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The Master of Disinformation

Piercing the Darkness, a Frank Peretti novel, was first published in 1988. Building upon the first book in this spiritual warfare series, This Present Darkness, Peretti seeks to peal back the spiritual dimension to reveal what is happening behind the scenes. One of the lesser known demons has gained dominion over Bentmore College in Peretti’s book. The name given to this entity is the Master of Disinformation.

But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me for twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief [of the celestial] princes, came to help me, for I remained there with the kings of Persia, Daniel 10:13.

Peretti’s fictional character is consistent with a biblical account in the Old Testament. Apparently, Daniel was granted access to the spiritual realm, made aware of a demonic presence that possessed a foothold in Persia. While it’s unclear how the demonic prince of Persia fought Daniel, the Master of Disinformation seeks to deceive, distract and de-emphasize the real threat with other information to change the narrative.

For we are not wrestling with flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the despotisms, against the powers, against [the master spirits who are] the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere, Ephesians 6:12.

The apostle Paul appears to have had a similar experience during a visit to Ephesus. Instead of pointing out one particular spirit, Paul places these dark forces into 4 categories. When you take this information and consider the possibilities, it’s not too far fetched to believe in a modern demon of Dis-information. When social media sites collude to ban, censor or hide certain facts from the general public, the Master of Dis-information is alive and well today. This is where prayer provides spiritual googles to reveal what the darkness is trying to hide. Fast and pray so that truth prevails.

by Jay Mankus

When Voices of Doubt Wear You Down

Over the past month, I wanted to refresh my mind of the spiritual realm. I decided to reread Piercing the Darkness by Frank Peretti, opening my mind to what is going on behind the scenes spiritually. Peretti’s style of writing does a good job of illustrating how demons like doubt can wear individuals down. Comparing evil spirits to pests that feed on negativity, Christians that don’t take the spiritual dimension seriously will be overwhelmed as spiritual warfare intensifies.

Only it must be in faith that he asks with no wavering (no hesitating, no doubting). For the one who wavers (hesitates, doubts) is like the billowing surge out at sea that is blown hither and thither and tossed by the wind, James 1:6.

Jesus’ earthly brother compares doubt to crashing waves upon a shoreline. As someone who loves going to the beach, waves are relentless. While tides rise and fall, waves keep coming. While the size of waves varies depending upon the weather, waves don’t call time out, pause or take time off. Rather, one after another, waves weaken body surfers and boogie boarders with each crashing blow. James’ analogy doesn’t consider voices of doubt.

For truly, let not such a person imagine that he will receive anything [he asks for] from the Lord, [For being as he is] a man of two minds (hesitating, dubious, irresolute), [he is] unstable and unreliable and uncertain about everything [he thinks, feels, decides], James 1:7-8.

The passage above transitions from physical waves to waves of emotions. Whenever confidence is invaded by doubt, hesitation is conceived. Instead of building confidence, doubt erodes human minds spiritually like crashing waves on sandy beaches. While salt water exposes hidden debris, doubt makes minds unstable. As soon as thoughts begin to slip, voices of doubt will wear you down. As this enfolds, make sure you follow the apostle’s Paul advice in 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 to take captive your thought life when doubt tries to invade your soul.

by Jay Mankus

We Found Each Other in the Dark

Tom Hanks plays the head cell block guard on death row in the 1999 film The Green Mile.  During his interactions with convicted murderers, one prisoner fits the physical description, but internally something is different.  Michael Clarke Duncan plays John Coffey, an intimidating man who possesses the gift of healing.  After witnessing 2 minor miracles, Tom Hanks convinces his entire staff to risk their jobs in order to save a woman dying from cancer.  James Cromwell, Hank’s boss in the film, is married to Patricia Clarkson who is on the verge of death.  After a powerful healing scene, Clarkson talks to Duncan revealing a dream she had during her ordeal with cancer.  This vision refers to finding each other in the dark.

This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin, 1 John 1:5-7.

The Bible uses the imagery of darkness to refer to moments or periods of time individuals are separated from God.  One of Jesus’ disciples associates being in God’s presence with fellowship.  As a personal eye witness to Jesus’ life on earth for 3 years, John testifies to the fact that Jesus was the real deal, full of love and light.  While most people flee from the lost, lonely and social outcasts, Jesus built his ministry around comforting, healing and waiting until desperate souls were touched by a miracle.  Jesus went into the darkness to help those unable to escape on their own.

But if anyone walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him, John 11:10.

Human nature creates a curiosity within human hearts.  Like Eve in the Garden of Eden, even if you have been taught right from wrong, some won’t stop until they taste forbidden fruit.  For those who follow longings, lust and temptation into darkness, returning back where you came from isn’t as easy as it seems.  Enlightenment has a way of enticing people, creating a hunger for more.  Despite the presence of God’s light in small portions of this world, darkness seems to growing more and more by the day.  This expansion is causing many to stumble, stuck in darkness together.  May the light of Christ pierce through this darkness, John 1:5, so that those who unable to find their way out will be united once again into fellowship with God.

by Jay Mankus

 

Under the Power of the Devil

An addiction starts off as a habit which can lead to an obsession, causing individuals to fall prey to compulsions and cravings.  Such behavior can develop into sinful patterns, tendencies that slowly become the norm for one’s life.  While psychologists may narrow in on a few possibilities, Luke has another explanation in Acts 10:38.  In his day, many souls were clearly under the power of the devil.

Based upon the accounts within the 4 gospels, demons and or spirits can attribute to various medical issues.  Beside the obvious, demon possession, like the case in Matthew 15:22, spirits can influence hearing, movement and speech, Matthew 8:16, Mark 9:17-18 and Luke 13:11.  Although I am not an expert; nor did not spend the night at a Holiday Inn Express, yet I do believe there is a correlation between good health and being under the power of the devil.

Some where between fiction and reality lies the spiritual realm.  While unseen, Ephesians 6:12 mentions a place where dark and supernatural powers exist.  Author Frank Peretti has used a series of novels: This Present Darkness, Piercing the Darkness and The Oath to illustrate this mystery.  Though fiction, no one has been able to capture this spiritual dimension like Peretti.  Therefore, if you have tried everything in your power to resolve your current problem like the disciples in Matthew 9:19, rely on prayer to free you from the power of the devil, Matthew 9:29.

by Jay Mankus

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