Sunday, 18 November 2018

The Dangers of Divination

Scripture:  Acts 16 v 16 - 18: "And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying: 
 17  The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation.
 18  And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour."

Divination is another word for fortune teller, palm reader, reader of tea leaves, psychic.  It is the manifestation of evil spirits and the counterfeit of true prophecy.

In the passage above, Paul and Silas were going to a prayer meeting when they were confronted by a demon-possessed woman.  Whenever God's people are about to communicate with Him, the enemy tries to interfere to minimize the damage to himself.

This was apparent a few chapters on in Acts 19 v 13 - 16: "Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth.
 14  And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so.
 15  And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye?
 16  And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded."

Unbelievers have no power over evil spirits, only Christians have this authority.  And Satan and the demons know this too.  They knew Jesus and Paul but knew these were imposters.  

The woman possessed with the Spirit of divination proclaimed, These men are servants of the Most High God!  This was truth but coming out of her mouth brought no glory to it.  It was like mockery.  And she kept at it for many days.

Paul and Silas spent nearly two years in that place, and their departure came when they were told to leave after the day came when Jesus said, Do it NOW!
Paul felt grieved in Spirit, which is a way the Lord lets you know its time to cast the demon out.  This came after a very long period of Intercession.  And the same hour that he told the demon to go, he left and she was free.  Perhaps she harassed them because she saw them as her only hope.  She was being used for others to grow rich.

There are various levels of bondage to evil spirits.  This lady was possessed i.e. Satan had complete ownership and control over her.  This is the worst form of bondage and is seen in serial offenders of serious crimes like rape, murder, assault, gang warfare, drug cartels, paedophiles, molesters, stalkers.

It is seen in hopeless alcoholics, drug addicts, and in diseases like Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Cancer, Dementia, Epilepsy, HIV/AIDS, TB etc.  Incurable conditions are signs of demon possession.  It's seen in Satanism, witchcraft, occult or Eastern religions, cults.

Matthew 17 v 15 - 21: "Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatick, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water.
 16  And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him.
 17  Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me.
 18  And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour.
 19  Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out?
 20  And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.
 21  Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting."

Jesus says, this kind of demon, meaning those who are possessed by demons, does not go easily and needs Intercession and fasting to set the victims free.  That's what took Paul and Silas so long to set the possessed woman free of the spirit of divination.

The danger of going to psychics, diviners, water diviners, fortune tellers is that you open a spiritual door into the occult realm through which demons can torment you.  The bigger problem is that they have come unseen into the church and are seen as prophets of God.

They "prophesy" that pregnant women are having a boy or girl.  They prophesy of death in the family.  They do not prophesy of the warnings of God or the dangers of sin. They prophesy of only good things to keep people happy.

They next level of demonic bondage is oppression.  It's a condition that comes and goes.  A person possessed by a spirit of lies tells lies all the time and is detached from reality, and believes those lies are true.  A person oppressed by a lying spirit knows the lies are lies.  Can run scams and frauds and be very convincing.

Another level is suppression.  These victims are withdrawn, isolated, sometimes have a mental or emotional illness.  Autism is full possession, but withdrawal can be linked to rejection and trauma.

Then there is depression which covers the whole spectrum from mania to fits of crying.  All of these types are linked to demon invasion.  Jesus gave us the keys to unlock these victims from chains of misery but we give them self help books and DVD's to help them.  They don't.

Jesus gave us authority over all evil spirits but we don't want to get involved with all that.  We only want the good, pleasant, sweet things to deal with.  Over 70% of the ministry of Jesus was in healing and deliverance from evil spirits.

The demons knew Him.  Mark 5 v 6 - 9: "But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him,
 7  And cried with a loud voice, and said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not.
 8  For he said unto him, Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit.
 9  And he asked him, What is thy name? And he answered, saying, My name is Legion: for we are many."

The man, the Gadarene Demoniac, ran to Jesus and worshipped Him.  Out of his mouth the demon called Legion cried with a loud voice, What have I to do with You, Jesus, Son of the most high God? I plead with You not to torment me.

Asylums for the mentally ill are full of people like the Gadarene.  But if we exercised our faith and authority and stopped being afraid, we would see the results Jesus saw. 

Mark 5 v 15: "And they come to Jesus, and see him that was possessed with the devil, and had the legion, sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid."  They chased Jesus away.

In the book of Revelations chapter 2 - 3 are 7 letters Jesus told to John for the seven churches that make up His Body.  They are exhortations for us to overcome all that Satan is doing to the church.  If we don't do this He says He will blot our names out of the Lamb's Book of Life.

I may be the little voice of one crying out in the wilderness but don't ignore it.  Jesus wants to see His Kingdom filled with those who have been set free.  No demon will be let in there.  We have His name, His Blood, His power and authority.  He said all that He has done we can do too and greater things than these because we have the Holy Spirit and all His gifts.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, Jesus came to break our chains and show us how to set the captives free.  To those who are seeing the difference obedience makes, I salute you, and more than this, Jesus does too.  Let us step out in faith Lord and stand against the wiles of the Devil and drive him out so Your people can know You. In Jesus' name.  Amen.