Monster Energy Drink Is Anti-Christ: A Case Study In Occult Epistemology
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In Proverbs 8:12, Wisdom personified informs us that she is the key to finding knowledge. Unfortunately, her counterpart, Folly, has the upper hand when it comes to getting attention (Prov 9:15).

If you haven’t already, watch this video: “MONSTER Energy drinks are the work of SATAN!!!” It’s received over eight-million views on YouTube alone, a substantial amount of attention.

Now, ask yourself whether you think it might be possible that, aside from any health effects, you’re putting yourself under the power of Satan if you drink Monster.

If your answer to the above question is yes, you might have an occult epistemology.

What is occult epistemology, you ask?

  1. Occult: Pertaining to hidden knowledge of supernatural power
  2. Epistemology: The philosophy of how to attain knowledge

Occult epistemology teaches that there are two levels of knowledge. The lower level is the knowledge that can be gained by observation and reason through the normal and boring disciplines of history, science, philosophy, etc. The higher level of knowledge that leads to supernatural power is not laid open to ordinary observation and disciplined reason but is secretly layered on top of ordinary reality in a system of hidden symbols that only the initiated can interpret.

The modern occult movement of the 19th century looked back to the ancient mystery religions for this knowledge. One of those religions was Gnosticism, a blending of mystery religion and Christianity. Gnosticism means something like “knowledgeism,” because the Gnostics taught that a system of secret spiritual knowledge understood through hidden symbolism was necessary for salvation from the material world.

The word heretic as we use it today, was created to describe Gnostics. They were heretics because they preached salvation through secret knowledge instead of salvation through Jesus.

In Proverbs, Wisdom does not consist in a system of hidden symbols, but rather is publicly available (Prov 8:1-3). God created reality with but one level of knowledge (Prov 8:12), and it is accessible to all who diligently seek Wisdom (Prov 8:17). Rather, it is Folly that deals in secrets (Prov 9:17).

Today we not only have a modern expression of ancient mystery religions known as the occult, we also have a modern expression of Gnosticism—Christian conspiracy preachers who teach attainment of spiritual power through secret knowledge of hidden symbols. They purport to warn you against the occult, while at the same time adopting occult epistemology in order to explain its power.

Monster-All-Seeing-Eye-Pyramid

Pop star Rihanna displaying the “Eye of Providence” symbol.
Screen capture from “Monster” (2013) by Eminem, feat. Rihanna

When conspiracy teachers blend Christianity and occult epistemology they end up with two levels of spiritual knowledge. The first level is the knowledge you get from ordinary theology—comparing Scripture with Scripture, studying the original languages, thinking through the teachings of the Bible—that’s open for anyone to study. That’s probably enough to get you to heaven, but you still might get fooled by the Devil if you don’t know what he’s secretly up to. So you need to advance to that second level of hidden knowledge that is only available through an extra-biblical system of hidden symbols, which only the initiated can understand.

Once you accept the premise that spiritual knowledge can be gained through this system of hidden symbols, you’re swept up into a hidden world of mysterious powers, remarkable secrets, and high-stakes conflictall contributing to a sense of self-importance. It’s like being on a spiritual drug, and once the buzz wears off you want some more. None of it does anything to bring your heart closer to Jesus, and you end up trusting in your knowledge about the inner-workings supernatural power to save you from Satan.

So what can you do if you realize you’ve fallen for the folly of occult epistemology?

  1. Recognize that true spiritual knowledge starts with Jesus (Prov 9:10), and Jesus doesn’t hide this knowledge but lays it open in His Word: “There is nothing covered up that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known.” (Luke 12:2).
  2. Get close to Jesus. Instead of studying conspiracy theories, spend time in prayer. Not only will you get true spiritual knowledge, but you’ll be protected from the Devil. No one accidentally ends up under demonic power by drinking a beverage with “666” hidden on it or watching a music video with Illuminati symbolism. The real danger is in choosing to focus my heart’s desires on something other than God (1 Peter 5:8-10). In that light, conspiracy preaching holds a more subtle danger than popular entertainment, because you think your heart is close to God when the reality is far from it.
  3. Study the symbolic system of Scripture. The Bible is replete with ritual, typological, and apocalyptic symbolism. God uses it to communicate spiritual truths that are too profound for simple explanation. Nowhere in Scripture are we encouraged to look to a hidden knowledge outside the Bible to interpret the symbols in the Bible. Rather, the Bible provides its own interpretive keys, which are not hidden and available only to initiates, but open to all.

I believe occult epistemology is the devil’s counterfeit to distract us from the symbolic system of the Bible while fooling us into thinking we can have a measure of control over supernatural power. The symbolic system of Scripture is deep enough to sustain a lifetime of study, but it has a simple message: God is in control, put your trust in Him. (Prov. 3:5)

Amen!(60)

Comments

Monster Energy Drink Is Anti-Christ: A Case Study In Occult Epistemology — 45 Comments

    • So let me see if I understand you correctly. You acknowledge that the occult exists and that Christians shouldn't dabble in it. I agree. But you seem to be saying that Christians who attempt to expose the occult are dabbling in the occult. With that I do not agree. Sure, we should put use Philippians 4:8 as our overarching guiding principle and not, for example, think that an overtly sexual or violent music video is okay just because there is no occult symbols in it. But if understanding occult symbols helps someone more quickly perceive the spirit behind something, is that a bad thing? Let's put Monster to the Philippians 4:8 test. If the box that Monster drinks comes in really says "MILFs dig it", does that fit Philippians 4:8? If you don't know what a MILF is, Google it but be sure to have "safe search" turned on first. It's a pornography term. So, regardless of whether "666" is on the can, should Christians really support a drink sold by a company that makes jokes about pornography? Well...that's something each individual Christian should decide for himself. But I'm not bothered by people who point such information out.

      Amen!(4)
  1. I am just so grateful that I opened the whole article. When I read the tag line my heart just sank - some adventist is supporting mysticism and calling it the devil. I am just so glad that we can instead look at the world in a logical way, not jumping at shadows and searching for hidden devils in the fine print

    Amen!(34)
  2. Aha – light bulb moment, the problem is not warnings against being deceived (Matt 24:4) but the teaching that your knowledge of the wiles of the devil will save you from being deceived instead of teaching that a relationship with the LORD and a love of the truth will save you. (2Thess 2:7-12)

    The article explains: “They purport to warn you against the occult, while at the same time adopting occult epistemology in order to explain its power. Christian conspiracy preachers teach attainment of spiritual power through secret knowledge of hidden symbols and that you might get fooled by the Devil if you don’t know what he’s secretly up to with the result that you end up trusting in your knowledge about the inner-workings supernatural power to save you from Satan”

    Amen!(20)
  3. I don't know about the occult connection with Monster (and I'm not interested). But I do know not to drink caffeine. And so, for me to drink what I know is wrong for me, that would be to put myself out of God's will and into Satan's hands. (I know. That's not the point of the article.)

    There are many ways to get trapped by the devil. Thank you, David, for helping us to check our thinking and trusting.

    Amen!(12)
  4. Thank you very much for the information. It was very enlightening and interesting. I agree totally with you about searching for knowledge only in God's words accompanied by prayer. I always say why bypass the storehouse and search for good stuff in the garbage bin?

    Amen!(22)
    • amen! Sticking to learning from the scriptures and staying in prayer has helped me to learn from the Holy Spirit and I pray to keep it that way.

      Amen!(6)
  5. I just want to understand fully.... I myself through the word of God have had my eyes opened to the dangers that I was putting myself into when I engaged in certain forms of entertainment. I didn't have to go to occult books and learned of Gnosticism through a study of the New Testament. When I was young and older folks told me not to go to the movie theaters or to not watch certain tv shows or not to listen to certain music, they were never able to answer why. But praise God that he brought me to the answers himself as I diligently saught him out. As he opened my eyes, I saw many who were in the same state that I was or even worse. Addicted to movies that that promote the gnostic religion, presenting characters symbolically representing satan taking the place of Christ, do I not show my brothers and sisters the danger they are engaging in. Or do I just preach the love of Jesus as many say to do? Do I not explain to them the reason why they experience spiritual attacks as they lay in their bed like I have is because of the demonic music they listen to for the majority of the day?

    My understanding was to expose satan where people were shrouded in darkness and to present to them through the word a loving savior who is willing to forgive and waiting for the to completely surrender to him. Like the monster can example that you use. I can tell someone not to drink it because it's not healthy, but I don't see the issue in telling them not to have anything to do with a product that would express the character of satan so openly. Or tell people that satan is using media, products, literature ect..... To condition our minds.... If I have gotten your article wrong, I apologize, and I agree with it being wrong to jump into the darkness and search the occult, but these things are in plain sight and I can read the bible to explain it, jumping into the occult is not necessary. Is it still wrong if I show that the express logo that is cleverly placed over the heart of those who wear their shirts is a picture of the conglomerate beast found in rev 13? Or that the tbn network symbol is the same. That the cross with the sun can be explained in the spirit of prophecy as it was put together to represent Catholicism merging paganism and Christianity?????? A study of the word shows you that, not delving into the occult...... It tells an individual one important fact....... I need to start studying my word......... I may be wrong. Just how I feel.

    Amen!(19)
    • Andrae, perhaps you could help us out by clarifying: Are you saying that the movies and music to which you refer passed the test of Phil 4:8 and that the only reason not to enjoy them was the occult symbology in them?

      You refer to other things that "express the character of Satan so openly." If it takes secret knowledge (of occult symbols) to recognize that certain graphics express the character of Satan, then it is not expressing it "openly."

      As for the Monster can example - why would we need to know more than the fact that the drink is unhealthy and has an evil-looking "monster" graphic on its can?

      And I wonder why you see a cross with a sun as representing Catholicism merged with Christianity? You mention the Spirit of Prophecy. Can you point us to specific statements? Viewing such a symbol in the light of biblical symbology, it would represent Christ, the Sun of Righteousness, laying down His life on the cross for the salvation of humanity.

      Why should we draw attention to the darkness of satanic power by interpreting all symbols as pointing to it?

      I appreciate Pastor Hamstra's conclusion that, instead of focusing on the works of the devil, we should be focusing on cultivating our relationship with Jesus and studying His Word. The symbolism in God's Word challenges our minds, and as we understand it, we also learn more of God's character and God's truth. (By contrast, studying the symbols of evil has the potential to entangle us with evil.)

      Amen!(21)
    • Andrae,

      I appreciate your earnest desire avoid media products that distract from the things of God. I do not discourage that nor leave anyone without guidance on following Jesus in their media consumption. Scripture has guidelines like Philippians 4:8 that teach us how to go about evaluating what we put into our mind.

      What scripture does not do, as explained, is teach us to evaluate media products on the basis of hidden symbolism. The symbols you refer to ("express logo", "tbn network symbol", etc) do not express the character of Satan openly. A hidden meaning must be interpreted as being layered on top of the obvious meaning in order to derive that conclusion, making that conclusion a product of occult epistemology.

      Finally, we are nowhere instructed to look for the symbolism of apocalyptic prophecy to literally appear in real world media products or religions that we should then avoid. By allowing Scripture to interpret Scripture, we instead find that apocalyptic symbols indicate real world and spiritual powers that play a role in the Great Controversy. As Adventists, we know Daniel and Revelation have a lot to say about the historic problems with Catholicism, but I haven't seen a text that indicates hidden sun-god worship is one of them. When we put the focus on hidden symbols, that distracts from the real spiritual issues at stake.

      Finally, I urge you to think through the implications of interpreting hidden symbols. I've seen people reject spiritually beneficial material because certain illustrations were made with circles and others with triangles, which to them meant it was automatically tainted by hidden symbols. I've seen people decide that Adventism, and ultimately Christianity were part of the conspiracy, sending themselves into atheism. It may seem like a harmless way to back up your convictions about popular media products, but comes with spiritual danger because it isn't grounded in God's way to truth.

      Amen!(21)
  6. Nice article.Completely agree.Where I come from we recently(in 2009) started using the US$ as the official currency and a certain very strong Elder would not even Handle dollars becoz of the "All seeing eye",an occult symbol.

    Amen!(11)
  7. [Pseudonym allowed due to content of comment.]
    I will share this with my nephews who are deeply involved in Mason Organization and at the same time hold church leadership position.

    Amen!(10)
  8. My only comment is, if you do not own a Bible that is inspired by the Holy Spirit, then by all means find one. Open and read. Any information about Satan and his goals and devices to deceive, is in there. What is lacking Wisdom, in our society, should not be of importance in comparison. Wisdom is a gift from God. The attractions of this world are, for the most part, not from God.

    Amen!(7)
  9. Thanks so much for these thoughts! I saw an Adventist pastor recently preach about hidden symbolism in the music industry. My wife and I really questioned afterwards if there was any value in supposedly "knowing" how evil some celebrities are. It didn't seem helpful to us, so this article really clarified that issue!

    Amen!(7)
  10. I totally agree with you. It's not that something has a hidden message that is the issue rather it's what does God say? The only way to find this out is through Bible study and prayer. Spending time with God.

    Amen!(5)
  11. I remember many years ago when it was popular in Christian circles to talk about backmasked messages in secular rock music. This is the technique of recording messages backwards within the music that was supposed to be picked up subliminally by the human mind. At the time I read an ethics article by an atheiest writer, taking Christians to task for such convoluted thinking. He said why bother trying to find hidden (subliminal) messages when, if you read the lyrics themselves, they are inherently evil in plain language.

    His point is that somethings are simply not good for you (even from a secular perspective.)

    Amen!(15)
    • At the time I read an ethics article by an atheiest writer, taking Christians to task for such convoluted thinking. He said why bother trying to find hidden (subliminal) messages when, if you read the lyrics themselves, they are inherently evil in plain language.
      ---------------------------------

      And he was exactly right!

      I remember that time well in my own country. What it tended to do was produce dramatic and sudden reformations of lifestyle that never seemed to last--because such appeals are based on fear.
      It seems that many of the people who participated in the clothing and music bonfires are not now in the church.

      Amen!(7)
  12. I agree with David's post. Whenever it gets into "hidden", "secret" "exclusive" knowledge and when people are obsessed or fanatical about it I say watch out!

    Jesus told us to watch out for wolves in sheep’s clothing, but He didn’t say you will know them by their symbols, He said you will know them by their fruits. Matt 7:15-20
    He also said that there would be people who claimed to be His followers and would preach and do miracles in His Name but are not true followers of Jesus because they are not in harmony with the will of the Father. Matt 7:21-24
    Paul in 2 Thess and John in Rev 13 also warn us of a system who appears to be Christian but is not.

    Accordingly I believe it is important to know that we can’t take everything or anyone at face value, however the Bible through prophecy and in Rev 16 has identified for us the 3 threats – the dragon, the beast & the false prophet, no further symbols are needed.

    Jesus in John 16:13 promised to send us the Holy Spirit to enlighten our minds and lead us into all truth based on the Bible. See also EGW quote SD 29.6

    Amen!(10)
  13. well we need to always remember that the scripture warns us that the devil will seem to be like an angel of light and this transformation is becoming more and more determined everyday as this is the devil's best strategy utilised by him to bring in hard confusions in the church of God we need to be more and more acquainted with truth in order to escape

    Amen!(4)
  14. Is there a name for the concept of, "Spiritual things are Spiritually discerned," taught by the Holy Spirit?

    Maybe Spiritual epistemology or Heavenly epistemology?

    1 corinthians 2:14 NIV - The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.

    John 16:13 NIV - But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth...

    Amen!(3)
  15. I didn't really know how symbolism can affect me when I have no knowledge off the symbolism and do not take part in the symbolism.

    Amen!(5)
  16. We need to ask ourselves, what does the word of God has to say? As along as we maintain a consistent personal study of God's word, our understanding of present and future truths will be accurate. I prefer the Word of God over any other instructions.

    Amen!(6)
  17. I spent 3 years of my life on a Conspiracy website forum. I learned a lot...
    It's never too late for an article like this. Thank you Pastor.

    Like the pastor mentioned in the comments, from my experience, anyone who attempts to decrypt the hidden secrets of Satan without protection from God's Holy Spirit and advanced knowledge of the bible becomes deceived.

    I've also seen people
    - claim that David and Johnathan were lovers
    - then go from being Christians become athiests
    - practice witchcraft (before becoming Christians)

    The information is only useful in the hands of a fully converted and well informed christian.

    Even worse, some forums and websites are actually fake conspiracy information sites, set up by witches and warlocks.

    Amen!(1)
  18. thank you so so much for the article as it has just reinforced my thinking all the more . the Devil wants us to get caught up in trying to discover his wiles with these symbols so that we think we can overcome him on our own. we need to go back to the word and maintain a relationship with him

    Amen!(4)
  19. Such powerful, intelligent words, should not be needed to unveil [this deception]. What in Gods name has happened to us!? I've spoken a great deal about this on a previous article so I won't say much here. However, does anyone notice that occult epistemology amongst Christians leads to animism? The belief that all things living and non living have souls or spirits that control them. Many who have succumbed to conspiracy theories are not so much looking for symbols but looking for the spirit that controls the thing. For them the world is divided between things that are controlled by the Holy Spirit and things controlled by demons. Keep the demon controlled stuff out of your possession, stack up on Holy Spirit controlled things, and presto salvation! This is Christian Animism

    Amen!(4)
    • Great insight. Both are part of a pagan worldview, which attempts to manage the powers of the spirit world. The Bible teaches that the path to salvation turning over your life to Jesus such that the Spirit manages you.

      Amen!(3)
  20. As Paul says in Romans 1vs 1" we servants of Christ Jesus, called to be apostles and set apart for the gospel of God" This is what we are. why go around learning hidden secrets of the devil?

    Amen!(1)
  21. I watched the video in question, but did not believe that it (the drink) was in itself evil maybe the design was simply overlooked. Perhaps what is evil is the pressure for man to be "juiced" up in order to do his daily work. The horrendous amount of sugar to be consumed, caffeine and other additives, contributing to Diabetes and other health problems.
    Focus on God first and if you listen you will hear him! Amen

    Amen!(3)
    • 'over looked' nothing is over looked my friend when you are going marketing the design is one of the prominent things to consider, so that design was made intentionally. while is good not to dwell on occult symbols, there can not be overlooked

      Amen!(1)
  22. In all that is said i think the most important take here is this, "Know Christ ( know the real deal) and you will be able to identify the Devil (and all counterfeits will be so easy to spot) and all his wiles and all his other variations that are not Christlike".

    If Christ is known by the individual no amount of conspiracy can shake one, as that wont even matter, they will just be onward with Jesus Christ and these things will just be unimportant background noise. Their stance would be "Even So Come LORD JESUS CHRIST" as that is all that matters not whether jay-z or rihannha (sp) has done this or monster this or monster that.

    Read the Bible and pray for divine wisdom to take control of your life, ask the holy spirit to convince you of wrong doing doing and repent and you will have nothing to fear.I pray that i move more and more in the direction that i am writing about here too.

    Amen!(4)
  23. Caffeine is my stumbling block between me and the church. I love it and it keeps me from going to church because I don't want to be a hypocrite and I don't want to offend others. Any advice?

    Amen!(0)
    • Hello Sarah. Please return to church as quickly as possible. Worry about caffeine later in my humble opinion.

      Amen!(7)
    • Hello Sarah! Allow me to share this passage from Steps to Christ:

      If you see your sinfulness, do not wait to make yourself better. How many there are who think they are not good enough to come to Christ. Do you expect to become better through your own efforts? “Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.” Jeremiah 13:23. There is help for us only in God. We must not wait for stronger persuasions, for better opportunities, or for holier tempers. We can do nothing of ourselves. We must come to Christ just as we are. – {SC 31.1}

      Amen!(5)
    • Hi Sarah. Go to church. If I had to wait until all of my bad habits were broken, there would have been no reason for Jesus to come and die on the cross . Go the church, Jesus has already paid the price for our sins. You will overcome because the Holy Spirit will help you.

      Amen!(2)
  24. How do we know these thing that are happening are true? Can someone help me . If we tell people, they say its for us people who go to Church on Sabbath

    Amen!(1)
    • Hi Tinashe, Can you be more specific about what you mean by "these thing that are happening" to help us answer your question.

      Amen!(0)
  25. Nice piece, thanks Pastor and all who have commented. Its really informative and enlightening.
    I too have had to abandon most secular entertainment. And prayed for a closer walk with God, and now, whatever doesn't sound right, I just don't listen or watch.
    As for you, sis Sarah, Jesus Christ died to save and redeem the lost sinners, not for the perfect. So, don't let your issues with Caffeine keep you from the house of God.

    Amen!(2)
  26. Actually, I do not disagree with the you-tube video title. Nor do I disagree with Pastor Hamstra's article. In fact, the first section of Proverbs has deeply encouraging information: Truth is in the open, positioned at everyplace a person would travel in their daily activities and if we turn to God we will find this truth and the power to live by its principles. Delightedly, I find most of the Gospel messages in these first 9 Chapters.

    Why I agree with the you-tube video title, is based on basic science research. Caffeine effects the blood flow of the Brain. As such it may effect our ability to reason logically. For further study, one can access information by researching such terms as "Caffeine + Cortex", "Caffeine + Cerebral Blood Flow", "Caffeine + fMRI" and "Caffeine + Sleep". Based on studies using both functional MRI (fMRI) and PET scans we have learned that caffeine has both nerve and blood vessel effects, the later being to constrict blood vessels and decrease blood flow to specific regions of the brain. Clinical studies show variable results on various cognitive and motor function tests, most often showing an improvement with caffeine. However, most of the studies utilize subjects that already consume caffeine on a regular basis and exclude those who never take in caffeine. As such, test results after abstaining from caffeine produce poorer results than the test results after caffeine because the brain is dependent on regular caffeine for normal function. Sleep studies produce even more interesting results. Because of the effect caffeine can have on both sleep quantity and quality our ability to reason logically can again be effected. Thus, caffeine use may contribute to increasing our mental and emotional vulnerability to Satan's attacks.

    Amen!(6)
  27. Gnosticism also occured in early church if we read the first epistle of John we could identify how the gnostics tries to influence the church to seek more deeply the so-called knowledge that can lead to salvation. But i like how John countered them. He didnt prove them wrong., neither did he point them out before the church. All he said to the church was, i am writing to you, not because you dont know, but because you know. (Paraphrasing) all truths in the Bible are pointing to Jesus, and they are more than enough. The true Spirit of contentment is what we need. We know that the Bible is more than enough to equip us, so why the need of seeking foolishness.

    Amen!(1)
  28. Batara, It is my belief that gnosticism began in the second century after Christ death. I do think you are reading into the Gospel of John what is not there. Now the Gospel of John may have been talking about phariseeism. But I doubt gnosticism. The Bible does talk about the practices of the Nicolaitans, who God hates. Revelation 2:4,5,6. No relation to Nicodemus. Nicodemus surrenderd totally to God after Christ assention. Becoming an asset to the early Christian Church the rest of His life. Dropping his pharisee notions for good.

    Amen!(2)
  29. Yes Sarah go to church. Then see how God can can perform a miracle in your life, or He may chose to let you have a thorne in the flesh the restof your life. There are medicinal reasons for taking caffine so don't feel bad about using caffine. I wouldn't let church people's remarks control my church going, or worry about what they might say control your life. Go to church. Many years ago Pastor Coon took a gentlman around with him for his evangilistic meetings. He would let him give his testemony during the sermons. He had recently become a Christian SDA, only because the people in his church didn't pester him about quiting smoking, they told him to let Holy Spirit do the changing. Now not every church is that perfect, that is why you must keep going to church. I don't think that the Holy Spirit would tell you that you have to quit caffeine before you go to church.

    Amen!(2)

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