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This is a sobering truth—“Every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.”  It seems we mortals are so easily “drawn away”.  That wicked father of lies started out “yea, hath God said?”  Still, after generations, we fall for deception. "Satan can make men dance upon the brink of hell as though they were on the verge of heaven.” (CHS) 

You may remember a dozen years ago when Mel Gibson produced his catholic version of “The Passion of the Christ”.  Churches booked the Theatres as “Christians” flocked to another Hollywood feature. That has been repeated over and over again. From Maleficent, Frozen, and broadways Wicked, the good and bad have become friends. All that glitters ain’t gold and is certainly not of God. What about that “Angel of Light?” 

Listen to the warning of our Saviour, “Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness.” (Luke 11:35)

These are the words of Jesus as He teaches about the light within the body. What a startling statement He is making. How is it that light can be darkness? Is there such a scientific phenomenon in the physical realm? Obviously, this is a possibility in the spiritual.

Today, must a gospel preacher expose the blindness of this age? Darkness, depravity, and devoid of discernment all characterize this generation. The “Light,” the “Truth,” – Christ is hid from them. They tolerate the ways, lack of morals and customs of this world with a vicious intolerance of the godly and righteous. The eye of light they plucked from its socket to leave a blackened wound of blindness. O’ dear God, help the blinded eye, the fallen-in-the-ditch, the blind trying to lead the blind. The eye is evil, and the light be darkness.

Even in the church some have taken the light of God’s love, grace, and mercy to their license, licentiousness, and lust. Thus, the truth of what Christ said; if “thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness.” It is this evil liberty taken that blots the light from the eye. Sinful desires have blinded the light of Christ and no longer can we spiritually see and discern.

The world will kick the gold dust of materialism into the eye of light and darken the understanding as well. Mammon is an enemy of the light. Many a minister and believer has fallen into a dark place in pursuit of this world’s glitter.

Then there are those who refuse to be taught. The spirit will guide, they have an impression, this education stuff is not of the Lord. Soon the blindness of ignorance fills the eye with darkness.

Obviously, the devil, himself, is persistently firing his darts of evil at the eye of light. Can this occur in what may initially seem to be the most noble of pursuits? We are not talking a heart of evil pursuing the darkness of the alleyway or gutter, but the desire that seeks a noble and high office. Yet along the journey the flesh arises and darkness steps on the scene. Charles H. Spurgeon illustrates it this way:

“I have also seen this light turned to darkness in the case of the student who has gathered great erudition, and enrolled himself among the learned. He begins to criticize. Do not condemn him for that: he judges very properly at first, he criticizes things that ought to be criticized; but he stops not there. Once having his critical faculty aroused, he is like a boy with a new knife; he must cut something or other. Nothing comes in his way more often than the Scriptures; and he must have a cut at them. He whittles at Genesis; he makes a gash in Deuteronomy; he halves Isaiah; he takes slices out of the Gospels, and cuts the Epistles into slivers. You see, he has so sharp a knife that he must use it. By-and-by, from a critic he advances to an irreverent faultfinder, and from that to an utter unbeliever, hard in the mouth and stiff in the neck. His light has blinded him. He has taken his own eye to pieces that he might study its anatomy, and henceforth the light will be of no more use to him than to the dead.”

It has been my experience to hear several dear friends in the ministry say, “this verse should read or this word would be better translated.” Maybe their intentions were good in the beginning. But that new penknife got the best of them and soon began to cut out the very light they once embraced. With modern Bible versions the Word has been cut, criticized and corrected until the light which was in them has become darkness. Some in their zealous pursuit have even called it “higher criticism.” It was a “big bang” heard round the world – the Darwinian evolution of the Bible. Is this natural selection or yet survival of the fittest - whichever “Bible” sells the most survives!

   “Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness!”

Now after we dump ice over our heads, it’s time to rub in the oils—“Essential Oils” that is. I’m not rubbing it in here, but trying to give a word of discernment. Again, it seems there is a shallowness and lack of discernment in the church. Plastered all over the world are Christians, yea Pastors, with their pics and post of their Walmart and Jared runs, Outback and Disney trips—what is it with this silliness and craving for selfie attention and gratification? From Amway, Mary Kay, and Essential Oils, are we still in love with Egypt?  By the way, the use of medicinal and spiritual oils dates back to ancient Egypt. Witchcraft and spiritism use oils. Yes, and you say the Bible speaks of Frankincense and Myrrh. This is true. There is a resurgence, if you will, of essential oils, but also an introduction of the New Age and Pagan. The potion, unconscious experience, third eye, harmonic magnetic energy, and creating your own reality are not Biblical ideas—beware.
Samaritan Ministries, one of the country’s biggest Health-Care-Sharing-Ministries, advises its 100,000 plus Christian members to use spiritual discernment when it comes to essential oils. Every Christian is responsible to:
Try the spirits
Turn from fables
Trust in the Lord

Consider these thoughts from Biblical Discernment:

How about the appearance of a thing (I Thess. 5:22). Don’t jump on every bandwagon that comes along. All the fad, fluff, and fuzzy feeling things, simply are not Biblical.

Does it involve the wrong company (II Corinth. 6:14)? Be careful and understand who is promoting and associated with the company/product.  The Episcopal Church is incorporating oils into worship as a part of prayer, anointing and healing.
Will it glorify God (I Corinth. 10:31) and can it be done for the Lord (Col. 3:17 & 23)? Be careful to avoid prescribing a spiritual dimension to such as essential oils. Oils are presented as natural remedies appealing to faithful believers who see this as a scriptural use.

Could it hinder or do harm to another Christian (Rom. 14:21)? Oils are marketed not only as having physical benefits, but also spiritual benefits. Beware of these unbiblical concepts.

Are we willing to face God’s judgment in these things (II Cor. 5:10)?  Will it produce the kind of influence we want in our children (Gal. 6:7)? We should always take caution when yoking up with anyone (II Cor. 6:14) selling or promoting products that use New Age terminology and beliefs.

These are perilous times characterized by much confusion. God help us to have spiritual discernment.