The worship of false idols has deceptively and strategically made its way into the house of Christians, but that isn’t Satan’s only attack. I want to encourage you to keep your mind open as you listen to this episode. My goal is to provide you with information and tools. Scriptures say, “my people perish for lack of knowledge,” so the purpose of the episode is information.
This episode is pretty different from any other episode I have ever released. It’s essentially a case study about false idols and gods and the craftiness of satan’s deceptions. But the case study involves someone from pop culture, Beyonce, and it also involves a touchy subject. I don’t usually speak on hot topics publicly, but God placed this on my heart to discuss because there was something critically important for us to take away from it. Scripture tells us to,
“Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.”
Ephesians 5:11, ESV. We are to expose works of darkness. To expose means to make known : to bring to light. It means to cause to be visible or open to view. That is our responsibility as Believers; not to speak about darkness in the abstract, but to expose it specifically.
James B. Richard, the author of Satan Unmasked: The Truth Behind the Lie, lays out the reason that exposing darkness is so critical. He says:
“Satan does not have the right to work in anyone’s life. It is not authority that creates opportunity for him. It is ignorance. The only opportunity that satan has is the one that you give him.”
Associating with witchcraft and demonic practices, no matter how unintentional, creates opportunities for Satan to work in our lives. My intention is to expose darkness and some of the methods satan uses to deceive Believers, and in doing that I will use a real example, that example being Beyonce. My intention is to also equip you with biblical tools to overcome satan’s schemes and deceptions.
Now that we have the foundation and backstory set, let’s pace ourselves for where we are going in this episode. I’ll cover:
- A case study of references to idolatry and false gods by a popular artist
- Why we miss demonic signs and references like these
- Tips for detecting and overcoming satanic deception
At least since her album Lemonade, Beyonce has centered and embodied false idols in her music lyrics and visually in her artistic expression, like in her music videos and in her visual albums. When I say that she has centered and embodied false gods, I mean that she has made them focal points and she has put herself out as physical, tangible expressions and representations of these other gods.
I think a good way to break this up is to examine her lyrics and then we’ll look at her visual imagery which includes her videos and her clothing.
Music is powerful and catchy. A song can stay in your mind for days. But what makes lyrics even more important, is when we begin to sing them because our words have power. So even if we don’t know or understand what we are saying, our words mean something, and they have power in the spirit realm. And in her lyrics, Beyonce not only makes reference to other Gods and spiritual practices, but she identifies herself as these gods.
Specifically in her song Black Parade she says, “Ankh charm on gold chains, with my Oshun energy.” Oshun is a spirit or god worshiped in the Yoruba religion which is of southwestern Nigeria. She is recognized as the goddess of fertility, love, and freshwater. In this song, Beyonce is saying she has energy from this spirit. Beyonce mentions her by name again in another song.
In her song Mood 4 Eva Beyonce says “..I am Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter, I am the Nala, sister of Naruba, Oshun, Queen Sheba, I am the mother.” By saying, “I am Oshun,” Beyonce is positioning herself as that Yoruba deity.
In another verse she says, “Baby sister reppin’ Yemaya.” Yemaya is the mother of all Orishas.
She also says “I charge my crystals in a full moon.” The belief that crystals have any kind of power or energy to do, change, or effect anything goes against the nature of God and its witchcraft. Using supernatural evil forces to manipulate natural circumstances is witchcraft.
Oshun is often portrayed wearing the color yellow and sometimes white. In the video for her song “Hold Up” from the Lemonade album, Beyonce pushes open a set of doors and emerges in a great flood of water, wearing a flowing yellow dress. An Africana studies professor by the name of Amy Yeboah told PBS in 2016, that this moment in Beyonce’s video is Beyonce’s “emergence as an orisha.” It’s the point where Beyoncé is reborn as spirit and god Oshun. Now, I would normally consider a statement like this to be speculation, but in this case, you have Beyonce herself saying she is Oshun in her lyrics. So this is the physical representation of what she later says. It is her embodying a false idol.
In the Black is King visual album, Beyonce is reading a book titled Black Gods and Kings by Robert Thompson. The book is a study of art and the topics covered include Mythos, Crowns, Masks of the Witches, and Headdresses of the Dead. She is openly displaying what she is reading and interested in.
Later in the visual album, Beyoncé is representing herself as a goddess, specifically and solely portraying herself as the Yoruba goddess Oshun. She wears Oshun’s yellow and shining beads and cowrie shells; she emerges from water; she surrounds herself with flowers of fertility. She makes her connection to the goddess as explicit as possible.
An argument can also be made that...
…Beyonce supports the satanic deity Baphomet. Baphomet, which is also referred to as the goat of Mendes, is the most common symbol of Satanism. It has the head of goat/human and has horns that come out of his head. There are numerous instances of Beyonce wearing clothing, jewelry, or hats with a goat head and horns. A quick google search of her name and name of the symbol will yield these images. However, I don’t know if she herself has ever said anything about it.
Why Does This Matter to a Christian?
If you are still wondering why any of this is a problem, the truth is, if you are not a Christian—if you do not believe that Jesus is the Messiah and you practice other spiritual modalities, then for you, this is not a problem.
However, if you are a Christian, and you are thinking, “it’s just music.” “I don’t say those words when that part comes on.” Or, you might be thinking, “I don’t listen to those songs. I only listen to her old stuff,” or “I don’t believe in the gods she believes in.” Here is why listening to her music is a problem…
Worshiping False Idols and Gods
The first issue with listening to this music is that she uplifts and embodies false gods. In Isaiah 45:5 God explicitly says:
“I am the Lord, and there is no other, besides me there is no God.”
God also says, “Before me no god was formed, nor shall there be any after me.” He is the only God. So, if the God of the Bible is the only God there is, then any other spirit or god portraying itself as a god in a separate religion is not God. It is a demon. There is no in-between.
Fellowshipping with False Idols and Gods
The next issue is what happens when Believers engage in the offerings and activities that others give to the gods they worship.
In 1 Corinthians 10:20-22, Paul is speaking to Believers about idolatry and food offered to idols. In Corinth, during this time, people were sacrificing food to their idols, essentially to demons. At the idol temples there were fellowship halls where the food that was sacrificed would also be used to feed people. Some of the Christians in Corinth would go and eat the food, but they did not believe in the gods the food had been sacrificed to. They recognized that those idols are not real gods. It was just food for them. They were not going to worship any of the false idols or make any sacrifices, so they believed that there was no spiritual consequence to eating the food.
However, Paul compared their eating of the food used to worship false idols with how we as Christians take communion in remembrance of Jesus. Paul explicitly tells them, hey, “these food sacrifices are offered to demons, not to God. And I don’t want you to participate with demons. You cannot drink from the cup of the Lord and from the cup of demons, too. You cannot eat at the Lord’s Table and at the table of demons, too.” 1 Corinthians 10:20-21, NLT.
Essentially, Paul was saying that there is a spiritual dimension behind the idol that is demonic and by you partaking in the food you are also fellowshipping with the demon the food was sacrificed to. Bringing this back around to music, by listening to music sacrificed to demons, there is fellowship with demons through the idolator (the person worshipping false idols), which is the singer/rapper/whoever, and identification with that idolator.
It isn’t just music. We are spiritual beings. Everything matters. Just like we worship God with music, satan can be worshiped through music as well.
Now, for a lot of people reading this, the information I shared was likely surprising to you. It was surprising to me. A lot of us missed the symbolism of the imagery in her videos and visual albums. That is not by accident.
So, let’s talk about why we miss things like this.
Deception is the trump card that satan plays over and over. He has been deceiving people since the beginning and he is extremely effective at it. He uses deception in many different ways. I’m going to share a few with you today that I think are most relevant to the false idols illustration.
One way that satan deceives humans is by disguising his hand. In 2 Corinthians chapter eleven, Paul starts addressing false apostles and teachings.
2 Corinthians 11:14 CSB, “But I will continue to do what I am doing, in order to deny an opportunity to those who want to be regarded as our equals in what they boast about. For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no great surprise if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will be according to their works.”
Pastor Tony Evans describes this well. He says, “The devil is happy for you to picture him as a cartoon character wearing a red jumpsuit with horns and carrying a pitchfork so that you won’t take him seriously.”
In essence, if we’re looking for the devil to look like the version on television, then we will miss him if he actually looks like a nice, beautiful, generous human.
2. Lack of Knowledge
Another way that Satan is able to deceive us is when we lack knowledge in an area. Whenever we lack knowledge about something, the enemy has the ability to exploit our ignorance.
It’s easy to lump the art and religious references in Beyonce’s videos with traditional African art and cultural practices but that isn’t what it is.
A lot of people who practice Yoruba as their religion will have African Americans thinking that a majority of the people in African countries practice that religion as well, but the numbers do not reflect that.
Remember in our case study, the religion that the gods Beyonce embodies are from the religion of Yoruba. Yoruba spirituality is heavily practiced in Southwest Nigeria. Hearing that, you would think that because Nigeria is it’s homebase, that a lot of Nigerians practice it but that isn’t the case at all.
As of October 2022, Nigeria is the 6th most populous country in the world. Over 220 million people live in Nigeria. I pulled the congressional research report on Interfaith Relations and Religious Freedom in Nigeria, which says that the population in Nigeria “is estimated to be fairly evenly split between Muslims and Christians; Muslims are a majority in the north and Christians a majority in the south, although there are large Christian communities in the north and vice versa.
Then I checked out the CIA World Factbook, which said that only 0.6% of Nigerians practice other religions. That means, less than 0.6% of Nigerians observe the Yoruba religion.
Christianity is an indigenous African religion...
Pastor Eric Mason in his book Urban Apologetics: Restoring Black Dignity With the Gospel talks about why Black Americans sometimes explore other African spiritualities. He points out that many people see the Black church as a counterfeit spirituality. “They viewed it as counterfeit because they believed it was “forced” on Black people. Several of those who (wrongly) didn’t view Christianity as an indigenous African spirituality began exploring other options, and this led to the rise of Black mystery religions, ideologies, and cults.” That’s from Urban Apologetics. In essence, Pastor Mason is expressing that Christianity is not the religion of the oppressor. It is indigenous to Africa as well.
This is not your inheritance from your ancestors nor is it the religion of most Nigerians. Nigerians easily recognized the imagery Beyonce used in Black Is King to worship false idols and they called it out because don’t play that.
To distract means to draw or direct (something, such as someone’s attention) in different directions at the same time. It means to stir up or confuse with conflicting emotions or motives. What satan does is he hides the truth by getting you to focus on irrelevant, misleading information.
In the illustration earlier in the episode of the prophet rebuking Christians for going to the Beyonce concert, A LOT of people were focused on how she said the rebuke. That’s a huge distraction, especially since rebuke is a sharp criticism. It’s meant to cut.
The Bible says, “rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith.” Titus 1:13 ESV. Better is open rebuke than hidden love, Proverbs 27:5 ESV. It also says, “It is better for a man to hear the rebuke of the wise than to hear the song of fools.” Ecclesiastes 7:5 ESV.
Offense is the bait of satan. If he can get you to be offended, then he can distract you from the truth. If the enemy can keep you focused on your feelings about the circumstances surrounding situation, instead of what is actually going on, then his able to deceive you.
How to Get Better at Detecting Satan’s Schemes
I think the best solution is to follow the lead of the Holy Spirit.
“Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.” Galatians 5:25, NLT. I guarantee you the Holy Spirit is not gonna to tell you to engage in an activity like fellowshipping with demons.
He is our heavenly coach and as our coach, two of his focuses are knowledge and direction:
- Knowledge (He acts as a teacher). He Holy Spirit is our teacher. If we are learning more from Him and being led by the Holy Spirit, then we will overcome the lack of knowledge which is where Satan likes to deceive us.
- Direction (He acts as a guide). Ask God to help us recognize the enemy and guide us away.
The Holy Spirit guides Believers through:
Spectacular (external) guidance through God’s word, angels, visions, dreams, gifts of the spirit, and God’s audible voice (on very rare occasions).
Subtle (internal) guidance in a quiet way that does not attract attention. It is barely perceptible and requires sensitivity. In situations where it may be confusing about who is right in the body of Christ, we need the Holy Spirit to lead us.
I also confess daily:
Confess this every day and I guarantee that you will start to see things from a supernatural perspective.
So now let’s talk about how to defeat the enemy’s schemes.
How to Overcome Schemes and Deceptions of the Devil
Scripture says, “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.” Ephesians 6:11 ESV. This is how we engage in spiritual warfare. Spiritual warfare is the conflict in the spiritual realm that affects the physical realm.
To stand means to stand unharmed. Schemes of the devil are Satan’s cunning tactics, schemes, strategies, and plan to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10). When we see some things we’re thinking, “oh that’s fun,” but the devil is thinking death.
Here’s what Pastor Tony Evans says: “The battle Christians face everyday is rooted in the schemes of the devil, in his efforts to deceive us…Meanwhile, like an opposing football team, his demonic realm watches your game film. They know your history, your weak spots, and your sin patterns. Their goal is to keep you from experiencing God’s will for your life. You’re not their first assignment. They are good at what they do.
You, then have to fight the spiritual with the spiritual.
So let’s talk about how to accomplish this and fight with the armor of God, and not just part of the armor, but all of it—the whole armor of God.
The Components of the Armor of God
Let’s break down each part of the armor and its respective role in helping us stand against the schemes of satan. Last year, my pastor preached a series titled Invading the Earth With Heavenly Authority. In lesson 8 of the series, he covered the armor of God so I’ll be using some of my notes from that sermon.
The Belt of Truth
When the Bible references the belt of truth, truth means to speak and deal truthfully. It isn’t a reference to the word of God. It means honesty; commitment to integrity. Integrity is an important force in the life of the victorious Christian; integrity needs to be in place before we enter any intense struggle with the enemy.
Integrity is not the same thing as perfection or sinlessness. It is a commitment to doing what you say and keeping your word. The reason this is important when confronting satan’s strategies and schemes is because satan is a liar. He is literally the father of lies. He created them. Satan knows that a Christian who lacks integrity is no match for him because lies, deception, and pretense are his playground. That’s where he thrives.
So, we have to be honest in our lives and in our dealings, publicly and privately.
Breastplate of Righteousness
This is the piece of armor that most Christians either don’t understand or they neglect to put it on. When we receive Jesus as Lord. Remember that Jesus was made sin so that we might be made the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. Righteousness means being in right standing. It’s the nature of God, and it’s our position in Christ.
As a demonstrative example of this, my pastor used his hand as a symbol for Christ and his bracelet as a symbol for humans. Then he put the bracelet inside of his hand, like a fist and completely covered the bracelet in his fist so that we could no longer see the bracelet, we could only see his hand. That is how God sees us when we accept Christ. When God sees us, he sees Jesus.
It is the gift of righteousness that gives you the “right” to approach God without a sense of guilt, shame, or condemnation.
You can walk before God in prayer and expect an answer because you are righteous. God sees you in Christ.
This also gives you the “right” to resist satan. It gives you the right to destroy his works AND cast him out. So the strategy here is to see yourself as righteous and having the right to resist satan, destroy his works, and cast him.
Shoes of Peace
The shoes of peace represent a supernatural peace that is untroubled by difficult times. It is an inner and interpersonal peace that is maintained by forgiveness.
Satan’s strategy is chaos, confusion, and division that leads to weaknesses (Matthew 12:25). He promotes anxiety and worry which choke God’s word and hinders it from producing in your life (Mark 4:19).
So the strategy here is to maintain your peace so that you can focus on God’s word. The more Word you know and believe, the less satan can deceive you.
Shield of Faith
Trusting God means acting on His word regardless of the circumstances. Our responsibility is to focus on God’s invisible supply from heaven.
Satan’s strategy is to use fiery darts of affliction, trouble, and persecution to distract us. Here’s how this manifests: satan will give you a circumstance, thought, or feeling that is contrary to what God says.
Putting on the shield of faith means trusting God, acting on the word regardless of how we feel, regardless of the circumstances, and regardless of our thoughts. This ensures that satan can’t defeat us because we aren’t being led by our senses. So much of society and culture promotes doing what you feel and what feels good, but this is literally the tool that satan uses to deceive us into following his plan to destroy us and kill us.
Helmet of Salvation
The helmet of salvation is a renewed mind and it protects your mind from wrong, negative, and destructive thinking.
Satan wants to influence the Believer’s mind with ungodly thoughts and worldly views. The way we combat this is by committing to adopt the mind of Christ. One of my daily confessions is that I have the mind of Christ.
The Sword of the Spirit
This is the only offensive weapon we have in our arsenal. The sword of the spirit is the word of God. The Greek word for “Word” is Rhema, which means that which is spoken. It is a specific word, quickened by the holy spirit for a specific time and specific purpose (Matthew 4:1-11). When we speak the word, the spirit of God partners with us to bring manifestation in our lives.
Satan uses ignorance and deception to get Christian’s to ask God to do for them what He has given them authority to do instead of acting on your authority. Find the promises in the word and use them against satan.
The Lance of Prayer
Prayer leads to intimacy with God, the ability to clearly hear God’s voice, and receive God’s directions and guidance. It is hearing God and intimacy with God that will help you overcome the enemy. The only way to develop intimacy with God is through quality time praying alone with God. This is what gives you an advantage.
Satan’s strategy is to keep believers disconnected from God and disconnected from God’s ability and wisdom. Satan does this through laziness, distractions, and busyness. Satan fights the hardest in the area of prayer. So I want to encourage you to pray. Pray without ceasing.
If you enjoyed this episode, then you may also enjoy the episode of the show about the power of your tongue or this episode detailing tips and scriptures for spiritual growth.
- Invading the Earth with Heavenly Authority by Dr. Mike Moore
- Urban Apologetics:Restoring Black Dignity with the Gospel by Eric Mason
- Satan Unmasked: The Truth Behind The Lie by Dr. James B. Richards
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