Friday, July 26, 2019

Spiritual Traps Through Technology

VIDEO: Spiritual Influences


Words are powerful. If we entertain gossip with others, a spiritual tie can go down to the “inmost part” or our soul. We don’t have to be physically present with that person. We can partake of gossip through written words or videos, and still find ourselves under attack. When we like, share, or even watch a video on social media sites e.g., YouTube, we are supporting these things. As a Christian, we should consider what we are supporting. What endeavors are you lending your voice to? What spirits are you giving a place to by agreeing (liking, sharing or listening to), as you watch videos? 

You may be thinking about films with sex, violence, or witchcraft in them. It is true that we should guard our heart against these and try to avoid supporting them in any way, but I was sent a “free” one hour version of a video about religious leaders on YouTube and was very disturbed by what I saw. While watching this video, a deep fog settled around my head. I knew the video was wrong, but I couldn’t put two thoughts together to understand why. It was this mistake that made us realize we have to be careful and discern what we are listening to. 

The evidence presented was short clips taken out of context with a lot of accusations and many people saying how great the full video was. The only thing I could pinpoint was that it was nothing more than an hour-long teaser for the paid version. This is the same tactic used in the Garden of Eden. Eve had added to what God said and Satan used that: 

“But of the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, You shall not eat of it, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.” (Genesis 3:3 AKJV) 

God only said not to eat it. Eve added the word “touch.” The snake (Satan) urged Eve to touch the fruit and perhaps when she found that it didn’t harm her, she also ate it. When words are twisted, taken out of context, or added to, the enemy has an opportunity to lead us astray. 

This tactic of inflaming facts to draw attention is not new. The evening news figured out years ago that more people watch bad news because it stirs up our emotions. Videos may slant the facts, presenting a wrong view to stir up fear and condemnation for you to like and share so they can make money! 

Short comments in this particular video were taken out of context to condemn others - this is not honest or the TRUTH and God is TRUTH. It is easy to pick things apart and stir up a mob, but can you dig through some of the flesh and see the gold underneath? 

It was the Pharisees who stirred up the mob to condemn Jesus. 

When His disciples wanted to call down fire on those preaching the Gospel but not associated with Jesus, the Lord said, "No. He who is not against us is for us." 

“...Touch not My anointed, and do My prophets no harm.” (1 Chronicles 16:22 AKJV) 

When someone has been anointed by God, we are not to come against them. King David was a man after God’s own heart. When Saul was being tormented by demons and sending armies to kill him, David would not attack Saul because he was anointed by God even though David, himself, was also anointed by God.  

In 2 Samuel 12, God sent a prophet to correct David for the killing of Bathsheba's husband. The prophet strongly rebuked David for his actions. Nathan the prophet was sent to David to give correction, not to stir up the populous against him. Unless you are a prophet and are sure you are hearing from God to give a correction, you should not touch God's anointed! 

Because I had listened to the words of this video that were meant to stir up anger and outrage, a spiritual influence had come upon me. After I spent time in God’s intense presence and broke all soul ties, the fog lifted and I could think again. That was when I knew I had to write this article and warn others to be careful of what you are exposing yourself to. 

Don’t watch programs or read articles that stir up your passion for anything that is not God, His Word (Jesus), or the Holy Spirit! It creates an open door that may let the enemy hinder you from receiving guidance from the Holy Spirit. When something is coming against an anointed man or woman of God, this is the most dangerous type of video; listening to it may cause a spiritual hindrance.  

What you find in some videos and posts on social media are meant to stir up people who will LIKE, SHARE and WATCH, so that a profit can be made. Because they are invoking intense emotions in a skewed manner, it leaves our spirits open to influences that are not from God. If you like or share prayer requests and say amen, you may be coming into wrong agreement, which could bring an attack from the enemy as well. See the Courts of Heaven Academy Workbook 2 or the 201 classes online for information about what to look out for concerning wrong agreement. 

Be careful not to come into agreement with wrong prayers. God doesn’t work through fear and condemnation. 

DON’T LIKE, SHARE or even WATCH these types of things! 

If you do come into wrong agreement, it is easy to fix what you have done with the help of our Lord. The best prayer I have ever heard for severing soul ties was from a Team Member at Agape Christian Fellowship: 

Lord Jesus, please remove any ties to my soul. I desire to be holy for YOU. For it is written, “You shall be holy, for I AM holy” (1 Peter 1:16 KJV) To be separated unto YOU and YOU alone, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, according to the word of GOD. (Hebrews 4:12) I take the sword of the Spirit – Your Word – (for YOUR Word God is quick, and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." (Hebrews 4:12)) – and sever any ties in YOUR mighty Name. In YOUR name, Jesus, I thank YOU for cutting any ties to my spirit. Any bridge that was developed through prayer/thoughts/words. Mighty GOD, I ask to strengthen all ties to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ name AMEN! 

When we back up our actions with the rightly applied Word of God, it is more powerful than anything in this world! As children of God, our words are very powerful. We need to be aware that words can help us or open us to danger. The electronic age has another pitfall we should look out for as well. 

Dangers of Avatars 

Avatars are a concept in Hinduism that means coming from another level, a descent. It is primarily used in connection with the physical appearance or incarnation of many of their gods on Earth. This is why they use a term meaning descent, referring to spirits moving from one plane of existence to another. 

Does this mean that an avatar is evil? The word is merely describing what they believe is occurring. 

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (John 1:1 AKJV) 

Jesus is the Word. He was God in the flesh and a man on this Earth. For this reason, some may refer to Jesus as the avatar of Yahweh. 

Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Thessalonians 5:23 ESV) 

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” (Jeremiah 1:5 ESV) 

Paul makes it very clear that we are a spirit who has a soul and lives in a body. This confirms what God said to Jeremiah: He knew us before we were born. This means we existed in Heaven before we were born here on Earth. Every human being is an avatar according to the Hindu concept of the original word. 

We understand that like many words, though the original definition of the word was linked to a spirit taking bodily form, in the modern day world we now use this term to refer to a broader spectrum closer to a representation rather than an actual manifestation. According to Merriam-Webster: 

  1. a variant phase or version of a continuing basic entity the latest avatar of the conservative movement 
  2. an electronic image that represents and may be manipulated by a computer user (as in a game) 

Most people see an “avatar,” in the most basic sense, as representing a living entity that has taken a different form. This type of system has been used in many cultures in a myriad of ways, though they were not referred to as avatars by: 

  • The Government 
  • In Games 
  • On Electronic Systems 

There are dangers involved in these representations as well, which we will address. The primary danger comes from misusing the word “avatar” which has a spiritual connection. Satan is a legalist. He loves to use our words against us. 

But I say to you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by your words you shall be justified, and by your words you shall be condemned. (Matthew 12:36-37 AKJV) 

When we begin confessing that we have an “avatar” then we are saying that our spirit is attached to that item. Likewise, if a program or game says to create your “avatar” we may be in danger of coming into wrong agreement with what will happen.  

We need to find a better, more accurate way to describe what is actually occurring. No one actually believes that they are being physically created in a game or an electronic device, yet by calling it an “avatar” this is what we are declaring it to be. Let’s look at some of the ways we are represented by another object and see if there is a better way to describe what is going on. 

Avatars in Government 

Since 1936, America implemented a system of identifying people for financial and legal purposes. People are assigned a social security number which represents who they are to the government. We can use this to identify ourselves in legal and financial matters.  The very specific and accurate name given to the representation, puts it into its proper place: 

  • Social: our place in society 
  • Security: to secure into place 
  • Number: a nine-digit number represents us  

Every American should be aware of the dangers of having their social security number in the wrong hands, especially if their full name and birth date are also acquired by others. With these key pieces of information our identity can be stolen, our finances can be attacked, and our life can be greatly disrupted. Just like social security numbers, other identifying representations can bring dangers into our lives. 

Game Components 

Game pieces representing persons, places, and things have been around since the release of Monopoly at the very least. In this board game, we boldly declare, “I am the hat,” “I am the shoe,” “I am the iron,” etc. Every move that the hat makes in the Monopoly board game, the player is responsible for. If the player with the hat game piece makes a move and lands on the “go to jail” square, that player must pay $50 to get out of jail. That player doesn’t actually change into the hat, so it is not an “avatar.” That piece is merely representing you in the game. The items are correctly labeled: 

  • Game - a contest with specific rules 
  • Piece - a part of a larger whole 

Operating through a game piece which you control and represents you may still have a few dangers. It is a long-held debate on whether our actions in a game can be held against us. If lying is expected in playing a certain game, are we guilty of the sin of lying? 

Like a madman who casts firebrands, arrows, and death, So is the man who deceives his neighbor and then says, Was I not joking? (Proverbs 26:18-19 AMPC) 

Jesus made it clear that the sin of lust and murder occurs in our hearts. In this scripture, it seems that even if we deceive or lie to others, then claim to be joking, it is not okay with God. 

I have endured much ridicule in life because I do not like to lie, even in a game. If the game requires lying, I abstain. Why would I want to run the chance of walking crosswise with God for a game! It isn’t worth it. 

Electronic Avatars 

Since the development of video games, we have been using electronic representations. The very first “role-playing game” RPG in 1979 was called Avatar. According to Wikipedia: 

The use of the term avatar for the on-screen representation of the user was coined in 1985 by Richard Garriott for the computer game Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar. In this game, Garriott desired the player's character to be his Earth-self manifested into the virtual world. Garriott did this because he wanted the real player to be responsible for the character's in-game actions due to the ethical parables he designed into the story. 

We should consider this original intent anytime we have a character on a screen that we are controlling. Could the actions we command to be done be spiritually dangerous? There are some actions in a game that do not involve other people. Spiritually speaking, you may not be committing a sin because you haven’t acted against a person. However, you may want to consider: 

  • Lies are told to other people: If we lie to a NPC (non-player character) we are not really lying to a person, for it is only a computer program. Can repeatedly performing this action make it seem that lying is not such a big deal? 
  • Murder is committed when a person actually dies, so killing someone in a game is not murder. Does our heart become more accepting of extreme measures, even death to achieve our goals? 

There are actions that our electronic representative or avatar can perform which are sins. There doesn’t need to be a recipient of the action to qualify it as sin in God’s eyes: 

  • Worshiping other gods: if the person we are in control of has to worship another god, and we are commanding that avatar to perform that action, then we are guilty. 
  • Performing magic spells: witchcraft and spells need no recipient to open a door to the enemy. The act of performing the spell is opening the door. 
  • Cursing: as Christians we are told to bless and not curse. We are also told to let no profane language come out of our mouths. Do not let the excuse “it is only a game” lead you into cursing. 

If a game requires these actions, you should abstain. If you have performed them, you could confess and plead the blood over the actions you come into agreement with. We should not add to these dangers by referring to the image on the screen as our “avatar.” We are then confessing that we are placing ourselves into that game, creating a legal spiritual link. 

How should we refer to an image that may take on either a two-dimensional form as an icon in Internet forums and other online communities or a three-dimensional form, as in games or virtual worlds. The term “picons” (personal icons) was used to identify a graphical representation of a user or the user's character or persona for some time, but has been pushed out of popularity by the word avatar. We need to bring this word back because it correctly identifies what is happening: 

  • Personal - it is chosen by and may even look like us 
  • Icon - a symbol or graphic representation 

The words comprising “picon” correctly identify what is happening when we create electronic representations of ourselves. We do hope you will pray about coming into agreement with the concept of avatars. 

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