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Summary: Be aware of Satan’s tactics; but don’t be afraid, because our Heavenly Father protects those who are His.

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In his book, Influence, Robert Cialdini tells an interesting story about the owner of a jewelry store who was having trouble moving some of her merchandise. Specifically, she had a lot of turquoise and silver Native American jewelry.

Now, the jewelry owner had tried every conventional sales trick to make the jewelry more appealing. She placed the pieces in a central display case. She asked her sales staff to “push” them and so on, but nothing worked.

Then, on her way out of town for a business trip, she scribbled a quick note to the store manager directing her to cut the price in half. “Everything in this display case, price x ½,” she wrote.

All the jewelry sold, but not for the reason you might think. The manager misread the scribbled note. She had read the “½” as a “2”; so instead of slashing the original price of the jewelry in half, she had doubled it.

How then did she manage to sell the unsellable jewelry at double the price? Cialdini explains that people never questioned the true value of the jewelry. They just assumed that an expensive price tag must translate into valuable and good jewelry. (Samantha Broadman, “Do You Get What You Pay For?” Positive Prescription blog, 3-4-15; www.PreachingToday.com)

That’s what Satan does all the time. He makes cheap and worthless things seem very valuable. He flips the price tags. He labels evil good, and a lot of people are deceived.

When our son, Peter, was in first grade, he came home from the school, describing an experience he had in music class. The teacher had put on some music and instructed the children to close their eyes. Then, with their eyes closed, they were to imagine traveling in a strange and wonderful land, where they would meet a friendly creature, who would be their guide in that land.

It was a “guided imagery” exercise, designed to reduce the stress of these first graders in a different environment. In fact, the teacher instructed her pupils to conjure up this “friendly creature” whenever they had a problem or needed someone to talk to.

I’m sure she thought she was being helpful, employing one of the new techniques she learned at the University, where she had just graduated with a degree in elementary education. But what she didn’t realize was that she had just introduced her first graders to the world of the occult. What she called “guided imagery” was the occult practice of “astral projection,” and the “friendly creature” was actually a “spirit guide” or a demon in disguise.

Neil Anderson and Steve Russo, in their groundbreaking book, The Seduction of our Children, reported that in a survey of hundreds of Christian teenagers, more than 50% of those who had entertained these spirit guides also had impulsive thoughts to kill someone. (pp.39,44)

What seemed so “right” and “good” was absolutely deadly! So it is with many occult practices – including Yoga exercises, the use of tarot cards, the practice of fortune telling and palm reading, or playing with an Ouija board. These things are masqueraded as “stress reducers” or “harmless parlor games”, but they are pathways by which Satan and his demons gain control of people’s lives. The Bible warns us of these things on numerous occasions, and there is coming a day when the whole world will realize just how hideous and destructive these satanic practices really are.

After the church is taken out of this world, Satan’s forces will be unleashed as never before, and they will be unmasked for what they really are. If you have your Bibles, I invite you to turn with me to Revelation 9, Revelation 9, where we catch a glimpse of those hideous forces.

Revelation 9:1 And the fifth angel blew his trumpet, and I saw a star fallen from heaven to earth, and he was given the key to the shaft of the bottomless pit. (ESV)

Notice, this star is already “fallen” from heaven. The tense of the verb indicates something that happened in the past with continuing results. In other words, this “star” fell at some time in the past with the result that it remains in a fallen state.

Well, students of the Bible recognize this star as none other than Satan himself. Isaiah 14 calls him a “day star” or Lucifer (Isaiah 14:12). Then it goes on to describe his fall from heaven. You see, Satan used to be the highest archangel in heaven; but then he wanted to take God’s place himself, so God kicked Lucifer out.

He fell to this earth, and his first act as Satan was to convince Adam and Eve that they could be a god like he wanted to be. “You will be like God,” he said, when you eat the forbidden fruit; and it’s the lie he has been telling us ever since.

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