More than a decade ago, in my home city of Indianapolis, Indiana, a home in a quiet, east side neighborhood was rocked by an occult incident. A family from Puerto Rico, if I remember correctly, had moved to the city. The family, no strangers to occult practices, had a teenage grandson in the home. One night, the grandson, no stranger to the ‘family hobby’, suddenly became unmanageable. He grew violent, destructive, and downright mean. The police were called--and the two officers were greeted by breaking glass, furniture that moved without someone pushing it, finding themselves pinned to walls, and a teenage boy who could not be restrained. Bruised and battered, the officers called in the Police Chaplain for help. The Chaplain called in a Priest to help him. Eventually, somehow, the boy was calmed, and the ‘supernatural fireworks show’ came to a halt.
The teenager was quickly, and quietly sent back to Puerto Rico.
A local TV station heard about the incident. A few days later, they sent a reporter and photographer to the home and brought along a Channeler--a medium--to ‘read’ and supposedly ‘calm’ the house. Knowing that I had recently done several stories and series on cult/occult phenomena, the TV photographer gave me a call to talk about the incident.
Needless to say, he was a bit quizzical about my response to his station’s story.
“All your reporter succeeded in doing was to put those demonic forces to sleep by using stronger demonic forces,” I told him. “You guys have NO idea what you were dealing with; someone could wind up real dead--real quick--if they don’t have biblical protection in dealing with the occult.”
Now, as this series unfolds, let me say up front: one MUST be sure of their salvation in Jesus Christ; one MUST be firmly rooted, and grounded in the KJV Bible; one MUST have ANY sins in their life washed clean by the Blood of the Lamb WELL before venturing out onto the battlefield of Spiritual Warfare. On THIS battlefield, Satan and his demonic forces are using LIVE ammunition, and they are governed by one motto: Shoot To Kill!
SEVERAL KEY POINTS ON WHICH BIBLE TO STUDY:
Another item of business that has to be made clear: The MORE the Christian studies the KJV Bible, the LESS they will be shocked and amazed when dealing with people who happen to be in a cult, or involved with occult practices. In other words, the MORE you study the KJV, the LESS you will be swayed when the spiritual counterfeits of our day ‘pop up’ in your field of vision, or in your everyday life.
Now, there ARE those who make light of the KJV. They eagerly run to ‘this’ modern translation, or ‘that’ modern translation. They believe the satanic lie that the KJV is ‘out of date’ or is the ‘white man’s Bible’. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Here are three reasons WHY Christians must be loyal to the KJV:
*Its Origin and History: King James, the ruler who authorized the translation of the available scriptures of his day into a Bible that the common person could read, brought together a host of scholars and experts who painstakingly went over the Greek and Hebrew texts, avoided attempts to ‘water down’ the gospel by the Roman Catholic church leadership, and were willing to suffer all kinds of persecution to get the job done. In 1611, the world was introduced to the King James Version. It stood alone as THE biblical standard for more than 260 years and still has just as much power today, as it did when it first rolled off the presses.
*Its Linguistic Authority and Purity: Some might think that this is a small point, but whenever the Scripture states: ‘Thus saith the Lord…’, it does something to the spirit of the believer. It is written in the same King’s English language used by Shakespeare. One knows what happens when you try to ‘modernize’ Othello, or Romeo and Juliet. The same can be said for attempts to fix or tamper with the KJV! Many, many translations that have come since the KJV lose something when it comes to using modern terminology rather than sticking with a proven winner.
*Its Ability to uplift: Several surveys have been done on the various translations over the years as to their educational abilities. Did you know that a person who masters the KJV is able to comprehend at a 12th grade-plus level? NO other bible version can make such a claim! Our fore parents had it right when they INSISTED to be taught how to read out of the bible, rather than out of ‘just another reading book’. The bible, for many is STILL math book, medical book, marriage manual, and rod of correction for children.
Pastor Wayne Anderson, City of Refuge Church, Honolulu, Hawaii put it this way in one of his messages during the 1990s: “There are those who say that the KJV is out-of-date. It was good enough to get YOU saved! And, when you come right down to it…its King Jesus who makes the difference!” Another Pastor, D. L. Thomas here in Indianapolis, Indiana brings home the point even stronger: “You can LOSE what you’ve GOT by trying to GET what you ALREADY HAVE!”
The KJV has withstood the test of time, and the onslaught of the critics. Why settle for a cheap copy when you have the original Word of God that has a proven track record over the centuries?
FIGHTING THE ENEMY IS A COMMAND--NOT A SUGGESTION:
The Christian has ENEMIES!
When one turns their life over to Christ, there are three forces that immediately go to work against the believer: The WORLD (established economic, religious, social, political, and military systems); The FLESH (our pre-Christian nature, otherwise know as the Adamic nature); and The DEVIL (those supernatural forces that throw at the Christian all manner of evil, from lust to mistrust). We are commanded to resist those things and forces that aim to take us off track for Jesus Christ. “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7, KJV)
What does Satan set out to do to a Christian; especially a NEW Christian?
Destroy their testimony!
Check Revelation 12:11 and you’ll understand!
A man’s--or a woman’s--testimony is the key to winning others to the Kingdom of God! The Woman at the well in the New Testament who met Jesus became one of the best billboards for the Kingdom imaginable. She tasted of the ‘living’ water, and--once she saw the difference that Christ made in her life, she shared that difference with others. The Apostle Paul, who wrote 14 of the 27 books of the New Testament, shared--in more than one place--how HE came to Christ from a background steeped in pride, legalism, and law. THAT’S why, on Mars Hill, when the philosophers and thinkers gathered to hear about ‘this’ god and ‘that’ philosophy, Paul could point out the ‘Unknown God’ and lead some of the ‘intellectuals’ to get to the real God, through Christ!
Everyone is familiar with Dwight L. Moody. NOT everyone is familiar with the man who led him to Christ in--of all places--a Shoe Store! That man won one. Moody won thousands! Who says our testimony is ineffective?
So, exactly WHAT is spiritual warfare? Here’s my definition:
Spiritual warfare is merely the Christian’s continuing resistance to the world, flesh, and devil, on such a regular basis--and with such deadly accuracy--that those held hostage to any one of the ‘unholy trio’ can be freed and pointed to Christ.
Once a Christian believes and acts on the Word of God, enemies are going to appear and be spoiling for a fight! But, we already have the victory in Jesus Christ! For greater is He that is in us (the Christian) than he that is in the world!
BRINGING PART ONE TO A CLOSE:
So, how did a dazzling urbanite like myself, who already had a successful career as a broadcaster and journalist, wind up involved in spiritual warfare? Well, first--a few years before the example that opened this segment of the series--I became a Christian.
I staked my claim on the Lord’s side on a Sunday in 1986, and went back into the newsroom the next day. My world had changed; but the world at large had not. Over the course of several months, major scandals broke in the Christian world. Jim Baker, Jimmy Swaggart, and a few other Christian notables were falling from the battlefield after years of service. Then, a few ritualistic murders and ritualistic child abuse cases took place in and around Indiana, causing me to meet and interview various other Christians who were active in the field of cult/occult research. A few of them were Pastors. Many of them were police officers, detectives, journalists, and researchers.
From these humble Saints, I learned seven very simple rules concerning cults and the occult, and spiritual warfare which I will share with you:
1) There are NO experts in the field, save Jesus Christ! As fast as they are exposed, cults will ‘go underground’, change tactics, and change their doctrine. It wasn’t that long ago, that the Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses prohibited African American members. NOW these two cults are operating in AFRICA with a vengeance.
2) If the Christian studies the true, the false always give themselves away! The Secret Service has its agents study, handle, and examine REAL money BEFORE they are allowed to handle counterfeit cash. Thus, when the phony comes along, they can spot it without batting an eye!
3) Not every Christian, nor every church, is going to be overjoyed with your progress in spotting and stopping the enemy! You can show people--right from the pages of scripture--that certain activities, practices, and habits are wrong; but it is up to the Lord to convict them and lead them out! You may have to move to a bible-believing church once it gets around that you DON’T celebrate Halloween, and DON’T have Pokemon cards or Goosebumps books in your household.
4) This is a worldwide ballgame. Pagan practices that start in one area of the globe wind up, one way or another, on American shores. Repackaged and ready for another generation to fall prey. My generation had to suffer through ‘Bewitched’. Now, ‘Harry Potter’ has surfaced, mark on the forehead and all! A teen in California can learn from another teen in London how to conduct Wiccan rituals over the Internet.
5) Cult and occult practitioners are very well entrenched, very well financed, and HATE exposure! They each have a spy network that would make the CIA hang their heads in shame. Many cult groups own newspapers, radio, television stations and publishing houses. Still others have access to weapons, cash, and drugs to expand their reach. A few others have full diplomatic access, and are protected by international law. Followers who come out, and come to Christ often have a price on their heads! Folks who share Christ with them are marked and targeted for embarrassment, scandal, financial ruin, or WORSE!
6) Ninety percent of satanic attack is aimed at the MIND! Don’t laugh when you read of people saying that they ‘hear’ voices. Don’t laugh when you read stories of ritualistic child abuse. Don’t get bored when you hear of a cemetery having headstones tipped over or gravesites robbed. These are visible signs of occult activity.
7) The Bible is the key in how to deal with these groups. The Book Of Joshua and the Book of Ephesians BOTH contain excellent keys in dealing with those who are not on the Lord’s side--HOWEVER, ONLY the Christian can USE the Armor of God, and claim the protection of God, through Jesus Christ! Study carefully how Paul confronted those trapped or active in the occult in the Book of Acts.
Times may change. Places may change. Satan’s tactics NEVER change. Once you understand how his crew operates, you will be able to minister to others with a passion for souls that you didn’t know that you had! However, Praise God--Christ never changes, and neither does his Word. If it was wrong yesterday, it is wrong today, and will STILL be wrong tomorrow!