Archives

The Danger of Pursuing Evil, Proverbs 11:27b

Bud.Halloween.2018.WP

It doesn’t help to have the most uncooperative dog to feature in a blog. Buddy hates getting his picture taken and refuses to look at me when I am holding the camera. I have to trick him into looking at me and, as you can see above, he didn’t take the bait.

Since it is October a friend and I watched a DVD of “The Wolfman” featuring Benicio Del Toro. Apparently it bombed at the box office when it came out in the theaters in 2010, but it’s one of my favorite horror movies. It has no sex and swearing, although there is some gore. I enjoy a good monster movie if it isn’t overly scary, because I don’t believe in vampires, werewolves or other monsters. But I generally avoid movies about ghosts, demons and witches because I believe there are real forces of evil in this world that should not be taken lightly.

Proverbs 11:27b warns: “he who seeks evil, evil will come to him.”

In my opinion, the movie “The Wolfman” is a cautionary tale against seeking out evil. And the conquering power of love over evil. (Spoiler alert: If you haven’t seen the movie and want to, you might want to stop reading.)

Sir John Talbot is on a hunting expedition with his friends in India when the natives tell him about a “strange creature” that lives in the mountains. He spends several days hunting down this legendary creature until he comes upon a feral boy in a cave, stricken with the disease of lycanthropy. After being bitten by the “creature”, Sir John believes he’s the “butt of a joke” until, after returning to England, he transforms into a werewolf and murders his wife.

Sir John considered suicide to escape his monstrous existence, but life was “too glorious, especially to the curse and the damned”. Not once is forgiveness and deliverance in Jesus Christ considered; instead, he ultimately embraces his wickedness. Because¬†Sir John didn’t take evil seriously, many other people are killed, including both his sons, ending his hereditary lineage. “But transgressors will be altogether destroyed; The posterity of the wicked will be cut off.”–Psalm 37:38

Sir John attacks his son, Lawrence, infecting him with lycanthropy, also. Although earlier in the movie, Lawrence states that a person can get used to any lifestyle, including his debauched stage actor life, he never embraces the evil lifestyle of a werewolf with its great sense of power and strength. He escapes his fate by being shot with a silver bullet by Gwen Conliffe, a woman who loves him. As he dies, Lawrence thanks Gwen for having the courage to rescue him. Only love delivers him from his wretched Satanic curse.

The best horror movies are cautionary tales about good and evil. And it’s my humble opinion that the best movies are ones which demonstrate the triumph of good over evil. I really dislike movies in which a person’s good deed is rewarded by being murdered by the monster (“Jeepers Creepers”, for instance).

God warns us in Deuteronomy 18:10-11 to stay away from the occult:

“There shall not be found among you anyone…who uses divination, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who casts a spell, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead.”

Far too many people ignore these warnings and get involved in tarot card reading, horoscopes, Ouija boards, palm reading, seances, drug use, and the like. God warns us not to get involved with such things, not because He doesn’t want us to have fun, but because it can invite Satanic powers into our lives. And He doesn’t want us to be in bondage to evil. Sir John Talbot thought hunting down the creature in the mountains was just a lark; he didn’t take evil seriously, even after he was bitten. As a result, his and many other lives were destroyed.

Some authors, I believe, are morally confused because they don’t know Jesus Christ.

The problem is: Only the word of God can help us to discern good from evil. When Adam and Eve rejected God’s authority in their lives by disobeying Him, their offspring, divorced from the indwelling presence of their Creator, lost the ability to truly know good from evil. When ancient Israel, living in the Promised Land, rejected the God of the Bible, they turned to human sacrifice and other abominations, shedding innocent blood. (Psalm 106:35-38)

Humanity became cursed and under the dominion of Satan, by rejecting the Creator. But God brought humanity back into a relationship with Himself by sending Christ to take the punishment for our sin, conquering Satan and the fear of death on the Cross.

“For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom have have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. He is the image of the invisible God..And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach…”

This Halloween, please claim the victory that Jesus Christ and His love gives us over the power of evil–evil within ourselves and the evil in the world.

God bless you from Dawn and Buddy

***

If you want to know Jesus Christ, please pray: Dear Father, I acknowledge that I cannot earn my way to Heaven because no one is good enough to meet your perfect standard. I’ll never be good enough. Only Jesus lived the perfect life; He alone was sufficient to take the penalty for my sin. I ask that you forgive my sin. I believe that Jesus is Immanuel, God in the flesh, and took the punishment for my sin. Please grant me the gift of the Holy Spirit; help me to discern good from evil. Be my Good Shepherd; guide me into all righteousness. In Jesus’ holy name, amen.

If you prayed this prayer, please find a Bible-based church to grow in the knowledge of Jesus and to find fellowship with other Christians. Also, please get a Bible and start reading. I suggest starting in the New Testament with Matthew and reading your way through to the end. Then try the Psalms and then Proverbs. Then start back at the beginning with Genesis. There are some boring passages in the Old Testament, so I don’t recommend starting your Christian life at the beginning of the Bible.

Advertisements

Ghosts, Luke 16:26

BuddyWithSkeletons.WP

When Buddy turned 10 years old this past August, it was rather traumatic to me. It was a reminder that I won’t always have my little pal living with me, as he is in his second decade now.

I believe that there are three main reasons that people want to believe in ghosts: a morbid fascination with the occult/supernatural, a desire for proof of life after death and missing loved ones.

Before the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, when the apostles were being trained by Jesus, they demonstrated a belief in ghosts. In one of the most famous stories in the New Testament, Jesus goes to the mountain to pray and leaves the apostles, so they begin to row across the sea to Bethsaida without Him. Later, during that windy night, Jesus walks toward them on the water, frightening them greatly as they believe they are seeing a ghost (Matthew 14:22-26, Mark 6:47-50). Jesus tells them they don’t need to be afraid and gets into the boat; immediately the wind stops. Yet the apostles don’t get it, that Jesus is God Who can do anything, even walk on the water. (Jesus had just earlier fed 5,000 men plus women and children with five loaves of bread and two fish.)

Jesus did NOT censure them for believing in ghosts.

True confession: I believe ghosts are real.

But they aren’t what is typically depicted in movies.

Over the years, dramatized in movies and television shows, there have been cute and friendly ghosts–“Topper”–or romantic, handsome ghosts–“The Ghost And Mrs. Muir”–and downright nasty and frightening ghosts–“The Amityville Horror”.

I love my beloved Buster, the Silky terrier who preceded Buddy, in 2009. I wish he could come visit, but he cannot. Neither can my grandmother Vera, with whom I was very close my entire life till her death in 2010.

Jesus tells the story in Luke 16:19-31 about a rich man and a poor man named Lazarus (not the one He resurrected out of the tomb). The rich man lived luxuriously while poor, suffering Lazarus lay at his gate, starving and longing for some crumbs from the rich man’s table. Lazarus was in such a wretched state that even dogs licked at his wounds.

Both men die. The rich man goes into the eternal torment of Hades while the poor man finds comfort with Abraham, the patriarch of the Jewish people. (Note that the rich man may have made a great name for himself on earth but isn’t remembered by name for posterity; his efforts to be remembered didn’t last past his death.)

In the afterlife there exists a great chasm between the place of torment and the heavenly place of comfort, yet the inhabitants of both locations are capable of not only seeing one another but also communicating with each other. (I believe this changes after Judgment Day, however.) “In Hades he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and saw Abraham far away and Lazarus in his bosom (verse 23).” Although he did nothing to ease Lazarus’s suffering on earth, he dares to ask Abraham to allow Lazarus to venture down to Hades “that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool off my tongue, for I am in agony in this flame (verse 24)”. Abraham admonishes him, saying that he had lived his good life and shouldn’t expect Lazarus to come down and help him out.

But Abraham also states that it was not possible for Lazarus to come relieve the rich man’s suffering in Hades, even if he wanted to.

“Between us and you there is a great chasm fixed, so that those who wish to come over from here to you will not be able, and that none may cross over from there to us (verse 26).”

There is no possibility for people, after they have died, to leave their appointed destination.

Now apparently the rich man, though totally inconsiderate of the woeful state of the poor man suffering outside his magnificent villa, must not have been totally depraved as he longed for Abraham to return to earth and warn his five brothers so that “they will not also come to this place of torment (verse 28).” Although he was suffering greatly, he still thought about the welfare of his family.

What I believe is that ghosts are demonic spirits. They will appear to be anything that a person will accept in order to enter into a person’s life to cause them harm. Satan himself will “disguise himself as an angel of light” to deceive people (2 Corinthians 11:14). If you believe in ghosts, they will appear as ghosts. If you believe in fairies, elves or genies (jinns), they will come to you in the guise of fairies, elves and genies. ¬†If you believe in aliens, they will appear as aliens. Author and novelist Whitney Strieber, famous for his nonfiction novel, “Communion” and accompanying follow-up series of books, finally came to the conclusion, as do many paranormal investigators, that the alien phenomenon was likely the manifestation of the paranormal.

Satan enters into a person’s life “to kill, steal and destroy”, but that Jesus comes into a person’s life so that “they may have life, and have it abundantly.”–John 10:10. Apostle John warns in 1 John 4:1 not to “believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God.” Satan is a deceiver, and so are his demonic followers. Apparently there are differing levels of evil in the demons, as the most dangerous are being kept bound till they are released in the End Times to wreak havoc on earth.

People who reject Jesus become fascinated with the supernatural. They “resort to idols and ghosts of the dead and to mediums and spiritists” (Isaiah 19:3); in this verse, preoccupation with occultism is a curse from God.

God wants us to be preoccupied with Him, the source of “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Galatians 6:22).

Be preoccupied with the source of life, Jesus Christ, the “author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2)” who sits “in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And He put all things in subjection under His feet…” (Ephesians 1:20-22).

God bless. And if you miss a loved one who has departed from this life, may He comfort you.

Love from Dawn and Buddy

***

Jesus showed that He loves you by taking the punishment for your sin. You see, God understands that you can never measure up to His perfect standard for entering Heaven into His presence, 100% holiness, so He sent His Son to pay the penalty for what you could never pay. Please ask Jesus to be your Lord and enter into your life. Confess that you fall short and need His resurrection life. Ask Him to give you the abundant life and meaning and purpose you seek.