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The Five Faces Of Paul In Acts

Posted by Job on August 6, 2007

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When They Pierced His Side: The Blood And Water Of Jesus Christ

Posted by Job on June 10, 2007

John 19:34 – But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water.

Now water (along with oil and fire) are often used in scripture to represent the Holy Spirit or the presence thereof. This was established immediately in Genesis 1:2b – “And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters“; this same Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus Christ like a dove during His baptism (Luke 3:22), was present in Jesus Christ without measure, and now indwells, comforts, and gives His gifts and fruits to each saint according to whatever measure pleases Him and glorifies the Father whose Will He does and to Whom He willingly subjects Himself. What does the Blood of Jesus Christ represent? Jesus Christ Himself. The life of any living thing is in its blood (Genesis 9:4, Leviticus 17:11, Leviticus 17:14,Deuteronomy 12:23,John 6:53) and what are we but our lives, our very existence and the sum total of our experiences? Recall: Jesus Christ was able to be fully God and fully man simultaneously because though He was born of a natural woman (humanity) and had flesh and bone, He was born of a spiritual man (Father God) and therefore had the Blood of the Godhead and not of Adam in Him.

Now, the fact that Blood and water poured out of Jesus Christ when His side was pierced when He was on the cross is very important in the natural sense. Why? Because of the empty tomb. People who acknowledge that there was a historical Jesus Christ but deny the resurrection and thereby His Deity and true Christianity with it and are confronted with the reality of the empty tomb have to try to somehow explain it. One explanation: that the body was stolen and hidden, is impossible because of the presence of the large stone and the Roman guards. Another explanation: that they went to the wrong tomb on the day that His resurrection was discovered, is impossible because such an error would have quickly been exposed by those who had a motive to do so (the Jewish religious leaders and the Romans) producing the actual tomb and body in short order. Some claim that Jesus Christ was never actually crucified but somehow escaped with someone else crucified in His place, and they actually use scriptures referring to His being unrecognizable on the cross (Isaiah 52:14) to “prove” it (see “The Gospel Of Barnabas.”) So then, what of the body that was laid in the tomb? What accounts for its disappearance? So, the final avenue: that Jesus Christ did not die on the cross, but merely only appeared to be dead, so He was later nursed back to health and hidden from the Jewish religious leaders and Roman authorities. But alas, medical doctors, forensic pathologists and such, have stated that such cannot be so, for in order for blood and water to come out of a person whose side was pierced by a spear, the person has to already be dead! Of course, this medical knowledge was unavailable at the time that the gospels were written, so the inclusion of what would appear to be merely expository descriptive material in the natural sense actually served nearly 2000 years later to prove that Jesus Christ died on the cross just as the gospels, epistles, and prophecies bear witness. Jesus Christ was not discovered alive in the grave and whisked away to live a natural life. Jesus Christ was not merely unconscious from His beating, crucifixion, and stabbing and died later in His tomb. No, He died on the cross when He said “It is finished” to His Father in Heaven and gave up the ghost. He was dead before He was pierced, and the Blood and water bore witness on earth of His fulfillment of the prophecies and payment for our sins (I John 5:6 – 8).

Yet, let us consider the spiritual element for a second. The natural body of Jesus Christ was lifeless on the cross, having completed its purpose on this earth (those who claim that Jesus Christ was resurrected in His natural earthly body rather than a glorified body as spoken of in I Corinthians 15:52 notwithstanding). And the Romans were gambling for His garments, the Jewish leaders leering, mocking, and celebrating. Oh, the bulls of Bashan (Psalm 22:12) were out in full force; every demon in the universe was having a party! It was the darkest hour in human history. So, then, where was God?

Well, I am here to tell you that even in the darkest hour in human history, when the Father in Heaven turned His Holy Righteous Face away from and forsook His Own Son, the Blood Sacrifice for our sins that made our salvation from them possible during the time that He bore our sins (1 Peter 2:24) because the Father is so Holy that He cannot so much as look upon unrighteousness, when the apostles and disciples scattered with Peter denying Him thrice, when it appeared that the conspiracy between Rome and Jerusalem to thwart the plan of God so that the anti – Christ system of the state and false religion would rule the earth, and when satan and all of his demons were in the throes of exhuberance, GOD WAS STILL THERE. Where was He? Where was God? He was there in the Blood of Jesus Christ which is the Word of God, and He was there in the water of Jesus Christ, which is the Ruach Hakadosh, the Holy Spirit. After His baptism, the Spirit of God descended upon Jesus Christ without measure, and they both occupied the same space at the same time, but upon His Death, when that side was pierced, they parted. 43 days later, Jesus Christ returned to the Right Hand of His Father, and 53 days later, the Holy Spirit returned to the earth at Pentecost which is the same as the last day of the Feast of Weeks, the Jewish celebration of the harvest, the reaping and gathering of the new life that follows the passing of the sting of the cold and death of winter. But before the glory of the resurrection, the glory of the ascension, and the glory of Pentecost was the darkness of the dead body, the hope of Israel and mankind, hanging on the cross. But during the great darkness, GOD WAS STILL THERE! The Blood of God was still there! The Spirit of God was still there!

So let me encourage you today. No matter what you are going through in your life, no matter what depths you have sunk to, no matter what evil you have committed or faced, God is still there. When you flunked out of school and lost your job, God was still there. When the divorce papers came, God was still there. When the paternity test said “This child is not yours but your best friend’s”, God was still there. When your creditors came and repossessed your car and turned you out of your house, God was still there. When you were diagnosed with AIDS, God was still there. When you were sent to prison, God was still there. When your child died in your arms, God was still there. While you were being raped or molested, God was still there. When you were lying in bed in the fetal position trying your best to resist your unnatural affection for drugs, food, pornography, or sex, God was still there! When you were following that church and pastor that was cheating you, lying to you, and having you follow false doctrine, God was still there. When the images in your mind and voices in your head were so strong that you lost the ability to discern fantasy from reality and you became a danger to yourself and those around you so they had to institutionalize you, God was still there! And during the Holocaust when the world stood by and watched professing Christians, people who claimed to love the Savior of the Jews, slaughter 6 million of God’s chosen people, God was still there!

And I come here not to tickle your ears. I come not to give you some religious drug that will temporarily take the pain away but will soon get you addicted so you will keep coming back for more, except that it will come at a price which will be nothing less than your eternal soul. Life is hard. It is filled with pain, loss, and sorrow. Read Job. Read the Psalms. Read Ecclesiastes. Read Lamentations. Jacob who became Israel said “few and evil have been the days of my life (Genesis 47:9).” And Paul was under such affliction while he was ill and in prison that he stated that it would be in his own best interests to die and leave the evil of this world behind, but he remained so that he could continue to write letters to the church. I know that joy cometh in the morning, but what is going to get you through the night? When you are scared? When your friends have left you? When your money’s gone? When the pain from the cancer that came into your body because of the AIDS viruses that are coursing through your flesh and bones is wracking you so hard that your insides shake? When all the injustices of the world such as crime, poverty, racism, wars, epidemics, famines, broken families, senseless tragedies, and oh so much death make you wonder not so much if there is any God at all, but how anyone could love or serve such a God who created this world and allows it to happen? Well, my brothers and sisters in the faith, let me give you the answer. If God was yet there while the lifeless body of Jesus Christ was hanging on the cross, He is still there right now for you. If you are born again of water and of Blood by believing upon the virgin birth, deity, death, resurrection and payment of your sins of Jesus Christ, then God is on your side, and your deliverance is nigh in this world and the next. If that is not the case, then let me tell you something: God is STILL there. Behold, He stands at the door of your heart knocking, and if you are willing to hear Him by faith, He will come in and have dinner with you. He will wash your sins away. He will change you. He will save you. He will be yours and you will be His forever, and on the day of the Great White Throne Judgment, He will present you spotless to His Father. I ask of you right now that you answer the call. Follow the information given in this link to be saved right now: The Three Step Salvation Plan.

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HOW TO FIGHT DEMONS WITH THE WORD OF GOD ACTS 16:16-18

Posted by Job on May 14, 2007

Luke 10:17-18   And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name. And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. 

What is the big trick; the big secret? It is that is that there is none. The whole process is contained in Acts 16:16-18. Paul A) recognized that there was a demon present and B) told the demon to leave in the Name of Jesus Christ. That really is all that he did! Paul did so regarding a demon dwelling in a human, but it can also be done with demons dwelling in places and afflicting situations, and there is nothing preventing you or any other born – again Christian from doing the same at any time and place: to spot or acknowledge the presence of an evil spirit, determine that the evil spirit’s presence is undesired (which will almost always be the case), and to tell the evil spirit to leave in the Name of Jesus Christ. Now there are particulars that must be done in certain situations, and those can be learned with experience. But the problem is not the learning curve required to master the experience, or even the failed attempts that one may encounter while gaining it. No, the problem is that Christians do not try to do so in the first place. The overwhelming majority of Christians have never even attempted to cast out or drive away a demon, and also the overwhelming majority that do fail to mount the same type of sincere effort that they would invest in learning how to operate a new DVD player or microwave oven (or for a more spiritual comparison try to figure out the meaning of a Bible verse). So, this is not intended so much to be a practical “how to” instruction sheet for casting out demons after the manner of “Pigs In The Parlor” by Frank and Ida Mae Hammond or “They Shall Expel Demons” and “Expelling Demons” by Derek Prince (“Expelling Demons costs only $2!) as it is a treatment of why Christians are so ineffective in this area.

Be not deceived, people: God is your only defense against Satan. You must first receive salvation through Jesus Christ, click here to complete that process if you have not. Do not delude yourself into thinking that you can take part in any victory that is given in Christ Jesus if you have not first repented of and rejected your sins, accepted Jesus Christ in your heart, and God’s Authority over your life. Once you are saved, you are then empowered to use principles and techniques given in the Word of God to resist the devil and overcome demons, because then you will have God on your side. God will go out before you in battle, and gain the victory for you with His Right Hand (Psalm 98:1). The Word of God is described as a rod, a two – edged sword, a hammer, and fire. So, when you battle demons in His Name, God is your battle – axe made of unquenchable fire. But if you contend against demons without God on your side through salvation, the consequences can be very severe (Acts 19:13-15).   But before you can fight your enemy Satan, you must believe that he exists. You must also believe that God exists. In other words, you must believe that the Bible is true, and its descriptions of the spirit realm: a righteous God and His angelic messengers warring against an evil fallen angel Satan and other angels who joined him in rebellion, are true. You cannot receive anything from God if you call Him a liar. But if you believe that God’s Word is true, then you will believe the promises in that Word; that it has power and gives life (John 6:63). The life that you get from God’s Word is your being a new creation (II Corinthians 5:17) that hates and desires to defeat sin and evil within and without you, and the power that you receive is in the Name and Blood of Jesus Christ that you use to call upon God, who then grants your desire by defeating the external and internal evil. Why? Because it is also God’s desire for that evil to be defeated. Thus, when you engage in spiritual warfare, God is using you to establish His Will on earth as it is in established in Heaven (Matthew 6:10). There is still one thing required of you, however. Before you can become an effective spiritual warrior for your God, you must make a conscious decision whom you will serve (Matthew 4:10), and know that once the decision is made, there is no turning back. Battling the enemy for God is not a game. It is not an “extra – credit assignment”, or something that can be done to impress yourself or others or even to validate your own faith. You must be willing to commit yourself to be totally used by God. You must also know the stakes: not only are people’s health, minds, families, churches, etc. at risk but even lives are on the line. The personal cost is also great. Be prepared to expend lots of time and energy, to be shocked and appalled by the true nature of what sin and depravity does to people, and to be rejected by friends, family, and church members. But know that if you are not willing to give up all those things and more for Him who gave up even more, you are not worthy of Him (Matthew 10:37). This is not taking on some self – persecution complex or exalting yourself as one who is so righteous and prideful, but rather a simple acknowledgement of explicit Biblical truth.  Know that spiritual warfare is made possible by the fact that Jesus Christ, God Himself, sacrificed Himself for our sinful nature so that we could be redeemed (which means bought from slavery and set free) from the enemy (Psalm 107:2, Isaiah 53:5). Though the power to defeat Satan in spiritual warfare is not in or of ourselves, we still have the power and authority to tread on scorpions and serpents – to defeat evil spirits – (Luke 10:19) because of what Christ did. See, the very reason why a lot of Christians deny the existence and influence of demons is that they lack faith that they can be defeated. Rather than acknowledging the existence of a foe that they do not believe can be defeated, they follow after naturalistic explanations that offer some hope of remedy to them. But those people are denying the full meaning of Christ’s sacrifice; how important Christ’s death and resurrection was and what it gave to them. In this respect, Christ’s death was in vain and wasted on these people. Yet, even those of us who do claim this victory should not be prideful. We should not take on the persona of some “demon hunter” character that we see as the “heroes” in fantasy movies and comic books. That is why the next verse, Luke 10:20, has Christ saying that we should not rejoice over our ability to cast out demons, but rather in our salvation.  A lot of people are fascinated by the ability of a Christian to work miracles by God’s supernatural spiritual power because they still struggle to believe that a spiritual realm exists. It is, quite simply, a faith issue. Such people are able to profess a faith in Jesus Christ and salvation, but they either do not completely mean it, or do not understand that it means. Well, Christians need to acquire the understanding that the same spirit realm dynamics that created their need for a Saviour and created a way for their salvation allows them to cast out demons and work miracles. So, instead of marveling in it because of their lack of faith, and allowing their faithlessness and the fascination that results in it turn into false practices (viewing it as some sort of a magic show) and false doctrines and movements, people need to realize that it is really something that comes as a part of their salvation, accept it through faith as they accepted their salvation, and move on. But the fascination and doubt in this area is no different from a person buying a car and being SHOCKED that a radio comes with it, and the focus of his attention shifts from the car to the radio, and his future car purchases are determined by the sort of radio that is in it. The problem is that most people see their salvation as something natural: the result of answering an altar call, saying a prayer, getting baptized, and joining a church. They do not realize that THEIR SALVATION DOES NOT EVEN TAKE PLACE IN THE NATURAL REALM! Instead, it is 100% spiritual. It is your spirit man that gets saved and spared a spiritual death in a spiritual lake of fire on judgment day, and this is done by the workings of the Holy Spirit. That is why it can only done by faith through hearing and believing the preaching of the gospel. And even the “hearing” does not refer to hearing of the ears, but hearing in the spirit what was taken in by the senses. (Otherwise, no deaf person could be saved.) So, your very act of getting saved was spiritual warfare, and your first successful spiritual battle; you literally had to overcome evil spirits doing all that they could to hinder your hearing the gospel and believing it. Sadly, because people fail to realize that fact, their first spiritual warfare victory is also their last. So, casting out demons (or speaking in tongues, healing, interpretation, prophecy, administration, helps, preaching, teaching, evangelism, comprehending the Bible) is not some new strange thing, but rather a continuation of what began with your accepting the gospel.   The reason why so many people fall into this is because they trust their feelings. The enemy is able to manipulate the soulish man (your will and emotions) with demonic lies and worldly circumstances to create doubt concerning the reality of spiritual warfare, the ability of any Christian to participate it, and the fact that your victory is already gotten through Christ. So reject your feelings, and reject the false teachings and doctrines that both claim that there are no miracles and the fake “faith – healers” and so forth that make a mockery of it. Realize that a fake faith healer is even worse than a doctrine that claims that there are no more miracles and that there REALLY aren’t any demons. Why? Because a fake faith healer admits the existence of the spirit realm, but then perverts it and makes it unattainable by causing you to think that only a “great man with great gifts and someone that God gave a mighty anointing” can do these things. You cannot do these things, because you have not spent all the years fasting, praying, preaching, tithing, and doing missionary work that they have: you have not earned it through works and you have not “developed your faith.” So, you need to send them your money and buy your miracle from God through them because you are not as good a Christian as they are and you never will be! Both are lies from hell, and are why you should trust the word of God. The Word of God said that we ALL have ALL POWER in the Name of Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:18). Now that does not mean that all of us have gifts of the spirit, but it does mean that we all have the power of the Name of Jesus Christ to cast out demons, just as we all have the ability to preach the gospel and win converts. Will some people be better at it than others? Yes, especially those who A) have the Holy Spirit gift of discernment, B) have studied the scriptures regarding spiritual warfare and regularly apply them, and C) have been placed by God in situations that lend themselves to frequent opportunities. But remember: it is not a race. You are not competing for a “#1 demon hunter” trophy. As a matter of fact, the most important part of being an effective spiritual warrior is knowing the battles that God has called you to fight, and fighting those and only those. Doing any less or any more is disobedience, the former the likely result of faithlessness or ignorance, and the second the likely result of restlessness or pride.   And that is the key: trusting God and His Plan. Yes, you need to trust that God is not going to allow some demon to overpower you. (A reason why people fear direct spiritual warfare is their fear that demons will enter into them, or harm them and their families; a fear derived from superstition and from the horror book/movie genre, but with no factual basis in reality for Christians given in scripture.) But even people who are not encumbered by a fear of demons need to trust God to guide and lead them with regards to which battles to fight, how to fight them, and the time and place of the battles. This is not so much out of a fear of Satan’s power and a need to maximize your advantage (for Satan is a defeated foe already) but rather doing so in a manner that keeps things orderly and in accordance to God’s Plan so that God can receive all the glory. “When God gets the glory, I win and all Christians win” should be the spiritual warrior’s motto (Romans 8:28). But that is only achieved through complete obedience to God and only God (Proverbs 3:6), and if we follow our own emotions we will be deceived (I Samuel 16:7) for despite our salvation only God is good (Luke 18:9), and we still need His guidance to discern good from evil. Further, we need God’s omniscience. Satan is no match for the power of God, but he does have advantages at his disposal that he knows how to use. But with God as our Master Battle Planner, Satan has no chance. Satan has no problem tiring you out and distracting you with ultimately meaningless confrontations in order to hinder you from fighting God’s Battles and winning real victories. That is the main trap that people who become prideful (#1 demon hunters) and people who are fascinated because of their faithlessness (“Gee, I can’t believe this is really happening, this is SO COOL!”) fall into. Trusting in the Lord completely ensures not only that you will always win (Psalm 28:7), but more importantly that your victories will always be meaningful in the larger spiritual context of the war between good and evil. The effective spiritual warrior actually speeds the return of Jesus Christ!  See, you have to realize that YOU are not REALLY the one doing the fighting. God has already overcome the world through Jesus Christ’s Blood on the cross (John 16:33). Know that this victory is already yours through nothing that you have done (I Corinthians 15:57). That realization should give you both the faith to take on any battle that God sends your way, but it should also ground you; to keep you thinking that what you are doing is the result of some great spiritual power earned by you through works or legalism. It is true that Jesus Christ said in casting out a demon “this kind comes out only by fasting and prayer” (Matthew 17:21) but the reason for doing that is so that you can overcome your own flesh and get it out of the way of serving God in spirit and in truth. It doesn’t give you your victory or add to your victory, but rather it removes that which is hindering your victory. Realize the context of Matthew 17:21: the disciples had been distracted from spiritual things by arguing amongst themselves which one was greatest. Fasting and prayer would have gotten their minds back on serving God … that is unless their purpose for fasting and prayer was to become greater, which a lot of people in fact do. But recall what Jesus Christ said about John the Baptist: the greatest prophet who ever was, yet he that is LEAST in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater (Matthew 11:11)! So you cast out demons because of Christ’s victory and not your works, and the only role that works could possibly play would be to humble yourself so that you will be reminded of it.  That is why our most powerful weapon is praise (Joel 2:26). Yes, demons hate praise, and it weakens their evil spiritual power, and causes them to flee, and it strengthens the angels that fight on our behalf (although please keep in mind that we are not to be trying to contact or petition angels during spiritual warfare; we really do not even have to be mindful of their presence … we should be concentrating on the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit and let God dispatch the angels as He sees fit; again people who are overly fascinated with angels are faithless and do not truly understand what their own salvation means), but the real power comes from giving utterance to the fact that it is God who is doing these things and not us. Such a thing pleases God, and it helps remind us that we are not doing these things: that we do not have to rely on our intelligence or physical strength. Demons LOVE to get into battles of endurance, strength, and wits with Christians. A demon will argue back and forth all night long with you, even quoting scripture. What demons hate, however, is being told “You are already defeated through the Blood of Jesus Christ so be quiet, get behind me, and get moving.” So, we must praise to remind ourselves of and give glory to the Name, the God that has given us the victory. It fills us with confidence and joy that breaks down what is hindering our faith. The Holy Spirit uses it to bring to our remembrance scriptures, teachings, and doctrines that can be used to discern and cast the devils out. See, when a demon sees someone all somber or heartbroken because he is tormented by the evil that the demon has done, or fearful because he is scared of the demon and of the spirit realm and what might happen, or doubtful because he lacks confidence in his ability to cast the demon out, he is happy, because he knows that there is a chance that he can remain. But when a demon sees someone filled with sincere praise so that the joy of the Lord becomes their strength (Nehemiah 8:10) then he knows that it is time to go. Songs and hymns that remind you of the resurrection, return, Lordship, and victory of Jesus Christ are the best ones to play during deliverance services, and when you are preparing yourself for deliverance. Demons hate it, angels love it, but most importantly they remind you of where your victory has already come from and what this is all about, which is serving God for HIS glory and not your own.  And remember, do not fall for their tricks. Remember, demons are LIARS. Their only weapon against you is their ability to deceive people that are either too prideful or faithless, or are not grounded in the Bible. Demons will always try to convince you that you are unworthy to cast them out. They will convince try to convince you that you are not really saved, so rely on Romans 4:7 for your assurance. Then they will try to convince you that you have not been faithful enough or are too flawed in your Christian walk to cast them out; that it is a job for someone better than you. But realize that the Name of Jesus Christ is all that you need to cast them out (James 5:15), because as soon as you are saved that Name becomes yours to do with as God pleases; to do greater things using that Name than the bearer of it Himself did while He was on earth (John 14:12). And demons will threaten you. As a matter of fact, one of the worst things about false charismatic preachers is that they actually teach their congregation to be deathly afraid of demons, and of course tell their church that THEY are the church’s only line of defense against certain destruction. And of course witches and people who deal in occult will claim the ability to harm and kill you and your loved ones. But it is all a lie. If you are covered in the Blood of Jesus Christ, God will not allow demons to harm you (Proverbs 30:5). Therefore, there is no reason to fear demons or their wickedness (Exodus 14:14).  Make no mistake: no matter what some lying demon says, you have the ability to cast out demons, and it is an ability that God desires ALL CHRISTIANS to use (Matthew 19:26). Not only are we to do it, but we are to do it fairly commonly; even to rebuke things such as sicknesses (Luke 4:39). Again, thinking that spiritual warfare is some amazing thing that is only done by special people in extraordinary circumstances is a person who does not understand the nature of his own salvation.  Can you do these things and become a spiritual warrior without God? No (John 15:4)! But that is only a problem of those who are not saved. But you know what? If you believe this document, which explains the gospel (the death of Jesus Christ to pay for your sin and His overcoming death by resurrecting so that by believing you also overcome death and sin, and your need to acknowledge that you are a sinner and to reject and turn away from it to follow God), then you are saved already and can do what people who have been saved all their lives have never done and start casting out demons right now! Sound to good to be true? Well remember: for you it is impossible, but with God all things are possible (Matthew 19:26)! What is amazing is the context of Matthew 19:26: it is Jesus Christ speaking to Nicodemus about salvation, being born again. This proves my entire point in this essay: casting out demons is no more remarkable than your own salvation, and in truth it is actually less so. Therefore, people who insist that it is impossible for “regular” Christians to cast out demons, or that casting out demons is rarely done and rarely needs doing, or that they really do not need to get involved because they can serve God and give and receive the same benefit in other ways truly do not understand what their own salvation means. But by believing this document, you know what it means, and there is nothing hindering you from going out and doing it! 

Prayer:

Father YHVH in the Name of Yeshua HaMashiach, we ask you that more Christians would understand that spiritual warfare is attainable for them, and that it is Your desire that they engage in it. May they further, Lord, restrain themselves to the time, place, and nature of spiritual warfare engagements that You choose for them, so that You will get the glory and their warfare will be expedient and effectual for all who are called by Thy Name. Amen. Deliverance:

The demons that work in this area are false doctrine, false teaching, and faithlessness. Please read the Basic Spiritual Warfare guide to learn more about how to go against these demons to help set captives free and win battles in the name of your God through the power, authority, and victory given to you by his Son Jesus Christ and by his blood shed for you!

Posted in HOW TO FIGHT DEMONS WITH THE WORD OF GOD, HOW TO FIGHT DEMONS WITH THE WORD OF GOD ACTS 16:16-18 | 29 Comments »

As Touching The Spiritual Development Of Children

Posted by Job on April 15, 2007

 Not only does a person’s body, mind, and emotions begin to develop immediately at birth (and indeed before then) but so does their spirit. Therefore, when a person’s childhood is undesirable, so is their spiritual development. A bad childhood will disrupt a child’s spiritual foundation. Baseline information: God represents everything. A father represents security. A mother represents love. A child needs protection, direction, correction, and encouragement from his parents. Remove any of those elements, and it causes significant harm to the spiritual development of a child. As such, it constitutes child abuse.  

Child abuse can take on many different forms. The first is spiritual abuse, which is not telling a child the truth about the Lord, and not raising the child up in the Lord in a manner where the child will have a personal relationship in the Lord and a solid grasp on the content and meaning of the Bible. The other forms are more commonly known: mental abuse, psychological abuse, and physical abuse. The child that receives abuse in any of those areas is destined for a tumultuous adulthood save they find salvation through Jesus Christ. Further, this only constitutes the beginning or continuation of a cycle; a pattern of generational abuse. If the cycle is not stopped through spiritual deliverance or by a revelation of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior the person will go on to abuse his own children, and his children their children. The result is the creation and propagation of unstable adults throughout generations. 

To break the cycle, a person must start with his child immediately after the birth of the child. The person must teach the child about Jesus Christ. He must impart to the child the importance of being guided by the Holy Spirit. The child must be taught the spiritual concept of “seek and ye shall find”, especially regarding answers to all questions, spiritual and otherwise, in the Bible, which the child must be taught to be literally true (and also true in other senses), inerrant, God inspired, and the final authority in all matters. Simply put, a person must “train up a child in the way he should go.” Even if the child is brought up in a less than ideal spiritual training environment such as a somewhat legalist fundamentalist or methodical religious church, that environment is still enough to give the child enough of a background in God and the Bible if his parents work with, and the Spirit of Truth, the Holy Spirit, will correct the child concerning any deficiencies and errors that he might have. Fundamentally, the child needs a personal relationship with Jesus Christ as his Lord and Saviour.  

Please hold fast to II Timothy 3:15 – 17. Teach your children the truth about God. How do you find the truth? Seek God for yourself through prayer and His spoken and written Word in the Bible. What is this truth?
1. God came to this world in the flesh as Jesus Christ, Yeshua HaMashiach.
2. Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins. 3. Jesus Christ rose from the grave.4. Jesus Christ will never leave us.Teach your child these things from a newborn babe, and your child will never deny Jesus Christ. Teach your child the truth. Do not be deceived by false prophets and doctrines. Pray and search the scriptures for answers so that you can bring your child up in them. The Word is Truth and Life. Know that it alone will protect and keep your children.  

Every child born belongs to God, even the children of the wicked. If the child turns to sin, then sin owns them. To be redeemed from sin, a price must be paid. Someone has to die. If the child dies then he just dies in his sins and is doomed for eternity. The only acceptable death for redemption of sin is the death of Jesus Christ. If they accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior the price is paid and they are no longer a slave to sin. This should be done as soon as the child is capable of making even rudimentary decisions for himself.  

The only way that children who are not brought up in the Lord by their parents can be saved is if the Holy Spirit itself intervenes to reveal to the child the true nature of God. Everyone will have a choice. Everyone will be revealed the true nature of God, and will have to choose God or Satan, life or death. The capacity to make this choice cannot happen unless and until the Holy Spirit presents the opportunity for choice to the person, and that opportunity will be presented to the person at the time and place of God the Father’s choosing. Concerning the salvation of those other than his own children, man can do nothing and should try to do nothing other than to preach the gospel to any and all according to God’s commandments and guidance. The efforts of man are actually inconsequential save being an instrument or vessel that God will use to reveal His True Nature to a particular person at the place and time of God’s choosing. The preacher’s talents, gifts, persistence, or worldly efforts and abilities will not cause the Holy Spirit revelation (or conviction), and it will not cause a person in whose heart there is no true desire to choose God to become truly saved. God chooses when salvation will be offered and whom it will be offered to, and the person will accept based on the contents of his own heart.  

That is why though we are all members of the Body of Christ each with our diverse gifts, and though God will raise up mighty preachers, exhorters, and evangelists and place them in those offices, it is the duty of every single Christian to preach the gospel to any and all. It can in fact be said that the true role of the preachers, exhorters, pastors, and evangelists is to encourage and motivate the people that God places under their authority to go about preaching the gospel. This is hindered by the religious system causing people to believe that it is by their own efforts that men are saved, and by the people in positions of spiritual authority using it to cause people to labor to support religious structures and institutions rather than to preach the gospel.

Posted in As Touching The Spiritual Development Of Children | 1 Comment »

When Christians Sin

Posted by Job on April 3, 2007

 Exodus 34:9And he said, If now I have found grace in thy sight, O LORD, let my LORD, I pray thee, go among us; for it is a stiffnecked people; and pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us for thine inheritance.

It may seem odd that I am using an Old Testament verse to describe how God deals with the sin of Christians.  But we must remember: the New Covenant is the fulfillment of the Old Covenant. Therefore, we can look at how God treated the sins of His people in the Old Testament to get a better understanding of what sins mean for God’s people under the new. Now I am not going to dedicate any time to addressing the modern revisionist notions of sin and the Christian, because quite truthfully they have decided that the Bible is neither true or authoritative, which means there is neither sin nor a God to judge it. Instead, let us consider the debate between the two main camps of Bible literalists: those who believe that you can lose your salvation versus those who believe that you cannot. It is ultimately a debate between , or predestination, Christians and , or free will Christians (see an excellent debate board on this topic here). Though I see plenty of evidence for predestination in the Bible, I nonetheless fall in the free will camp, and this treatment will be from that perspective.

Two things are obvious to anyone who reads the Bible with any sort of honesty: God hates sin, and God loves sinners. God loves sinners so much that He is willing to save us despite ourselves. But God must be righteous, thus He will not save anyone who loves sin. Does God’s grace have its limits? No. But man can reject God’s grace. God will suffer the sin of the Christian for a time and to a point, but there is a line that the sinner can cross. It is interesting that Paul made the fascinating statement in I Corinthians 5:5. I interpret that scripture as Paul being willing to take extreme measures to prevent a Christian who had determined to live in sin before such a person would reject the authority of God over his life, and thereby reject his salvation. Note that I did not say LOSE his salvation, or FORFEIT his salvation, but REJECT his salvation. The common doctrine of “losing your salvation” means that every time you sin, or every time you commit a “really bad sin”, or if you commit some number of sins in a short amount of time, or if you lapse into some pattern of sinful behavior, your salvation is gone. I am not merely talking about such a Christian’s having to confess and repent, or how a backslider who held some position or status in the church has to work his way back in return, but rather such a person literally having to say the sinner’s prayer again. To justify this position, such Christians turn to examples as David’s begging for God not to take His Holy Spirit from David after he took Uriah’s wife and murdered him. First, there was no evidence given in scripture that David’s eternal standing with God was ever threatened over this incident so long as David acknowledged his sin and repented, which he did immediately after the prophet Nathan informed him that his sin was not hidden from God. (If a Christian thinks that unrepentant sin under the new covenant is no issue, he will find out that he is very wrong.) David’s dark period of crying out to God was during his time of penance, when God removed Himself from David while his terminally ill newborn child was dying. Immediately after the child died, David’s penance was over, and he returned to normal. Note that there was no mention in II Samuel 13 of David making a sin offering. David had to repent and serve penance, but his salvation was not lost. The same was true of the prophet Jonah. He committed the greatest sin under the law according to Jewish tradition, the sin of the high hand, which was willful disobedience to a direct command given to an individual from God Himself by revelation. There was not even a sacrifice for such a sin. Yet Jonah’s standing with God was never threatened. As soon as Jonah repented, all was forgiven.

And keep in mind, this was under grace. How much more would this be so under the New Covenant? Now recall David’s begging God’s presence not to depart from him. Well, consider one of the Names of Yeshua HaMashiach or Jesus Christ, which is Emmanuel, God WITH Us. Realize that Jesus Christ lived and died under the Old Covenant law. Also, realize that even before He was on the earth as a man, He was still with the people of God at times such as being the Rock that was with Israel in the wilderness (I Corinthians 10:4). But Christ’s death allowed the Comforter, God’s Spirit, to indwell us! The physical death (no, Yeshua HaMashiach did not spiritually die, Word of Faith heretics, just as people who are saved will never spiritually die) of Jesus Christ and His resurrection carried us from God WITH Us to God IN Us, the indwelling Holy Spirit. And one of the better promises of the New Covenant is that though we might sin, God’s Presence will never depart from us because of that sin as it did David because it is sealed within us (Ephesians 4:30). Now, the “you cannot love your salvation” types use the references to “being sealed by the Holy Spirit” as evidence that salvation cannot be lost. But please note that in one of the very verses that mentions being sealed by the Holy Spirit, scripture warns us to GRIEVE NOT THE HOLY SPIRIT. What does that mean? Well let us go back to this fellow in I Corinthians 5:5. Now if “once saved always saved” were true, there would have been no reason to deliver him unto Satan, because there would have been no need to take action to save his spirit in the day of Christ Jesus. What is the day of Christ Jesus? Judgment day! So what was this fellow’s flesh destroyed in order to save his spirit from? THE SECOND DEATH! THE LAKE OF FIRE! Why? Because this man’s decision to live in incestual fornication with his mother because he so loved the worldly culture and traditions of the Greeks (and what worldly cultures and traditions are we MODERN Christians in love with? in what ways are MODERN Christians committing SPIRITUAL adultery and fornications with their devil’s doctrines, abiblical traditions, and seeking after the wants and cares of the world? No Calvinists, you Bible – believing Christians are not the ones I am talking about right now) he made the conscious decision to  do as he pleased and to reject the authority of God over his life. He was on the verge of crossing the line, and when one crosses that line, he does what no one else in, above, or under the earth can or will do, which is breaking the seal of the Holy Spirit. (Take it easy, people, I am not saying that man is sovereign over or can overpower God in this matter; of course God has the power and authority to break the seal or prevent it from being broken, but as with everything else God will not exercise that power because He keeps His Own Word, elevating Its Name above Every Name Philippians 2:9-11.)

When does one cross that line? When one who has knowledge of sin (and only the saved have true knowledge of sin for that knowledge comes through the conviction of the Holy Spirit) no longer regards his sin, and even begins to call his sin righteousness. That, dear “once saved always saved”, is the reprobate spoken of by Paul most prominently in Romans 1:20-29, but also mentioned in II Corinthians 13:4-7, II Timothy 3:8, and  Titus 1:16. Now note the context of all these, and you will see why a lot of people who have called on the Name of Christ and call themselves by the Name of Christ are in a lot of trouble. Romans 1:20-29 speaks of Christians who give themselves over to false doctrine, idolatry, and sexual sin. II Corinthians 13:4-7  (especially when you consider that the chapter opens with Paul stating “this is my third time coming to you and you all are still not acting right) warns that a person who continues in sin “become disqualified” (analyze the parallel translations of  II Corinthians 13). A similar analysis of II Timothy 3 clearly indicates that rejecting true doctrine in favor of false doctrines that claim that one can and should pursue worldly pleasures lead to reprobation. Titus I also shows how stubborn adherence to false doctrines and abiblical traditions (“Jewish fables and the commandments of men who reject truth”) will cause one, though he professes Christ, to be reprobate. 

What Biblical example shall we use to illustrate the person who sins unto death, who crosses the line? The case of Uzziah in II Samuel 6! Now recall, God gave Israel SPECIFIC INSTRUCTIONS for handling the ark. It was only to be transported by the Levites, who were to bear it upon staves (poles) that were inserted through the rings on the side, and this was something well known to Israel ever since the time of Moses. But David did not obey. He sent 30,000 “choice men” (which means 30,000 SOLDIERS, not Levite priests) to get the ark. And rather than have men put poles through the rings and hold the ark up and carry it upon the poles, they put it on a CART (or wagon). Ah, but it was a NEW CART, which was supposed to make it OK, right? The same type of excuses and justifications that we Christians make when we disobey God. Now righteous God COULD have slain the whole company of them, or even a percentage of them to make a point, but He did not. Why? Because even though it was under the Old Covenant and they were sinning, God still loved them, and was willing to endure their sin. That is, up to a point. There was a line that could not be crossed!

Now, a lot of people look at this and say that this is how God is mean, unfair, arbitrary, demanding, cruel, etc. Why would God make up all of these regulations to begin with? Well, God never does things just to be doing them. For every rule that God gave to man in the Bible, there was a reason. God didn’t give SPECIFIC INSTRUCTIONS FOR CARRYING THE ARK just to be a taskmaster, to get some sort of sick pleasure from making man inconvenience himself with unnecessary cumbersome tasks. No, God gave those instructions because NO ONE WAS TO TOUCH THE ARK! Why? Because of sin. The presence of God was with the ark. God is holy, and sin cannot touch Him without being destroyed. Now recall: this was the Old Covenant. Sin had not yet been defeated on the cross. Thus, a man touching the ark was SIN touching the ark, and the bearer of that sin had to die. The only exceptions were people whom God exempted by virtue of specific instructions, WHICH THEY HAD TO FOLLOW TO THE LETTER (i.e. the high priest alone could enter the Holy of Holies, and even then only when fully dressed, undefiled, carrying the blood of a sacrificial animal, and after ringing a bell). So, God commanded that the ark be carried in that manner because with men trained specifically for that purpose carrying it on poles, they were FAR LESS LIKELY TO DROP IT. Why? BECAUSE IF YOU DROP IT, THERE IS GOING TO BE A GREAT TEMPTATION, A REFLEX OR ABSENT – MINDED ACTION, TO USE YOUR HANDS TRY TO CATCH IT ON THE WAY DOWN, OR TO PICK IT UP! And even if by some rare occurrence all these men were to fall at the same time and the ark were to spill to the ground, they would still have the poles to re – insert through the rings (if necessary) and pick it back up again without anyone having to touch it. SO GOD GAVE THOSE SPECIFIC INSTRUCTIONS BECAUSE HE DID NOT WANT PEOPLE TO DIE! 

But David, despite knowing this, did not obey God. He followed his own will. The soldiers, despite knowing this, did not obey God. They followed David’s will. And they knew that it would have been better for them on judgment day to be slain at the order of the king for choosing God’s Will over David’s, but they disobeyed anyway. And as usual, the Wisdom of God is proven, the price of sin is known, for just as the Loving God knew would happen, the ride in the “new cart” was a bumpy one, and Uzzah grabbed it to spare it punishment. Result? The sin in the flesh of a person that KNEW BETTER contacted the righteousness of the ark, and the life in that flesh HAD TO BE DESTROYED; Uzzah died. Don’t blame God for killing Uzzah for trying to do a good thing by respecting the ark. Blame Uzzah for choosing to respect the ark in his own way over respecting it GOD’S WAY.

And that is precisely an explanation of how a person becomes reprobate. Uzzah’s first sin was to disobey God by choosing the will of man (David) or the commandments of God and participate in transporting the ark in a manner against God’s Will. After Uzzah did that, it was no small thing for Uzzah to create his own manner of righteousness and piety, to have a form of godliness without the power of God (which comes from loving God, and you love God by obeying His commandments) thereof, by respecting the ark by keeping it from shaking and falling over. In doing that, he placed his own notions of right and wrong ahead of God’s, which would have been respecting the ark by not touching it. Now realize: Uzzah was sinning all along. God could have destroyed Uzzah at any point. But God did not desire to destroy Uzzah. He loved Uzzah, and wanted Uzzah to be spared in spite of himself. But the result of Uzzah’s sin was that his heart was hardened. He began to call evil (touching the ark) good and good (not touching the ark) evil. So, it was not that God’s grace ran out. Uzzah could have carried the ark to the final destination without touching it and lived. It was that the consequence of Uzzah’s sin that put him in a position where he would reject grace by forgetting God or by denying His Authority, and in either case act without conscience. The incestuous adulterer still had a guilty conscience about what he was doing, and Paul sought to deliver him to Satan before he became fully justified in his own mind of the righteousness of his actions and no longer felt such guilt, at which time he would have been irredeemable.  

Now realize how this ties into modern Christianity and false doctrine. You have people who, as Christians, read and know the Bible, but they reject parts of it that they do not like or do not believe. So they come up with their own doctrines to justify breaking the portions that they do not desire to keep. Or you have people who out of their arrogance, lust for control and power, want to receive the praise of men, and desire to persecute people add to the Bible. There are so many ways that people do it because they delude themselves away from the reality of the fact that people IN the church are more in danger of judgment than people OUT of it. That was a clear principle given throughout the Bible: how God held Israel to a much higher standard than all the other nations (see God’s sparing Ninevah in the time of Noah for example), Jesus Christ’s preaching against the evil of the Jewish religious leaders and other Jews who rejected him, Paul’s stinging letters to the churches, and ending with Revelation where the church is judged in chapters 2 and 3 before any mention of the world being judged by the great tribulation in the following chapters. This comes to be because quite simply there is a difference between knowing God’s Word and keeping it; between knowing God through His Word and loving Him through it. The people most in danger of falling into reprobation are those who try to love God apart from or outside of His Word. It is very seductive because you are doing what you want instead of what God wants, but because you call yourself a Christian you think that you are loving God, but what you are actually loving is an IDOL that is in the place of God. And the very reason why you love that idol is because the idol allows you to do whatever you want to do. Do not talk to me about how such Christians are so holy and pious because they don’t do this and don’t do that. Big deal, they aren’t giving anything up for the Lord, because the things which they “give up” weren’t important to them anyway. It wasn’t their heart’s desire anyway! So these “great Christians” who continually fast, maybe they aren’t into food. Who have never had sex with anyone but their spouses, maybe they have no desire to sexually experiment. They give great tithes and offerings, but maybe they know the vanity of money. They never go to movies or watch secular TV; as if they are missing anything anyway. But there is SOMETHING that these people love instead of God, even if it is only their own self – image of righteousness that they are getting through their false religion. Little do these reprobates know that it would be better to be someone WHO JUST CANNOT GET OUT OF THE HOMOSEXUAL LIFESTYLE OR CANNOT BREAK THAT DRUG HABIT AND IS CONSUMED WITH GUILT OVER IT than it is to be someone perfectly convinced that they will be saved by their false doctrines of works and piety. 

That is why I love the Realanswers.net ministry so. This person who had given his life to Christ but just could not stop indulging in homosexual sex because he had been into it for so long called into the show not to claim that the Bible was wrong to condemn his nature, or that the Bible had been mistranslated or misinterpreted, or that it no longer applied to this modern age because of the lack of human knowledge of biology or psychology back then, or that the REAL sinners were the Christians who were casting the first stone and judging him. No, he was a person driven to such grief and pain over his guilt that he called into a live national radio show begging to be told how to stop sinning! The radio host told him, in so many words, not to worry about it. He did not mean by that to say that God did not want this man to stop sinning, or that it was not in his best interests to stop sinning. Rather, this is a man who KNOWS the hold that demons and corrupted flesh can have on a man who has lived in such a manner for so long, and that it is going to be very hard to stop. So, as long as this person did not convince himself that his behavior was not sinful, or that God should accept his sin, then he was not reprobate. This is not “he cannot lose his salvation”, if this fellow EVER decides that his behavior is not sinful or that God should accept his sin, then he is reprobate. And no, this fellow does not have to run to the altar call, get saved all over again, get re – baptized, and all that. You know why? Because if he had to do that, it wouldn’t work! That’s right. There is not one single instance recorded in the Bible, Old or New Testament, of a person losing their salvation and regaining it. Why? Because blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is the sin unto death; the only sin that cannot be forgiven, and the Bible says that you should not even pray for such a person! Some Calvinists teach that a saved person cannot reach that point. Scripture says otherwise. Some free will believers teach that you get that way as a result of “big sin” or “persistent sin.” Scripture says otherwise. The truth is that you get that way by being a person who was once saved who not by deception but rather out of the hardness of his own heart began to call good evil and evil good. I say to you this day, if you have reached that point, then you are a dead man walking, and it would have been better had you never been born. And if you have not yet reached that point, then you had better stop calling unrighteousness virtue and false doctrine truth, or you will. Or at the very least, you had better hope that some Christian out there loves you enough to deliver you unto Satan before you become reprobate.

Prayer: Father YHVH in the Name of Yeshua HaMashiach, may it be preached throughout all the churches how people become reprobate so that the masses might be warned and turn aside from devil’s doctrines that call evil good and good evil. May the Ruach Hakadosh fill your preachers and teachers with boldness so that they will not withhold this hard truth from Your People. Father YHVH, may Your people not contribute to this by being accusers, backbiters, gossips, and mockers against Christians who are trapped in sin, but instead may they offer these people love, forgiveness, support, and true doctrine so that rather than hardening their hearts in their sins, their wounds may be treated, they will see the virtue in their pricked convicted consciences, and they will continue to press towards the mark of the prize of the high calling in Christ Jesus. Amen.

Deliverance: The demons that work in this area are disobedience, rebellion, idolatry, and false doctrine. Please read the Basic Spiritual Warfare guide to learn more about how to contend against these demons to help set captives free, to overcome in the Name of your God through the power, authority, and victory given to you by His Son Jesus Christ and by His Blood shed for you!

Posted in arminianism, arminism, calvinism, free will, predestination, When Christians Sin | 4 Comments »

Satan’s Temptation Of Yeshua HaMashiach

Posted by Job on March 19, 2007

 1 John 2:16 -For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

I mentioned in Fear Not Temptation that one does not have to fear temptation because Yeshua HaMashiach has experienced them for us already. Let me give you another example. Please remember that the temptation that Eve was tempted and deceived of in the Garden of Eden was the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. I will reveal that Yeshua HaMashiach experienced the same temptations as did Eve during His 40 day fast.

First, we shall deal with the lust of the flesh. Lust means to have a yearning or desire; have a strong or excessive craving; a passionate or overmastering desire or craving. I define it as having a desire for something in a larger proportion than its actual need, to want something that you should not have, or to want something more than you love or desire to please God. Lust is also a demon, which is discussed here. And we should also consider the meaning of “the flesh”, which could mean “the body”, “bodily need”, “appetite”, or simply one’s human nature. So, a lust of the flesh is wanting something that you should not have that you do not need. It is one thing to want something that you do not need that you can have. It is another to want something that you need – or think you need – that you cannot or should not have. But wanting something that you KNOW that you do not need and KNOW that you cannot have is inexcusable. Yet, our society glorifies the pursuit of the inexcusable routinely; as a matter of fact it demands it. From using advertisements to push overeating unhealthy food to music, TV shows, and movies glorifying illicit sexual activity to our worship of guns and violence, you are constantly bombarded with notions that you should want things that harm you, and that you should hate anything, including God, that will withhold it from you. And that is precisely what Satan did when he told Eve “you will not surely die, but God is withholding it from you because He knows that if you eat of it you will be as Him knowing good from evil.” Eve had no bodily need for the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, but she desired it anyway, and her desire was stronger than the desire to please or obey God, especially after Satan was able to get her to resent God for keeping her from filling her desires. And which desire was it? Well, why was “being as God” such a powerful temptation to Eve? Because what does God do? Receive worship. Eve wanted to be the center of attention, the object of affection, just as did Satan. When God saw that in her, He cursed her regarding it, saying that she would desire to be loved and adored by her husband, but rather than worship woman, man would rule over woman. 

Satan tried the same thing with Yeshua HaMashiach. How? He told Yeshua HaMashiach that if He were the Son of God, that He should command that the stones be made bread. Now of course, during fasting, Yeshua HaMashiach’s body desired food, to satiate His flesh. But in truth, He had no need for the food, because God the Father, YHVH, was supplying all His Needs. And He also know that it was God’s Will that He finish the fast. So, Satan was trying to get Yeshua HaMashiach to take something that He WANTED for His Flesh rather than NEEDING for it, and to desire it more than He wanted to obey Father YHVH. But there was an added dimension: to receive worship in the place of God. Satan told Him that IF YOU ARE THE SON OF GOD, DO THIS. This is not so much Satan’s tempting Yeshua HaMashiach with the notion that as the Son of God He ought to be able to do and have as He pleased, although that was certainly part of it. Rather, it was trying to get Yeshua HaMashiach to PROVE BEFORE SATAN that He was the Son of God, to GET SATAN TO ACKNOWLEDGE IT. Getting Satan to acknowledge that He was the Son of God WAS AN ACT OF WORSHIP! Satan was saying “OK, if you are the Son of God, that means that You are equal to God and are God, so if you do this I will acknowledge You and worship You.” But when Yeshua HaMashiach said “Man does not live by bread alone, but by every mouth that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Father”, though that is one of the best known and most quoted verses of the Bible, it seems rather odd and cryptic as to its meaning. But Yeshua HaMashiach was telling Satan that obeying the Will of God was more important than receiving praise. And this is very strange. Why? Because Yeshua HaMashiach was God! It was appropriate for Yeshua HaMashiach to want praise and to receive praise. All of creation is supposed to bow to Him and worship Him. But this shows the extent to which Yeshua HaMashiach humbled Himself and submitted Himself to the Will of the Father: He turned down praise that was appropriate and due to Him in order to do the Father’s Will.  

Next, Satan tempted Yeshua HaMashiach was with the lust of the eyes. Now “the eyes” had a somewhat different meaning in that time and culture than merely being the sensory organs. The eyes were considered to be “the window to the soul.” What a person looks at and wants is supposed to be a revelation of the contents of that person’s soul. If a person desires good, then the person is good. If the person desires evil, then the person is evil. So, when Eve saw the fruit of the tree of good and evil, it was not a matter of merely thinking “wow, that is so beautiful, I bet it will taste good.  That is so beautiful that I would be great just for eating something that looks so fine.” No, when she saw the fruit’s brilliance, she worshipped its beauty. And she believed that by eating it, consuming its beauty, it would make HER beautiful and terrible, and also wise, and for that reason Adam, all creation, and GOD HIMSELF would HAVE to worship her! You are familiar with the saying “You see what you want to see”? Well, that is because of the power of the mind to bend its perception of reality to conform to the lusts of the heart. When Eve looked at the apple, she saw “just as you worship my beauty, if you eat me, all creation and God Himself will worship you.” And that is what Satan did when He took Yeshua HaMashiach high up on the mountaintop to show Him the kingdoms of the world and all their glory, and told Him that “all this will be yours if you will fall down and worship me.” It has been alleged that Satan was not merely referring to the EARTHLY PHYSICAL kingdoms, but rather the DEMONIC ONES; the exceedingly strong powers, principalities, and princes that carry out Satan’s instructions in ruling the earth. Perhaps Yeshua HaMashiach saw how all of these evil beings were destroying the earth and oppressing its people with death, poverty, disease, sickness, and perversion. Doubtless Satan was believing that if he showed the Son of God this, that the Son of God would decide that He did not have to follow God’s plan to save mankind. No, Yeshua HaMashiach could change things right now! He could take control of all of Satan’s demons, and use them to do HIS WILL rather than Satan’s. He could stop the suffering of the world and the persecution of Israel right now! He could remove the demonic rulers empowering Rome, and have ISRAEL rule the Romans! Surely that would be God’s Will, right? After all, the Romans were pagans and Israel was God’s chosen people! Why perform miracles to convince people that He was God and to follow Him, only to have most of them defy and reject Him? Why go to the cross? Why defile Himself with sin? Why go to hell and the grave and contend with death, and demean Himself in such a fashion? He was GOD, earth was HIS, and HE could take it over and set things right this very instant! 

Or at least that is what Satan was HOPING that Yeshua HaMashiach would see. He was HOPING that the desire for power, for glory, to avoid the suffering of sin and death and the humiliation of the cross, and impatience in taking back what was His was in the heart of Yeshua HaMashiach. But it was not. So, when Yeshua HaMashiach looked at all of the kingdoms of the world, He did not see how things would be better if He did things HIS WAY. No, all He saw was a bunch of people dying in their sins and needed a Saviour. And as for Satan’s princes, powers, and principalities, all He saw was a bunch of evil corrupted spirits who hated Him, His Father, and His Spirit and were only fit for one thing: to be defeated and destroyed. There was no desire in Yeshua HaMashiach’s heart to make Him think that He could redeem what was already gone, and those demons and the sinful earth and the bodies of man are unredeemable. The demons are destined for the lake of fire, the bodies of man are destined to return to dust, and the earth is destined for the lake of fire. Men made righteous by grace through Christ will get new bodies, there will be a new Heaven and a new earth, and Satan and his demons are going to the lake of fire. So, Yeshua HaMashiach replied “Get thee behind me, Satan, for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve.” Why? Because there was no lust in Yeshua HaMashiach’s eyes, because there were no desires to disobey God and do things HIS WAY in His Heart. The only thing that was in the Heart of Yeshua HaMashiach was God’s Way, and that was because Yeshua HaMashiach did not have the blood of Adam in Him, but rather the Blood of Father YHVH! Yeshua HaMashiach knew that HE was to serve and worship YHVH, NOT YHVH serve and worship HIM!

And last we have the pride of life. Eve manifested this when she desired the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil to make her wise. Now it is curious that one of the definitions of “pride” is the sexual desire of a female, for some Christian ministries allege that Satan was the tree of knowledge of good evil, and that Eve and Satan had intercourse, and Cain was the result. This is also because the Hebrew word used when it described Eve taking of the fruit of the tree is “naga”, which means to touch in a sexual manner. I do not accept that interpretation, and am thinking that sexual language was used to describe the depravity of Eve’s lust in vivid language, just as the term “harlot” and is used to describe idolatry and false religions, as are references to adulterous women. But the most common term of “pride” is an elevated opinion of oneself. Now having an elevated opinion of oneself while lacking a basis is “delusion.” The spirit of strong delusion mentioned by Paul in II Thessalonians 2:11 that will come in the latter days is that man is as God and should be worshipped in the place of God by using false religions such as New Age and humanistic forms of false Christianity, and also with the lie that man can make himself holy through legalistic works and vain sacrifices, and that God will be forced to acknowledge man’s works and account it to him for righteousness, thereby worshipping man. 

And to further buttress the argument of the “Eve had sex with the tree of knowledge which was Satan” crowd, the first manifestation of this anti – Christ “have God worship me rather than me worship God” was none other than Cain himself. When it was time to present sacrifices of the Lord, Cain presented an offering of WORKS, that which he himself had toiled for in the fields. Notice that pagans ever since have offered such things to their false gods; all false religions are works religions. But Abel’s offering was OF FAITH (Hebrews 11:4). Abel gave God lambs. See, you do not work to create a lamb. The mother sheep has the lamb and it is there. You have nothing to do with it. The lamb’s existence is GOD’S DOING, not yours. Abel offered God that which was God’s doing and not his own out of faith that giving God something that God had produced would please Him. Cain offered God the sweat of his brow, thinking that God would HAVE to honor that which he had worked so hard for. So, Abel was worshipping God by giving God the excellence of His Own Work and thereby admitting to God that nothing that he would do could compare to the wonders and power of God; Cain was trying to get God to worship HIM by paying respect to His his efforts. So, we see that the desire to be worshipped was present in Cain but not in Abel, giving further burnishment to the “Cain was Satan’s child” theory. It is curious to note, and is noted here in detail, that Seth was called “in the image of Adam” but Cain was not! 

But enough with digressions, as Eve was not deluded, but merely prideful, thinking herself to be greater than she was. How does thinking oneself to be greater than one is relate to “life”? Well, a definition of “life” is the aspect, meaning, or purpose of existence. So, “pride of life” means that Eve felt that her existence was more valuable than it actually was. Why? Again, because she wanted to be worshipped! She felt that if she ate of the tree of knowledge and of good and evil became as wise, God would have to acknowledge her wisdom AND acknowledge that her wisdom was in an acceptable proportion to His (not equal to His, but enough for Him to take notice of it), which would be an act of worship. Can one actually worship something that is lesser than you? Of course. Humans worship material things as well as political and philosophical ideas all the time. The concept of “capitalism” or “patriotism”, for instance, is not worth a single human life. Yet how many men have died because of or in defense of them? Or, quite simply, you have inner city youths killing each other because one of them stepped on the other’s brand new tennis shoes. 

And that is what Satan attempted to deceive Yeshua HaMashiach with when He tempted Him when He put Yeshua HaMashiach on the pinnacle of the temple, and told Him to cast Himself down, saying that the scriptures prophesied that His angels would bear Him up lest He dash His feet against a stone. Now it is good to note here that of course Yeshua HaMashiach was not going to have such a high opinion of Himself that He would demonstrate His power in an exercise of prideful vanity; to “show off.” Of course had He jumped off, A) angels would have rescued Him or B) nothing would have happened, for He could not have died since the cause of death is sin and being born of God and not of Adam, there was no sin in Him. No man could take His life; He gave it! And this is a clear refutation of the nonsense in the “gospels”, which falsely claimed that before Yeshua HaMashiach’s ministry started, He performed miracles simply for His own amusement and to make mischief. Now of course, that is easy to believe because we can relate that to our own experiences and desires; for if WE had the power of Yeshua HaMashiach, OF COURSE we would do things like that. But that is because we, born of Adam as sinners, have PRIDE in us. But Yeshua HaMashiach had no pride in Him, no need for validation, so as such He had NO NEED to use His power until His ministry began, because it was only in His ministry when His power was needed, for the only reason for His power was to convince people that He was the Saviour. That was why when He was at the wedding and turned water into wine, when Miriam (Mary) asked Yeshua HaMashiach to do something about the wine running out, He objected, saying that His Ministry had not started yet! Now the gnostic interpretation would have made it more sensible to human understanding, as how else would Miriam have KNOWN that her Son was capable of performing miracles save He had done them prior? That is why we are told not to rely on our own human understanding (Proverbs 3:5), and that our hearts are desperately wicked and deceitful above all things(Jeremiah 17:9). No, Miriam knew that Yeshua HaMashiach was capable of miracles because she had faith in something that she had never seen before; faith that her Son was her Saviour and God in the flesh. 

So, Satan failed in convincing Yeshua HaMashiach that it was appropriate for Him to use God’s power to please Himself, because Yeshua HaMashiach had within Him no delusions of His Mission on earth. What was that mission? TO DIE. Yeshua HaMashiach came to earth for one reason alone: to die for the sins of man. That is why the other gnostic nonsense that Yeshua HaMashiach was married is ridiculous, not because there is anything wrong with marriage, but rather that it had nothing to do with His earthly mission. And that is why  so err when they claim that their priests are to be chaste in order to emulate Yeshua HaMashiach. That, my friends, is the anti – Christ sin of Cain again, trying to imitate Christ and get man and God to acknowledge the works of your flesh. Simply put, there is no reason for any man to withhold himself from women as Christ did, for no man is going to die for our sins as Christ did! (Of course, nuns are to be celibate because of “Virgin” Mary when Matthew 1:25 clearly indicates that Joseph and Miriam consummated their marriage shortly after Yeshua HaMashiach was born.) The bigger issue, actually, is that even had Miriam been celibate, there would have been no reason to emulate her celibacy, as not being God there is no reason to walk in her footsteps. We are only to walk in the footsteps of CHRIST because He is GOD, and we are supposed to do so IN SPIRIT AND IN TRUTH (John 4:24), not after the flesh! That is what Paul labored so hard to convey to the churches in his letters. So Yeshua HaMashiach did not come into the world to use His power to amuse Himself, to get pretty girls (or even one pretty girl like Mary Madgalene, you gnostic fools), or to prove Himself in front of Satan or anyone else. He did not come to lead a revolt against Rome, to do good works, or to teach good values and political philosophy. He came to convince all who would believe that He was sent to die for their sins, and to then die for their sins. Period. 

And yet, there was also another dimension: Satan was trying to get Yeshua HaMashiach to admit an aversion to death. Not that Yeshua HaMashiach FEARED death. But again, consider THE PRIDE OF LIFE, thinking that one’s existence is more important than it is. Satan was tempting Yeshua HaMashiach in the manner of thinking that His earthly existence was so important that it could not be sacrificed in God’s Plan. Why should God die when there are angels to save Him? That is what Yeshua HaMashiach told Peter, when Peter cut off the ear of the chief priest’s slave in the garden of Gethsemane. Yeshua HaMashiach told Peter that if it was meant for His earthly Life to be preserved, He could call legions of angels to rescue Him! But it was not meant for His earthly life to be preserved, the only reason why His earthy Life was created to begin with was to please God, and the only way Yeshua HaMashiach could please God with His earthly Life was by doing the Will of God and dying. Satan was tempting Yeshua HaMashiach with the notion that God was too important to die. Another dimension still: Satan was tempting Yeshua HaMashiach have the pride of even His eternal existence in the Holy Trinity! Why should God submit Himself to any other? Was He not God? Did He not have His place in Heaven? Why should He bow to anyone? Why should He fulfill the Will of anyone? Satan was saying “Hey, God may rule Heaven, but this is EARTH, buddy! Down here YOU can call the shots! YOU can defy God by getting His Angels, YOUR angels, to save You, and by doing that You can tell Him that You are just as important in the Trinity as He is, if not in Heaven DEFINITELY down here on earth!” But Yeshua HaMashiach did not have any prideful notions within Himself that He was anything more than the Word of the Father YHVH. Yeshua HaMashiach simply replied “Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.” In other words, “You cannot get me to even consider the notion that I am more important than the Father, or not to subject myself to the Father, whether I am in Heaven or earth.” 

Do you know what happened next? SATAN LEFT HIM! Why? BECAUSE HE WAS ALL USED UP! THOSE WERE ALL THE TRICKS THAT SATAN HAD UP HIS SLEEVE! All of the temptations that Satan throws at us are designed to get us to feed the desires of our body, the desires of our mind, or to make us think that we are more important than we are. The only complexity that he has is to link them together. Take a man that is considering cheating on his wife. Lust of the flesh = a physical desire to have sex. Lust of the eyes = he looks at her and sees not an attractive woman but rather prey; his own ability to capture another living person and dominate it, and then exercise the same domination over his wife by concealing it from her, and by demonstrating within himself that she is not his only source of carnal pleasure. So, when he is looks at her, he sees power. Pride of life? Thinking that so much of his own existence that committing adultery is more important than A) his commitment to his wife or his wife’s emotions, B) the best interests of the other woman, and C) the need to obey and please God. If he can resist all those temptations, he will never commit adultery. Truthfully if he is able to resist even ONE of them, he generally will not. And that is not just men and adultery, it is every person with every sin. 

So that is why Yeshua HaMashiach literally did face every single temptation that man goes through. Why? Because as Satan demonstrated with Eve first and then with Yeshua HaMashiach, when you get right down to it there are really only three of them. There are lots of sins, and lots of demons, but only three temptations, and all are directly related to the sin of Satan himself, which is to desire to be in the place of God.

Prayer:

Father YHVH in the Name of Yeshua HaMashiach, we thank You that Yeshua HaMashiach suffered all temptation that we have to face so that by following His example spiritually, we can also resist temptation. May we consider ourselves not so great that we do not have to resist temptation, but may we know our place, which is lesser than that of Yeshua HaMashiach whose value is worth more than the total of creation, so that if He was able to resist temptation to please You, then we should do the same. Amen.

Deliverance:

The demons that work in this area are lust and pride. Please read the Basic Spiritual Warfare guide to learn more about how to go against these demons to help set captives free and win battles in the name of your God through the power, authority, and victory given to you by his Son Jesus Christ and by his blood shed for you!

Posted in Satans Temptation Of Jesus Christ, Satans Temptation of Yeshua HaMashiach | 2 Comments »

My Cup Runneth Over

Posted by Job on March 18, 2007

 James 2:23 – And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.

Many of our Messianic Jewish friends insist that Gentile Christians miss out on the full meaning of the Bible because there are a lot of things regarding not only the use of language (i.e. their idioms, clichés, and references) that we do not understand, but things are also hidden from us because we are unfamiliar with Middle Eastern culture. An example of this is how modern western Christians really do not know the true meaning of the phrase “redemption from sin”, believing that it means “cleansed from sin” or “forgiven of sin.” But in the Middle Eastern culture of the time, to “redeem” someone referred to either buying someone from slavery, or paying someone’s debt so that they can get out of jail. That fully explains I Corinthians 6:19 – 20 when it says “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” The person living in the modern western humanist/individualist mindset would hear “Christ redeemed you from your sins” and respond “Gee, thanks for forgiving and cleansing me, but now that I am forgiven and clean, I can go my way and you go yours: there is no cause for me to feel any further obligation towards you.” And you will also just see your sin as an imperfection, a flaw, in an otherwise good person, like a smudge on a windshield. You think that Yeshua HaMashiach redeeming you from your sin was merely his washing the smudge off your windshield, allowing you to drive off. The notion that you would owe a person who merely cleaned your windshield anything more than a thank you and maybe a $3 tip is absurd. But if you know that you were a slave to sin; if you know that you were a prisoner of sin, and that Christ did not merely wipe you clean but paid the debt so that you could go free, then THAT demands an obligation! THAT exposes the moral bankruptcy of this “it’s all about me” fast food Christianity religious culture that is gripping the western church.  And in a similar fashion, some Christians may not realize full meaning of the 23rd Psalm. Of course, some say that to REALLY get the meaning of the Psalm, one has to be a shepherd, A Shepherd Looks At Psalm 23 by W. Phillip Keller is great in that regards; here is a link to excerpts. But my focus is on verse 5: “Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.” Once you understand the Middle Eastern cultural traditions behind this, you will see that it is a picture of salvation; being accepted into the Kingdom of
God!
At the time, men in that region would often take long journeys alone that would take several days for whatever reason: whether a personal, family, or business trip or a religious pilgrimage. So, there was a custom whereby if it were evening and any such person while traveling would happen upon a house and there was someone home, he would have the right to go to the house and ask for some food. If the head of the household were to either refuse such a person or to cut the lights out and pretend that they were not home, the traveler would go to the next house and tell them of his treatment, and that would bring shame upon that family around the region, for virtually everyone had males in their family who had to take long trips, and it was in the interests of the general welfare of the culture for all of them to be well treated. By the same token, men who traveled knew to be on their best behavior for the same reason. Oh if our own supposedly advanced modern western culture were so sensible … we have traded any sense of common hospitality and cooperation within not only communities but whole lands for the protection and advancement of the interests of all to a culture of selfishness and self – interest. (Incidentally, this also puts Luke 10, where Yeshua HaMashiach sent the 70 out across the countryside “without purse or scrip” – meaning without money or provision – and told them to curse any town in which no one would provide them hospitality while they performed their ministry into better context, for it meant that the people in that town were so opposed to Yeshua HaMashiach – or so given over to evil spirits that opposed him – that the whole town would break cultural hospitality traditions in order to oppose anyone coming in His Name, saying that “it will be better on the day of judgment for Sodom than for that city.”)  Now the minimum amount of acceptable hospitality would be to go to the door, give such a traveler a small bit of food, like maybe a piece of bread and some cheese or something, and then to say good evening or something and shut the door. While a household given to such behavior would not have the best reputation – and remember family reputation was critically important in those days not only for the treatment of your own male travelers, but in business transactions, legal disputes, marriage proposals, etc. – but it would be enough to keep the outright hostility and scorn of people from being heaped upon you. See, males in this position would usually not stop merely because they were hungry, because in most instances they would have prepared for their trip by taking provisions – whether food or money to buy some – along the way. And of course, they would not want to be known as someone who went from house to house taking food from people who were having a hard enough time providing food for themselves; again consider the family reputation. And though the local customs demanded and enforced hospitality, that did not change the fact that these sorts of social transactions would always mean both parties having to endure a degree of risk, as yes there were criminals and exploiters about in those days. Therefore, a man taking advantage of such hospitality would generally do so only because he was very tired, cold, ill, had run out of food or money, or was lonely. That is why refusing such men was so looked down upon, and why even meeting them at the door with a bite to eat without a good excuse for not inviting them in was barely acceptable: men would not show up at your door unless they were borderline desperate. Again, realizing this puts the many references in the Bible of men traveling alone and seeking a place of rest into context, as going anywhere of any distance would be a long, difficult, tiring, even dangerous endeavor, and to be forced by difficult to seek hospitality (which required surrendering a bit of male pride and admitting that you were in want or need of assistance, and please remember how important male pride is in the Middle East; if men in OUR culture are unwilling to pull into a gas station and ask for directions when lost, consider theirs) and then not be invited in would be an absolutely crushing experience, not only a denial of needed assistance but a huge blow to pride. To be treated in such a fashion was something that every man dreaded, and yet was an experience personally familiar to a great many of them.  But even being invited in was not the end of the ordeal for the desperate traveler, but rather the beginning. For then, the traveler would have to proceed to the family dinner table where he would be evaluated by male leader of the household. (Again, the references to a traveler being fortunate enough to find a kind accommodating elderly woman of some means, especially a widow, so that you would be able to avoid having to win over “the man of the house” in these situations are put into proper context, as in these societies all women had to show great deference to males, even in their own homes.) The man of the house would first give a detailed sight evaluation of this person: his looks, clothes, grooming, hygiene, mannerisms and behavior, whether he was on animal or on foot and if on animal the nature and condition of said animal, whether he was carrying anything with him and if so what and how, etc. Anything that would tip off the character of this individual, the reason for his trip, and more importantly the reason why he arrived at your doorstep would be duly noted. And then the verbal evaluation would begin. The man would be asked questions concerning his family, acquaintances, occupation, the destination and purpose of his journey and his travel experiences, his religious beliefs and observances, etc. Why? While it is true that in a culture that so valued honor and reputation no one would want a person of questionable character, behavior, and background under his roof for any longer than it was required, there were also more legitimate reasons: no one wanted to be giving cover to a fugitive, or to give a possible criminal a chance to victimize your household then or later, and it was the responsibility of the man of the house to both fulfill the tradition of hospitality while protecting the reputation and security of his family.

Now the traveler he would be invited to the dinner table with the family, with his table manners and conversation being part of the extended evaluation. At some point during the dinner, the man of the house would have to give the guest wine, to indicate his level of approval of the guest. If the man of the house filled your cup only half full, then it would indicate that you had utterly failed, and now that you had gotten your needed bit of respite in the form of food, rest, warmth, and company, you should be on your way as soon as possible, and should your travels take you by that house again to not stop but keep going! If he filled it to the top, it would indicate that the man of the house found you somewhat lacking but not offensive, so you could stay a little while longer if you needed to and you could stop by again on your travels if you absolutely had to, but you had used up just about the limits of your host’s good graces. Of course, either such response was a clear rejection on some level, and such rejection was greatly dreaded! But if he filled your cup to the top, and then added a bit more so that your cup overflowed and some spilled out, it meant that you were approved, that you had won over your guest. You were not only free to finish and enjoy your meal, but to stay after dinner to avail yourself of whatever they had to offer that you needed and to provide and be given company and conversation. Maybe you were a long lost relative or the child of an old acquaintance; maybe the man of the house was impressed by your occupation or the reason or experiences of your journey and wanted to hear more; or maybe he just found your appearance, character, and conversation to be pleasing to him. Because of that the man of the house would want to talk to you and hear you talk some more, to also provide extra assistance to you to help you on your journey, and to cause you to remember his house so that you would visit them again if you were ever traveling in the area. But just as there were two levels of rejection, there were two levels of acceptance, and that was the first. The second level was that in addition to overflowing your cup, the man of the house would anoint your head with oil. That would be an unasked invitation for the visitor to spend the night as an honored guest. So while up until that point the guest was relying on the approval of the host, it would then be the up to the guest to show HIS approval; his comfort level with the family and his opinion of how he was treated, to accept or decline the offer to spend the night.   So now, let us go back to Psalm 23:5. Some Christians, especially those after the charismatic tradition, have done the best they could by interpreting it as God giving them the anointing of the Holy Spirit, especially after prayer or praise, until they “experience overflow” by being overcome by the presence and power and begin to spontaneously vigorously worship, dance, sing, and perhaps prophecy or speak in tongues. Christians of a more traditional sort may interpret Psalm 23:5 as being a way of explaining how God provides for and blesses them in overabundance. Both interpretations are very suitable and sufficient, but it still leaves the person lacking with regards of the true spiritual meaning of this verse, and why the 23rd Psalm is so important and cherished by Christendom. It particularly helps you understand the first portion of the verse: “thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies.” Now of course a shepherd literally does this for his sheep whenever he takes them out into a pasture to graze: they are actually out in the open where wolves and other predators are in the area, but they do not dare come near for fear of the shepherd! Again, a contemporary interpretation of this may be that God will overcome evil people that are trying to deprive you of your family, freedom, and economics to meet your needs; or that God will overcome the evil spirits that are trying to torment and corrupt you by pouring out upon you His Spirit. But the actual spiritual meaning of this fragment when considered in conjunction with the whole is actually a clear depiction of what happens at SALVATION. The sinner is outside the Kingdom of God, outside of fellowship with God. So, he is as one who is traveling alone in a strange country, and seeks the House of the Lord as refuge for his condition. Maybe such a person is heartbroken and lonely and needs companionship and comfort.  Maybe he is very ill physically, mentally, or emotionally and needs to be healed. Maybe this person is spiritually hungry is seeking the void within him to be filled with answers, knowledge; the Holy Spirit of Truth that comes by hearing and believing the Word of God. Maybe he is tired of running from and striving against God and instead is ready to submit to God and seek His Peace under His terms. Or perhaps he has heard of the coming storm, the all out war of the great tribulation and the certain destruction of the second death that will be poured out upon all who are not 100% on the Lord’s side, and he is seeking to be spared. When such a person seeks the House of the Lord, the Lord will not pretend that He is not at home, or offer the visitor a small bite at the door with some excuse, but He being righteous will rather honor the custom and invite him in.But realize that the person is invited in only because of custom! Why? Because the Lord and all that are in His House are Righteous! They are all Family! They all know each other, love each other, work together, and fight together against the hostilities, idolatries, and perversions of Satan and his house of Babylon! But you? You do not belong in that house. Why? Because you are a sinner! You are from Babylon. So you come riding up to the House of the Lord on your donkey or horse from
Babylon. You are arrayed in the filthy corrupt garments of Babylon. Your speech, mannerisms, mindset, behavior, occupation, even your very FLESH AND SPIRIT are all of Babylon, corrupt and detestable in the House of the Lord and before the Master of the House, the Lord Himself. So because of the sin that you were born into through Adam and because of your own personal transgressions of the law, you are at enmity with everyone in the House the second you step through the door. You are fouling and profaning the House of the Lord, and the people who live in that house, the saints and the angels, have every right to kill you on the spot, as does the Lord Himself. But you know what happens? The Lord doesn’t kill you. Quite the contrary, He shows you every bit of hospitality imaginable. Now the Lord COULD have His servants, His angels and His already redeemed saints, set the table for you, as certainly is not only His right but is also the universal custom. But no! Rather than have His servants welcome you, the Lord God Himself prepares the table for you. How? By going to the cross to pay the debt for your sins! That’s right. The Lord could have used someone else; any one of His angels or of the righteous men that were on the earth at the time. But no, God Himself took on the flesh of a man, and even though His flesh was not corrupted either by the sin of Adam for he was not born of Adam (the blood comes from the man, not the woman, so it was God’s Blood in Yeshua HaMashiach, not that of any tainted Adamic seed, which was why God told Eve that the Messiah would come from HER seed, for where she had been deceived Adam SINNED) or by any sin of His own for as the Word of the Father He resisted all temptation to do the Will of the Father, and therefore went to the cross to pay the debt of sin. Therefore, when you, a sinner, goes into the House of God, rather than being destroyed for the intrusion, you are given a place at the table which God has prepared for You with His own death, resurrection, and Blood. Though at the time you are an enemy of not only God but all that are in God’s House, just as the advance of the predators are stayed by the presence of the shepherd from attacking the sheep in the field, the Blood of Yeshua HaMashiach stays the Righteous Wrath of God from delivering your deserved destruction for your sins while you are in His Presence.   And guess what? While you are eating at His Table (which is hearing the gospel), God does not fill your cup half full, saying “sinner, I did you a favor by letting you stay awhile and get some food and rest, but now take your sins and go back to Babylon and await your destruction there.” God does not fill your cup full and say “You can stay awhile longer, talk to me and my angels a bit, and avail yourself of whatever blessings that you need if it makes you feel better, but you are still a sinner and I reject you for your sins, so at some point you will have to go back to Babylon and await your destructions.” Were the former or the latter the case, the works – based religions of the rabbinic Pharisee Jews, Mormons, Muslims, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and what have you would be true … you would have to keep coming back to the House of the Lord over and over again until you impress Him enough to let you stay. And even if you were to mess up during your stay, if you were to break a vase or drop something on the floor, you would be kicked out of the House back to
Babylon, and would have to start all over again. But this is folly. No matter how hard we work, we will still be sinners, and will never be worthy of being accepted into the House of the Lord. Even if somehow we get in through works – and we cannot – we would not be as God and the angels in His House. We are still in corrupt bodies of flesh, not spirits or even in perfect spirit – composed bodies that we will be raptured or resurrected into eternal life into. So, it would be inevitable that we would break something at some point, and have to be ejected back into Babylon, no matter how much we love God and want to be with Him and no matter how hard we try. But notice where I said above where a traveler’s length of stay in the house was dependent upon the good GRACES of the host, and yes I did use the term “GRACE” on purpose. For all who come to the House of the Lord by the hearing of the gospel, God not only fills their cup to the overflow indicating approval, but HE ALSO ANOINTS THEIR HEAD WITH OIL, an open invitation to stay! And it is not just a stay for the night! No, it is a permanent invitation to leave Babylon for the House of the Lord as a resident and citizen in the Kingdom of Heaven forever! You never have to go back to Babylon, because in God’s House are many mansions (rooms), a place for you is already prepared, and if it were not true God would not have told you in His Word (John 14:2). Why? Because though you were a sinner and not worthy of even setting foot in His House, the Lord already loved you and wanted to be with you and you with Him. He sent His Son, who is also God, to die for you to make sure that when you came to His House, the table would be set with YOU as the guest of honor. And though you were in the presence of all of these warrior angels with their big swords ready to chop you into pieces at any time lest the Host become offended with you by your unrighteousness and because of your sin you were utterly incapable of making a good impression in any least way because the very manner of your speech and appearance is loathsome, the beast that you rode in on is sick and diseased, your occupation is vile, and your works and accomplishments and sacrifices are a stench in the nostrils of God as if you haven’t taken a bath in ages, the LORD STILL APPROVES YOU. He STILL fills your cup overflowing AND anoints you with oil because He loves you so much and wants You to be with Him so badly! You have eaten a banquet at His Table by virtue of hearing the gospel of His Son’s Deity, life, death, and resurrection, you have been accepted by the Host, and your acceptance is not temporary or conditional based on your works but permanent because His Grace never runs out, so now IT IS ALL ON YOU. If you approve of the Host and like His House (which means if you are one of the sheep of His Pasture who respond to the sound of His Voice and if you have a desire to love God more than you love yourself, which is to love God’s Righteousness more than you love your own sins), then you will accept His offer of His Grace to dwell in His House forever! But you have an equal right to reject His Grace, continue to love your own sin, and go back to Babylon and await your certain destruction.   And THAT is why Psalm 23, and especially Psalm 23:5, was so important. The Holy Spirit spoke through David and used him to prophecy a picture of both the coming Savior AND how through Him the process by which men would be saved. Not by the law, not by sacrifices, not by works, not by heredity, but rather all as travelers seeking refuge, and being unconditionally and undeservedly accepted by the Grace of the Host. How sad it is that non – Messianic Jews, who came out of the very culture that wrote this verse and fully understood it, rejected its prophecy, meaning, and fulfillment when they saw the Messiah and rejected Him, and that rejection goes on to this day. And what a blessing it is when people do accept, not only Messianic Jews but Gentile Christians who accept the Messiah without even knowing the meaning of or the prophecy given in Psalm 23. That is why Paul said in Romans 11:11 that the faith of the Gentiles in the Messiah provokes the Jews to jealousy so that they would thereby be saved. That is also why Jesus Christ said at various points in the gospel that nations who would accept Him without even really knowing who He is would be blessed, but that His own people who knew these prophecies and writings and their true meanings and still rejected Him would be not only greatly accursed, but actually judged by the Gentile nations who accepted Him (Matthew 12:41–42, Luke 29-32). But please realize that we Gentiles should not judge Jews so harshly (as many have foolishly done in the past and thereby brought God’s curses upon their own heads) for despite not knowing the full meaning of the scriptures we know enough – that our own sins and desire to be forgiven of them and given Heaven as a free gift instead of our deserved fate in the lake of fire – to be saved. Indeed, many of us actually do worse than the Jews by claiming to accept the Bible when we do not. We call ourselves Christians but do not keep Christ’s Commandments. We claim that the Bible is not the final authority or inerrant, and we claim that God is not sovereign over us. We try to get God to worship us and serve us with false doctrines. We deny Trinity, and we deny grace, claiming that we can perfect ourselves with works. So while Jews reject Christianity and are in danger of judgment, Christians who reject true Christianity are actually in danger of BIGGER judgment. And that is why the warnings given in Revelation 2 – 3 were not to the Jews, but rather to the church. And yet so few churches and Christians obey them, take them seriously, acknowledge that it applies to them in any way, or even reads them! But to those who do keep the true gospel and words of Jesus Christ, in them is the glory and prophecy of Psalm 23 and especially of Psalm 23:5 is fulfilled and revealed, even if the person in whom this is gloriously fulfilled and revealed does not have a full intellectual knowledge and appreciation of it. And that, my fellowservants in Christ Jesus, is a true revelation of the power of God, and how God saves (which is the translation of the actual name of the Saviour, Yeshua), and not man! So all who read this, I urgently entreat you and go tell all men, saved and unsaved, the true meaning of Psalm 23:5. And if you have not taken advantage of Psalm 23:5, I urge you to do so today by following this guide (read this article). My prayers and love are with you and with the entire Body of Christ, and may God bless and keep you all.Prayer:

Father YHVH in the Name of Yeshua HaMashiach, we thank You for anointing our heads with oil and overfilling our cups; for sending Your Saviour into the world that through Him we might be saved from the wicked world and our sins. May more of your saints be emboldened to preach the gospel wherever they go and to then encourage the true doctrine of undeserved grace when they do so, and may more men accept Your offer and keep Your Commandments. Amen.

Deliverance:

The demons that work in this area are false doctrine and false teaching that cause people to reject God’s True Triune Nature which makes possible and available for every man the greatest possible gift, which is salvation not by works but rather through unearned grace. Both people who are bound by works doctrine and those who are not Christians after any sort urgently need to be set free from their oppression by hearing the true gospel, and telling them the actual meaning of Psalm 23:5 is a way of using the Word to contend against and overcome the enemy. Please read the Basic Spiritual Warfare guide to learn more about how to go against these demons to help set captives free and win battles in the name of your God through the power, authority, and victory given to you by his Son Jesus Christ and by his blood shed for you!

Posted in grace, My Cup Runneth Over, salvation | 3 Comments »

Women Must Know Their Role

Posted by Job on March 2, 2007

I Corinthians 14:34-35 Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.

 

Update: See my previous posts here and here as well as earlier essays here (written back when I was still a Word of Faith/prosperity adherent) and here on this very important issue. I have been advised of legitimate alternative translations of  I Corinthians 14:34 and I Corinthians 14:35 stating that it only applies to wives of husbands. However, that still leaves I Timothy 2:9 – 14. See the parallel translations here: Verse 9, Verse 10, Verse 11, Verse 12, Verse 13, and Verse 14. I do agree that it is possible in theory for a woman to be a pastor and comply with all 8 verses, but even under the most liberal possible interpretations, it would impose real restrictions, including forgoing the privilege of being married. Now if God has called you to do this thing, women preachers, then you must fulfill those 8 verses. Even then, it would exclude you from being a head pastor, bishop, elder, etc. or anything else that would place you in authority over a man. But realize this, women pastors: THIS ONLY APPLIES TO THE CHURCH! If you have the gifts of preaching and exhorting, you are welcome to use it outside the walls of the church in a capacity where  you will not be in a position of authority over your husband or any other man. Street preaching, for instance. Internet evangelism and other electronic media is another. So is writing books and training preachers at seminaries. There are lots of ways for you to serve God and use your gifts. The only question is whether you love God more than you love yourself and are hence willing to serve Him in spirit (joyfully and willfully) and in truth (in complete obedience to His Word as given in Scripture).

The passage above is given by many as one of the most revolting examples of sexism in the Bible and in Christianity. It has troubled me greatly, not so much because of any feminist leanings on my part so much as my personal experiences with women with very strong gifts of the Holy Spirit. Because of my said experiences and also of many Bible verses and examples that supported them, I have long felt that the roles imposed on women because of their gender to be restrictive and unfair, and that as a result it harmed not so much individual women, the status of woman, or “womanhood” (again, as I am no feminist) but rather it deprived the Body of Christ the use of their many talents. It was for that reason that I wrote this essay on the topic.  But after writing that essay to deal with my personal experiences and feelings, I began to see current movements in the Body of Christ regarding women preachers that greatly concerned me. After considering what I have been seeing, it served as a powerful reminder to me that our Christian walk CANNOT be determined by our emotions and experiences, no matter how legitimate. Instead, they must be led by the Word of God under the guidance of the Holy Spirit with Jesus Christ alone as the head. In short, all scripture is inspired by the Holy Spirit, and being God the Holy Spirit knows what it speaks and why. It is because of issues such as feminism, economic inequality, racism, slavery, environmentalism, etc. that people decide that the Bible and Christianity are evil, or that they should not be strictly adhered to: that the Bible should be a strong reference but ultimately bow to modern values and thinking, or that the Bible should be viewed strictly as a bunch of allegorical stories to provide a moral framework for society. We must reject these notions unconditionally and continue with faith in what the Bible plainly says and means, no matter how hard it is and no matter what the cost. Why? Because consider the alternative: complete chaos with no truths, no standards, and men and women each doing what is right in his own eyes because they have cast off the true God and set themselves up in His Place. Which is not to say that we cannot be sensitive to the legitimate emotions and experiences of people. I am not a woman who has the gifts and ambitions to be the pastor of a church, who would be very successful if given that opportunity, but has had to deal with that opportunity denied me. But my own experiences as a black man in America in having to deal with the fact that the Bible does not call slavery a sin or in any way condemn it or that it not only does not promise racial or economic equality, but it does not even consider it a GOAL of Christianity gives me some idea of what it must be like, and because of that I can in some fashion be sensitive to what these women may be going through. In a similar fashion, no matter what race, class, station, or group you are in, you will have experienced some loss, heartbreak, or unrealized hopes or expectations that caused you real hurt, and through those injured feelings you can perhaps relate to what such women are going through. We are not to use those experiences, however, to justify people departing from what the Bible says. Rather, we are to use them to encourage people in their trials and temptations, and tell them that the same God that comforted us and brought us through our times of hurt and helped us understand His Plan for us can help women understand why they are not to preach or hold certain offices in certain churches, or indeed certain offices in ANY churches. It is not humbling yourself to some gigantic male conspiracy, but rather humbling yourself to a God who, despite our frequently calling YHWH “Father”, in truth has no gender! God created genders in man because of the needs of man. God created woman because man needed woman, and as a result he created woman in such a way where woman would also need man. It was not because of any need or inadequacy on God’s part that He made man; but all according to His desire alone. And man was no so much a representation of the true being, existence, or nature of God – for were that to be the case MAN WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO SIN! – but rather man is only in God’s IMAGE. So the roles that God has given man and woman to serve His Plan in our exceedingly short walk through time and creation as human beings has NOTHING to do with our value to Him, and it has very little to do with our true existence as created spirit beings that will either live in Heaven or die in the lake of fire forever based on our willingness to submit to God alone and reject ourselves. In other words, the fact that a woman is not allowed to preach is as relevant in the eyes of God and in that woman’s ability to serve God in the capacity that God made and intended for her to and in whatever role that woman’s spirit being will have in the world to come as the fact that some will go through this life rich and others poor. Now we all know that there is going to be no poverty and no lack in Heaven; nor will there be any distinction between races or genders.   Now this is not to say that the limits and barriers imposed upon women by religion throughout the ages have been biblical, or even motivated by a love for God and a desire to serve Him by following the Bible. And no, Christians should not suffer those things. God calls for us to stand up against those who cruelly oppress, especially when the oppressors claim to be followers of God and the oppressed are God’s people. But the question of what office or role a woman who is obviously very gifted through the Holy Spirit and is also mature in the fruits of the Holy Spirit should take is yet another example of why no one should serve as a pastor or church official unless they are called by God and in right standing with God so that they can hear His Instructions directly through the Holy Spirit. If God has raised up a Miriam, Lydia, or Deborah, then that woman should be allowed to rise up to where God has called her. Otherwise, that woman should sit. In other words, she is, indeed, no different from a man. Now this is where religion sets in: there are obviously lots of MEN serving who have not been called to their offices and are not faithful in their offices OR in right standing with God, and none of the religious people say a word about that fact. But let one woman stand up who has been called by God rise up and start preaching, teaching, prophesying, and healing, and that is when the religious people get angry. Of course, those demons of religion and hypocrisy are to be bound, rebuked, and cast from the Body of Christ, and those people who refuse to stop dealing in those demons should be left behind to their tormentors. But in doing so, we are not to replicate their error by creating our own false religions that allow women to serve in roles where God has not called them, or in roles where God called them, found them unsuitable because of some lack in their hearts, and did not choose them. Which, again, is the very same standard that we should hold MEN to but are not!  So, we must deal with the two ways where elevating women to positions where they have not been called is causing all sorts of trouble these days. The first is the most obvious: the liberal so – called churches who have totally rejected the truth of the Bible. They would like to believe that they were the first to elevate women preachers because of their progressive philosophies; they are wrong as charismatics were doing the same decades before (more on them later). The reason why they are elevating women pastors is not out of any true desire to help women themselves or to better society through them. Why? Because the only way to help women or to better society through women is by causing them to graciously lovingly submit to their Lord God through their Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ according to the instructions given to them by their comforter the Holy Spirit. Now of course for this to happen, one must have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Many of these churches were not being led by people who had a personal relationship or salvation through Jesus Christ to begin with, but rather only religion, doctrine, traditions, liturgies, sacraments, dogma, etc. So therefore it was very easy for them to depart from the truth because the truth was never in them. How sad that so many Christians are willing to support those who do not have the truth merely because they are willing to adhere to the APPEARANCE of truth! Many churches and congregations may not be “liberal”, but there is still no love or Holy Spirit within them, and they are not leading people to Jesus Christ. They are just holding onto tradition. But tradition cannot save, people, only Jesus Christ can, and when you have tradition without Jesus Christ, then the tradition makes the sin and separation from God even worse, because it causes people to think that by their tradition they are righteous. That is the same sin as the Pharisees, my people, and from such turn away. So, we should not praise churches merely because they stand against abortion, homosexuality, women preachers, or revisionism and claim to Bible – believing fundamentalists. I have to be honest with you: it is easy to believe in the Bible. The Bible is a book. A tangible object that you can touch, smell, and feel, with words that you can read and interpret. It takes up a definite place in space and time. You can rip it to shreds, burn it, and go out and buy a new one! So yes, it is easy to trust in and love a Bible. All you have to do is decide that you want to. And the same for a preacher, a church, a denomination, a doctrine, or a movement. But none of those can save you. No, the Bible cannot save you, dear friends! Only God can. It is hard to believe in the unseen one who created the universe and who can save you. It is easy to obey words in a book, but very hard to obey in spirit and in truth the God who gives those words life. So yes, the Pharisees believed in and loved the scriptures. They just did not believe in or love the God who wrote them! Without God, a belief in God, and a love for God, those scriptures become just dead words. And that is what religion does: it tells you that if you believe in the Bible, then you believe in God, and ultimately if you believe in and love your religion, then you believe in and love God. None of those are true my friends! For that reason, these “conservative” churches are leading just as many astray as the “liberal” ones are, and the fact that no one is expressing outrage over that fact shows just how bad things are: bad indeed. But still, the liberal churches are merely taking advantage of the feelings of rejection and rebellion of women (and the demons that go along with them) and using them to train said women to be their very effective spokesmen against the true God. But be not mistaken, they do not err so much merely by elevating the women, for the men are doing the same thing in both liberal AND conservative churches. No, the error is these churches being led by those who are not called by God, who do not love God, and as such are not serving God or causing others to. And now we come to the charismatics. At first, there was sound practice in these churches regarding women who had spiritual gifts and were using them to edify the Body of Christ and evangelize sinners in a manner according to sound biblical example and doctrine and with the guide of the Holy Spirit, with the men leading the church and the women doing that which the Holy Spirit commanded the male church leadership to have the women do. But this sound practice quickly departed. I suppose that it began when a man would be the pastor of a church and his wife the co – pastor, and as women generally outlive men, the husband dies. Now in the Bible, all leaders who obeyed God were given well in advance of their passing a succession plan. So, in this case perhaps neither the man or woman were ever following God, or maybe they followed God in the beginning but departed, or they refused to follow whatever succession plan that God gave them. In any event, the result would be the widow running the church. This became more commonplace, and multiplied. You had situations where a woman would assume leadership of a church, and the man had no sons, only daughters. The result? The widow and her daughters are occupying all of the top positions in the ministry. Of course, this is not to say that it is necessarily God’s Will for a ministry to pass from a man to his son’s, and it is mighty revealing that when this DOES happen, when a minister builds a “satellite church” for the sole purpose of allowing his son or son – in – law to run it, for instance, that nothing is said of it. Again, that is those religious demons and worldliness demons at work. It may be appropriate to leave the family home, investments, or business in the hands of your son, wife, or whoever you see fit in the world, but not in God’s affairs. Why? These churches and ministries are not PROPERTIES to be inherited, split, divided, sold, etc. as we see fit. Why? Because they do not belong to us! They do not belong to PEOPLE, they do not belong to DENOMINATIONS or CONVENTIONS, they do not belong to PARISHES, DIOCES, or THE
VATICAN; they belong to GOD!
And then it continued; as divorce became more acceptable and commonplace in the church, the man and the sons went one way with their ministry, and the woman and the daughters went the other way with theirs. And now it has evolved to the point where in the charismatic movement there is this entire subculture run entirely by women. They preach from “a women’s perspective”, talk about “women’s issues”, have “women’s conferences”, “women’s prayer groups”, “women’s revivals”, etc. They produce books, magazines, videos, and even regular TV and radio shows about “Christian womanhood” or “Christian sisterhood.” Now I am not going to name any names, for I do believe that some of these women and their works were done at the direction of God, even if only initially, so I am not going to raise my hand against God’s anointed in this matter. You might ask “How is naming names and speaking against them like striking them?” Simple: life and death is in the power of the tongue, and I am not going to use destructive words against anything that is working the Will of God lest God allow me to be destroyed by the same evil that I am speaking into existence with my words! What I am speaking of is in Psalms and Proverbs, people! But just because I am not naming their names does not mean that YOU do not know who these people are. If you do not know anyone who fits this description, then it means that you have not been exposed to them or your eyes have not been opened to it yet. But now that you are empowered with this knowledge, you should be able to recognize it when you see it. But chances are you DO know someone who fits this description, and if you did not know that it was wrong already, then I am here to tell you that it is. If you were having feelings that it was wrong but have been suppressing them because of your emotions and experiences, now you have all that you need to start rejecting your flesh and following after God’s Spirit as spelled out in His Word: this charismatic women’s subculture is wrong. It is man’s order rather than God’s order.

This is not to say that these women are feminists. In a way, it is actually worse, as feminists rose up in response to an actual worldly need. But this Christian women’s subculture did not rise up to meet any need in the church. It rose up because women were unwilling to submit to the leadership that God placed over them. Now of course, men do the same all the time, and I have certainly not spared men in my previous messages. Now there is not anything “especially wrong” with this Christian women’s subculture. No, it is just plain old wrong, and plain old wrong is just bad enough in and of itself!   

Now I could come up with a bunch of examples of the errors that I have heard and seen representatives of this subculture commit, but I shall refrain. Why? It is pointless. What good is preaching from an anecdotal, non – representative basis, and basing sermons on emotional charges? And what would it prove since PLENTY of churches led by men are errors similar and worse? I cannot in good conscience say that the Christian women’s subculture is wrong because it excludes men, because that would be evidence of my being personally offended at not being invited to a women’s conference or to join a women’s prayer group, or that those women’s books, tapes, TV shows, etc. do not deal with my issues or treat them fairly. And I cannot in good conscience say that whenever a bunch of women get together and exclude men that false practices and doctrines are the inevitable result, because men have been perverting the earth with the same from the very beginning. So even though I have seen things that come out of this subculture that are very disturbing, I have seen things that come from “traditional” or “mainstream” Christianity that are no different; indeed they may actually be worse because their errors are the ones that get institutionalized and practiced by most people rather than by the far smaller number of women who are into this subculture.

So, this subculture is not harmed by the lack of the leadership or presence of males: it is harmed by the failure to conform to the perfect Will of God! THAT is the problem, and THAT is the reason why this movement should be opposed and its adherents corrected, and shunned if they refuse correction based upon the Word of God. It is all about who you love. Do you love yourself? Do you love your gifts? Or do you love the God that created you and gave you your gifts? Look, if God gave you those gifts, then He created a way for you to use them! You just need to have faith, submit yourself, and be willing to pay the price so that you can find out how to use those gifts in the manner and in the context that God intended, and that is whether you are the widow or divorcee of a pastor or the son of one, or the pastor himself. It would be so easy for me to jump on one of the many departures from the Bible that has come out of this subculture and use it as an example to justify my position in an area that is extremely sensitive, not only because of the feelings of the women involved, but the many great works that this subculture has brought forth and the many followers – including not a few men! – of the women who participate in this. But that is how the world operates. That is how the world wins arguments, that is how those of the world seek to avoid or minimize conflict and alienating people who would otherwise support them by beating them up while winning an argument against them but doing so in a way that allows them to “feel good.” If you have to demonize person B in order to win the support of person A, then why not? You are not after the support of B, anyway, but A!

But I am not of the world, so I will not use the world’s tactics. So my only stand is this: it is in the Bible. Where is your love? In what is your faith? Remember: we are all going to be judged one day. When I stand before God, I will be able to say that I wrote both this devotional AND the previous one in an attempt to defend and be faithful to God’s Word. Why? Because I love not religion nor doctrine nor tradition but rather God AND His Word. Regardless of your position on the role of women in the church, what will you say?  

Prayer: Father God in the Name of Your Son Jesus Christ, may women know and respect their roles in the church and set aside the flesh and all worldly considerations, and may men do the same. May Your Children turn away from all and any who refuse to keep Your Commandments regarding the church and in any area. In the Name of Y’shua Hamashiach, amen!

Deliverance: The demons that work in this area are rebellion, rejection, bitterness, disobedience, and false religion. Please read the Basic Spiritual Warfare guide to learn more about how to go against these demons to help set captives free and win battles in the name of your God through the power, authority, and victory given to you by his Son Jesus Christ and by his blood shed for you!

Posted in Women Must Know Their Role | 5 Comments »

God Is The ORIGINAL Feminist

Posted by Job on March 2, 2007

Genesis 1:27 – So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. 

(Please note that there is a Part II to this sermon). You have in Paul’s letters, I Timothy most prominently, that have been interpreted and implemented in a fashion that would tend to severely limit the role of women in the church. I have to be honest, Paul’s statements in those letters are indeed vexing to me, a person raised in the full gospel tradition that has long afforded mostly equal roles to women. I try hard not to fall into the trap of insisting that things that I agree with in the Bible be interpreted and applied as strictly as possible while being very liberal concerning things that give me problems. If I do that regarding the role of women in the church, cannot thieves, murderers, sorcerers, idolators, etc. do the same?

One thing that gives me comfort is that Paul’s specific statements stand out in stark contrast to how God – including Jesus Christ – treated women. Indeed, Paul himself prominently mentions and praises several women in the Bible for their work in what were clearly leadership roles in the church. And then there was the case of Lydia, whom Paul personally converted, that founded the church in
Philippi. As Paul wrote the Book of Philippians, he obviously was not troubled by her role (and please note that unlike most of the early Christians who were noted for their poverty and marginalization,
Lydia was a wealthy prominent businesswoman before she converted).  

So, then, it is clearly appropriate to attempt to apply context to Paul’s statements regarding the role of women in the church when Paul’s statements, divinely inspired as all the rest of the Bible, clearly contradicts not only what is written about women in the rest of the Bible (And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit Joel 2:28-29.) Now the religious establishment mostly ignores the many places in the Bible where it lays out the obvious spiritual equality between men and women in order to latch onto what is given in I Timothy. In doing so, they are making the Bible divided and double – minded against itself and rendering it of no effect. Instead, the Body of Christ should be doing their best to put what I Timothy says about women into CONTEXT with the rest of the Bible, so that God’s Word and not the doctrines of men will be true. After all, God’s people are supposed to be DIFFERENT from the world. The world has proven itself to be very capable of dehumanizing and marginalizing women. Even – and in some cases ESPECIALLY – the feminist movement has led to women being more violated than before. So in order to show that Christianity is not only diverse from but BETTER THAN the world, we should be an example of how true followers of Christ elevate women as Christ elevated Mary Magdalene.  

That’s right, Mary Magdalene. She was the first person to see the risen Christ, and the first person who bore witness of Christ’s Resurrection to others. And it also goes deeper than that. It is not recorded in the gospels, but many people who have done historical research into the period have revealed that women were more likely to follow Christ than men, and that it was women who earned money to give financial support to Christ and His disciples. What the Bible does record is that during Christ’s darkest hour, when the men abandoned and even denied Christ out of fear, the women never left His side. While the men were in hiding, the women were with Jesus Christ at the cross, and they went to anoint His Body with spices immediately after the Sabbath. Some say that “it takes a man to do a man’s job”; well, it was because the WOMEN did not allow FEAR OF DEATH to intimidate them from doing a WOMAN’S JOB – preparing a body for burial – that THEY were the first ones to see the empty tomb! There is no record in the gospels of any woman ever denying Jesus Christ as Peter did, or betraying Him as Judas Iscariot did, or failing to believe in the Resurrection as Peter and Thomas did. And note that among the people who Paul listed as having turned on him and having created false doctrines, not a single woman was listed! And even the pagan wife of Pontius Pilate prevailed upon him to release Jesus Christ, but in his weakness he heeded her not. None of this is ever mentioned by the woman – bashers in the church. Why? Because so many leaders in the church want to emulate the misogyny of the world. They take what is against the Will of God and the Bible, what is sinful and wrong, and call it holy. That is what religion does for you, my people! Now that is why the original full gospel movement was so accepting of women. Not only were there FAR MORE WOMEN in the early full gospel movement than men (a 3 to 1 ratio!), but the full gospel movement cast aside the old traditions and dogmas in order to build something new. Now regrettably the full gospel movement has become religious denominational Christianity just like all the rest, but restoring women to God’s original intent has been one thing that they have kept. But the rest of the Christian world looks at the opportunity to show how much better we are than the pagans who sacrifice female babies (see
CHINA) and the Muslims who terribly demean women, and the secularists with their glorification of pornography, and shrugs. They would rather be LIKE those worldly people than DIFFERENT from them.

Now it is fascinating that one of the most powerful statements AGAINST the Christian marginalization comes from the hand of Paul in I Timothy 2:13-14. Paul said that it was not Adam who was deceived, but rather Eve. What that means: Eve did not truly sin so much as she was tricked. But ADAM? He was not tricked. He made a CONSCIOUS DECISION to rebel against and reject God! That is why even though EVE was the first to eat of the fruit and that EVE was the one who have to Adam who then ate, it was through ADAM and NOT EVE that sin was transferred into mankind! And that was the reason why it was THE SEED OF WOMAN (Mary) that God used to create Jesus Christ with no MAN involved, and also why God TOLD EVE that HER SEED (not Adam’s!) would war against Satan and deliver mankind (Genesis 3:16)! And this is obviously borne out by the different character shown by Adam in contrast with Eve in Genesis. When God confronts them about their sin, Eve takes responsibility (“the serpent tricked me and I ate”) but Adam put all of the blame on Eve AND God (“the woman that YOU GAVE TO BE WITH ME gave me the fruit and I ate”). And when Eve had children, she credited – and can even be said praised – God for them “I have gotten a man child from the Lord” even AFTER being driven from
Eden. But Adam? He gave no respect to God; as a matter of fact nothing is written of anything that Adam said after blaming Eve and God for his fall, because obviously he said nothing worthwhile for God to record through Moses (who wrote Genesis) afterwards.
 

And that began a consistent theme throughout the Bible where the character, strength, and courage of women generally exceeded those of men. Which is not to say that there were no evil women or that righteous women did not sin, but only that there were far more evil men and their evil was far greater. Does this denote that men are inherently more evil than women? No. As a matter of fact, it can be noted in the Bible that the wicked kings generally had wicked or pagan mothers. Instead, it should be considered by those who wish to rise up against the false doctrine that women cannot hold positions in the church. Should women hold positions over men? In general, Biblical example states that such is not expedient. But just as Lydia founded the Philippian church, Deborah judged
Israel. Some have argued that such was required in exceptional circumstances where no suitable male leaders were available: well look at the present day situation where men are increasingly absent from church – and from families – and claiming that those circumstances are not now often present is ridiculous. Spiritually and morally incompetent men running churches when much better qualified women are available is the root source of so many ills in the church today, and yes it spills over into the families, schools, and communities with negative effects.

Even in churches where there are spiritually qualified male leaders, women should not be excluded so long as the male is the ultimate authority. Indeed, many full gospel churches have excellent arrangements where the man is the head pastor and the woman is the assistant pastor. Such arrangements can be made down the line: where the main official is male who has females under his charge. For a man to then claim that this violates I Timothy because no woman should have a position of authority over any man – that the least of men should be higher than the greatest of women – well then Paul violated that position himself by his continued support of a church founded by a woman. So either Paul was a liar or the position based on his words are not a faithful rendering of the true intent of his words.
 

And yes, there is precedent for this. Paul stated in one of his early letters (in response to Judaizers who were attempting to get the new Christians from pagan backgrounds to abandon the gospels for the law) that the only one of the Jewish traditions that they needed to respect was not eating things sacrificed to idols. But later, Paul stated that if certain circumstances (i.e. to gain and retain converts among the pagan) required eating things sacrificed to idols, then go ahead and do it! Paul then explained that though it was not sound practice and should not generally be done for various reasons, what a person ate was truly not a spiritual concern anyway. This echoed the words of Jesus Christ Himself in Matthew 15:1-20. Rather, the prohibition against eating things sacrificed to idols was merely sound practice due to the times that they were living in: the need to both separate themselves from the pagans and to avoid unnecessarily offending Jews. But even in those times there were situations which required abandoning what was never a spiritual law anyway, but rather merely a sound practice. If the same can be said with regard to not eating things sacrificed to idols, then it can be said regarding women in the church in I Timothy. Paul’s statements regarding women were never spiritual law, else he would have never dealt with
Lydia or the church that she founded. So, they can be viewed as a sound practice considering the times they were in; Roman (and Jewish) societies that were exceptionally repressive to women (with the Romans even more so than the Jews … a Roman had the right to kill his wife and children at any time for no reason as they were his property). But we are not in that time today, so that practice can be discarded in a manner that still respects the spiritual principle that the woman is subject to the man as man is subject to Christ as Christ is subject to the Father.
 

Now what of Genesis 3:16 where God tells Eve that man will rule over woman? Well, that was a curse due to Adam’s sin. After a man and woman accept Christ into their hearts, just as all sin is removed, the curse of that sin is removed also. So, a couple married in Christ should be restored to the original state that Adam and Eve enjoyed in the garden, with man and woman as equals with the man having loving respectful authority and the woman’s voluntary submission. Indeed, Paul says as such when he charges men to love their wives as Christ loved the church, and admonished men that their bodies do not belong to themselves but their wives. Again, this is also in I Timothy, so even by the words of Paul, the curse upon women – and also upon men, for no decent man should want to be an oppressive ruler – wrought by sin was defeated by Christ on the cross.  

Another thing that we should consider in the curses given to man and woman in Genesis is in relation to mentioning how
Lydia was a successful businesswoman. In Genesis 3:17-19, God put a curse on male economic activity. Now even though Christ also broke that curse on the cross, it still lives in a man’s flesh until such time that he submits to the workings of the Holy Spirit so that by the Holy Spirit it can be overcome. Like anger, hate, fear, doubt, rage, violence, lust, lying, etc. that curse can take real time and effort for a man to overcome, just as it takes time and effort for a man and woman married in Christ to overcome the “rule over thee” curse and become one flesh. But please note: THE FEMALE ECONOMIC ACTIVITY WAS NEVER CURSED! Therefore, this idiotic notion that women should not work outside the home – or receive fair reward for their labor – has never been sound doctrine or practice. First off, it is a class and culture – biased argument anyway. In poor and middle – class families, women HAVE to work, or else the family will starve, and the same is particularly true of nations where life is a struggle. Only upper class and wealthy westerners have had the luxury to try to impose the notion on their women that they should not work. Many of these same Christians promote this doctrine while they themselves employ underclass women as domestics. People also forget that when Christianity originated, a large percentage of the new believers were female SLAVES! This is not to say that women should not do what is in the best interests of the family, children, marriage, and church when deciding whether to have or continue a career or not. Then again, what prevents a man from sacrificing HIS career to strengthen the marriage, children, or church in Christ? Indeed, a big problem in Christian churches and homes is men neglecting their wives, children, homes, and ministries seeking high incomes and the esteem of men that comes with it. I have to be honest, things would honestly be a lot better off if a lot of Christian men would drop out of the full – time work force for a time so that they can be with their wives, children, and at church during times of crisis. Men fool themselves into thinking that they can solve their family problems by making more money when the truth is that sacrificing financially is what will demonstrate to their family that A) they love them more than they love their money or career and B) they trust in God and not their job or money to take care of them. Acting in such a fashion would cause the now sky – high divorce and abortion rates in the church to PLUMMET.
 

Instead, the church should preach and practice the Biblically sound doctrine that a Christian man should marry a Christian woman and allow himself to be blessed financially through her. Consider Proverb 31; it speaks of how a virtuous wife is such a blessing to her husband and her whole house with her work ethic and prudent financial actions and judgment. Now if this were so under the old covenant when that Proverb was written, how much more true is it under the New Covenant? It is interesting to note that the nations that cruelly oppress women (third world countries and similar) are wretchedly poor even when there is the potential for significant wealth (huge mineral reserves and rich farmland, for instance) while even nations that have far less intrinsic economic or strategic value but yet afford some degree of economic liberty to women are far more prosperous! And does it honestly appear as if the full gospel ministries that allow women to contribute their labor are now outstripping the traditional churches? It is a sound Biblical principle in action.  

One thing that I have noticed from the Bible: originally there seemed to be a lack of polygamy. Adam, of course, had only one wife, as did Job and Noah. Abraham only took a second wife, Hagar, at the demands of Sarah, and of course the result of that was the Ishmaelite influence that God had Abraham cast out of his house and has warred against the people of God even to this day. Isaac, meanwhile, only married his second wife after Rebekah died. And Jacob (
Israel) never wanted to marry both Rachel and Leah, but only did so because of the treachery of the pagan Laban (who tricked Jacob into adhering to his pagan customs). By contrast, Esau, who never gained favor in God’s sight, practiced polygamy (and with pagan women, including an Ishmaelite) by choice. And like Abraham, Jacob’s having two wives was a source of unending misery, including Jacob being forced to marry his wives’ handmaids because of the rivalry between Leah and Rachel to see who would have the most children for Jacob. Further, Joseph had only one wife, as did Moses. Now realize that when Israel went against God’s Will and demanded a king, the kings of
Israel emulated the custom of other pagan kingdoms: the king having many wives and concubines. Now David brought sin into his own house by taking another man’s wife though he had many already, and there was division among David’s children of various wives that resulted in a half – brother raping his half – sister and being killed in revenge by Absalom, who then attempted a coup against David, during which he publicly raped David’s concubines. And then David’s son Solomon did even worse than David by marrying pagan women and becoming pagan himself, thereby introducing that sin into the line of kings, and it never left until the kingdom was destroyed by the Babylonians. Incidentally, after the destruction of Israel by
Babylon, there was no more mention of polygamy being practiced by Jews (or Christians as it were) in the Bible. So while it was never specifically mentioned as a sin in the Bible, it is clear from every single one of its recorded examples that polygamy was never God’s plan and that no good ever came of it. Why? Because marriage is supposed to be a union of equal partners with one partner voluntarily submitting to the other’s benevolent authority, and if a man is married to several women, that removes the equality between the man and woman and instead significantly degrades the worth and status of the women. Further, there can be no voluntary submission to a single benevolent authority; instead all the women must by design and in essence by force submit to the male because of a lack of an alternative. And instead of wielding his God – given authority with love, mercy, and patience with an equal partner, the man has to exercise strict control over entities with status and worth that are less than his. And rather than a woman being only under a man who is under God, the women themselves have a hierarchy, with the oldest woman having dominion over the rest, and status and power is also “earned” by the ability to have the most children and to contribute economically. And of course, with the women being so devalued in this arrangement, the result is that her own male children – and the male children of his other wives – wind up having more worth and ultimately dominion over her. So, the fact that polygamy obviously violates God’s original intent for a man and woman (and let us not forget, came about in pagan cultures in the sinful world that sprang up after Adam fell) is proof that men and women are spiritually equal in God’s eyes and are hence suitable for roles that are spiritually equal in accordance to God’s Will and Design.  
 

Jesus Christ came to set the captives free! Therefore, Christians should give women a degree of liberation and empowerment unseen anywhere else in the world so that the world may be blessed by Christian women. This includes, of course, Christian men, who are also set free from the curse of having to rule over women instead of having the voluntary gracious loving submission of a woman. Just as it is far easier for a king to preside over a kingdom of loving subjects, it is far easier to run a household with a wife who voluntary submits than with one who is held in an inferior position against her will by a curse. Instead of one being superior and another being begrudgingly inferior, you will have a situation where both are co – equals, and one graciously accepts being under God’s authority and the other also graciously accepts being under God’s authority by submitting to the one that God told her to. Also, in the prior arrangement, a woman is subject not only to her husband, but to all males, including her own sons. As a man, how does it make you feel if any other man can just boss your wife around? Especially if you are a man whose wife has to work, if a woman is under man’s dominion against her will, what gives your wife the authority to resist her male boss’s sexual aggression? But in a redeemed relationship, the woman is under God alone, who then using HIS divine authority places under YOU alone (not as a footstool, but as a very competent and respected helper, such as a vice president or a chief operating officer). So, she is subject to no one but God or you, and she therefore has all power through the Name of Jesus Christ to resist both her boss and those demons of lust and rape in him! Isn’t that what you WANT, man of God? Or is it that you would rather deny her the fullness of what Christ went to the cross and overcame death, hell, sin, and the grave to give your wife (and your mother, sisters, and daughters) on the cross? If so, that is not the love of God working in you, but rather the abomination of religion taking the place of God’s Word. Whatever place you are in right now that is causing you to reject God’s Word and Divine Plan in your life, then it is your responsibility to move. If you fail to do so, then you will be held accountable on judgment day. Will it keep you out of Heaven? No, but you will not inherit the glory or the place that you would have otherwise received. Now your wife on the other hand, well as one who was made last by you in this life as one suffering under the cruel yoke of your unGodly false doctrine, will be first in the next. If she was a good, faithful, virtuous wife to you despite your ill treatment of her, then her reward in Heaven for having held on in the face of her persecution at your hand will be great indeed.  Please read Part II of this important message! 

 

Prayer:

Father God in the Name of Jesus Christ, please overcome this false doctrine that has demeaned and subjugated women and is no credit to men that exists among many in the Body of Christ. Please send preachers, prophets, teachers, preachers, and evangelists with true, sound interpretations of The Word to use them to help people, set them free, and preach and do works against the false doctrine and the evil effects of it. In the Name of Jesus Christ, Amen.  Deliverance:

The demons that work in this area are false teaching, false doctrine, and worldliness. It is regrettable that so many people associate the church with oppressing women and the world with liberating them when the opposite is true. Please read the Basic Spiritual Warfare guide to learn more about how to go against these demons to help set captives free and win battles in the name of your God through the power, authority, and victory given to you by his Son Jesus Christ and by his blood shed for you!

Posted in God The Original Feminist | 3 Comments »

THE FIVE TYPES OF PRAYER

Posted by Job on March 2, 2007

II Samuel 7:27 – For thou, O LORD of hosts, God of Israel, hast revealed to thy servant, saying, I will build thee an house: therefore hath thy servant found in his heart to pray this prayer unto thee.

The reason why the prayer life of so many Christians is so limited is not so much because Christians do not pray enough. Do not get me wrong; Christians should pray more; it is the most important thing that we can do. We are not that big on outward works at Heal the Land, preferring instead to talk first about spiritual deliverance from demons and next spiritual maturity by submission to the inward workings of the Holy Spirit. But if you are someone who is big one works, then prayer is the area where you should focus on.  Why? Because if a person spends a lot of time praying, eventually that person will run out of things to day. All of that person’s own desires are used up. All of their hopes, wants, needs, fears, frustrations, goals, situations, everything they want for their family members, everything that they desire for their church, all of the things that they saw on television: you can actually create a huge monster prayer list of all of these things, but after about an hour or three you will have gone through it.  Then what? Well, when you have run out of things that YOU want to say to God about what YOU want God to do, THEN it is time for you  to start praying for real. That is when you stop talking to God and start listening to God, and when you start praying while or after listening to God, then that is when God starts playing you like an instrument, using you to ask and pray for the things that HE wants. Of course, God does not need or depend upon you; He is all powerful and all mighty. So do not get confused: God is not praying to you, you are still praying to HIM. But God is SPEAKING to you regarding what HE wants you to pray so that He can have an agent in the natural realm that He has transferred authority and dominion over the natural realm to through Adam to represent His Will in the spiritual realm. You are God’s “point of contact” in the natural realm; His vessel, His conduit, His agent. A lot of folks think that being God’s vessel in the natural realm means getting up and doing some mighty stuff like parting the Red Sea, bringing fire down from Heaven, performing great healings, or prophecying mighty plagues. Well, that was how things might have worked under the old covenant. But we are under a new covenant better promises (eternal salvation through Christ’s dying for our sins in our place) and more power (Christ’s resurrection giving us the victory over death and His ascension giving us the indwelling Holy Spirit.)  Under the new covenant, the mightiest work of all time has already been done: God coming to earth as a man to die on the cross for our sins, and to be raised from the dead by God so that we too can live again. So, the best work that remains for all of us saved through Jesus Christ is to “merely” pray  (and speak for you Word of Faith types of which I also am after a fashion) God’s Will into existence into the natural realm. The Bible says “the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” Consider how powerful that statement is! Now, what other actions of a person does the Bible confer such power on? The answer is NOTHING, and there is a REASON for it, and that is there is NOTHING that you can do that has as much power under the new covenant! That may have been so under the old covenant as well; but whether it was or wasn’t we are under the new one now, and that is the one that we have to learn to operate under.

 But in order to accomplish this, you need to know which type of prayer is called for at the right time. The Holy Spirit will not merely burden you to pray, but also tell you which type of prayer to say at that time. Those of you who immerse yourselves into the Bible already know which prayer in the Bible should be said at which time. But for those of you who are new at effectual praying, here are the  five types of prayers and examples of each:

1.  Praise. This is the type that you should say the most. In it, you give God thanks for what He has already done and what He is about to do. You also let God know that you are not coveting some other situation, but you rejoice in your current one, thereby letting Him know that you are submitting to His Will for your life whatever it may be, and whatever you might be going through in order for His Will to be worked in and through you. You might be Joseph working as a slave and then going to prison for 20 years, but rather than complain you are still giving Him the praise. Prayers of praise release the moving of the Holy Spirit for yourself and for others, because it breaks down the mental strongholds that you may be carrying with you due to the burdens and disappointments of your physical life situation because it gets you to stop thinking about them and instead praise God for what He is using your life and position in the natural realm to accomplish for You and for all those who love God and are called according to His Purpose in the spiritual realm. And such prayers also greatly hinder the work of Satan, his demons, witches, etc. because they feed on the weaknesses and hurts that humans perceive themselves to be experiencing. If you praise God not only for the good things but also for your hurts, pains, weaknesses, thorns in the flesh, rejections, trials, failures, and ESPECIALLY for His Mercy and Forgiveness and Rebuke when you sin, then that removes the things that Satan would use to cause you to complain, accuse, and rebel against God over. An example of a prayer of praise is Psalm 150: Praise ye the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power. Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness. Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp. Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs. Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals. Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD.

2. A prayer of thanksgiving can be mistaken for a prayer of praise, but it is actually thanking God for a SPECIFIC thing that He has done. Basically, a prayer of praise thanks God for who God IS: powerful, mighty, wonderful, righteous, merciful, omnipotent, omniscient, self – existent. A prayer of thankgsgiving is said when God has blessed you with something, or (again, for you Word of Faith types) when God is going to do something. An example of a thanksgiving prayer is Psalm 103Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies: Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s. The LORD executeth righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed. He made known his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel…

3. A prayer of asking is when you request of the Lord that He do something for you, for someone else, or something in a situation. You can want a new home, for someone’s marriage to be fixed, or for hunger or disease in a land to be removed. However, you must continue in prayer until such time that your own desires are exhausted so that the things which you ask are not God’s Will but rather your own. The experienced in prayer will be able to almost immediately “tune themselves into the frequency of the Holy Spirit” so that they will not have to exhaust time and energy on the (mostly vain) excercise of praying for their own wishes before they “get around” to praying God’s Will. A way to jump – start this process for the person new at “praying for real” is to allow your prayers to be motivated by a sermon that you heard a true preacher of God speak, or even better by what you read in your Bible that day that remained with you … if you have faith that God spoke to your spirit man and the Holy Spirit is giving you a burden on it, then that is what you can and should ask the Lord that it come to pass. An example of a prayer of asking is II Kings 19: 15 – 19And Hezekiah prayed before the LORD, and said, O LORD God of Israel, which dwellest between the cherubims, thou art the God, even thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; thou hast made heaven and earth. LORD, bow down thine ear, and hear: open, LORD, thine eyes, and see: and hear the words of Sennacherib, which hath sent him to reproach the living God. Of a truth, LORD, the kings of Assyria have destroyed the nations and their lands, And have cast their gods into the fire: for they were no gods, but the work of men’s hands, wood and stone: therefore they have destroyed them. Now therefore, O LORD our God, I beseech thee, save thou us out of his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that thou art the LORD God, even thou only. Another example of a prayer of asking is I Kings 8:12-61.

4. Then you have prayers of intercession. These may in fact be the sorts of prayers that YHWH through the Holy Spirit will burden you to pray the most. If you are a spiritually mature individual – that is one full of love for God first with all your heart mind and strength and also love your neighbor as yourself – then you will resist the urge to dwell on your own desires and instead consider yourself fine (because you are, after all, GOING TO SPEND ETERNITY IN HEAVEN AND THAT IS ALL THAT TRULY MATTERS) and will be primarily about the affairs of the Kingdom of Heaven and those that are either in it or not (yet) in it. Pastors in particular should spend a great deal of their time making prayers of intercession for their congregation – and also for other pastors. One can intercede for individuals, groups of people, entire nations, even people not yet born! But be careful: follow the Holy Spirit so that what you pray and speak be not against the Will of the Father. Perhaps the most touching example of intercessory prayer given in the Bible was when Jesus Christ told Peter that Satan desired to sift him as powder, but “I have prayed for you.” And the most heartbreaking example of the FAILURE of someone to give intercessory prayer was when Jesus Christ wanted Peter to pray for HIM while He was in the garden of Gethsemane under great torment, but Peter fell asleep! This exchange the night our Savior was given into the hand of the Jewish religious leaders who rejected Him so that He could be delivered to the Romans to be murdered on false charges – though it was the Will of the Father – shows the importance of intercessory prayer: lives and even eternal souls may depend on it! Examples of intercessory prayer are given in Ephesians 1:17 – 19: That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power and Colossians 1:9 – 13:”For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: “.

5. The final type of prayer is perhaps the prayer least made: authoritative prayer. Remember: God gave man dominion and authority over the earth in Adam. Adam ceded rule over the earth to Satan when he sinned; it was not Satan’s to take but Adam’s to give and Adam freely gave it when he heeded his wife rather than obeyed God. Of course, Satan’s rule over the earth is not God’s Plan or Will, so as children of God we are to use the power of the Name and Blood of Jesus Christ and the Testimony of the gospel of salvation through Jesus Christ to take back what is rightfully God’s. Some would say take back what is rightfully ours, but remember intercessory prayer: the things which we will be reclaiming will often not be for our own sakes, but rather on the behalf of souls lost and not yet found (including the souls themselves) and on souls that are temporarily weakened spiritually to the point where they cannot claim things that they desperately need for themselves. So, instead of worrying about “taking back what’s mine”, just “take back what’s God’s” (for everything is God’s, including not only that which is yours but also you yourself), and have faith that what God has stored up for you is included in it. A reason why prayers of authority are seldom given is because religion has told us that we are to be always meek, humble, submissive, and accepting. Yes, we are to be that way before God, but if we truly go before God, there are going to be times when God tells us to arise and go about His Business, as He did to Moses when He appeared to Moses as the flame in the bush. So Moses had to then stand up and take his place of authority as leader of the children of Israel and use that authority to take them under God’s direction out of Egypt (which spiritually was sin) and into Israel (which spiritually represents the Kingdom of Heaven) through the wilderness (which spiritually represents trials, tribulations, and tests on the way; whether to choose the wide path or the strait gate). Now again, as operating under the new covenant, God is going to use us through the Holy Spirit to take command of situations spiritually through prayer. While binding, rebuking, and casting out demons and sickness using the Name of Jesus Christ is a form of taking spiritual authority and thereby spiritual warfare, authoritative prayer is spiritual warfare in its purest, most powerful form, and therefore it is the hardest for even the most dedicated Christian to get into the habit of effectually doing so in faith when the Holy Spirit moves us to. The biggest barrier: religion tells us that such prayers are not to be, because when we pray in such a manner we are treading on territory that belongs to God alone; that we are supposed to ask God to take authority in these situations. While that sounds extremely virtuous to the spiritually immature – who by nature are afraid to approach God because they still consider themselves sinful and unreliable and therefore unworthy and unable to do God’s Will since they have not fully accepted through faith what Jesus Christ has done for and in them – what we must ALWAYS realize is that WE ARE TO OBEY GOD AND DO GOD’S WILL AND NOT OUR OWN! Those who follow God’s Will in every area will find themselves regularly doing things that run counter to their own expectations and notions of what it means to be a good Christian. You go then and do the same! An example of a prayer of authority is Acts 3:6 :”Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.” In doing so, Peter was implementing what Jesus Christ told him in Mark 11: 22 – 24: “And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God. For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.” The key here is “what you desire when ye pray”, intimating that when you pray, you are praying in the Holy Spirit, and that your desires are now in harmony with and submission to the desire of the Holy Spirit. Many people take that verse to mean what they themselves desired BEFORE they started praying and became in harmony with God’s desire as put in their hearts by the Holy Spirit. Wrong teaching and willful misunderstanding of that verse is where you get nonsense such as “Christians” praying to have someone else’s wife and things of that nature. “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge …”(Hosea 4:6 ).

Please study these, and moreover study your Bible so that you might come up with more prayers of these sorts. You can both repeat and recite these and other sorts of prayers at regular intervals and when you are Holy Spirit inspired, and you can use them is templates by which you can create your own prayers. And do not be selfish! Share your prayers that you find in the Bible with others. Write the prayers that the Holy Spirit inspires you to come up with and share them with others! This is very important, a great ministry activity that you can use to let God use you to help empower and encourage your fellowservants in Christ during these last and evil days.

Prayer:

Father God in the Name of Jesus Christ, I am claiming that your children will learn and use these types of prayers to become more effective and assertive in allowing You to use them to accomplish Your Will through them by their prayers, and that they would know the importance of their prayer ministry to You. In the Name of Jesus Christ, amen.  Deliverance:

The demons that work in this area is false doctrine and false teaching they cause people not to know how to pray as they ought, or the power of doing so. Please read the Basic Spiritual Warfare guide to learn more about how to go against these demons to help set captives free and win battles in the name of your God through the power, authority, and victory given to you by his Son Jesus Christ and by his blood shed for you!

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