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Archive for March, 2007

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!

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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!

Posted in THE FIVE TYPES OF PRAYER | 5 Comments »

FAITH DOES NOT COME BY HEARING

Posted by Job on March 2, 2007

False doctrine alert! I wrote this back when I was in my Word of Faith stage. I am very sorry. http://www.biblegateway.com http://bible.cc   http://realanswers.net

Posted in FAITH DOES NOT COME BY HEARING | 2 Comments »

Do Not Be A Satan

Posted by Job on March 2, 2007

I Chronicles 21:1 – And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number
Israel.
 

One of the main things that Christians have to be careful about is to not be a satan. What are you talking about, you ask? I am saved by the Blood of Jesus Christ and am good; how can I be evil, especially in comparison with Satan, the ultimate evil? Satan is a former top angel, the leader of demons, the leader of the spiritual rebellion against God, who has all of this power and might and is responsible for so much destruction and so many calamities? Well, a common theme with us at Heal The Land/God’s Love Ministries is that whatever real power that Satan has is greatly overrated, especially compared to the power of God and therefore the power that believers have at their disposal. It is not so much that we attribute a lot of things to Satan that he has nothing to do with – an idea that many ministries advance – but rather that virtually everything that Satan DOES do against believers would be ineffective if believers walked according to faith, knowledge, submission, humility, obedience, patience, and above all things charity. Most Christians, sadly, cede a lot of ground to Satan in their lives and in the lives of others by all but denying his existence; practically claiming that Satan is merely an allegory or metaphor for the bad choices of man and for the destructive influence of people in power (especially people whose politics they disagree with). Even Christians who are active in opposing Satan greatly overemphasize the gifts of the spirit. While the gifts of the spirit are very useful when it comes to discerning the presence and work of demons and using the Name of Jesus Christ to bind, rebuke, and cast them out, it is the fruits of the spirit that are most effective against Satan because a person in whom the fruits of the spirit are present, strong removes the opportunities and areas that Satan can use and exploit. For example: if you are required to constantly be in the presence and home of a devil worshipper (say that your job requires it or something), then the ability to discern, bind, rebuke, and remove demons is greatly limited when dealing with a person who has willingly knowingly allowed those demons into himself and his home, deals with them on a constant basis of his own free will, is the legal (in a spiritual sense) owner and master of his home and body, and does not want the demons that he foolishly believes to be “his” to be bound, rebuked, or cast out. It is then that a Christian needs to be mature and powerful in the FRUITS of the spirit so that this devil – worshipper and his demons do not provoke the Christian to wrath, fear, disobedience, envy, arrogance, or anything that would give the witch or his demons a legal opening to persecute the Christian. Witches and their demons LOVE dealing with and tormenting spiritually immature Christians, but having to deal with a Christian mature and strong in the fruits of the spirit over a long period of time causes the witch and the demons such torment that it will cause either the destruction or the repentance of the witch.  

But alas, in dealing with the “satan temptation” that far too many Christians expose themselves and fall to, it is one of the more than a few ways that Christians are harmed by the fact that so many of them cannot read the original texts of the Bible (Hebrew, Greek, Aramaic) and furthermore do not even take advantage of the many study guides, commentaries, concordances, etc. that exist in the languages that they DO understand. Even more amazing – and vexing – is how even those Christians who DO immerse themselves in those things – especially theology and seminary students – pretty much ignore the knowledge in them in favor of their own doctrines, teachings, and traditions. One of the best examples of this is all of the disinformation there is regarding “Christmas” – the birth of Christ – so much of which plainly contradicts Luke, yet sincere Christians who have studied the Bible all of their lives still hold to the foolishness that Joseph, Mary, “the three wise men”, and the shepherds all arrived at a stable in Bethlehem within a few hours of each other, and that “the three wise men” in particular followed a moving star through the sky until it stopped over the manger. The irony is that the very reason why Luke authored the book was to separate fact from fiction for that time and for future generations! In any event, were more people literate in Hebrew and Greek, they would know that “Satan” is not Satan’s name! What, then, is Satan’s name? It is not recorded in the “Protestant” Bible. Further, his former name, Lucifer, is only mentioned in the Bible once (ironically in a passage that is rarely mentioned or understood despite its great importance, Isaiah 14:12).  

Rather than being the NAME of Satan, Satan, rather, is what Satan primarily DOES. What is more, what Satan DOES is the primary source of his power, the destruction that he causes. Further still, the primary source of Satan’s power and destruction is what Christians are all too familiar with, for they themselves engage in the very same thing that constitutes the main strength and effectiveness of Satan, especially in their dealings with and concerning other Christians. Well, of Satan is evil and Christians are good, what could POSSIBLY be this thing that both gives power to Satan and is done so often by Christians, especially amongst themselves? What, then, could Satan POSSIBLY MEAN? As confused – and possibly offended and even fearful – as you might be right now, once I give you the answer, it will all immediately make sense, you will immediately agree with me, and hopefully be Holy – Spirit convicted and start being mindful of your own behavior in this regards and seek God and sound counsel regarding your immediately stopping it. The answer is: the word Satan means ACCUSER. It is as simple as that, but also just as misleadingly destructive and powerful as it is sinister.  

Yes, Satan is cunning and intelligent, but not more so than God or the angelic beings. Yes, Satan is a liar, but we know that about him already. Yes, Satan has spiritual power, but it is nothing compared to the power of God. No, the thing about Satan that is of the greatest concern is his accusations. That is why when he was cast out of heaven and the angels rejoiced, they didn’t say “the powerful is cast down”, or “the destroyer is cast down”, or “the cunning strategist is cast down”, or “the evil genius is cast down.” Oh how we men fear and regard those whom we regard those who are powerful, those who cause great destruction, those who are cunning, or those who are intelligent. But heaven does not regard those things! No, Revelation 12:10 says that the angels rejoiced that THE ONE WHO ACCUSED THE BRETHREN BEFORE GOD DAY AND NIGHT was cast down! And recall the Psalms, especially those written by David. David was not crying out to God nearly so much who were trying to kill him or steal his wealth and kingdom, but rather those who accused and spoke evil of him. 

Now the significance of accusations may be surprising to many Christians, especially those in
America. Why? Because Christianity in
America originated in and developed out of an extreme puritanical legalistic variety.
As a result, we place most of the emphasis on sexual sin like adultery, fornication, homosexuality, pornography, prostitution, and provocation, and most of the rest on “vices” like gambling, smoking, and drinking alcohol. But that is NOT what the Bible places the most emphasis on. Rather, the sins that the Bible places the most emphasis on are violence, rebellion/witchcraft, mistreating the poor, and accusing/lying. Even our current culture, we focus on sexual sin because we seek to draw attention away from how exceptionally violent our nation has been, how heavily into various forms of paganism and idolatry we have been, how we elevate the rich and famous while claiming that the poor should either pull themselves by their own bootstraps or should consider themselves privileged to be poor in such a great nation (as if America is heaven or something), and how so much of our “entertainment” in this country is driven literally by gossip … you have some “celebrities” who owe their fame more to getting people to talk about them than anything that they have ever actually accomplished. But, it is still true. Stop listening to tradition and doctrine and read the Bible: there are probably more examples of people being condemned for what they SAID than for what they DID. God nearly destroyed the children of
Israel in the desert because they kept complaining. Sure, they did other things, like the golden calf incident and the revolts, but every single time it originated with their grumbling.
 

And Job? God became angry with Job because he kept claiming that while he was righteous, God was unfair. And God also became angry at Job’s friends when they accused him of sinning where he had not. Ham? He mocked his father’s drunkenness and told his brothers about it, and therefore was cursed along with his seed. Shimei, the descendant of Saul? Mocked and cursed David, accusing him of stealing Saul’s kingdom. The Proverbs and Psalms are filled with warnings and condemnations against people who mock and accuse, and warn the righteous to not so much as even associate with them. Some of those Psalms in particular were prophetic regarding the accusers of Jesus Christ. The Pharisees, Sadducees, and scribes did not often try to kill Jesus Christ with violence, nor did they try to bribe Him with money and power (though Satan did), nor did they send beautiful women (or men for those who make the blasphemous claim that Christ was homosexual) to try to cause Him to fall sexually. No, by far their most frequent attempts to attack Jesus Christ and His disciples were with false accusations and trying to verbally trick and trap Him! Lest we forget, it was the false accusations of the Jews that sent Jesus Christ to the cross. And it was not even false accusations of murder, theft, adultery, or being a drunk, but rather things regarding what someone said that someone else said that they heard Jesus Christ say! So yes, people of God, you can pass all of your resolutions condemning gay marriage all you want, and yes homosexuality is a sin. But save for the fact that Jesus Christ died for all sins, including homosexuality, it was not some homosexual conspiracy that sent Jesus Christ to the cross, it was evil speech that sent your Lord and Savior to the cross!

Again, because of our legalistic tradition, we Christians put so much more emphasis on what we DO rather than by what we SAY, and we do so despite what the Bible says and depicts over and over again. Jesus Christ Himself, when asked why His disciples did not do the ritual washing, replied that it wasn’t some action like washing or not washing that saved and condemned, but rather the contents of the heart, because it was out of the heart that lies, lusts, blasphemies, etc. came! And James 1:14 – 15 also implies that the beginning of sin is wicked thought! Well, you have to think something before you speak it, right? That is why the Bible doesn’t say that the power of life and death is with the hand that striketh! It says the power of life and death is in the tongue that speaketh! And that is the same power that Satan uses to accuse. 

Accusations drive apart friendships. They destroy marriages, and set brothers and sisters against each other. They bring down churches and denominations. They cause towns and cities to become overtaken with crime and job loss. They cause companies to go bankrupt, and nations to go to war. Why? Because words provoke anger. They provoke vanity. They provoke jealousy. They provoke fear. They ruin self – esteem. They wound and cause hurt, and they pour salt onto wounds and hurt that already exist. They drive to madness, and they incite the already mad to mad actions. Words cause us to do what we should not and prevent us from doing what we should. Another name for Satan, which is also a description of what he does? Deceiver. Well, words deceive! And we deceive not only with false accusations, but true ones! Even other sins are driven by gossip. Who do fornicators seek out? The man or woman who “has a reputation.” How do you suppose he or she got that “reputation” to begin with? And who gave him or her “the reputation”? People who consider themselves more moral talking about them to whoever will listen, including a person who has a spiritual weakness in that area who really doesn’t need the temptation, but once tempted by hearing about how “easy” and “available” that person is will go and be the next person to sin. Sure, those two “loose people” are going to go off and sin, but everyone who started and participated in the gossip chain for the sex predator to hear enabled the sin and thereby are just as responsible. In that way, chaste “religious” people who gossip about fornicators and adulterers will have more fornication, adultery, homosexuality, abortion, etc. charged to them than the people who actually go out and do it. In a sense, it is actually better to BE an adulterer than it is to be found gossiping about one! And the same goes for pornography, gambling, drinking, seditions, rioting … virtually everyone who has committed one of those sins did so after HEARING SOMEONE TALKING ABOUT IT! And you know what? Are you one of those Christians who just HATES the sinful content of TV, movies, music, and magazines? Don’t you realize that all these entertainment producers are doing is putting things that people – including Christians – are gossiping about on camera or in songs or print?   

That is right; your words do not have to be untrue or dishonest in order to make you an accuser with a destroying tongue like Satan. What you say can be perfectly true and still do harm if used with a harmful intent, or even if used carelessly. Even if it is true, if it will not be used to gain or build up your brother, SHUT UP! So what if people are going to find out anyway. Let them find out from the next guy! Look, you are a CHRISTIAN. Of course SINNERS are going to accuse and say harmful things about things that are true and are not. Why? Because doing such a thing is a SIN and SINNERS SIN. And it is the job of the CHRISTIAN to step in, oppose the sin and its effects, to fix the damage, and to set right things that were wrong. That is what Jesus Christ did with the adulteress caught in the act. Now her condemners were not lying on her; that is why Christ told her to “sin no more.” But the reason why they condemned her wasn’t to enforce the law and drive the sin out of
Israel, but rather for an occasion to accuse a totally innocent and unrelated party! But Christ was able to convict the accusers by their own words and give the adulteress, one who was such as call Him Lord even in the midst of her sins, another chance! How can YOU be one who heals wounds, fixes things, and prevents destruction and violence if you are a source of the mayhem! The fact that you are a Christian isn’t going to help you fix messes in your family or on your job if you are one of the ones gossiping, and it doesn’t matter whether the gossiping is about someone in your family or on your job, or if the gossiping is about some athlete, movie star, or politician; sin is sin, and just like devils cannot cast out devils, corruption cannot deal with corruption. That is precisely why these people sitting around waiting for some corrupt wicked government or corporation to bail them out and save the world rather than turning to God are so misguided: if the government or corporate
America could heal anything, it would start with itself!
 

And then there is the church. At least on your job or at school or in your family, you know who the saved people are and what they are going to do, and therefore you are going to be in a position to oppose and break down what the devil is using sinners to do with their words. But at church, if the CHRISTIANS are gossiping, accusing, and destroying each other’s ministries and families and the church itself with their words, who is to be the arbitrator? Who is to be the healer? I am not talking about GOING TO THE PERSON accused of the sin and asking them if it is true, or GOING TO THE PERSON that you KNOW is sinning and asking them to change their ways with your offered prayer and support, or taking a person’s sin to the pastor and before the church in the mouth of two or three witnesses. Oh were Christians doing such a thing, but we are not. One reason is that so many Christians lack true love. If we had true love, we would ignore and forget the transgressions of another, and those transgressions we are unable to ignore and forget, we would be so vexed by the spiritual condition of the brother or sister that we would go to them in love or take them before the pastor with an eye towards their correction. But we do not love one another enough to ignore their sins. We do not love one another enough to suborn their correction for their own spiritual benefit. And because of the lack of love, we destroy them with our tongues. We actually LIKE talking about the sin that they go through. We GLORY IN OURSELVES when their sin causes them to lose their jobs, health, families, and positions in the church. What makes you think that God won’t judge YOU for your lack of love? Would not it be just grand for you were the target of your accusations to repent of their transgressions and receive forgiveness and deliverance for them while YOU are still being held accountable for their accusations? And then there is this lie straight from the pit of hell that we are supposed to be loving, tolerant, and accepting towards our brothers and sisters, that we cannot judge their behavior because we have all sinned and there is none righteous but God, so we cannot confront them or bring them before the church when they sin. So, instead of doing what God told us to do in the Bible so that the people will have the proper occasion to repent and be forgiven, we do the “liberal progressive” church thing and merely gossip about them instead!  

And when we act this way, who is allowing God to use them to heal? You have people who stop going to church because they fear being accused. You have preachers and bishops who conduct their offices not by leadership of the Holy Spirit but because they fear the people, knowing that if gossip about them gets out of control they will lose their jobs. A great many churches are constantly replacing their pastors and other officers because they are continually bringing them before the church and denominational leadership on charges. Sure, a lot of these people may in fact be transgressors or simply not particularly competent, but how many people refuse church service because they do not want to suffer the evil treatment as Moses did? It is one thing that so many qualified people do not seek government service because of all the accusations, it is quite another that so many people never answer God’s call to become pastors, bishops, elders, deacons, etc. for the same reason.  

There is the old saying “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” That is 100% true, and moreover based on what Paul wrote in many of his letters that make up so much of the New Testament. This truly is where we need to be led and motivated by the Holy Spirit, and also be mature in the fruits of the spirit: we need to know what to say, when, and how. If it is negative, salacious, or even questionable, and you don’t know how to handle it, then just shut up about it until such time that you can take it to the Lord in prayer. Even if you cannot resolve it within yourself on what needs to be done, just let it pass. If that person is living in sin, then he was living in sin without your help so let him go be bad by himself without your meddling or inserting yourself into the situation and becoming part of it with your words. How many people get ensnared in situations that they did not create and cannot resolve just because they were discovered to have TALKED about something that someone else was doing! And so that person is sinning. So what. A) The world is filled with sin and B) Christ dealt with all sin on the cross. Look, it isn’t so much important whether that person stops engaging in that sin or not as it is whether that person accepts Christ. If that person doesn’t accept Christ, then he is doomed to the lake of fire whether he stops that sin or not. And if he accepts Christ, even though it is not expedient for him to be sinning, in most instances his accepting Christ will cover his sin whether he ever stops doing it or not! So, if a person is a sinner, try your best to be THE ONE PERSON who isn’t talking about him. Why? Because if that guy is sinning, he is almost certainly in torment because of it. Unless he is a reprobate (in which case your talking about or even regarding his sin isn’t going to do any good whatsoever), then his conscience will be troubled because of his sin. Now if everyone is talking about his sin, then it will either A) make him more miserable or B) cause him to take on a “me against the world” attitude and harden his heart even more. But if he is in his torment and notices that THE ONE PERSON AROUND HIM WHO IS NOT MOCKING, ACCUSING, OR GOSSIPING ABOUT HIS SIN IS A CHRISTIAN, and he sees YOU, THE CHRISTIAN, as HIS SOLE SOURCE OF RELIEF FROM THE MISERY THAT HE IS IN, then who knows, THAT FACT ALONE MAY HELP YOU GAIN YOUR BROTHER! 

Of course, the notion of seeing a sinner and doing your best to not speak of him is exactly the opposite of what our religion in this country says because of our legalistic tradition. Our legalistic tradition tells us that we should condemn sinners publicly and privately in front of them and behind their backs. The liberal response to the legalistic tradition is little better – to claim sin as righteousness and righteousness as sin. And that is exactly how Satan works. He is constantly in your face, in your head, reminding you of all the bad things that you have done, telling you about all the bad things that you might do, and telling you about how everyone is talking about you and knows that you are a fraud, or he might even tell you how everyone is depending on you and how TERRIBLE it would be were you to let them down. That stuff drives you to sin, keeps you from doing good, takes away your peace and joy, and ultimately destroys you if you let it go unchecked. Most of the self – destructive and unproductive stuff that people do is either in response to or trying to drown out that voice that Satan’s army of demons is putting into their heads. When Satan isn’t in YOUR HEAD, then he is doing the next best thing: getting others to talk about you. It influences what they think of you and how they treat you, and when they start treating you different, you notice it and it adds to your misery. Very likely you will respond in – kind, and that starts the cycle. Accusing really is the most effective thing that Satan does. It causes so much hurt that it drives people to sin in order to salve the hurt or to get revenge on those who hurt them, and eventually their sin destroys them. And that sin causes hurt in other people AND still more accusations. Now, the issue is not so much whether Satan has all this power in the spiritual and natural realm that he can cause hurricanes and earthquakes and turn people into zombies, but the simple fact that even if he does have all that power he doesn’t need to use it, because he can do all the damage that he needs and desires with accusing. Sure, Satan is also a deceiver, but even his primary use of deceiving is simply to get people to believe accusations that are not true, or even to get people to apply accusations that ARE true incorrectly. Consider the sad case of the history of anti – Semitism. So much of it was driven by the same accusations against Jews that spread all over the world and passed down from generation to generation. So people, including devout Christians, wound up committing the most unspeakable acts against Jews because they were deceived into believing accusations against them that were not true, and deceived into believing that even the accusations that were true should be addressed by taking violent and discriminatory action against Jews.  

There are so many accounts in the Bible of people “being stirred up” against another. How do you suppose that happened? By Satan taking over the mind and body of someone and causing them to act outside of their will? Why bother and go through all that effort when you can merely plant some accusation into minds and into the atmosphere and cause people to choose to use their free will falsely? And also consider the true nature of Satan. He does not just want to go around causing mayhem, but rather he has a rhyme, a reason, a motivation for the carnage that he causes. So even if Satan COULD take over your mind and body and cause you to act against your will, so what? Big deal, God would not lay it to your charge because you were not in control of your actions. No, Satan wants to trick or provoke YOU into doing a misdeed. Why? So that God can then take that misdeed that YOU did using YOUR OWN WILL before God and using that as justification for you to be delivered over into his hands. So while Satan perhaps COULD take over your mind and body and cause you to kill 10 or 100 innocent people until the cops kill you, the truth is that he would MUCH RATHER provoke you to tell one “little white lie” or spread just one little “juicy bit of gossip”, because where the former is just Satan being unrighteous (as God already knows and furthermore Satan already knows that God knows), the latter gives Satan an opportunity to tell God that YOU are unrighteous so that God will lift His protecting Hand from you so that Satan use his influence to make you even more unrighteous, and use your unrighteous acts to provoke others to sin so that he can then go before God and accuse THEM. And so on, and so on, and so on. So why rain fire out of the sky and kill 1000 people at one time when you can seduce one person who will in turn provoke 5 who will in turn provoke 50 who will in turn provoke an untold number of people throughout generations! Sure, some of these people may turn to God through Christ, but they will have done a lot of damage before they do so and will even do a little bit afterwards. That is what Satan wants.  

Satan comes to steal, kill, and destroy, but he knows that if he does it by getting YOU to do the actual deed itself, he can get far more mileage out of it. Therefore, his primary method is accusing. That is why a Christian’s primary method of fighting Satan should be to forgive and forget any accusation that Satan sends our way. But if we accuse, we are doing the very same thing that Satan is doing. We are taking the primary thing that Satan does, the thing that causes the very most destruction, and using it to cause more damage throughout the generations than all the earthquakes, hurricanes, atomic bombs, etc. combined. And you know what, that is also why God in His Word so often tells us not to act rashly or immodestly. Why? Because when we draw attention to ourselves, we give people occasion to talk about and accuse us. Though the gossip and accusations may not harm us, it definitely harms the people who say them, and it also harms the people who hear them. That is why our every thought and action should be to bring honor to God, not attention to ourselves. After all, what is the main reason why people accuse and gossip anyway? As a social activity to appear to be one who is interesting in conversation; so people will not think that we are “boring” and exclude us socially. So, we destroy each other and ultimately ourselves with our tongues just to be “popular.” Admit it; why else do you do it? It isn’t as if knowing about the financial problems or sex life of some pastor, church member, or celebrity is going to advance the interests of the person that you are telling it to in any way. I may be talking about GOSSIP more than ACCUSING it seems in this devotional, but most gossip is in fact making accusations about another behind their backs! If you weren’t accusing someone of untoward behavior or appearance, then what would you be gossiping about? The weather? Actually, if Christians WERE to talk more about the weather and less about people, then we would find ourselves being more about God’s business and being used by Satan a lot less!  

Even when you do go before the actual offending party with some charge, you had better A) make sure that it is true and B) not go before the person unless your ONLY motivation is their spiritual well – being. Otherwise, leave that person alone and let vexing that person over his deeds be the job of the next knuckehead to come along, and rest assured he will come along and do as good a job as you would have or better, Satan will make sure of that! One of the reasons why Christians are always bringing up accusations against each other is because of some notion that it is God’s Will for them to drive all of the sin out of the church, and if they let some untoward behavior go unconfronted that it will defile the Body of Christ. They are so filled with vanity and self – righteousness that it never occurs to them that A) there is almost certainly always a ton of sin going on behind closed doors that will never come to light until judgment day and B) their act of accusing is just as much sin and does just as much defiling as the thing that they are accusing over. This legalistic false doctrine is destroying so many churches, driving so many people from fellowship, and allowing so many hypocrites who are merely able to hide their sin better to take their place. You hear them talk about wanting to uphold sound biblical doctrine, well there is no room in their religion for the sound biblical doctrine of TRUE LOVE COVERS AND FORGETS A MULTITUDE OF FAULTS! Sure, there are going to be times when you have to act, but make sure that it is the Holy Spirit guiding you rather than your own sense of (self) righteousness provoking you to action. You may even be motivated by wanting to keep the adulterer from living in sin, but as the accuser of the adulterer you are living in sin too! If you want to talk about “church discipline”, then the place where church discipline needs to begin is with all of the accusers. Once all of the accusers are dealt with, once all of the beams are out of everyone’s eye, THEN the discipline can begin. What you will find is that there isn’t anywhere near the need for discipline as you thought.  

I would bet that a lot of the accusing that goes on in the church are the work of literal witches planted in churches by Satan to destroy them with their words. The reason why they are so effective is because our religious system does not teach us how to destroy accusations with love. We are either “conservatives” who deal harshly with the accused, or liberals who tell the accused that what they are doing is not sin. We are incapable of following the Bible so that we can show love to the accused as God shows love to us because religion us not about love, it is about control. Can we cast religion out of the church so that we can start to love one another? Do we even want to? Loving one another is hard. It is far easier to just stop calling sin sin, and it is even easier to deal harshly with the sinner on the basis of a hateful accusation (again, the fact that it was true doesn’t make it any less hateful). It is a big task, but like all tasks, big or small, you must begin with your own heart, the door to which is through your mouth. No, you do not open your heart by opening your mouth, you open your heart by closing your mouth. Why? There is another old saying “God gave you two ears and one mouth for a reason: He wants you to LISTEN twice as much as you TALK.” The same is true of your eyes: you have twice as much opportunity to watch (and pray) as you do to talk. But people do so much talking that it blinds their eyes and stops their ears. So just quit all the talking and start to listening and watching. What will you hear? A ton of gossip and accusations! But because you are not participating, Satan will not have any occasion to accuse YOU before God. The result is that you will be blameless, and that will give you spiritual power to contend against and overcome the enemy far more easily. How? Well, again, listen to the talk. See who the ones who are the butt of everyone’s cruel mean jokes, who are the target of the most railing and accusations. Realize that the person is not only dealing with WHY everyone is talking about them – and that alone is painful – but the fact that he OBVIOUSLY KNOWS THAT EVERYONE IS TALKING ABOUT HIM is EVEN MORE PAINFUL. He doesn’t know how to deal with why everyone is talking about him; if he did he would stop. So how much less is he unable deal with the fact that he is surrounded by mockers and accusers who seek (or await) his destruction, just as was David? Except where David had God to turn to, who does he have? I will tell you: he has YOU. He knows that YOU are the one who are not talking about him. And he knows that YOU are a Christian. Or if he doesn’t, when you offer your hand of assistance, when you throw him a life – preserver when he is sinking in the misery of both his behavior and the accusations concerning it, that would be the best time to tell him. And you will find yourself being not a satan to that person, but rather the image of Christ! Whether that person accepts or rejects the Christ that you are showing him, you are blameless. But if he accepts, then wow, won’t Heaven be rejoicing! And then you will just stop and consider this fact: the very reason why God put you into the life of a person that everyone was gossiping about and confusing was this very purpose! Yes, of course God did! Why else? So everyone could see your wardrobe and gossip about it? Accuse you of not knowing how to coordinate? The only question is whether you are up to the challenge: whether you are going to join all the accusers or be the one who takes a stand for righteousness. Either way, you are most likely going to inherit the kingdom of heaven. But what about the other person? If you have true love for him and God, then it will provoke you to SILENCE towards the cause of gaining your brother.  

Prayer:

Father God in the Name of Jesus Christ, may your children cease accusing and gossiping against people and situations, and instead allow the Holy Spirit to lead them into upright conversation at all times and situations. Father God, instead of your children destroying with their tongues, may they speak life, the life that only You can give, into people and situations instead. In the Name of Jesus Christ, Amen.    Deliverance:

The demons that work in this area are gossip, pride, self – righteousness, and accusing, with false religion, false doctrine, and false teaching at work in the church as well. Also know that people often feel motivated to tear someone else down to make themselves feel better because of their own low self – esteem. There are demons of low self – esteem, but truthfully all demons contribute to low self – esteem with their lies and accusations. 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 Do Not Be A Satan | Leave a Comment »

It Is OK To Celebrate Christmas

Posted by Job on March 2, 2007

Mark 14:22-26: And as they did eat, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and brake it, and gave to them, and said, Take, eat: this is my body. And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them: and they all drank of it. And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many. Verily I say unto you, I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine, until that day that I drink it new in the

kingdom of
God. And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives
. 

The precise date of Jesus Christ’s birth is probably unknowable. (Or is it? More on that later!) But we do know that it was not December 25 or similar. History records that the Roman church – state established the date of what is now celebrated as Christ’s birth to replace existing pagan celebrations such as Sol Invictus and Saturnalia as part of their campaign to cause its citizens to switch from paganism to its brand of Christian religion by force rather than free will conversion. However, we can definitely narrow it down to a period of a few days or weeks. We know from Luke 3:23 and John 5 – 11  that Christ’s ministry began on this 30th birthday and lasted 1260 days. This fulfilled the “70 weeks” prophecy of Daniel 25 – 27, that stated that Christ’s ministry would be cut off “mid – week”, or 3 ½ years, and furthermore that it would be in the middle of the 70 weeks itself  (33 ½ years). Further Jesus Christ ate the Passover feast (the Seder) and was executed the next day (a Friday, Preparation Day), with a high Sabbath the following day (John 19:31), which would have made it sometime during the month of April. Now we know from Revelation 11:3 that Bible prophecy considers a month to be a uniform 30 days, making a year 360 days and 6 months 180 days. So, Christ’s death was 180 days from His birth. The problem: no one knows exactly which YEAR Christ died or was born, and none of the relevant calendars (Hebrew, Julian, Gregorian) are 360 days. But Passover ranges from early April to early May according to the Gregorian calendar, and 180 days from then would put you in September/October. Some posit that Christ was born on Yom Kippur, the day of atonement for sin (my personal belief); a more popular theory is during the Feast of Tabernacles.  

The fact that Christmas is not celebrated on the actual birth of Christ but rather during the time of pagan festivals is only one of the problems that a growing number of Christians have with the celebration. Mistletoe, Yule logs, Christmas trees (and ornaments), gift – giving, Santa Claus (and reindeer and elves), lights, Frosty the Snowman, etc. all have strong elements of paganism in them and certainly have nothing to do with Christ, Christianity, Judaism, etc. So, some declare that the whole thing is paganism and that “real Christians” should have nothing to do with it. Others complain that it conveniently shifts the focus of Christianity from God dying on the cross for our sins to a (human) baby born in a manger in a “story” that “represents” peace, goodwill, love, justice, charity, and “the spirit of giving.” Others take a more fundamental approach: why take part in a lie? 

I say that it doesn’t matter (to a point). Why? Note that thus far, I have specifically refrained from using the term “holiday.” Why? Because “holiday” is a word that evolved from the term “HOLY DAY.” Now as GOD ALONE is holy (I Samuel 2:2), God is the only one who can make a HOLY DAY. Man can do whatever he wants with laws, customs, and observances, but he cannot sanctify or purify a day, and he certainly cannot put God’s Spirit into it. There were only seven Holy Days or observances given by God in the Bible: Passover, Unleavened Bread, Feast of Weeks (Pentecost), Trumpets, Atonement, Tabernacles, and the Last Great Day. All of the other false “holidays” were created by man, including Christian ones like Christmas and Easter (also replacing pagan festivals), and Jewish ones like Purim (though mentioned in the Bible) and Hanukkah, and of course all of the many political and cultural ones like Independence Day, New Year’s, and Thanksgiving. Even if man created it to honor God, and even if it commemorates some great miracle by God or occurrence of great spiritual significance (i.e. Purim) it still is not something that God Himself set apart, sanctified, and told man to keep. In that respect, Christmas is no different from any other commemoration or celebration that is not evil (Halloween), subversive (May Day), or SPECIFICALLY DESIGNED to worship another god (Ramadan or any observance from any other non – Judeo – Christian religion) or to replace/reject God (Kwanzaa, created as a Marxist/atheist rejection of Christmas). Now to say that we cannot celebrate (I did not say worship or keep, just celebrate) observances because they have nothing to do with God is akin to saying that you cannot throw a birthday party for your child. Even the fact that it was created to replace a pagan observance: what if your child was born on one of those days? When you consider all the religions that are, have been, and will be, there’s a pretty good chance that such is the case (just as pagan observances fall on or overlap God’s Holy Days from time to time). Look, people who celebrate Easter and Christmas are rejoicing in the birth and resurrection of Jesus Christ, not worshipping another God.  

Now, of course, the conduct on those days is an issue. The Easter bunny and Easter eggs, which are fertility rites? No. And this whole Santa Claus thing? Come on. First off, by telling your kid that Santa Claus exists, you are LYING, which is a sin. Second, I can assure you that even if an entity such as Santa Claus DID EXIST (lives forever, omniscient, visits every house in the world at night while everyone is sleeping with his “elves” and “flying reindeer), no Christian would want him in their house, let alone accept anything from him! Instead, we’d all have preachers and priests anointing our homes with oil and holy water on Christmas Eve to keep him out! Third, you tell your kids that “Santa knows if you are good or bad and are going to give you toys based on it”: if that isn’t idolatry what is? IF you were going to tell your kids to behave to please anyone, it should be THEIR GOD FIRST, THEIR PARENTS SECOND (because God commanded it), PEOPLE IN AUTHORITY (because God commanded it), AND THAT’S ALL! That any Christian would use some system of reward and punishment at the hand of some fabled supernatural being to control their kid’s behavior is idiotic! Besides, controlling behavior: that’s legalism anyway. We are not supposed to be into controlling our children’s behavior, but rather showing them salvation through Christ! Still though, before you use the association with Santa Claus and the Easter bunny to condemn Christmas and Easter, realize that Christian parents are perfectly capable of nonsense like “the tooth fairy”, “the sandman”, “Friday the 13th”, and other such “old wives fables” (I Timothy 4:7) any day of the year.  

Some would say: “Why not keep God’s Holy Days and leave the rest alone?” Well, God’s Holy Days were given to
Israel. If you are not a descendant of Abraham, citizen of
Israel, a Jew, etc. then you are not bound to keep them. Second, we are not legalists. Our salvation and righteousness are through belief in Christ alone and not established, enhanced, or diminished by what days and observances that we keep or don’t keep. That fact is exceptionally expedient to most Christians who do not even keep the Sabbath, which by the way isn’t on Sunday or even Saturday, but rather from sundown FRIDAY until sundown Saturday. And most important: why keep that which is dead, or has been fulfilled? The temple, the ark, the rituals, the Holy Days, and the law all served one purpose: to point to the Saviour. They were to set apart and prepare
Israel to bring Jesus Christ into the world, as well as to be a prophetic description of the Saviour and to demonstrate to us that we needed a Saviour and why. God told us to keep the Holy Days forever? He said the same about the law, the rituals, and most everything else. But now the Christ that all of those things pointed to and described has come, has fulfilled all things, and contains all things. That is why Christ said on the cross: “It is finished” (John 19:30). So, we keep the Holy Days, the law, and everything else by keeping Christ. They have no spiritual value or righteousness apart from Christ, and they add no spiritual value or righteousness to one who already has Christ.
 

Christians should primarily concern themselves with what Christ taught us: to love God with all our strength and to love our neighbor, to go forth and teach all nations, to use the power and authority that we have by His Name and His Blood and The Testimony of The Gospel to withstand Satan and destroy his evil works, and to be watchful and to pray concerning the times and events in anticipation of His Second Coming. Christ – being God – also gave us by Commandment and example holy rituals to keep: baptism, communion, and the washing of feet. Baptism should be a once in a lifetime event (after personally receiving Christ as your Savior), communion and washing of feet can be done at any time and probably should be done as often as possible. Now if you want to keep the Holy Days and other ceremonies and rituals on top of that as many messianic Jews see fit to, then fine. Just make sure that you are keeping Christ’s Commandments to you first – and the vast majority of Christians do not – and realize that it really has no added value to what Christ did for you on the cross and in being raised from the dead, and it will not accomplish anything towards setting you apart, renewing your mind, or facilitating the inward work of the Holy Spirit. All of those things are accomplished by the level in which you realize your faith in grace, not by any work. Which is not to say that there is anything wrong with doing it, or that no good can come from it. Foremost, messianic Jews love to keep these things because it helps them feel connected to their Jewish culture, heritage, and nation, and it also aids their converting other Jews. Also, keeping these celebrations can be great fun; an opportunity to get together with family and other believers and rejoice in all that God has done for and given us, or alternately a somber reflection on the price that Christ paid for us (depending upon the occasion). But then again, Christians are capable of – and really should – do those things at any time, and yes that does include Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, Easter, Independence Day, birthdays, weddings, funerals, graduations, etc. 

So the upshot is that far from it being wrong, rather Christians SHOULD celebrate Christmas. Why? Because everyone else is. There is the “be ye not conformed to the world (Romans 12:2)” thing; well if you are going to apply that to Christmas then you should apply it to things that Christians do a lot more than once a year. Remember: Christmas is NOT inherently sinful, so take Romans 12:2 and apply it in its proper place and context like everything else instead of searching for opportunities to be legalistic, self – righteous, or even to the point of creating a new religion out of the imagination of your own heart that purports to honor God but instead honors YOU, who goes around thinking that everyone else but you is some pagan idolator. Do not think that you can exceed the righteousness of the Bible, or that you have access to some level of righteousness, knowledge, anointing, or dedication that virtually no one else has in the world but you. Instead, recognize this: on Christmas, hundreds of millions of people around the globe ARE WORSHIPPING YOUR CHRIST! When all those people gather together in one mind and spirit concerning God, that creates a powerful anointing and moving of the Holy Spirit that fills so many people with happiness, love, peace, and a desire to give and serve as Christ gave and served. Of course, Satan strikes back and motivates people to engage in not only Santa – worship but mammon, overindulgence, sexual sin, lawlessness and rebellion, etc. That explains why there are so many suicides and crimes and so many depressed people. And THAT is why Christians need to get involved. The world is going to continue celebrating Christmas THEIR SINFUL WAY whether Christians continue to keep the holiday or get all self – righteous and drop out. Remember: this is about spiritual warfare, people! We need the praise and worship of Christians about and in the Name of Jesus Christ in order to combat and overcome all of the evil spirits and evil people who are going to be out looking for people to devour during that time. And we definitely should not limit our praise and worship to church. We ought to take it to the streets. That is one of the best things about the caroling tradition: go around singing songs about Christ to people who otherwise would not hear it, confronting them with your faith (during the time when they would be least likely to complain lest they appear to be a “grinch”) and showing them the love of Christ.

And those who have a real problem with the holiday can do what many Christians have started to do on Hallowe’en: evangelize! Since you obviously aren’t going to be dealing with lights, trees, presents, and parties because of your own fears of being a pagan, then use the significant energies and resources that you will save to tell others about Christ! And this would be your opportunity to actually evangelize as Christ did: among the sinners and people who need it the most! On Christmas, there are a lot of lonely unhappy people to be found in bars and restaurants and at movies and such who would endure your proselytizing pitch just to have someone to talk to. And instead of being the one who never gets invited to the Christmas parties because you are “too Christian to be around sinners”, be the one who never gets invited to a Christmas party AGAIN because the last time that you were invited you kept trying to get every lonely, hurting, depressed, insecure person who tries to hide it by getting drunk and acting foolishly to say the sinner’s prayer. Look, Jesus Christ did not give us a religion so that we could go off into some corner and hide and talk about how righteous we are and what sinners everyone else is. He gave us SALVATION and A RELATIONSHIP that He wants us to go out into a world of sinners and share it with as many people as possible so that we could save some of them out of it. And yes, Paul told us to wherever possible not to offend, even if it means eating things sacrificed to idols if it may help you gain your brother (I Corinthians 8:10 – 14). So if you go around declaring yourself too holy for Christmas, not only will you be sticking a finger in the eye of a lot of very dedicated Christians (including a great many in other countries who risk their lives to give God the praise), but you will also be giving an unsaved person yet another reason to reject you and your Christ with you. And would you be held accountable on Judgment Day for offending the saved and the lost in this manner? Yes. I am not saying that you should celebrate Christmas, only that if you do not then you are missing a huge chance to be a light to the world as Christ commanded you to be, and also to not be self – righteous and condemning.  

If Christmas is indeed a bad thing, so what. That only makes it one more bad thing in a sinful world full of it, and when faced with a world filled with sin and the pain and suffering that sin brings, we Christians are to be out on the front lines as a force to overcome the sin and help and comfort those suffering from its effects with our love and the gospel. If that doesn’t motivate you to get out there on December 25 and do some caroling while handing out candy – canes (invented as a Christmas evangelization tool; in the shape of a cane because Jesus Christ is our shepherd, with red stripes to signify His Blood and by His Stripes we were healed on a white background to represent His Purity and how we are washed clean by and in His Blood) with tracts on them or something else on that day to worship with your current brothers and sisters in Christ and to gain new ones, then you really need to get on your knees and ask God to examine your heart.  

Prayer:

Father God in the Name of Jesus Christ, may Your Children celebrate Christmas in a way that brings Honor to Christ’s Name and Your Name and also brings people to salvation through Christ and causes them to be servers, givers, sacrificers, and to show love as Your Son did. In the Name of Jesus Christ, Amen.   Deliverance:

The demons that work in this area are self – righteousness and accusing. 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 Celebrate Christmas | 9 Comments »

False Faith

Posted by Job on March 2, 2007

Romans 12:3 – For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. 

There are so many false teachings out there regarding faith today. Most Christians, meaning the mainstream denominational ones, hold the position that resignation – accepting whatever happens – with dignity is faith. Both are scripturally wrong. Hannah did not resign herself to the fact that she was barren: she prayed for a son and received one. Abram did not resign himself to the deadness of Sarah’s womb when God told him to change his name to Abraham because through SARAH, not Hagar, would he be the father of many nations and a blessing to all nations by Jesus Christ coming from his line. And Jesus Christ did not resign Himself to the tomb, but rather had faith that He would be raised from the dead after three days. Our role model should always be Jesus Christ, and Christ used the power of God by faith to change things: to heal the sick, raise the dead, feed the multitudes, cast out devils, turn water into wine, and even to pay taxes! We must realize that not everything that Jesus Christ did was to fulfill prophecies, act out parables, or convince people that He was the Messiah. Rather, He turned water into wine only because His mother told Him to. He commanded a fish to bring forth taxes “so as not to offend.” And He fed the multitudes for no reason other than they were hungry! So many of the miracles that He did was not part of some grand pre – ordained design to fulfill His earthly mission, but rather because He saw that things needed to be changed and knew that the Holy Spirit had placed the power and given the charge within Him to change them. Jesus Christ did not say “Well, she was caught in the very act of sin” and resigned Himself to allowing the adulterous woman to be stoned according to the law by people who themselves were not keeping the law! No, He used the knowledge and wisdom of the Holy Spirit to deliver her from that situation merely by speaking a few words! And why did Jesus Christ perform these great works and miracles even in the absence of a specific purpose or outline? Because not doing so would have been WRONG! We should not resign ourselves to the natural order of things and call that Godliness. Why? Because the natural order of things is corrupt! Because of Adam, the natural order of things is sin, death, perversion, corruption! Just as God gave Christ the power to resist the corrupt nature of the world wherever it was appropriate, He gives it to all who accept Him through Christ! Remember, virtually every time Christ healed, raised from the dead, cast out devils, etc., He commanded the people to believe! Have faith! Further proof of this principle is given in John 14:2, where Christ literally says of the works and miracles that He performed that greater things than this will the Body of Christ perform through the Holy Spirit by faith. This was proven on the day of Pentecost, when more people believed upon Christ as a result of Peter’s sermon of a few minutes than believed upon Christ after personally witnessing His miracles and hearing His sermons for three and a half years! Resignation is not faith, but rather defeat that comes because of a lack of it. It is obviously the result of people who believed upon things that were outside of God’s Will, and rather than seeking understanding through scripture, they came to the conclusion that God does not answer prayer or otherwise actively work on behalf of His Chosen.  

Many more Christians of a liberal, modernist, philosophical bent claim that the only true faith is that which can be contained by reason and bridled by skepticism. Basically, such people simply deny the truth of the God’s Word. Some of them are Christians in name only, and merely quote selected and out of context Bible verses and platitudes to support their political and philosophical beliefs. Others are people who legitimately attempt to be Christians – or at least follow a religion – after a fashion, but utterly fail at separating themselves from the world. As such, they view the knowledge of man as being able to negate the Word of God. Now, of course, the knowledge of man always fails. No matter how someone might claim to believe in things man – made, they have to temper themselves by the inner knowledge that it might fail! Christians who allow themselves to be controlled in the least small area by human knowledge are going to have doubts in those very same areas concerning the Word of God. They might even consider their area of unbelief “a thorn in the flesh” and consider themselves to be great men of spirit because they “struggle with their faith”, and compare their issues with those of people in the Bible like Abraham, Paul, David, Job, Jacob, etc. Such people believe they are intellectually fighting a spiritual battle concerning the nature of their faith, when in truth they are intellectually divided against their own flesh because they have failed to sufficiently hate, reject, and separate themselves from the world and its thinking. Such people, even if they truly accept Christ as their Savior, will never grow in faith until they are willing to reject the corruption and failure of the world and wholly embrace victory in God’s Holy Spirit. This is a real problem area in particular among Christians whose worship, service, and knowledge of God is only through rituals, doctrines, sacraments, institutions, works, etc. They wish to serve God and go to Heaven, so they cleave fast to these things and put their trust in them in order to replace the relationship and spiritual knowledge and experience that they lack. That is why families have broken up, churches have split apart, denominations have ruptured, and even wars have been started over disagreements over arcane doctrines and codes: those things make up the foundations of the faith of many, and many of these people actually believe that getting each and every single doctrine, sacrament, ritual, and organization structure exactly right AND working to ensure that those who come after them maintain these things for posterity is what will be accounted for faith and righteousness.  

But in a sense, the worst abusers of faith are the charismatic movement, including everyone from the Word of Faith preachers to the snake handlers. Now, unlike the resigned Christians and the philosophical/doctrinal Christians, the charismatic Christians actually refer to Bible scriptures and even on their face long widely accepted as legitimate Bible examples and doctrines for their words and actions regarding faith. While that actually may seem better, it is actually worse. To be perfectly honest, it is better not to read or refer to the Bible at all and to instead rely totally on institutional ritual worship than it is to actually read the Bible and deny, omit, or mischaracterize part of it. Folks in these movements had better start heeding Revelation 22:18-19! Why? Because while these people acknowledge the power of faith, they mislead on the purpose of it. The meaning of faith is NOT knowing that God will act according to your desires. Now most charismatic faith teachers will acknowledge that you cannot ask in faith for something that is obviously outside of God’s Will, such as permission to commit sin. But they tell you that any GOOD THING that you ask for in faith, God will provide. Or that anything that you ask for to fulfill a “Christian” purpose, God will provide. That is so wrong. Remember, the heart is desperately wicked and deceitful above all things (Jeremiah 17:9)! That verse does not say the “unsaved heart” or the “uncircumcised heart” or the “unconsecrated unsanctified Holy Ghost filled heart.” It said “the heart”, meaning ALL HEARTS! The heart of man cannot perceive the mind or things of God; indeed it is the nature of the heart of man to reject and rebel against God and His Will. So, how can you know if a thing is good, righteous, or Christian unless God first reveals it to you? So rather than the definition of faith meaning to know that God will act according to YOUR desires, it is knowing that YOU can do whatever God wants you to do. Faith means that if God tells you to walk on water, you will go out and try it. Jesus Christ told Peter “Come”, and Peter walked on water! But the caveat is that it must be God’s Will first! Consider Abraham: God TOLD him that he would have a son. The role of faith was not Abraham commanding God to give Him a son and believing so as to force God into doing it. No, faith was Abraham BELIEVING that he would have a son because God said so! THAT is the evidence of things hoped for and the substance of things not seen! THAT is speaking things that are not as though they were!  

Do not misunderstand me. Yes, you are supposed to pray the prayer of faith and speak the word of faith: pray and speak things into existence that currently are not. But these are not things that emanate from YOU! They are things that emanate from God! They are things that God puts in your heart to pray for by the power of the Holy Spirit through all of His many ways. Something you hear in a sermon or see on TV might motivate you to pray. It might be someone or something that you see while walking down the street. It may be something that God tells you when you pray, or that you discern when you read your Bible. It may be something absolutely amazing that a little child tells you. When stuff like that happens, you are to pray and believe, and keep praying and keep believing.  Now some assert that you only have to pray once, but the Bible actually does say to labor and continue in prayers. But the reason for that is not that you are wearing down God’s resolve, getting Him to change His mind. Why would God do that when the thing that you prayed for was something that He wanted to be done anyway? No, the reason for continuing in prayer is SPIRITUAL WARFARE; breaking down strongholds of demonic and witchcraft opposition. When you pray, God gives release on an issue. But often the implementation of the release depends upon agents, whether they be people or angels. Evil spirits obviously want to stop and hinder the Will of God, so they will do their best do frustrate and delay the activities of the people or angels who are actually implementing the Will of God. The best example of this was given in Daniel; who sought a word from the Lord through prayer and fasting for three weeks, and when the angel came to Daniel, he told him that God had immediately sent the answer, but that he was delayed for three weeks by the prince of Persia, a powerful demon, until Michael came to help him. Now why did Michael come to help him? Almost certainly because Daniel continued to pray and fast! When we pray and fast on an issue that is already God’s Will, we not only cause God to move on the matter, but we spiritually empower our angelic and human fellowservants to aid the issue in coming to pass. So, by continuing and laboring in prayer, you not only ensure that your own issues, the things that God has laid on your heart to pray for, come to fruition, but you are aiding totally different people that you will never meet until you get to Heaven resolve issues past, present, and future that you have no concept of. But again, the purpose of this faith is to accomplish GOD’S WILL. Not yours. 

Now where does this “praying and speaking things into existence, calling things that are not as though they were” come into play? The things that “are not” actually “ARE”! In our earthly realm limited by time and space, they “are not.” But in the spiritual realm, these things already exist, have already been accomplished! God merely wants someone to pray to bring what is already reality in the spirit realm into reality in the earthly realm. “Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven!” Yep, the Lord’s Prayer. That’s what it means. That is, you know, why you should read your Bible: the stuff in there ACTUALLY MEANS THINGS. And to think that some preachers actually tell us not to say the Lord’s Prayer anymore! And you know what? A bunch of other things are in the Bible too. “Even so, come Lord Jesus.” You do know that Jesus IS coming back, right? In the spirit realm, the thing is already done. Soooo … why not allow God to use you to transfer the spiritual reality into the natural reality by praying it? One of the main reasons why so many Christians do not pray is because they simply do not know what to ask for. Why? Because they have either been told by liberal or mainstream Christians that God “really” does not answer prayer, or they have been told by charismatic Christians to ask for the things that THEY WANT after checking with God first. But if these people knew that if God DID answer prayer according to HIS OWN WILL, then they would just recite the prayers, promises, and prophecies in the Bible. Seriously, a person who lacks faith in the traditional sense can spend hours a day ritualistically reciting the prayers, promises, and prophecies in the Bible, and so long as they believe that the Bible is true if nothing else, then their prayers will be answered. As they recognize their answered prayers, their faith will grow! It is so simple, yet over 2000 years of Christianity fails to teach it. Why? Because the very purpose of man – made religion is to deny the simplicity of God’s Power with the complexity of man’s worldly thinking. If there were real churches out there, they would have parents indoctrinate their children into spending hours each night reciting prayers from the Bible, and then each following day ask their kids which of their prayers came to pass!  

But that is not what even the charismatic faith teachers tell you to do. No, they basically tell you to pray for things that are your own will, and offer you mental logic tricks that designed to cause you to think that God’s Will can be bent to your will, or that your will can be, with much effort, conformed to God’s Will. Blasphemy. Heresy. Though God loves, protects, and provides for man, God does not serve man. Man serves God! And you cannot conform your own will to that of God’s, because your heart is incapable of knowing God. What has to be done is to surrender, reject, deny, and hate your own corrupt stony – hearted stiff – necked will so that God’s Will can replace it! Now it would be bad enough were the only negative consequence of this false teaching be that it would cause people to lose their faith when the things that they pray for do not come to pass, especially if they perceive the failure of it to come to fruition to be the part of some fault, some flaw of their own. Indeed, many Christian movements teach that if you are not “holy enough” due to some sin that you have in your life or some legalism, doctrine, experience, or work that you have not fulfilled, then your prayers will not be answered. Now the Bible does say that sin causes prayer not to be answered, but that is only because the presence of sin separates you from God and prevents you from knowing His Will so that you can pray as you ought. But were a sinful man to even by absolute chance pray for something that is God’s Will, of course God will answer it! Now this goes against everything that you were taught, especially if you are in a theologically conservative Christian movement as fundamentalists and charismatics tend to be. So, you might ask me for proof. Well here it is: God answered your prayer for salvation by accepting the resurrection, divinity, and lordship of Jesus Christ when you were a sinner, didn’t He? Why? BECAUSE IT WAS HIS WILL FOR YOU TO BE SAVED! THOUGH YOU WERE A SINNER AND A REBEL AGAINST GOD WITH BOTH A CORRUPT HEART AND SPIRIT, GOD STILL ANSWERED YOUR PRAYER BECAUSE YOU WERE PRAYING HIS WILL, AND YOU HAD FAITH THAT HIS WILL WOULD BE DONE AND THAT YOU WOULD BE SAVED MERELY BY VIRTUE OF YOUR SINCERELY SAYING THE PRAYER! So, if God answered your salvation prayer when to save you when you were still a sinner, how much more will He answer your prayer if you a saved and on your way to Heaven person who has merely sinned? This false doctrine causes people to focus on trying to remove their own sins by their own actions and trying to excel in outward appearances of righteousness so that they “earn God’s favor by being holy” so He will answer their prayers, and thereby it distracts them from asking God to forgive, remove, and deliver them from their sins so that they can concentrate on seeking and knowing His Will. Any person who comes before the church saying that his prayers aren’t being answered because he has committed some sin should be immediately told to A) pray and ask God for forgiveness and deliverance and then believe IMMEDIATELY that he was already forgiven and delivered not only before he prayed but even before he sinned for it was ALWAYS God’s Will that he be forgiven and delivered, and the thing had already been accomplished in the spirit realm and to B) go read your Bible and pray the prophecies, prayers, and promises in them until he again starts to walk in faith as he did before he chose to sin.  

But even as bad as that is, it is not the worst. The worst is that charismatic faith teachers show people how to get in contact with the spirit realm with worship, music, tongues, concentration, meditation, repetition, etc. Now if you are praying the Will of God, then this can be helpful after a fashion, because it may constitute laboring and continuing in prayer. That is how the apostles prayed and worshipped when they were cast into prison, for instance. Truthfully, however, it is not required and has no added value, as simple prayer in quiet communion with God is exceedingly effectual: it is how Jesus Christ prayed in
Gethsemane. As a matter of fact, people who need to carry on in this matter in order to stir up, activate, and act on their faith are exceptionally immature spiritually as was the Corinthian church, and Christian movements who teach that these experiential displays of the gifts of the spirit are required for prayers to be answered, make prayers more likely to be answered, ensure that prayers will be answered, or are necessary for “big miracles to be released” are doing a lot of harm, and their foundation is built on sand because they have ignored the truth of the Bible where men of God worked mighty deeds through small actions. Jesus Christ healed and raised the dead often by merely speaking, and so did Peter, Paul, and others by His example. God established this principle early by punishing Moses for striking the rock rather than speaking to it in order to cause water to come out of it! But the real damage comes if you do all of this while PRAYING OUTSIDE THE WILL OF GOD. It really pains and vexes me to say this, but it must be said for it is nonetheless true: when one carries on in this manner outside of the Will of God and apart from the Inspiration of God, then they are dealing with evil spirits. People assume that merely because their prayers are answered that it is proof that what was worked was God’s doing. As such, they have forsaken an obvious truth: evil spirits have the power to answer prayer. Why else would witchcraft, sorcery, and false religions not only exist but flourish were this not the case? And yes, an evil spirit will answer the prayer of a saved Christian that is going to heaven. Why? 1) To accomplish something against and outside of the Will of God. 2) To deceive the Christian to take him off the path of serving God through seeking God’s Will and instead to turn him into a rebel by seeking his own will.
 

Please recall: the Bible states that rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, so the erroneous charismatic faith teaching is nothing else but CHURCH WITCHCRAFT. As all witchcraft does, it hinders the Will, agents, and people of God on the earth while empowering Satan and his evil kingdom. Now do not fret about the eternal fates of the so many Christians who have been ensnared by this evil: by virtue of accepting Christ into their lives their sins are already forgiven. But the damage that such people are doing both to themselves and so many others is so much that it is inestimable. Indeed, it is a huge source of
Babel, or confusion, in Christianity, and is actually one of the things that is giving much power in the spirit realm to the coming beast, or anti – Christ. Indeed, the beast’s message that will get the whole world to follow him will be one promising a spirituality that gives people the desires of THEIR OWN HEARTS. Were it not for the grace of God towards those who have accepted His Son Jesus Christ, the followers of these erroneous faith teachers would surely be deceived and follow the beast. As it is, these people are creating a spiritual and religious climate where people WILL be deceived and follow the beast, and that includes many members of these very same charismatic faith churches who are not saved but think that they are because they falsely equate their doctrine, works, and spiritual experiences with acceptance and belief in the resurrection, divinity, and lordship of Jesus Christ. Most of the people involved in these movements are nothing more than “Christian” witches living inside
Babylon. Yes, they are saved, they are God’s people, but they are still living in
Babylon doing rebellion, witchcraft, and sin just like the prodigal son. But I am here to tell you today, that the Holy Spirit of God is speaking through me right now. Through me the end – times prophecy given in Revelation 18:1-5 to come out of her (Babylon) my people so that you will not be partakers of her plagues is being spoken in your ears so that it may be fulfilled in your hearts! Right now you can stop being a “Christian” witch and start renouncing the evil imaginations of your own heart and start seeking the pure desires of God’s Heart FOR YOU!
 

And yes, I did say FOR YOU. Because the very fallacy with a lot of this Word of Faith teaching is that you can pray to get what you want. The truth is that you have no need of those things, for the things that God wants to give you are far greater! As a matter of fact, those things are already with God in store for you, and He is just waiting for you to seek His heart so that you might ask for them and receive! You do not even need to go through some long period of rituals and self – persecution, self – crucifixion, and self – affliction in order to receive those things … they are already yours so you will inherit them the instant that you find that God already has it for you through seeking His Will and pray for it! What about the faith? Well let me tell you: the faith is already there. When God created you in your mother’s womb, He created a plan for your life: all the things that He wanted you to do for Him, and all the things that He wanted to give you. And so of course, He gave you all the faith that you needed to do and receive all that He has already planned for you. You only need to reject the flesh and reject your own desires and will so that you can find out what God wants you to do and what God wants to give to you. Once you do that, all you have to do is pray for it, and you will receive it! The faith required to accomplish the intent of the prayer is already there, because God put it there when He made you specifically for the purpose of bringing about that effectual prayer so that the thing could be done.

So what is this that you hear about having to increase your faith? Sadly, quite often it refers to people growing and advancing in the arts and knowledge of witchcraft until they receive the desires of their own hearts from evil spirits. It is extremely hard to believe and indeed quite drastically tragic, but it is still nonetheless true. But on a better note, it refers to people having to work to get to a place in their relationship with God where they have rejected and denied their own hearts and discovered God’s Will. Another Bible verse: “faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” Now, a lot of church witch masters posing as preachers will tell you that the verse means to listen to your preacher so that you can thereby obtain the faith to pray to God until He consents to, or “releases”, something that is your own will. Instead, he is talking about your learning the arts of witchcraft from him until you get so determined and good at it that you can find some demon to do your bidding! So again, read your Bible. Understand and believe what IT says. Do not fall for those wizards and warlocks who break Revelation 22:18-19 by omitting “and hearing by” from Romans 10:17! Your faith comes when you find out what God wants to do for you; nay, what He has ALREADY done for you WHEN YOU HEAR THE WORD OF GOD SPOKEN TO YOU REGARDING WHAT GOD WANTS YOU TO DO OR HAVE BY GOD THROUGH THE HOLY SPIRIT. How will this happen? Again, there are lots of ways, and I alluded to them earlier. One clue: God never works through humanly emotional impulses when dealing with His People. God does not motivate His people to rash impulses through emotional manipulation. When He has wrought mighty works, it was always to cause the unbelievers to believe, not to motivate the believers into action. The best example of how God works in this manner is given in I Kings 19:11-13. When you discover the Will of God, it is usually going to be during a quiet still time of rest regarding an issue that God has been cultivating in your heart for a long time. One of the best examples is when you are troubled when you are trying to sleep, and God wakes you up to read your Bible and pray. Now there are going to be emergencies when God requires of you to act quickly, for instance when it was time to get Lot out of Sodom and Gomorrah, or when Joseph had to get Jesus Christ out of Israel into
Egypt away from Herod’s armies. But note: in both cases God sent an angel, and in both cases God had prior dealt with Lot and Joseph concerning leaving
Sodom and Mary’s son being the Christ.  

Now contrast this truth with the frequent manipulation tactics of church witches. They will “prophecy”, and immediately tell you to go do it; saying that what the Lord wants done must be done quickly! They will tell you that if you do not act instantly once someone “prophecies” to you or some notion pops into your head, not only will it cause you to lose your blessing, but that God will become angry with you and punish you! Of course, there is NOT ONE SINGLE INSTANCE GIVEN IN THE BIBLE OF GOD DOING THIS IN THE OLD TESTAMENT OR THE NEW! What is typically stated to justify this fear, intimidation, and control tactic was how Ananias and Sapphira fell dead in the church in Acts 5:1-11. But they did not die as a result of their failure to immediately obey some command from God! They fell dead because they LIED about how much they sold their land for after CONSPIRING about it first! The truth is that if you fail to act on God’s Will immediately, no harm will come to you. Did not so many of God’s people in both the Old and New Testaments delay and even debate with God concerning His Will before they finally did it? Israel was supposed to come out of
Egypt after 400 years, but Moses killed an Egyptian and ran off to Midian for decades. The children of Israel were supposed to enter into
Canaan immediately, but because they refused to enter, they had to wait 40 years! Even if you never act on it, no harm will come: the thing that God wants done will simply pass to another. Harm will only come if you act outside of God’s Will! For that reason, it is better to do nothing if you are unsure if the thing is from God than to just act. Those who do nothing and sometimes miss their opportunity to do God’s Will in order to make sure that they do no sin and no harm by acting outside of God’s Will are the ones who do great things for God and almost no harm. Meanwhile, those who act impulsively according to emotion, intimidation, or reactions to their environment according to things that appear to be righteous to them will almost never do God’s Will but instead will do a great deal of sin and harm. Fortunately, people who are legitimately saved through Christ will have their sins forgiven and enter Heaven anyway despite the havoc and abomination that they are committing, but it is only by the grace and love of God. It would appear that the very goal of these charismatic faith movements is to teach people to forsake seeking the Will of God and to instead seek their own desires and act according to their own emotions. Evidence of whether you are dealing with a church witch or not: church witches always deal with what APPEARS to be mighty gifts of the Holy Spirit that makes them appear mighty and great before men. That is what they use to get their charges to respond to their wishes. Their actions and their demands for the prayers and actions of others are NEVER motivated by the fruits of the Spirit, which would cause them to humble themselves before God and serve men for God. Remember: man does not serve God, but rather God calls upon His children to serve Him by serving other men in His Name so that God’s Will might be done (including but not limited to the people who are served hearing and receiving the gospel and growing in spiritual maturity).
 

What you must realize is that you have all the time in the world. You literally do. Not only is God an eternal spirit, but YOU are an eternal spirit! Sit. Pray. Worship. Meditate. Contemplate. Reference the Bible to find CONTEXTUAL CONSISTENT Biblical foundation for what you are seeking or for what God wants you to do. Make sure that you are sure. The very worst thing that could happen with this approach is that God will tell you that because you tarried, the thing went to someone else, but do not worry, He is going to give you another shot to do or receive something else! In this instance, no harm is done. It is not even counted as disobedience, for disobedience is KNOWING what was right and CHOOSING not to do it, so no sin is done. But in the vast majority of cases, the thing is in the spirit realm, and does not depend on time. Whenever you come into the concrete certainty that it is God’s Will and pray about it, it will be done just as certainly as if you had prayed when the Word of faith first came to you! Consider Gideon. God told Gideon to lead
Israel into battle. Gideon asked for THREE SIGNS! God complied, Gideon believed. Now, it was not a sin to ask for the signs in that context, it would have been defiance and disobedience had Gideon not complied after receiving the signs! And consider Noah. He KNEW that God told him to preach to Ninevah, and ran away. THAT was why Noah was punished by being swallowed by the great fish … not for faithlessness but disobedience.
 

Yet, faithlessness does exist! Faithlessness is recognizing something as the Word from God and failing to believe it anyway. If someone claims Christ yet is skeptical concerning Scripture, i.e. claiming that the things given in Revelation are metaphors, then he is being faithless. So if the Word of faith comes to you, you acknowledge that it is from God, and you still do not believe it, then THAT is faithlessness. But if you are uncertain that what you hear is the Word of faith from the Lord and thereby do not act on it, that is not faithlessness nor is it disobedience: it is failure to trust your own ability to hear God’s voice. That is error, but in a sense it is actually erring on the side of not sinning! It is erring on the side of patience, discretion, and not being self – seeking! God rewards people like that. Such a person, God will send a prophet or an angel in order to cause a person to believe His Word in this matter! But if you allow the religious system to manipulate, intimidate, and deceive you into self – seeking action that is rash, emotional, and lacking in patience or discretion with no caution or concern for the possibility of error, such a person will likely NEVER reach the point where they will even hear God’s voice, let alone believe it or have faith in it. Or even worse, they will hear God’s voice and not trust it, because it is not the loud impulsive bomb or thunderclap that strikes fear into their hearts and tugs at their emotions that the religious witchcraft system has conditioned them to run out and respond to. Imagine if God tells such a person to do something specific in three weeks when the religious witchcraft system has conditioned them to do any old thing in three seconds. Will they believe it? Even if they believe it, will they have the discipline and maturity to wait the three weeks and then do precisely what God said? Certainly not, and that is precisely what Satan wants.  

And this is precisely why Satan has worked so hard to set up this false faith charismatic movement. It is not so much to ensnare Christians into performing evil – though Satan does appreciate that very much – as it is to PREVENT Christians from doing God’s Will. Imagine how many Christians have emptied their pockets because they responded to some emotional or intimidating fundraising appeal from a church witch, and thereby did not have any money left to do what it was that God actually wanted to do! So many Christians send in thousands of dollars in response to some emotional or intimidating fundraising demand for starving children or construct some mission, and the money will wind up either being wasted on something that was never God’s Will and will not bear fruit, or will simply wind up in someone’s pocket, and as a result that Christian will not even have $30 to buy groceries for a needy unsaved family down the street who would have been so overwhelmed by a simple act of charity shown to them that they would have received the gospel on the spot! Of course, Satan does not mind your $2,000 going into the pocket of some church witch, but his real aim is to prevent that poor family from hearing and receiving the gospel. That is why Christians, especially the committed charismatic Christians, need to stop walking in the false faith after the imaginations of their own hearts seeking great things to please themselves and impress others and instead start walking in true faith after God’s own heart and thereby express their own humility and willingness to give up their wants and desires and to be debased in front of and hated by the world – including even other Christians! – in order to please God.  

Prayer:

Father God in the Name of Jesus Christ, please help me to learn and walk in true faith and to reject and war against false faith through! Deliverance:

The demons that work in this area are false doctrine, false teaching, false religion, disobedience, pride, rebellion, faithlessness, and witchcraft. 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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WEAPONS OF MASS DISTRACTION

Posted by Job on March 2, 2007

Lamentations 3:26 – It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD. 

Consider our war in
Iraq. Whether you support or oppose it or whether it is ultimately a success or failure in your eyes, the term “war” is incorrect, as per American law a war can only be declared by a vote of Congress! The president, whose only role in declaring war is asking Congress to do it – in other words the same role as that of an average citizen – has the ability to order the military into action. However, that privilege is supposed to be exercised in an extremely judicious fashion, such as deploying a small force for a short duration, or an emergency full – scale mobilization when there is BOTH no time to wait for Congress to declare war AND certainty that Congress will declare war immediately. According to any legitimate interpretation of our law, a president cannot send so much as a single soldier into combat for more than a few weeks without Congress declaring war, and he certainly cannot launch a full scale attack of another nation and then apply political pressure to Congress to declare war posthaste! Now the last time that Congress declared war was World War II. This means that by our own law, every war since then has been ILLEGAL: Korea, Viet Nam, Kosovo, and both
Iraq wars. (Our many other campaigns that were far lesser in duration, scale, and scope such as those in Cuba, Grenada, Iran, Libya, etc. would appear to be legal.) Now the fact that American presidents of (seemingly) both political parties and (seemingly) diverse political views have been able to get away with such obviously criminal conduct at the cost of hundreds of thousands of lives, trillions of dollars, and significant social, economic, and political upheaval not only in America but worldwide without the slightest bit of consequence – or any demand for consequence by even a tiny portion of the populace – is quite frankly the biggest testament of how corrupt and lawless America has become. Oh, there are social and political protests of these wars, but generally on philosophical and ideological grounds. For instance, a common complaint has been that “the wars are against INTERNATIONAL law” because they were not properly approved by the United Nations or similar, but they never say that the “war” is illegal according to DOMESTIC law!
 

Now, this is why the powers that be, which includes the government, educational institutions, media, corporations, organizations, churches, etc. (and there is considerable overlap within those categories) are able to get away with it. Think of the justification that George W. Bush used for taking the United States of America to war against
Iraq: the threat to our nation posed by weapons of mass destruction. Now whether there ever were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq – I believe that there were and still are – and whether Iraq was ever a threat to America – I believe that they were and shall soon be again – the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, Iran, Russia, China, etc. were never a bigger threat to America than that posed by weapons of mass DISTRACTION. The American masses do not respond to things like illegal wars, environmental degradation, disintegrating families and communities, terrible schools, bad health care, and an awful economy led by skyrocketing debt because they are too distracted. It is in the interests of the powers that be to keep them that way so that there will never be a successful movement for change. And Christians are blind to the demons and dark spiritual powers and principalities behind these trends because we too are distracted, and trust me that is the way Babylon wants it, because unless Christians rise up with the power of the Word; the Name, the Blood, and the Authority of Jesus Christ, Satan continues to be the unchallenged unopposed undisputed ruler of this earth!
Oh, how we have failed to heed the Bible! It commands us over and over again to be vigilant! To watch and pray! To be elect! To discern the times! The Bible specifically calls us to be WATCHMEN, or lookouts or guards. But it is obvious that so many Christians are poor lookouts because they have allowed their eyes to become blinded and poor guards because they have fallen asleep on the job.  

Now this is not a new phenomenon. The human rulers of the earth – who are actually doing Satan’s bidding whether knowingly or not – have long resorted to tricks and gimmicks to distract the public. The Romans, for instance, held huge public spectacles in order to distract the people from the evil corruption of their empire. Now back then, at least, Christians were more elect. Why? Because we were the spectacle, being crucified, beheaded, burned at the stake, and thrown to the lions for the glorious Name of Christ’s sake! But as soon as nations came under majority control of professed Christians, they behaved the same. A common distraction tactic: propaganda and scapegoating! For an example of that, take post World War I
Germany: overwhelmingly Christian, but were seduced by propaganda and scapegoating against Jews and other minorities while Hitler was rising to power!
 

You might say: “We aren’t throwing people to the lions or putting Jews and gypsies in ovens in
America!” Sure we aren’t (at least not right now anyway). But right now, we don’t have to be. Consider this: can you imagine life in
America 150 years ago? No movies, TV, or radio. No CDs or MP3 players. No sporting events or popular music concerts attracting tens of thousands. No computers, video games, or Internet. And so on. Just your job, your family, your neighbors and close friends, and the occasional book to be enjoyed by candlelight. In that environment, whatever spare time you had could be spent in quiet prayer and praise, communing with the Lord. Now tell you what: go back THIRTY years ago. Professional basketball existed, but the games weren’t shown on television. Very few football games were shown on television, and they were all shown on Saturday and Sunday afternoon! As recently as 15 years ago, football was only on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.
 

Now, football is literally on national television seven days a week. Not only that, there are national TV and radio shows devoted exclusively to talking about football. Now of course, the vast majority of these games shown and discussed on TV and radio involve teams that the vast majority of the population has no real interest in. So why millions watch not only the games but pay heed to radio and TV coverage for games involving teams that they care nothing about? GAMBLING, which has become much more popular since you can place your bets OVER THE INTERNET and not have to deal with criminals in some grimy bar. Every Internet sports site has prominently placed ads for gambling sites. And every Internet gambling site not only features prominently placed sexually provocative images of women, but many of them are actually advertisements that take you to Internet pornography sites! So just football alone can have you occupied with not only watching the games seven days a week, but constantly reading, watching and listening to “football analysis”, gambling, and looking at pornography. That is just one example; there are many other ways to go through life distracted by things trivial and unedifying, and yes, there are many millions of Christian men and women who partake in this lifestyle.  

Now while being addicted to gambling, sports, pornography, TV, video games, politics, etc. is horrible and Christians need to not only seek deliverance from their addictions and go into spiritual warfare to help non – Christians who are mentally, emotionally, spiritually, even physically trapped by these things, addiction is not an issue. Why? Because addicts have an excuse of sorts: they cannot control their behavior. Many actually want to stop but cannot! So no, the real problem in the church is Christians who are not “distraction addicts” and hence choose this behavior of their own free will. If nothing else, their behavior distracts them from helping others who really need it. It also makes Christians far more sympathetic towards people who engage in related sinful behavior than they need to be. And it also diminishes the moral authority of a Christian when they try to help someone that is unsaved who has a real problem. How are you going to tell a sports addict who never goes to church that he has a problem when that sports addict knows that you speed home from church every Sunday to watch the ball game, and that he watches only a few more hours of sports a week than you do?  

Oh, and make no mistake, church is actually a distraction for a lot of Christians also. Do not be deceived: the only reason to attend church is to spiritually edify yourself and others, and that edification only comes through a fellowship of sincere believers for spirit – filled preaching, teaching, prayer, and worship. Little – if any – of that goes on in the vast majority of churches, and even where that does happen A) not everyone participates and B) it constitutes a very small part of the services and activities around the church. Churches exist for A) the spiritual edification of the body of Christ through fellowship of members who use the fruits and gifts of the Holy Spirit in assemblies and B) to facilitate works – especially but certainly not limited to evangelism – through organization. Anything else that goes on at church is a distraction, and to be quite honest the vast majority of what has become the church structure and lifestyle is a distraction! No matter the denomination or movement, the vast majority of churches promote a religious system that not only heavily distract people by focusing on activities that have nothing to do with the real purpose of the church, but they equate those activities with righteousness! Now these activities themselves are usually not wrong in and of themselves, but rather what is wrong is how the religious system not only assigns great emphasis and importance to them – passing them off as legitimate works that lead to spiritual development and in some church movements even salvation – but allows the legitimate spiritual functions to be neglected in favor of them. For example, many is the church that chooses as its pastor not someone spirit – filled and possessing and mature in the gifts and fruits of the spirit required for the pastor office, but rather someone with a degree from a seminary run by the church’s denomination, and someone who is a good administrator and fundraiser and capable of attracting new members with oratory, secular works, and publicity campaigns! Now do not take this as a statement against the ministry of helps. The ministry of helps is an exceedingly important one that many people who seek and serve in other capacities would do themselves and the body of Christ much more good serving in. But realize this: in order to perform a legitimate task in the ministry of helps, what you are “helping” has to be something spiritually useful in the first place! To be exceedingly simple, it is better to spend two hours cleaning toilets for a spiritually living congregation than to work 30 hours a week helping run a soup kitchen and homeless shelter for a spiritually dead one. Satan is much pleased by the fact that so many sincere dedicated Christians spend so much of their time toiling in spiritually useless tasks to support what is ultimately a spiritually useless congregation. You can spend all of your life doing what amounts to dead works for a dead church (or even dead works for a living church) and never oppose Satan! Christians need to quit being distracted by dead religious things that never truly oppose even their own flesh, let alone Satan, and focus their attention on things that are important to God.  

And what are the things that are important to God? At both the most fundamental AND the highest level, it is doing what God Himself tells you to do! Obedience is more important than sacrifice; the contents of your heart more meaningful than works (I Samuel 15:22-23)! If you say that performing whatever the religious system asks of you is obedience, then you have been duped by the religious system. Even if it is something that the pastor told you to do: is the pastor called by God and obedient to God? This is not to say that you should rebel against a pastor that is not called by God, for so long as you are in that congregation the pastor is your authority, and rebellion against authority is confusion (Babel) and as witchcraft. No, that is why you should LEAVE a congregation where the pastor lacks discernment or refuses to obey God, lest that pastor cause you to sin and prevents you from obeying God as you ought. You are to obey God, not a man or a system, and hence you can only obey God by obeying a man if God is using and speaking through him, as was the case with Moses. And even then, the man of God is not constantly with you to instruct you in everything you do. More to the point, even if he is constantly with and instructing you, he is not the steward of your heart! You need to do what the children of
Israel never did – and as such never entered the Promised Land the vast majority of them – and seek God for yourself. That is not to say on your own, as a truly called and faithful pastor and the assembly of like – minded believers can help you seek God, but instead to be one who seeks and discerns God’s voice and instructions to the individual self as an individual self; to be a fully functioning bondservant member of the body of Christ worshipping and serving God in spirit and in truth.
 

How is this done? One way is through prayer. Labor in prayer, making earnest supplications and confessions and seeking revelation into your heart and mind. This takes effort, and it takes time. The other way is reading the Bible, and not just selected passes but in a comprehensive manner. Again, take considerable effort and time to do so, and while you are doing it believe not only in what you are reading, but believe that you understand the meaning of what you are reading and in its meaning are principles, concepts, and instructions for you to follow that very day! You should literally read your Bible until you become aware and convinced that you are supposed to do something – and what that something is – and you should also pray until that happens too. You do not believe that such is possible? Then you are not a Christian, because you fail the important qualification of believing in Jesus Christ, who is not only God’s Word Himself, but says in God’s Word that doing so is possible, and not only does He demonstrate such in the same Word, but He specifically stated that every Christian would have that same ability, and in that Word many others do so by His example. You lack faith? Well, faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. Now the religious system tells you that “hearing the Word of God” means listening to a preacher. How is faith going to come by listening to a person who may not himself be saved, called, obedient, or faithful? Look, if your preacher is those things, he will be the first to tell you that true faith comes not by listening to HIM (or her) but by reading THE BIBLE. (If you are illiterate, then obtain an audio Bible.) The Word is THE BIBLE, and you need the Word in you in order for the Word, Jesus Christ, to form faith in you. That is why even people who saw Jesus Christ performed great healing miracles were not themselves healed: they rejected Jesus Christ and His Teachings and hence had no faith.  

Praying and reading your Bible in this fashion takes a great deal of mental concentration, which yields to spiritual concentration. Yes, this takes a lot of time and a lot of effort; hours of undivided attention each single day. Now how are you going to be able to accomplish this along with all the other things that you have to do (i.e. children, family, household, job, church attendance and activities, friends and relatives) if you are distracted by not only vain activities but by dead religious works? Simple: you won’t! The people who created the charismatic/Pentecostal movement did so by holding prayer meetings that lasted several hours a day seven days a week, and that was in addition to the time that they spent praying on their own! Obviously that did not leave much time to follow the local sports teams, theatre scene, or political debates. Now the great irony is that in this modern age, we have more free time than any people have ever had in history. Eight hour workdays with children in free public schools and low cost daycares (not to mention the fact that people are having far fewer children, including Christians), timesaving appliances, and modern economies leave most westerners with hours of spare time even on workdays! Now let alone the fact that simplifying one’s lifestyle even to the point of sacrificing economic status in order to spend more time with and get closer to God is something that would be well worth it. No, instead, the truth is that most western Christians even in their current lifestyles have ample opportunity to get far closer to God and do not use it! Start, for instance, with the 28 hours per week that the average person spends watching television. Christians are no different, and yes very few of those hours are dedicated to Christian television. Not that Christian television would replace prayer and Bible reading anyway, but Christians are forsaking God to do things that not only do not edify, but actually corrupt! (And that’s just TV, not time spent on the Internet, reading books and magazines, listening to music, or talking on the telephone.) Just cutting that 28 hours by a mere ¼ would give each Christian an hour a day in prayer and reading their Bible, and that would be enough to change the world for Christ.  

This generation has the greatest potential to do great things for God than any generation that ever has been because of our wealth in not only resources and time, and we are not using it!  Please, please change. Stop going along with this culture of distraction, and start serving the Lord today. 

Prayer:

Father God in the Name of Your Son Jesus Christ, may I give you time, energy, and devotion to seeking Your Will in prayer and Bible study, and then doing it. In the Name of Jesus Christ, amen!  

Deliverance:

The demons that works in this area are sloth and worldliness. 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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