Blinded by Smoke and Mirrors

Blinded by Smoke and Mirrors
by Kathryn Donev

We are not to mess around in any way, shape or form with any type of witchcraft or divination. This is a command that the Bible is super transparent about. There is no question whether or not it’s okay. In Exodus we are told not to tolerate a sorceress or a woman that has magical powers or paranormal abilities. In Leviticus it is clear that we are not to practice divination or fortune soothsaying. The message is so direct that in Leviticus 20:27 it says that a man or a woman who has a ghost or a familiar spirit shall be put to death; they shall be pelted with stones. Not just a slap on the wrist or a gentle verbal scolding. And I don’t know about you, but to me, being stoned to death is a dreadful way to die.

In Deuteronomy 18:10-11 it says, “Let no one be found among you who consigns a son or daughter to the fire, or who is an augur, a soothsayer, a diviner, a sorcerer, one who casts spells, or one who consults ghosts or familiar spirits, or one who inquires of the dead”. There is no question about it. These practices are all wrong. Period. End of story. No debate. No talking your way out of it. It can’t get any clearer. We know what will happen if we are tempted with this nonsense. Remember what happened to Aarons sons when they played with false fire. There are no second chances, and the consequence is for an eternity. Division from Christ. No eternal life. No Heavenly reward. It is serious. It’s not a game. Right? Are we clear to this point? Of course we are.

But are we really clear? All this stuff was surely just in Biblical times. Does Hocus Pocus exist today? Nah, it’s a fictional movie that’s no big deal to watch time and time again. We are surely strong enough to resist the indoctrinating. But are our children?  We allow them to watch “The Little Mermaid” and suppress the small detail that one of the characters is a sea witch. HELLO… Identifying with such has become popular to the point we ignore when our children mark their foreheads with lightening bolts.  Really!  An iconic symbol of danger. In what reality is this okay? And I’m not even going to go down the rabbit trail of all the dark children’s songs we sing where babies are falling from trees and children are plagued with rings around the rosies.

The entertainment industry has completely enchanted us.  They no longer even attempt to hidе the fact that they are bewildering with hidden agendas.  Agendas that confuse.  Right is wrong and wrong is right.  Good is bad and bad is good.  But woe to those that do this. We first ignore the evil, then we tolerate, then we promote it and then make fun of the people that still call evil, evil. But that’s okay.  Make fun of me if you wish. Call me strange.  I think protecting my family is more important than the opinion of others.

But,  All Saints Day Eve T-shirts that say “I eat children” or “You put a spell on me” are just for humor. Haunted houses with ghosts, goblins and much more horrific monsters are merely for the thrill.  Toy cauldrons that are paired with a mystical plushie that can help you cast a spell and the classical magic 8 ball that help you predict the future are just so cool.  If all these are for entertainment purposes only; it surely can’t go against God’s Word. Well in Act, Elymas became temporarily blind when he performed magic. I think this might be a clue whether or not it’s an okay thing to do. Simon in the New Testament did magic like he was God. He tried to transcend the Truth, but his heart was not right. This still happens today in many places including heavily in the territory of Cyprus. The occultic influence is so burdensome that it is hard to break through the spirit of oppression and depression.

We are so blinded that we don’t even think when we say things like “mumbo, jumbo” which comes from the African term for a male masked dancer of arcane rituals. We loosely say, “It’s not in the cards”. Well duh….this is referring to a fortune teller’s reading. Tarot cards and ouija boards are no game. We might should read about King Saul’s experience when he sought out a medium at Endor. It’s real stuff you do not want to tangle with. Demons are real. And they will control your life every chance they get. Even worse, they will prow on the innocent and malleable minds of our children.

We have been so blinded by false mysticism that we have lost sight of Biblical truths.  Yes, the Bible still has truths and not suggestions.  So why do we think it’s okay to read fantasy stories that promote these distorted practices. We think it’s okay to dabble with the dead because it’s just a silly graveyard game and we all know that zombies aren’t real. We think it’s not a problem to use the ghost filter because they are so cute like fluffy marshmallows. Paranormal cartoons and TV series that promote attractive vampires are harmless. Anime is an innocent escape from reality in which we can create a distinction between real world and make-belief violence, sexual content and Japanese influences. And let’s not forget the fashionable witch and wizard hats. It’s no big deal to dress up in a costume.  It’s only once a year. And goth is only dark clothes, right?  But these are all so far from the truth.  If your child is wearing dark clothes, dark make-up and bondage accessories, don’t ignore their cry for non-judgmental inclusion.  It’s a slipper slope. 

Jannes and Jambres who opposed Moses in front of the Pharaoh were only deceivers, corrupt in the minds and worthless in the faith. I personally don’t want to be considered a deceiver, or corrupt or worthless. I want my heart to be in the right place. I choose life in Christ. I will do my best to be separate from these contrary beliefs and practices. I don’t even want to be tempted with the euphoric “pleasures” that they are thought to bring. No looking back, forward we must go. Undistracted by smoke and mirrors.

I will maintain claim to my family and my territory. It is true that we are to love everybody, but when we allow  wicca influences to come into our community and begin to bewitch with innocent terminology like “apothecary”, “mood balancing” “centering” then we should be alert. Their idea of “alter” is not a Godly one. It’s definitely not a southern phrase when they say “blessed.” Astrology is not just looking at the stars either. Charms are not just cute trinkets and crafting is not an art project. God is the maker of all things. The moon, stars and all of nature belongs to Him and should be cherished as intended. Bodies grounding and moving to find peace should be center in Christ and not in Hinduism, Buddhism or Jainism.  This is a warning to remove the blinders before there is no chance to turn back. Wake up people! Protect yourself and your family.

Climbing Mount Everest AGAIN!

April 30, 2024 by  
Filed under Featured, Missions, News, Publication

The above is from a book by Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2024. And something I wrote back in 2017:

To translate the Bible is like to climb upon top of Mount Everest. You put everything at stake. You spend yourself to the last. You forget the pain and fatigue. You leave behind the unimportant things. You carry only the most important ones. Every breath is for eternity. Every step is last. And so, all the way to the top! The price is unbearable, but the reward is extraordinary. Because there, from the top, you finally see things differently. And it is almost impossible to go back down. Even if you can, down now feels different. And one can only hope others too will climb this peak, to perceive and translate for the next. So, that they too can see. For this reason, our interlinear is by no means the last. It is only a seed, which will bear long lasting fruit. For the generations…

SIGNS of the LAST DAYS: Peace taken from the earth

April 10, 2024 by  
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90 Years Ago, Narraganset Church of God Led in Benevolence

April 1, 2024 by  
Filed under Books, Featured, Missions, News, Publication, Research

Narraganset Church of God was started by a women-preacher with only 10 members. Rev. Amelia Shumaker started the church only 15 days before the Great Depression began in 1929. She became a widow five years prior to moving to Chicago. Passing through the Great Depression by 1934, only five years after its establishment, the Narraganset Church of God was already a leader among the state benevolence ministries.

Located at 2254 N. Narraganset Avenue, the church officially took the name of its location in 1955. Early issues of the Church of God Evangel describe it as a South Side church, later corrected to the only Chicago Church of God. By 1994, the congregation has become one of only three Church of God locations in Chicago Metro. It was also where the first and only Bulgarian Church of God congregation in North America was founded also with only 10 members. (More from this timely research soon…)

HOMESCHOOL SANCTUARY COUNTY

March 5, 2024 by  
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Teaching Biblical Greek

March 1, 2024 by  
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SIGNS of the LAST DAYS: Revived Roman Empire

February 1, 2024 by  
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Bulgarian Pentecostalism at ORU

December 10, 2023 by  
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25 Years of Revivals in America

Thankful for 25 Years of Revivals in America

After 33 years of ministry, more than half of it on this side of the globe, we have now preached revivals in America for over quarter of a century. I have lost count how many times we’ve crossed from the Dakotas to Texas, and from the Carolinas to California to preach the Gospel to all willing to hear. I do remember one time when we drove 18 hours straight to Minneapolis, preached a single sermon, turned around and drove back the same distance due for another appointment. I’ve recorded every place, time and sermon. If needed, I can calculate the distance of getting there and back in total millage too. I’ve long lost the count of sets of brakes and tires worn-out during travel. Maybe, the next 25 years I’ll just fly! But through all this, I’ve often stood at a church parking lot, spent out from preaching, looking at the blue sky above and realizing: I am living my dream. Preaching is all I’ve always wanted to do!

Two times, apart from the 1990 post-Communist revival in Bulgaria, we have experienced continuing Holy Ghost revival in America. The first time was in the summer of 1999 in South Carolina, where one revival night multitudes were called to the ministry and on other nights, we just could not close the services with the power of God so powerfully evident. If you were a pastor back then, we most probably preached in your church one of these revivals, which are now marked by our 25-year anniversary.

In 1999, our revivals were weeks before the Y2K. Perhaps naively, I contributed the unusual move of the Spirit and extraordinary attendance to the turn of the 21st century.  We were forced to see things a bit more prophetically, when we were hit by a fresh wave of revival pre-pandemic in the Spring and Summer 2019. Along with preaching virtually daily during the revival season, we were able to publish our New Testament Interlinear in Bulgaria and distribute it to our churches just before the shutdown.

This time, the revival in 2023 came a bit sooner than the usual decade-long cycle we had experienced with the past two. As we are getting ready to continue our 2023 Revival Harvest Campaign with a Community Communion service just in time for Thanksgiving this week, we have completed two full months of revivals in Polk County. Some 50 back-to-back services can truly change one’s perspective on our days! That God is at work is not even in question here, but what about the Church?

Exactly 20 years ago in his book “A Call to Righteousness: Impending Judgment,” Dr. David Franklin outlined the cycle of repentance for a nation’s revival as following:

  • When a nation persists in violence, the Sovereign Lord confronts and holds responsible,
  • When a nation forgets God, He allows for times of repentance,
  • If repentance is ignored, God will expose and execute judgment on an unfaithful nation.

Every time God renews His covenant with His people, He shows His presence! (a) We know that God is present in the covenant, because He shows His glory. It happened to Moses and his generation. And it also happened to Solomon several hundred years later. (b) When a generation loses the vision of the Glory of God, God begins renewing His covenant again with a new generation. (c) God is not satisfied with a people who know the signs and the blessings of the covenant. He rests not until He is revealed as the God of the Covenant!

This Biblical truth is valid for any nation in the world, and I often draw a painful parallel of similarities with my home country of Bulgaria; where in October the 7th government elections since the start of the 2020 pandemic did not produce the desired change. Though the voting machines imported from Venezuela were pulled out a day before the election for obvious reasons, the vote went in history as the lowest ever with only 33% participating. This halted the acting government, setting the country for another parliamentarian election in 2024. With two regional wars now (Ukraine and Israel) and record high inflation, Bulgaria is walking a close line to another national crisis as we experienced back in 1997. In the midst of this, the Church of God Balkan Ministry Center in Sofia, which was initially sold in 2021, is back on the market with first installment toward its purchase made on November 16, 2023.

Meanwhile, on the national Day of National Awakening (celebrated after All Saints Day on November 1st), we were able to release and present the first Greek-Bulgarian Interlinear of the New Testament online. Its name, Evangelieto.com, means The Gospel in Bulgarian. This new website is a natural continuation of Bibliata.com – the first Bulgarian Bible online, we released back in the fall of 1996. This new online edition, which has been in the works since 2016, is dedicated to those students of the Bible, who prefer working with the original texts, rather than using the multitude of new Bible revisions often with religious and ideological orientation. The Greek-Bulgarian Interlinear of the New Testament online proposed the following solutions to the Bulgarian Bible translation:

  1. A non-received text – Textus Haud Receptus
  2. Critical Edition of the Greek New Testament (Tischendorf, Westcott&Hort, Nestle-Aland, UBS and SBL)
  3. Literal translation from Greek, made word for word without dynamic equivalents
  4. Linguistic paradigm for repetitive parallel permutation structures in the Greek-Bulgarian translation
  5. Analytical Greek New Testament with complete morphology of the words
  6. Complete textual commentary of the New Testament with thousands of references
  7. Audio/video reading of the verse with its original and consequent variations
  8. Discussion board under each verse for pastors and ministers to offer their thoughts on the text.

Thankful for 25 Years of Revivals in America: Revival Must Go On!

Polk Revival Announces Community Communion before Thanksgiving

November 20, 2023 by  
Filed under Featured, Missions, News, Publication

After some two months in services, Polk Revival has announced a Community Communion before Thanksgiving.  Initially 7, now 8 churches and multiple ministries across Polk County, TN have set to seek after the will of God for revival in their area after the pandemic. The revival has gone on now two months each week changing to another of the original seven church locations within the greater Conasauga, Reliance, Ocoee, Old Fort, Benton, and Delano communities along with the two oldest Polk County congregations at Cookson Creek and Friendship Baptist. A “True Halloween Alternative Revival” and “Polk Camp Meeting” were also completed during this time by faithful friends and partnering ministers.

Exactly 20 years ago in his book “A Call to Righteousness: Impending Judgment,” Dr. David Franklin outlined the cycle of repentance for a nation’s revival as following:

  • When a nation persists in violence, the Sovereign Lord confronts and holds responsible,
  • When a nation forgets God, He allows for times of repentance,
  • If repentance is ignored, God will expose and execute judgment on an unfaithful nation.

That God is at work is not even in question here, but what about the Church? Over 50 back-to-back services can truly change one’s perspective on last day global ecclesiology. Piece by piece the original vision God has given to many ministers for this area of East Tennessee is coming together. As Polk Revival continues strong, the participants are requesting prayer from all who love the Lord and have awaited His renewal of the land and His people. https://polkrevival.com/

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