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When I was attending the university one of my fellow students lost his mother. Un-consoled, he went into a deep depression and started missing classes. Weeks later, he was back. I asked him how he was doing. He told me he was going to a séance and was able to hear his mother talking to him. I tried to warn him that maybe it was not his mother. He retorted: “It is my mother; her voice, her mannerisms, everything. Plus, she reveals details about my life that only my mother could know.” Soon, he was deep into the Alan Kardec brand of Spiritism.

This was not an atypical story in my previous life. I came across many other examples of Satan’s schemes to lure people into engaging in communication with the spirit world. Examples in pop culture abound, perhaps the most blatant one being the singer Nicki Minaj, who has an alter ego by the name of Roman Zolanski, whom she claims “… is a crazy boy who lives inside me, who says the things that I don’t  want to say.”

She has created an elaborate scheme which includes Roman’s mother, who is traditional and wants to see her son exorcised. It is even more dramatic because Roman is supposed to be a blond homosexual male from London who sometimes poses as a female. Nicki insists that he will never be exorcised even when they throw holy water at him. Meanwhile, mothers flock the malls where Nicki makes appearances, so their five and six year old daughters can get a photo op with Nicki. Something is wrong with that picture.

We learn from Scriptures that there is such a thing as “evil” or “unclean” spirits (Matt. 10:1; Luke 7:21). Demons are nothing more than evil spirits that fell when they joined Satan’s rebellion against God. Demons are highly intelligent and as Satan’s emissaries they are capable of doing things that mere mortals cannot do. They can speak in the voice and personality of the deceased and they can reside inside someone and even help them produce rich art that can earn them a shot at the Grammy’s.

Katy Perry, the singer, also made news this week. Her performance at the Grammy’s deserved a comment by the E! Online magazine in their Twitter account. They asked, “Um. Did we just witness actual witchcraft during Kate Perry’s performance at the Grammy’s?”  Notice: this is not a conservative blogger or a Christian pastor asking that question. It is E! Online. Now whether Katy was being sarcastic when she said that she “sold her soul to the devil” after her career in gospel music didn’t take off, those who have taken her literally will have another reason to believe so after her performance at the Grammy’s.

Satanism is alive and well and not only in Hollywood. And Christians need to learn what is true and what is false about demon possession and demonic activities in the Bible world and today. So this Sunday we will launch a brand new series called “Do You See What I See – The Truth About Spiritual Warfare.” And we will start talking about demon possession.

The good news though is that in spite of our Enemy’s superior intelligence and super-human powers, when the curtain closes, he will be lying on the ground with all his myriad of soldiers, because we know who triumphs at the end. Satan and his demons are powerful, but they are still created beings and as such they are not omnipotent and omniscient as God is. So when the big drama unfolds, God will bring Satan and his demons to their knees. And we will be talking about that in the next several weeks. In the process, I believe, you will also learn how to live your life in freedom from fear, from self-doubt and from the negative influences that many times plague our lives.

“… They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God’s people, the city he loves. But fire came down from heaven and devoured them. And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.” (Revelation 20:9-10).

Pastor Ivanildo C. Trindade