Advertisements
RSS Feed

Tag Archives: demonic influences

Disguises and Masks

In my early years, I was gullible, often accepting and believing what others told me. This weakness made me an easy prey for practical jokes. After being misled by a group of older boy scouts, my eyes were open to what my peers were capable of. Whenever you get tricked the first time, skepticism will prompt individuals to uncover disguises or masks to avoid getting duped again.

But the [Holy] Spirit explicitly and unmistakably declares that in later times some will turn away from the faith, paying attention instead to deceitful and seductive spirits and doctrines of demons, [misled] by the hypocrisy of liars whose consciences are seared as with a branding iron [leaving them incapable of ethical functioning], 1 Timothy 4:1-2.

Based upon descriptions of Lucifer in the Bible, this fallen angel serves as the ruler of the air, Ephesians 2:2. Apparently, one of his disguises comes in the form as an angel of light, 2 Corinthians 11:14. Several New Testament writers elude to spirits that masquerade as apostles. Yet, Paul and John urged believers to test everything so that no one is deceived by demonic influences.

Beloved, do not believe every spirit [speaking through a self-proclaimed prophet]; instead test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets and teachers have gone out into the world. By this you know and recognize the Spirit of God: every spirit that acknowledges and confesses [the fact] that Jesus Christ has [actually] come in the flesh [as a man] is from God [God is its source]; 1 John 4:1-2.

There is a healthy balance one must develop between trust and truth. Christians need to be educated by the potential camouflage, shrouds and veils that hide potential harm. Thus, testing spirits based upon scripture will uncover imposters, unmasking evil motives. Meanwhile, relying on the Bible as a source for checks and balances will enable souls to recognize God’s Spirit. While the pulpit may not preach that much about the spiritual realm, Ephesians 6:12, modern Christians must be diligent to avoid disguises and masks the Devil continues to hide behind.

by Jay Mankus

Advertisements

Save Your Strength

During the course of your life, you will encounter at least one extreme circumstance. The Bible refers to these events as trials, unforeseen periods that will rock your world. Unexpected things that boggle the mind temporary or permanently interrupt individuals from a wonderful life. How you respond to these situations will impact the rest of your life on earth.

Because of the surpassing greatness and extraordinary nature of the revelations [which I received from God], for this reason, to keep me from thinking of myself as important, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan, to torment and harass me—to keep me from exalting myself! Concerning this I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might leave me; 2 Corinthians 12:7-8.

According to the passage above, one first century man began to suffer from a rare physical ailment. The apostle Paul compares his pain to a thorn in the flesh. Perhaps some sort of barb, prickly plant or spike resulted in an infection. However, Paul also implies that this condition might have a spiritual connection. Either Satan received permission from God to torment Paul like the Old Testament case of Job or this the accident that led to this wound was used by God to humble Paul.

But He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you [My lovingkindness and My mercy are more than enough—always available—regardless of the situation]; for [My] power is being perfected [and is completed and shows itself most effectively] in [your] weakness.” Therefore, I will all the more gladly boast in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ [may completely enfold me and] may dwell in me, 2 Corinthians 12:9.

At some point, Paul pleaded with the Lord in prayer, asking God to remove this pain from his life. Instead of receiving an answer to this prayer, a whisper from the Holy Spirit brought an unusual message, “save your strength.” From a human perspective, maybe this eludes to worry which serves no particular purpose. However, God unlocks a powerful message about life, the more you trust in God the less you will rely on human effort. Therefore, if you want to experience the power of Christ, save you strength.

by Jay Mankus

Hell Town USA

Boston Village was founded in 1806, located in the northeast portion of Ohio.  Situated on Interstate 271 between Macedonia and Interstate 77, Boston was a thriving area until 1974.  According to a bill signed by president Gerald Ford, eminent domain ceased control of this town to make way for the creation of a National Park along the nearby Cuyahoga River.  Other reports spread rumors about a chemical spill that the government was trying to conceal.  Either way, these events led to a mass exodus resulting in the abandonment of Boston, Ohio.

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places, Ephesians 6:12.

In the years that have followed, this remnant of a town within the Cuyahoga Valley National Park has spawned legendary folklore.  Destination America aired a special last Sunday that suggests this area is haunted and or haven for Satanic activity.  Those buildings which still stand today are being used for rituals that has released demonic activity in this area.  Whether exaggerated, true or some where in between, this region has earned the nickname Hell Town USA.

The prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days, but Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I was left there with the kings of Persia, Daniel 10:13.

If you have ever studied the Bible, the idea of an area on earth controlled by demonic influences isn’t foreign.  In the Old Testament, Daniel writes about an encounter with a Satanic entity.  This being fought Daniel for three weeks, seeking to control this earthly dominion.  Too powerful to fight alone, Daniel asked the Lord for reinforcements, sending an angel for protection.  Due to invisibility, not much is known about the spiritual realm.  Yet, as you study the Bible, begin to use prayer as a hedge of protection and seek the counsel of elder believers, this spiritual exercise will prepare you for future experiences with hell on earth.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

 

When Life is Cruel and Unfair

The title of Clint Eastwood’s classic western film The Good, the Bad and the Ugly provides a much more accurate assessment of life than I initially thought.  In this context, the good symbolizes blessings, fruits of hard work, rewards, success and victories in life.  Meanwhile, the bad includes accidents, disappointment, failure, injuries, setbacks and unforeseen events.  Ugly represents examples of when life is cruel and unfair, taking the forms of curses, demonic influences and generational sins.

You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, Exodus 20:5.

On my first day back to work following bereavement for my father in law’s funeral, I received more bad news.  One of my co-workers Dominic, suffered a brain aneurism on one of his day’s off.  Dominic is one of those people you enjoy interacting with, engaging, friendly, kind and at times longwinded.  Nonetheless, Dominic had just received a promotion, relocating to a new building in Maryland.  His future looked bright until a severe brain aneurism has left Dominic on the verge of death.  For a young man with a girl friend and the rest of his life in front of him, this fate doesn’t seem fair.

However, if you do not obey the Lord your God and do not carefully follow all his commands and decrees I am giving you today, all these curses will come on you and overtake you:  Deuteronomy 28:15.

The only way to explain this tragedy and similar heart breaking stories can be found in the ten commandments, specifically Exodus 20:5.  Moses reflects upon this biblical truth within an entire chapter in Deuteronomy.  Moses spends the first 14 verses of chapter 28 highlighting signs of God’s blessings.  The remaining 54 verses uncover hints of curses and or consequences of generational sins.  Due to the extent of details shared within this chapter of the Bible, it’s safe to say more curses exist than blessings.  Subsequently, people shouldn’t be surprised by examples of when life is cruel and unfair.  In view of this harsh reality, it’s essential to live each day on earth like it’s your last, assuring and preparing yourself for life beyond this world, 1 John 5:13.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

Going Over the Edge

Every day tragedy strikes someone an earth.  On the surface, authorities write up reports based upon the physical evidence.  However, sometimes there is a hidden force that goes unnoticed, demonic influences that causes individuals to go over the edge.

“When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, but finds none. Then it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when it comes, it finds the house empty, swept, and put in order. Then it goes and brings with it seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and dwell there, and the last state of that person is worse than the first. So also will it be with this evil generation,” Matthew 12:43-45.

I’m not sure why the devil or demons don’t make the front page of the news more often, but perhaps a spiritual bliss is clouding the minds of Americans.  If you visit third world nations, powers of darkness are visible and part of daily conversations.  Unfortunately, many people in this country have been lulled to sleep spiritually, often sweeping controversial and taboo topics under the rug left for someone else to ponder.

And he said to them, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer,” Mark 9:29.

If you study Jesus’ teaching in the four gospels, demons are part of his training.  During a trial run, Jesus sent his disciples out two by two giving them authority to cast out demons.  However, on one occasion, prayer was necessary before complete deliverance could be accomplished.  Following this unsuccessful attempt, Jesus was disappointed by his disciples lack of faith.  Similar to a teacher’s rant to inattentive students, Jesus rebukes them with a response of “weren’t you listening?”  In view of this, the next time someone displays unusual behavior or goes over the edge, maybe it’s time to consider the role demons play to get to the heart of these matters.

by Jay Mankus

Bitterness or Sweet?

Depending upon how well your are connected in your community or at work, it doesn’t take much to notice the content from the disenfranchised.  Some people feed off of bitterness, often poisoning positive individuals.  Meanwhile, the encouraging need to work extra hard to ward off negativity.

See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled; Hebrews 12:15.

When my children  were younger, I enjoyed watching Veggie Tales.  My favorite was the Rumor Weed illustrating an important lesson for anyone.  If you allow evil to take root in your life, bitterness usually follows.  For this reason, the author Hebrews warns readers about how bitterness can become an obstacle to obtaining God’s grace.

Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! – Isaiah 5:20

Sweetness is received when sinners are forgiven, pardoned by God through the death and resurrection of Jesus.  Yet, there are forces of darkness that continue to steal joy from this life.  As demonic influences manipulate unknowing accomplices, some are deceived calling evil good.  If you listen and watch carefully to voices in the media, Isaiah’s prophecy is being fulfilled.  In view of this growing bitterness, may the power of the Holy Spirit protect you and lead you to the sweet promises of hope found in the Bible.

by Jay Mankus

Leaving God at Home While on Vacation

Children often come up with creative means to make the complex simplistic.  Over the years some of these ideas have become popular trinkets.  Whether you are talking about W.W.J.D. bracelets, (what would Jesus do), various crosses or prayer stones, these products serve as reminders of God.  However, when you leave home to go on vacation, it’s not that difficult to forget about God completely.

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect, Romans 12:1-2.

A medieval proverb speaks to this truth.  Out of sight out of mind was first published by John Heywood in the middle of the 16th century.  Since Heywood was an avid collector of proverbs, this phrase is thought to have originated during medieval times.  While not a biblical passage, this concept does apply to godly principles.  The mind is like a regulator for human thoughts.  When your mind wonders, it becomes susceptible to demonic influences.

For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete, 2 Corinthians 10:3-6.

Although you might have good intentions and motives when you go on vacation, it doesn’t take much to leave God at home.  Finding time alone to pray, read or go to church takes energy, planning and time.  When family time consumes people, distractions can lead driven individuals to make compromises.  Unless you are extremely disciplined, trips can be over before you know it with a Bible unopened, prayers silenced and God ignored.  May my recent experience motivate others to remember to bring God with you the next time you go away on vacation.

by Jay Mankus

 

%d bloggers like this: