shamans, psychical researchers, Yogis, psychic and holistic healers, astral travel, astrology, mysticism, Ouija boards, Tarot cards, contact with the dead, UFOs, and thousands of other practices which almost defy cataloging.

Occultism includes Satanism, astrology, Kabbalah, Gnosticism, theosophy, witchcraft and many forms of serious magic. It includes activities seeking the acquisition of “hidden” things-which are expressly forbidden by God in the Bible.
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The Biblical View
Halloween practices can open the door to the occult and can introduce forces into people’s lives that they are not equipped to combat.

4 There is genuine power in the occult, but it is demonic power

.5Any serious study of Biblical demonology will reveal Satan as the power behind false religion, witchcraft, idolatry and the occult.

6 The Word of God makes it clear that these are all to be shunned as dangerous. There were many superstitions and false concepts in ancient Israel about which the Bible is silent. However, occultism, in any form, was punishable by death! Why?The spiritual power and reality behind idols involves demons.

7 The Bible commands us to shun occult practices. Mediums and spiritists are expressly prohibited.

8 Nowhere are such practices acceptable.

Your Protection
Intellect alone is insufficient. “If it were possible, it would deceive the very elect.” This is another example of the necessity to truly understand the Armor of God as outlined in Ephesians 6. This brief review was excerpted from our featured briefing package, Halloween: Invitation to the Occult?
[Related Article: Blending Witchcraft and Christianity]

End Notes

1. Manuscript by his son D. Paul Luther preserved in the library at Rudolstadt, quoted by F.W. Boreham in A Bunch of Everlastings or Texts That Made History, Judson Press, Philadelphia, 1920, p.20.

2. See Encyclopedia of New Age Beliefs, Harvest House, Eugene OR, 1996.

3. The case studies underlying William Blatty’s The Exorcist indicate that the trouble all began with a child playing with a Ouija board.

4. Russ Parker, Battling the Occult, Inter-Varsity Press, Downer’s Grove IL, 1990, p.35.

5. Isa 47:9; Mt 24:24; Acts 8:7; 13:6-11; 16:16-19; 19:18-20; 2 Cor 4:4; Eph 6:7-11, 22; 2 Tim 3:8.

6. Deut 32:16,17; Ps 106:35-40; Acts 16:16-19; 1 Cor 10:19-21; 2 Thess 2:9, 10; 1 Tim 4:1f.

7. 1 Cor 10:20; Ps 106:37.

8. Lev 19:31; Deut 18:10, 11, 14 2 Chr 33:6.

Sources

– Missler, Chuck, Signs in the Heavens, The Mysteries of the Planet Mars Halloween: Invitation to the Occult? (briefing packages), Koinonia House, 1991-6.

– Ankerberg, John, and Weldon, John, The Facts on Halloween, Harvest House, Eugene OR, 1996. A key reference for this article.

– Sykes, Egerton, Who’s Who in Non-Classical Mythology, J.M. Dent, London, 1993.

– Patten, Donald Wesley, Catastrophism and the Old Testament, Pacific Meridian Publishing Co., Seattle WA, 1995.

– Encyclopedia of New Age Beliefs, Harvest House, Eugene OR, 1996.

– Also the video, Halloween: Trick or Treat, Jeremiah Films, Hemet CA

This article was originally published in the
October 1997 Personal Update NewsJournal.

10/31/2014
 
Link: about.me/gideonsword

http://pilgrimpassing.com/2014/10/31/are-you-dancing-with-darkness/

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Apocalipsa – XV. Antihristul. Cap. 13.11-18

XV.
Antihristul
Capitolul 13.11-18

     Lumea aşteaptă un lider religios cu autoritate. Într-un veac al îndoielii şi nesiguranţei, oamenii ar dori pe cineva care să aibă răspuns la toate problemele etice, religioase şi politice care îi frământă. Credincioşii însă ştiu că Dumnezeu a vorbit deja cu autoritate în persoana Fiului Său şi Şi-a descoperit gândul în Cuvântul Său cel sfânt. Privitor la pământ, şi credincioşii aşteaptă pe Cineva în viitor, și anume pe Domnul Isus Hristos venind în glorie ca să stabilească autoritatea şi puterea cerului pe pământ. El va coborî din cer pe pământ însoțit de toți sfinţii Lui glorificaţi, care vor domni pe pământ împreună cu El timp de o mie de ani de pace şi binecuvântări. Însă „omul viitor” pe care necredincioşii îl aşteaptă să se nască pe pământ este un om al pământului, pământesc, și nu Domnul din ceruri. Aşteptarea aceasta urmează să-şi aibă împlinirea în „omul păcatului”, Antihristul, falsul Mesia, care se va descoperi în curând. Acesta nu va fi cunoscut decât după ce Biserica celor întâi născuţi va fi răpită în prezenţa Domnului.

     Mulţi care aşteaptă pe Antihrist, închipuindu-şi că aşteaptă o reîncarnare a lui Hristos Însuşi, mărturisesc că sunt în aşteptarea unui mântuitor care să se nască pe pământ în mod firesc. O societate cunoscută ca „Ordinul Stelei de Răsărit” a înrolat la repezeală mii de membri care declară că aşteaptă un mare învăţător mondial, dar care în realitate pregătesc lumea pentru primirea acelui monstru al nelegiuirii, falsul Hristos, a cărui venire este prin lucrarea balaurului, cu semne şi minuni mincinoase.

     A fi înştiinţat înseamnă a fi înarmat: sfântul Cuvânt al lui Dumnezeu a prezis venirea acelui viclean şi a arătat unde va duce descoperirea lui. Niciun cercetător atent al Cuvântului, învăţat de Duhul Sfânt, nu poate să nu observe umbra Antihristului descrisă pe multe pagini ale Scripturii. Ioan spune: „aţi auzit că are să vină Antihrist” (1 Ioan 2.18). Singura întrebare care frământă pe mulţi priveşte identificarea persoanei sau a lucrurilor la care se referă. Este Antihristul o persoană sau un sistem? Multe nume cu greutate pot fi citate ca fiind în favoarea unei sau altei opinii, dar, pentru ca încrederea noastră să nu se întemeieze pe înţelepciunea oamenilor ci pe puterea lui Dumnezeu în această problemă, ca şi în oricare alta, dorim să fim călăuziţi de Cuvântul scris al lui Dumnezeu. Să reamintim acest fapt binecuvântat şi anume: că Hristos este o Persoană glorioasă, sfântă, atotputernică, una din Treimea veşnică, care a pus pe oameni în legătură cu Dumnezeu; El S-a născut ca om pe pământ dintr-o fecioară, şi S-a smerit şi S-a făcut ascultător ca om până la moarte şi încă moarte de cruce. Logic vorbind, cine aşteaptă ca Antihristul să fie tot om, cu o personalitate definită și opusă Domnului Isus Hristos, dar pretinzând să fie tot ce a fost El, aşteaptă uzurparea locului lui Hristos. Să nu uităm că în lume există un Trup unit cu Hristos, al cărui Cap glorios este El. Tot în lume există de asemenea, şi un sistem religios apostat, așa-zis creștin, opus celui divin, pretinzând fals că este mireasa lui Hristos şi singurul păzitor autorizat a tainelor lui Dumnezeu. Este sistemul acesta Antihrist sau este mai degrabă Babilonul cel mare, antibiserica? Probabil că această opinie din urmă este cea corectă.

     Cuvântul profetic scoate în evidenţă două mari înşelătorii religioase: un fals Hristos şi o falsă biserică. Nu trebuiesc confundate una cu cealaltă. Antihristul va fi un om, aşa cum Hristosul lui Dumnezeu a fost Om. Babilonul însă este un vast sistem organizat, aşa cum Biserica lui Dumnezeu este o organizaţie divină. Dar una este o contrafacere satanică. Când glasul profeţiei vorbeşte despre Antihrist, este folosit pronumele masculin „el”. Când se vorbeşte despre biserica falsă, se foloseşte neutrul „it” în engleză sau femininul „ea”. Antihristul este capul suprem al sistemului apostat care are aceeaşi relaţie cu el, ca şi Hristos cu Biserica. De la prima promisiune făcută Seminţei femeii, care urma să zdrobească la împlinirea vremii capul şarpelui, oamenii au aşteptat şi aşteaptă să se ridice dintre ei un izbăvitor. O astfel de aşteptare se bizuie pe Scriptură şi a fost realizată la naşterea Domnului Hristos. Dar de când El a fost lepădat, continuarea aşteptării a devenit o pervertire a adevărului. Pentru că Izbăvitorul trimis de Dumnezeu, „Sămânţa femeii”, a fost răpit de Dumnezeu şi aşezat pe tronul Său. În locul Lui a venit sămânţa şarpelui (Antihristul) şi cei ce îl aşteaptă nu-şi dau seama de aceasta. De mii de ani şarpele a fost simbolul religiei ezoterice (ascunse) care reprezintă înţelepciunea şi venirea celui ce revendică a fi înţelepciunea lui Dumnezeu. Religia ezoterică este religia prin excelenţă a lui Antihrist. Deci, un om este aşteptat. Venirea lui se apropie. El va veni când, în cele din urmă, puterea care-l opreşte acum, adică Duhul Sfânt, va fi luat la venirea Domnului Isus pentru răpirea credincioșilor Lui. Cel ce va veni este marele monarh al cultului Noii Ordini Mondiale. El este viitorul Imaum, sau Mahidi al musulmanilor. El este Parasu Roma (ultima încercare a lui Vişnu) aşteptat de brahmani; viitorul Montezume al aztecilor; falsul Mesia al evreilor apostaţi; marele Maestru al tuturor sectelor yoghine; supraomul evoluţioniştilor; hun al filosofilor, ale căror aiureli au pregătit calea războiului mondial. El va fi un supus al lui Satan, un hulitor al lui Dumnezeu, fără nicio conştiinţă, aproape un supraom, un individ a cărui descoperire va însemna încoronarea prezentei apostazii şi deplina zeificare a umanităţii pentru victimele lui zăpăcite. Astfel, lumea va fugi de Hristosul lui Dumnezeu şi îşi va întinde mâinile dornice să ureze bun venit viitorului, adică „omului păcatului”. Bizuindu-se pe el, acesta va urma să vină la timpul său. Cuvântul lui Dumnezeu declară că venirea lui este la fel de sigură ca şi a doua venire a Domnului Isus Hristos din glorie.

     Între timp marea antibiserică (sistemul rău care este o contrafacere a adevăratei Biserici), aruncă sistematic peste bord adevărurile Scripturii şi urmează minciunile ce va pregăti lumea să primească pe „mincinosul” despre care spune 1 Ioan 2.22, adică Antihristul. Cine este mincinosul? Cel ce tăgăduieşte pe Tatăl şi pe Fiul. Cine iubeşte şi spune o minciună îşi va avea partea în iazul care arde cu foc şi cu pucioasă, este porunca neschimbată a Dumnezeului adevărului. Nu este de dorit pentru nimeni să fie amestecat în această nelegiuire îngrozitoare!

     Cea mai completă descriere a lui Antihrist în Scriptură se află în Daniel 11.36-45. A se citi acest pasaj. Observăm că aici este prezis că un împărat, care va fi un ateu, se va ridica în Ierusalim, deci un evreu; pentru că este prezis clar despre el că „nu va ţine seamă nici de Dumnezeul părinţilor săi, nici de dorinţa femeilor”. Expresia „Dumnezeul părinţilor săi” nu poate însemna nimic altceva decât Dumnezeul lui Avraam, Isaac şi Iacov, şi este o expresie frecvent folosită în Scriptură; în timp ce expresia „dorinţa femeilor” este recunoscută, atât de evrei cât şi de comentatorii creştini ca referindu-se la Mesia. Punctul acesta cred că este foarte important, pentru că Antihristul n-ar fi putut să fie falsul Mesia dacă n-ar fi fost evreu, sau, în caz contrar, n-ar fi putut revendica supunerea lui Israel. El va fi un mare conducător evreu care, la început, va părea un mare iubitor al poporului său şi care îi va stabili în ţara lor. Dar în curând va da la o parte orice restricţie şi înălţându-se pe sine, se va mări împotriva oricărui dumnezeu, va vorbi lucruri mari împotriva Dumnezeului dumnezeilor în timpul ultimilor trei ani şi jumătate a celei de-a 70 săptămână a lui Daniel. Să facem o comparaţie dintre cele două texte: cel din Daniel şi cel din Apocalipsa 13.11 unde citim: „Apoi am văzut ridicându-se din pământ o altă fiară, care avea două coarne ca ale unui miel şi vorbea ca un balaur”. Observăm că nu se ridică din naţiunile păgâne ca prima fiară, ci iese din pământ (ţară), ţara Palestinei, exact aceeaşi ţară în care împăratul din Daniel 11, urmează să se descopere. El avea „două coarne ca un miel”, pentru că la început pare să aibă şi blândeţe (ca un miel), dar vorbirea lui este apoi asemănătoare cu a balaurului şi aceasta îl trădează ce este de fapt. Este vorbirea înălţării de sine care arată că păcatul său este acelaşi ca şi al stăpânului său, diavolul, care a căzut datorită mândriei.

     Acum Daniel spune că deşi încăpăţânatul împărat nu vrea să recunoască niciun dumnezeu supranatural, totuşi el cinsteşte pe unul numit „dumnezeul cetățuilor”, evident, un om, pentru că este unul căruia el îi plăteşte tribut: „un dumnezeu pe care părinţii lui nu l-a cunoscut, va fi cinstit cu aur, argint, pietre scumpe şi lucruri plăcute”. Acest om puternic va fi sprijinitorul lui Antihrist şi, în schimbul protecţiei lui, va face ca Palestina să se supună autorităţii sale şi să-i plătească tribut. Acest ”dumnezeu străin” îl va confirma şi îl va acoperi cu slavă şi-l va face să cârmuiască peste mulţi şi să împartă ţara pentru câştig. Dar acelaşi lucru este implicat în Apoc.13.12: „Ea lucra cu toată puterea fiarei dintâi înaintea ei; şi făcea ca pământul şi locuitorii ei să se închine fiarei dintâi, a cărei rană de moarte fusese vindecată”. Înţelegem că el este viceregele primei fiare, pe care lumea o recunoaşte ca dumnezeu (în sensul în care erau recunoscuţi Cezarii în vechime, ca dumnezei), și ca stăpân, îmbogăţind-o cu averile evreiești.

     Antihristul nu va fi numai un abil om de stat, un politician viclean, ci şi un făcător de minuni: „Săvârşea semne mari, până acolo că făcea chiar să se coboare foc din cer pe pământ, în faţa oamenilor. Şi amăgea pe locuitorii pământului prin semnele pe care i se dădea să le facă în faţa fiarei. Și a zis locuitorilor pământului să facă o icoană fiarei, care avea rana de sabie şi trăia” (v.13-14). Aceasta se potriveşte cu relatarea izbitoare a „omului fărădelegii” din 2 Tesaloniceni 2.3-12. A se citi aceste versete. Aici este o precizare a venirii împăratului ateu din Daniel 11 şi a făcătorului de minuni din Apocalipsa 13.

     Unul din semnele timpurilor din zilele noastre este setea nesănătoasă după minuni şi semne, predominantă în multe domenii. Este cea mai periculoasă stare a minţii, iar Domnul Hristos se ferea de orice lucru de genul acesta. Suntem prea aproape de sfârşitul dispensaţiunii actuale ca să mai aşteptăm vreo minune divină; numai semnele satanice şi minunile vor creşte pe măsură ce ne apropiem de sfârşit şi, când Antihristul va apărea, el va da oamenilor toate minunile pe care le doresc, doar ca să-i amăgească şi să-i facă să accepte pretenţiile lui nelegiuite. Ce semnifică cu exactitate imaginea fiarei, nu ştim. Putem spune că este legată de înştiinţarea Domnului nostru că „urâciunea pustiirii” va fi aşezată în locul sfânt. În orice caz, va fi apogeul apostaziei, va fi semnalul ca toţi evreii credincioşi, care în zilele acelea de mari prigoniri se vor lipi de Domnul, trebuie să fugă din Ierusalim printre naţiuni, până la arătarea Domnului Hristos. Se spune că fiara, asemănătoare cu mielul, va da viaţă imaginii (icoanei) şi va vorbi şi va face „ca cei ce nu se vor închina icoanei fiarei, să fie omorâţi”. O mare companie se va forma din evrei apostaţi şi naţiuni apostate care vor copia într-un fel sindicatele noastre din ziua de astăzi şi organizaţiile unite prin jurământ. Aceasta se spune în versetele 16 şi 17: „Şi a făcut ca toţi: mici şi mari, bogaţi şi săraci, liberi şi robi, să primească un semn pe mâna dreaptă sau pe frunte şi nimeni să nu poată cumpăra sau vinde, fără să aibă semnul acesta, adică numele fiarei, sau numărul numelui ei”. Este bine ca cei credincioşi de astăzi să se păzească de astfel de asociaţii lumeşti şi de juguri nepotrivite.

     Domnul nostru Isus Hristos spunea iudeilor: „Eu am venit în Numele Tatălui Meu şi nu Mă primiţi; dacă va veni un altul în numele lui însuşi, pe acela îl veţi primi” (Ioan 5.43). El vorbea despre această îngrozitoare persoană arătată mai sus. Şi Zaharia 11.16-17 spune: „Căci iată că voi ridica în ţară un păstor, căruia nu–i va păsa de oile care pier; nu se va duce să caute pe cele mai tinere, nu va vindeca pe cele rănite, nu va îngriji de cele sănătoase; ci va mânca din carnea celor mai grase şi nu le va mai lăsa decât copitele! Vai de păstorul de nimic care îşi părăseşte oile! Să cadă sabia pe braţul lui şi pe ochiul lui cel drept! Să i se usuce braţul de tot şi să i se stingă ochiul drept!” Acest idol păstor este pus în contrast cu Păstorul cel Bun, pe care Zaharia trebuie să-l personifice sau să-l reprezinte, aşa cum este descris în prima parte a capitolului, că a fost vândut pe 30 de arginţi. Această parte a profeţiei a fost literalmente împlinită şi putem crede că restul se va împlini la timpul potrivit.

     Pe idolul păstor evreii îl aşteaptă chiar acum, deşi ei nu-şi dau seama. La un Congres Sionist, cu câţiva ani înainte de primul război mondial, Max Nordau a declarat: „Noi suntem gata să urăm bun sosit oricărui om care ne va conduce înapoi în ţara noastră şi ne va stabili acolo în prosperitate”. Max Nordau este un evreu reformat care a părăsit speranţa mesianică. Dar recent, doctorul Mosinsohn, de la Colegiul ebraic din Iafa, a făcut un turneu prin America în interesele aceleiaşi mişcări sioniste, şi am avut prilejul să-l aud vorbind Universităţii din California. În comentariile sale a spus: „Gândiţi-vă la toţi marii lideri religioşi care au ieşit din Răsărit. Moise s-a ridicat din Răsărit; Buda, Confucius, Isus şi Mahomed, toţi s-au ridicat din Răsărit. Şi vă spun vouă, popor din Apus, cu încredere, că dacă voi veți readuce pe evrei în căminul lor strămoşesc, nu peste mult timp noi vă vom da un alt mare lider religios care va depăşi poate pe toţi câţi au venit mai înainte”. Eu și cu un medic credincios cu care venisem împreună, ne-am privit uimiţi unul pe altul. Simţeam că ascultăm pe un Ioan Botezătorul al lui Antihrist, atât de surprinzător era anunţul. Şi cu lumina pe care cuvântul profetic o aruncă peste viitorul foarte apropiat, nu ne îndoim că declaraţia acestui lider evreu se va împlini în cel perfid care urmează să se ridice în Palestina, şi care va fi recunoscut de iudaismul şi creştinătatea apostată ca fiind Hristosul, omul viitorului. Spre acest îngrozitor sfârşit tind și toate cultele moderne şi, după ce prezenţa Duhului Sfânt va fi retrasă de pe pământ odată cu răpirea credincioșilor, descoperirea acestui om nu va mai fi oprită.

     Mulți reformaţi moderni consideră că papa reprezintă împlinirea profeţiilor la care am meditat. Şi nu ne miră, pentru că papalitatea, acest sistem nesfânt, este unul din cele mai uluitoare contrafaceri a ceea ce este din Dumnezeu. Însă este cert că aceasta nu satisface cerinţele cazului nostru, deşi negreşit că este unul din „mulţii antihrişti” despre care scrie apostolul Ioan, când ne înştiinţează mai dinainte de „Antihrist”, a cărui venire este încă viitoare.

     Dacă ne îndreptăm atenţia către acest mincinos de la Roma, găsim şase lucruri prezise despre Antihrist care pentru papă n-au fost niciodată adevărate şi probabil că nu vor fi nici în viitor:

  1. Antihristul trebuie să fie iudeu, altfel nu ar fi recunoscut de Israel ca Mesia al lui;

  2. El trebuie să se ridice în Palestina, nu în Italia la Roma, și nici în Ierusalim;

  3. El trebuie să fie supus şi legat cu putere civilă; nu să o domine, cum a făcut papalitatea de veacuri;

  4. El trebuie să fie recunoscut de masa evreilor ca împăratul şi liderul lor religios şi este bine cunoscut faptul că evreii n-au recunoscut niciodată pretenţiile papilor;

  5. El trebuie să fie ocrotitorul Israelului, pe când Biserica romano-catolică a fost întotdeauna prigonitorul lor;

  6. El nu trebuie să se descopere decât după ce piedica, adică Duhul Sfânt, va fi luat din drumul lui, iar aceasta va fi numai atunci când Duhul Sfânt se va ridica împreună cu Biserica la revenirea Domnului Isus Hristos; aceasta va avea loc înainte să sune ceasul judecăţii pentru această lume nelegiuită unde Domnul Isus Hristos și Cuvântul lui Dumnezeu au fost lepădați.

     Sunt şi alte sisteme deopotrivă anticreştine ca şi papalitatea, dar nici una din ele nu corespunde cerinţelor de mai sus; de aceea nici una din ele nu trebuie confundată cu Antihristul ca persoană, care trebuie totuşi să se ridice şi să înşele o vreme pe cei ce „au refuzat dragostea adevărului ca să fie mântuiţi”. Antihriştii cei mulţi pregătesc numai calea pentru această întrupare a nelegiuirii; şi setea cu care oamenii beau din învăţăturile lor rele, pot să ne dea o idee de cât de ușor îi va fi falsului Mesia să stabilească revendicările sale.

     Unii poate ar ridiculiza gândul că va fi un mare număr de oameni ce va răspunde la acele pretenţii monstruoase, dar noi să ne amintim că Dumnezeu Însuşi îi va lepăda la judecată pentru că au crezut o minciună şi n-au primit adevărul. Şi în zilele noastre, ce uşor au putut înşelători ca Mary Baker Patterson Clover Eddy, Ellen G. White, doamna Blatvasky, Annie Basant, Katherine Tingley, John Alexander, „Elijah” Dowie, dar şi alţi şarlatani, să înrobească mintea şi cugetele unor vaste mulţimi de oameni care refuză adevărul simplu al Cuvântului lui Dumnezeu; şi acestea se întâmplă acum când este prezent Duhul Sfânt în lume, când El călăuzeşte în tot adevărul pe fiecare suflet cinstit care se lasă călăuzit de El şi învăţat prin Cuvântul lui Dumnezeu, dar atunci ce uşor vor fi rătăciţi oamenii când Duhul Sfânt nu va mai fi pe pământ.

     „Aici este înţelepciunea. Cine are pricepere, să socotească numărul fiarei. Pentru că este un număr de om. Şi numărul ei este: 666”. Tot ce pot să spun este că numărul şase este numărul omului, iar trei al Dumnezeirii. În aceşti trei de şase eu văd descoperirea a ceea ce este în inima omului – ultimul efort al omului de a atinge divinitatea şi zeitatea – de a fura gloria lui Dumnezeu ca să se înalţe pe sine. Evident, când Antihristul se va arăta în realitate şi prima fiară se va descoperi, înţelesul va fi atât de deplin încât oricine se va întoarce la Dumnezeu în timpul acela, va fi înştiinţat prin aceasta să „nu aibă nicio părtăşie cu lucrările neroditoare ale întunericului”, ci să se lipească de Domnul cu atât mai serios, pentru că se ştie că sfârşitul s-a apropiat. Presupunerile cu privire la 666 au fost nenumărate.

     Timpul zboară atât de repede! Dacă vreunul din noi nu este mântuit, este bine să-şi aducă aminte că ziua harului aproape s-a dus. Lumina Evangheliei va dispărea de pe pământ; întunericul apostaziei face progrese; în curând aici va fi foame după auzirea Cuvântului lui Dumnezeu. Fie ca acum, în această zi a harului, oamenii să ia seama la mărturia Scripturii adevărului, să primească pe Fiul lui Dumnezeu născut din fecioară ca Mântuitor şi Domn, şi să dispreţuiască minciunile fiecărui antihrist.

„O, pământ, pământ, pământ,
auzi Cuvântul despre antihrist.
Auzi-l, şi sufletul tău va trăi”.

„Cel ce aude Cuvântul Meu şi crede în Cel ce M-a trimis,
are viaţa veşnică şi nu vine la judecată,
ci a trecut din moarte la viaţă”
(Ioan 5:24).

http://catalin67.wordpress.com/2013/07/29/apocalipsa-xv-antihristul-cap-13-11-18/

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GQ-QOTW_01Question: “What does the Bible say about demon possession / demonic possession?”

Answer: The Bible gives some examples of people possessed or influenced by demons. From these examples we can find some symptoms of demonic influence and gain insight as to how a demon possesses someone. Here are some of the biblical passages: Matthew 9:32-33; 12:22; 17:18; Mark 5:1-20; 7:26-30; Luke 4:33-36; Luke 22:3; Acts 16:16-18. In some of these passages, the demon possession causes physical ailments such as inability to speak, epileptic symptoms, blindness, etc. In other cases, it causes the individual to do evil, Judas being the main example. In Acts 16:16-18, the spirit apparently gives a slave girl some ability to know things beyond her own learning. The demon-possessed man of the Gadarenes, who was possessed by a multitude of demons (Legion), had superhuman strength and lived naked among the tombstones. King Saul, after rebelling against the LORD, was troubled by an evil spirit (1 Samuel 16:14-15; 18:10-11; 19:9-10) with the apparent effect of a depressed mood and an increased desire to kill David.

Thus, there is a wide variety of possible symptoms of demon possession, such as a physical impairment that cannot be attributed to an actual physiological problem, a personality change such as depression or aggression, supernatural strength, immodesty, antisocial behavior, and perhaps the ability to share information that one has no natural way of knowing. It is important to note that nearly all, if not all, of these characteristics may have other explanations, so it is important not to label every depressed person or epileptic individual as demon-possessed. On the other hand, Western cultures probably do not take satanic involvement in people’s lives seriously enough.

In addition to these physical or emotional distinctions, one can also look at spiritual attributes showing demonic influence. These may include a refusal to forgive (2 Corinthians 2:10-11) and the belief in and spread of false doctrine, especially concerning Jesus Christ and His atoning work (2 Corinthians 11:3-4, 13-15; 1 Timothy 4:1-5; 1 John 4:1-3).

Concerning the involvement of demons in the lives of Christians, the apostle Peter is an illustration of the fact that a believer can be influenced by the devil (Matthew 16:23). Some refer to Christians who are under a strong demonic influence as being “demonized,” but never is there an example in Scripture of a believer in Christ being possessed by a demon. Most theologians believe that a Christian cannot be possessed because he has the Holy Spirit abiding within (2 Corinthians 1:22; 5:5; 1 Corinthians 6:19), and the Spirit of God would not share residence with a demon.

We are not told exactly how one opens himself up for possession. If Judas’ case is representative, he opened his heart to evil—in his case by his greed (John 12:6). So it may be possible that if one allows his heart to be ruled by some habitual sin, it becomes an invitation for a demon to enter. From missionaries’ experiences, demon possession also seems to be related to the worship of heathen idols and the possession of occult materials. Scripture repeatedly relates idol worship to the actual worship of demons (Leviticus 17:7; Deuteronomy 32:17; Psalm 106:37; 1 Corinthians 10:20), so it should not be surprising that involvement with idolatry could lead to demon possession.

Based on the above scriptural passages and some of the experiences of missionaries, we can conclude that many people open their lives up to demon involvement through the embracing of some sin or through cultic involvement (either knowingly or unknowingly). Examples may include immorality, drug/alcohol abuse that alters one’s state of consciousness, rebellion, bitterness, and transcendental meditation.

There is an additional consideration.

Satan and his evil host can do nothing the Lord does not allow them to do (Job 1-2). This being the case, Satan, thinking he is accomplishing his own purposes, is actually accomplishing God’s good purposes, as in the case of Judas’ betrayal. Some people develop an unhealthy fascination with the occult and demonic activity. This is unwise and unbiblical. If we pursue God, if we are clothing ourselves with His armor and relying upon His strength (Ephesians 6:10-18), we have nothing to fear from the evil ones, for God rules over all!

Recommended Resources: Logos Bible Software and Unseen Realities: Heaven, Hell, Angels, and Demons by R.C. Sproul.

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GOD’S WONDERFUL PLAN OF SALVATION

Salvation, Atonement, and Redemption (It’s not that complicated!)

Author: Vlad Petrusevich

Source: BibleViews.com

THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD

The Bible is the word of God, the everlasting Truth. It contains the account of creation, man’s disobedience to God, and the agony which came upon man because of sin. It also tells us of God’s love for man in making a plan to redeem him. It tells of a Savior who was born, who died for man’s sin, and was raised from death for his [man’s] justification. Whosoever believes its message may have forgiveness of sins, peace of mind, love for all men, power over sin, and a living hope of eternal life. SALVATION IS GOD’S FREE GIFT TO MAN.

The Word of God

GOD’S WONDERFUL CREATION

Long, long ago there was no world at all. But God has always been. God, the Creator, is everywhere, is almighty, and all wise. By His spoken word all things were created in perfection. God said, “Let the dry land appear,” and it was so. He created the hills and valleys covered with grass, beautiful flowers, and trees of every kind. He created the fowl, and the birds which sing so many different songs. God created all the animals, great and small, who roam the lands, as well as the small insects and reptiles that live on and in the ground. He created the lakes and oceans for the dwelling place of the fish and all water creatures. He made the continents on which the people of every nation could live. God made the moon to give light at night, and He decked the sky with thousands of beautiful, twinkling stars. last of all God formed man from the dust of the earth. He breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and he became a living soul. God called him Adam.

Seeing that Adam needed a helper, He caused him to fall into a deep sleep. Then taking a rib from him, God formed a woman with it, and brought her to Adam. Adam knew that Eve was bone of his bones and flesh of his flesh, and he loved her. Eve loved Adam too. They had sweet fellowship with each other. This is God’s plan for a family unit. God created everything in six days, and on the seventh day He rested. He looked upon everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good. So God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it as a day of rest for man. God wanted Adam and Eve and all of their descendants to have a day of rest every week, that they might think and talk about God and all His wonderful creation. This would help them to love and obey Him.

The Bible also tells us of a fallen angel called Satan, or the devil. He was cast out of Heaven upon the earth and he is the source of all evil. Because of him sorrow, suffering, sickness, and death came into the world.

THE TRAGIC BEGINNING OF SIN

God loved Adam and Eve. He made a beautiful garden for them to live in. It was called the garden of Eden. Adam was to take care of it. In this garden were many kinds of vegetables and fruit trees for them to eat from. There was one tree called the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God told Adam that he should not eat of this tree, for in the day that he would eat thereof, he would surely die. One day Satan came to Eve and told her a lie. He said, “Ye shall not surely die . . . ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.”

garden_of_eden

As she looked upon the tree with it’s beautiful fruit, she thought it must be good for food, and eating of it would bring wisdom. So she took some fruit and gave also to Adam, they both did eat of it. Immediately they felt very strange in their hearts. They had never felt this way before. They knew now that they had done something very wrong. They were both ashamed of themselves as they thought of their disobedience. Fear came into their hearts as they thought of meeting God. So they hid themselves among the trees of the garden.

In the cool of the day God called Adam and said, “Where art thou?” They could not be hid from God, so they came into His presence and acknowledged their wrongdoing. God caused them to understand what a great sin it was to disobey His command. He told them that both must be punished according to their evil deeds. They would now have to suffer pain and trouble all the days of their lives. They would now have to work hard for their living. Their bodies would become old and worn out. They would die and return to dust again.

As they were driven from this beautiful garden, God placed Cherubims at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword to keep the way of the tree of life. They began to understand what it meant to sin and what great sorrow it brings.

THE SAD RESULT OF SINNING

Adam and Eve were very sorry for their sin of disobeying God. God still loved them, and made them coats of skins, and clothed them. He gave them the promise of a Savior who would come some day to bruise the serpent’s head.

The first two sons born to Adam and Eve were Cain and Abel. They brought an offering unto the Lord. Cain brought of the fruit of the ground. Abel brought of the firstborn of his flock. This lamb’s blood was shed, and was a type of the promised Redeemer who, many years later, came as the lamb of God to take away the sin of the world (John 1:29). Jesus died as an innocent lamb on the cross for our sins. Abel’s sacrifice pleased God, but God was not pleased with Cain nor his offering.

We must not neglect to do what God wants us to do. We now have His Spirit and Word which teach us how to live and what His will is for us.

cain_and_abel

When Cain noticed that God was pleased with Abel and with his offering, but not with his, envy and hatred toward Abel entered his heart. Then one day as they were together in the field, Cain rose up and killed his brother Abel. God spoke to Cain and said, “Where is Abel thy brother?” Cain did not like to tell the truth, so he said, “I know not: Am I my brothers keeper?” Cain had not been obedient in following the Lord’s instructions. God had warned him before he killed Abel. He told Cain that if he would do well he would be accepted, but if not, sin was lying at the door. How much better it would have been had he corrected his attitude and loved his brother. Now his brother’s blood was calling to God from the ground. Cain was cast out from the presence of the lord and society. He became a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth.

GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD THAT HE GAVE HIS SON

“For unto you is born this day… a Savior, which is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11).

After Abel was dead and Cain had gone away from home, Adam and Eve had another son. His name was Seth. He grew up to be a good man. God blessed his descendants with many godly leaders, kings, and prophets, who heard and believed God’s wonderful promises of a Savior who would someday be born. Abraham, especially, believed God; for which he was called the friend of God. He was told that through him and his descendants all the families of the earth would be blessed.

birth_of_Christ

Many hundreds of years later God fulfilled the promise He had made of sending a Savior to the world. It happened, in a supernatural way, in the little town of Bethlehem of Judea. There In a stable, a babe was born to Mary; who was a virgin. She wrapped Him in swaddling clothes and laid Him in a manger. (Read Luke 2:1-7). An angel told Mary that the baby’s name was to be called Jesus (meaning Savior). He was to become a great leader who would teach the people many things about God. Jesus grew up much like other children. He was loved and favored by many. At the age of twelve He was wiser in the word of God than many doctors and lawyers of Jerusalem. He seemed to know all about the law and prophets. No one could ask Him a question that He could not answer. He had great interest in the religious activities of His people. When He was about thirty years old, He took part in religious services. Once He read an Old Testament prophecy about the coming Messiah. When He had finished reading, He said to the people, “This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.” He taught the people as one having authority. He preached that the Kingdom of God was at hand, and that repentance was necessary for entrance into the Kingdom. He taught people to worship God in humility and sincerity–from the heart. He rebuked the proud and unbelieving people of their sins, and preached the Gospel of love to the poor and needy.

JESUS HAS POWER OVER DEATH

Jesus said, “I am the resurrection, and life: He that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall live” (John 11:25).

Jesus did many miracles, proving to the people that He was the promised Savior sent from God. He healed the sick, made the blind to see, caused the deaf to hear, cast out devils and raised the dead to life. Once He walked on the water and calmed the stormy sea by His words. His words spoken to a fig tree were so powerful, that it was found dried up from the roots the next day. At one time He fed more than five thousand hungry people with five loaves of bread and two fishes. when all had enough to eat, there remained twelve baskets full. Fishermen caught large numbers of fish when nets were cast at His command. One day Jesus met ten lepers who had heard of His fame. They cried, “Master have mercy on us.” At His command they were cleansed.

Large crowds followed Jesus daily, whether He was in town, traveling in the roads, or in the hilly country. The people felt blessed who heard “the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth.” Some said, “Never man spake like this man”. Others were amazed and glorified God saying “We never saw it on this fashion.”

He began to tell the people that He was the Son of God, and that God was His Father. All who believed His words were made happy. He told those who believed, that they were children of God. Jesus said to His disciples, ““I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also“. (John 14:2-3). (This place in Heaven is for all true Christians).

“Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (Matthew 25:34).

JESUS DIED FOR OUR SINS

“When they were come to Calvary, there they crucified him” (Luke 23:33).

The scribes and Pharisees were greatly annoyed at Jesus and His teaching. He had often reproved them for their honor seeking in religion and unlawful money-making practices. They were very jealous and envious of Jesus, because so many people believed in Him, followed Him, and praised Him. They feared that the people might make Jesus their king.

They tried to make Jesus say or do things that would cause the people to lose faith in Him, but Jesus was too wise for them. They were not able to find occasion to accuse Jesus to the common people. Their hatred and anger grew as Jesus’ popularity continued to increase. Their ill will and hatred toward Jesus became so great that they made plans to put Him to death.

They took Jesus to court and charged Him as an evildoer and trouble maker in the community. They brought many false charges against Jesus. Then they took Him before Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor of Judaea. Pilate could find no fault in Him, so Pilate was going to release Jesus and set Him free. But the accusers of Jesus turned into a mad mob and cried, “Crucify Him, crucify Him.” When Pilate heard their angry cries and threats, he gave in to their demands and turned Jesus over to them. They took Jesus and put a crown of thorns on His head and a rod in His hand. In mockery they called Him king. They spit in His face and beat Him cruelly. They finally nailed Him to the cross and left Him there to die.

Calvary

 

Jesus was put to death just as the innocent lamb that Abel offered on an altar hundreds of years before. Abel had offered his lamb as a type of the lamb of God who would die for the sin of the world. Many prophets of old had likewise foretold of Jesus’ suffering and death. John the Baptist said, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world”, (John 1:29). “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.” (John 3:16)

Salvation

JESUS AROSE FROM THE DEAD TO SET US FREE

“He is not here: for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay” (Matthew 28:6).

The third day after the death and burial of Jesus, very early, upon the first day of the week, several women came to the tomb to anoint the body of Jesus. They were surprised to find the tomb empty. The body of Jesus was not there. Their hearts were troubled. Then, suddenly, two angels stood by them in shining garments. They said, “Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here but is risen”. (Luke 24:5,6) Upon this they quickly went back to tell the disciples what they had seen and heard. The disciples could not believe their story. So Peter and John went to investigate for themselves. They, too, found the tomb empty and as they entered they saw the linen clothes lie, and the napkin that had been wrapped about Jesus’ head neatly folded as if by gentle hands, placed separately. When they saw these things they believed the story of the women. In the evening of the same day the disciples were together behind closed doors for fear of the Jews. Then Jesus suddenly stood in the midst of them and said, “Peace be unto you“. He showed them His pierced hands and side that they might believe. When they saw the lord they were glad and believed that He was the same Jesus who had been crucified and that He had risen from the dead. After this Jesus showed Himself to many people as full proof of His resurrection.

He_is_alive!

This bright morning when Jesus arose from the dead is still the most glorious day in all history. For on this day, God’s wonderful plan of Salvation was completed. Now all who receive Jesus into their hearts, even though they die and are buried, shall resurrect and live forever in Heaven. Jesus said, “Because I live, ye shall live also“(John14:19).
This wonderful plan of salvation is made effective by faith alone, to all who believe that Jesus Christ is God, in His sin-atoning death, and in His literal, physical resurrection.

“If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead. thou shalt be saved” (Romans 10:9).

Dear Reader: Have you enjoyed reading this absolutely truthful and impressive account of life and death? God is speaking to your heart. What is your response? Will you repent and believe the Gospel? If you surrender to God you will receive a love for righteousness and power over your sin. You will also want to witness to others of what the Lord has done for you. The Scriptures tell us in Romans 10:11 that no one who believes in Jesus Christ shall be ashamed.

“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

Do not delay. Come to Jesus today.

Repent

The text of this tract is Vlad Petrusevich’s adoption of Leland M. Haines’ writings.

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 REBLOGGED FROM:http://pilgrimpassing.com/2013/01/22/salvation-atonement-and-redemption-its-not-that-complicated/#comment-825

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SATAN’S TOOLS: FEAR AND RICHES

I am writing this post especially to those whose relationship to the Lord has been hindered by a fear of, or by the riches of the world.  In the Lord’s Parable of the Sower, it is clear that the first of the four types of soil fails to “get the message” (Mt. 13:4 w/ 13:19).  It is also clear that the fourth type of soil receives the Gospel, and multiplies (Mt. 13:8-9 w/ 13:23).  But what about the other two?

Matthew 13:5-6 says, “Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth:  and when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.”  The explanation reads, “But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended” (Mt. 13:20-21).  These appear to be believers who, when faced with opposition, become silent out of fear.  Their lack of faith in God’s ability to protect them results in their failure to “be fruitful and multiply.”

Matthew 13:7 says, “And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them.”  Jesus explained these in Matthew 13:22, which says, “He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.”  Again, these “sprung up” meaning the “seed” produced life, but their focus was upon their own enjoyment of life rather than on those around them who needed to hear the Gospel.  The key here is that they “becometh unfruitful.”  They had life, but produced no fruit.

I want to ask you who are reading this:  are you afraid to witness for Christ because you do not want to be ridiculed, rejected, or even worse, harmed?  The solution is to compare the Lord’s Omnipotence to the impotence of the world!  God is greater than Satan and his minions!  Jesus said that He would always be with His disciples (Mt. 28:20; Heb. 13:5)!

To those of you who would rather spend your lives on trying to make for yourselves a heaven on earth, do you not realize that by so doing, you are failing to present the Gospel which offers an eternal heaven to those who do not know Christ?  Are you so selfish that you do not care churches all over the world need Sunday School teachers, outreach workers, evangelists, etc.?  Have you no gratitude for what Jesus has done for you, that you would waste your time in pursuit of riches rather than pursuing the lost?  Shame!

“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: 

for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” (Gal. 6:7)! 

http://skipslighthouse.blogspot.com/2012/10/satans-tools-fear-and-riches.html#comment-form

A sower went out to sow

A sower went out to sow (Photo credit: Fergal of Claddagh)

sower went out to sow (Photo credit: Fergal of Claddagh)

 THE PARABLE OF THE SOWER

A sower went out to sow his seed. As he sowed, some fell on the edge of the path and was trampled on; and the birds of the air ate it up.
Some seed fell on rock, and when it came up it withered away, having no moisture.
Some seed fell amongst thorns and the thorns grew with it and choked it.
And some seed fell into rich soil and grew and produced its crop a hundredfold.’ Saying this he cried, ‘Listen, anyone who has ears to hear!’

His disciples asked him what this parable might mean, and he said, The mysteries of the kingdom of God are revealed to you; for the rest there are only parables, so that they may see but not perceive, listen but not understand

‘This, then, is what the parable means: the seed is the word of God.
Those on the edge of the path are people who have heard it, and then the devil comes and carries away the word from their hearts in case they should believe and be saved.
Those on the rock are people who, when they first hear it, welcome the word with joy. But these have no root; they believe for a while, and in time of trial they give up.
As for the part that fell into thorns, this is people who have heard, but as they go on their way they are choked by the worries and riches and pleasures of life and do not reach maturity.
As for the part in the rich soil, this is people with a noble and generous heart who have heard the word and take it to themselves and yield a harvest through their perseverance
.

 http://www.flickr.com/photos/29770761@N06/5765705109http://www.flickr.com/photos/29770761@N06/5765705109

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The Witch Who Found Christ

CBN.com – To Sherry Barnett, wicked things were cute, the concept of death inviting. But her growing obsession with the occult brewed serious side effects. She felt her very life being sucked out of her.

Barnett: “In kindergarten, during art time, I made — out of Play-Doh — a little coffin with a little body in it. And I explained to the teacher that this was a vampire.”

Just listen to Sherry Barnett for a while, and it won’t be long before you’ll detect a consistent theme running through her conversation.

Barnett: “Halloween was to me as a child what Christmas was probably to other children. I thought it was a cool thing. You know, wicked things were cute, and I didn’t see any harm in it. When the going got rough, I could always rely on suicide because that was a way of escaping. I liked the idea of just being dead, not existing anymore.

Barnett says that there was nothing unusual about her home life. So what is it that makes a person’s obsession in life, death?

Barnett: “My childhood was the perfect childhood. I had perfect parents. We did not have the Lord in our home, but I had everything a child could want. The fascination for the occult began back when I was five, and it started with simple things like little childhood storybooks about witches and ghosts. And that just grew.”

As she grew older, Barnett’s childhood obsession with vampires increased.

Barnett: “It just grew into a lifestyle for me. I mean, as opposed to somebody else just, watching a vampire movie and saying, ‘Oh, you know, that was cool,’ I took it to heart. I made it my life.”

Indulgence in drugs, alcohol and sex were also becoming a lifestyle for Barnett. And her fascination with the occult brought with it a price. When she slept, her dreams became nightmares that were hard to distinguish from reality.

Barnett: “Sometimes I could even almost hear something coming down the hallway. I could feel it, like something was coming into my room. And it got so bad that I couldn’t move, I couldn’t wake up. And I just always remember that every time I’d struggle, I’d hear the same voice telling me, ‘You know, Barnett, don’t struggle. The more you fight, the worse it’s going to get for you.’

Barnett’s drug and alcohol use escalated as she tried to suppress the dreams, but the result was depression and worse nightmares.

Barnett: “I would feel this heavy presence on me, pushing me down, trying to suck all the life out of me. And then I would hear this screaming. It would start real quiet, and the scream would get louder and louder and louder to the point where it was just deafening to my ears. And I would wake up screaming myself.

“I remember this one night that I was just so depressed, I wanted to die. But that night, I thought, ‘Well, I’m going to give myself one more chance, and I’m going to pray to the devil.’ I wanted to pray to Satan himself.

“I’m going to pray to Satan and I’m going to ask him to come and help me. I’m going to give my life to him. I’m going to give my soul to him. And maybe, he’ll help me out of this. And so I drew a pentagram on the floor, I got the candle, put it in the circle with me and I prayed to the devil. And I just gave him my soul that night. Nothing happened. I cried and cried and cried, and still nothing happened. And I thought, “Well, that’s not going to work’.”

And nothing else was working for Barnett. Even marriage and a baby could not drive the depression away. When a co-worker gave her husband, Rick, a Bible, Barnett took an interest in it.

Barnett: “I sat down and read a little bit of it, and then I started thinking about it. And that’s really what started me thinking about God. And when I started reading that Bible, it was like something started asking me, ‘Well, Sherry, where is your hope?’

“I just grew up thinking that God was out there, but he wasn’t for me. He was for priests, he was for pastors, he was for other people, but not for me.”

Barnett says she was finally ready to believe that maybe God was for her.

Barnett: “I was in the kitchen doing my housework, and I just kind of like whispered to myself, ‘Well, God, if you can take away the love for drugs, I will give my life to you.’ And I just said, ‘God, I can’t do ‘it. I cannot do it.’ And I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was really talking to God. And God heard me.”

As she went to sleep that night, Barnett says that something unusual happened.

Barnett: “It was like a flash of lightning went through me. And then I just sat up in bed, I bolted up and I felt like I was sober — instantly sober.”

“And then all of a sudden I heard this voice tell me — it was a comforting voice. It wasn’t anything scary this time — a voice telling me, ‘Sherry, you’re going to stop this. You have to stop this. No more drugs; no more. You’re going to have to stop this.’ And right away, I just felt like I was sober, but I was scared. I was shaking. And I had this new type of feeling in me.”

“That little prayer that I rambled off in the kitchen — it wasn’t even anything real formal. It was pretty much just talk, you know. To me, I didn’t think that He was really listening to me. But He did. He delivered me. And that day was when I gave my life to the Lord. I said, ‘Lord, this is it. I’m going to be a Christian. I’m going to live my life for you.’ And I’ve never been the same.”

“There was no more blackness inside. There was no more having to run out and try to do something else to fill up that blackness — that darkness, that oppression that was inside of me. It was just — it was gone. It was gone. And I never think about death anymore.”

Barnett’s husband gave his life to Jesus Christ soon after Barnett. They’re now rearing their three children in a home where love, not fear, reigns.

Barnett: “The Lord has brought so much hope into my life. I know who I am. I know why I’m here. And I have stability now. He’s faithful. He’s been faithful to me to this day. He hasn’t let me down at all.”

http://www.cbn.com/spirituallife/onlinediscipleship/halloween/kithcart_witch_found_christ.aspx

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Halloween: The Great Lie To Children

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The true meaning of Halloween4:19 The true meaning of Halloween by gchinnici197416,275 views

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   Christ’s Victory At Calvary
                                                                                           By Wesley L. Duewel

    Christians should rejoice again and again in the glorious triumph of Christ on the cross. Have you realized how total was Christ’s victory at Calvary? It was a victory for us because Jesus took our place, bearing our sin on the cross. He paid the price for our redemption. On the cross He paid it all! Calvary was an eternal victory for whoever wills to receive it (Rev. 22:17).

    But for Satan, Christ’s victory at Calvary was a devastating, total, and eternal defeat. At first, Satan thought he had won; that shows how limited his knowledge and understanding are. In reality, the cross destroyed Satan, sin, death, and all of Satan’s kingdom. Let us note the pictorial language the Bible uses to illustrate Satan’s ignominious defeat at Calvary:

    At the cross, Jesus drove out Satan, “the prince of this world” (John 12:31-33). Today Satan is a usurper. The cross passed initial judgment on him. His claims were destroyed; his claimed authority was invalidated. His defeat was so complete that he has lost his place and authority. The Greek word ekballo means “to drive out, expel.” The cross doomed Satan to ultimate expulsion from our world, though he is still active and desperate in his anger and futility. He is the archon, the ruler of this age only until God enforces the judgment of the cross after Christ’s return.

    At the cross, Jesus “disarmed the powers and authorities” (Col. 2:15). The word disarmed is from the Greek apekdyo, a double compound meaning “to put off completely, to undress completely and thus render powerless.” At the cross, Christ undressed all demon authorities. It is a picture from the ancient oriental custom of stripping the robes of office from a deposed official. At the cross, the leaders and authorities of Satan’s forces and kingdom were stripped of their authority and honor. They now have no authority to oppose, intimidate, or harass you.

    But that is not all; there is even more in this picture. Paul says Christ “made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross” (v. 15). This again is an illustration taken from ancient history. When a conquering emperor returned from a great victory, he was often given a triumphal procession. The victor and his army marched through streets lined by cheering thousands. While the musicians played, chariots and soldiers carried the looted treasures of the defeated king, and he and his general or other selected prisoners were led in chains, their shame openly displayed.

    The Greek word edeigmatisen means “to make a public exhibition.” During the interval between Christ’s death and resurrection, when He announced Satan’s defeat at the cross to the evil spirits in prison (1 Pet. 3:19), in symbolism Christ marched triumphantly through the spirit prison, with Satan and his demonic rulers chained in inglorious defeat behind Him. He made a public spectacle of their defeat, says Paul, and now every demonic being knows his cause is defeated forever, his satanic lord’s authority stripped from him, and his own doom waiting for the appointed time (Matt. 8:29).

    At the cross, Satan and his unclean spirits were destroyed (Heb. 2:14). The word destroy is from the Greek katargeo, which means “to put out of action, to make useless.” It is used repeatedly to show how through the death and the return of Christ (parousia), the powers of destruction that threaten man spiritually are put out of action. In First Corinthians 15:24, this includes all dominion of demonic authority and power. In verse 26, death itself will be the last enemy to be rendered useless. All these are “coming to nothing” (1 Cor. 2:6), including Satan himself and his demonic leaders (Heb. 2:14).

    As a result of Calvary, the Resurrection, and the Ascension, Christ is enthroned. He is raised “far above all rule and authority, power and dominion …And God placed all things under His feet…” (Eph. 1:21-22). These terms for heavenly beings may include both the holy angelic beings and the fallen ones, now the demons. Christ is seated at the right hand of God, far above all heavenly beings of whatever rank, and certainly above all fallen spirit beings of whatever rank. Potentially, these fallen beings are “under His feet,” for they have already been defeated. But they are bluffing as if they were still undefeated, trying to assert their dominance over us.

    These demonic beings know they are defeated and what their end will be; that is why they fear us and our prayer so much. They know we have authority from Jesus. But when you resist them in His name and power, they will not only back away, they will actually flee from you (Jas. 4:7).

    In summary, Satan may roar like a raging lion, trying to frighten you, but he is a defeated usurper. He has no right, standing, authority, or legal place in your life.

        a. He is being expelled, driven out by Jesus (John 12:31).

        b. He is disrobed and disarmed and has been made a public spectacle as a defeated foe in Christ’s triumphal procession. Christ has displayed the disgraced Satan as His prime trophy, revealing to all beings in heaven and hell that Satan has lost (Col. 2:15). The counterfeit roaring lion has been defeated by the true Lion of the tribe of Judah, Jesus Christ, Son of Man, beloved Son of God (Rev. 5:5).

        c. His power is destroyed, and he and all his forces are put out of action as far as any true power is concerned (Heb. 2:14; 1 Cor. 2:6; 1 Cor. 15:24).

        d. He and all his demonic cohorts are put under Jesus’ feet potentially and will soon be put there absolutely (Eph. 1:21-22). In fact, he will be actually crushed (syntribo) beneath your feet also (Rom. 16:20). Syntribo means “to break to pieces by crushing” – a total, crushing defeat.

    Thus, Jesus says to us, as He said to His disciples, “I have given you authority…to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you” (Luke 10:19). Unworthy though we are, we should humbly but confidently accept this authority, acting upon Christ’s glorious victory at Calvary as we defeat and bind Satan’s power in His name.

    Quoted from the book, Touch The World Through Prayer, by Wesley Duewel. Copyright 1986. Used by permission of the Duewel Literature Trust, Inc., Greenwood, Indiana. Dr. Duewel’s books may be purchased by calling (317) 881-6751 Ext. 361.

http://www.heraldofhiscoming.com/other/home.htm

April 2012 Issue
More
Christ’s Victory At Calvary
By Wesley L. Duewel
Resurrection
Spiritual Victory Through Christ
By Rich Carmicheal
Our Responsibility Has Never Been Greater
By S. M. Zwemer
Undo The Devil’s Work
By W. C. Moore
Overcoming Opposition In Prayer
By F. J. Perryman
The Wonder Of His Name
Prayer And Fasting: Keys To Strong Faith
By Andrew Murray
The Authority Of The Blood
By C. Nuzum
Fasting With Prayer
Appropriating The Promises
By Victor M. Matthews
The King Is Near At Hand
By A. B. Simpson
Guarding The Minds Of Our Children
(Doing Battle On Our Knees)
By Kim Butts
Samuel Morris – The Power Of A Spirit-Filled Life (Part 6)
By Lindley J. Baldwin
Herald International – Sharing God’s Love For The Children Of The World
National Day of Prayer – Thursday, May 3, 2012
News And Prayer Briefs

Resurrection of Christ

Resurrection of Christ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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