"Smile" - The Enemy Hiding in Plain Sight - Purity 859
Purity 859 10/11/2022 Purity 859 Podcast
Today’s photo of a display of the fruits of the harvest of autumn comes to us from a friend who visited Longwood Gardens in Kenneth Square Pennsylvania back on October 1st and shared this among many other photos of the garden grounds on social media.
Well, we are eleven days deep into the tenth month of the year and yesterday the stress of watching my beloved suffer from dental pain all weekend and the less than idyllic weather on the last day of our extended weekend sent me to Regal Cinemas yesterday afternoon to unwind by tensing up to the suspenseful macabre delights of a film called “Smile”, and although I heard some relieved laughter after a few “jump scares” in the theatre there was really nothing to smile or laugh about as this horror movie unwittingly portrayed some scenes and themes that were logically consistent with the realities of demonic oppression and possession and how our secular society is ill equipped to resist and defeat the powers of darkness
While “Smile” was grotesquely over the top and “schlocky” with some of its special effects near the climax of the action, the movie was entertaining and informative if you have a knowledge of the scriptures in the Bible concerning the spiritual forces of darkness and how Satan operates.
The premise of the movie is that people are being tormented and being driven to insanity and compelled to suicide or murder by an enemy that no one can see, who uses visions and memories of the past to torment its victims. The phenomenon looks like mental illness or a curse as the terror and carnage move from host to host leaving a trail of trauma and blood in its wake.
Without giving away too much of the film, the main character is a psychiatrist who has unresolved issues in her past that drives her to serve in her post at the psychiatric ER with religious devotion, working 80 hour weeks. She also is under family stress due to issues with her PTA picture perfect sister and from being engaged to be married to a picture perfect fiancé. All the “perfect” pictures in this woman’s life are exposed to the light of truth when she is suddenly exposed to the spiritual forces of darkness as one of her patient’s complains of an unseen evil entity tormenting her moments before she commits suicide in front of her with a silent and devilish grin.
In the ensuing drama we see that the unseen enemy torments this young doctor to see things that aren’t there, to do horrific things she can’t remember, and to be confronted with the unresolved issues of her past.
She pleads with doctors, family, and her fiancé to understand that what is happening to here is caused by evil spirit and no one believes her and fears that she has simply lost her mind.
Because this entity requires a “witness” to be carried on to the next host, the main character makes the unwise decision to isolate and do battle with this, I’ll say it, demon with her imagination, on her own?
Again, no spoilers, but let’s just say that there is more than ample room for a sequel, because although the demons of this doctor’s past are resolved, the continuation of the dark entity may be another story…
The things that popped out for me in “Smile” that make me endorse it for as a somewhat accurate portrayal of demonic oppression and a decent movie to give you a few chills, although the running time may have been a little too long, are the way the film subtly laid out the things that can cause a demon to attach itself to someone and how a demon could flourish.
In describing Satan, Christ says in
10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy…
The dark entity in “Smile” definitely came to steal and destroy the peace and sanity of its victims and actively sough to kill thtem.
4:7 (NKJV) tells us
7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
Although the doctor in “Smile” was told by her patient, and was herself later convinced that, this situation was caused by a spiritual force of darkness, no one in this entire movie ever even mention a spiritual remedy to try to cast it out. No mention of the Bible, no mention of God, priests, or even voodoo or white magic or any spiritual means were considered to solve this problem.
In our modern secular post Christian society, this shouldn’t be too surprising but I knew that the only thing that can cast out darkness is the spiritual power and authority of the light of the world found in Christ alone.
Instead the doctor actually asks for medication to make the disturbing images go away and then only seeks to play by the enemy’s rules and in her desperation even considers murdering someone else to save her own life and pass on the demon to some one else.
Instead of submitting to God, the doctor considers submitting to Satan!
And you may ask yourself why is this doctor selected by this dark spirit, how can she be tormented so badly by this unseen enemy.
26 "Be angry, and do not sin": do not let the sun go down on your wrath,
27 nor give place to the devil.
As I indicated the doctor had no relationship with the Lord. She wasn’t submitting to God but by her lifestyle of casual sin also makes room for the enemy in her life.
In the early going we see the doctor self-medicates against stress with alcohol, against the Bible’s clear instruction against drunkenness.
The doctor lives with her fiancé, from which we can surmise that she has gone against the word of God by committing fornication.
And finally, she has unresolved guilt from the past that the enemy delights in tormenting her with that could have been removed by a covenant relationship with Jesus Christ.
In the thick of the action of when the doctor decides to fight the enemy, the dark spirit cackles: “Your mind is SO inviting!” which caused me to think that the enemy really is hiding in plain sight in this movie and seems to be cackling at the audience who disbelieves in the spiritual forces of darkness, who has no relationship with God, has no conviction of the sin in their lives, and who finds entertainment in a movie that puts the enemy’s dark arts on display.
At the end of the film, some people actually applauded as there was room for more fun with this dark spirit as a sequel is all but certain.
I know, it’s just a movie, right? Society is basically good and we only watch these things for entertainment, right?
Well, let’s just say I think it is dark out there and things are getting darker as the more secular we become the enemy is drawing people deeper into sins that are now common place where they were taboo in no too distant past.
Rather than resist the devil, people resist God.
I wouldn’t think that’s true but over the weekend I had a comment on my videos on You Tube, that suggest that because Christians should pray for sinners, that we should pray for the biggest sinner of them all, Satan. Even in jest, the suggestion to pray for the Evil One really shows the spirit of darkness, rebellion, and ignorance that is common in our world.
Revelation 20:10 (NKJV) tells us
10 The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
So as scary as the enemy can seem He is defeated foe. He causes evil to flourish in the hearts of men and He is not worthy of our prayers or sympathy.
So as we walk through the spooky month of October, let those around you know that God is in charge and although the spiritual forces of darkness and the evil that they perpetrate in the hearts of men will be overcome by the Lord when Christ returns and that if we submit to God and resist the devil in our lives we can live in peace and safety with the Lord’s protection.
The enemy may be hiding in plain sight these days but we should point Him out when we see flee and cause him to flee by the power and authority that Jesus gives to all the people who put their faith in Him.
Today’s Bible verse comes to us from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.
This morning’s meditation verse is:
Matthew 16:25 (NKJV)
25 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.
Today’s Bible verse encourages us to put our faith in Jesus as He assures us that our life is found when we lose it for Him.
Christ encourages us to pick up our cross and to follow Him in the previous verse and this is the promise for those who do that.
If we surrender our lives to the purposes of Christ, we will find life in Him.
But if we choose our own plan for saving our lives, by our own efforts or reasoning we will lose our life. So keep walking and talking with God and follow Christ and you will be saved.
As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian theologians and counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk.
Today we continue sharing from Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s “Discipleship”, also known as “The Cost of Discipleship”
As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase Bonhoeffer’s books for your own private study and to support his work. This resource is available on many websites for less than $20.00.
The Sermon on the Mount
On the “Extraordinary” of Christian Life
The Beatitudes – Continues
“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.” No rights they might claim protect this community of strangers in the world. Nor do they claim any such rights, for they are the meek, who renounce all rights of their own for the sake of Jesus Christ. When they are berated, they are quiet. When violence is done to them, they endure it. When they are cast out, they yield. They do not sue for their rights; they do not make a scene when injustice is done them. They do not want rights of their own. They want to leave all justice to God; non cupidi vindictae [not desirous of vengeance] is the interpretation of the early church. What is right for their Lord should be right for them. Only that. In every word, in every gesture, it is revealed that they do not belong on this earth. Let them have heaven, the world says sympathetically, that is where they belong. But Jesus says, they will inherit the earth. The earth belongs to these who are without rights and power. Those who now possess the earth with violence and injustice will lose it, and those who renounced it here, who were meek unto the cross, will rule over the new earth. We should not think here of God’s punishing justice in this world (Calvin). Rather, when the realm of heaven will descend, then the form of the earth will be renewed, and it will be the earth of the community of Jesus. God does not abandon the earth. God created it. God sent God’s Son to earth. God built a community on earth. Thus, the beginning is already made in this world’s time. A sign is given. Already here the powerless are given a piece of the earth; they have the church, their community, their property, their brothers and sisters—in the midst of persecution even unto the cross. But Golgotha, too, is a piece of the earth. From Golgotha, where the meekest died, the earth will be made new. When the realm of God comes, then the meek will inherit the earth.
Join our “Victory over the Darkness”, “The Bondage Breaker”, "Freedom in Christ" series of Discipleship Classes via the mt4christ247 podcast!
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Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship