RSS Feed

Tag Archives: demons

A Split Decision

In the context of boxing, split decisions occur when judges view a contest from opposing points of view.  Unlike unanimous decisions where there is a clear victor, contestants may sway judges by a great comeback or regaining control of a fight.  While modern technology and social media use round by round scorecards today, no one knows what the judges think until the final results are announced at the end of each bout.

 Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand, Matthew 12:25.

Throughout the course of each day, arguments tend to result in split decisions depending upon your worldview.  These disagreements can create divisive debates that divide rather than unite.  After President Trump’s comments last Friday in Alabama about National Football players kneeling during the national anthem, professional athletes, owners and most of the media created a firestorm.  After these attacks went viral, citizens from the heartland, Nascar and veterans chimed in to support their president.  A week later, a split decision still exists, with convincing arguments on both sides.

 And if I drive out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your people drive them out? So then, they will be your judges, Matthew 12:27.

During the first century, another controversy began to brew.  The Pharisees felt like Jesus was making a power play, introducing a new concept to Judaism.  This teaching was heresy in the eyes of religious leaders.  Jealous of Jesus’ ability to heal, a rumor spread about Jesus working behind the scenes with the Devil to fool everyone.  Using logic, Jesus began to poke holes in their theory, responding with the two passages above.  These words remind me of today’s current debate over standing or kneeling during the playing of the National Anthem.  In the end, if America doesn’t come to a point where people agree to disagree, the end will be in sight.  Therefore, the next time you attempt to play the role of judge and jury, take a step back and let God be the ultimate judge.

by Jay Mankus

 

Advertisements

Fighting for Harmony

Most people don’t view life in terms of harmony.  Yet, musicians and song writers seek a place or state of mind where creativity flows.  Others withdraw to a secluded location, retreating to regain joy and purpose for life.  Behind the scenes, in one way or another, we are all struggling to find harmony.

So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding, Romans 14:19.

Prior to beginning his earthly ministry, Jesus spent forty days in the desert.  Fasting, praying and seeking God for insight, Jesus avoided the typical distractions within daily life.  This time of reflection served as a transitional period from a carpenter to a fisher of men.  Jesus turned his attention away from financial needs toward building a spiritual team of disciples.  Along the way, Satan arrives in Matthew 4:1-9 to disrupt this harmony.

Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind, 1 Peter 3:8.

Similar visits occur today by demons seeking to divide families, communities and nations.  Based upon current events, it appears the Devil is accomplishing his goal.  Anger, dissension and gossip are on the rise, fueled by social media.  Instead of attacking the source, people are fighting one another with words of hate.  Perhaps, it’s time to withdraw into the wilderness to reverse this trend by fighting back to regain a sense of harmony.

by Jay Mankus

Going Over the Edge

Every day tragedy strikes someone an earth.  On the surface, authorities write up reports based upon the physical evidence.  However, sometimes there is a hidden force that goes unnoticed, demonic influences that causes individuals to go over the edge.

“When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, but finds none. Then it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when it comes, it finds the house empty, swept, and put in order. Then it goes and brings with it seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and dwell there, and the last state of that person is worse than the first. So also will it be with this evil generation,” Matthew 12:43-45.

I’m not sure why the devil or demons don’t make the front page of the news more often, but perhaps a spiritual bliss is clouding the minds of Americans.  If you visit third world nations, powers of darkness are visible and part of daily conversations.  Unfortunately, many people in this country have been lulled to sleep spiritually, often sweeping controversial and taboo topics under the rug left for someone else to ponder.

And he said to them, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer,” Mark 9:29.

If you study Jesus’ teaching in the four gospels, demons are part of his training.  During a trial run, Jesus sent his disciples out two by two giving them authority to cast out demons.  However, on one occasion, prayer was necessary before complete deliverance could be accomplished.  Following this unsuccessful attempt, Jesus was disappointed by his disciples lack of faith.  Similar to a teacher’s rant to inattentive students, Jesus rebukes them with a response of “weren’t you listening?”  In view of this, the next time someone displays unusual behavior or goes over the edge, maybe it’s time to consider the role demons play to get to the heart of these matters.

by Jay Mankus

Wanted: Dead or Alive

In 1987 Bon Jovi released the song Wanted: Dead or Alive as their third single from the Slippery When Wet album.  The title of this song pays homage to Jon’s admiration of Old West heroes.  Whether this was a poster or a sheriff seeking to purge his town of criminals, this phrase became synonymous with a quest for justice.

When justice is done, it is a joy to the righteous but terror to evildoers, Proverbs 21:15.

While classic movies pay tribute to the age of Cowboys and Indians, one aspect of life has not changed.  Evil continues to exist today in various shapes and forms.  Demons masquerade as angels of light using the gullible, weak and unknowing as accomplices of the Devil.  Jesus even had to rebuke one of his own disciples, Peter, proclaiming, “get behind me Satan.”

But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream, Amos 5:24.

If you want to follow in the footsteps of western sheriffs, Jesus offers some interesting advice.  According to the Gospel of Matthew in chapter 16, if you want to find life you must be willing to lose it.  Meanwhile, if you attempt to save your life, you will lose it.  Today, God is searching for new deputies.  However, before you enlist you must consider the cost: do you want death or hope to come alive?

by Jay Mankus

Angels with Error

The book of Job, the person not what Trump wants to create, is the oldest book in the Old Testament.  What this means is that Job was finished prior to Genesis.  Why its not clear if Job lived before the flood, he does talk about walking with dinosaurs.  Due to the atmospheric changes in the weather following the flood and lack of dinosaurs mentioned on Noah’s ark, Job could have died prior to Genesis 7.  Another clue is found in the first few chapters of Job’s book, referring to Satan by name twice and angels with error.  All of this leads me to believe Job experienced a moment in time when 1/3 of the angels were kicked out of heaven, falling to earth in the form of demons.

If God places no trust in his servants, if he charges his angels with error, Job 4:18.

Theology introduces many terms which were created and developed to help common church going individuals to understand the complex.  One of these biblical ideas is the concept of free will.  The definition eludes to freedom given by God to make choices without coercion or force.  This element also applies to angels, also known as cherubs, seraphim and archangels.  The context of Job 4 is Eliphaz, a close friend of Job addresses and begins to contemplate why Job has endured several trials.  While the initial statement refers to trust, one possible explanation is that angels with error, now demons, have unleashed their wrath.

And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day, Jude 1:6.

According to Jesus, everyone will face a day of judgment.  While the facts of life will be presented in the form of video clips that include highlights and low lights, this will be a scary day for all.  Nothing that you do now can save you.  What I mean by this is that in the end, there is no one righteous.  All have exercised free will, falling short of God’s glory.  Yet, Romans 5:8 gives the hopeless hope through God’s demonstration of love.  While I deserve hell and damnation, God sent His one and only Son to restore that which was lost, Luke 19:10.  Despite angels with error, eternal life is in reach of the humble by grace through faith.  Reach out today by accepting God’s free gift, Romans 6:23.

by Jay Mankus

Awakening Demons

The Bible suggests that demons are territorial.  Yet, there are passages that detail Satan roaming the earth, seeking to expand his control.  This is accomplished by exploiting weakness to influence, poison and seduce minds through a series of subtle compromises.  If anyone wanders off the narrow path described in Jesus’ sermon on the Mount, you might just awaken a demon or demons.

“When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it.  Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order, Matthew 12:43-44.”

The most common example of awakening demons occurs to people who have gone through some sort of rehabilitation.  Those recovering from addiction are at the greatest risk.  Jesus refers to an individual in the passage above who is on the right track, healed from their condition.  Unfortunately, at some point this person reverts back to their prior behavior, opening the door for demons to return.  In this scenario, additional demons are awakened to torment this soul.

“Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first. That is how it will be with this wicked generation, Matthew 12:45.”

In this day and age, the byproducts of demons are often felt but not seen.  This technicality causes many to leave the notion of demons to the world of fiction.  This lack of belief allows demonic powers to spread.  Yet, the moment anyone begins to threaten their domain, its like accidentally stepping on a bee hive.  If you have experienced some kind of bizarre attack which defies logic, perhaps you have just awakened demons.  Don’t go into this battle alone.  Rather, find a group of saints to form a hedge of protection with prayer.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

Feelings Only Tell Half the Story

Emotion, passion and sentiment is not always visible within individuals.  While some people may wear their feelings on their sleeves like an intense roller coaster ride, others remain reserved, hiding pain on the inside.  During my sophomore year of high school, a friend from cross country punched me in the arm, near my shoulder blade every time I saw him.  This reaction only told half the story.  This gesture released the frustration inside his heart as he helplessly watched his mother lose a year long battle with cancer.  After her funeral, Carl became my best friend at Concord High.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths, Proverbs 3:5-6.

This friendship coincided with my own decision to trust Jesus as my Savior.  Following this decision on December 4th, 1984, I began to break out of my own depression due to a losing battle with stuttering.  My transformation wasn’t immediately, but as I began to attend monthly Fellowship of Christian Athletes’ meetings, I discovered I wasn’t alone in facing demons from my past.  No matter who you are and where you live, there will always be cycles of ups and downs.  Yet, faith stabilizes broken and weary souls and when you enter into accountability relationships, this strengthens one’s ability to develop a firm foundation.

Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity, 1 Timothy 4:12.

As I reflect upon the past 30 plus years, feelings tend to reveal a part of my past that I haven’t fully let go of, hoping to still remain in control.  Depending upon the year or in some cases decade, its easy to regress, slipping back into former habits of the flesh.  This is where the power of testimonies take faith to the next level.  God has given me opportunities to share my faith from time to time.  Unfortunately, many of these chances were neglected, overlooked or wasted.  Nonetheless, I’m thankful for the few I made the most of, especially during a church service in Friendship, Maryland when I gave my first ever sermon.  Don’t let troubles in life rain on the open doors that the Lord provides.

by Jay Mankus