CUTTING, TATTOOS, SUICIDE & SATAN
(This is blog 13 in the series “Names of Satan.”)
Satan loves to destroy. He is the Great Dragon (Revelation 12:9), Roaring Lion (1 Peter 5:8), the Murderer (John 8:44) and the thief come to kill and destroy (John 10:10).
In actuality all Satan’s forces operate in the realm of darkness (fear, deception, blindness, confusion, hopelessness, depression, self-pity, anger, revenge, suicide, death, etc.) He blinds men to spiritual things (2 Corinthians 4:4; 1 John 2:11). He hardens minds and hearts to spiritual things (2 Corinthians 3:14; Ephesians 4:18; Romans 1:21). He does this to individuals as well as nations (i.e.: Israel Romans 11:7-10). His purpose is to keep men from God’s light and salvation (2 Corinthians 4:4). God’s light is greater than Satan’s darkness (Genesis 1:14-19; John 1:5-9; 3:19-20; 8:12; 9:5; Matthew 17:2; Ephesians 5:8; I John 1:5-7; Revelation 21:11,23-24; 22:5; Isaiah 60:1). Believers are in the light, not darkness (Acts 26:18; I Thessalonians 5:4-5; Colossians 1:12-13; John 8:12).
The epitome of darkness is death. Satan’s plan for man is death, just as God’s plan for man is life. Satan is a murderer from the beginning (John 8:44). His name, Abaddon or Apollyon means “Destroyer.” He tries to destroy physical (John 8:44; Mark 9:20-22; I John 3:12) or spiritual (2 Corinthians 4:4) life. Satan has power to bring death (Job 1:19; Luke 11:21-22; Hebrews 2:14; Revelation 9:14-16), but because the power of death was destroyed at the cross (Hebrews 2:14-15) he cannot use that power without God’s permission (Job 2:6; Revelation 9:4). Satan cannot separate us from God, even by death (Romans 8:38).
Satan is behind self-mutilation today. Many do it on their own, but whenever possible Satan and his demons encourage and motivate people to go further and further. Some today explain cutting and other self-mutilation activities as purely psychological. They say it is a way of refocusing pain, of using physical pain to alleviate emotional pain. While that may be true, I believe there is a deeper cause to these things. From my experience and Bible study I am convinced that self-mutilation usually has a demonic involvement with it. Harming ourselves is contrary to our natural desire to ‘love’ ourselves and the natural drive to protect self and survive at every cost.
The prophets of Baal regularly used cutting as a means of appeasing their demonic gods, as seen in their encounter with Elijah on Mt. Carmel (1 Kings 18:28). Mark 5 tells about a demonized man who was continually cutting himself (Mark 5:5). Then there is the demonized boy who keeps throwing himself in the fire to burn or water to drown (Matthew 17:15). Satan loves pain and death. They are his tools of trade. He would have all of us dead if God would not forbid it. The best he can do it to try and get us to harm ourselves.
The ultimate of this is suicide. Accounts of suicide in the Bible also show close association with demonization. Saul killed himself after his encounter with the witch of Endor. Judas’ suicide came after being indwelt by Satan and betraying Jesus. Satan can’t kill a person, but he can work in the persons life so hopelessness, failure, guilt, pain, loneliness, etc. become so bad that death seems preferable to life.
He works indirectly to bring death as well. Drug or alcohol addiction lead to self-destruction and sometimes death. Overeating and gluttony undermine a person’s health and shorten their life. Sexual promiscuity can bring disease. AIDS is only one life an be changed or shortened by sinful behavior (not that all AIDS is from sinful behavior).
I would add that many times getting tattoos is in this same category. Several times I have counseled and prayed with demonized people who have felt driven to get tattoos because “something inside them” craved the pain. In a strange way, they only had peace when they were enduring the extreme pain of tattoos. Certainly, that is not the reason everyone gets tattoos, but it could be more often than we realize. The only verse in the Bible that refers to tattoos is Leviticus 19:28: ‘Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the Lord.” The cultural context of this prohibition is different than of those who receive one or two small tattoos today, so we cannot use this as strict condemnation of everyone who has a tattoo, but it is important to remember our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit and not to be abused or disfigured (1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19). If in doubt, pray and listen to what God’s Sprit tells you.
If you are convicted of any of these, use the prayer below. It doesn’t have to be in these words. This is just to give you a general idea of how to pray.
PRAYER FOR THOSE WITH SELF DESTRUCTIVE OR SUICIDAL TENDENCIES
Dear heavenly Father, I know You created me in Your image. I am sorry for anything I have done to harm my body, for I know it is the temple of Your Spirit. In Jesus’ name I renounce all suicidal thoughts and any attempts I’ve made to take my own life or in any way injure myself. I confess ___________ (name each sin of self-destruction that comes to mind) and put it under the blood of Jesus. I renounce the lie that life is hopeless and that I can find peace and freedom by taking my own life. Satan is a thief and comes to steal, kill and destroy. I put under the blood of Jesus any access any demons claim to my life or to my family. In Jesus’ name I cover it all with the blood of Jesus. I choose life in Christ Who came to give me life and give it abundantly. Thank You for Your forgiveness. Help me to forgive myself. I choose to believe that there is always hope in Christ. In Jesus name I pray. Amen
Are you a good steward of your body, or do you abuse it in any way? Are you caring for it as the temple of the Holy Spirit? You may not be cutting or mutilating in some other way, but are you caring for your body the best you can?
cto Rev. Dr. JERRY SCHMOYER
Christian Training Organization
(India Outreach, Spiritual Warfare, Family Ministries, Counseling, World View)
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