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Posted in: Current Events, Education, Grow Together

06.21.23 ( Jeff Vines )

The Return of the Goddesses

(Excerpt from the Sermon)

Sermon Series: Under the Influence

When you really want to hurt somebody, you hurt the ones they love. The demonic forces know the depth of the love of God for us. They seek to destroy everything about humanity and human culture. They're aware of their coming destruction and they want to take as many of us with them as possible. But there's something else. According to the ancient writings, not in the Bible, but the earliest writings from Mesopotamia, Ishtar had the power and the desire to turn women into men and men into women. That is ultimately what Ishtar was about. This is evident in the stories of Ishtar and the practice of transgender prostitutes in her temple worship. Now, why would she want to do something like this again? Well, the demonic world takes something that is sacred and de-sacredizes it. A person's race is sacred. It's given by God.

That's why racism is an act against God. A person's sex is also sacred, given by God. To attempt to alter or violate or decimate a person's sex is to violate the sacred. The demonic forces behind the goddess seek to take a gift that God has given, designed to bring joy and vitality in the human experience, and these dark forces use that gift that is God-given to violate parameters that turn something good into something that destroys. It's one thing to demasculinize men and defeminize women, but to superimpose the two, it's quite another. We read in history that the priest and the ministers in Ishtar’s temple, her temple singers, her ritual performers, were all known for taking on appearances that were unreflective of their true identity. So Ishtar’s male priests feminized themselves. They appeared as women. They dressed in women's garments. They made up their faces. They were crossdressers, transvestites, non-binary, bi-gender and androgynous. The demonic goddess Ishtar would often herself appear as a man or a woman or attempt to be indistinguishable. Her androgyny is attested in the cultic personnel, which included eunuchs and transvestites. During her parades, she would force the men to carry hoops which were indicative of women and force the women to carry swords indicative of men.

Can I ask you, do you think Ishtar has returned to the west? 

Have you noticed what's happened in our world? To speak of a man as being particularly masculine or manly or is especially possessing male traits is now looked upon with disdain. To speak of a woman who's especially feminine or wily is a no-no. If possessed by a male, maleness is a negative attribute. If possessed by a female, femininity is an attribute of little value or retrograde. On the other hand, if male traits are possessed by a woman, they're to be celebrated and admired. If female traits are possessed by a man, they're to be honored and applauded as a virtue. Do you know what that is? Demonic inversion. 

Take a look at the female icons of music and youth culture today. The more wild and unruly and vulgar and aggressive they are, the more famous they become. Their male counterparts, however, adorn themselves with eyeliner, lipstick, and other trappings of femininity or androgyny. It's the ultimate reversing of roles. The feminization of the American male and the masculinization of the American female. There's another hymn sung about Ishtar that goes like this, “She adorns a man as a woman, she adores a woman as a man.” Now, here we are in history, in an era never experienced before in human history. A concept has been invented to make all this appear good rather than evil: gender identity. That it's possible to divorce oneself from one's biological gender.

Is gender dysphoria real? Of course it is. Remember how I started the sermon? Love and compassion. But why, historically, has it been such a minuscule percentage, less than one half of one half a percentage point? In the last 10 years, it's risen 20 fold. It's because elders and teachers began telling our children that perhaps they're a boy rather than a girl or a girl rather than a boy in their formative years. That if a boy has a few feminine traits, then maybe he's a girl. That if a girl possesses or desires masculine traits, then maybe she's a boy. Do you know how ludicrous that is? It's ludicrous. Do I feel sympathy for the children experiencing that? Absolutely. But I would never want to go back to high school or junior high, would you?

I would never want to go back to those days. No way, too hard. So confusing. The brain's not even fully developed. But in the past, in Judeo-Christian society, we had coaches and leaders and teachers who would mentor and guide our young children through these difficult mazes so that they could move out into their world successfully. I'm not belittling those feelings. I know they're real, but they are subjective. I felt differently every day when I was in junior high. Every hour. What is the objective truth about you? That's the question. Your sex is sacred, given to you by God, and your best life is lived within those confines. This dysphoria has significantly increased because demonic forces are no longer on the fringes. It's wacky because the demonic forces bring in destruction. 

Now we have teachers, not all teachers, I know there's some of you teachers and you're good, but we have some teachers planting the seeds in the minds of boys and girls that there's something different than their biology suggests. We have Hollywood and Disneyland convincing our youth that girls can be princes and boys can be princesses. That the age old fairy tales need to be rewritten. That if a boy or girl desires to see their favorite fairy tale characters at Disneyland, he or she will find that boys and girls no longer exist. That the two words, “boys” and “girls,” are now considered profanity and hate speech. The keepers of the magic kingdom have made these identifiers disappear like magic. Yeah, it's magic. It's the magic of the goddesses Ishtar and the hundreds of others who are empowered by the principalities mentioned in Ephesians 6.

If that doesn't confuse our little ones enough, let's just invite a man wearing lipstick, false eyelashes, mascara, high heels, a wig and a dress, and read to them during story hour. You should have compassion for a man who's this confused, but you should not glorify or celebrate something that is not of God. In the Hittite prayer, in ancient writings, Ishtar is described as possessing the power to make young women dress as men on their right side to make young men dress as women on their left side. A strange spirit has infiltrated our society. The demonic forces have marched back in.

When the Jesus movement entered western civilization, the people walked away from paganism and the gods and goddesses went into exile. So the condoning of homosexuality and other related behaviors came to an end for hundreds and hundreds of years. When Ishtar and her demonic forces went into exile, their temples closed, the priest and her cross gendered personnel left the temples and followed the goddess into exile. They disappeared to the dark places, the fringes of society. In the new Judeo-Christian era lesbianism, homosexuality, cross-dressing, transvestism would be seen as immoral, sinful, an inversion to God's holy design. In Christ, through scripture, God revealed a disdain for these things and clearly said that those who practice them and teach others to do as well will be held accountable. However, if the goddess returned, the values and practices of her cult and worship would also return. Society would once again accept and celebrate these things that Christ had forbidden for the good of humanity. The goddess would bring homosexuality, lesbianism, transvestism, out of the shadows, out of the fringes of shame and humiliation. Back into the light with joy, celebration, and pride. That's where we are, right? Is that not where we are?

Okay, what's my point?

1. The church has to wake up. The church is the hope of the world. Stop sniping at people you think are worse than you. That's not going to help. Where's your compassion, if the demonic forces have taken over? When Jesus met demonic people, He didn't shout at them. He didn't strike them. He prayed and cast the demon out. In the Old Testament, the Bible tells us, “If My people who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear them from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and heal their land.” God is waiting on the church to purify itself and to pray for revival. Stop worrying about out there. Stop doing things you know you shouldn't be doing. If you're addicted to pornography, repent, stop it. If you're sleeping with somebody you're not married to, stop it. He's waiting for the church to purify itself. Let's get pure, let's repent and pray. These sins are all equal in the sight of God.

God has been ousted in the gods’ return. Do you realize that you are living in a very dangerous time? If my view of revelation is right, it could be and it could be wrong, it's a hard book, but if I'm right, these are those days. You're in them right now and you better watch your back, because if you're not careful, you'll be sucked into the vortex of the world and you'll start rationalizing and you'll start becoming just like the world. These are serious things to God. You better repent if you're involved in any of these. You better repent now and you better teach your children. Teach them what is right. Teach them very clearly. By the way, if you're a teacher and you're a Christian and you're in our schools, I'm encouraging you to do everything you can to undermine this system that is attacking our kids.

Teachers, I know you have it hard, but can I tell you something? You all may be little Esthers. You may have been called by God for such a time as this. It may cost you your job, it may cost you some money, but you've been called by God. Don't you dare be part and partial to something that destroys a whole generation of kids. Now be wise, be shrewd, but do everything you can to undermine it.

2. The church has to not only wake up, it has to look up. Stop sniping and start praying. James 5:16 says, “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” Pray. That's what you do. You know, there are all kinds of movements. I told you to resist carrying a picket sign and yelling hateful things at people. There are movements now. Somebody's listening because there are all kinds of movements developing, all across this nation, of people who are simply just walking and praying. They're not picketing, they're not shouting hate, they're just walking and praying. I learned of another one called Love Life. Download the app. A great group that just goes through and prays and prays and helps people who have been caught up in this kind of sin. People who've been involved in things like abortion, they've been wounded. Don't you know that? Your hatred for them is not going to help anything. They need somebody to come alongside them, love them, help them to recuperate, to recover.

3 - The church has to lift up their heads. Luke 21:27-28 says, “At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” Part of you should say, okay, culture is driving me batty. I'm so sad at what's going on. But at the same time, you should be going, “Woohoo! Jesus is coming back.”

So when you see these things happening, keep your head up, redemption draws near. We're going to go home, our real home. We're not going to have to put up with this stuff anymore. It's going to be the greatest reunion known to man. The people that we've loved and lost, we're going to be with again. So go out, keep living, keep loving, keep telling the good news of the gospel. Keep caring about people. Compassion, not hate. Love, not hate. Stand up for what is right, but do it in a way that is compelling and you will send revival across this land.

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About the Author
Pastor Jeff Vines is the Lead Pastor of ONE&ALL Church. He spent twenty years on the mission field (Zimbabwe, New Zealand) planting churches and training leaders. Jeff is the author of Dinner with SKEPTICS: Defending God in a World that Makes No Sense (2008, 2011) and Unbroken: 8 Enduring Promises God Will Keep (2012). Jeff and his wife, Robin, have been married over 30 years and enjoy life with their kids Delaney & Sian, their daughter-in-law Jessica and sweet grandchildren Ada, Owen, & Layla.

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