When the “Supernatural” Is Not of God

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When the “Supernatural” Is Not of God

James R. Aist

“Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” (1 John 4:1)

Fore Word

I want to make it clear, right up front, that I am not among those who, in the Last Days, are content to have a form of Godliness but denying the power thereof (2 Timothy 3:1-5). After more than 25 years of affiliation with and participation in Pentecostal/Charismatic churches and denominations, as well as more than 65 years of personal encounters with God (click HERE , HERE and HERE), I have the distinct impression that, often, too little consideration is given to the possibility that a supernatural manifestation may not be of God, but of Satan. The default setting seems to be that if it is supernatural, it must be of God, but that is not a biblical approach at all. The Bible clearly instructs us to test the spirits to see if they are of God or not (click HERE), and to hold onto what is of God. So, in this article, I want to relate some unequivocal examples of when the supernatural was not of God, but of Satan, so that a more balanced and biblical approach to the supernatural might become more commonly practiced be Christians going forward.

Introduction

Let’s begin by defining some relevant terms, shall we? “Natural” refers to things that are of this physical world that God created, often referred to as “nature.” “Supernatural”, on the other hand, refers to things that are above or beyond the natural, or not of this physical world. In this context, “supernatural” would refer to the spiritual realm, and, more specifically, to spirit beings or their activities. From the Bible, we know that spirit beings include God, angels (good and evil), demons and spirits (good and evil). Satan is the ruler of the evil angels, demons and evil spirits. Human beings are also spirit beings, but they have a physical body and a soul as well. God, as the Creator of everything, is ultimately sovereign over all of the physical and spirit beings. Jesus said that God is Spirit; consequently, whatever God does is supernatural. Likewise, whatever any of Satan’s spirit beings do is also supernatural.

Whenever we encounter a possible supernatural manifestation, I believe that the first thing we need to determine for ourselves is whether or not it is really a miracle at all. Many manifestations (e.g., random cloud formations appearing like Jesus or a cross, or rust dribbling down a statue) are easily explained by natural phenomena. Other manifestations (e.g., manufactured Words of Knowledge, messages from the “spirit world” or fake healing) may be nothing more than cruel hoaxes perpetrated by humans. Once such natural or manufactured phenomena have been ruled out as the cause, there are two possible sources of a supernatural manifestation: God or Satan.

Now, I assume that we are all familiar with accounts in the Bible of supernatural manifestations that were of Satan, not God. For example, the Bible says that Pharaoh’s magicians turned their rods into snakes (Exodus 7:8-12), and the Gadarene demoniac broke out of heavy chains and shackles using supernatural strength imparted by a legion of demons (Mark 5:1-13). But, to illustrate the point further, I want to give a more detailed account here of two supernatural encounters that I myself have had that were clearly not of God.

An “Angel of Light”

I was 19 years old, a college student and very naive and ignorant concerning spiritual matters and the Word of God. In my frame of reference at that time, anything supernatural was assumed to be of God.

Now, please keep in mind that I was fully conscious and aware during the entire supernatural encounter I am about to share with you. One Sunday afternoon, I was alone in my apartment praying earnestly to God for His guidance concerning a major life decision that I was about to make. While I was praying, I suddenly felt an invisible force pulling on me, weakly at first, but then stronger and stronger until my entire body fell limp and my upper torso was held upright (i.e., levitated) and literally pulled to the other end of the apartment by this force, with my lower legs and feet dragging along the floor. When I arrived at the doorway to my bedroom, the force released me, and I slumped into a full squatting position on the floor, still unable to move of my own accord. Then I saw, out of the corner of my right eye, a bright, round, white light about the size of a basketball. This light was situated at the juncture of the wall and the ceiling. Next, my gaze was turned toward the light, and a voice spoke into my mind. It told me what I wanted to believe as I had been praying to God, and the message was crystal clear and without any confusion on my part. Then my strength slowly returned and I was able to stand and walk.

In pondering what had just happened to me, I assumed that this entire and impressive spiritual encounter was a divinely inspired answer to my prayer. However, it was a frightening experience, and I have been reluctant to share it publicly until now. Believing it was of God, I acted on the message I was given.

As the years went by, it became more and more apparent to me that this “angel of light” had lied to me, because things were not working out as I was told they would. This development put me into a state of utter confusion, because I was, at first, certain that I had heard from God, who cannot lie. I was even in the midst of praying to God when this spiritual encounter occurred! “Surely God would not allow Satan to bring a false response to my prayer to Him!”, I reasoned.

More years passed, and, by now, I had become a student of the Bible and was a bit savvy concerning spiritual matters. But I was not yet fully convinced that this “angel of light” was not of God, even though what it said to me did not square with present reality. Then one day, as I was reading in 2 Corinthians 11, I came upon the verse that says “…even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.” (verse 14). That caught my attention, but I tried to read on anyway. Each time I tried to read on, my gaze was directed back and glued to “…even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.” Finally, I saw the connection between this verse and my earlier experience with an “angel of light”: that wasn’t God, that was Satan deceiving me and setting my life on a course that did not end well! And, there it is. This supernatural experience was not of God at all, but of Satan, no more doubt about it. (Note: It is not uncommon for the Holy Spirit to quicken, or bring alive, the written word of God to a Bible reader in this manner. In Pentecostalism, this experience is sometimes referred to as an example of the “Rhema word” of God. For a sound, biblical teaching by Watchman Nee on the Rhema word, see text pages 51-59 at this link: https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/bfa-media/ebooks/TGC-eng.pdf)

A Slithering Serpent

Early on in my experience with Pentecostalism, I was an active member of the Full Gospel Businessmen’s Fellowship International (Ithaca, NY, chapter). A much larger chapter in nearby Syracuse, NY, invited me to be their keynote speaker at their next monthly meeting, and I accepted. They wanted me to relate my experiences in researching and publishing, on the Cornell University campus and to the Ithaca area, the facts and truth about homosexuality. Of course this was an inflammatory mission I was on, and the area homosexual activists were all up in arms about it, opposing me with every hateful and devious attack they could think of. The devil hates it when someone sheds light on his nefarious deeds of darkness, doesn’t he?

When the day came for my presentation, there was a sizable crowd of about 150 people who showed up to hear what I had to say. No more than about 10 minutes into my speech, I noticed to my left a woman standing in the aisle near the back of the crowd. As I continued to speak, I saw in the corner of my eye that she had laid down on the floor and was moving through the aisle toward me. When she was about half way to the front, I could see clearly how she was moving along the floor: she was face-down, her body taking the shape of a crawling snake and slithering toward me, all the while lifting her head, wagging her tongue at me and hissing audibly – just like a snake! I knew almost immediately that we were seeing a supernatural manifestation that was demonic in nature, so I continued right along with my speech so as not to allow this demon to disrupt my message. When the serpent lady had reached the edge of the open area where I was standing, a couple of the local men of the chapter came and quietly picked her up off of the floor, escorted her out of the auditorium the same way she came in, and ministered to her out in the foyer. This demonic manifestation was very impressive and creepy, but it didn’t spoil God’s purpose for my being there!

My Point

I want to encourage us all to not be too quick to conclude that anything that is supernatural is of God. False prophets can work signs and wonders too (click HERE). While it slanders God when we are duped by “wolves in Sheep’s clothing” (Matthew 7:15), it is blasphemy of the Holy Spirit to attribute to Satan the miraculous works of God (Matthew 12:22-30). So, we must be very careful to always test any supernatural manifestation before we conclude that it is, or is not, of God (See Addendum, below). Peter and John did not believe the report that Jesus had been raised from the dead until they had direct, physical confirmation themselves, and Thomas withheld his worship of the resurrected Jesus until Jesus gave him the physical confirmation he was holding out for. Perhaps we would be wise to follow the example of these Apostles and require confirmation that supernatural manifestations are really of God, rather than being quick to just assume that they are. I have to believe that if God wants us to know what He is doing, He can and will make it clear to us, if we are willing to inquire, listen, watch and wait.

Addendum

I would be remiss if I didn’t share with you, for what its worth, some of the tests I use to evaluate the authenticity and the source of claimed “supernatural” manifestations. So, here is a “short list” of my tests:

  • Is there a verified, natural explanation available?
  • Is there a verified fleshly motivation to fake a miracle?
  • Do the human instruments of the manifestation appear to be trustworthy and reliable witnesses?
  • Does it involve anything that the Bible expressly prohibits?
  • Is it serving God’s purposes or Satan’s purposes?
  • What are my natural and my spiritual gifts of discernment telling me about it, if anything?

(To read more of my biblically themed articles, click HERE)

How Pedophiles Are Using the “Gay Agenda”

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How Pedophiles Are Using the “Gay Agenda”

James R. Aist

“Because iniquity will abound, the love of many will grow cold.” (Matthew 24:12)

Introduction

Before I delve into the subject matter of this very sensitive and controversial issue, I want to make a few relevant, clarifying points. First, the vast majority of both homosexual and heterosexual people are not child molesters; thus, one cannot identify a child molester solely on the basis of their sexual orientation. Second, while it is true that male heterosexual pedophiles account for most cases of child molestation, this is due solely to the fact that male heterosexuals outnumber male homosexuals by as much as 67 to 1. And third, the vast majority of child molestations are perpetrated by males, not females.

Pedophilia is an integral and valued component of the homosexual movement

Baldwin (2002) and Sprigg and Dailey (2004) have documented extensively this component of the homosexual movement. The practice and celebration of consensual sexual involvement of adult homosexual men with young male teens and boys has a history dating back to ancient times. In modern times, this practice is largely represented in America by an organization called the North American Man-Boy Love Association (NAMBLA). This group openly and proudly practices, and lobbies for acceptance of, pedophilia, claiming that they are doing their under-age victims a favor by having sex with them. There are two other large concentrations of active pedophilia in America that should be mentioned in this context: the Roman Catholic Church (click HERE) and the growing business of human sex trafficking (click HERE). Pedophilia is a major, scandalous, and devastating moral failure in American society today.

In the USA, the legal age of sexual consent is determined at the state level, with all states presently falling in the 16-18 year range. However, world-wide the legal age of consent for sexual relations varies from less than 12 years of age to about 21 years of age, with 13-18 being most common. There is no reason to assume, in view of the prevalence of liberal attitudes regarding sexual morality in America, that our own legal age of consent will not be conformed to that of other, more lenient countries, in the near future. In fact, NAMBLA lobbies for the repeal of all age-of-consent laws in the USA, hoping that some day they can have their way sexually with male children of any age without fear of legal consequences. While NAMBLA is an embarrassment to many in the homosexual community, it appears that, as a whole, the homosexual community is doing more to embrace them than to marginalize them. And their presence is a real, substantial and integral part of the homosexual movement in America, as adult-youth sex is viewed and promoted by many in the homosexual community as an important, and valued, aspect of gay culture (Dailey, T). This is an undeniable manifestation of yet another link between homosexuality and pedophilia, this link being of a more cultural nature and having an extensive historical witness. To read about other links between homosexuality and pedophilia, click HERE.

Pedophiles are using the “gay agenda” to gain access to your children and grandchildren!

Since the U. S. Supreme Court declared recently that so-called “gay marriage” is legal in all 50 states, pedophiles have become increasingly emboldened and committed to having pedophilia accepted as merely another “sexual orientation.” And, to be brutally honest, they are technically correct about this…in part: pedophiles, by definition, do have a sexual preference for children, but this sexual orientation crosses a line that other sexual orientations do not. This line is “consensual sex.” Having sex with children, whether homosexual or heterosexual, has been legally taboo in the United States for generations, because children are not considered to be mature, adequately informed, and responsible enough to consent to it. And rightly so.

Now the gay agenda, using a propaganda campaign based primarily on lies, myths and hoaxes (click HERE), has managed to make homosexuality socially acceptable and “gay marriage” legal in the United states. But the most ominous threat of the “gay agenda” lies in their campaign to get “sexual orientation” classified as a legally protected characteristic (along with age, race, religion etc.). Insofar as they are successful in this aspect of their agenda, “sexual orientation” cannot be used to discriminate against an individual under penalty of law. Current efforts (i.e., the so-called Equality Act) by homosexual activists and their heterosexual cohorts are aimed at instituting such laws without any exceptions (e.g., for religious institutions and Christian business owners).

So now the stage is set for pedophiles to attach themselves to the “gay agenda” bandwagon to achieve their “pedophile agenda.” Insofar as the “gay agenda” gets “sexual orientation” classified as a legally protected characteristic, the “pedophile sexual orientation” also cannot be used to discriminate against an individual under penalty of law, because it too is, after, all, a “sexual orientation!” Their end game is to gain for the pedophile sexual orientation the same preferential treatment that is presently given to the homosexual sexual orientation. That would include legalization of pedophilia and marriage to minors. Of course, to fully establish and implement this agenda, the pedophiles would merely have to get our legal “age of consent” either reduced or eliminated altogether. This would make their sexual relations with minors legal, and they would then be free to prey on your minor children and grandchildren without either parental consent or penalty of law! And there it is, folks.

Moving forward, then, the critical issue will be whether or not pedophilia will be an exception to the inclusion of “sexual orientation” as a legally protected trait. Personally, I believe it should be an exception, but in a country where it is legal to deprive babies in the womb of any protection of their right to live, can we assume that the right of born children to protection from pedophiles will be sustained? In California, there is already a move to provide legal protection for pedophiles (click HERE)! Unless we rise up against this diabolical scheme, it will surely prevail. It is time for fervent prayer and well-informed voting, my friends!

References

Baldwin, S. 2002. Child molestation and the homosexual movement. Regent University Law Review 14:267-282. (click HERE)

Dailey, T. Homosexuality and Child Sexual Abuse. (click HERE)

Sprigg, P. and T. Dailey. 2004. Google Books. Getting It Straight: What the Research Shows about Homosexuality. Chapter 6. Is There a Link Between Homosexuality and Child Sexual Abuse? Pages 121-142.

(To read more of my articles on homosexuality, click HERE)

Homosexuality and Choice

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Homosexuality and Choice

James R. Aist

“We now have scientifically sound evidence, coming from homosexuals themselves, for a significant role of choice in homosexuality.

Homosexual activists insist that homosexuality is not a choice, whereas many born-again Christians claim that it is. In my investigations into the truths about homosexuality, I have found that there is truth in both positions. Furthermore, a relatively recent scientific study has shed light on this issue and inspired me to take a second look into the relevant facts, which turn out to be quite instructive, if not surprising.

There seems to be some consensus that most homosexual people do not choose to have the same-sex attractions and sexual feelings that they experience initially, and I believe this consensus to be true. But that doesn’t mean that living a homosexual life-style does not involve choices. Once that first same-sex sexual attraction is encountered, there is a choice as to whether or not to act on it (either through fantasies or sexual encounters), and the same choice is made every time that attraction is experienced. Bi-sexual people make a choice every time they engage in homosexual sex rather than heterosexual sex. Heterosexual people who are married with children and then forsake their marriage for a homosexual relationship have made a choice to do so. And the fluidity in sexual orientation, found especially in lesbians but also in gays, speaks to the choice of sexual orientation available to many homosexual people, at least until their late teens (1). And where there is choice there is also the potential for change.

There is also reason to believe that, especially in the early days of one’s homosexual activity, the sexual pleasure experienced in homosexual encounters intensifies and reinforces same-sex attractions and sexual feelings, making it more difficult for any heterosexual inclinations to be sensed or expressed later on (2). At this point, homosexuality has become strongly established and sexual attractions, feelings, fantasies and behaviors are exclusively homosexual. Apparently, there is virtually no longer any role of choice involved, barring spontaneous change (3), effective therapy (4) or divine intervention.

The role of choice in the development of homosexuality has been investigated scientifically for more than two decades, but there have been severe limitations on the accuracy and reliability of the results because of inadequate sample sizes, unreliable sampling methods and the limited scope of the sampled populations (5, 6). Those limitations changed considerably in 2010 with publication of the results of a large, probability study of the USA population with respect to self-identified homosexuality (5). In this study, 12.1% of gay men, 31.6% of lesbians, 61.7% of bisexual men and 59.5% of bisexual women reported a small to large amount of perceived choice in their sexual orientation. This is the largest and most reliable scientific study to date of the role of choice in the development of homosexuality, and it revealed that, while a large majority of exclusively homosexual people do not believe choice had a significant role in their development of homosexuality, many of them believe it did. And a clear majority of bisexual men and women claim that there was a significant role of choice in the development of their sexual orientation. So, we now have scientifically sound evidence, coming from homosexuals themselves, for a significant role of choice in homosexuality. That said, we should keep in mind that the practice of homosexuality always involves a choice, as I implied in the opening paragraph.

Since choice 1) often is perceived to be a factor in the development of exclusive homosexuality, especially in women, and 2) always is involved in the practice of homosexuality, it should be of no surprise that the best evidence available on sexual orientation change efforts shows that both secular and religious therapy programs designed to help dissatisfied homosexuals overcome their homosexuality have success rates in the 25%-30% range (4). For these ex-homosexual people, homosexuality was not immutable. Rather, they chose to overcome it and did.

(Note: It is important to keep in mind that the summary data cited above on the role of choice in the development of homosexuality, despite being reported by individuals, applies directly only to the respective populations of the subjects in the studies and not necessarily to any one individual. Each person’s sexual orientation experience is unique to that person.)

References Cited:

  1. Whitehead, N. and B. Whitehead. 2012. Chapter 12. Can sexual orientation change? (click HERE)
  2. Aist, J. 2012. Are Homosexuals Really Born Gay? (click HERE)
  3. Aist, J. 2012. Spontaneous Change in Sexual Orientation: It Does Happen! (click HERE) 
  4. Aist, J. 2012. Homosexuality: Good News! (click HERE) 
  5. Herek, G.M., et al. 2010. Demographic, Psychological, and Social Characteristics of Self-Identified Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Adults in a US Probability Sample. Sex Res Soc Policy 7:176-200. 
  6. Diamond, L.M. and C.J. Rosky. 2016. Scrutinizing Immutability: Research on Sexual Orientation and U.S. Legal Advocacy for Sexual Minorities. J Sex Res 53:363-391.

 (To read more of my articles on homosexuality, click HERE)

Why Is There a “T” in “LGBT”

Why Is There a “T” in “LGBT”

James R. Aist

Introduction

The acronym “LGBT” was invented by the homosexual movement to refer to people who are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgender. The combined LGB (homosexual) sub-group comprises only about 2-4% of the general population, and so, by itself, would not seem large enough to garner sufficient sympathy for their agenda. Leaders of the homosexual movement continue to stress that “homosexual” and “transgender” are really quite different in nature. So, why, then, is “transgender” included in the homosexual movement? This seems to be an enigma. Is there an explanation for this association that goes deeper than a mere desire to involve a slightly larger number of “oppressed” people in the homosexual movement in order to achieve the goals of their agenda?

Scientific revelation

In the process of researching transgender issues (click HERE), I discovered a direct, more fundamental association between “homosexual” and “transgender” than the mere desire to gain strength through numbers. Scientific studies (see References 1 & 2, below) have found that 73%-81% of male-to-female transgendered “females” are still sexually attracted to females! So, by definition, to the extent that these transgendered “females” have actually become female, they have also become virtual lesbians. This is a direct link of “transgender” to “homosexual”, and it would seem to provide a more fundamental connection of “transgender” to the homosexual movement than a mere desire to involve a larger number of “oppressed” people in the homosexual movement.

Moral implication

Here is an often overlooked ramification of Deuteronomy 22:5 with 1 Corinthians 1:6-9 (click HERE) to the practice of gender transformation and subsequent sexual relations. “Do not be deceived; God will not be mocked” (Galatians 6:7): if a male-to-female transgender person has sex with a man, he is committing a homosexual sin, because he is, in reality, still a man. Likewise, if a female-to-male transgender person has sex with a female, she is committing a homosexual sin, because she is, in reality, still a woman. In other words, such transgender sex becomes homosexual sin, thus providing another direct link between “transgender” and “homosexual”. And, as with any kind of sin, sexual or otherwise, the only effective way for such a person to be reconciled to God and spend eternity in heaven with Him is to confess the sins, repent of them and accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. For, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). We have God’s word on it!

References

  1. Auer, M., et al., 2014. Transgender Transitioning and Change of Self-Reported Sexual Orientation. PloS One. (click HERE)
  2. Author unspecified. 2016. Transgender sexuality, References 7 and 8. Wikipedia.    (click HERE)

(To read more of my articles on HOMOSEXUALITY and TRANSGENDERISM, click HERE)