Message Magazine logo
The Ride of My Life
Signs and Numbers That Work
Homegoing Mysteries
Escape From Curses, Hexes and Spells
Peace in Supernatural Chaos
Plus: How The Reign of Terror Will End
May/June 2023
Message Logo
QR Code icon
 Get More
Snap this code and check
out our video content
Peace in Supernatural Chaos

Delbert Baker/How to increase your spiritual intelligence.

by Christopher Thompson/Traditional African American beliefs pale in their impact in the Bible’s gospel.

Paul Anderson/Where to find your chance to hit, a peek into your future, and your source for power.


by Omar Miranda/Trauma and drama pushed him into clarity after his grandfather died.

by Omar Miranda/Escape from the fear of curses, hexes and spells.

by Sharon Castain/How to walk in peace when what you don’t know can hurt you.

by L. David Harris/The Prince of this World, Meets the Plan of Salvation

by L. Derek Morrison/The providential moments God used to change my life.

Cover illustration provided by Natalie Daise
Man standing intently with electrical pole and what look like picketing signs in the background
Silhouette of figure
Glowing snake illustration









Cover illustration provided by Natalie Daise
Message Logo

Carmela Monk Crawford
[email protected]

Graphic Design
Erica Keith

Seventh-Day Adventist Church logo
Subscriber Services
Pacific Press Publishing Assoc.,
Virginia Ramsey 1-800-456-3991

Samuel Archer
[email protected]

Consulting Editors
Roger Bernard
Marvin Brown
Carlton Byrd
Virgil Childs
Byron Dulan
Garth Gabriel
Alva James-Johnson
Benjamin Jones
Abraham Jules
Kenneth Manders
Michael Owusu
Calvin Preston
Marcellus Robinson
Calvin Watkins

Call 1-800-456-3991 Monday through Thursday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Mountain Time for subscription information or address changes. MESSAGE (ISSN 0026-0231) is published bimonthly Jan/Feb, Mar/Apr, May/June, July/Aug, Sept/Oct, Nov/Dec.

© 2018 by the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists, 9705 Patuxent Woods Drive, Columbia, Maryland, 21046, U.S.A. Address editorial correspondence to MESSAGE MAGAZINE, 9705 Patuxent Woods Drive, Columbia, MD 21046-1565 U.S.A. All subscriptions are prepaid. If you did not order MESSAGE, it is being sent as a gift from a friend. You will not be billed. To subscribe, mail payment to MESSAGE, 1350 North Kings Road Nampa, ID 83687, U.S.A. or call 1-800-456-3991. Subscription price: one year, $19.95 U.S. currency; single copy, $4.00; overseas, add $10.00 per year for postage. Prices subject to change without notice. Periodicals Postage paid at Nampa, Idaho and additional offices. Vol. 89 No. 3 May/
June. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to MESSAGE, 1350 North Kings Road Nampa, ID 83687, U.S.A. Printed in the U.S.A.

Unless otherwise noted, Bible texts in this issue are from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Statements in this issue attributed by an author to other speakers/writers are included for the value of the individual statements only. No endorsement of those speakers’/writers’ other works or statements is intended or implied.

Recycle Icon

Vintage Vault

Jesus, Undefeated Champion

Message Cover of Demon Possession comes to harlem
Therefore, we must ever maintain our faith and trust in Jesus, who has absolute power and authority over Satan. After all, when it is all said and finished, Satan will have been defeated by Divinity in three major battles: first, in the battle in heaven (Revelation 12:7-9); second, in the battle over Christ’s life, ministry and death (John 12:31, and 32), and last, when Satan is cast into the lake of eternal fire (Revelation 20:10).

Until then, though, remember that Satan will continue his nefarious work among God’s followers right up till the very end—because he knows he has very little time remaining.

But rest assured that on our side we have an undefeated Champion who will interpose Himself—if we permit—between Satan and us. And that Champion is none other than Jesus Christ.

—“Demon Possession Comes to Harlem”
by Ralph Blodget Message, October 1981

Phillip McGuire Wesley, jr.

I love the concept of reading or listening to a good song that can build character and bless the mind at the same time. Enjoy this journey of Elevation!


Book Cover of The Ruthless Elimination of hurry
John Mark Comer
The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry

“Ultimately, nothing in this life, apart from God, can satisfy our desires. Tragically, we continue to chase after our desires ad infinitum. The result? A chronic state of restlessness or, worse, angst, anger, anxiety, disillusionment, depression—all of which lead to a life of hurry, a life of busyness, overload, shopping, materialism, careerism, a life of more…which in turn makes us even more restless. And the cycle spirals out of control.” This book is a must read for those on the “go”! It will empower you to slow down and enjoy the life that you have already. The benefits of the Sabbath have been elevated in this book! Available on Audible or Amazon.


My message
Expressive Individualists
How the God of Self Has So Many of Us Unprepared

our life is a good gift from a loving God, even when subjectively it doesn’t feel good or like a gift, and even when you doubt that God is loving. Please get out of bed anyway.”

I find in this quote from Alan Noble in his new book On Getting Out of Bed, the crux, the impetus for momentum in a world that has us paralyzed by self-interest, and the resulting inertia of unfulfillment and sadness.

Our youth, especially the younger set, Generation Z, are emerging with a worldview that is, at its heart, secular, not spiritual. The highest goal and meaning of life for so many, is to define oneself. As we have seen through various data, this kind of pressure has led to record-breaking anxiety, loneliness, and the need to belong.

In the book The Disappearing Church, Mark Sayers, discusses seven core beliefs this cohort of young people hold, a group he identifies as “expressive, individualists.”

eye on the times
woman next to giant clock
Supreme Court to Decide Historic Religious Accommodation Case
M dropcap
illions of Americans have religious beliefs and practices they do not leave at home when they go to work. Nor should they have to do so. Many Americans participate in regular weekly religious meetings, such as Bible studies, worship in a church, synagogue, mosque, etc., observance of a Sabbath, or even choir practice. Many others express their faith in their dress and appearance, by wearing a beard as part of their religion, or a head covering.

Since 1972, federal law has required employers to “reasonably accommodate” the religious beliefs and practices of their workers, but in 1977 the Supreme Court held they are excused if the accommodation would cause even minimal hardship, even though the federal law set the standard as “undue hardship.”

As a result, every workday, Americans are losing their jobs for the “crime” of practicing their faith, forced between obeying God and making a living.

Black from the Past
Carlota Lukumi: Afro-Cuban Freedom Fighter
multiple silhouettes in red and dark blue hues with paint drips on the edges
Photo by Adobe Stock
By Carl McRoy
dotted line going up - cream
Carlota wasn’t her original first name it was the name her Spanish enslavers gave her. Lukumi represented her Yoruba roots in the Kingdom of Benin, in West Africa. That’s where she was kidnapped when she was about 10 years old, then trafficked to present-day Cuba.

Being a young girl didn’t blunt the brutality of slave life, yet the system’s cruelty didn’t crush her desire to taste freedom again. Every year under the lash increased her yearning for liberation.

In 1843, Carlota conspired with another enslaved African woman, Fermina, to overthrow their down pressers. The plan was for simultaneous uprisings on all the plantations in the Matanzas province. Fermina was betrayed to one of the slaveowners, which led to her torture and imprisonment. Fermina withheld Carlota’s name and plans from her captors, but Carlota broadcasted their plans to area plantations with her talking drums.

Optimal Health
Plant-based Lifestyle
The Amazing Plant Power of Caribbean Cuisine
Photo by Adobe Stock
The Amazing Plant Power of Caribbean Cuisine

By donna green goodman


any of the traditions we have shared this year are connected to the continent of Africa, as many cultural foods of black and brown people were “dropped off” on their way to enslavement in America. Wherever you go in the Caribbean, you will find variations of many of the same or similar foods. Beans, rice, plantain, cornmeal, yam, ginger, and sorrell are sprinkled everywhere.

The best rice and peas I ever tasted were from my college friend, Elsie, who was Haitian. I would not let her rest until she showed me how to make it. And I have mastered it, with brown rice, which I almost always serve with cabbage, curry, and patty. Haitians also make a marvelous dish called Djon Djon, that a former student introduced me to. It’s a rice dish featuring black mushrooms that are native to Northern Haiti.

I discovered the variety of ways you can make patty when I taught the Vegetarian Cuisine class years ago at Oakwood University. The students were to make the patty as outlined in the recipes I gave them. But, when they were done, there were several varieties: Jamaican, Trinidadian, Cuban, Mexican, and Puerto Rican. And, the subtle differences helped to create totally different flavors.

Total Wellness
Anxiety and Depression in Black People
Anxiety and Depression in Black People
Stressed woman holding her fingers on her brow
Photo by Adobe Stock
By Christine Ince

ajor depression goes undiagnosed and untreated at higher rates in majority African American and Hispanic communities according to a Blue Cross Blue Shield 2022 study (

Erlanger Turner, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, blogger, author of the book Mental Health Among African Americans, and associate professor at Pepperdine University. His expertise positions him as an observer at the intersection of race, culture, and ethnicity. Racist situations, increased police violence, and brutality that is witnessed—first or second hand—can exacerbate symptoms of anxiety and depression.

In spite of this, many have observed that black men, in particular, seem reluctant to seek professional help.

Spiritual logo within a traced silhouette of a person's mind/brain area
How to Increase Your Spiritual Intelligence
By Dr. Delbert Baker
Blue uppercase letter S dropcap
ocial scientists have developed ways of describing personal capacities that have come to prominence in the last few years. These qualities are called quotients. You likely recognize some of the most popular.
  • Intellectual Intelligence (IQ) refers to one’s rational knowledge and logic.
  • Emotional Intelligence (EQ) refers to our capacity to manage and respond to emotions with understanding and empathy.
  • Social Intelligence (SQ) refers to ability to build a network of friends and maintain it over time.
  • Adversity Intelligence (AQ) refers to one’s ability to face and manage challenges and adversities.
Hags, Haints, and the Ride of My Life typography
By Christopher C. Thompson

any people will remember Nickelodeon’s “Gullah Gullah Island.” The show ran for 70 episodes over four seasons and was nominated for four NAACP Image awards. When I was a kid, I was so proud to see “Gullah Gullah Island” on TV. It gave a national platform to my everyday experience as a child reared in the Gullah Geechee experience, having been born and raised in the Lowcountry of South Carolina.

Gullah is a distinct African American culture that developed in the Lowcountry region of the southeastern United States, particularly in the coastal areas of South Carolina, Georgia, and northern parts of Florida. I’ve always been proud of my heritage, and I recognize the tremendous contributions that Gullah Geechee people have made to broader society and the world.

mixed media artwork depicting a young black boy wearing a long cloak while sitting atop the earth with his eyes closed and hands in prayer
Natalie Daise, host of the celebrated children’s show “Gullah Gullah Island” created this and posted it on Christmas, 2019.

“This is my concept of the Christ child, the solution, the answer for the world. It includes my favorite prayer, one that can be prayed in all situation–for everyone — even those we do not understand. The painting is mixed media, and the symbol in the background is the Ghanain Adinkra symbol Gye Nyame, the supremacy and omnipotence of God.”

Signs and Numbers title
icon of a start flag
JOHN 10:16 says “And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear my voice, and there will be one flock and one shepherd.”
HEBREWS 1:1 says “God who at various times and in different ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets…”
LUKE 2:8-13 which tells of the wondrous sign of extra-terrestrial beings appearing to shepherds, telling them that the Christ child was born. “And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly hosts praising God and saying…”
MATTHEW 2:1-12 is the familiar story of the wise men from the East who followed a star to find the young child Jesus. After finding him, they were divinely warned in a dream to return to their home countries another way.
white arrow pointing down
In the flow of His time, God has regularly moved among people before the funnel of Christian perspectives was developed. Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob became the genetic stream through which the Redeemer would come, but none of them were Christian, Mosaic or even Judaic. Therefore, believing in the superiority of Christ, caution should be applied before harshly condemning faith streams that preceded our own or that we fear because we do not understand them.
Homegoing typography
two church fans, one with a funeral home's information and the other with a picture of Martin Luther King Junior

I needed more real-life experience, and what I learned that summer taught me to thrive in the midst of grief.

two church fans, one with a funeral home's information and the other with a picture of Martin Luther King Junior
Photos by Adobe Stock and Public Domain
By Omar Miranda

t was the summer of 1993 when my grandfather died. I had just finished my second year at a private (and very expensive) college and was transferring to a much less expensive public university. My brothers and I got the news that he was literally on his deathbed and had only days left to live. If we wanted to make our peace with him and say our goodbyes, we needed to come—and come quick! I was devastated—my grandfather was my world. He was my hero and the only grandfather I’d ever really known and loved. He lived his entire life in Puerto Rico and at the time, I lived near Chattanooga, Tennessee.

I remember being in my dorm room and getting the news, losing all feeling in my arms and legs, falling to the floor, and dropping the phone on the cement floor, hearing the hollow thud reverberate down the concrete block hallway. I felt nauseous and dizzy. My roommate came running down the hall and must have asked me several times what had happened, but I was too stunned and numbed for words. He just sat down next to me—silent. Both of us, helpless.

That Booger's Gonna Get Ya!
By Omar Miranda
ou better watch out! That booger’s gonna get ya!” I remember instinctively laughing out loud, following my late father-in-law’s exclamation. He whipped his head around, while at the same time he violently shouted, “Hey!” and slammed the power tool that he was holding, down on the table. I suddenly looked up from the wood that I was sanding, and I wasn’t laughing anymore.

We recently had a death of a close family friend—the woman who basically raised my mother-in-law. My father-in-law was a close family friend of hers as well, so feelings were raw and tensions were high. I live in Georgia. Georgia is an area of the United States that is smack-dab in the heart of what many call “The Bible Belt” of the United States. Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines the Bible Belt as: “an area chiefly in the southern U.S. whose inhabitants are believed to hold uncritical allegiance to the literal accuracy of the Bible.”* To be honest, Georgia is more like the actual belt buckle.

Seeking Comfort When Confronted With Evil

ote: This article may contain spoilers for those who have not watched “Bird Box”.

“Listen to me. You’re going on the trip now; it’s going to be rough. If you hear something in the woods, you tell me. If you hear something in the water, you tell me. But under no circumstances are you allowed to take off your blindfold.”

With these words, Malorie (Sandra Bullock) instructs her two children about embarking on a journey in Bird Box (2018). Bird Box is a horror film in which a deadly creature, also known as the Presence, takes on one’s worst fears and, if anyone sees the Presence, they end up dying. To avoid the creature, Malorie, her two children she named Boy and Girl for the majority of the film, and several others keep on a blindfold to survive and protect themselves from harm. In their journey to a safer place away from the Presence, Malorie’s two children are to report at any time whether they sense the Presence.

Church Hurt
By Debleaire Snell
ne of the phrases that has become common in church vernacular is “church hurt.” It is the unique bruising that we experience in our attempt to have fellowship with like-minded believers. The drifting away from church fellowship (in most instances) is not a result of doctrinal dispute but rather, it is a result of bruising, sharp conflict with someone within the church community.

Many have church hurts that are decades old. Some hurts have altered our perception of religion and blurred the image of God.

It’s possible that it was the one-sided church expulsion of the pregnant young lady, while omitting to acknowledge the flaws of the young man who impregnated her.

Perhaps it was a spiritual figure that took advantage of our youth in an obscene way.

Maybe it’s just the culture of pettiness that is pervasive in many of our fellowships.

You’re family here.
Message is the oldest, black, Christian magazine in North America whose longevity is owing to its critical function of sharing the message of redemption, relationship, and readiness.
Redemption in slab font
We believe that God, recognizing how irretrievably broken our lives and world would be following the influence of the enemy’s lies, sent His Son Jesus in whom we are created anew. He has promised the total righting of everything that is wrong in this world. Seek Him. Reach for Him, and He will in no way cast you aside. He wants you to know Him, and assures that He will be there when you look for Him. No matter who you are, this opportunity is for you.
Relationship in. slab font
We’re here to operate as a set of His hands and feet, to come alongside all who preach, teach, and work with this good news. We fight against the destructive effects sin has had on us, the personal, systemic and perpetual division that plagues this world. In particular, we target and counter the false narrative of who God is. Together we affirm His image found in the black mind and body that has so often borne the brunt of brutality and untruth. Together we seek to align with God’s Kingdom at work in the here and now.
Readiness in a slab font
Finally, we prepare for that day when all of God’s people reunite with Him in person. That preparation includes a complete opening of our minds and hearts to Him, allowing Him to do the work of getting us ready. We’re reading His Word with an open mind, seeking the special blessing of the Spirit especially on His Sabbath, and we eagerly watch for His return!
Let’s walk together, fam.
To receive personal Bible studies, pray with someone, talk with a chaplain or find a church, reach the Message Resource line: 1-855-God-Cares (1-855-463-2273).
"The Reign of Terror Will End"
Photo by Adobe Stock
By L. David Harris

reigned in a world unblemished by the stains of human suffering. Our most ancient ancestors, Adam and Eve, who knew not the perils of a merciless universe, dwelt in a garden, a lush paradise of harmony and light. Yet, as Genesis 3 attests, the shadows were cast. An unwelcome serpentine presence slithered into this haven, and the equilibrium was shattered.

From the moment the serpent, the devil himself, entered the scene, he attempted to usurp authority and become the prince of this world. The incandescent potential of God-breathed humanity, the dreams of a utopia unscathed, were shrouded in darkness, and ever since, our people have grappled with this new, disordered reality.

The African American experience—nay, the human experience—has been marked by an enduring struggle against the sinister tendrils that stretch out from the darkness. As we delve into this saga of resilience, we find hope amidst the despair, for it is written in the Holy Scriptures that the Almighty has not forsaken us.

Grace Unbounded
The Plan of Salvation and Our Journey to Freedom
In the tumult of existence, where the winds of despair buffet our weary souls, we are oftentimes compelled to seek refuge in the wisdom of the prophets. We turn to Acts 16:30, 31, a passage that has illuminated the path to salvation for generations:

“He then brought them out and asked, ‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’ They replied, ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household’” (NIV).

In these sacred words, we find the essence of the plan of salvation, distilled into a formula as simple as it is profound. For the African American experience, which has been marred by the stains of oppression and struggle, the assurance of salvation offered by the Holy Scripture is a beacon of hope, a lighthouse that guides us through the tempestuous seas of life.

Comfort in the presence of Evil title
When my grandfather died—on the same day, I had an interaction and conversation with a demon impersonating my recently deceased grandfather. Even as far as I was from a relationship with God, even in the midst of my clear rejection of Him at the time, He still protected me.

Even though I didn’t have a real relationship with God, or even seek to want one at the time, the moment that I began to truly understand what had transpired in my life, I immediately prayed to God. I remember feeling a sickening feeling in the pit of my stomach and a coldness in the room.

In the time that it took me to become aware that I wasn’t dreaming or hallucinating, and that what I experienced was really happening, my grandfather was gone. At that moment I closed my eyes and distinctly remembered praying what I have come to call the “3P” or Peter Popcorn Prayer. Let me explain.

Bless and Be Blessed
Map of all Churches in the U.S.
Find resources near you by going to this link
Atlanta, GA
Berean Outreach Ministry Center
291 Hamilton E. Holmes Drive
Atlanta, GA 30318
Uppercase letter Q in blue 404-799-7288
Lowercase letter w in red
Lowercase letter m in orange [email protected]
Ashton, MD
Emmanuel Brinklow Seventh-day Adventist Church
18800 New Hampshire Ave
P.O. Box 519
Ashton, MD 20861-0519
Uppercase letter Q in blue 301-774-0400
Lowercase letter w in red
Lowercase letter m in orange [email protected]
Baltimore, MD
Berea Temple SDA Church
1901 Madison Ave
Baltimore, MD 21217-3803
Uppercase letter Q in blue 410-669-6350
Lowercase letter w in red
Lowercase letter m in orange [email protected]
Message Magazine Logo
Thanks for reading our May/June 2023 issue!