Zombies in our Midst

Voodoo Drums of the World

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Ephesians 2:1-10

A quote from a reliable source on Voodoo:

The most famous result of black magic is the zombie, someone presumably brought back from the dead by a bokor (voodoo priest). It is said that the bokor, after having made a deal with the corpse-washer, steals the dead man's soul, and that is how the corpse is turned into a zombie.

People whose dead have enemies resort to all sorts of tricks to stop their deceased relation from being turned into a zombie. They build strong graves of stone; often the construction begins long before death -- the costs are high, but it's worth it to avoid becoming a zombie. They seal the corpse's nostrils to stop the soul from escaping. But if the bokor manages to trap the dead man's soul, the game is up. The zombie['s soulless body] rises, and thenceforth he must serve the bokor, or whoever has commissioned the zombification, as a slave.

The zombie does not know what has happened to him, he has no consciousness, he is not even human. The zombie works hard for his master, and if he should slacken he is subject to severe beatings, which he never resists. He is the ideal slave. It is the most terrible of curses...the worst thing [a Haitian] could imagine....

The zombie is a "dead man walking" - spiritless flesh made alive by a ruthless master who demands mindless work. The zombie moves to the beat of the master's drum, unconscious of any other way to go, the drudge of an insidiously evil superintendent. Zombies really do exist, as any missionary can tell you from first hand experience. Have you considered the possibility that zombies may have crossed your pathways in life? Well, they have. In our passage today St. Paul tells us about them in no uncertain terms.

I. Text

(Eph 2:1-10 NRSV) You were dead through the trespasses and sins {2} in which you once lived, following the course of this world, following the ruler of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work among those who are disobedient. {3} All of us once lived among them in the passions of our flesh, following the desires of flesh and senses, and we were by nature children of wrath, like everyone else.

A. People, in their natural state, are indeed zombies - slaves to a dark, evil force known as iniquity. Although we people walk and talk and seem to fulfill some sort of mission in this life, we remain walking dead. We are dead

First, by nature (the way we are). All have been born into iniquity, "for all have sinned and come short of the glory of Yahweh."

Second, we are dead by nurture (the things we are taught to do or the things that have been done to us). We are taught iniquity from the womb, and grow up to do the works of iniquity. We call these works "sin." Sin is disobedience to Yahweh, whether we mean to disobey or not.

B. We who are spiritually dead naturally and nurturally follow the deafening voodoo drums of the world; we find the rhythm of the world seductive, we dance our lives away to it. There are three drums that set the pace of our enslavement.

1st drummer. The world and what it values, it's entrapments, it's measures of success and failure, it's vulgar attractions, compulsions, and obsessions;

2nd drummer. The devil and his minions of fallen angels who, by circumstances and suggestions, keep us blind to the truth;

3rd drummer. The flesh we carry and our inappropriate desires for satisfying it at the expense of others. The flesh is not evil, but good. But evil comes when the flesh rules.

So it is with us. We are spiritually dead and enslaved by the world, the devil, and the flesh, by nature and by nurture. We are, in the natural, children of disobedience, another way of saying that we are zombies, slaving to the beat of the drum of disobedience.

II. Here's the good news:

{4} But Yahweh, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us {5} even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Messiah--by grace you have been saved-- {6} and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Messiah Yahshua, {7} so that in the ages to come he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Messiah Yahshua. {8} For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of Yahweh-- {9} not the result of works, so that no one may boast. {10} For we are what he has made us, created in Messiah Yahshua for good works, which Yahweh prepared beforehand to be our way of life.

A. We who have, through the tumult, heard the merciful voice of Yahweh and who have responded to Yahweh's grace through faith, have been born anew in water and spirit. We have been forcefully wrestled away from death and hell and brought into a new Kingdom not of this world. As we grow up in this holy place, we become "children of obedience." No longer are we to be the devil's spiritually dead zombies, but we become

1st. Alive with Messiah; which is the first level of glorification;

2nd. Raised with Messiah, above this unrighteous world system, empowered to overcome even the inappropriateness of our flesh; further, we are

3rd. Seated with Messiah in the heavenlies; not only alive and free, but now with the power of a throne; and we are to exercise that power in three ways. We take

a. power over the enemies of our souls; We assume

b. power with Messiah and other children of obedience to bring redemption to all of creation; and our mission is to shoulder

c. power within the world to lead others out of death, into life, then into the heavenlies as co-rulers with Messiah and us.

B. Being alive in Messiah gives us the intelligence to see the "big picture," the blueprint for the ages witnessing the future riches of the Kingdom in kindness.

1st. Those "future riches" have now come to pass: we are 1,940 years in the future. See what works of kindness Yahweh has created through the children of obedience:

a. the "great awakenings" of spirituality in every century,

b. the great institutions of education,

c. the great healing hospitals,

d. the incredible works of charity for the love of the world.

2nd. Also, regard these future riches in terms of eternity: that the entire earth will be restored, and the 'kingdom of love and light' will be manifest for all to see. Yes, everyone who has ever been born will be resurrected alive (if for only a short period) to see the Kingdom of Messiah established here on earth.

The sad fact is that most people have, in this life, seen the good works of Messiah and the church, but have continued to follow the voodoo drums, remaining zombies. Even when the perfect Kingdom is revealed, I expect such will still not accept the free gift of Yahweh. For these, there is only "the second death" remaining. They will be no more, burned out of existence forgotten forever.

Friends, we know that the world's voodoo drums are very loud and very strong. They are hard to resist because the noise permeates every layer of our society, every thought that crosses our minds, every relationship that we cherish.

One father was very distraught about the type of music his teenage daughter was listening to on her stereo system. The "music" was foreign to him, and seemed just to have a loud, monotonous, droning beat set to somebody screaming lyrics that were provocative and often profane. The message of this "music" was decadent and violent, with overtones of the occult, not to mention that it was just plain LOUD.

That father thought he could reason with his daughter about her new music. He called her away from her stereo and said to her, "Honey child, I can't understand why you listen to that all the time. There is no melody or harmony in that music, the words seem to be against what we believe and know to be true, and that constant thumping is driving me crazy. What is it you like about it?"

The daughter was puzzled by her father's lack of taste. "It's the beat, Dad. That beat just makes me want to dance. The rest just comes along with it."

So many people just do not get it - do not understand why they are here - do not care to know what the creator of their lives want to make of them - do not want to bother with the deeper, more important things of life. For the beat of the world's music is too strong; most can't resist; that beat just makes them want to dance. But the dance is disobedience, and disobedience leads to the second death and eternal separation from Yahweh, destruction, annihilation.

It is said that only one thing can bring a zombie back and free him from eternal slavery. It is a simple thing, a thing that is very plentiful and common these days. The antidote is salt. Legend has it that, if a zombie tastes salt in his food, he may become free.

It is also said that few zombies ever become free. Their cruel masters strictly forbid them salt. Even if some salt gets into their food, chances are they won't taste it anyway, because their food is so putrid. But when salt is tasted, it is said a zombie will begin to come alive again and realize that he has been somebody's slave all along.

Concerning salt: The Bible speaks of it in many passages:

- Jud 9:45: Salt preserves against corruption;

- Num 18:19: Salt means keeping a promise;

- Job 6:6: Salt enhances flavor;

- Mark 9:50: Salt is good;

- Col 4:6: Salt indicates purity in speech.

The Bible views salt as life-giving, life-enhancing, and of great value.

We know that salt occurs naturally in the seas. But did you know that the seas vary in their degree of salinity. One ton of Pacific Ocean water yields 79 pounds of salt. One ton of Atlantic water yields 81 pounds. And one ton from the Dead Sea yields a whopping 500 pounds of salt.

Like seas, people also vary in saltiness. Yahshua said that we are to be "the salt of the earth" (Matt. 5:13). But we have different levels of "salt content." As I mentioned, salt is thought to bring the dead back to life. But are we really alive in Yahshua Messiah? Check your salt content. Are you leading others to the salt?

More than 70 million people in the United States claim to have been converted to Messiah's Kingdom. That's over 1/4 the population. William Iverson observed that "A pound of meat would surely be affected by a quarter pound of salt. If this is real Christianity, the 'salt of the earth,' where is the effect of which Yahshua spoke?" Perhaps we are just not as salty as we think. Maybe we are more dead than we are alive in Messiah. Certainly, our saltiness has not sufficiently soaked into our community or culture. We need revival.

There are thousands of zombies outside these church walls who need salt -- who need revival. Revival simply means "alive again." Messiah's resurrection from the dead generates the salt necessary to bring the dead in Messiah alive again.

And there are dead people right in here. Yes, some of you are zombies. You don't know Yahshua and you're not living in his Kingdom. You are dancing to the beat of the antiMessiah. You'll lead a miserable life and your end will be the fire. You zombies need revival. You need salt.

And there are people here today that know Yahshua but are not living for him at all. No, you're putting Yahshua in some little box somewhere right beside your dusty old Bible. But the living Yahshua will not let you treat him thus for long. He spits the lukewarm out of his mouth. You zombies need revival before its too late. Yes, you need salt to live.

For the rest of you who are living in the Kingdom: You have a neighbor or a friend who is not. It is your duty in love to get that person someplace where they will hear the Gospel rightly preached and be given the opportunity to respond. This is you King's command: Be salt to a zombified world. How can you be salt to those who you do not know if you are not salt to your neighbor, who you do know? You need revival! You need salt.