Sunday, January 08, 2012

Is it time for a burning?

"Saint Paul and the burning of pagan books 
at Ephesus" by Lucio Massari (1559-1633)

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Acts 19:1-20

TO CHEW ON: "Also, many of those who had practiced magic brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted up the value of them and it totalled fifty-thousand pieces of silver." Acts 19:19

I love the beginning of the year. I like starting new calendars and a new daybook. I get the urge to purge old papers from my files and junk from my closets and the garage. I want to unburden myself of the past and make a new start.

The people in Ephesus made such a new start too. However, for them it wasn't a new year thing where they rid themselves of their abundance of clutter, but a spiritual housecleaning where they gathered and destroyed their how-to-do-magic books.

At dinner with friends a few weeks ago, a couple told of how they did something similar. Shortly after they became Christians, the man burned all his masonic artifacts, the woman her astrology jewelry. No pastor or leader told them to. They just knew it was necessary to make this spiritual break with the past. Why? Because physical objects can be weighted with spiritual power for good or bad. Earlier in this chapter we see how people used handkerchiefs or aprons that had touched Paul to bring healing to the sick (Acts 19:12). And in our focus verse, they destroyed those magic books.

Perhaps we need to do more of this—physically destroy those objects in our lives that signify and bind us to our life before Christ: the CDs, books, jewelry, good luck charms, masks...whatever.

Occult expert Kurt Koch says:
"Every object of sorcery must be destroyed. In the great revival which Paul experienced in Ephesus, many of those who were now believers brought their books on magic arts and burned them in the sight of all (Acts 19:19).


In the revival in Indonesia the natives brought their fetishes and occult objects together in heaps and destroyed them in a similar way.


Magical books and occult objects carry with them a hidden ban. Anyone not prepared to rid himself of the ban will be unable to free himself from the influence of the powers of darkness" - Kurt Koch, Occult Bondage and Deliverance, p. 90.
PRAYER: Dear God, please open my eyes to anything that is keeping me in Satan's bondage. Help me to make a break with any darkness from my past. Amen.

MORE: Collecting masks and objects of heathen worship

Kurt Koch makes this observation about collecting what some might call anthropological artifacts:

"Some missionaries are actually enthusiastic collectors of devil's masks and similar objects of heathen ritual worship. Through hanging the trophies up in their homes they burden the whole house and all who live in it .... These idols have sometimes been used for years or even decades in heathen rituals. In this way they become crystallization points for demonic powers in houses where they are displayed as works of art. The Spirit of God does not dwell with idols, even in a so-called Christian home" - Kurt Koch, Occult Bondage and Deliverance, p. 92.




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