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Overcoming Anxiety: Finding Peace, Discovering God


How much have we been influenced by the powers of the dark side?

Get our newest book: Satan's Four Stations!We all have been subdued by the powers of darkness. We can sense their terror by reading the Book of Revelation or some novel which reveals a sinister plot such as Tolkien's trilogy.

Or we can more simply think of how each of us participates in disgusting selfishness at times. Without trying, we all came under the control of this master of darkness.

We were born under the control of the evil one. And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.

In spite of your many sorceries,
In spite of the great power of your spells.

And you felt secure in your wickedness and said,
"No one sees me." ...

Evil will come on you
Which you will not know how to charm away;
And disaster will fall on you.
     (Isaiah 47:9-11, NASB)

Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. (Ephesians 2:1-3)

On the one hand, as the human race we have been 'compromised' to the devil early on by our ancestors. The evil one has access to us though he doesn't have total control. Mankind stays under His power by two special circumstances: Death and Desire.

1) Death: By obeying the evil one, we are under his control through death. We have to die. Death is not natural, but it is common.

2) Desire: We are more deeply controlled and manipulated to the degree we follow the desires that he has. In other words, even if we could escape from death, we would end up back in the same place because we would again follow our desires do the things the evil one does. Our natures are similar.

BFF Discipleship #3 Digital Library!There is a battle for our lives. Without God's help we are lost. We belong to the devil and therefore live like him and share his destiny. From darkness to darkness.

How come we don't know about these things?

We are on the devil's side from birth. We are more comfortable with his way of doing things than God's. We are not open to God's ways and cannot do them. If we are honest, we don't even want to do them. For instance, no one has to teach their childen to do wrong. They just do it. This is how the scriptures describe man.

"Being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart." (Ephesians 4:18)

Why is it that participation in the occult or deep magic deepens this control?

Satan's total control over man occurs at his death. This is why the devil inspires suicide and suicidal thoughts. Before that, there is still a little light in him. Since man was created in the image of God, he has both a little light as well as a will which give God a window into man's life.

Light for God to speak to man.The light can best be understood by the conscience. Man is conscious to some degree of what God wants. Guilt arises when we do wrong. Man tries to drown out this 'little voice' by distractions or convincing himself there is no God or moral standards. This materialistic view is very prevalent. When getting more deeply involved in the occult, man steps into more deception. In other words, because he has overcome the sensitivities or cautions of his conscience, he can do evil and even get pleasure out of it. The scripture calls this a defiled conscience.

To the pure, all things are pure; but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and their conscience are defiled. (Titus 1:15)

He actually believes his evil is good. Terrorists are an excellent though tragic example of this. They no longer allow laws and love to govern what they do. They are in darkness.

By the will man makes decisions. The more his decisions fall along the direction of the evil one, the more his mind will be controlled by him. Those involved in deep magic or the occult often have many dark spiritual voices and encounters.

When trying to completely escape pornography's grasp, I actually woke up at night with sensual, nude dark woman beings next to me along with my wife. (I know it is hard to explain how dark beings can also be sensual, but they were). By God's grace, each time I responded by jumping up out of bed rather than letting my mind fall to their seductions. My wife knows well of these several encounters.

Even though we are under the evil one's control as non-Christians, we can give more and more of our will over to the evil one. The less sensivity we have toward the things of God and the needs of others, the more deeply we drift into the evil one's power. Evil spirits (demons) will hollow out places of command in our thoughts if we let them, and to a large degree they will affect our choices.

Magic Books and Fetishes?

Our solution in escaping such practices needs to go beyond just putting away our magical books as they did in Acts. That is an earnest beginning. Any such occult books or fetishes must be burnt rather than given away or sold.

Many also of those who had believed kept coming, confessing and disclosing their practices. And many of those who practiced magic brought their books together and began burning them in the sight of all; they counted up the price of them and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver. So the world of the Lord was growing mightily and prevailing. (Acts 19:19-20)

This was an extremely large amount of money. A drachma could pay a day's wage. This would pay a year's salary for 140 people! We could run a good-sized business with this amount of money, but they rightly destroyed it. We need to have a similar attitude to things that are devoted to idols. Get rid of them so that others don't get influenced by them.

No one can escape from the evil one's grasp on his own. All of us are blinded, but some people are more deeply blinded and more greatly used of the evil one. We should not give up hope though.


How can God help us out of the control of this dark power?

God did not have to help us out. He desired to. He wanted to restore the good relationship He had with man in the beginning. His devoted love for His people is a miracle in and of itself.

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. (John 3:16)

But let us look at another miracle. God the Father devised an ingenious plot to help mankind. He sent His only Son to earth in the form of a man. This was Christ Jesus. How did this plan work?

Up above we identified two ways Satan keeps us under his control. They are death and desire. God's plan had to overcome both of these obstacles. Let's see how He worked His plan out.

(1) Overcome Death

Every man that sins must die. God told this to Adam. This spiritual law could not be changed. God got around it by having His Son who had life take our death away. He was righteous. He never sinned nor was He born from a man but the Holy Spirit and a virgin. Therefore He did not have a sinful nature. We also know that he never gave in to Satan's temptation (see Matthew 4).

When Christ died, it was not for His own sins nor was it an accident. Satan thought he had the upper hand when dealing a death blow to Jesus. What he did not know was that Jesus died in the place of all who believed or would believe in Him.

Nor did the evil one realize that death had no power over a righteous one. Christ came alive. This leads us into the second part.

(1) Overcome Desire

Just taking away our death sentence would not completely rescue us out of the evil one's grasp. We need new heart to desire and to live God's ways. The problem is that we don't naturally do what God wants. Through Christ's resurrection however, the Christian automatically gets a new life or nature. Christ lives on in the life of every believer through the Holy Spirit.

What this means practically is that no matter how far you have strayed from God or participated in dark deeds, God has a way out.

You might wonder what about those who have stepped deeper into the 'works of the evil one.'

We are so excited to tell you, that Jesus has set these people free too. Just read the numerous accounts in the Gospels of how Jesus healed those people greatly afflicted by demons. Mary Magdalene had seven evil spirits but later became one of the most devoted women disciples.

And it came about soon afterwards, that He {Jesus} began going about from one city and village to another, proclaiming and preaching the kingdom of God; and the twelve were with Him, and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and sicknesses: Mary who was called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out. (Luke 8:1-2)

The new life of Christ lives within each Christian. We no longer are of the devil but of the Holy Spirit. We bear forth the fruit of the Holy Spirit and do the works of our Heavenly Father.

How do I escape this dark side?

God has done His work through Jesus Christ. Everything that needs to be done has been done. Christ has sent His disciples throughout the earth telling people this great story. This is true for you too, no matter what you have done. Essentially, we are all in the same boat. We all have sinned and fallen short of God's glorious standard.

In order to escape the grasp of the evil one, repent and believe upon Jesus Christ. How does one do this?

Stand fast now in your spells
And in your many sorceries
With which you have labored from your youth;
Perhaps you will be able to profit,
Perhaps you may cause trembling.

You are wearied with your many counsels,
Let now the astrologers.
Those who prophesy by the stars, those who predict by the new moons,
Stand up and save you from what will come upon you.

Behold, they have become like stubble,
They cannot deliver themselves from the power of the flame.
     (Isaiah 47:12-14, NASB)

The word' repent' describes the utter hatred one has for going against God's way and his desire to leave it all behind. The repentant sinner knows well his sin. His eyes are opened up to see all the ways he has forsaken God.

But he also finds faith to believe that Christ has provided the way back to God. He weeps in thanks when he sees what Christ has done for him by dying on the cross and asks for forgiveness.

This process can take longer or be very short. It does not matter. What matters most is your acknowledgement of being a wicked sinner without hope except in Christ. In Christ you can rejoice that every sin is washed away clean. Repent and believe are essentially the same thing with a different focus. Repentance speaks of your new hatred for sin. Belief speaks about your new trust in Christ to help you.

If you cannot forgive another person, you do not yet hate sin enough. If you think you are not too bad, then your faith in Christ is not enough. The 'born again' experience describes what happens when God brings new life to a person. A new life has new desires and faith. A believer in Christ both hates sin and loves God's ways.

It is understandable that we have a hard time understanding this process until we look back at what God has done in our lives. Just like a normal birth, life is happening to him. It is good to pray (talking to God) asking for forgiviness because of Jesus and affirm your desire to only serve Him. Follow up by thanking Him for His marvelous work of salvation.

You will need to deal with different consequences from sins in your life, but there will be time for that. The process is not a secret. One basically does the same thing, identifying some sinful way or thought, confessing your participation, asking for the cleansing power of Christ, repay any damage to others as much as possible, seeking apologies, dedicating your life to live to please God and following this up with a new way to live, talk and think.

If one has participated in the works of darkness, all sorts of occult, magic books, ouji board, fortune telling, etc. all have to be confessed and repented of. Be specific. One might say something like this,

"Please God, I have wrongly sought my fortune rather than seeking you. Please forgive by the blood of Jesus Christ. I ask that you might restore what needs restoring. I commit myself to seek your ways only. In Jesus Name I pray, Amen."

Step by step, go through the wrong things that you have done. Any area left hidden can be a hidden spot for the evil one. If you think something is not right, just confess it. If confused, speak to your pastor or older Christian. You must include confessing not only occult practices but also any bad motives in which you did these things. For example, you might say, "I was arrogant. I just wanted people to look at me. This is why I participated in witchcraft." Again, confess (tell what God thinks about it and what you agree about it) it, ask for forgiveness and commit yourself to right living. In this case you might say that now you will be a humble servant of others the rest of your life.

Just remember, salvation is both an event to be followed up by baptism as well as a life to be lived out. Check out our courses for new Christians. They guide one in cleansing ones whole life. You just need to be part of a living church where the gospel is preached and lived out.

If you have come out of the occult, it is important to talk to a pastor or someone who understands such matters. You will for the most part encounter greater struggles than normal. The evil one does not want to give you up. Through Christ, however, you have gained freedom! Stand strong in the Word of God. Your salvation is a fact, not a feeling. Start meeting God each day in prayer and through reading the Bible. Don't forget to get discipled.

This is the end of this series on Deep Magic and Reality. Other similiar topics designed for Christians are listed below.


=> Next in series: The Two Spheres of Deep Magic

Understanding the Dark World
Questions on the Dark World

Demon Possession: Is it Biblical?
Understanding How Demons Work
The Devil and His Powers
Sorcery: Satan or Sinful Flesh? Galatians 5:19

Scriptures typically quoted from the New American Standard Bible unless noted: (C) Copyright The Lockman Foundation 1988

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