Do we talk to spirits? Do they talk to us? When we doubt, are we only talking to ourselves or also to them? When tempted, do we then tempt ourselves or are demons involved? How do we resist them, if so? And how do demons think? Do they ever worry or get nervous? Why is Satan so brazen in front of Yah? How can he accuse people before Him, as he did to Job and even Yahusha Himself? How does he convince or deceive people to reject Yah? How does he cause people to overlook his wickedness and ultimate dark motives?
Lastly, do we think like demons? Most probably, for we often think like them.
These are quite difficult questions. And we cannot get into the minds of Yah and Satan to divine their thoughts and see their ultimate purposes. As it is, we can only see what is in front of us and what lies a few hours or days ahead of us, not even the past. But, perhaps, like Yah, Satan also has the power to manipulate the past and the future, as spirits are not limited within our time dimension. We know that Satan can cause us to dwell in the past or focus on the future in order to distract us or prevent us from doing things now. He may not have the real power to control our destiny, for even Yah does not force us to do something; although Yah causes things to happen to prevent us from error and lead us to change our path, as in the case of Saul before he became Paul.
As we have said, Yah allows us to have free will, even absolute will that Adam and Eve had; but Satan and his demons have a way of using that free will by showing us scenarios in the past, in the present and in the future that cause us to leave the path to eternal life. For if Satan also has eternal life, why does he not allow us to enjoy it as well? Perhaps, and most probably, the kind of life he lives is not what he wants at all, or he thinks he can prevent the final judgment of Yah. Or he wants people and angels to serve his eternal goal to be like Yah, the same way he wanted Eve to think when he tempted her. Whatever it is, we must know if and when he is diverting our steps on our journey.
One major tool Satan has used is religion, one he invented himself. Yes, the whole idea of religion, including worship and faith, as a purely human-oriented endeavor, falls within the power and command of Satan. Let us clarify.
Unlike in the Garden, the concept of worship which all religions have established or popularized throughout centuries has been unorganic, unnatural and unspiritual. How so? First, organic is that which is inherent in Creation, as Yah intended it. Light serves many universal purposes. Water also has physical and geological functions. Food nourishes living beings. Reproduction supports the human family and community. Likewise, humans walked and talked with Yah in the Garden in an “organic” relationship or connection as Father and children. Second, natural is what is normal or allowable according to the design and ends of things and processes. Hence, cross-breeding with other species or creatures is unnatural. Thirdly, unspiritual is that which is not according to the essential nature of Yah as Spirit, and, it also follows, not according to the organic and natural aspects of God-created life.
The spiritual realm is where Satan inserted religion, although he also used religion in the organic or natural realms, such the sciences, arts and other disciplines that are basically belief-and-discipline-based. Note that many people equate religion with worship, the first being one’s profession of belief as part of a community, the second being the act of devotion to the object of adoration, whether divine or not. In short, religion includes a set of doctrines one adheres to, while worship is the expression of that religion.
Notice that this general, modern definition does not apply at all to Adam and Eve. For they had no set of teachings they had to uphold, except for one command, and it was not even a teaching at all but a warning. (Their state of union or marriage was an organic covenant based on their natural nature as humans, as man and woman; it was not a religion. But if loving and staying faithful as a couple is religion, then marriage is a religion.) Yah did not even put a sign saying “Do not eat” or “Forbidden Fruit”. No angel stood guard to remind them not to eat. It was a simple warning. Some parents avoid telling their kids “Do not . . .” but merely allow them to experience life as it goes. But what parent would want a child to touch fire so it will burn its fingers and learn how to avoid it next time? Perhaps, the Creator did just that because He wanted to give humans absolute free will. Religion, as a form of control of human behavior through a set of teachings and rules, did not exist at all in Eden.
What about worship? It was also absent, that is, in the form that we have conceived worship today. Adam and Eve could have knelt before Abba at their union and praised Him in so many words; but probably did not pamper Him with songs and adoration. But who knows? We do know that they walked with Him and talked with Him as casually as kids talk to their parents at home. Sure, they listened as they received instructions and revelation about all of Creation and must have marveled at His grandiose work and majesty; but all of it was, again organic, natural and spiritual. (Check out how Yah lives with His children in New Jerusalem and we will see what real worship is. It is exactly what we are describing back in Eden. (Rev. 22:1-5)
Satan saw all that happened in the Garden and envied Yah, as well as humans. For why would he come around and destroy such a perfect and beautiful place if not to profit from it somehow? Based on his own experience as a fallen angel, his pride must have led him to divert the attention of humans so that the love, honor and worship they ascribed to Yah would first be broken and then eventually directed to him alone. For just as he had led other angels to rebel in Heaven, he wanted humans to rebel on Earth. His fall from Heaven, thus, led to the fall of humans from grace. The serpent was cursed, woman was also cursed. Adam, along with the Earth, was cursed.
So, when and how was religion born? When Adam and Eve sinned, Yah made clothes of animal skin for them. In so doing, animals had to be sacrificed. Blood had to be shed. It was a way to introduce the coming of the Masshiach. Who killed the animal? We do not know; perhaps, it was Yah Himself, for He alone had the power to destroy His Creation. Covering humans with the skin was a prophetic and metaphorical way of preserving the honor and dignity of humans whom Yah loved and cherished as His own children. Perhaps, the act itself of shedding blood gave humans a first view of death before they would face their own in the hands of Yah. And also, the act of covering their shame provided them with the consolation that in spite of their sin, the compassion of Abba remained as their anchor to survive within their greatly-diminished condition and environment.
And so, when humans needed clothes, it must have required a primitive “rite” that involved killing an animal, pouring blood on the ground and cleaning, drying and sewing the skin for their use as clothes, shoes, tents and other purposes. Moreover, burning the flesh was the climax of that act which the first family had begun to do as a practice, especially so since Yah no longer walked with them, perhaps. (They had remained vegetarian up to that point.) And, living outside the Garden, they soon learned to call on Yah for help and guidance through prayer, naturally, even though they already knew so much about Creation in terms of caring for plants, animals and their personal needs, including reproduction, pregnancy, giving birth, raising kids and tilling the land for their food. By then, the curse had brought about a lot of corrupt things, diseases, dangers, conflicts and challenges in their lives.
In their condition, we can say their worship was now different from what they had before. Faith, which is belief in unseen things and assured hope of future events, took over. (Heb. 11:1) They now had to walk and, thus, worship, by faith, not sight. That is, their manner of worship became artificial and temporary – unorganic, unnatural and unspiritual. Yet Yahusha would later on reset it into what it was before: Those who worship Yah must worship in spirit and in truth. (John 4:19-24) Acceptable worship, therefore, involves a pure spiritual offering of one’s body and life. (Rom. 12:1) Truth is nothing but what is organic and natural within the Divine Nature of Yah and His Creation since the beginning. Refreshing humans and worship did not require establishing a religion or a new religion but bringing us back to the Garden paradigm, upon the Earth and for the now.
Yet Satan saw an opportunity to use religion as a way to insert himself into the consciousness of humans. The first and major step he did was to create himself in the form of humans through breeding with beautiful women and populating the Earth with giants who soon polluted the world. We have seen the various religious practices he introduced. No, they are not the usual religion where we have a building, a community and a set of rituals people perform. It was a collection of dark secrets, that is forbidden practices, that he taught the sub-human race which have survived to our days. But, in reality, the practices of alchemy, astrology, drug-making, sorcery, hallucination, interpreting signs and, more so, Sun and Moon worship, required elaborate ceremonies that invoked the presence of wicked spirits to allow humans to obtain the powers, knowledge, wealth and healing they sought. Religion was a lucrative trade from the beginning, and more so now.
With the out-and-out, brutal and vile manifestations of wickedness from demons ruling the Earth, humans completely corrupted the Earth. Humans began to worship many gods in the form of animals, plants, natural forces, celestial bodies and even humans. Ancient Babylon became the seed-bed of idolatry and pagan worship, and from where Yah called out Abraham to begin the cleansing of the world. That cleansing did not end with the conquest of Canaan, or with the destruction of the Temple taken over by fake the Jews of Yahusha’s time but only at the end of times. When we see the abomination in the end-times, which is called MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH, or Babylon Mystery Religion, for short, we finally understand the role of religion and how demons have effectively used it to deceive millions and millions of people. That prophecy alone should ring warning bells in our minds about whom we truly worship and what practices we do that do not conform to Yah’s organic, natural and spiritual way.
Religion, as James, defined, is visiting orphans and widows in their affliction and keeping ourselves unstained by the world. (James 1:26-27) Except for the first 2, since they were by themselves, Adam and Eve had a religious obligation after all – to remain pure in the world. Hence, it does not say we need to go somewhere to practice “our religion” and “worship” Yah. Doing good to others is “pure and undefiled” religion. Not participating in demonic rites and practices is doing “undefiled religion”. And having organic faith and organic love for Yah and others is “pure religion”. Doing such pure and undefiled things is true worship in spirit and truth. Beyond that is demon worship or lukewarm religion – maybe innocent, decent and socially-acceptable, but mediocre, powerless, boring and unsatisfying. Most of all, compromising, that is, allowing human teachings to slowly creep in through unorganic worship, what Yahusha came to correct and remove.
In a war against spiritual wickedness, there is no time to play church or religion. We only have time to joust with demons and to defend the innocent, guide the lost and even contend with the mockers and hardheaded unbelievers. We may no longer have time to beautify church buildings, set up missionary programs and hold music festivals. Each one is called upon to wear the Armor of Yah and stand constantly on guard over one’s soul and those of the weak. The usual religious paradigms, church activities, fellowship gatherings and interchurch conventions may still have some value; but in the face of intense assault by demonic forces, we only have time basically for personal meditation, prayer, fasting and teaching in any possible way we can to the “orphans, widows and the afflicted”, literally and figuratively. And billions are under great affliction today.
Worshipping Yah and devoting to His work now requires waging war against the “powers and principalities ruling in heavenly places” that have put up old and new “strongholds” against the Kingdom of Yah. (2 Cor. 10:3-5) Many of these can be found in group chats, apps, games, entertainment sites, business enterprises, media portals, public places, religions, and many organizations where demons have entrenched themselves in the minds and hearts of corrupt people. Identifying or marking them will help us avoid them or find ways to storm them, if not destroy by Yah’s spiritual might, and lovingly extract people who have been held under wicked bondage. We can easily become complacent and play nice to people even if we see them do wrong things. Losing our saltiness and our purpose as warriors will only diminish our campaign against evil. Waging war requires constant vigilance and total trust in the protection of Yah. As long as we remain alert and faithful, He will lead us to victory.
(Next: How Demons Dilute and Divert True Worship)
(Painting above courtesy of Planetary Science website.)