Beware Counterfeit Powers (Part 2)
We live in an age of rampant deception by the Enemy who is seeking to turn this world away from God. One of the Enemy’s schemes is through counterfeit powers which are designed to confuse and deceive the undiscerning. The Christian must not remain ignorant of these but be wise as serpents yet innocent as doves.
In this short series, we examine 4 effects of counterfeit powers and how it can be addressed. We unpack insights extracted from Exodus 8:1-19 when God, through Moses, and Pharoah had a supernatural clash of wills. In Part 1 of this article, we examined the first effect. In Part 2, we examine the rest of the effects.
UNDERMINES GOD'S PURPOSES
Exodus 8:9–15 (NIV84) 9 Moses said to Pharaoh, “I leave to you the honor of setting the time for me to pray for you and your officials and your people that you and your houses may be rid of the frogs, except for those that remain in the Nile.” 10 “Tomorrow,” Pharaoh said. Moses replied, “It will be as you say, so that you may know there is no one like the Lord our God. 11 The frogs will leave you and your houses, your officials and your people; they will remain only in the Nile.”
12 After Moses and Aaron left Pharaoh, Moses cried out to the Lord about the frogs he had brought on Pharaoh. 13 And the Lord did what Moses asked. The frogs died in the houses, in the courtyards and in the fields. 14 They were piled into heaps, and the land reeked of them. 15 But when Pharaoh saw that there was relief, he hardened his heart and would not listen to Moses and Aaron, just as the Lord had said.
As a result of the sorcerers' magic, it gave Pharaoh the belief that God's power is similar to his sorcerers. Hence, Pharaoh could take his stance against God. This deception helped Pharaoh to further harden his heart against God. A primary objective of counterfeit powers is to undermine God's purposes. It achieves this by a myriad of ways.
God has a plan and call for each one of us. However, the Enemy continually distracts us from what we are called to do. He can distract us to be too busy on non eternal matters. He can distract us with worry or anxiety etc. C.S Lewis illustrated this tactic in his famous Screwtape Letters about an experienced demon instructing a younger demon to distract a young believer who started reading his Bible.
It is always important to make sure we have time to realign our goals and priorities with God’s word and plan for our lives. Have we been derailed by unnecessary distractions? Internet? Hobbies? Even good things can get out of balance!
In the Garden of Eden in Gen 3:1(NIV) Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” One strategy that Satan uses is to throw into doubt what God said. In fact, some of the most rational sounding thoughts in our minds can be an attack of doubt from the Enemy.
Doubt can be subtle, yet it can be the deadliest because it saps our faith and we often fail to notice its insidious work.
One of the most powerful attacks from the enemy is to throw doubts to shipwreck our faith. We are called to extinguish these attacks of the enemy. We need to recognize when we are being attacked this way. Doubt can be subtle, yet it can be the deadliest because it saps our faith and we often fail to notice its insidious work. We need to know the perils of a hardened heart. The secret is to recognize the source of our doubt. Sometimes it can sound like our own rationalizing. We need to return to the Scriptures when in doubt.
False prophets influenced many Israelite kings. This deception drew the kings away from God's purposes. The Enemy will use 99% truth and 1% error to just begin drawing us on the wrong path. That 1% may seem insignificant initially but it builds up over time. Just imagine the astronauts flying towards the moon. If their trajectory is 1% off and they fail to detect it to make adjustments, by the time they travel the distance to the moon, they would have missed it by many hundred thousands of kms.
John 10:10(NIV) The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;
The final aim of the Devil is to destroy our lives. We should be alert of the Devil's schemes and not fall into it. 2 Cor 2:11 (NIV) For we are not unaware of his schemes.
INFERIOR TO GOD'S POWERS
Exodus 8:16–18 (NIV84) 16 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Tell Aaron, ‘Stretch out your staff and strike the dust of the ground,’ and throughout the land of Egypt the dust will become gnats.” 17 They did this, and when Aaron stretched out his hand with the staff and struck the dust of the ground, gnats came upon men and animals. All the dust throughout the land of Egypt became gnats. 18 But when the magicians tried to produce gnats by their secret arts, they could not. And the gnats were on men and animals.
When God unleashed the third plague of the gnats that were formed from the dust, the Egyptian sorcerers could no longer imitate it. At that point, even the sorcerers finally admitted defeat. They admitted that it must be the hand of God that has brought this plague.
Counterfeit powers are inferior to God's power. Their powers are limited in extent.
Counterfeit powers are inferior to God's power. Their powers are limited in extent. God had just started warming up and the demonic spirits are left behind. There is no other power in the universe that can compare with God's power. God is the Almighty. He is all powerful. The power of the Devil pales in comparison. Psa 89:6 (NIV) For who in the skies above can compare with the LORD? Who is like the LORD among the heavenly beings?
Fear is a tool of the Enemy to oppress us. But when we trust in God, fear will have no hold.
Hence, we should never be afraid of demonic powers. Fear is a tool of the Enemy to oppress us. But when we trust in God, fear will have no hold. Ps Yonggi Cho shared a story about his intent to start churches in Japan and reaching the people. One night when he was in Japan, a demonic spirit woke him up and appeared in his room. The demon threatened him. “You think you will save thousands of souls but tonight I will take your soul.” Yonggi Cho broke out in cold sweat at the terrifying presence. Fear gripped his heart but then he remembered who God is. Immediately, He invoked God’s name and rebuked the demon. The demon continued to threaten him but backed off. So Yonggi Cho rebuked the demon again and finally the demon left. God is all powerful and we can turn to Him for protection and deliverance.
ENSNARES THE IGNORANT
Exodus 8:19 (NIV84) The magicians said to Pharaoh, “This is the finger of God.” But Pharaoh’s heart was hard and he would not listen, just as the LORD had said.
Although God's power has been demonstrated to be superior to whatever the sorcerers could conjure, yet Pharaoh's heart continued to harden. He had already been ensnared into the path of resisting God.
Ensnaring through deception
Counterfeit powers are used to ensnare the ignorant through deception. Initially, the counterfeit powers may appear to be good, beneficial or even innocent fun but later trap participants.
Counterfeit powers are used to ensnare the ignorant through deception. Initially, the counterfeit powers may appear to be good, beneficial or even innocent fun but later trap participants. Yet as a person progressively gets more involved the outcome is a progressive ensnaring. People are ensnared gradually. 1 Tim 4:1 (NIV) The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.
The Devil is the master of lies and deception. He will mix falsehood with truth as long as it succeeds in ensnaring us.
The Devil is the master of lies and deception. He will mix falsehood with truth as long as it succeeds in ensnaring us. John 8:44 (NIV) You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
There was a young girl we helped. One day she asked for help because she would have bad stomach cramps during church services. Another leader discerned she had a demon wrapped around her like a snake. The demon had been tormenting her for a while and even telling her to commit suicide. We found out that she had started reading about occultic practices out of curiosity. But it opened the door for her to be ensnared. She had to be delivered from demonic forces. Today she is fine.
The Devil often ensnares people using seemingly innocent baits. Just like the anglerfish that have a glowing worm-like tentacle which they use to attract fish. When a small fish swims towards the glowing tentacle, the anglerfish eats their pery.
Following are some counterfeit practices that ensnares the unaware.
· Astral projection (out of body travel)
· Occultic games such as Ouija board, Light as Feather, Automatic writing etc.
· Seances, trances, channelling, spiritual guides
· Fortune telling, divination, tarot card, palm reading.
· Witchcraft, sorcery, black or white magic.
· Mental telepathy, Silva Mind Control, Transcendental meditation
· Yoga meditations
· Astrology, horoscopes
· Dungeons & Dragons, violent games, etc.
· Amulets, crystals and charms
· Some martial arts
· New Age philosophies
· Non-Christian religions
· Christian cults such as Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses, Christian Science, Scientology etc.
To break away from such ensnarement, it is important to renounce these associations. We can break it in Jesus name and repent of our association with it. And ask for God to break every link.
Counterfeit powers are from the Kingdom of Darkness and seek to deceive and ensnare us with its deception.Its purpose is always to undermine God’s purpose in our lives. We must break all associations with demonic powers!
Copyright©️2022 by Wilson Lim. All rights reserved. Materials are free to be distributed in whole or part as long as proper acknowledgement is given to the author and not sold for profit.