Thursday, October 20, 2016

The Cosmic Christ…Halloween…and the Devil

By Reverend Mark Hunnemann

9 “As I looked, thrones were placed, and the Ancient of Days took his seat; his clothing was white as snow, and the hair of his head like pure wool; his throne was fiery flames; fits wheels were burning fire. 10  A stream of fire issued and came out from before him; a thousand thousands served him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him; the court sat in judgment, and the books were opened. 11 “I looked then because of the sound of the great words that the horn was speaking. And as I looked, the beast was killed, and its body destroyed and given over to be burned with fire. 12 As for the rest of the beasts, their dominion was taken away, but their lives were prolonged for a season and a time. The Son of Man Is Given Dominion 13 “I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him. 14  And to him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed. (Daniel 7)
 
Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands, 13 and in the midst of the lampstands jone like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around his chest. 14 The hairs of his head were white, like white wool, like snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire, 15 his feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace, and his voice was like the roar of many waters. 16 In his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword, and this face was like the sun shining in full strength.

17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last, 18 and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades. 19 Write therefore the things that you have seen, those that are and those that are to take place after this. 20 As for the mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand, and the seven golden lampstands, the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches. (Revelation 1:12-20)

When we think of power encounters between Christians and demons, the name of Jesus is our refuge and our strength. The "name" of Jesus is not a magical incantation.When we appeal to His name, it signifies the Person and the work of Christ. When we say "...in Jesus name" at the end of a prayer, we recognize that it is the atoning death of God incarnate that allows us to appear with a childlike boldness before the Father.

As we approach Halloween, themes of death and demonic looking costumes and yard displays are ubiquitous. On a more serious note, devotees of the occult see this time of year as prime time for communing with ‘spirits’. The devil, who is already prowling around like a lion seeking whom he can destroy, takes advantage of these door openings and ramps up his activity….such is Halloween.

From time immemorial, there was a growing awareness and anticipation amongst God’s people that a mysterious, divine Warrior was going to come on the scene, and act like a “Cosmic Hit-Man” who would deal sin, death, and Satan.

I want to take us on a tour of the atonement--the cross of Christ--so that we might have a deeper understanding of this many splendored thing, and how it relates to the paranormal. When was the first announcement of the gospel? Immediately after Adam and Eve committed cosmic treason, we hear the Lord speaking to Satan, "And I will cause hostility between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring. He will strike your head, and you will strike His heel." (Genesis 3:15) His first actions are grace-filled--God graciously converts the sinful woman's affections from Satan to Himself (hostility between Eve and Satan). From that point, humanity is now divided into two communities (Satan's offspring and Eve's offspring). Now here is where it gets really interesting. Two striking or bruisings are going to happen. Before His glorious victory, the woman's Seed (Jesus) must suffer to win the new community from the serpent’s dominion (Isaiah 53:12; Col.1:24)  However, the head wound (compared to being shot in the heel) would be fatal. Not only was sin conquered on the cross, but Satan and death too.

Many Christians don’t realize that one of the primary purposes of the cross was to destroy the devil and his works…it carried into the spirit realm to all across the cosmos.

Tonight I was playing slay the dragon with my five year old grandson, only he wanted to be the dragon AND carry the sword...leaving me with this puny shield!  He came swinging that plastic sword all over the place.."Please dragon, don't hit me in the head.," I pled. (I meant it!!)

The suffering Christ is victorious. He has already won the victory at the cross over the dragon by providing an atonement for the saints (Col.2:13-15) and will consummate it at His Second Coming.

The title or name that Jesus used most frequently to refer to Himself was "Son of Man". It is common for folks to say that ‘Son of God’ refers to Jesus’ deity and ‘Son of Man’ refers to His humanity; but that is not accurate. In Daniel 7:13 the Son of Man is coming with the clouds-only God does this. In Revelation 1:9-20 John (in my opinion Jesus’ closest earthly friend) saw a vision of Jesus as the Son of Man, and His glory was so overwhelming John fell at His feet is if dead. He has a war-like appearance, looking back to the OT battles and anticipating His role in the final battle.The Son of Man is an awesome Cosmic Conqueror obliterating a triad of foes-sin, death, and the Devil. "I have the keys of death and the grave" says this Divine Destroyer of evil.(1:18)

The notion of Jesus as a cosmic ‘hit man’ who, with holy violence, destroys the works of the devil needs to be recovered in our days.
From Genesis to Revelation there is this unifying motif of the Son of Man/woman who will come, not as a baby in a manger, (though He was that) but as the Fearsome Warrior--bringing healing even to the cosmos itself.(Romans 8)

In the midst of this crazy election season, we need to remember what the most significant political event in the history of the world was: the ascension of the Son of Man. After smashing the head of the Serpent, Jesus sat down next to His Father. But he didn’t sit down in a lounge chair..King Jesus sat down on His throne as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Please read this passage in Revelation and then ask: who is in control of the paranormal realm? Can there be criteria for becoming a ghost if the awesome Son of Man holds the keys to death and the grave/hades? What does that mean that He holds the keys to death? It means he owns it….He created death, as a consequence to sin. But we need to see the death of death in the death of Christ.The Son of Man does not play around, and any views which even remotely undermines Christ’s absolute sovereign control over death, needs to be rejected. Most interpretations of the paranormal don’t take this fact into consideration. That is a grave oversight (pardon pun) because it dishonors the Son of Man and all He’s done to redeem us from the very spirits folks are seeking to commune with.

Look again at the visions in Daniel and Revelation. Would you mess with Him? How can you play around with the paranormal in light of this awesome display of divine glory? The Son of Man came to save us from demonic bondage…why do we not declare warfare when we discover spirit activity in our homes?…It is evil.

This one vision of Jesus precludes me from believing that human spirits can be trapped here...This is an in-family debate, because folks more godly than I differ with me on this. But here I stand...The Son of Man, born of a woman (Mary) now sits enthroned as the Cosmic Conqueror.

Halloween is actually a good opportunity to communicate to unbelievers, believers, and even pastors regarding the reality of the Cosmic Christ. Overt demonic activity is at an all-time high, and will increase during Halloween. PLEASE plead with all you know to leave the spirit realm alone, and that ALL paranormal activity is cause for concern. And maybe, just maybe, your pastor will seek how to release those under demonic oppression.

In Martin Luther's "A Mighty Fortress" he has a verse on Satan and his power, but at the end He writes "one little word shall fell him.".......Jesus.

Mark Hunnemann is the author of Seeing Ghosts Through God's Eyes: A Worldview Analysis of Earthbound Spirits. It's also available in eBook format.

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