They Own the Night: Satan’s Banquet
By Pastor Hal Mayer
Greetings to you my friends from our humble office at Keep the Faith Ministry. By God’s grace we pray that this very important message for this month will help you see one of the key dangers of the end times. As we near the return of Jesus, we expect to see more and more of Satan’s deceptions manifest openly both in the world and in God’s church. May the Lord keep you faithful.
Just recently Betsy and I celebrated 25 years of marriage. While many people congratulated us, and some even held a very nice party in our honor, we are aware that when we were first married, we expected Jesus to come very soon, long before we reached this milestone. Tragically, more people than we can fathom have gone to Christless graves because of this delay. Frankly, it is God’s people, including ourselves that have contributed to this delay. Jesus loves us so much that He doesn’t want anyone to perish, but yearns that all will come to the knowledge of present truth and accept the message for this time, so that they may escape the coming cataclysmic convulsions that will rock this world from stem to stern.
Listen to this powerful statement from Christ’s Object Lessons, page 69. “Christ is waiting with longing desire for the manifestation of Himself in His church. When the character of Christ shall be perfectly reproduced in His people, then He will come to claim them as His own.” Today, most of God’s people don’t think this is possible. How can Christ have a whole group of people that actually reflect his character perfectly? Yet my friends, it is possible and essential to the vindication of His character.
The implications of this statement are very important. Our role in ending the great Controversy and the reign of misery and sorrow has to do with our mature reflection of His character in our lives. Education, page 264 says, “He has put it in our power, through cooperation with Him, to bring this scene of misery to an end.” Don’t you want it all to end? I do. If we are going to have Christ’s character, that means we must have His mind. The mind of Christ is the most important thing. We need the mind of Christ to navigate the dangerous times in which we find ourselves living. With all the satanic influences around us, we must have the mind of Christ if we are going to survive. “Let this mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, says Philippines 2 vs. 5.
Continuing from Christ’s Object Lessons I read, “It is the privilege of every Christian, not only to look for, but to hasten the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Were all who profess His name bearing fruit to His glory, how quickly the whole world would be sown with the seed of the gospel. Quickly the last great harvest would be ripened, and Christ would come to gather the precious grain.”
Oh, my friends let the seed of the gospel ripen the precious grain in your heart. Let the power of God’s glory, His character rest on your mind and heart. Let Jesus have His way in your life so that you will hasten the coming of the Lord.
The delay in the return of Jesus has a lot to do with us. I hope you are making sure that you are following all the counsel of the Lord so that you can have the mind of Christ. I hope that you will do what Betsy and I are doing. We are re-consecrating our home and our lives to Jesus to reflect His character and strive to be among those that walk with Him on the Streets of Gold. We don’t want to be part of the cause of the delay in Jesus’ return.
Let us bow our heads in prayer and ask the Holy Spirit to speak to us today. Dear Father in Heaven, we are aware of our human frailty, but not as we should. We are aware of our sinfulness, but not as we should. We are aware that we are not what you want us to be, but not as we should. I pray Lord that as we study today, you will awaken within us the yearning to know God as it is our privilege to know Him, in fullness and power. Help us understand the times in which we live with a renewed sense of the importance of having the mind of Christ and reflecting the character of Christ in our actions. May we never be deceived by the menu on Satan’s Banquet. Instead, may we prepare for the banquet that Jesus is preparing for us. May we never fall for the temptations of Satan, but rather rely on the revealed word of God only for our sense of certainty in these uncertain days. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.
Turn with me in your Bibles to Isaiah 8, 19-22. “And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead? To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.”
The secrecy and security were absolutely incredible. The publisher spent 10 million British Pounds just to keep its contents under cover. Those who had access signed legally binding agreements to protect the product from premature release on pain of huge penalties for breaking the contract. Printers the world over were required to use special procedures to keep their employees from stealing the secrets of the soon-to-be-released pages describing the world of wizardry and magic and spreading them on the internet. Huge pallets of books were placed in very secure storage and only distributed to the retail stores at the last minute, so they would not be available to those who might sneak them out the back door.
Why all the secrecy? Why all the security? The answer is money! Yes money. To heighten interest and prevent the loss of revenue from the sale of the recent release of the 7th and last sequel in the spiritualistic Harry Potter book series, the highest level of security had to be implemented. The spiritualist novels written for children by J. K. Rowling have been an enormous sensation with children and youth as well as adults, and this last installment from the world of witchcraft and wizardry has exceeded all previous releases financially. The popularity of this series has been earth shattering.
Thousands upon tens of thousands of people camped out (some for two days) or stood in line for hours in front of bookstores until 12.01 am on July 21, 2007 just to get their copy of the final book in the series, “The Deathly Hallows.” The bookstores normally closed at night specially opened at midnight just so they could sell the books when officially released. Never before has there been such an interest in a single book or a series of books than Harry Potter. Only the Bible has a history of more sales than Harry. In effect the Harry Potter series has astonishingly risen to the point where it competes with the Bible for popularity.
The UK and U.S. publishers announced that more than 11 million copies of “Deathly Hallows” were sold in the UK and the U.S. during the first 24 hours, breaking the record of 9 million sold in the first 24 hours of the previous book in the series “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.” Amazon.com presold 2.2 million copies worldwide which also broke the record held by “The Half-Blood Prince” of 1.5 million presold copies. In the U.S., 8.3 million hardcovers of “Deathly Hallows” were sold in the first 24 hours, breaking the 6.9 million record set by the previous book. In Germany, 400,000 copies were sold in the first 24 hour period, plus all 250,000 copies available in Belgium and Holland, 170,000 in India and 573,000 copies in Australia. In Canada, over 800,000 copies were sold in the first two days. Barnes and Noble, the largest U.S. book chain, reported an all-time sales record of 1.8 million copies in the first two days including 560,000 in the first hour (between 12.01 am and 1.00 am, which is a rate of (get this) 150 copies per second. Even the audio books broke all previous records. The books are being translated into 65 languages including Ukrainian, Turkish, Vietnamese, French, German, Portuguese, Hebrew and Finnish, and are sold in over 200 countries. And these statistics are only concerning the 6th and 7th book in the series. The first six books have sold more than 325 million copies and have broken countless sales records. Most of these statistics you can find on the online encyclopedia Wikipedia.
Though she was poor and started the series on an old manual typewriter, J. K. Rowling, the author of the seven part series is the most wealthy author in history and the most wealthy woman in England; even more wealthy than the Queen. Forbes declared Rowling to be the first person to become a U.S. dollar billionaire by writing books, though she disputes this figure.
The Harry Potter phenomena doesn’t end with books. Movies that track the books are being released year after year and are in full swing. The first movie “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” ran for 27 weeks and generated more than $317 million in sales in the U.S. alone. “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” ran for 22 weeks and earned $262 million. “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” ran for 24 weeks and earned more than $249 million U.S. dollars. Overall, the movies have grossed more than $3.5 billion at the box office worldwide. The first five films have the distinction of making it into the all time top 20 grossing films worldwide. There are two more films to be released sometime between now and 2010. They too will likely displace two more of the historical top 20 films.
But that’s still not all. There is a new series of musicals being developed for the stage about Harry Potter, but perhaps the most noteworthy development is that Universal Studios and Warner Brothers are teaming up to create a theme park in Orlando, FL, dedicated to a “fully immersive” interactive Harry Potter fantasy titled “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.” “We’re going to devote more time, more money, more expertise and more executive talent from throughout our entire organization and creative team – as well as from Warner Bros., our partners – to ensure that this entire environment is second-to-none,” said Tom Williams, chairman and CEO, Universal Parks and Resorts. “Our primary goal,” said Stuart Craig, the production designer for the Harry Potter movies to date, “is to make sure this experience is an authentic extension of Harry Potter’s world as it is portrayed in the books and films.”
So… why all the hype? What makes these books and movies so powerful that they draw so many people into them? The secret is a combination of factors. First, this is all about the fantasy world of the night where children succeed in overcoming evil – something that millions of children are dealing with in the spiritual darkness of their everyday lives. But it is also a fantasy world where children can believe that they can control supernatural forces such as white magic and wizardry for good purposes. Thirdly, the success of the Harry Potter phenomena is dependent on pulling back that curtain of the unseen world that only the initiated can access.
Those who are drawn into the books and movies feel empowered and wise, because they see beyond reality to the world of the supernatural in great vivid detail. This phenomena bypasses the Bible’s revelation about sorcery and witchcraft and opens to young inquisitive minds the ideas and principles of the satanic world in a most pleasing fashion – a story. Everyone loves a story, and these stories, through fantasy, provide an escape from reality into the world of imagination and power.
Though Harry Potter offers power, it is not saving power; it is not Christ’s power. Even though Christ’s power is much more valuable to the point of saving the soul, many Christians are deceived in thinking that the magic of Harry Potter is innocent. Some think that because there is a “good vs. evil” story line, or because a semblance of the great controversy between Christ and Satan is portrayed, that it is ok to read the books or watch the movies.
One person wrote on the Spectrum Magazine Blog, “Friday night finds me a bit melancholy… I’m homesick for Harry, for Hogwarts, for Dumbledore… When I first started reading the Harry Potter series, I was an 8th grade language arts teacher at an SDA school. One day I noticed several students sitting through all of their breaks – including their lunch breaks – reading the same book. I asked what could possibly be keeping them in the classroom over break and voila, I met Harry and quickly became a fan…
“I’ve moved past feeling that the books are merely good, wholesome fun though and now believe them much deeper… As I read Deathly Hallows with my husband… I kept exclaiming at key moments, ‘I can’t believe how clear the Christian symbolism is in this book! How can people not see this?” The book spoke to me on a deeply Christian level…
“As she’s done in every book, Rowling emphasized key points that seem to me, not just Christian, but down right Adventist: there is a ‘Great Controversy’ happening that most people (muggle and wizard alike) want to deny; there is true evil that must be resisted; material wealth is insignificant, relationships are what matter; the right path is often difficult, dark, and full of opportunities for failure; death is certain, but there are things worth dying for and fates worse than death; we have a choice in our destiny,” and so on…
How can someone who is a Sabbath keeper desecrate God’s holy Sabbath day by reading occult books? Wouldn’t it be far more profitable to read the Bible on Friday night? By the way, according to a recent Zenit editorial, J. K. Rowling has recently revealed, shockingly to some, that Dumbledore, the self-sacrificing, fatherly figure is a homosexual.
Other bloggers wrote that they are “closet fans” of Harry Potter, or that they see no link between the wizardry of Harry and the occult, that the Harry Potter series is about people doing magical things, not the world of the dead. Some even try to make a distinction between this sort of “innocent” magic that uses defined principles of its own –which is something like physics and chemistry – as opposed to incantational magic which connects with the spirits of the dead. They try to justify connecting with the supernatural without communicating with the dead. And these are people that claim to believe that Jesus is coming soon! One thing leads to another. There is no innocent magic. No amount of human reasoning will overthrow the source of the “sorcery.” If there is a developing interest in this magic, why would it not lead to the world of the sorcerer? And why would this connection to the clairvoyant not lead to the world of “familiar spirits,” that is, demons in the form of familiar deceased members of one’s family or friends.
But is reading a Harry Potter book or watching a Harry Potter movie really innocent fun? In an article published in This is London entitled “Potter Fans Turning to Witchcraft,” the author says; “The Pagan Federation has appointed a youth officer to deal with a flood of inquiries following the success of the Harry Potter books which describe magic and wizardry…”
Media officer Andy Norfolk said: “It is quite probably linked to things like Harry Potter, Sabrina The Teenage Witch and Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Every time an article on witchcraft or paganism appears, we had a huge surge in calls, mostly from young girls.”
Mr. Norfolk said that parents should not be alarmed by their children’s sudden interest in magic. “Paganism is recognized as a valid religion,” he said. “In no way is it a cult and certainly it offers nothing untoward… For most” he said “it will be just a passing fad, and it is not something parents should be concerned about.”
A spokesman from the Roman Catholic Church said the books and shows which are provoking interest in paganism had been around for years, adding: “I haven’t heard anything within the Catholic religion that suggests this is anything to be concerned about.”
But others are concerned. “John Buckeridge, editor of Christian young people’s magazine Youthwork, said he had no doubt that such stories could “fuel a fascination” in the occult, leading to “psychological and spiritual damage… “for some young people, it could fuel a fascination that leads to dangerous dabbling with occult powers…”
Note that these stories and programs are aimed at young people. Satan knows that if he can get young people involved in the occult early, in supposedly innocent ways, they will be under his control early. If he can desensitize children to sorcery and spiritism, they won’t fear it when they are older. That way he can advance spiritism and the occult once a whole generation has been fed a spiritual diet of such “innocent fun.” And the Pagan Federation has already given testimony to the truthfulness of this point.
But Harry Potter is not only about innocent wizardry, if there is such a thing. Deathly Hallows actually does involve communication with the dead. According to Pastor Steve Wohlberg, who wrote a book on the subject, in “Deathly Hallows,” Harry Potter lays down his life to defeat evil and save others, which some now consider “Christian allegory,” yet there are vast differences between Potter and Jesus Christ. For instance, before fully passing over to “the other side,” (which implies a life after death), Harry encounters another character who died in the previous volume and who encourages Harry to return to earth. “This is rank spiritualism,” Wohlberg says, “which is also condemned in Deuteronomy 18.” Incidentally, there are wonderful Christian allegories available, such as John Bunyan’s book Pilgrim’s Progress.
But according to Wikipedia’s account of the story, and I quote, “Along the way, [to the Battle of Hogwarts, Harry] finds the resurrection stone… and summons the spirits of his parents, Sirius Black and the recently killed Remus Lupin, who comfort him…
After his death, Wikipedia says: “Awakening in an ethereal place, Harry is unsure whether he is alive or dead. Dumbledore appears and explains that Voldemort’s Horcrux within Harry (whatever that is) has been destroyed. He says that just as Voldemort cannot die while his soul fragments remain, Voldemort cannot kill Harry because he used Harry’s blood in his resurrection.
This is quite different from the biblical account of resurrection. This is Satan’s own version and it is unabashed incantational magic. By softening up the audience for non-incantational magic, J. K. Rowling prepared them to accept the incantational magic in the final book in the series.
Listen to this statement from Acts of the Apostles, pg. 290. “The magicians of heathen times have their counterpart in the spiritualistic mediums, the clairvoyants, and the fortune-tellers of today. The mystic voices that spoke at Endor and at Ephesus are still by their lying words misleading the children of men. Could the veil be lifted from before our eyes, we should see evil angels employing all their arts to deceive and to destroy. Wherever an influence is exerted to cause men to forget God, there Satan is exercising his bewitching power. When men yield to his influence, ere they are aware the mind is bewildered and the soul polluted. The apostle’s admonition to the Ephesian church should be heeded by the people of God today: ‘Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.’” Ephesians 5:11.
Judging from the descriptions I have read, Harry Potter is all about overcoming evil, not by the power of God, but by the power of clairvoyance which supposedly resides in the enlightened or initiated. This is the same old witchcraft and wizardry conducted throughout history by men and women controlled by Satan.
Time Magazine in its July 12 article on the book Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, asked a question. “Who dies in Harry Potter?” Here is what it says, “What’s missing? If you want to know who dies in Harry Potter, the answer is easy: God.
“Harry Potter lives in a world free of any religion or spirituality of any kind. He lives surrounded by ghosts but has no one to pray to, even if he were so inclined, which he isn’t… What does Harry have instead of God? Rowling’s answer, at once glib and profound, is that Harry’s power comes from love. This charming notion represents a cultural sea change. In the new millennium, magic comes not from God or nature or anything grander or more mystical than a mere human emotion. In choosing Rowling as the reigning dreamer of our era, we have chosen a writer who dreams of a secular, bureaucratized, all-too-human sorcery, in which psychology and technology have superseded the sacred.”
How can a Christian be so deceived as to think that anything that is devoid of God can actually be a good thing? It is beyond me. Yet there are those who claim to be the children of light and not the children of the night that are reading and encouraging others to read the stories of witchcraft and wizardry. Think of the moral responsibility this involves. Imagine coming to the final judgment with the stain of leading others into sorcery on your character. Think of the enormous responsibility J. K. Rowling has in the final Judgment in leading millions upon millions of people, especially vulnerable children into the darkness of night, all in the name of finding the right way to the enlightenment of the supernatural world. Spiritualism has become the spiritual diet of millions who are preparing their souls to be deceived and in the end lose their eternal salvation.
To have the mind of Christ, my friends, we must fill it with the Bible and the principles of the kingdom of heaven, not the principles of the night controlled by sorcery and the occult. By beholding we become changed. The more we imbibe the doctrines of devils, the more unlike the mind of Christ we will be, and the more we will own the spiritual night too.
Here is another statement from Great Controversy, pg. 554. “Satan beguiles men now as he beguiled Eve in Eden by flattery, by kindling a desire to obtain forbidden knowledge, by exciting ambition for self-exaltation. It was cherishing these evils that caused his fall, and through them he aims to compass the ruin of men. ‘Ye shall be as gods,’ he declares, ‘knowing good and evil.’ Genesis 3:5. Spiritualism teaches ‘that man is the creature of progression; that it is his destiny from his birth to progress, even to eternity, toward the Godhead.’”
The Harry Potter series are so popular, in part because they offer the reader the opportunity to gain forbidden knowledge, just like Satan suggested to Eve in the garden of Eden, and give them access to supernatural power, like the hero of the story. This is very pleasing to the carnal self and leads the mind to think that it can achieve power beyond the human world and be in some way successful in controlling evil through powers that only the wise or enlightened can possess.
Even the names of some of the books and movies in the series make it clear that it is the world of the supernatural – a world that God has forbidden and a world that the Bible declares to be darkness, the spiritual darkness of the night. Satan and his demons are the masters of the night. They own the night. A Christian cannot live in communion with them if he expects to have the mind of Christ. The Christian operates in the day. The Bible says in Thessalonians 5:4-7 “But ye brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are children of light and the children of the day: we are not of the night, n or of darkness.” Therefore let us not sleep, as [do] others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.”
Satan operates under the cover of spiritual darkness and is the father of darkness. He is the father of lies, and he now presents to millions upon millions the lie that it is possible to overcome evil, not by the power of God, but by the power within the human being. Think of it, he was the angel of light – Lucifer – and has descended to darkness. Now he comes to us pretending to be an angel of light and a benefactor, but deceptively leads the unthinking and the unwary into the deceptions of spiritism and sorcery.
To suggest that the Harry Potter series doesn’t deal with Satan’s lies concerning life after death is preposterous. J. K. Rowling herself spoke about it on a Dateline TV show interview on July 26, 2007. “She was asked by a child in the studio audience what the significance of her calling Harry Potter the ‘chosen one’ might be. And replied; ‘Well,… there clearly is a religious undertone. And it’s always been difficult to talk about that because until we reached Book Seven, views of what happens after death and so on, it would give away a lot of what is coming…’”
It would be impossible for Deathly Hallows (which seems to imply the hallowed or sacred realm of death) to convey the Bible view of what happens after death and would certainly promote spiritism. J. K. Rowling is an Anglican and clearly holds the unbiblical view that there is immediate life after death and that the soul never dies but separates from the body and that it goes somewhere, either to heaven or hell or somewhere else. This unbiblical teaching would no doubt be inherent in the book Deathly Hallows.
My friends, Satan always cloaks his deceptions with a good theme or a good motif. That is what he did in the Garden of Eden. That’s what makes them deceptive particularly to a Christian. Christians who defend the use of Harry Potter or argue that it is ok to read or watch these themes are only echoing the lies of Satan himself. By bringing supposedly good magic to print and screen, Satan is nurturing a culture of the occult that will lead millions to misinterpret the truth for these last days and to think that those who stand for the right to be wrong and those who stand for the wrong to be right.
Satan’s banquet has prepared quite a menu for those who want to eat of it. Listen to this statement from the book Evangelism, page, 358. “Satan is constantly seeking to lead men into error…. He is the god of all dissension, and he has no lack of isms to bring forward to delude… Instead of being fed with the bread of life, the people are served with a dish of fables. The Scriptures are wrested and, taken from their true connection, are quoted to give falsehood the appearance of truth. The garments of truth are stolen to hide the features of heresy. “
Those that try to justify Harry Potter on the idea that it has good themes and Christian teaching are giving the falsehood an appearance of truth. If we justify that which God has condemned, we place ourselves as Satan’s agents to deceive others. Some might say, but Pastor Mayer, you haven’t read the books or seen the films, how can you know that they are satanic or leading to the occult or spiritism? How can you be so judgmental when you haven’t gone through it yourself? My friends, I don’t need to go onto Satan’s ground to find out that it is not of God but from Satan, I only need to know what God says in His holy word. That is enough. There is enough in print about Harry Potter from supportive fans and other commentary that there can be no question that it is not of God in the least.
The prophet John tells us in Revelation 16:13-14, “I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.”
Millions think that if there is a miracle, it must be of God. But according to the Prophet John, Satan is obviously given power to work miracles in the last days. Harry Potter is getting people ready to think that the miracles that Satan will supposedly do for the good of humanity will be of God when they are not. And they will worship him as God. He is setting up his own version of the great controversy between good and evil so that the people of the world, the children of darkness and the night will see and accept his own solutions. He is working both sides of his fabricated controversy. He organizes the truly evil in this world which then makes those who are not so bad, look pretty good, even though they are under his deceptive control, or when they use “white magic” and other tools of Satan to defeat the evil.
When the conflict between the two sides in the fake great controversy is so broad and widespread that the whole world is caught up in it, those that actually serve God and keep His commandments, will be seen as fanatical and irresponsible and will eventually be classed as part of the problem. Here is an almost obvious example: Satan stirs up war between nations then offers the Vatican as the peacemaker. In the end, those who don’t go along with the Vatican will eventually be seen as on the side of war. Here is another example. Conflict between religions, be it between Muslims and Christians, Muslims and Jews, or between one Christian denomination and another, is presented as a problem because it causes “division.” The Pope promotes the ecumenical movement, not biblical truth as the solution to the problem of religious disunity so that all religions eventually come under Rome’s authority. Those who don’t will be seen as fostering religious conflict, particularly those who call all of God’s people out of Babylon to be separate from those who don’t keep the commandments of Jesus. Those who fall for it will have overlooked the Bible principle that teaches that there is no unity apart from truth; the truth of the holy word of God, for Jesus, in His consummate prayer for unity prayed “Sanctify them in Thy truth, Thy word is truth.”
If you don’t think that this is part of Satan’s grand plan to deceive millions, you should remember that the devil comes as an angel of light, offering supposedly enlightened solutions to man’s serious problems, but always leads away from the Bible. The theme of the Harry Potter material is organized around this whole idea. Enlightened or “chosen” ones may use methods and principles of spiritism and wizardry to overcome the truly evil.
Lest we should mistakenly think that Harry Potter is the only example of spiritism in the last days, I wish to mention a few other popular cultural elements that are driving a love of the supernatural.
Hollywood serves up a dish of spiritism on a regular basis and has been doing so for many years. The film makers know that human beings love the supernatural and that it will make money, so we have so-called science fiction films (and books for that matter) which are not so much about science or space as they are about the supernatural powers given to the “chosen ones.” For example, Star Trek has for decades been a popular spiritual dietary supplement for hundreds of thousands and generating a whole genre of cultic fanaticism around its paraphernalia. Good seems to triumph over evil on a regular basis, but evil is never fully defeated. Throughout is the use of supernatural powers not available to regular human beings. Again, God and the Bible are left out. Only the pantheistic powers which makes ordinary men into supernatural beings or even Gods are presented. This is sheer spiritism.
The Star Wars series is again a depiction of good vs. evil in which both sides use supernatural power to battle for control and dominance. In the end, the supernatural powers of the good side overcome (at least temporarily) the evil. And Christians fall for this. They think it is ok because it has some good moral principles. But think of all the wrong principles that the children and youth and others who interact with the spiritualistic material are taught.
These are just examples of thousands of films or book series, not to mention individual stand-alone films and books that depict these same themes.
Then there is the game industry. So many computer games and game kiosks in malls, airports, resorts and other public places, have been developed that allow players to vicariously use supernatural powers to overcome their opponents, whether it be computer generated opponents, or now in the days of high speed internet, they can use these supposed powers with real opponents anywhere else in the world. Underlying it all is the idea that it is ok to use Satan’s principles to overcome the greater evils.
And the devil hasn’t left overtly Christian themes alone either. The book and movie series “The Chronicles of Narnia,” I am told, by those who defend Harry Potter, carry much the same theme structure as Harry Potter and his friends. They say that there is hardly any difference between them, so why should Christians condemn Harry Potter? I’m sure that there would be a lot of debate about whether “The Chronicles of Narnia” are the same as Harry Potter, but the point is that apparently there is enough similarity to deceive at least some – perhaps many. In any case, you don’t hear many Christians taking issue with the Chronicles, perhaps because the book series was originally written by a famous and well-respected Christian named C. S. Lewis.
Listen to this statement from the book Spirit of Prophecy, Vol. 4, pg. 406; “Pleasing, bewitching fables captivate the senses of those who do not make God’s word the foundation of their faith. Christ is as verily rejected as before; but Satan has so blinded the eyes of the people that the deception is not discerned.
“As Spiritualism assimilates more closely to the nominal Christianity of the day, it has greater power to deceive and ensnare. Satan himself is converted, after the modern order of things. He will appear in the character of an angel of light. Through the agency of Spiritualism, miracles will be wrought, the sick will be healed, and many undeniable wonders will be performed. And as the spirits will profess faith in the Bible, and express regard for Sunday, their work will be accepted as a manifestation of divine power.”
Note the progression of deception. As Satan leads them to be familiar with the supernatural, eventually his deception will embrace the Bible and Sunday worship, and millions will fall for it and worship him on his day.
There are those that think that the type of manifestations of spiritism as portrayed by Harry Potter are nothing more than fiction generated by a human imagination and that they could not happen in the real world. But God’s messenger for the last days warns us that “Many will be ensnared through the belief that spiritualism is a merely human imposture;…” That is Great Controversy pg. 553. However, satanic power is very real. They think it innocent fun to dabble with it or play with it. I’ll read on from page 553. “When brought face to face with manifestations which they cannot but regard as supernatural, they will be deceived, and will be led to accept them as the great power of God.”
The Apostle Paul tells us that just before the second coming of Jesus there will be significant manifestations of satanic power. He wrote in 2 Thessalonians 2:9, 10 that Satan will work “with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness.”
The Apostle John says in Revelation 13:13, 14 that Satan “doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, and deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do.”
My guess is that Satan will work with governments and national leaders to make it appear that God favors them, for the three unclean spirits like frogs, you may remember, go out to the kings of the earth. These verses in Revelation 13 are in the specific context of the United States. But nevertheless, Satan will be given permission to use tremendous miracles to persuade millions that it is the power of God that is manifest. Note that the scripture teaches that they are not pretended miracles, but are very, very real. This will lead millions to worship Satan and ignore the teachings of God’s word.
It is the spiritualism in print and in the movies and other media that are preparing the people to accept the marvelous working of Satan in the very last days to bring the whole world on his side in the real great controversy between himself and Jesus Christ.
Now let me read to you a very important statement found once again in the book Great Controversy, page 554 and 555. “To persons of culture and refinement he presents spiritualism in its more refined and intellectual aspects, and thus succeeds in drawing many into his snare. The wisdom which spiritualism imparts is that described by the apostle James, which “descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.” James 3:15. This, however, the great deceiver conceals when concealment will best suit his purpose. He who could appear clothed with the brightness of the heavenly seraphs before Christ in the wilderness of temptation, comes to men in the most attractive manner as an angel of light. He appeals to the reason by the presentation of elevating themes; he delights the fancy with enrapturing scenes; and he enlists the affections by his eloquent portrayals of love and charity. He excites the imagination to lofty flights, leading men to take so great pride in their own wisdom that in their hearts they despise the Eternal One. That mighty being who could take the world’s Redeemer to an exceedingly high mountain and bring before Him all the kingdoms of the earth and the glory of them, will present his temptations to men in a manner to pervert the senses of all who are not shielded by divine power.”
That’s quite a description of the Harry Potter series. Remember Isaiah 8. “And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God?” Now as spiritism grows much stronger as we near the end, and looms larger and larger, should we not turn from it unto our God and to His word?
My beloved friends, pleased don’t be deceived and misled by these sophisticated deceptions. It is not in your best eternal interests. We can never have the mind of Christ if we are involved in the occult. In these last days, it is essential to have the mind of Christ if we are going to escape the coming destruction of the wicked. Humble dependence on Christ is the only way to overcome evil. If you know someone who is involved in spiritism, urge them to turn from it to the Bible and the principles of heaven.
Let us pray. Our loving, Heavenly Father, we truly want to have the mind of Christ. We earnestly want to be children of the day. We pray that we will not be deceived by the spiritualism of the last days. We do not want to follow the cunningly devised fables of Harry Potter or any other spiritualistic teaching or theory. Please send your holy angels to protect us, and keep us close to your holy word and to Jesus that we may reflect your image. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
If we are going to have Christ’s character, that means we must have His mind. The mind of Christ is the most important thing. We need the mind of Christ to navigate the dangerous times in which we find ourselves living.