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In our previous lesson, we examined how the enemy tries to build strongholds that he can latch onto. Now let's look at some of these strongholds.
Let's talk about the stronghold of sexual perversion -- voluntary and involuntary. Some people involved in sexual perversion had no choice. It was forced upon them and some people do it voluntarily. I'm talking about anything that is against God's norm (God's standard). God set up sexuality in such a way that you have a husband and a wife in the context of marriage. People doing anything out of that context would be a perversion.
Homosexuality would be a perversion. Look at the physiological makeup. God didn't make people that way. He made people to fit together -- and that just doesn't happen in homosexuality. You have to violate the physiology for that to come about. Incest is sexual perversion, bestiality, transvestites, the list goes on and on. Anything that is out of God's norm of how He designed you and made you to function in holiness is sexual perversion. Pornography is another way. Whether you are voluntarily or involuntarily participating, the devil will try to get an inroad there. You are your seeking to feed the sex drive outside of holiness as God designed it in marriage. You're feeding your lust, giving ground.
Let's look at pornography. There's usually a distinction betweens men's and women's pornography. There is women's pornography out there; it's a lot different from men's, even though there may be some similarities. If you were to look at the things that men look at, men are very visual. They look at naked women, or sensual women dressed in a way to be seductive and to entice a person to lust. If a man begins to feed himself with that, that is pornography. We can also apply the same standards to women looking at men and lusting, but that's not the normal way most women involve themselves in pornography. Women are enticed through their imagination of romance. Therefore women's pornography would be romance novels, soap operas -- anything that feeds the imagination of romance. Anything that feeds the imagination of romance outside of having this with your husband is pornography. It dilutes the marriage. Women begin thinking, "Why can't my husband be like this?" It's the same thing, so I would also put women in the same category. In other words, if a woman has an addiction to romance novels, she's in the same category as a man who has an addiction to Playboy or Internet pornography. This is because the person is feeding something there that is not met in the holy relationship of marriage. It goes beyond just saying who did what to whom.
The occult is another thing that gives an inroad to darkness, voluntarily and involuntarily. This passage, starting at Exodus 20:3, says: "You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourself an idol or any likeness of that which is in heaven or above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the sea. You shall not worship them or serve them. For I the Lord God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquities of the fathers on the children on the third and fourth generations of those who hate me."
You are not to have any other gods. Any time you begin to encounter any spirit besides God's spirit, that would fall into the category of the occult. If you're trying to find out your future by looking at your horoscope, you're trying to find out something that God has not given you information of. Anything that you're trying to find information apart from the Spirit of God would be an occult practice. Leviticus 19:31 says: "Do not turn to mediums or spiritists, do not seek them out to be defiled by them, I am the Lord your God."
So there's the occult. When we become involved in the occult, it removes our protection. Leviticus 20:6 says: "As for the person who turns to mediums or spiritists, I will play the harlot after them, I will also set My face against that person and I will cut them off from among his people." Whenever you involve yourself in the occult, you remove the protection of God.
Witchcraft is a part of it, but our culture is not strong in witchcraft like other cultures. Which is very predominate and ingrained into the fabric of their society. However, there is the occult, and a lot of the occult may not be as extreme as you may see in the movies, but it is still present, still prevalent and still around. Most people who are involved in areas of witchcraft are deceived in thinking that the devil is going to win, because God is some weak deity who is dying off and that someone will have to take over. So they're trying to hop on the winning side.
But, you don't have to join some satanic cult in order to accomplish this. Most people who are involved in the occult don't do that. One of the primary ways that people involve themselves in the occult today would be through games, imagination games where they have to play a particular role. Dungeons And Dragons fits in that category. There are a lot of computer games that fit in that same category. All you have to do is look at the cover at a lot of the computer games and ask , "Does that glorify God, or is it demonic?"
I know some people believe that this sort of thing is no big deal, that it is not that big of a thing. But the devil that we fight against does not play fair. Anywhere he can get in, he will. Children's cartoons are another place. He begins to lower their defenses as children. I'm not saying they're going to get demonized just because they watch certain cartoons. But it does lower the defenses of what they're able to accept and receive. I've done enough deliverance with children; you need to watch these cartoons with them. If they're calling on spirits, this is not a good thing. Back in the 1980s, my kids watched the Smurfs, all of a sudden this guy begins pulling out this magic book and begins saying these magic spells. At that point, I said we're not watching this anymore. People told me that I was overreacting. But I've seen enough darkness to say the devil does not play by fair rules. Anywhere he can get an inroad, he's going to do it. When the inroad happens, there's not usually an immediate attachment. But there is the open door; you participate with that until there is attachment.
It can begin very young, even in the womb with words spoken over the child in the womb. We looked at the passage of the boy who was demonized, foaming at the mouth. What in the world did that boy do that would cause him to be demonized? The child hadn't lived long enough to be engaged in that major of a sin. There had to be another inroad into that child's life -- and it came through the generation, or some opening. Demons just can't attach without having a right to do so. They have to have a crack, something has to be stuck in there. They just can't go attach because they feel like it. They have to have a right to do so. And if a child is demonized, somewhere the devil says, "I have a right to attach myself to that child."
Anything that is not Christian can serve as an inroad for the enemy. The cult involvement voluntary or involuntary would be things that are "not Christian." Anything in your life that is not Christian fits in this category -- Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, Islam, Hinduism, all of those things regardless of how close they say they are to Jesus, and how they say "Jesus was a nice guy," that doesn't cut it.
Drugs is another one. Demons even help people find drugs. We had a guy working in the church, he was struggling with drugs and getting off of them. He came here and we put him to work for a month or two. He was working around the church grounds. He walked around the front and he found some drugs. I've walked around here before, other staff members had walked around the church, a lot of people work here, a lot of people walk around, but he is the only one who found the drugs. He quickly found those and brought them to me shaking saying, "Please take these." They happened to be the drugs he liked. It's an inroad and the spirits of darkness are very tuned into this. People who take drugs are opening themselves up to demonic spirits. The reason is because you're losing control of your mind and your body, you're opening yourself up. That is one of the reasons the Scripture says, "Do not get drunk with wine." Why not get drunk? Because you are losing control, you are giving control over to a foreign substance.
Violence is another thing that gives the enemy an inroad. I'm talking about giving honor to violence, such as when a person has an addiction to slasher movies, violent movies, or horror movies. Psalm 11:5 says, "The Lord tests the righteous and the wicked and the one who loves violence his soul hates." This is the person who is consumed with violence, loves violence, dominated by violence. Psalms 74:20 says, "Consider the covenant for the dark places of the land are full of the habitations of violence."
The dark places are filled with the habitations of violence. I have to exercise wisdom. When God made the male, he made the male to be the protector. He put within the man a warring spirit. That is why your little boy whom you don't want to play with guns gets his tinker toys out and makes one. You get so upset and wonder why your child is doing that. We need to have balance in this. It's very normal and natural for young boys to play army, or to go out for war. When I'm talking about this area of violence, I'm not talking about that type of thing. God put that in their nature, that protective part within them, that shepherding part of their nature. I'm talking about the person who is addicted to it, consumed by it. The person who sees it, there is a thrill that rushes within him whenever he sees it. When that happens you know there is darkness there.
2 Peter 2:19 says: "Promising them freedom while they themselves are slaves of corruption for what a man has overcome, by this he is enslaved." If you are consumed by it, dominated by it, ruled by it -- then you are enslaved by it. This is a general verse that would fit across the board in any category.
Curses are another area that give the enemy an inroad. Curses can be words spoken over us by our parents, teachers, by other people. We simply received those words, they have power, we can't brush them off. Or they can be vows that we have made, vows that said, "I can't" or "I will never." Words that were spoken over you, self-inflicted, especially when it comes into areas of fear, where you continue to reemphasize with yourself. There are also generational curses. We talked about the generational sin that comes down from the family line. There is also the generational curse that comes down. People excuse it, and they say, "I know he has a bad temper, but he's an O'Malley; all the O'Malley's have a bad temper."
Another inroad comes from trauma. This is a cheap shot by the enemy. You encounter a trauma and the enemy tries to squeak in there some way. Trauma could be a long-term sickness, a traumatic auto accident, or other accident. He goes for people who have been victims of violence or rape or who have been traumatized. The enemy will try to get in there if he can.
Someone asked me if the events of Sept 11, 2001, where the Pentagon and the World Trade Center were attacked by terrorists crashing hijacked planes into them, could lead to the United States being traumatized and demonized. It's always possible that people who have watched the events of that week can allow fear to come in and eventually become traumatized by it and give ground over to that. I would say the people who are more subject to it are those people who actually encountered the event. Usually the devil doesn't say, "Because you have had an accident," or "Something's happened to you," or, "You have experienced a trauma, I have a right." Instead, he whispers into the ears of the people to be afraid. He tells them that they are going to be harmed again. They begin to dwell on all these things that are not of the Lord. They begin to entertain these thoughts to the place where that gives ground. Or they may convince themselves that nobody loves them, or "nobody cares" or "God isn't there for me." They may ask, "Why did He allow this thing to happen?" They begin to entertain these things. Children can be traumatized by watching television, giving into an area of fear.