Weekday homily for Thursday of the 3rd Week of Lent
HOMILY Theme: BEWARE OF SATANISM WITHIN CHRISTIANISM!
By: Fr. Benedict Agbo
*Jer 7 :23-28, Lk 11 :14-23.
I don’t know so much about demonology or satanism. But one thing I know is that the devil is an intelligent liar and deciever of the children of God. He is a very wicked person. As C. S Lewis puts it : ‘Of all created things, the most wicked is the one who originally stood in the immediate presence of God : Satan’. His greatest stock in trade today is camouflaging Jesus and once Satan makes an inroad into the hearts of God – abiding people, he makes them self righteous. Vima Dasan says that ‘Self – righteousness is the devil’s masterpiece ‘. But Christ says : ‘You will know them by their fruits’, Matt 7 :24. Materialism, carnality, pride, etc are fruits of demonism. Don’t mind the clothes people are wearing or the Bible they are carrying in their hands.
Yes, many pastors and healers are out there deceiving the people of God in the name of deliverance. A lot of witchcraft doctors today are carrying the bible since they cannot get more customers unless they so disguise themselves. A lot of schizophrenics (people with psychological disorders) are posing as our prayer warriors and visionaries – their noisy, rigorous, rattling and wrangling body movements will let you know that they are not normal. A lot of occult grandmasters are occupying the front seats of our Churches. How do we know them? Don’t ask me. Christ says : ‘You will know them by their fruits’.
*A story was told about Doreen Irvine who went into series of demonic affiliations – from prostitution – drug addiction – witchcraft until she came to an advanced level in Satanism. She was psychologically diagnosed as a dangerous schizophrenic (one who hears mystic voices) with her brain (cranium) having suffered extensive damage. She later gave her life to Christ and was delivered after one full year of struggle with the Satanic kingdom. I have decided to make reference to this story because many people are victims of similar crises today.
I just want to remind you, child of God, that Satan cannot easily work against itself. No satanic agent will pull the rug from under his own feet. We see a plethora of exorcists today using the name of Jesus without really being his followers, Mk 9 :38. They are all over the television doing business. The Word of God warns us : ‘Be calm but vigilant because your enemy the devil is prowling round like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Stand up to him strong in faith and with the knowledge that your brothers all over are suffering the same faith’, 1Pet 5:8-9. In Africa, we normally encounter 3 beasts ; hyena – it does not devour but attacks the vital organs of its victim and quickly leaves after eating a few mouthfuls ; the Leopard too does not eat its prey, but desires only its blood. Only the lion completely devours its helpless victim, leaving not a single morsel behind. That is the perfect picture of Satan and what it is out to do to many Christians.
I don’t mean to frighten anybody here but a closer look at what is happening in many Churches today cross matched with a deeper study of the scriptures will convince you that there is so much satanism in modern day Christianism. Christ makes it clear in today’s gospel that only the casting of demons by the finger of God is the indication of the kingdom of God. Only when the master Jesus sets you free are you free indeed. Don’t allow sicknesses, poverty or temptations of this life to make you submit to the wrong spirits of demons.
On the question of believers of different denominations using the name of Jesus for exorcism, Jesus has the principle of INCLUSIVE TOLERANCE : ‘Anyone who is not against us is with us’, Mk 9 : 40. But on the question of exorcists of different occultic permutations casting out fellow demons using his name, Jesus has the principle of EXCLUSIVE TOLERANCE : ‘Anyone who is not with me is against me’, Mtt 12 : 30, Lk 11 : 23. The devil’s kingdom cannot be divided against itself like that. His agents work together for his interests. Occult dibias, Ogboni, Guru maharaji, Mammy water, Inyama Ogbanje, Lolo Uhere, Ezenokpo, marine spirits and all the occult kingdoms that operate around us here therefore, cannot bring any permanent healings in the life of any true child of God. It is only through the finger of God that permanent deliverance can be done. The pastors of different churches/ denominations may heal/ exorcise in the name of Jesus but no pastor that goes to get his/ her power from occult or marine spirits will be able to heal by the finger of God even if he/ she pretends to use the name of Jesus. The bible says that ‘It is only when the master sets you free that you are free indeed’, Jn 8 : 36. Jesus accuses the Scribes and Pharisees in today’s gospel of the fallacy of ‘Argumentum ad hominem’ : They have mischievously used two contradictory yardsticks in measuring the same thing. They believed that their sons and daughters who cast out demons were authentic but out of envy for Jesus, they attributed his own deliverance to infernal powers.
Obedience to the voice of God remains the only true sign of the real believer. Christ says : ‘You will know them by their fruits’, Mtt 7 : 24. The devil is very intelligent and the most powerful demonic agent is the one that looks like Jesus. That is why the scripture calls him a ‘liar’. When Jesus warned that ‘He who is not with me is against me’, he means that he who does not obey his words is working against him ; he who does not commune sincerely with him is on the other side of the divide. It is one thing to use the name of Jesus, and quite another to operate with his power. It is not those who call him ‘Lord, Lord… but those who do his will’, Matt 7 : 21. Christians must be wary about where they go to for their deliverance prayers because many actually end up getting more possessed than they were before. The devil cannot fight itself.
May God bless you today!
FR BEN AGBO
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