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By Eric Holmberg
IN FOCUSING ON THE SUBJECT OF ABORTION, much has been contended from a medical and social perspective. But when we pull the lid off and look at abortion from a spiritual perspective, the implications are far more profound and staggering.
The Bible tells us: "Our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in the heavenly places" (Ephesians 6:12).
Our enemy in fighting abortion is not the abortionist, the courts or those who are advocating for abortion rights. Our enemy is the one who was a murderer from the beginning - Satan and the spiritual forces under his command.
Throughout history, certain pagan cultures have sacrificed human infants to demons as a part of a complicated ritual in return for favors asked of them.
Few of those involved in abortion today are consciously engaging in child sacrifice, although that is precisely what abortion is - the sacrifice of a human life for the convenience or needs of others. In that respect, it is no less barbaric than the human sacrifice practiced to ensure, for example, a successful harvest. But beyond this, there is a spiritual, satanically inspired dimension that gives frightening realism to abortion's identification with literal child sacrifice.
The Bible supports this idea as often we see a particular action viewed by God as something of a more overtly occultic nature. Rebellion is called witchcraft; immorality is likened to idolatry; hatred is a kin to murder - thus abortion is child sacrifice.
The Origins of Child Sacrifice
To discover the origins of child sacrifice we can examine a key passage of scripture. Genesis 19 gives the account of Lot and his daughters, some of the early ancestors of mankind: "And Lot went up from Zoar and stayed in the mountains and his two daughters with him." Then the first born said to the younger, "Our father is old and there is not a man on earth to come into us after the manner of the earth."
Now it so happens that there were men available just a few miles away geographically. But they meant something different. The "earth" is throughout scripture a symbol of a fallen unregenerate realm. James tells us that there is a wisdom from above that is "pure and peaceable," but that there is a wisdom from below which is "earthly, natural and demonic" (James 3:15,17). In the same way that many modern feminists want men purely on their own terms, Lot's daughters wanted a man in this "manner of the earth."
"So they made their father drink wine that night and laid with him" (Genesis 19:29-38). This was a gross act of rebellion against both their father and God. As a result both daughters had children. The oldest daughter's son was named Moab. His descendents, the Moabites, ultimately became an idolatrousnation that was one of the primary enemies of God's people - Israel.
The youngest daughter's son - Ben Ammi - became the father of the sons of Ammon. 1 Kings 11:7 calls Molech "the detestable idol of the Ammonites." The name Molech in Hebrew means: "to ascend the throne" or, in other words, to usurp God's authority. Leviticus 20:2 tells us that Molech worship involved the sacrifice of one's offspring. While the Ammonites primarily sacrificed post-natal children, it is no coincidence that it is the Ammonites that God condemns in the book of Amos for a particular form of blood-thirstiness:
"For three transgressions of the sons of Ammon, and for four, will I not revoke its punishment, because they have ripped open the pregnant women of Gilead in order to enlarge their borders" (Amos 1:13).
To "enlarge one's borders" is a biblical metaphor applied not just to land, but to extend the boundaries of acceptable human conduct. How common this is still today as we hear cries of - "It's my choice" and - "Keep your religion out of my life."
Baal and Molech Worship
"And they built the high places of Baal that are in the valley of Ben-Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire to Molech" (Jeremiah 32:35).
"They have built also the high places of Baal, to burn their sons as offering to Baal" (Jeremiah 19:5).
Here the Bible implies what modern archaeologists and anthropologists have recently discovered: that Molech and Baal represent the same pagan god. The wife of Baal is Asherah and the wife of Molech is Ashteroth. Asherah and Ashteroth represent the same fertility goddess. This demon was known to the Greeks as Aphrodite; to the Egyptians as Isis; and to the Phoenicians as Tanet.
The ancient city of Carthage was the capital of the Phoenician empire. Their civilization was advanced culturally and highly educated. But recent archaeological expeditions have revealed its most notable feature - the high incidence of child sacrifice. Archaeological relics have been uncovered, such as the altars on which children were sacrificed and stone markers, which marked the burial place of the remains. Stone carvings on the markers depict children who were sacrificed. Clay jars were used to hold the remains. Entire burial grounds full of these slaughtered children have been uncovered.
As barbaric as this sounds, we must remember that this is precisely what we do through abortion. With one obvious exception - today we don't honor or bury the children we kill.
Archaeologists have established that the primary deity that they children were sacrificed to was the goddess Tanet, the name being a regional representation of the more universal Ashteroth.
The typical rationalist would attribute these rites to superstition and would suggest that science and intellectual advancement would cause this type of unfortunate behavior to lessen and finally cease. But archaeologists have discovered that over Carthage's history, the incident of child sacrifice, even in the face of considerable intellectual advances, actually increased until it suddenly stopped.
And how did it stop? When God judged Carthage. Roman armies invaded and suddenly destroyed the entire civilization. The stark ruins of Carthage are a testimony that God is not mocked. We have to ask ourselves: How far are we from a judgment for our own abortion holocaust?
17th Century France
Another incident occurred some three hundred years ago in France. Seventeenth century France - while not as egalitarian - was still very much like western society today. There was substantial material wealth and a large leisure class obsessed with entertainment and sensual pursuits. There was great sophistication in the arts and a dramatic decline in morality. In the 18th century, the age's philosopher would be Voltaire who provided the underpinning for the "Age of Reason." Its philosophy was a reworking of the old idea that man doesn't need God, but through his own efforts, now coupled with science, he can save himself.
The king was Louis XIV who had a painting done depicting himself as a god with lightning bolts clenched in his hand. This is the essence of secular humanism: man trying to be God. Like many of the aristocrats of his time Louis was sexually promiscuous. One of his mistresses, Madame de Montespan, was so highly favored of Louis that many considered her the unofficial queen of France.
During her reign a disturbing thing began to take place. Many male members of Louis' court began dying for no discernible reason. In order to investigate what appeared to be murders, Louis employed a detective, Gabriel de La Reynie, the Lieutenant General of the police in Versaille. His inquiries led to a witch named la Voisin who provided the poisons that were responsible for the deaths. This investigation also uncovered a network of abortion services connected with satanic rituals. The following is the testimony of la Voisin's daughter at the subsequent trial:
"At one of Madame de Montespan's masses, I saw my mother bring an infant, obviously premature, and place it over a basin over which its throat was slit, and its blood drained into the chalice."
Note that the child was premature, obviously the victim of abortion. Then the cup filled with the baby's blood was lifted up to heaven and this invocation was given: "Hail Ashteroth and Asmodeus, Princes of friendship, I conjure you to accept the sacrifice of this child in return for the favors asked of you."
Ashteroth was the goddess wife of Molech. Asmodeus is a transliteration of the Hebrew name for a demon that is normally associated with lust. Aborted children were being sacrificed in a satanic ritual designed to empower the practitioners.
One might ask: why aborted prenatal children? For one thing, it is easier to mistreat or abuse someone who doesn't look just like us. This is the root of racial prejudice as well as the view that unborn children are somehow less human than ourselves. Second, since the distinction from fetus to infant relative to their humanity is in fact meaningless, the sacrifice of a fetal child serves the same purpose as the sacrifice of a post-natal child or an adult.
Today we have given the demons of human sacrifice new names: "Career" -"Convenience" - "Money" - "Lust" - "Self." But beyond this, we have come full circle; today's rationalism has given way to a new feminist spirituality that honors these same demons actually calling them by their proper biblical and historical names. Is it just a coincidence that the hottest sub-movement within the feminist movement that began to emerge just after the Roe v. Wade decision is goddess worship? One of the primary deities that is being worshipped is Aphrodite - the goddess of child sacrifice.
Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood, is perhaps the best 20th century example of the destructive power of spiritual deception. That she was wallowing in deception can be seen in a quote from a book written by an admirer: "She had tried to dispel depression by sex, travel, Rosicrucianism (a cult), numerology, now she tried a new panacea - astrology." Sanger was a confirmed adulteress who consistently and publicly supported a "woman's right to destroy." She became deeply involved with Havelock Ellis, a modern day false prophet who advocated a variety of bizarre sex practices supposing them to be the keys to spiritual enlightenment and power. For Margaret Sanger and her militantly (even religiously) promiscuous lifestyle, abortion became a necessary backup for contraceptive failure.
A more recent example can be found in a newsletter published by the National Abortion Federation. It provides an account of the 1985 national convention. One of the speakers was Carter Heyward, an ordained Episcopal priest who has been active for many years in the feminist movement. This quote was taken from her address: "If women were in charge, abortion would be a sacrament, an occasion of deep and serious and sacred meaning."
That an ordained leader of a church that supposedly represents Jesus to the world could describe child sacrifice as a sacrament or holy rite of the church without facing excommunication is a staggering illustration of the collective deception we are facing as a nation.
Several other examples are found in the December 1985 issue of Ms. magazine - the undisputed leader of feminist publications. This particular issue was completely dedicated to exploring the new emerging spirituality in modern feminism. Much space was given to Goddess worship or adulation of the various demons associated with child sacrifice (including Isis and Aphrodite). The central article in this issue of Ms. is filled with testimonies showing the gross deception that has already taken captive much of our nation - men and women alike.
"The feminist spirituality movement began to emerge in the mid-1970s and has become one of the largest submovements within feminism. It's amorphous, blending in a surprisingly smooth amalgam radical feminism, pacifism, witchcraft, Eastern mysticism, goddess worship, animism, psychic healing, and a variety of practices normally associated with 'fortune-telling.' It exists nationwide and takes the form of large, daylong workshops, small meditation groups, and even covens that meet to work spells and do rituals under the full moon. But to the women in feminist spirituality, witchcraft had even a more fundamental meaning. It is a woman's religion, vilified by patriarchal Christianity, and now, finally, reclaimed."1
This represents just the tip of the iceberg as we are witnessing an explosion of books, magazines, "how-to" manuals, artwork and the inevitable paraphernalia that accompanies the development of any organized religion. In one of the few instances where they both agree, both Ms. magazine and the Bible label these various permutations of spiritual deception as - "witchcraft."
Biblically, witchcraft is linked to rebellion - specifically, rebellion against God's authority. This can be heard in the feminist chant: "Not the church, not the state, women must decide our fate!" It is true that the state should have minimal say in deciding anyone's fate - male or female. But the the state's intrusion into a woman's fate in forbidding abortion, is infinitesimally small compared to the abortifier's decision that the unborn child's fate should be death. But the Church, as God's representative in the earth, should assist in deciding the fate of all those who desire to do God's will. The only alternative is to "choose one's own fate" or one's own will. And this is rebellion - the foundation of all witchcraft.
When we consider the word "witchcraft," one Bible personality comes to mind - Jezebel. In 1 Kings 18:19, Elijah the prophet of God mentions Jezebel along with some of the deities we know about. He asks to see "the 450 prophets of Baal and the 400 prophets of Asherah who eat at Jezebel's table." Jezebel represents the corrupting influence of witchcraft.
Jesus spoke to the Church of Thyatira about another Jezebel: "But I have one thing against you, that you tolerate that woman Jezebel who calls herself a prophetess and she teaches and leads my bond servants astray so that they commit acts of immortality and eat things sacrificed to idols" (Revelation 2:20).
This admonition cuts to the heart of the Church in America. "One of the Religious Left's premier organizations is the Religious Coalition for Abortion Rights. RCAR is a hardline supporter of federally funded abortions and the Freedom of Choice Act. RCAR represents groups of liberal Presbyterians, Episcopalians, Lutherans, Brethren, Moravians, Jews, Humanists, and Unitarians."2
Truly, the Church in America and much of the world has become the modern equivalent of the Church of Thyatira. Jezebel has been tolerated and even ordained.
God's command is that we "repent of her deeds" and drive Jezebel out of the Church and from our nation. To help us understand the magnitude of the battle which this represents, the prophet Malachi announces that God will send the prophet Elijah before the great and terrible day of the Lord. 400 years later, Jesus connects John the Baptist with the ministry of Elijah.
The distinguishing feature of both Elijah and John's lives was their boldness in confronting wickedness and their command to repent. Scripture calls this ministry "Preparing the Way of the Lord." In the same way that Elijah confronted the wicked rulers of his time, in the same way that John prepared the way for the advent of Christ, so God's man in the earth, the Church, will prepare the way for the ultimate return of the Lord.
There are many ways in which the Church has been called to "prepare the way" - the most notable being the Great Commission - to go into all the world and preach the gospel. But just as Jezebel was Elijah's greatest challenge, we too, must confront and defeat the forces of witchcraft that have manifested through abortion. And just as Elijah was almost defeated by Jezebel and John was killed by the witchcraft of Herod's wife, we must also realize that this battle is a deadly one. There can be no victory without the radical commitment to fight witchcraft.
The spiritual pattern which has led us to America's abortion holocaust is thus summarized: the demons gained a foothold in the earth through the incestuous acts of Lot's daughters. Their descendents, the Ammonites, became possessed and worshipped this spirit (identified variously as Molech or Baal) through child sacrifice. The god-goddess pairs of Baal-Asherah and Molech-Ashteroth were worshipped throughout the ancient pagan world as a part of a widespread "Mother Earth" cult. In seventeenth-century France, the goddess resurfaced as Ashteroth. And finally, Ashteroth became Aphrodite and resurfaced in a new 20th century feminist spirituality. And its no coincidence that abortion - today's form of child sacrifice - came right along with it.
It is important today to note the historic rationale of those who in ancient times offered up their own children to idols - that the sacrifice of blood rejuvenated and strengthened the deity to whom it was dedicated at the same time binding him to the offerer of the sacrifice. In other words, when they sacrificed their children to an idol, they became spiritual slaves to the demon it represented. Even more frightening was the effect upon the spirit - greater power was released through the outpouring of innocent blood.
This principle is borne out in scripture. In 2 Kings 3:26,27, one of the descendents of Lot's daughters, the King of Moab, was about to face certain defeat at the hands of the Israelites. To prevent this from happening, he offered up his oldest son as a sacrifice. The fact that it was a burnt offering tells us that it was undoubtedly made to Baal, Molech or Ashteroth. What is sobering is that it worked: the Moabites defeated the Israelites.
The spiritual heritage of the Moabites and the Ammonites is passed down to our own day through abortion. Today the church is fighting against those same spiritual forces for the very survival of our nation. Without all out spiritual warfare, what are our chances of victory when the demons' lust is being gorged on the blood of not just one, but 1.5 million children killed each year?
The land that God chose to bring His people into after their long captivity in Egypt was filled with nations that practiced child sacrifice. And what was his commandment to Israel? "When you cross over the Jordan into the land of Canaan, then shall you drive out all the inhabitants of the land before you. And destroy all their molten images and demolish all their high places" (Joshua 33:51,52).
This scripture provides a model for our response to child sacrifice in our era. The Old Testament is not just a collection of stories, but provides temporal examples of what we must accomplish in the spiritual realm. In the same way, for example, that the people of God, Israel, followed a man named Joshua into the promised land, so the Church, spiritual Israel, follows a man named Joshua, or Yeshua (Jesus), into the land of promise. Everything that the Israelites underwent has a direct New Covenant application. In this passage, God commands His people, past and present, to destroy all idolatry.
How do we accomplish this in light of the New Covenant? Should we, like the ancient Israel, begin to attack the individuals responsible for the idolatry? Of course not. "Our battle is not against flesh and blood" (Ephesians 6:12).
In Old Testament times, the Holy Spirit had not yet been given in the way hat we experience Him today. Man had neither the anointing nor the authority to confront the demonic powers directly. In order to defeat the forces of wickedness, their was no recourse except to destroy the people through whom those forces acted.
But with the coming of Jesus, the whole scenario changed. For the first time we see a man directly confronting the spiritual forces of darkness. In Luke 11:20, Jesus even defines this as one of the primary signs that the kingdom of God has come into this world: "But if I cast out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you." At last God's people could direct their efforts to the real problem: the spiritual realm. Instead of destroying his human adversaries, they could begin to love them and work for their salvation.
Jesus expects His Church to manifest the same authority and power as He did during His life on earth as a man. In Matthew 28:18, Jesus said: "All power and authority has been given to me in heaven and earth." He commanded His disciples to go into all the world wrenching it from the control of Satan and his forces.
In John 14:12, Jesus said: "He who believes in Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do, because I go to the Father." In Mark 16:17, He said: "And these signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons."
In Luke 7:28, He makes a clear distinction between the realms of power of the Old Covenant and the New Covenant, when He said that of all the Old Covenant prophets, there was none more powerful than John the Baptist, but that now, even the least Christian (this includes even you and me) is greater in power and authority than John.
Immediately after Joshua led Israel into the promised land, they zealously began to obey God's commandment. Often their obedience necessitated the obliteration of entire cities. In the same way, God wants us to be just as committed, just as ruthless as Joshua and his armies in destroying the forces of idolatry on the world. Only now, we are to direct our attention to the real enemy - the spiritual forces of wickedness in heavenly places.
Disobedience of God's People
What ultimately happened to the Israelites? The book of Judges recounts their their initial steps to apostasy. Instead of totally destroying and driving out the Canaanites, they began to enslave them. The result of their disobedience is seen in one of the most tragic passages of scripture: "They did not destroy the peoples as the Lord commanded them, but they mingled with the nations [the unbelieving heathen world] and they learned their practices and served their idols which became a snare to them. They even sacrificed their sons and daughters to devils" (Psalms 106:34-37; Judges 1:28).
Through abortion, we have followed precisely the same slippery slope to destruction. In fact, we are already there. Ezekiel 16:20 gives us even further evidence of our guilt today. "Moreover, you took you sons and daughters which you bore unto me and you sacrificed them to idols to be devoured."
What does the Bible mean by "sons and daughter which you have bore unto me"? The Bible gives us the key. Exodus 13:2 says: "Sanctify unto Me every first born, the first offspring of every womb of the sons of Israel, both of man and beast. It belongs to me." The firstborn was traditionally considered "born unto the Lord."
History and archaeology has shown us that child sacrifice, as with the example of the King of Moab, centered on the first born child. Is it simple irony or coincidence that the majority of children that will face the abortionist's knife in this country are also first born - "set apart for the Lord"?
"You slaughtered my children and offered them up to idols by causing them to pass through the fire. And besides all all your abominations and harlotries, you did not remember the days of your youth when you were naked and bare and squirming in your blood" (Ezekiel 16:21,22).
We would all do well - especially those who are pro-abortion - to remember that we were once naked, bare and dependent on others older than ourselves for the chance to live.
The Israelites chose for the site of their sacrificial rituals, a place called the Valley of the Son of Hinnom. This valley, which still goes by that name today, is just outside of Jerusalem. The Valley of the Son of Hinnom translates into Greek as "Gehenna" - which also the word for hell. It is significant to note that Jesus himself introduced and used this word - one that was fully recognized by the common people of His day as the name of a valley where child sacrifice took place. He used this word to describe the eternal habitation of Satan himself.
In light of this, Jesus' words in Matthew 16:18 become a stirring cry to action for His church to fight abortion: "And upon this rock, I will build My Church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." Gates are not offensive weapons but defensive. The gates of hell are erected to protect Satan's kingdom and to keep the Church out. Jesus' use of the word Gehenna clearly substantiates that there is no greater manifestation of hell on earth than the sacrifice of children.
Today, walls - both spiritual and natural - have been erected to protect this so-called "right." Jesus Christ has called and anointed us to tear down those walls and proclaim deliverance to the captives - to "rescue those who are being taken away to the slaughter" (Proverbs 24:11 TLB).
What will you do, as a child of God, to respond in obedience?
1 Karen Lindsey, Ms., December 1985, p.38.
2 Steve Beard, World, May 22, 1993.
Michael A. Hoffman II comments: Some counter-balance should have been inserted in this report regarding false accusations of witchcraft against women such as midwives, the legacy of which continues today in the war of the pharmaceutical companies and some gynecologists against natural, herbal medicine and midwives.
The author also gives the impression that witchcraft was revived in 17th century France. But the case cited was an abuse rather than a trend.
Witchcraft never was extirpated in the whole of western history. Moreover, if we need fix a date for the institutionalization of witchcraft in the Christian West, we should look to 16th century Protestant England where, under Elizabeth I, the sorcerer John Dee achieved state power, founded Freemasonry and built upon the occult edifice of Catholic heretics such as Girodano Bruno and Pico della Mirandola in pursuing a "Christian" kabbalah and an alliance with the black magic practicioner, Rabbi Judah Lowe of Prague.