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             Satan and his evil angels have power, although their power is not greater than the power of God that is given to Christians.  “Behold, I give unto thee power to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and upon all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”  Lk. 10:19.  The first word “power” is actually the word “exousia” in the Greek.  It means the power of the potentate or king.  That is the power of a Christian over the power of the enemy.  This second word “power” is the word “dunamis” in the Greek and means ordinary spirit power that demons have.  Therefore, our power is much greater than the power of the enemy.

            Nevertheless, Satan and his demons have much power.  Revelation 13:13-15 says that Satan’s beast and false prophet will do miracles, signs and wonders, and deceive the whole world.  Rev. 12:9; 19:20.  Satan’s beast and false prophet will even call fire down from heaven, heal the sick and do miracles that will deceive the whole world one day.  Almost all false religions also have their healers and fortune-tellers since the devil can command his demons of infirmity to leave or stop their actions for the time being.  I knew someone who was “prayed over” by a Kahuna, or priest of the native-Hawaiian religion.  He was healed of heart trouble, but died of kidney failure two years later.  False religions have fortune-tellers and “prophets” too, since the devil knows what he plans to do in the future or can make predictions come to pass.  However, these false prophets are never 100% accurate or anything close to that.  Predictions by Nostradamus and Edgar Cayce, for example, have often been found completely inaccurate.  Most of their so-called prophecies and vague and general in scope.  The Bible, however, is never wrong. 

            Evil spirits love to capture the hearts of men and desire worship.  The so-called “deja vu” is none other than evil spirits putting “memories” in a person’s mind to make it appear that the person had been at a certain place in a prior lifetime because he knows things even though he had never been there before.  Satan can also give visions and dreams and counterfeit an angel or God. 
            We read in the Bible that Paul and Silas were followed by a girl who was being used as a fortune-teller.  She had the spirit of divination in her.  Ac. 16:16-18.   She kept saying, “These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation.”  Verse 17.  This was deception, since she made it appear that she was also included in their religion and worship of God.  In Greek mythology, Python the spirit of divination, was a large serpent deity who was slain by the Greek god, Apollo, at Delphi.  A temple was built over the body of Python (temple and oracle of Delphi) and as the fumes from the decaying body rose to the surface, temple maidens who breathed in the fumes would see the future. 

Fortune-telling is brought about by evil spirits.  When that spirit is cast out of a person, he or she loses the ability to tell the future.             We once had a member who had been a fortune-teller before she became a Christian.  She obtained her abilities when she went to the ruins of the temple of Delphi and laid herself upon the altar.  She would occasionally hear someone calling her name.  When she looked out the window, she would see a very handsome, young man with Greek features.  It was the Prince of Destruction who claimed her as his servant.  We cast both spirits out of her.

            Some years ago, I ministered to a few recent converts from Roman Catholicism.  They were not yet entirely separated from the Catholic Church and would occasionally mention a Roman Catholic brother who was a “prophet” of God.  He had the ability to tell your past and future.  They wanted me to meet him so that we could work together, so they invited me to a dinner to which this brother was also invited.  When we arrived at the house, we were met at the door by a friendly chap who greeted my wife and introduced himself.  He said, “I’m going to tell you your past and future.”  Meanwhile, I walked into the house and stood about fifteen feet away.  He accurately told my wife how many children we had and a few other things.  Then, I overhead him say, “Is that your husband?  I’m going to tell him some things too.”  I turned my back to him and whispered under my breath, “You evil spirit of divination, I bind you up in Jesus’ name and I put a gag in your mouth.”

            The “prophet” walked up to me and tapped me on the shoulder.  I turned around and he tried to speak, but could not utter a word and was gagging.  He was absolutely tongue-tied.  After that, he followed me all over the house, sat next to me and put his hand on my thigh, trying to figure out why he could not “read” me.  It went on all night.

            Two weeks later, I received a call from him and he invited me and my wife to have dinner at his house.  When my wife and I arrived, we stood at the front gate and bound up all fortune-telling spirits in around him.  Then we walked in.  All night, he was speechless and then disappeared after dinner.  I asked his wife what happened to him and she replied, “He went to his room.”  We never saw this “prophet” thereafter.  He was not a prophet; but a fortune-teller posing as one, and had a spirit of Python in him.  Satan uses the spirit of divination to deceive people into thinking that God is in their religion, much as the young girl who followed Paul and Silas were doing.

            There are a number of so-called Christian prophets who are either speaking out of the spirit of Python or other divination spirit, or have a mixture in them.  They receive from both sides – the Holy Spirit and an unholy spirit, or from the flesh.  How is this so?  Under the Old Covenant, the Spirit of God would come upon His prophets from time to time to warn or prophesy through visions or a direct voice.  Then the Spirit of God would leave.  Under the New Covenant, however, all born-again Christians have been given a new spirit and God’s Spirit dwells in them.  Satan will sometimes attack a person by impersonating the Holy Spirit.  In the middle of a true prophecy, word of knowledge or word of wisdom, the evil spirit will slip in something that is not from God.  It doesn’t mean that the person is false or unsaved.  Satan can whisper in a person’s ear or put thoughts into a person’s mind, much as he did with Peter.  Mt. 16:23; Mk. 8:33.

            To protect us against false prophecies, words, or confusion, the apostle Paul instructs us, “Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge.  If anything be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace.  For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may lean, and all may be comforted.  And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.  For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.”  1 Co. 1429-33.

            Some “prophets” become upset if another prophet corrects or contradicts him.  It is a blessing for someone to point out that there could be another spirit involved.  God has provided a way for us to be sure.  That is one of the reasons why Christians should be humble, transparent and united.  We need one another. 

Such attempts by the devil to deceive God’s people by putting thoughts into our minds and give us false visions and dreams should not discourage Christians from seeking the gift of prophecy.  The apostle Paul encouraged us to seek to prophesy.  “Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues.”  1 Co. 14:39.  “. . . (T)he testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”  Rev. 19:10.  The church needs to hear from God through prophecies, but we should test every prophecy.  Satan is very cunning indeed.

Why have Satan and his evil angels not yet released all of their spiritual power to do powerful and overt miracles to finally deceive the whole world?  It is because it is not yet the time.  God will not allow Satan and his kingdom of darkness to manifest such power as to deceive the whole world and destroy the church and all Christians, up to this point of time.  That time is just ahead.  “And now ye know what withholdeth that He might be revealed in his time.  For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only He who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.”  2 Th. 2:6-7.  The Holy Spirit has been preventing it for a long time, but one day soon, He will be taken out of the way and Satan will unleash his full power on mankind.  At the same time, God will protect His true church and army against Satan’s full power and hatred.

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