Signs of the Dark Kingdom

I have often, as you have guessed if you have read many articles on this blog, thought that abuse is demonic to one extent or another, varying most likely from case to case.  Thinking about this brought to mind the following Scripture.  Let’s read it and then see what characteristics we can find here that point to the kingdom of darkness being involved:

Mark 5:1-9, They came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Gerasenes. (2) And when Jesus had stepped out of the boat, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit. (3) He lived among the tombs. And no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain, (4) for he had often been bound with shackles and chains, but he wrenched the chains apart, and he broke the shackles in pieces. No one had the strength to subdue him. (5) Night and day among the tombs and on the mountains he was always crying out and cutting himself with stones. (6) And when he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and fell down before him. (7) And crying out with a loud voice, he said, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I adjure you by God, do not torment me.” (8) For he was saying to him, “Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!” (9) And Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” He replied, “My name is Legion, for we are many.”

Luke adds –

Luke 8:26-29, “Then they sailed to the country of the Gerasenes, which is opposite Galilee. (27) When Jesus had stepped out on land, there met him a man from the city who had demons. For a long time he had worn no clothes, and he had not lived in a house but among the tombs. (28) When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell down before him and said with a loud voice, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, do not torment me.” (29) For he had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. (For many a time it had seized him. He was kept under guard and bound with chains and shackles, but he would break the bonds and be driven by the demon into the desert.)”

Ok, let’s see what we can derive from this account (other than the fact that this, as you may know, was the origin of deviled ham.  Really!  My old Sunday School teacher told me so.  The pigs, you know).   What are the evidences here of the devil being involved –

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Many Christians Do Not Seem to Know Whose Side they are on or Who the Enemy is

You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. (John 8:44)

I have been a pastor now for nearly 36 years, but prior to this I was a police officer for 14 years. I have always missed those police days, and I want to tell you the chief reason why — we were all certain whose side we were on and who the enemy was.

When I became a pastor I found that certainty and the unity it produces to be largely non-existent in many if not most local churches. Christians do not seem to be on the same side. They do not recognize the enemy. They have foolishly allowed the enemy to infiltrate them. They are not united and lack a sense of “we all wear the same uniform here and have the same badge.” So when the enemy comes along he is not faced with a united team standing together but rather a bickering, doubting, confused group that is rather easy to conquer.

Continue reading “Many Christians Do Not Seem to Know Whose Side they are on or Who the Enemy is”

The Many Little Popes in Evangelicalism – How Evil Creeps in

Gal 2:6  And from those who seemed to be influential (what they were makes no difference to me; God shows no partiality)—those, I say, who seemed influential added nothing to me.

The Apostle Paul was not being arrogant when he made this statement. He was proving that his gospel was Christ’s gospel with which Christ had entrusted him and that it did not originate in man. In doing so, in this verse, he also warns us against undue regard for those who “seem to be influential.”

Barrett Gritters, professor in the Protestant Reformed Seminary, recently wrote an article (The Standard Bearer Magazine, March 2019) entitled “How Could Any Protestant go ‘home’ to Rome?” Listen to one statement he made in partial answer to this question:

There is no pope in Evangelicalism, but there are many little ‘popes.’ They are the presidents of their ministries, the senior pastors (think CEO’s) of their mega-churches, the celebrity speakers on the conference tours, the big names that make money for the publishing houses. How much weight do these heavy-weights carry in their circles? How often do Christians look to them as their authority rather than Scripture?

Bingo. There it is. So many professing Christians are so enamoured with celebrity worship in their churches and denominations, and so many are too lazy to study the Word for themselves, that they simply swallow what these heavy-weights dish out to them. Even if that dish is abusive!

2Co 11:20  For you bear it if someone makes slaves of you, or devours you, or takes advantage of you, or puts on airs, or strikes you in the face.

Consider John Piper. Mr. Big, for example. How much money has he made for the publishing companies? How many throngs of people who claim to know Christ have flocked to hear him speak at conferences, even though he teaches things that horribly oppress victims of evil. He teaches, in case you didn’t know, that there is NEVER a reason for divorce that God approves of. Never. Not even the victim of the most cruel sociopathic domestic abuser is allowed to divorce. And yet if you criticize John Piper to most professing Christians (I say “professing” because by their fruits you cannot see Christ in them), they will be very irate with you. How dare you say anything against Pope John.

Think it through. Where do we see the false teachings parading as God’s Word coming from? Where are the scandals of evil-doings breaking out just about every week? Where are the enslaving traditions coming from that Christians accept without question, just as the Galatian churches were doing when Paul rebuked them? You know the answer. Most of these things are trickling down from the little popes being exalted as if they spoke as prophets and apostles.

So stop it. Let’s all just stop it. Over the years my purchase of Christian books has radically reduced. More – my use of Christian books has greatly been diminished. Not all. I love G.K. Beale and his books on biblical theology that give us insight into the overall theme of the Bible and enable us to better understand the parts. William Hendriksen’s commentaries are wonderful. But all in all I must say that the books I used to be so excited about and just had to get hold of, the conferences I used to attend….all of that for the most part I have jettisoned.

Because I have realized that they not only did not help me see and know Christ better, they actually interfered with my ability to do so.