dark side of tattoos

Your Body Is a Temple

During the last 11 years Janet and I have been heavily involved in the ministry of deliverance. We have ministered to multiplied thousands of people in individual and group settings. We have dealt with people from all walks of life, from many different nations and races. We have ministered to the depressed, the oppressed and even the possessed. We have seen countless people who have been negatively impacted by the spirit realm as a result of things they have done or things that have happened to them.

The goal of our deliverance teaching is always to impart a greater understanding of the spirit realm. Believers need to know how it affects them and to be aware that everything we do in the natural has a spiritual consequence, including the marking or piercing of our bodies.

It’s not surprising that Satan and his demon spirits are doing what they have always done, trying to gain man’s attention, affection and worship. In my research I found that in every culture tattoos were used as a means of invoking, appeasing or glorifying demon gods. Satan is still seeking to take man’s focus off God and direct it to himself.

Today in our culture and society we see an explosion of fads such as tattoos and piercings. Though I don’t fully understand it, Satan is attempting to mark as many people as he can through these means. Perhaps on the day of judgment the accuser of the brethren, the devil, will stand before God and try to claim those so marked as his own.

Or perhaps Satan is encouraging people of all cultures to mar their bodies through some form of mutilation because he knows we are made in God’s image, and he hates God and anything that resembles God.

When I minister, I often ask people if they have ever played "Monopoly." If they have, I ask whether they have ever gotten into a family feud while playing and have had to get out the rule book. People laugh as they recall digging out the rules.

God has given us a rule book, a set of rules to play by that enables us to win this game of life. We call it the Bible. The Bible was given to us to help us and to protect us from harm. It clearly teaches us the wiles and schemes of the devil.

Leviticus 19:28 gives us the “rule” for tattoos. It says, “‘“You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor tattoo any marks on you: I am the Lord”’” (NKJV).

When God first gave this command to the Israelites, He was drawing a line of demarcation between His chosen people and the Egyptians, whose land they had just left, and the Canaanites, whose land they were about to enter. Both of these cultures were steeped in witchcraft and the occult. Both openly worshiped and served demon gods, and both used tattoos as part of their idolatry and pagan worship. God was trying to protect the Israelites from opening themselves up to demonic influence.

We too are God’s people, and He wants us to “‘come out from among them’” (2 Cor. 6:17). He wants us to separate ourselves from the world and the world’s fads. When we do that, we will avoid doing things to our bodies that God never intended us to do—and that includes getting tattoos.

Let me make it clear that there is absolutely no such thing as a Christian tattoo. In fact, the mere term “Christian tattoo” is an oxymoron! A tattoo may be a religious symbol, but there is nothing Christian about it.

If we truly belong to Christ, we should know and understand that our bodies are not our own. Engaging in the practice of body modification indicates that we believe the opposite. Yet the Bible clearly tells us: “Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body” (1 Cor. 6:19-20).

Rolling Stone magazine quoted famous tattoo artist Paul Booth as saying that while he is tattooing people, “he allows his clients’ demons to help guide the needle.” I pray this article will prevent you or someone you know from further defiling these earthen temples we call our bodies. I pray it has given you a greater understanding of the unseen world, as well as insight into what’s behind the ink.

If you already have a tattoo or piercing and are wondering what to do now that you know the truth, here are some steps you can take. First, repent to God for violating Scripture and for bloodletting, which is witchcraft. Also, repent for defiling the temple of the Holy Spirit.

Then renounce the spirits behind the tattoo or piercing. Witchcraft and rebellion are a given, but many tattoos have images that need to be addressed. Sexual tattoos may invite a spirit of perversion, a skull and cross bones a spirit of death, a religious tattoo a spirit of religion and so on. If you have a piercing in other than an ear lobe, remove it and repent for defiling your temple. And whether it’s a tattoo or a piercing, anoint it with oil and break any assignment of the enemy that came in through the modification of your body.


William M. Sudduth Sr. is president of Righteous Acts Ministries (ramministry.org). He and his wife, Janet, host seminars on spiritual growth, deliverance training and restoring innocence as well as holding revival meetings. He is the author of What’s Behind the Ink?, a book about the spiritual aspects of tattooing, piercing and other fads.


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