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Evil Persuasions

As a prerequisite for any discussion about evil in this world, moral evil must be distinguished from physical or natural evil. While natural disasters are often defined as acts of God by insurance companies to avoid going bankrupt, drunk individuals who decide to get behind the wheel of their vehicle exercise freewill. Earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, and tsunamis are natural phenomena’s that occur throughout the world annually. The aftermath of these natural events may be associated with a curse or some form of punishment. Meanwhile, physical evil exists when human beings find themselves under the influence of a drug, foreign substance or evil spirit.

This [evil] persuasion is not from Him Who called you [Who invited you to freedom in Christ], Galatians 5:8.

In a first century letter, the apostle Paul suggests that witchcraft infiltrated one particular church, Galatians 3:1. Paul uses the expression of being under a spell cast by a religious sect who were adding and subtracting from the apostles teaching. A modern way of saying this might be something like, “wake up and smell the coffee.” Evil has a way of slowly and subtly changing people. The Psalmist illustrates this in the very first verse, Psalm 1:1. Evil persuasions begin with counsel that deviates from the Bible. For those who are curious like Eve in Genesis 3:1-6, evil has a way of luring you to take stances that you normally wouldn’t. Anyone who continues down this road will eventually participate by joining in evil acts.

Do not be so deceived and misled! Evil companionships (communion, associations) corrupt and deprave good manners and morals and character. 34 Awake [from your drunken stupor and return] to sober sense and your right minds, and sin no more. For some of you have not the knowledge of God [you are utterly and willfully and disgracefully ignorant, and continue to be so, lacking the sense of God’s presence and all true knowledge of Him]. I say this to your shame, 1 Corinthians 15:33-34.

The Pharisees and religious leaders of Jesus’ day understood this principle. Thus, when Jesus began to associate with and reach out to sinners, Matthew 9:10-11, they were leary of Jesus’ intentions. Yet, when you are the light of the world, the greater the darkness provided opportunities to expose evil. However, for everyone else who isn’t the son of God, Paul needed to remind first century Christians of a biblical truth in the passage above. Whatever good intentions that you may have, over time bad character will corrupt godly individuals. Therefore, unless you have access to an accountable group to cover you in prayer, it doesn’t take much for evil persuasions to cause a once mighty saint to slip toward the dark side.

by Jay Mankus

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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