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Tag Archives: demonic spirits

A Spirit of Divination

The definition of divination is the practice of seeking knowledge of the future.  This is accomplished by supernatural, unknown or unexplained means.  An online resource references the Celtic art of divination.  Based upon my research, the Celtic god of eloquence and literacy, Ogma or Ogmos inspired staves carved with the Ogham alphabet.  This alphabet has become a popular method of divination for Celtics and pagans.  Meanwhile, Ching is a Chinese book of wisdom that relies on 2500 years of ancient diviners and sages.  These are some of the sources so called fortune tellers rely on today.

It happened that as we were on our way to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave-girl who had a spirit of divination [that is, a demonic spirit claiming to foretell the future and discover hidden knowledge], and she brought her owners a good profit by fortune-telling, Acts 16:16.

During the apostle Paul’s first visit to Europe, a slave girl with the gift of divination began to follow his missionary team around the city of Philippi.  According to Luke, this happened for several days annoying Paul daily.  Apparently, this girl’s constant distraction caused Paul to lose his patience.  After becoming worn out, Paul rebuked this girl, casting out a demonic spirit that was inside of her.  Luke refers to this spirit being the source of her fortune telling ability.  Unfortunately, when the owners of this girl realized their ability to make money was gone, these men convinced the chief magistrates to throw Paul and Silas into jail.

“When you enter the land which the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not learn to imitate the detestable (repulsive) practices of those nations. 10 There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or daughter pass through the fire [as a sacrifice], one who uses divination and fortune-telling, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, 11 or one who casts a charm or spell, or a medium, or a spiritist, or a necromancer [who seeks the dead]. 12 For everyone who does these things is utterly repulsive to the Lord; and because of these detestable practices the Lord your God is driving them out before you, Deuteronomy 18:9-12.

If you are like me, wondering what is wrong with divination, Moses explains why in the passage above.  Divination was a common practice among pagan and secular nations.  The thought of imitating detestable practices repulsed the Lord.  Thus, Moses compares divination to witchcraft, a form of sorcery which the prophet Samuel banned Israel from participating, 1 Samuel 28:6-20..  Based upon God’s reason, partaking in divination is a form of rebellion, trusting in something else rather than relying on the Lord.  Hopefully, this blog helps you understand the biblical perspective against seeking a spirit of divination,

by Jay Mankus

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Recognizing Distractions Early Before It’s Too Late

There is a strange phenomena that occurs when individuals are about to draw close to God.  The apostle Paul points to the spiritual realm to explain distractions, interruptions and unexplained events, Ephesians 6:12.  According to Paul, the devil’s strategy includes three waves.  The first enables certain rulers to rise to power such as judges, kings and political leaders.  This wave is reinforced by worldly forces, areas, regions and territories under demonic oppression where evil is allowed to reign.  Finally, there are spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly realm fueled by demons, minions and strongmen to execute Satan’s schemes on earth.

It happened that as we were on our way to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave-girl who had a spirit of divination [that is, a demonic spirit claiming to foretell the future and discover hidden knowledge], and she brought her owners a good profit by fortune-telling. 17 She followed after Paul and us and kept screaming and shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God! They are proclaiming to you the way of salvation!” – Acts 16:16-17

Using this criteria, Luke details an example from Paul’s ministry while visiting Philippi.  While on his way to participate in a prayer and worship service, a slave girl was sent to distract Paul.  Apparently, a demonic spirit recognized that Paul’s missionary team were servants of the most high God.  Just as spirits hounded Jesus, this revealed truth caused a slave girl to interrupt Paul’s message of salvation to Europe for several days, regularly screaming and shouting as Paul tried to preach.  According to Luke, this gradually wore Paul down, annoyed by this constant distraction.  When Paul rebuked this spirit, the owners of this slave girl complained to the chief magistrates, convincing law enforcement to imprison Paul and Silas.

She continued doing this for several days. Then Paul, being greatly annoyed and worn out, turned and said to the spirit [inside her], “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ [as His representative] to come out of her!” And it came out at that very moment, Acts 16:18.

While in prison, Paul and Silas could have been distracted by anger, bitterness and injustice.  Yet, prayers of the saints strengthened these men, turning this setback into a golden opportunity.  How you may ask?  Well, Paul and Silas transformed their prison cell into a worship service.  As Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns, a great earthquake rocked Philippi.  When this quake opened the doors to each cell, some would have taken this as a sign from God to escape.  However, Paul demonstrated amazing leadership, convincing all the prisoners to stay put; saving the life of the jailor who was about to kill himself, the fate he would have faced if any prisoner escaped.  These are the blessings that await those who recognize spiritual distractions early before it’s too late..

by Jay Mankus

Manifestions of Thanksgiving

When I write about subjects or topics foreign to me, I try to reference experts in their fields.  Prior to becoming King of Israel, David was a harpist.  Biblical accounts reveal David was hired by King Saul.  According to the prophet Samuel, David was called into the king’s room whenever Saul was being oppressed by demonic spirits.  The sound was so pleasing to Saul’s ears that these spirits would disperse soothing the king’s soul.

Addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, Ephesians 5:19.

Today, music has the same affect on me, serving as motivation or simply uplifting my spirits.  Music is so powerful that some teenagers can’t concentrate, think or sleep without music playing in the background.  Yet, one of Lucifer’s nicknames is the angel of song.  Thus, everyone needs to be careful of the content played.  Any sort of subtle compromise can open the door for foreign spirits to enter your life.

He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord, Psalm 40:3.

To nullify this surprise attack, the apostle Paul encourages individuals to make melodies in their hearts to God.  Whether this is in the form of humming, singing or whistling, this practice results in a spirit of thanksgiving.  Although some may attempt to fake this practice, replaying positive lyrics within your minds can and will alter your mood.  Those who develop a mindset for songs of worship and praise will begin to display manifestations of thanksgiving.

by Jay Mankus

How Can It Be So Bad to Take Your Own Life?

On Monday night, former MLB starting pitcher Tommy Hanson died of a massive organ failure following a drug overdose at age 29.  Last August, legendary actor Robin Williams who made millions of dollars in Hollywood also took his own life.  Unfortunately, the older I become, the lists of deaths by suicide continue to rise.  Thus, I wonder how can it be so bad to want to end your own life?

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly, John 10:10.

In a 2013 study, suicide was the second leading cause of death among teenagers.  Some of these statistics can be attributed to bullying.  Others may be related to an unhealthy family or living arrangements.  When you add on depression, low esteem and unguided youths, perhaps individuals come to a point where they think, “it can’t get any worse?”  Meanwhile, some may believe dying is less painful than facing reality.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life, John 3:16.

At the heart of this deception is the Father of Lies, Lucifer.  The more isolated individuals are the louder these whispers become.  Invisible to the eye, demonic spirits cherish each perishing soul.  Yet, beyond the pain of life is a purpose, greater than anyone realizes.  If those who have taken their own life just tasted the abundant life promised in the Bible things would have been different.  For now, all you can do is learn from history, avoid demonic doldrums and set your mind on a higher purpose.  And if it get’s any worse, hold on to Jesus.

by Jay Mankus

A Real Life Superhero

Whether you are referring to one of Marvel Comics fictional characters, watching a Super Friends episode or analyzing films like Unbreakable, superheros often have 3 things in common.  First, each possess some sort of super human power which defies the laws of physics and gravity.  Second,  individuals keep a low profile, developing an alias to keep their true identity a secret.  Finally, most have an arch enemy who seeks to ascertain a weakness, trying to uncover their krytonite.

While reading the gospel of Mark, I stumbled upon an interesting thought, Jesus was a real life superhero.  Like Superman, Jesus came from another world, Colossians 1:15-17.  Before the day came to reveal his special powers, Jesus lived in obscurity as a carpenter in the lowly town of Nazareth.  Jesus flew under the radar for thirty years until John the Baptist was imprisoned, then killed.  However, before his three years of public service began, a real Devil threatened to destroy Jesus’ ministry before it began.

Following the calling of his first four disciples, Mark 1:16-20, Jesus introduced himself to the Jewish community.  Meanwhile, a demonic spirit tried to spoil his coming out party, Mark 1:23-26.  Foiling his enemies first plot, the legend of Jesus began to spread.  Similar to modern superheros, Jesus remained humble.  Rather than proclaiming, “look what I’ve done,” Jesus gave his heavenly Father the credit.  Nearly 2,000 years following his resurrection and ascension into heaven, the Holy Spirit has been left behind so that those who believe, Romans 10:9-10, may experience an extraordinary life, John 10:10.

by Jay Mankus

 

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