War Against Occultism, Witchcraft and False Religion (2)
Occultism is a world-wide menace. It is an evil that the believers must quickly stand up to combat. This is necessary and very urgent because of the threat it poses to the spread of the gospel. It is the most formidable threat to the establishment of the kingdom of God on earth. Unfortunately today, these occult practices are already creeping into the church. Recently, I asked a young Christian man, born in a Pentecostal church who his mentors were. And I was shocked to the marrow when he mentioned some notorious cultists. Why? Just because they have money and are connected to the people in government. My heart bled. This is just a sample of the extent the devil has gone to deceive our youths. I am so much worried about the next generation of the church. And what are we doing about this? Nothing! We are just busy with Jamborees, while the kingdom of Satan is consolidating everywhere in the society.
Yes, man's lust for power, money and fame has made him venerable to this satanic onslaught. There are people that can go any length to get rich. There are others who are crazy about power; political power, spiritual power, power to control or even harm others. Yet, others want to be known everywhere, they want fame. Because of these, they have sold themselves to the devil by involving in demonic activities. They have bowed down to Satan in exchange for these worldly temporal possessions. They refused to learn from our LORD and Master Jesus Christ.
In the wilderness, the devil promised Him everything, including all the kingdoms of the world, if Jesus would bow to him. But Jesus promptly rebuked and reminded him that it was only God Almighty that deserves our worship. Jesus knew that what He had as the Son (child) of God was greater than anything the devil could offer. Everything the devil offers is corrupt, ephemeral and an exchange for our soul. The bible said that those who run after wealth and worldly pleasure will always injure their souls. That's true!
Why is God against occultism? This is because it is evil. It originates from Satan; the archenemy of God. And its practices totally violate the laws of God. The common activities you find in occultism are: idolatry, blood and human sacrifices, sexual perversion, deception, divination, sorcery and secrecy. And all these are detestable to God. That is why He hates them strongly. Let us look at them one after the other:
Every form of occultism and false religion is idolatry. And God frowns at this so much. In fact, He warned the children of Israel that it was the main reason of His displacing the original occupants of the promise land - Canaan. To also show how detestable this is to God, in Exodus 20, it was the first item in the commandments He gave to the Israelites (by extension to all mankind), "then God instructed the people as follows: 'I am the LORD your God, who rescued you from slavery in Egypt. 'Do not worship any other gods besides me.
"Do not make idols of any kind, whether in the shape of birds or animals or fish. You must never worship or bow down to them, for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God who will not share your affection with any other god! - Exodus 20: 1 - 5.
And the King James version puts verse 4 this way - "thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:"
This commandment is very clear. God is saying that He cannot share His glory or worship with any image, creature or being in heaven, on earth or under the earth (waters). This instruction is so important that He pours it out just after introducing Himself. You noticed that? It simply means that this particular item is paramount and maybe He has being looking for the opportunity to dish it out. Occultism directly opposes this instruction and also questions the supremacy of God. So, when you worship objects, creatures, spirits, angels, prophets, the sun, the moon, the stars, Satan, principalities, powers and rulers of darkness, demons, etc, God said that you are questioning His authority and place in creation. And it is very detestable to him.
I think this matter is simple. God created everything including man and He said, "man, don't worship any other thing besides me!' And man is saying "No sir! Yes, I know you created all things, including me, but I want to worship my fellow creature!" It is as idiotic as that. This is what occultism is. And unfortunately, Satan is the head of every occultism practice and he extends this through his demons and human agents.
God variously warned Israel against idolatry. In fact he will always punish them each time they indulge in this by allowing their enemies to defeat them or send them into exile. He will always call it spiritual adultery and warned that He would severely punish those that get involved. You don't need any idol. God said that you should worship Him through Jesus Christ. That's all! We will continue next week, God bless!
Rev. Agbo is the author of the book Power of Midnight Prayer and a minister with the Assemblies of God Nigeria. Tel: 08037113283, E-mail: [email protected]