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Sermon Notes


PSALM 78:56-64

We are living in a world that is not void of religion, but moving more and more into a religion of
spiritism. Satan wants a religious world, and in the end times we will see a one world church, but it
will be one that rejects Christ and God's offer of a personal relationship through Christ. To do that,
he must discredit the Bible and true Christianity, which he is doing very well in these days.

And yet, knowing all that he stands for, death and destruction, many worship him openly and many
others out of ignorance. There seems to be a strange fascination with the occult and pagan religions
today, people seem to be spellbound by them. And it is not only the unsaved that have embraced
many of these godless activities, but many Christians are also embracing it. From astrology, to ouija
boards, to channlers, to observing Halloween, to yoga and TM, to hypnosis, to psychic hot lines, andso-on.

Now what does God have to say about these things? Is it even important to Him or have we blown
things totally out of proportion? We are going to examine these issues by looking at what God said
to the nation of Israel regarding the things they got themselves involved with. I feel these are
important issues that we as Christians must deal with and come to conclusions based on God's Word
and not on our feelings. Satan has deceived many by having them live their life on feelings. And he is
a deceiver, for he can transform himself into an angel of light and so can his demonic forces that are
working with him. We must know the truth or we too will be deceived bythe enemy, I don't care
how sincere you are about it, for without the truth, you have nothing to stand on.

Listen to what the serpent said to Eve in the Garden of Eden. We read "Then the serpent said to the
woman, 'You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be
opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.'" Genesis 3:4-5. He told her that she will
not die and that she shall be like God. Re-incarnation and the lie of man being God. And when she
saw this, she FELT it was good, she then partook of it, and found out it was a lie and only brought
death and destruction into her life. And yet, even today, people are buying into this lie.

In Psalm 78, Asaph is recounting the history of the nation of Israel. And the introduction of this
Psalm tells us the reason, to let future generations know about the true and living God and how He

is working in and through the lives of His people. We read in verses 4-7, "We will not hide them from
their children, Telling to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, And His strength and His
wonderful works that He has done. For He established a testimony in Jacob, And appointed a law in
Israel, Which He commanded our fathers, That they should make them known to their children; That
the generation to come might know them, The children who would be born, That they may arise and
declare them to their children, That they may set their hope in God, And not forget the works of
God, But keep His commandments." Psalm 78:4-7.

From their bondage in Egypt to their deliverance by the hand of Moses. How God brought plagues
upon the Egyptians until he finally let them go. And God brought them safely through the Red Sea on
dry ground, destroying the Egyptians who were in hot pursuit after them. And God brought them to
the boarder of the promise land, but that generation did not enter in because of unbelief.

After 40 years of wandering in the wilderness, Joshua is now the leader and he brings the people
into the promise land, through the Jordan River, on dry ground, just as God had promised them.
While in the land, they defeated the enemy strongholds, and then divided the land between the 12
tribes of Israel. Then, each tribe was to destroy the remaining pockets of enemy resistance, to wipe
them out so they would not cause the children of Israel to stumble into their pagan ways. But they
did not do this, they did not completely wipe out the enemy, and this was their downfall.

Thus, starting in verse 56 of Psalm 78, we read...

PSALM 78:56-64

God chose Israel to be His people, to represent Him faithfully to the other nations. But instead, they
were like a unfaithful bow, one you could not trust. They did not keep God's commandments, they
were unfaithful to Him, and committed spiritual fornication.

They lusted after the pagan god's and worshipped them on the high places, in the groves. And these
groves were nothing more than trees that had been cut into phallic symbols and their worship of
these god's was done through all kinds of immoral sexual acts.

Because of their idolatry, and their refusal to repent of their sin, to turn from their evil ways, God
brought judgment upon them. For the Northern Kingdom of Israel, they were brought into captivity
in 721 BC by the Assyrians for their idolatry. For the Southern Kingdom of Judah, who did not learn

the lesson from the Northern Kingdom, they were brought into captivity in 606 BC by the

Not a pretty picture, but God is honest and is warning us about compromise and what it can lead to.
He wants us to learn these lessons so we won't travel down the same destructive path as the
children of Israel did.

And yet, a couple of days after Halloween 1997, it seems that the church is becoming more and
more blinded to the things that are happening around them. In fact many Christians see nothing
wrong with Halloween, they see it as a harmless holiday for kids and adults.

In fact, one writer, James Jordan feels that many Christians have gone overboard when it comes to
this holiday. "Halloween, he says, has nothing to do with Druids. It is a symbolic enactment of the
church's victory over the demonic realm. Satan is vanquished by Christ's death and resurrection,
which means that Christians are free to ridicule him by portraying him as a red-suited creature with
horns and a tail. We can make a mockery of the devil and laugh in his face because he no longer has
power over us."

Now there are a couple of issues that need to be dealt with here. And as you know, I won't let them
go. The first is this, we are not to mock or make fun of Satan. This is not what the Scriptures teach
us. Remember, he was once the number one man, or should I say Cherub, in charge for God, before
he fell. Thus, we read in Jude 9, "Yet Michael the archangel, in contending with the devil, when he
disputed about the body of Moses, dared not bring against him a reviling accusation, but said, 'The
Lord rebuke you!'"

It always bothers me when I hear people, teachers, Christians, speaking of smacking Satan in the
face, beating him up, mocking him, and-so-on, when Michael would not even bring a reviling
accusation against him, but gave it to the Lord.

The second issue is this, James Jordan feels that Halloween has nothing to do with the Druids, but is
a Christian holiday showing our victory over Satan. Garbage. Halloween was around long before the
church got its start. I want to take a few minutes and let you see what this is all about, because we
see such a fascination with this holiday today. It is not only a day for children, but adults dress up
and party even more than the children do. And for many, they don't even realize what they are

This celebration predates the Christian church by several centuries. It goes back to a practice of the
ancient Druids in Britain, France, Germany and the Celtic countries who lived hundreds of years
before Christ was born. This celebration was in honor of their deity, Samhain, (SOW-IN), or the lord
of the dead, and it also ushered in the new year for them.

On this holy day of honoring the dead and the wicked spirits of the dead, the Druids believed that on
this night, the souls of the dead would return to their former homes to be entertained by the living.
If acceptable food and shelter was not provided, these evil spirits would cast spells, cause havoc and
terror, haunt and torment the living. They demanded to be appeased and if they did not get a "treat"
then you got a "trick"!

In an effort to accommodate pagan influence to Christianity, Pope Gregory III established a festival
to honor the dead on November 1st. In 834 AD, Pope Gregory IV made it church law. This was known
as "all saints day" and the night before this, on October 31st, was known as Satan's night when evil
spirits were released.

And today, this day is just as evil as it was thousands of years ago. We see the dabblers to the
traditional Satanists who offer child sacrifices, especially during this time of year. We see in forest
preserves animals that have been ritualistically cut in pieces and a few weeks before this day, the
human societies across America, many will not sell black cats for fear that they will be sacrificed. Yes
this stuff is going on today and this holiday is growing in popularity and we are growing accustom to
its evil. For many it is just plain fun, but that fun is an open door to the occult, and when you play
with fire, you will get burned!

And Satanism, as much as we like to deny its practice today, has seen its numbers grow over the
years. In 1976 there were an estimated 480,000 people who practiced Satanism and by 1985 it grew
to 1.4 million. And today those numbers are even larger, with many young people getting involved
with these gruesome activities.

And don't think Christians are not getting involved in the occult, or what it is known by today,
spiritism. In an article from the Chicago Tribune, dated 10-31-90, titled "Thoroughly Modern
Medium" listen to what is going on:

"They're all meditating...They're trying to contact the dead, 'The dead spirits are here. I see
them,'...On this crisp, clear, fall night, in the library of St. Peter Catholic Church in Skokie, Berger is
leading 35 members of the North Shore Chapter of Naim, a non-denominational support group for
Christian widows and widowers, through what amounts to a class in basic ghost-calling. For this

audience, she's a fitting speaker: Naim is the Biblical town where Christ brought the son of a widow
back to life." (Luke 7:11, Nain)...Ruth Berger's audience at St. Peter's in Skokie tries to get in touch
with deceased loved ones...The spirits of loved ones, Berger tells her audience, 'want to talk to us as
much as we want to talk with them.'"

Now just because they may use spiritual words does not mean that God approves of these things, as
we shall see. Let's look at what God has to say about channlers, or mediums as they were called in
the Bible, those who tried to contact the dead, Necromancy.

Listen to what God told Israel, and is telling us today, about such practices. In Deuteronomy chapter
18, beginning in verse 9, we read, "When you come into the land which the LORD your God is giving
you, you shall not learn to follow the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among
you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices
witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells,
or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an
abomination to the LORD, and because of these abominations the LORD your God drives them out
from before you. You shall be blameless before the LORD your God. For these nations which you will
dispossess listened to soothsayers and diviners; but as for you, the LORD your God has not
appointed such for you." Deuteronomy 18:9-14.

Also, in Leviticus 19:31 we read "'Give no regard to mediums and familiar spirits; do not seek after
them, to be defiled by them: I am the LORD your God.'" I think God is pretty clear about not seeking
after these things, and if you still are not to sure, then listen to what He says should be done to
those practicing these things back in Leviticus 20:27. We read "'A man or a woman who is a medium,
or who has familiar spirits, shall surely be put to death; they shall stone them with stones. Their
blood shall be upon them.'" God knew how destructive these things would be to His people and He
was trying to protect them. Today, we embrace these practices like they were of God, but they are
not, they are of the god of this world, Satan.

And don't think for a moment that these evil influences have not affected our children, for they
have. From gruesome horror movies to metal bands that have concerts that indoctrinate these kids
into Satanism. They use to back mask these things on their records, but today they are openly sung
and displayed. Go to the music store and look at some of the titles of songs and CD's, look at the art
work, and you will see where this is coming from. They go to schools and parties to prey on kids and
get them interested in occultic activity.

One fourth grade teacher wanted her class to write a short essay on what they wanted to do to
celebrate Halloween. Now understand that these are fourth graders, only 9 or 10 years old, and 80%

of them said that they wanted to kill someone to celebrate Halloween! Now I'm sure, or at least I
hope they were not serious, but do you see how trivial life is at such a young age. They see murder
as nothing and they see it as a way of celebrating this high holy day or should I say unholy day!
Sacrifice is part of this day, and these children are growing accustom to this activity in the fourth

In an article entitled "Pagans on the rise - Halloween is holy to the followers of 'earth centered'
religion" Listen to what is taking place as we move not only into blatant Satanism, but into the
worship of this earth, mother earth. "...Her husband will deal with the trick-or-treaters as Kenner
returns to the den to quietly hang portraits of her dead ancestors, honoring them. Kenner...is one of
a growing number of modern day pagans. Pagans celebrate October 31 as Samhain (SOW-IN), the
Celtic new year, when the boundary between the living and the dead is said to be as thin as that
between summer and winter...'It's religion without the middle person. The sacred is everywhere, it's
not something above.'...The Unitarian-Universalist Church became the first mainstream religion to
affirm the teachings of 'earth-centerd traditions.'"

This my friends is nothing new, for it is just as what Satan said in the Garden of Eden, that you shall
not die, and that you shall be as the god's. What a lie, and yet how many are buying into this lie? If
we are all gods, then we truly are in trouble, for look at all the destruction that we have caused by
playing god, and yet there is nothing that we can do about it.

What we really need to do, what God is calling for us to do, is to get off the throne of our own heart,
to remove self off the throne, and have God rule and reign on the throne of our hearts. If we do we
will be looking at others, trying to help them, instead of focusing our energy on self. But in their
reality, god is everywhere, in everything. Thus, you are sitting on god, if you kill a bug, you just killed
a portion of god, and-so-on with this bizarre and unscriptural concept of god, that is pagan.

Where does this garbage come from? Listen to what Paul tells us in I Timothy 4:1. We read "Now the
Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving
spirits and doctrines of demons." The warning that Paul gave Timothy, and is giving us is that some
people will turn from the truth that is found in the Word of God, depart from the true faith, and seek
after doctrines that arise from the pit of hell.

Why does this happen? Again, Paul tells Timothy and us, in II Timothy 4:3-4, "For the time will come
when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have
itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the
truth, and be turned aside to fables." The truth does place demands upon our life, we are
accountable for what we know and how we apply that truth to our life. But if we move away from

the truth, make ourselves god, then we are only accountable to self. So instead of believing the truth
found in God's Word, we end up believing fairy tales. And we look for teachers that will tickle our
ears, and feed into our delusions. We want to feel good and not allow the Word of God to transform
our lives.

I think if we look at what Israel did, we can learn those lessons to help us in our own walk with the
Lord, so we won't travel down that same destructive path as they did. Now how did this all come
about for Israel? I think verse 56 of Psalm 78 tells us, it says that they tested God. In other words
they challenged God by their actions. And these tests are seen in several of their actions, that once
again, was destructive to their walk with the Lord.


God instructed them in what they should do for their own good. God was not being unfair or some
kind of kill joy. But they felt they knew better, they were above what God said, and maybe even
feeling that what God said to their ancestors did not apply to them today, and has spoken new
revelations for them to follow. Whatever the case, they were wrong! For those living outside of
God's Word, listen to what Paul has to say in Titus 1:16. We read "They profess to know God, but in
works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work."


Once you start moving away from the truth of God's Word, you are being guided by your own
feelings, which can be wrong. And as you go down this path, you begin to move farther and farther
away from God. And if you are moving away from Him, that means you have turned your back to
Him. As Psalm 119:133 says "Direct my steps by Your word, And let no iniquity have dominion over
me." The Word of God keeps us on track, moving towards God and not away from Him.


God brought the children of Israel out of bondage in Egypt, by His mighty hand, and yet they refused
to enter the promise land because of unbelief. Only Joshua and Caleb, from that generation, out of
some 2 to 3 million people, entered into the promise land, and all the rest died in unbelief. God is
warning us that we need to keep His testimonies, stay focused upon Him, and to learn these lessons
of faith, for if we don't, we will suffer the same consequences.


You don't fall into idolatry, but you walk into it under your own power. You chose to follow that path
you have set for yourself. No one forces you to go there. And before you know it, you are far from
God, serving idols. God warned Israel of this, but they probably thought they were far above that.
They would never fall into or walk into idolatry. And yet, that is exactly what happened to them.
When God warns us about something, we would be wise to heed His warnings, for they are for are
own good.


As we continue down this path, we are not moving towards freedom, but into bondage. I sit in utter
amazement as I see the church move away from the solid teaching of the Word of God, and living in
the realm of experience driven doctrine, that goes against the Word of God. And folks, as hard as
this may be to swallow, the more we move away from the Word of God, the easier it will be for us to
join the one world church that embraces all faiths, all beliefs, whatever they maybe, except for the
true faith. And many churches, because of their liberal stand on the Word of God, have already
fallen prey to this movement, and so have many top Christian leaders.

Kenneth Copeland proclaims, "You don't have a god in you, you are one," and Benny Hinn
pronounces, "I am a 'little messiah' walking on earth," which is just plain heresy! Not only that, but
listen to how New Age philosophy is being adopted into the church. On TBN's "Praise the Lord"
program, Benny Hinn speaks of a story of a witch that deals with the "power of the spoken word":

"I had a witch tell me this...She said, ' You know that we are taught in witchcraft how to kill birds
with words and how to kill people with our mouth...We were taught with words to bring disease on,
on, men...By speaking certain words that defeat them.' She can actually cause sickness that could
very well killl...She said, 'With words, I used to kill birds. I used to kill birds.' She said she would speak
to a bird and the bird would drop dead."

"...I said, 'Dear God, I didn't know the Devil has such power.' And the Lord spoke to me, and He said,
'The Devil can kill with words, then you with your words can bring life.' And it just came and clicked
inside of me, brother...And we Christians don't realize the power in our mouths." You will not find
that garbage in the Bible, but it is extra biblical or new revelations, that don't come from God, but
from the demons, and yet the church accepts it as new revelations!

One New Ager said this: "One of the biggest advantages we have as New Agers is, once the occult,
metaphysical and New Age terminology is removed, we have concepts and techniques that are very
acceptable to the general public. So we can change the names and demonstrate the power. In so
doing, we open the New Age door to millions who normally would not be receptive." And we have
also opened the door of the church to allow these doctrines of demons to come right in and destroy
our faith. In these days we are told by Jude to "...contend earnestly for the faith which was once for
all delivered to the saints. For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out
for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only
Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ."

Also, listen carefully to what Jesus said in John 8:31-32. We read "...'If you abide in My word, you are
My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.'" I don't care
how spiritual things may sound, or how good they make you feel, if it goes against God's Word, it is
not of Him, plain and simple. God is calling for us to be in His Word, and if we are, then we are His
disciples for we will follow His instructions. You see, we will know the truth, and instead of being in
bondage, we will be set free by the Word of God

Be aware of what is happening in the world, and always bring any new doctrine, any new revelation,
under the light of God's Word, for it will show you if it is from God or not. Learn the lessons from
Israel, for if you don't, you too will find yourself in bondage! And future generations will be ignorant
of the things of God, leading them down a path of destruction. Take your relationship with God very
seriously, for He has given to you His Words to guide you through your walk with Him.