The Brisbane Christian Fellowship Cult – The Thin End of The Corruption in Leadership Wedge.

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Then after fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and also took Titus with me. And I went up by revelation, and communicated to them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to those who were of reputation, lest by any means I might run, or had run, in vain. Yet not even Titus who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised. And this occurred because of false brethren secretly brought in (who came in by stealth to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage), to whom we did not yield submission even for an hour, that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.

Galatians 2 NKJV

What does BCF cult leader Victor J. Hall, Joseph Biden former US Vice President and Harvey Weinstein disgraced Hollywood Director have in common?  They are essentially the same men in different guises. This blog post is all about seeing the culturally sanctioned abuse of the powerless by the powerful in both the world and the church as one and the same.  They are rooted in sin and the flesh and they are empowered by demonic forces.  This is not the time to be mincing words and pandering to the desperate need of the powerful to silence their victims through the forced submission to politically correct thinking and cowardly acts of what some call love and respect but others see as accommodation and sycophancy.

When we left the cult Brisbane Christian Fellowship in 2004 I remember saying to Steve that what we had experienced was the thin end of the wedge.  I had no idea what I was about to get myself into.  Those words were prophetic. As we found, it is the thin end of the wedge in so many ways not the least important or puissant being that of morally corrupt men having the power to abuse women and children. In the last thirteen or so years we have amassed a huge body of knowledge and experience of the world and the rest of the church which has stood testimony to this truth.  I thought once I healed from the abuse that I would no longer want to talk about it.  If BCF had been the thin end of a very small wedge then that would probably have happened.  The fact that the wedge is not just large but universal and that this behaviour is being repeated throughout both Christendom and the world makes it practically and ethically impossible to put your spiritual feet up and just live your life as you would wish.  No woman naturally desires to fight anyone or anything.  Our God-given affections lean towards sustaining relationships not relational or even physical aggression.  Those who do, and I was raised by one so I know what I am talking about, are either corrupted by abuse themselves or simply have a preternatural bent towards manipulation and control.  Frankly my own opinion is that these women are demonically influenced or actually possessed. But that is another story.

I recently saw a video of Joe Biden the former Vice President during Obama’s reign.  I had heard his name but knew nothing about him and wasn’t inclined to find out. Australians don’t usually follow U.S. politics unless it has something to do with them personally.  Really, we are pretty ignorant of foreign governments and their personalities unless we make a habit of watching Fox News or CNN or some other mainstream media broadcast based in the U.S. That being said, I found this video to be more than intriguing, it was in fact deeply disturbing.  I also wondered as I skipped through the most painful bits (involving mainly little girls) how something like this just gets ignored or dismissed.

The problem is this. In any institution which has an established culture and long running traditions and a huge power pyramid the little guys always bow to those higher up in the pyramid.  So people like Joe Biden who is second only to the President end up with a huge attitude of entitlement. He is the stunt double of the ‘leader of the free world’. He gets to do whatever he wants right? Wrong. He has MORE responsibility for his actions because they affect so many others.  This is not tolerable.  It is bad enough that old white guys with patriarchal, misogynistic and predatory modes of operation run governments. But if there is literally no sanctuary with God’s people then where do we turn for comfort and support?  THIS, ladies and gentlemen, is the essence of the crime.  It is not just a crime against the poor, the widows, the orphans and the disenfranchised, it is a crime against God.  For God himself says he will take revenge on those who are the victims of the power-hungry corrupt men who say they are God’s shepherds and prophets and teachers.

It doesn’t appear, at first google, that Biden has a great reputation amongst his countrymen. A lot of people are awake enough to recognise his behaviour as not just creepy but sexually abusive. Nobody should get a free pass to touch anyone at anytime. We have personally experienced pastors and elders of churches who think that by virtue of the fact that they are leaders, men and ‘christians’ that they can touch anyone in any way they want to and if anyone complains they were either ‘just joking’ or you are ‘just too sensitive’.  They may apologise to your face but you will get the sharp end of their gossiping tongue and probably get shunned as we did.  And I am not referring to BCF here but a recent foray into a church which was also established by Ray Jackson Junior.

Jackson was a sexual predator and apparently a lot of churches he established have this kind of culture within their doors.  It is NEVER OK to treat anyone with disrespect but in Biden’s case, this man was swearing-in the members of the Senate in an official ceremony replete with photo opportunities and cameramen filming his every move.  If these videos are all over the internet, and this was not  his first public outing as a sexual predator, then this man clearly does not see any reason to change his behaviour.  He is obviously being sanctioned by those at the top of the pyramid and those in the Whitehouse to whom I would assume sexual predation is normal.

Before I go any further, here is the video of Biden I was referring to.

The first family to enjoy Uncle Joe’s special attention is the worst and most uncomfortable thing to watch, especially for the poor little girl in the red dress who simply couldn’t get away and was unable to get any help from the men around her, in particular her father who appeared not to even notice what Biden was doing.  Often however, these kinds of things are part of the general cult mentality in these institutions.  Hollywood is another culprit for allowing this kind of thing to carry on without question. I do not for a moment think that the latest Oprah Winfrey speech at the Golden Globes or the self-righteous declaiming of all things Weinstein is going to change anything.  This abuse has been part of the Hollywood backstory and ongoing culture and is not going to stop.  For some reason they have thrown Weinstein  under the bus, he is the sacrificial goat for this year.  The fact that so many have denounced Oprah’s speech is because she has been well known as one of the supporters and even enablers of Weinstein.  Nobody is going so far as to call Oprah a pimp, but she appears by some accounts to certainly have helped Weinstein’s lecherous behaviour.

Despite all appearances to the contrary there is actually a difference between pastors and elders behaving like Joe Biden and Joe Biden. And what is that difference?  The difference in these men is not in their base nature or their capitulation to it.  The difference is in the way God sees them.  God’s anger and judgement upon the wicked is one thing, his anger and judgement upon those who claim to be His people is something else.  They may both end up in hell but one group are supposed to be under the grace of the blood of Jesus Christ.   We expect the unsaved to act like citizens of Sodom despite the fact that certain of them like Biden are again, ostensibly, elected officials who are supposed to be above reproach (or at least that is the fairytale we have listened to for centuries).

Our fight however is ongoing.  We seek not to out these men for the sake of feeling justified in ourselves or making ourselves seem more righteous because of it.  In my experience there is a vast difference between the Christian who has suffered at the hands of unscrupulous church leaders who have taken advantage of his trust and loyalty and those who grandstand about their own purity at the expense of other’s reputation. We have not chosen to call out corruption.  Well, OK, yes we have.  I mean, we blog, we talk about it frequently and we are not going to stop talking about it.  Until these men repent, and frankly I am not expecting it any time soon, we must call them on their pretence.  Again, a snake who doesn’t pretend to be anything other than a snake is far preferrable to a camouflaged predator who fools the prey into thinking they are safe and then makes a jump for them when they are not looking.  These are cowardly acts.

To say nothing, to pursue our own comforts and a life outside of all corruption and false teaching would mean that we go back to sleep.  Once awakened, a sleeper is ready to go out into the sunlight and live.  To love sleep is to love sin and ignorance.  Look at Jonah. We choose to act, to speak and to oppose false shepherds and predators of every stripe.  It is not ‘our best life’, humanly speaking.  But it appears to be what we have been formed for.

Take care Vic Hall and every man who runs Brisbane Christian Fellowship.  Your judgement is upon you and even now if you repent you will be able to escape God’s wrath.  If you do not, even unto death, then you will face His great wrath against you at your death.  Hell is forever gentlemen and there is no escape.  And to any Christian who has left BCF and no longer believes in Hell, I feel sorry for you.  God is just and righteous and it is a truly terrible shame that people who formerly believed and loved Him have been turned away by abuse and false teaching.  God has mercy upon you and will seek after you as a shepherd after a lost lamb, but He will have no mercy on those who have done this to you.  Of that I am certain and know it for sure to the bottom of my very soul. I also include those leaders such as Raymond Guyatt and Graeme Harry and other men who have left BCF and not repented of their sins against the Church.  Do not think that just because you are out you can just carry on with  your lives and ignore the terrible damage you have inflicted.  You need to repent and ask forgiveness of those you have abused.  REPENT gentlemen or you will perish!

If it wasn’t for the fact that the Bible itself has prophesied that this would happen, I would be crying out how it is possible for the church to come to this terrible place.  Things are going to get worse, a portion of the church, the largest portion I am afraid will reject the Bible, the orthodox teaching of Jesus and Paul and the Prophets and Apostles and follow after man-made fables and false gospels.  They will eventually become the end times church which will hail the Antichrist as Jesus himself.  So, while we still fight the good fight, we fight with the end in sight and the end for us is not on this earth.

 

 

 

 

 

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Mind Washing

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We use our imaginations all the time.

And we don’t think anything of it… pardon the pun.

We have been told since we were children that using our imaginations is a great thing.  Even Sesame Street told us to do it.  Willy Wonka told us that living in our imagination we would be free.  But he was a fashion challenged recluse with the moral compass of a sewer rat so we will give ourselves permission to discard his advice.

We use our imaginations in the same way a wind surfer uses his sailboard.  We know where we want to go, we just make our thoughts go in that direction.  I remember as a child reading a book by Monica Dickens, the granddaughter of Charles Dickens.  She was writing a semi-autobiographical account of the various jobs she had had as a child and she talked about the ‘endless possibilities of the inside of one’s own head’.  That quote stuck with me because it resonated.  As a child, I spent most of my free time either reading or imagining other places where I would not have to face the daily pain I lived with. It is where I learned to hide my true thoughts and desires, and in fact to hide my true self.  It is where in fact I found that I could be totally at peace because nobody else could control me there, I was king of my own thoughts.

The only trouble with imagination is that it is driven by our hearts and if our hearts are corrupt then so our imagination will be. I was not saved at that point, so my thoughts were corrupt.  But I had developed a stronghold there almost literally.  So much so that when I was much older and living in a cult, that stronghold became even moreso my place of refuge. God had been replaced by evil overlords claiming to be his representatives.  So when it came time to recognise that this stronghold was in fact defiling me and was not God’s will for my life, the struggle to let go was enormous.  It wasn’t until I began to experience physical reactions to the many emotional struggles I had in my imagination that I realised what it was doing to me.  My mind was not just a stronghold, it became a ‘mighty tower’ the very thing that scripture tells us is the place that God is supposed to inhabit. I had made an idol out of my imagination.

The name of the Lord is a strong tower;
The righteous run to it and are safe.

Proverbs 18:10

I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress;
My God, in Him I will trust.”

Psalm 91:2

I was doing some research on witchcraft recently and read something which really piqued my interest.  I was intrigued by a video by a Christian lady who had been a witch before she was saved. This lady explained how she used to work and I thought I would just check out whether this was real or not. I would not encourage visits to occult websites by the way, they are not somewhere anyone should spend a lot of time. A witch’s blog was describing that two of the main ingredients needed to cast spells are strong emotions and intent.  Apparently, demonic forces can be summoned simply by these two things and coupled with the words which are used, curses and spells can be cast over others.  Now the extent to which this is successful (or even viable) is beyond my ability or my desire to prove, but it wouldn’t surprise me at all if this was the case.  When Trump came to power in the U.S., there were a bunch of witches who used pictures of him coupled with various wiccan accoutrements to curse his person and presidency.   I would imagine there was a great deal of intense emotion and intent behind those spells.

Imagination often elicits strong emotion, and of course we use intent to control our imaginations.  We picture what we want to picture in our minds and make the characters say and do what we desire.  It is a potent mix, and one which human beings have used to their destruction and blessing. The imagination can create horrific scenarios as well as things which are of great benefit to ourselves and others.

Scripture gives us a great deal of direction when it comes to our thoughts.  Romans 12:2 tells us not to be conformed to the world but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds so that we can know the good, perfect and acceptable will of God.  In fact, we are also urged to ‘have the mind of Christ’ by Paul.

For “who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ.

1 Corinthians 2:16

Romans 8:6 tells us that to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.  That right there friends is the prescription to end depression.  I don’t say this lightly because I have struggled with depression since I was a child.  But I also know that anti-depressants are not going to fix what ails us as human beings.  We are carnally minded if we don’t have the mind of Christ and if we are not born again.  We need to be cleansed by the washing of the water of the Word (Ephesians 5:26).

The word of God calls us to be sober-minded, to be single-minded and to be sound-minded.  We are to be of the same mind towards one another and to be like-minded and to set our minds on things that are above. These are all clear and direct calls to train our minds and our imaginations to godliness.

Further, we are told that we are to bring every thought to captivity to Christ.

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:

(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)

Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.

2 Corinthians 10

These are serious words to consider and digest.  Our imaginations are not our own, although we often keep our deepest imaginings secret from others.  In truth, much of what goes on in our imaginations if it were brought to light would be pretty shameful.  I know that my imagination has been having a field day over the years until God showed me only recently that in fact we can be defiled by our thoughts.

For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.

Romans 8:5-7

If you do a word study of defilement in the bible, you will see that in the Old Testament there seem to be three main ways you could be defiled, through dead bodies, through blood and through idol worship.  There were other ways which involved mixture and eating wrong foods as well.  But in the New Testament, Jesus said that it was not what went into a man that defiled him but what was in his heart.

When He had called all the multitude to Himself, He said to them, “Hear Me, everyone, and understand: 15 There is nothing that enters a man from outside which can defile him; but the things which come out of him, those are the things that defile a man. 16 If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear!”

17 When He had entered a house away from the crowd, His disciples asked Him concerning the parable. 18 So He said to them, “Are you thus without understanding also? Do you not perceive that whatever enters a man from outside cannot defile him, 19 because it does not enter his heart but his stomach, and is eliminated, thus purifying all foods?” 20 And He said, “What comes out of a man, that defiles a man. 21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, 22 thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. 23 All these evil things come from within and defile a man.”

Mark 7

As you can see, evil thoughts come from the heart of a man, or his mind.  We can be defiled by the sins which occur in our imaginations.  Jesus told us that even if a man lusts after a woman in his heart he has already committed adultery or fornication with her. This is powerful stuff.  It means that the Bible is telling us something that even practitioners of occult works understand and use to their own and other people’s detriment.  If we think a thing as far as God is concerned it is already done.  If our intentions are to sin and we imagine that sin and presumably ‘feel’ that sin, then we have sinned.

Therefore, imagination is a potent tool which is not to be toyed with.  Nor can we own our imaginations and claim that we can play around inside our own minds without being accountable to God for what passes through them or what stays and is employed by us to act out various fantasies.

Every thought leads to an action.  Even imaginary ones.  Our actions may be those of omission rather than commission.  For example, if you are spending so much time imagining revenge on an enemy and not giving your attention to things that require it, you will make mistakes, miss things, not do your work properly, or even cause an accident.  I can’t tell you the numbers of times I have been mentally absent whilst driving because I was imagining a conversation in my head and not paying attention to the road.  In fact on one occasion, I ‘came to’ about ten minutes down the road and didn’t realise I had missed my turn off and took a second to realise where I was.  Now that is dangerous. I realised I had gone through several traffic lights and couldn’t even remember whether I had stopped at them or not.  What if I had run a red light?  Fortunately, it was a country road in the middle of the day so it was fairly quiet, but at peak hour?

Our imaginations can be used in godly ways.  Really though, it is probably better if we don’t spend too much time in our imagination at all.  In fact, even reading fiction can be a problem. We can lose ourselves in a novel, even a Christian one, and what we are doing is actually spending time in somebody else’s mind.  A creepy thought.  We might think that these are just words on a page, but actually they are creating something in our imaginations.  Our imaginations are powerful. Words are even more powerful. Both evoke emotions and change the way we think and act.  If we assume that we have ownership over both and don’t submit to the Word on these matters, we will not only allow sin to creep in and have power over us, we may even be walking into witchcraft without realising it.

People who have been through severe psychological trauma, whether that is brought on by physical, sexual or psychological abuse, will often ‘space out’, or disassociate at odd times. Psychologists claim that the mind can’t tolerate anything which is too overwhelming, especially if it is the mind of a child.  When things become too much to deal with our minds can shut off during those events and also afterwards when reminded of them. If the trauma is especially severe, the mind blanks out all memory of them. One of the things that can happen to trauma survivors is that they can space out via the use of their imaginations as I have just described.  While these behaviours can be understood in the light of what we have been through as children and as adults,  we can know that Jesus is able to help us in the midst of these episodes.  If we truly want to give him our lives and our whole being, body, mind, will and emotions, and that includes our imaginations, then He can both heal, renew, wash with His blood and change the way we think and the way we act.  This is both the reality and the hope we have as believers. It is one thing to recognise and understand why our minds and imaginations can be used to shield ourselves during an abusive episode, but we must remain vigilant once we realise what we are doing.  We are responsible for our thoughts and we can control them.

I don’t want anybody reading this to think that genuine soul and mind change is only true on paper.  It is real.  The key though is that only God can give us a revelation of how our imaginations can defile us.  Some things, like sexual sin, are obvious.  But other things, like using our imaginations to comfort or help us to deal with stress, triggers or other overwhelming things, need to be given to Jesus Christ along with the knowledge that “in the multitude of my anxieties within me , your comforts delight my soul”.  Psalm 94:19.

Jesus not only wants to deal with mind sin, he wants to wash our minds clean.  We used to be brainwashed in the cult.  That is the exposure to manipulation via words to think a certain way dictated to by other men or women.  Mind washing is the cleansing through the blood of Jesus and His Word, the healing of the effects of the sins of others and also the sins we continue to commit against ourselves and God.  Mind washing is imperative if you have been believing false doctrine for any length of time and especially so if it has changed the way you see God The Father, or Jesus.  Trauma can cause us to close off to God and believe He doesn’t care for us.  Those strongholds which form because we are shielding ourselves from the abuse of false doctrine can be empowered by demonic forces.  It feels like it is a safe place for us but in fact it is a prison.  Jesus told us He came to set the prisoners free and to heal the broken hearted (Luke 4:18 and Isaiah 61:1). It truly is the answer to the pain and brokenness we have experienced through the sins of others against  us.

Don’t use your imagination as a stronghold of comfort from suffering or as a mighty fortress against the enemy.  God alone has that right and place for His people.  If we name Jesus as the name above all names, and He is our Saviour, then we need to submit our imaginations to Him and allow Him to cleanse our minds.

Hallelujah.

 

Further Reading on this blog: By Hook or By Crook

 

 

 

Wake In Fright

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Thank God for Nightmares.

We have all had them. They come in different forms, with different subjects, but the common experience with nightmares is the shock, horror and fear that propels us to wake in fright, heart pounding. It usually takes us a few minutes to realise it was all a dream, a nightmare, and sometimes you need to actually get out of bed, walk around, make yourself a drink, sit and wake up properly before your brain gets a clue.

I don’t know how people without Jesus handle nightmares. All my children used to do is call out and either Steve and myself would run to them, pray over them and comfort them and they would go back to sleep. Sometimes it would take some time, but they would go back to sleep. If either Steve or myself woke up after a nightmare, we would pray for each other and the fear would go and peace would take over.

One night last year I was half asleep and suddenly woke up properly and the whole room was dark, as though there had been a blackout. But it wasn’t just dark, it was black, there was a presence in the room. The house we were in had had all kinds of weird anomalies and we were convinced that people who had rented the place previously were either witches or satanists. Doorways had appeared and disappeared, objects disappeared and reappeared practically before our eyes, we had plagues of fleas and ants and spiders, we had dog attacks, our cat died, people suddenly becoming loud and aggressive just as they walked past our house and then going back to normal once they were past, neighbours becoming hostile and aggressive and so many other things. We were convinced our neighbour was a witch, she was a deeply disturbed woman and her little boy used to laugh and cry hysterically when he went out to play. There were all sorts of strange things going on and we spent most of our time praying in tongues and just trying to get through the day. Of course we didn’t stay there, but it was the worst house we had ever been in.

But back to the ‘nightmare’, in the half-dream, half-waking experience I had, I could not move, but I could turn my head to see if Steve was awake, and I called out his name. Then I woke up properly and realised the presence had gone and the light in the bedroom was normal. It was horrible, and I will never forget it. Nightmares are the kinds of things we remember vividly, and some people are plagued with them frequently. To those ones I would counsel, call out to Jesus Christ, ask Him to save you, He is our Saviour and our protector against the darkness and our mortal enemy, Satan. You need to be born again and Jesus came to earth as a human being, indwelt by God, ‘The Word’ (see the gospel of John first chapter) in order to bear our sin, to become our sin, so that he may be sacrificed on our behalf so that we don’t have to bear the punishment of our sin. If you have not asked Jesus to save you and asked him to forgive you of your sin that sent him to the cross, you will not be received by God the father in heaven when you die. And it is this subject that I want to discuss.

Nightmares, no matter how bad they are, are simply a means that God uses to tell us that we have hope. Waking up from a nightmare has to be among one of life’s worst moments. If you have really really bad nightmares you know the horror and trauma that assails you while you are in them. But you have the blessed moment when you wake and realise it was not real, it was a dream. Fair enough, some people are still affected by the emotional torment of those nightmares, and some people simply can’t sleep because of them. But those people, in their waking moments still have hope. They can still go to Jesus and ask Him to heal them, to give them peace, to deliver them from the demons of their past and their inner minds. And He does, and He will.

We have hope.

Until we are on our deathbeds.

I am going to upload a video of the testimony of a woman who used to be a close friend of the satanist Anton Le Vey, the architect of America’s first Church of Satan. You can read about his life and career online, he was a pretty ugly character. He kept company with people like L. Ron Hubbard, also a satanist. Le Vey is reported to have ‘seen the light’ whilst on his deathbed. According to the woman in this video, satanists apparently revere death and consider it a great victory. What happened to Anton Le Vey apparently was not what he was expecting. He realised, to his great horror, that the nightmare was only just beginning and that he was not going to ever wake up from it. This is what hell is. Imagine your worst nightmare, and never being able to wake up from it. The horror, the pain and the trauma never ends, and there is no escape. Ever. For eternity.

It would take too long to list all the scriptural passages that refer to hell. I will include a fairly comprehensive article which will do that instead. To read more on what the bible says about hell go here.

The one verse which has always struck me as the most instructive is from Matthew 10:28.

27 “Whatever I tell you in the dark, speak in the light; and what you hear in the ear, preach on the housetops. 28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. 30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.

Matthew 10 NKJV

Even when Jesus is telling us about hell and God’s judgement, he is immediately afterwards giving us reassurance that we are valuable to him. He is giving us comfort in the midst of our fear, although it is fear of man that he is warning us against. It is better to fear God Jesus says, because God’s judgement is final and the wages of sin is eternal death.

This is why nightmares are such a vivid illustration of what awaits the unrepentant sinner, the one who ignores God’s grace. Today is the day of salvation.

Next time you have a nightmare, remember that. Remember that Jesus has given us today, the morning, the light, in which we can know the truth, and repent and be saved from eternal nightmares without end and with no escape.

Any unsaved person reading this will immediately try and dismiss this. Many so called Christians will also say that a loving God would not condemn anyone to hell, but Scripture is very clear on this subject. Just because you don’t like it doesn’t make it false. But God IS loving. He IS merciful, which is why He has provided a way of escape. His escape is now, while you are alive. We sometimes wonder why the very worst sinners, the mass murderers or the genocidal maniacs end up living such long lives. It is because their judgement awaits them at the end of their lives, and God is merciful to all. The rain falls on the just and the unjust, his mercy is fair and equitable to all, everyone, no matter how terrible their sin is able to be forgiven and will find a place in heaven with God. But make no mistake, a person who does not accept the salvation found in Christ will not find a place in heaven.

Our repentance needs to be true. Jesus said many will come to Him in that day, the day of the Lord (judgement day) and say ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we do this in your name, didn’t we do that in your name’, and God will say ‘depart from me I never knew you’. (Matthew 7:3) We can’t kid God. You can’t say “well, I believe” and then go on with your life as though your life is still your own. God requires not just faith, but our whole life.

25 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.

Matthew 16:25 NKJV

 

Yet, as we give Him our lives, He gives us – in exchange – His life. Who wouldn’t rather have eternal life, the life of Christ himself than our own miserable and petty lives filled with fear and hatred and anger. We have nothing to offer God, yet He gladly receives what we have. Like the widow with two mites who gave everything she had.  (Mark 12: 41-44). Jesus told his disciples that her gift was greater than a wealthy man’s gift because she gave everything. Always in the Kingdom of God, it is the humble offering of ourselves, as little as we are, that impresses and pleases God. When Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5) tried to pretend they were like the widow and gave ‘everything they had’ after selling some real estate, they were struck dead by God for lying. They could have just given what they wanted to give and kept the rest and not lied about it. Nobody was forcing them to give anything, but they wanted others to believe that they were humble and righteous, and it was this ugly and self-loving deception which caused their deaths.

So next time you wake in fright, and then feel the wave of relief when you realise that it was just a dream, remember that while it is still day you have the opportunity to make that relief an eternal reality. You will never have to face eternal torment and death if you make the decision now to accept the salvation and love that Jesus offers us.

God bless you now and forever more.

 

 

Further reading on this blog:  ‘Hell, Who Goes There‘.

 

How Satan Works

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Be sober, be vigilant; because[c] your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. 10 But may[d] the God of all grace, who called us[e] to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. 11 To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.  (1 Peter 5:8-11)

The overriding means by which Satan works is described in Scripture. He prowls around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour, the enemy has come to steal, kill and destroy.

Prowling suggests stealth and predation. He is looking for those who are the weakest so that he may devour them.

A roaring lion is declaring his territory. We know that demons or fallen angels have their own geographical areas over which they have been given authority. Their authority however is limited to the demonic realm. They can influence and affect human beings and also enter into them and control them and in this way they have power over what humans do. Most heinous crimes are not committed by human beings on their own, they are willing accomplices to demonic plans and purposes. Sometimes this happens without their knowledge but never without their consent. I am not talking about Satan worshippers, I am talking about ordinary human beings who willingly engage in sin which opens the door to the demonic realm and creates strongholds which then turn into gateways for demonic beings and their associates to come in and take hold of that human being. And the last state of the man is worse than the first.

Satan told Jesus Christ that he could give Him the kingdoms of the earth if He fell down and worshipped him. The absolute arrogance and foolishness of this statement proves that Satan himself is deceived. He is deluded, he is insane. He was in eternity before the throne of God leading the worship of God, and here he is demanding that Jesus worship him. Mostly of course his methods are not this direct and confrontational. I have heard stories of believers who have met with Satan in this kind of way, but they are few and far between. Usually we have to deal with subtle or else not so subtle attacks.

So Satan is about stealing that which does not belong to him. He is about murdering, or taking life and he is about destroying. He not only destroys and kills those who are under his power, he destroys and kills Christians, as the many thousands of martyrs over the centuries will attest to. I don’t believe Satan has been given power over the church in the way that he will have over the saints during the Tribulation for example. I think those who have been killed as martyrs for the faith were a small percentage of the church and those ones will receive a greater reward for their suffering in heaven. I think causing death is probably not something God allows for every Christian, only those who are appointed to it as the apostles and others were. On the whole, Satan wishes to destroy but is thwarted by God as in the case of Job. There are many other examples of believers who have been saved from death by angels or just circumstances which change. I have read many stories of those who were saved from certain death simply by listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit and changing their travel plans for example.

Following are ten methods which I have found in my own life and the lives of others I have known that Satan uses to steal, kill and destroy the work of God and the people of God. This list is by no means exhaustive, but I thought it was kind of fun to be alliterative. Please add your own entries to the list in the comments section. I would love to hear from you.

Deception – either counterfeiting that which is of God or changing the gospel so that the power of God’s word is void because the Word which was brought by Jesus and the apostles is not being taught. Scripture tells us that the power of the Word of God is unto salvation. This is not possible if the actual word of God is not being taught.

For example, if it is taught that Jesus is not the Son of God, or God himself, and simply a ‘good teacher’, and there is some other way of entering heaven, or finding God the creator/father, then this is a false gospel. It has no power, except to deceive, and deception as the means Satan uses to enslave human beings is extremely powerful.

Jesus told his disciples to be careful that they would not be deceived.

Discouragement – causing doubt and fear to come upon the believer

Despair – causing the believer to cease believing

Dismemberment – attempting to pull apart anything that is knit together, such as families, marriages or congregations

Devolution – attempting to cause the work of God to go backward to its original state or cease to exist

Derangement – attempting to cause the work of God to be disjointed or to cease working in a way which brings glory to God

Dissolution – attempting to dissolve groups or communities completely so they no longer exist as such

Disunity – creating discord and ill feeling amongst the body of Christ

Distraction – causing individual believers or groups to lose focus on what God has called them to do, usually with the things of the world. The things of the world are designed to distract us from the things of God.

Deadly Sins – Causing the believer to be overwhelmed with the weight of sin and causing them to be so filled with doubt that they do not come to Jesus to be washed and forgiven.

What A Successful Christian Looks Like

small man
Nobody Special

13 This wisdom I have also seen under the sun, and it seemed great to me: 14 There was a little city with few men in it; and a great king came against it, besieged it, and built great snares[b] around it. 15 Now there was found in it a poor wise man, and he by his wisdom delivered the city. Yet no one remembered that same poor man. (Ecclesiastes 11)

1. You are Not the Popular Guy

Most genuine ‘love-the-Lord-with-your-whole-heart’ Christians don’t have large crowds of people who love them unconditionally, constantly contact them and hang off of their every word.  We have been conditioned in contemporary western culture to believe that unless you have a large church or at the very least a ‘ministry’, then you aren’t really making it as a believer. Jesus himself was not the popular guy.  He had a following of 12 men plus a few others and all of them suddenly disappeared as soon as the situation hotted-up.

Now he did have thousands of people who regularly turned to listen to Him preach and hoped for a miracle or exciting healing, but few actually hung around because they believed in Him. Often Jesus’ words to those ones were ‘he who has an ear to hear’.  So Jesus knew who they were…most weren’t hearing.  And of the men he chose to be his first disciples,  Judas betrayed him, Peter denied him, Philip doubted him, most of them didn’t know who He really was, and when it came right down to it, most of these guys  didn’t really understand Jesus’ ministry.  It wasn’t until Jesus died, resurrected and ascended and the Holy Spirit came to them at Pentecost that the church really got going.  THEN they were imbued with power from on high and were able to preach the truth.  In today’s terms, even Jesus’ disciples would not have made it onto the ‘popular preacher circuit’.

2. You have a history of getting it wrong

There is a difference between being a false teacher with a history of getting it wrong, and a regular Christian who is seeking the truth and in the process actually ends up following a  false teacher.  Your heart is in the right place, but you keep coming across charlatans who make you think that they are ‘great men of God’ but are in fact, well, charlatans.  There are far too many of them out there. Deception is a spirit and many have been bewitched by doctrines of demons.  It takes discernment to get it right, and most of us don’t develop that until a little later in life; unless you have a gift of discernment. The real key to our Christian walk is if we are learning something in the process. If there is a marked upward swing in maturity levels because you have learned from your many mistakes you can rest easy.  I should add, it doesn’t matter how late in life that maturity comes, as long as it is there somewhere.

3. You have not got that many friends

Similar to number one but more about our personal lives than our public ones.  Just look at Facebook.  When people actually call faces on a web-page ‘friends’ in order to look successful, you know society is in peril.  A genuine man of God seems to have very few people he knows with a like mind.  True believers look for kindred spirits, those whose love for Jesus marks them out as being a little bit too zealous or intense to ‘just hang out’. He often has false friends, friends who walk away because he is starting to talk about strange stuff like the end times, prophecy and the rapture, phhht, WHO talks about that anymore? There are few like-minded people today who love the Lord their God with their whole heart, mind, soul and strength, and are willing to go against popular trends in the church let alone in society because they study their bible and know what God actually says on the subject. There is nothing more exciting than talking about what Jesus is doing in our lives or in the world.  Why do so few Christians actually want to?

4. People close to you tend to reject or betray you

When you are walking closely with the Lord, your friends tend to fall away.  The closer you walk, the more you lose people.  If you became a Christian at a young age, say in high school, you will find that there will be few who will agree with you or your beliefs, even other Christians. But as you age you realise that the majority of Christians are pew warmers,  non-thinkers who like to go to Church because it is the thing to do.  Young Christians often go to church to find a partner.  Then they stay in that church to get married, have children and settle into middle age. Then their kids do exactly the same thing. Christianity to many is simply a lifestyle choice not a commitment to a person, Jesus Christ.

If you hold your relationship with Jesus closely to your heart and are completely reliant upon Him, determined to obey Him and follow Him in every part of your life, then others who don’t have that same attitude will of necessity become less important. You get asked to a family barbecue, but you are more concerned about sharing the gospel with a neighbour.  So your family start to see you as ‘not there for them’ and the insistence that you make a choice will start to become more vocal.  So you make a choice.  Not because you want to but because you are forced to.  They won’t of course accept that choice, because you are not putting them first.  Even Jesus chose His Heavenly Father’s voice over his parent’s or family’s.  Jesus is described as a ‘man of sorrows’ despised and rejected by men.  He knew what it was to lose friends, and if we follow Him, we will too.

5. Few people agree with your views

It is exceedingly strange to me how many Christians follow after false teachers.  It seems that the more people love a particular teacher the less likely he is to be biblical.  Therefore, even in your own church, you can find that you will be on your own if you ask questions, challenge the accepted beliefs of the denomination or the currently popular author or speaker.  Emerging church and new age seeker-sensitive teachers are some of the most deceptive teachers in Christianity.  They are in fact preparing Christians for the coming New World Order in which the Antichrist will rule and reign supreme.  He will have a world religion and a false prophet and these Christians will be primed to join that world religion. Already, same-sex marriage,  accepting homosexuality as natural and God-ordained,  embracing other religions as legitimate paths to God and other errors are accepted freely in many pulpits.  If you don’t embrace these things you are seen as a ‘fundamentalist’ and are accused of hate crimes.  These accusations are not just coming from the world but the church.  We are facing a time when true believers are actually going to be in the minority. I think its important to expect this and prepare ourselves if we truly wish to stay the course.

6. People think you are weird

Have you found people avoiding you?  Do people say they want to spend time with you but somehow never actually end up doing it?  Do people even tend to hate you on sight?  I know this sounds extreme but we have found this happens to many genuine believers.  We believe that the spirit of Antichrist is stepping up his attempts to undermine the church and all true believers.  If you have decided to love the Lord with your whole life and not leave any stone unturned in your relationship with Him, odd things may start to happen.  You  might find yourself face to face with opposition you never thought possible.  It may just be something minor like slowly losing contact with certain ones. Or it may be really obvious like total strangers suddenly acting strangely around you.  I could write a book on this one.  We are truly convinced that genuine believers in the last days will be confronting principalities and powers in ways other so-called Christians won’t.  Genuine believers are the real threat to Satan, not the popular pastors or authors or speakers or the ones with books on the New York Times Bestsellers List week after week.  It won’t be the famous names in the end times who will be making the difference in the Kingdom of God, but the no-names no big deal types, the man in the street, the Christian next door.

7. Nothing terribly spectacular ever happens to you

Now I know I just said that weird stuff can be happening to genuine believers, but we are not having healing meetings, or tent revivals or even back yard revivals.  We are using up just about all our energy getting up in the morning, praying our way through the day and sitting around the table praying at night.  It is the authentic plodders, the person that most people would ignore on the bus who are living powerful lives.  You might not think you are doing anything fantastic or earth-shattering but there is nothing more important than the ordinary Christian, obeying Jesus Christ and being filled with the Holy Spirit.  There is no guarantee that ‘great things’ are going to happen to you, but you will be part of something truly inspiring.  We overcome the enemy by the blood of the Lamb and our testimony.  It is our faith in God which makes us great, not the great acts we do.  We can’t all be Moses, Daniel, Esther or Joseph.  But we are called to such a time as this to be steadfast witnesses in a dark and dying world.

8. Most of the time you feel like a failure.

If you add up all these things we have been talking about, it is bound to make you feel like a failure.  The problem with this is, you actually begin to believe what you feel.  This is why it is so important to get into the Word.  We are not failures.  We are normal.  Look at Paul.  He famously lists his many difficulties, trials and experiences here:

24 From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep; 26 in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; 27 in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness— 28 besides the other things, what comes upon me daily: my deep concern for all the churches. 29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to stumble, and I do not burn with indignation?30 If I must boast, I will boast in the things which concern my infirmity. (2 Corinthians 11)

Few people, unless you are like one of the ‘Red Letter Christians’ who don’t consider anything except Jesus’ words to be of any importance, would dismiss Paul as an unimportant and unsuccessful Christian.  He is one of the great saints and theologians of history.  He is not only famous, he is well-known, well-loved, well quoted, well read, every single day, by millions of believers.  You can’t call Paul a little guy, a man in the street.  Yet if we look at his example and compare it to our own, we can’t help but be encouraged.

Look at David, a similar situation.  In his own lifetime he was a king yes, but he messed up big time, he barely got into his kingdom with his own life, and he was betrayed by his own children.  Not exactly what you would expect from a ‘man after God’s own heart’.

No, I am sorry, but a genuine man or woman of God is not going to be anything like what popular authors and speakers in today’s church profess.  Only God counts our failures as blessings.  Only God knows how bad we could have been or how many times we could have messed up.  He works everything for good, even the failures.  So get used to failing, it is better than being puffed up with pride and stepping all over your family in God without even realising it. In fact, in my estimation, a man who fails frequently is more likely to be used by God than a man who is continually successful.  God uses the foolish things of the world to confound the wise and the weak things to confound the strong. (2 Corinthians 1:27).  Love that verse.

9. You get the blues, feel yukky and get minor illnesses more often than others.

One thing we have sort of expected as bible believing Christians is that we shouldn’t  feel bad very often. You should be feeling great!  Right?  We are blessed, loved and accepted by Jesus, we love others, we are filled with love, joy and peace!  But you know what?  If you are doing battle with the enemy on a daily basis, if you are getting victory over personal sins and you are confronting unbelievers with the truth of the gospel, you are going to feel pretty darn bad.  You know why? Because you are spending your energy – you are wrestling with principalities and powers and probably not even aware of it.  It drains you, it causes your body to fight harder to stay healthy, it creates poor sleep, bad eating habits and lack of exercise (unless you count getting down on your knees and up again on a regular basis).  You get headaches, colds, flu, aches and pains, hives, bruises, allergies and other stress related physical issues.

Let’s face it, you don’t spend all of your time down at the gym because you don’t worship physical fitness.  You don’t spend all of your time making sure you eat healthy foods and constantly go on diets because you are not worried about illness or focused on what you look like.  You don’t visit the doctor every other week having multiple tests just in case you might have symptoms of a serious illness because you are not afraid to die.  You just live your life, bless the food, go on prayer walks, visit your friends and neighbours to help them, tell them about Jesus and generally spend your energies serving others, not serving yourself. A genuine believer forgets about themselves.  In fact, good brothers and sisters will be the ones thinking about us and praying for us.  It’s a mutual experience.  Don’t be surprised when you get sick, and when you do, take it as an opportunity to pray and ask the Lord to heal you and watch how He answers the prayers of His faithful and obedient sons and daughters!  Bless the Lord and thankyou Jesus.

10. Sometimes you feel like God is out to get you – you KNOW for sure Satan is.

A genuine believer can sometimes feel that God is not as close-by as He actually is. In fact, sometimes, if you spend too much time examining your life, especially looking backwards, you can be tempted to look back in anxiety and wonder where your life went.  You can get discouraged by the numbers of failures, you can think God has abandoned you, you can start to actually believe God hates you or is out to get you.  But again, this is the deception of the enemy. Now you know you have heard that term before. You know Satan loves to lie to us and get us to believe those lies.  But maybe you aren’t really aware of just how powerfully easy it is to believe those lies. Maybe you aren’t really convinced of how real those lies can be, they actually convince you that they are true.  This is how people can be deceived, both in their own minds, and by false teachers.  Those lies sound just so real, so true.  And what is worse, those lies convince you that you are wise to believe them.  Not believing the lies of Satan makes you feel like a fool. Mainly because Satan’s lies are more often than not found in man’s wisdom.  When Satan convinced Adam and Eve of his lies, he began a career of spreading his convoluted and abominable lies throughout all history and to every human being on the planet.  So coming to us individually and whispering lies into our ears when we are feeling low is the simplest thing in the world to him.  He can make you think you are a total idiot for even believing God exists if you let Him.

We have to always remind ourselves who is our enemy.  And when those lies start to sound like truth, go back to Scripture and remind yourself of who your God is, and how much He loves you and how much Satan hates you.  God is not out to get you, but your enemy certainly is.  Stand firm in the faith that you confessed right from your birth as a son or daughter of God and persevere.

He who remains steadfast to the end will be saved!

The Watcherwoman Wises Up

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Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord! (Psalm 27:14)

and all of them conspired together to come and attack Jerusalem and create confusion. Nevertheless we made our prayer to our God, and because of them we set a watch against them day and night. (Nehemiah 4:9-8)

If you are willing and obedient, You shall eat the good of the land. (Isaiah 1:19)

This is a follow-on from my last post which talked about predicting the future in order to prepare and protect yourself from evil.

When I was praying about this as the Lord showed me my own heart on this matter, the words Wait, Watch and Willing came to me.  These words I believe contain an antidote to the desire to predict the future so that you can avoid danger.

Waiting on the Lord (as in Isaiah 40:31) is mentioned a lot in scripture.

The Strong’s entry is as follows:

qâvâh, kaw-vaw’; a primitive root; to bind together (perhaps by twisting), i.e. collect; (figuratively) to expect:—gather (together), look, patiently, tarry, wait (for, on, upon).

The word ‘waiting’ gives the impression of a servant who is standing waiting for their master to give them an order.   But I believe ‘waiting’ implies more than just service, it is also literally about waiting, standing and not doing anything until…  You are not running around trying to control everything or ensuring everything is just so until..  You are actually literally quiet, patient and at peace while you listen for God’s instruction.  You are waiting for God to make it clear to you what you are to do.

Waiting on the Lord also involves watching.  I am reminded of the covenant between Abraham and the Lord in Genesis 15 where he had to wait for the Lord to come and ‘sign’ the covenant agreement as it were.  He had to fight off the carrion birds who wanted to feast on the dead animals he had just laid down, and it was a process of waiting and watching to see that the elements of the covenant were not disturbed.  This was holy ground, carrion birds represent evil, or satanic messengers who want to disrupt and destroy all that God wants to do in your life. They particularly like times in your life when God hasn’t given you a time frame for a promise.  They will come as doubts, fears, concerns, insistence that YOU do something about the situation NOW in your own strength.  This is where the divination thing comes in handy.  You can take matters into your own hands, you can do what is necessary to produce the outcome you deem acceptable to God rather than let God show you what is acceptable to Him.

Saul was particularly good at this from very early in his life.  He was always trying to impress authorities, especially Samuel, yet when God told him to do something specific he went about it in his own sweet way and then had the gall to explain his disobedience to Samuel as ‘just trying to help out’.  1 Samuel 15 has the story.

Willingness therefore to obey God is also a key part of the prescription.  You need to wait on God to find out the answer to your prayer, you need to watch that the enemy himself is not trying to deceive you as an angel of light and when you have tested the spirits and understand what God wants you to do, you need to be willing to do it.

This last I believe is pivotal to our success as Christians.  I hate that word, what I mean is living and walking in the peace which passes all understanding.  We can’t disobey God and live in peace it just won’t work.  You might think you have peace for a little while, but the Holy Spirit will always agitate your soul and conviction will come, if your heart is soft.  You will not be able to simply sin and walk away without knowing it.  So willingness to obey means that you are not in control of your own life and it is clear that obedience to God brings blessings (Deuteronomy 28).

And for me, the key to all of the above is loving Jesus.  To know Jesus is to love Jesus and we can’t love Jesus unless God first loved us.  So, receiving God’s love and responding to it with our own love in relationship will lead to a desire to obey God. Not because he is God and the ultimate authority, but because we understand God to be the author only of good and perfect works.  We know that any suffering or trauma that comes upon us which is not of our own making is a result of the sins of mankind and living in a fallen world.  Satan also is the author of a great deal of suffering of course.  But it is the fear of the unpredictability of difficulty which causes many of us, myself included, to work towards a solution of our own making.  If we can control the outcome, we are empowered against misfortune right?  Wrong.  As I said in the previous post, misfortune almost never comes in the form which we expect it to.  If it comes, it often hits us out of the blue, and sometimes from sources we would never have expected in a million years. So thinking we can control our futures is actually pretty foolish.  Satan makes us a laughing stock, of course he is the one laughing at us, not God.  He fools us into thinking we are ‘like God’ in knowing the difference between good and evil, when in actual fact, we don’t know the difference.

Scripture tells us that God makes all things work together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purposes. (Romans 8:28).  That is such a great verse.  So if God can make even evil work for good, and here I am reminded of Joseph that great illustration of the triumph of the God-chosen over abusive relatives, then how can we, puny humans, think that we can know what is best for us.  We will never see the big picture as God sees it, but we insist that we know what is good.  We must never forget that we live in a world where every action has an equal and opposite reaction and that every human being’s actions have consequences, whether seen or unseen.  We do not live in this world encased in impenetrable bubbles.

Wait on the Lord, Watch for the enemy, be Willing to obey where God shows you what to do.  It’s far better than Predict, Prepare, Protect, which sounds more like the motto of a security firm than a child of the Father. There are two kinds of ‘watching’.  The kind that surveillance firms do and the kind that God’s people do.  This ‘watcher’ woman has spent most of her life doing the former.  Repentance is truly a beautiful thing.

By Hook Or By Crook

tornado
You don’t have to be in Kansas anymore for bad stuff to happen. Just ask Dorothy.

16 Now it happened, as we went to prayer, that a certain slave girl possessed with a spirit of divination met us, who brought her masters much profit by fortune-telling. 17 This girl followed Paul and us, and cried out, saying, “These men are the servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us the way of salvation.” 18 And this she did for many days.

But Paul, greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And he came out that very hour. 19 But when her masters saw that their hope of profit was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to the authorities.

We all develop methods of surviving in a harsh world.  Divination should not be one of them, and I am not just speaking to Christians.  As you can see from the above paragraph, divination comes only by one source and that is Satanic.  You might have great powers but they are not yours and any power of this sort is usually got by illegal means (God’s law not man’s).  Satan’s power was given to him by God but he fell and now uses that power to attempt to destroy the church.  The whole world might be under the sway of the evil one, but he does what he does in his own name, not God’s. Therefore, his authority is illegitimate, and so is anything he gives human beings.  It will not be blessed by God, the righteous One.

Astrology and tea-leaf reading aside, we all have means to ‘predict’ the future, but unless God gives us a prophetic word we are engaging in divination.  Divination is witchcraft which is rebellion which is sin.  Scripture does not get any clearer on this.  Divination can be described as the premeditated choice to seek out means to know the future which are empowered by demonic forces. It is the fleshly desire to know the future which opens the door to the demonic. I should just point out that praying and asking God for clarity on a situation is not divination.  He is the legitimate authority, and James tells us if we need wisdom He will give liberally to all men and without reproach.  That is a very important verse. It means God knows we need help to live our lives and will give it to us.  It’s depending on anything other than God which is the problem. However, the means by which we can engage in divination can be fuzzy especially if we are well-meaning.  Let me explain.

I grew up in an abusive household. Every one of my siblings has the same problems because we had one parent who was a narcissist and the other who was an enabler.  Some of us grew up more like our parents than others, but all of us developed habitually  crooked ways of coping.  When I became a Christian, I continued using these coping methods because I had not developed my relationship with Lord enough to learn that this was not only unacceptable to Him, but was also sinful.  Some things aren’t obvious as I said, other things we keep doing because we just don’t know how to stop.  In my case, I kept doing them because my need to feel safe and in control was more important than trusting God.

God is trustworthy, men are not, and sometimes women in particular tend to conflate the two.  We put our trust in men; our husbands, our pastors, other Christian leaders and speakers.  And it can be a snare and a downfall to our relationship with God.  If you put men in the place of God you will inevitably stumble, and in fact this is idol worship by another name.  So it is one thing to talk about trusting God, but being able to trust God alone is something else. I needed a revelation of the love of God and His trustworthiness.

I developed in my childhood the habit of predicting what would happen that day and finding ways of dealing with it.  I was bullied a lot at school because I was a weird little kid and didn’t know how to relate to other little kids. I knew how to relate to adults (pull forelock and act like a suck-up) but I didn’t know about peer groups.  Therefore, going to school was a scary prospect.  I spent most of the first half an hour in bed in the mornings working out ways to deal with the various kids who I knew were going to pick on me the moment I got to school.  Sometimes all I could tell myself was ‘at least I can have marmalade on my toast this morning’.  Marmalade on toast was my favourite breakfast.  I learned ways to comfort myself, and food was one of them.

dot and toto.png
If Toto can make it out alive anything is possible…

As an adult this translated into mentally preparing myself for what I thought might have been coming the next day, or far into the future.  For the most part it didn’t work, but for most of my life, I figured if I knew how to imagine myself getting it right then I would be better at getting it right when it actually happened.  This, in my experience, disproves all of the ‘name it and claim it’ messages that psychologists and life coaches like Tony Robbins have worked on for years.  You do not create your own future.  If you did, then my whole life should have looked like a Hollywood movie.  I certainly was good at directing them in my head.  “They will say this, then I will say that.  Then they will do this and then I will do that, and it will all end thusly”.  It never did.  Inevitably, I forgot the script, or they just didn’t do what I thought they would.

I was trying to predict the future.  It was not entirely accurate.  OK, it was not accurate at all, but the fact that I was trying to work out what was going to happen based on what I knew of the situation was still prediction.

You might say, ‘but wait a minute didn’t you just define divination as using methods which are empowered by satanic forces?  Imagining what would happen is not satanic is it?”.  I know right?  It doesn’t come across as evil or wicked or engaging in witchcraft.  But wait…

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled. (2 Corinthians)

Paul is talking here about not warring in the flesh.  In Ephesians 6 he talks about the fact that we war against spiritual forces.

10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age,[c] against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand

I might also add here my favouritest verse of all time Romans 12:1-2

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God

All of this tells me that our minds need to be transformed so that we can deal with the flesh and also the spiritual battle which comes against us.  If Satan is encouraging us to mentally prepare for the future by rehearsing events which may or may not happen then we are not walking in faith. Scripture tells us to take every thought captive.  It means every sinful thought.  It is impossible to take every thought captive per se. So spending hours (and I did) mentally rehearsing events, conversations and outcomes is not taking every thought captive to God.  If our minds need to be renewed its because our minds are the place where sin is conceived.  If we sin habitually through mentally trying to control what happens, which is witchcraft, then we need to repent and deal with life a different way, God’s way.

When you come from an abusive background, whether that is from a family of origin or from another source such as marrying a psychopath (and I say this with respect, the internet is full of testimonies from partners of deranged humans), or from being exposed long-term to abuse from pastors or bosses or others, the thing you want the most is to ensure that this NEVER happens again.  So you do what you need to do in order to avoid it. For many of us, it is controlling the outcome.  Of everything.

We PREDICT our futures, in order to PREPARE for any future abuse or pain and thereby PROTECT ourselves and stay safe.  It makes perfect sense when you are in there.  But living like this is walking in the flesh, it is NOT trusting in God, it is trusting in your own ability to prepare for the next onslaught even if there isn’t one.  You think you are doing yourself a favour, but all you are doing is setting yourself up for failure.  Nobody ever gets divination right every time.  You only have to fail half of the time in a situation like this and you make yourself crazy.  WHY, you ask yourself, did I not see that coming?  You end up getting more and more and more distressed which in turn gives you even more energy to try that much harder next time to prepare for the next crazy turn of events.

Let’s face it.  Life is unpredictable, it is getting even more unpredictable as the world turns.  Or not, I personally believe we live in a geocentric universe.  Finding that out actually changed my life, I am not kidding.  Have you ever seen or felt the earth spinning?  I won’t go on, that would be a whole blog post on its own.  Anyway, even realising that God made the earth first because of His great plans for us and His great love for His people and that He will also make a new heaven and earth for our future enjoyment didn’t stop me from trying to plot for my own success.

Look, it doesn’t matter why we do it.  You don’t have to have come from an abusive background.  Every human being wants to know the future.  It’s why we talk about time travel. The thought that this might actually be scientifically possible (it isn’t and will never be) gets us all excited.  Knowing the future is not the answer.  Preparing for possible difficulty pain or trauma is not the answer either. As anyone who has ever paid for insurance for years and then found out that the insurance company won’t pay up because the fine print said that this particular disaster wasn’t applicable finds out….you can’t cover every eventuality and the odds are that the thing you never even imagined is the thing that eventually happens.

Having said that, we still need to deal with that very human need for preparation and protection right?  Look at Noah.  He prepared as God told him to and was protected from God’s wrath.  God knows the end from the beginning and He will tell us what to do in every eventuality.  We do not need to run around as the rest of the world does as though we have no God, and as though God isn’t in control but expects us to somehow know what to do because we have intelligence.  I actually heard a very young pastor say that once.  He said where scripture doesn’t tell us what to do specifically, then we ‘have the freedom’ to do whatever seems to be good to us at the time because that is why God gave us brains.  Somebody needs to tell this young guy that stuff not specifically covered in scripture leaves out about 50% of the issues of modern life.  That is NOT the gospel.  We have been given the Holy Spirit who is our GUIDE, counselor, comforter and teacher and will lead us and help us as Jesus helped his disciples when He was on earth. Added to this, while scripture may not specifically address issues such as, say, birth control, scripture still gives us the markers for our spiritual and moral compass.  God loves children, children are a blessing, some people can’t have children, God heals barrenness etc.  You get where I am going with this.  I hope. The generalities are there even if the specifics are not.  God wants us to know what His will is for our lives (Romans 12:2) and therefore it is not up to us to determine our futures.

It’s when we act as though this is not the case, or simply forget that this is the case, that we end up getting ourselves tangled up in knots literally and figuratively.  If you are suffering constant headaches and anxiety or even panic attacks because your stress levels are through the roof,  you might consider that you may actually be trying to manipulate and control your life, and other people’s, for their own good of course.  This may well be a common problem for women, but it is NOT a godly response to life.  We walk by faith, NOT by hook or by crook.

Next post, I will talk about the antidote to this PREDICT, PREPARE and PROTECT problem.

Is Donald Trump a Christian?

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“Though you untie the winds and let them fight against the churches..”

Macbeth to the ‘weird sisters’ (Macbeth Act 4 Scene 1)

So what do Macbeth and US President Donald Trump have in common?  Apparently witches hate both of them. Both kings, one like Saul who went to a coven of witches to find out his fate, the other who seems to have raised the ire of many witches who are apparently publicly asking other witches to gather and cast spells today against Trump to bring about his destruction. See this site for details.

I am not so much concerned about this broadly documented news item today as I am about the reaction of a number of Christian sites encouraging Christians to pray against the witches in order to protect Trump. I have no problem praying against spells and demonic attacks.  I am just concerned that these prayers are being prayed under a false assumption.

My concern is, is Trump actually a Christian, or is he just adhering to the Christian religion as most of his predecessors have done regardless of whether they actually act like a born-again believer or not.  I don’t care how many of these men have gone to church or claim to be believers, it is their actions which prove whether they are actual believers or not.

According to James Dobson of Focus on The Family, Trump has actually made a decision for Christ. Yet religionnews.com has reported as of June 25 last year that Trump has not personally spoken of a born-again experience or a personal relationship with Christ.

Trump recently accepted a relationship with Jesus Christ as his Savior, making him a “baby Christian,” Focus on the Family founder James Dobson said in an interview posted Friday (June 24) to Michael Anthony’s website, Godfactor. Dobson and Anthony, pastor of Grace Fellowship in York, Pa., spoke after the candidate’s meeting Tuesday in New York City with nearly 1,000 evangelicals.

“He did accept a relationship with Christ. I know the person who led him to Christ, and that’s fairly recent. … I believe he really made a commitment, but he’s a baby Christian,” Dobson said………

Dobson told Anthony that Trump “doesn’t know our language,” noting the candidate spoke during the meeting about “religion,” but not “faith” and “belief.” Other words the candidate never used, according to transcripts: “Jesus,” “pray,” “Christ” and “Bible.”

“You gotta cut him some slack. He didn’t grow up like we did,” Dobson said.

I am inclined to think more on the lines of this article by Michael Horton regarding Donald Trump’s theology.

Horton points out the following:

Let me suggest that the slender thread connecting Trump to the church is his occasional holiday appearances at Marble Collegiate Church, made famous by its pastor for 52 years, Norman Vincent Peale. Blending pop-psychology and spirituality, Peale’s The Power of Positive Thinking (1952) remained on The New York Times bestsellers list for 186 weeks. Nicknamed “God’s Salesman,” Peale was criticized for trivializing Christianity. Reinhold Niebuhr said that he “corrupts the gospel,” and that he helps people “feel good, while they are evading the real issues of life.”

In the 1952 election, Peale declared presidential candidate Adlai Stevenson unfit because he was divorced. For his part, Stevenson quipped, “Speaking as a Christian, I find Paul appealing and Peale appalling.” During the Kennedy-Nixon campaign, which began his long relationship with the Nixon White House, Peale declared, “Faced with the election of a Catholic, our culture is at stake.”

Trump’s parents attended Peale’s sermons each week with the family in tow, and Donald often recalls the impact on his life. He and his sisters were married by Peale.

A more recent exponent of a feel-good gospel, Joel Osteen, has called Donald Trump “a friend of our ministry” and “a good man.” Trump has previously tweeted, “Being associated with Joel is my great honor—he’s a fantastic man!”

So when in recent months, it has appeared that Trump appeals to a sizable group of evangelicals, it may be less surprising than all the hoopla suggests. Liberty University president Jerry Falwell Jr. hailed him as “one of the greatest visionaries of our time” and a wonderful Christian brother “who reminds me of my dad.” The redoubtable Pat Robertson gushed in an interview with the empire-builder, “You inspire us all.” Robert Jeffress, pastor of First Baptist Church in Dallas, who has introduced Trump at rallies, says, “We need a strong leader and a problem-solver, hence many Christians are open to a more secular candidate.”

Based on this evidence alone, ie the people who support him and the church he attends, that his understanding of biblical Christianity is going to be something less than biblical and a little more emerging church.

Having said that, Rachel Held Evans, an emerging blogger and author has this to say about Trump’s apparent conversion in a tweet dated 27 June 2016 –

“Oh, give me a break. Donald Trump hasn’t been born again. The Religious Right has simply sold out. James 2 folks.”

And another one a few hours later

“What must I do to inherit eternal life? Become the Republican nominee for president apparently.”

Now, I find myself agreeing with Rachel on a number of blog posts lately, and this isn’t a bad thing.  You can disagree with some people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time.

So if Trump is not a Christian should Christians be praying for him to be spared the ravages of the powerful spirits which these witches will be calling upon to bring down his presidency?  We are called to pray for our leaders, that is true.  But this is fairly specific.  I do believe that witches engage demonic entities and that their practice is cursed by God in scripture.

Assuming Trump is not saved is it right for us to pray against these spiteful curses from witches?  The Bible tells us to pray for leaders, but not necessarily in this way.

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.  (1 Timothy 2:1-15)

God obviously wants Trump to be saved, and he is kind of somewhat going in that direction despite the fact that he clearly has no understanding of the gospel.  He is reported as saying that he doesn’t have to ask God for forgiveness because he doesn’t need to, he doesn’t do bad things.  Scripture says that if we say we have no sin we call God a liar.  So Trump hasn’t been getting a true picture of the gospel.  Admittedly this was before his reputed conversion experience despite the fact that this was a second hand account from Dobson, not an actual confession from the lips of the president.  For my money, you would have to have Trump standing up in a press conference preaching the gospel of repentance and forgiveness, speaking about being washed in the blood of Jesus and talking about being saved by faith from his sins.  We haven’t had that, and frankly I doubt we will.

That being so, we still need to consider whether the reactions of many evangelical Christians about the so called witchcraft warfare going on today is worth paying attention to.

Here’s another verse to consider:

Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. …  (Romans 13:1-14)

Witches by definition reject God and His Son Jesus Christ and are in rebellion against Him and also obviously the governing authorities.  Their curses and spells are nothing to a Christian who is walking in obedience to Jesus Christ, and loves the Lord with all of his heart and mind and soul and strength.  We can pray against them, and have done, and seen those attacks stopped. Satan is not going to go away though, so we will, as I said in my last post need to remember that ‘there is no demilitarized zone for Christians’.  For non-Christians, or men who think they are Christians when they are not, I would urge a consideration of the verses in Acts 19 where imposters such as the sons of Sceva tried to come against devils and were torn apart physically and ran away in terror.  Remember also Simon the magician who tried to buy the Holy Spirit and whom Paul cursed.  If Trump is trying to align himself with evangelical believers as many have suggested in order to buy votes and support then he is not going to automatically be spared demonic attacks.  Let’s face it, any president whether supported by the church or not is going to face demonic attacks, its just that this one is a little more public than most.

Frankly, I am more than a little skeptical that a bunch of witches who claim to have the ability to cast spells, and commune with Satan have to use facebook in order to gather their brothers and sisters in wickedness to unite against Uncle Sam. On commenter on this site wants to know ‘will it be televised’.  I mean, come on, this smacks more of media hype than anything else. When in doubt make a shocking announcement.  What bothers me is that there are a fair number of my brothers and sisters in Christ who are using a little less discernment than they should be using in this matter.  Why are we being emotionally manipulated by the media?  Come on, that is exactly what they want, and this attack would be against us as well.

I have no doubt that evil in this present day is coming out loud and proud, witches, warlocks, Satanists and the rest will probably be having their own occult pride march down your main street in a couple of years.  There are enough millennial generation still reading the Potter books and watching the movies now to make your head spin (excuse the pun) and many of them are Christians.  So let’s not get too excited about this.  Far more important that we pay attention to our own spiritual walk and make sure that those in our families and our churches are not being drawn away by occult practices, games, movies and tv shows.

I think Americans will still pray for Trump and there is nothing but good in that. I just believe we need to hold our ground and not be swayed by media releases or even a bunch of weird sisters who want to make a name for themselves as the people who brought down Trump.  When you think about it this is what they are really vying for, publicity, not truth.

We can pray against curses and demonic attacks for sure, but I believe the only genuine protection we can have is if we are born again, and since Donald Trump, is not, in my opinion genuinely born again since I have not seen or heard this from his own lips, then I don’t think he is going to be any more protected from evil than any other unsaved leader.

But as I said, it won’t hurt him for Christians to pray against these attacks, just please my friends don’t do it in fear or anguish and begin worrying that Trump will be killed or attacked in some way.  God is still in control, and He is greater than any concerted efforts by a bunch of weird sisters and their satan worshipping buddies.

“With Him are wisdom and strength,
He has counsel and understanding.
14 If He breaks a thing down, it cannot be rebuilt;
If He imprisons a man, there can be no release.
15 If He withholds the waters, they dry up;
If He sends them out, they overwhelm the earth.
16 With Him are strength and prudence.
The deceived and the deceiver are His.
17 He leads counselors away plundered,
And makes fools of the judges.
18 He loosens the bonds of kings,
And binds their waist with a belt.
19 He leads princesb]”>[b] away plundered,
And overthrows the mighty.
20 He deprives the trusted ones of speech,
And takes away the discernment of the elders.
21 He pours contempt on princes,
And disarms the mighty.
22 He uncovers deep things out of darkness,
And brings the shadow of death to light.
23 He makes nations great, and destroys them;
He enlarges nations, and guides them.
24 He takes away the understandingc]”>[c] of the chiefs of the people of the earth,
And makes them wander in a pathless wilderness.
25 They grope in the dark without light,
And He makes them stagger like a drunken man.

Job 12:13-25

 

Supermoon Monday -In the Valley of Aijalon

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12 Then Joshua spoke to the Lord in the day when the Lord delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel:

“Sun, stand still over Gibeon;
And Moon, in the Valley of Aijalon.”
13 So the sun stood still,
And the moon stopped,
Till the people had revenge
Upon their enemies.

Joshua 10:12-13 (NKJV)

I want to talk about spiritual warfare in this post.  I thought it timely to discuss this on the occasion of the first super moon since 1948.  Especially since that is the same year that the modern nation of Israel was formed!  We are in the last days friends!  It is also interesting that the above quote from Joshua talks about the battle of the Israelites against the King of Jerusalem and his four allies.  This was another stage in the war against the inhabitants of the land which God promised to give His people.  It is also symbolic of our battle against the powers of darkness who come against us in our walk with the Lord. The Lord has the power to make the moon, symbol of occult power, stand still as His people obey His voice, and go into the battle with the Lord going before, and also standing as our rear guard!  Hallelujah!

A super moon is when the moon is closer to the earth in its orbit than at other times, which is why it appears slightly larger.  For the flat earthers out there, peace to you, I wonder how this phenomenon is explained?  We are not  flat earthers but we are curious and do believe we are a geocentric universe, because the possibility of the earth’s rotation has been continually disproved by various and numerous experiments over time.  But that is another post.

Full moons have traditionally been associated with times of occult and paranormal and generally bizarre activity.  Some sources say that nothing out of the ordinary happens on full moons and the urban myths that hospitals and police stations get more business on these times of the month are simply that, urban myths.  My own experiences would suggest the opposite.  If you are a Christian then you are, by definition, a believer in the ‘supernatural’ and recognise that we have a supernatural enemy and we are engaged in spiritual warfare.  So, whether the moon affects others it seems that those who practice pagan or witchcraft rituals are definitely more active during the ‘waxing gibbous’ of the lesser light and they definitely exercise some power as they act in accordance with their gods who cause all kinds of mayhem.

We moved into the house we are in about a year ago, and we have had continual paranormal and bizarre activity, some of it has been quite distressing .  I wanted to focus on our need to stand against principalities and powers and not flesh and blood.  It is very tempting to assume only natural cause and effect in the situations you find yourself.  However, Paul tells us this is not true.

Paul’s famous Ephesians 6 declaration has helped and encouraged Christians for centuries.

10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints

 Around April of this year we were doing spiritual battle against a particular protagonist on an internet forum.  This forum is a gathering of people who left the cult we were trapped in for 15 years.  There was one visitor to the forum who is still in the cult, and occasionally raises his head to attack, defy and question and criticise these people. His last attack was so outrageous and in fact rude that we felt we could no longer leave him unchallenged. The members of the forum have made the mistake of thinking that because a member of the cult  is on the forum, he must be wanting to know the truth and have been accepting and courteous to the unfortunate point of assuming he is a safe and harmless entity. I am afraid this isn’t so.  He is simply there to attack and destroy, because he is being motivated by the accuser of the brethren, and also he is in a cult, therefore he is cursed.  I know this sounds harsh, but Paul declares that anyone who preaches a false gospel is cursed (Galatians 1) and he points it out twice and with vehemence.  If you are in any doubt, also read Peter’s second letter, second chapter and he will tell you what he thinks of false teachers and their judgement.  Another good passage if anyone is in doubt about cult leaders and, unfortunately, their followers, is John’s second letter wherein he declares that fellowshipping with false teachers means that you are partaking in their evil deeds.

Anyway, this visitor to the forum has been there for years and we have just ignored him, and at the same time marvelled at the fact that people have just welcomed and in some cases praised this demon for having the courage to come to the forum.  There is a serious lack of discernment here, but that is not surprising.  You have to have come out from under the curse yourself in order to see it.  And if you are not aware you are cursed for having both supported, and agreed with false teachers and in most cases propagated those teachings in your own household., then you will end up walking in circles and not understand why.  We were under such a curse for years after we left the cult and when we recognised it, realised what God saw in us, and repented, our lives changed markedly!  Praise God for his mercy and goodness to us!  Our lives have not been the same since.  One of those changes has been our ability to recognise, discern and fight against spiritual forces who have harassed us for  years, and not only that but worked through the people around us.

So, in the power of the Spirit, we came against this cult member who was harassing the forum.  We spoke a very strong word of rebuke and told him to leave.  He tried to come back as somebody else and had a bizarre sock-puppet conversation with himself, and we exposed this and rebuked him one more time.  Finally he left and has not been seen since.  We were not left to enjoy our victory however.

The next day, I was walking the dog around our neighbourhood, and came across a lady up the road from us walking her dogs.  These dogs have gotten out of their house once before and attacked a woman walking her own dog down our street.  The dogs went berserk, there was much screaming and distress, and neighbours helped her, but the dogs ran off.  It was a fairly brief episode.  However, this particular day, the lady walking the dogs had them on a leash.  I recognised the dogs (two bull terriers) a way up the street and stopped to avoid them.  As soon as the dogs saw my dog (a medium sized Labrador cross), they managed to slip their leashes (which were clearly not sufficient to restrain them)  and in a chilling and nightmarish almost slo-mo few seconds one of them had targeted and moved in to latch onto my poor harmless puppy dog. She is a gentle non-aggressive and eager to please animal just minding her own business. These deranged creatures just went for her with no provocation.  It is in fact typical of the way demons work.  You have to be on  your guard continually, as one Christian put it ‘there is no demilitarised zone’ in spiritual warfare.  Demons will attack you, especially when you don’t expect it, so we have to be continually armed.  It is why Paul tells us to put on the armour of God.  It is our everyday clothing, not just for special occasions. We must be always prepared and ready as good soldiers to fight the good fight.

Poor ruby was screaming and yelping, and I was totally terrified.  I have never before felt so helpless and at the same time engulfed in fear.  It truly was a Jobian ‘the thing I feared has come upon me’ event.  In fact, I read an account of another  similar dog attack on the internet after this happened.  It was recounted by a former officer in the British army who had done service in Iraq and Afghanistan.  . He went through exactly the same circumstances of walking his little dog down a beach and encountering these two bull terriers off leash and just running at his dog simply because they wanted to. He said it was the most terrifying thing he had experienced, and he had been in battle AND been kidnapped by rebels at one point, so that is really saying something. It was an encouragement to me anyway, especially since our vet downplayed the whole event as ‘doggies having a bit of an argument’.

I am afraid to say that my first response was not to cry out to the Lord, but to yell at the woman who had lost control of the dogs.  I called her stupid and asked what she thought she was doing.  Not exactly a controlled and spirit-filled response.  A few neighbours came out to help.  There were four of us at one point, eye gouging, hitting, kicking, and doing everything we could to get this dog off.  I was on the ground at one point, believing I would be next to be attacked and felt totally depleted of strength, I have never experienced this before. Perhaps it was the adrenalin, but I have always heard that in these kinds of circumstances adrenalin usually gives you strength so that you CAN fight off a rabid dog. I believe with my whole heart that in fact, this was a spiritual attack, as I will prove. 

As I said, there were four adults trying to get this dog off Ruby’s neck.  Four adults, two of whom were men, and one of those guys was a really big heavy guy.  How is it that four adults in a prolonged attack against one small, but admittedly strong, dog couldn’t prevail. In the previous dog attack they were able to do it no problem.  In the soldier’s account, he managed to get one bull terrier off his dog with his bare hands, albeit requiring stitches afterwards to a large gash in his fingers, and his wife was actually able to get the other dog off.  So what gives that four fully grown humans couldn’t remove this dog.  It seemed to take ages, but in reality it was probably about ten minutes of hitting kicking and screaming. Then the breakthrough actually came from a totally different, but God-centred, direction.

Finallly, I heard the Holy Spirit say very clearly and in a commanding voice (not audibly), cast the demons out!   I have never prayed against demons in a dog.  In my own logical mind at the time I thought it was a bizarre thing to do and in fact I am ashamed to say that I was more concerned about the neighbour’s opinion of me than I was about obeying the Lord. However, I finally realised (this all took only a few seconds mind you) that I had no other choice, and since I do believe demons are real, and that demons can inhabit animals (Gadarene swine), I spoke up.  ‘In Jesus name, I command  you demons to come out of this dog’ I said.

Anyway, after a delay of a couple of seconds (during which time I figured, I am done for now, they are really going to think I am insane), the dog suddenly let go.  But here’s the thing, it slunk off as though I was its master telling it off!  I have lived with dogs my whole life and this dog knew it had met a stronger force. HA!  Take that demon!

The dog’s mate which had been skulking around while we were trying to get the attacking dog off saw its opportunity and then came in for another attack and latched on to Ruby’s leg.  This time however, one of the men managed to grab it and get it off fairly quickly.

I took the opportunity to convey Ruby, who was actually able to walk a little bit, to my house which was just across the road from this.  I told the lady who owned the dogs that I would be sending her the vet bill thinking that they would probably not pay it, but the Lord was with us.  The bill was around $800.00 and later that night Steve and Nick went to front the dog owners with the bill . Nick told me later that they were very apologetic, very subdued in fact, almost fearful.  They paid us the vet bill in cash in front of Steve and Nick via the internet.  We couldn’t believe they actually admitted fault and did the right thing.  We have seen so many people in these kinds of situations just baulk and try and claim it wasn’t their fault.  We believe God was fighting for us in this situation as well. The demons had been vanquished and we had no more trouble from them.  Ruby was as good as gold after about six weeks.

I am convinced that this whole attack both human and canine was the result of the fact that we stood up against the demons in the cult and rebuked them.  Spiritual forces are linked, they are not omniscient, but they clearly communicate with one another and they do what they do without hindrance from time, space or any other temporal force which limits us human beings. Therefore, an internet forum which exists out there somewhere and is able to link people from all the cities in this country is not a limitation to the demonic forces which control the human beings who are part of that cult.

Therefore, being attacked in Brisbane a matter of hours after we stood against a demon which may well have inhabited a person in Brisbane or Melbourne or Sydney or anywhere else is an easy matter for spiritual forces.

As I said, the house we rented a year ago is some kind of a spiritual gateway.  We prayed against any demonic influence when we moved in, anointed the house and property with oil and have been praying all year against spiritual forces of wickedness in high places. In some instances God gave us a name of a demon to pray against.  The neighbour next door is/was married to a particularly nasty and abusive man who was making our lives very difficult.  He was a bully and a drunk and when he was drunk I swear he looked for all the world like he was literally possessed, his eyes would roll back in his head and he would say the most bizarre things.  Worse, he had a demonic smirk which totally creeped us out.  So God gave us the name of the demon controlling him, we prayed against it and literally less than 24 hours later he was gone.  His wife kicked him out, and we have never seen him again.

God has not given us a spirit of fear, but He has given us His Holy Spirit and we have the power of God within us, to stand against and speak with authority against those who would, without realising it, make our lives difficult.  We are new to all of this.  We have in theory always believed in the supernatural, but have had little to do with it.  In Steve’s early life, he had experience of preaching and seeing the blind see and lame walk.  When we joined the cult however, all that left.  Then after leaving the cult it took years for us to recover, and then took more years for God to bring us to a place where He could trust us to begin to walk in the Spirit and walk in the ministry God has given us.  We are seeing healings, deliverance, the Spirit filling and blessing those around us.  It is truly an amazing thing, and we have found this all out for ourselves, testing the word of God, believing what we read, what God shows us, obeying His word, and thanking and praising God for His faithfulness in our everyday lives.

We have had failures, or lost battles if you like.  Our beloved cat was ill on one occasion and we prayed against the demonic forces coming against him.  He began to recover to the point of eating food, walking around, actually looking like he was getting much better to the point that we left him alone at night after four weeks of sitting with him and ensuring he was comfortable.  Finally one night, the night of a full moon, he died.  It was a real shock for our daughter Lucy who had done the majority of the nursing.  Now somebody will say he was a 12 year old cat and he was probably going to die anyway.  I say balderdash.  His sister is in perfect health and shows no signs of slowing down. We had seen the Holy Spirit give us wisdom and discernment in so many other issues and seen immediate results.  In fact our cat’s death had interesting repurcussions.  It showed us that if we are not walking fully in the will of God and leaving doors open through sin and disobedience for the enemy to come in like a flood and attack us. All things work together for good and the Lord allows what He sees fit to allow in order to teach us how to walk in the Spirit, and to learn what we need to learn for future and more important battles.

I don’t have all the answers, I do know it was no coincidence we were in a house where we have seen more supernatural activity and downright attacks than anywhere else in our life.  The neighbourhood is rife with strange things going on, we live on a crossroad, the neighbours next door are definitely demonically controlled, and the units on the other side contain some seriously demented and strange human beings.  We are seeing victory in so many different things.  

I just want to say one more thing about spiritual warfare. When the Isarelites led by Jehosophat came against a vast army which they admitted they could not defeat on their own, they cried out to God and he said those famous words ‘the battle is not yours but God’s’, they then set singers and worshippers at the front of the army and saw the defeat of their enemy.  Much has been made of this event, and it is certainly true that God dwells in the praises of His people.  This action was not actually a direction from God, but God obviously gave Jehosophat wisdom and he believed that they should honour God even in warfare. WHo would have thought praise was the answer.  But then who would have thought shouting would bring down the walls of Jericho.  In fact neither of these things in themselves are going to make much difference.  It is the Lord who reigns and fights for His people as long as we give Him the glory, obey His word and remain in the Spirit and don’t try and go ahead of Him.  I have found for myself that in our neighbourhood, playing praise music in our house makes a HUGE difference to the environment.  We get far less ambient noise from other people’s radios or sound systems.  In fact, God showed me that all music is worship of some kind.  People are either knowingly or unknowingly praising their own gods with their music.  All music was made by God and of course Lucifer was the prime worship leader as even his body (if you can call it that) was a musical instrument.  Lucifer when he fell took music with him and as Prince of the Power of the Air he still controls music.  Therefore, when we use our music to praise, honour and worship our God who is Holy, Righteous and Perfect, we are proclaiming both the power of God, and also the presence of God who dwells in the praises of His people.  We can’t lose.  We are encouraged and uplifted and the demonic forces are defeated.

Hallelujah and Hallelujah.

I can’t post the URL of this video but I will attempt to add the address, but it is a Hosannah DVD on songs of spiritual warfare.  Hope this encourages others today, it has certainly been a blessing to us.

Many Blessings,

Anita

 

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Christian Narcissists

Dolores-Umbridge-dolores-jane-umbridge-33436436-1024-768
Not a Christian, but looks a lot like one.

Narcissism is not what some people might think.

 

It is not self-absorption or even extreme selfishness.  It is a pathological lack of conscience, empathy, compassion, humility and reasonable self-image which revolves around actual talents and character.  It is about lying every time  you open y our mouth.  It is about thinking about your life as a fantasy of what you want to be and then believing it to be true. It is also about expecting others to believe it even when there is no empirical evidence to support that belief. Incredibly,  Narcissists seem to manage to convince others that what they think about themselves is true. They seem to be able to project an image and convey such confidence in that image that others are manipulated into believing it to be real.

Narcissists do not cope well with denial of their fantasies about themselves. Unfortunately, although they are toxic emotional vampires, they can be very charming and persuasive and make you believe that you are their very bestest best friend at first meeting.  They love bomb strangers and at the same time treat their old friends and relatives like dirt. Then they want to know why you are acting strangely around them. It’s because you are catching onto their behaviour and trying to fit it into the jigsaw puzzle of their lives.  The bits don’t match.  They won’t, they belong to a number of different jigsaws.  The one the narcissist is working on is different to the one  you see. They mess with your head and make you believe you are the one with the problem. So lacking in normal morality and working conscience are they that they can carry on like this with a huge smile on their face and be completely free of any shame, guilt or concern about their actions and their consequences. They are like six-year-olds playing a game and they get just as hostile when you don’t want to play any more.

Narcissists can turn from the cute six-year-old to the homicidal maniac at the drop of a hat.  You might think this is an overstatement, but there have been narcissists of my acquaintance who would easily kill somebody if they thought they would not be caught or that it wouldn’t harm their image.  Fortunately they usually stop short of this and just murder your soul instead.  Murdering somebody’s reputation or character is also a good substitute.  That takes time and effort however, so you would have to have upset the narcissist a lot for them to get to that point. On the other hand if the narcissist has a willing pack of servants, often called flying monkeys on the internet, especially family members, then they can get them to do the dirty work for them.

Narcissists have been known to destroy marriages, families, people’s sanity and their careers and to cause nervous breakdowns and suicide, but not so as anybody would notice.  They attack by stealth and its a campaign of attrition. Only the victim knows anything is wrong at first and afterwards, they still blame the victim when it is clearly the narcissist staring at you with the knife in their hand.

Some psychologists have made the suggestion that Narcissists become what they are because they were abused as children and have never grown up and have no real choice as to how they behave.  But the evidence belies this statement.  Anyone with any intimate knowledge of narcissism, especially if they have been raised by it, grown up with it or married it will know that narcissists are not just abused children.  They are extremely functional adults who know the difference between good and evil, and switch between the two depending on who they are talking to and whether or not there are witnesses.  I have seen children do this as well.  And these children were not abused, they were simply choosing to do the wrong thing to suit themselves, and then to cover it up by charming the person in authority, usually the parent.

I am not a psychologist, although I am an avid student of human behaviour. Having grown up around narcissism, and spent 15 years in a religious cult you have no choice but to deal with it.  It is a case of adapt or die.  You have to learn who your enemy is.  And this brings me to the point of my title.  Christian narcissists are liars.  They are first of all not Christians, because it is not possible to continually sin without conscience and be genuinely filled with the Holy Spirit.  Therefore if a narcissist claims to be saved and moreover is a member of local congregation I treat them with the utmost caution.  So called Christian Narcissists can run churches, preach from pulpits or sit on boards.  They can be married to the pastor or serve on the missionary committee, you will know when you have struck one because they continually leave you stunned with their rudeness and contempt. Should you try and deal with this person they will look and sound as though they are truly interested in helping you come to terms with your stupidity.  They are simply not able to recognise their own sin, and will wipe it off onto you because you are blaming them, the blameless, spotless lamb of God.  I heard an abusive former elder of the religious cult I went to actually say this.  He spent decades preaching a false gospel, abusing and bullying everyone he met yet when they finally kicked him out, and we went to him to ask him to be accountable for his actions, his whole demeanour was one of total innocence. Who me?  How could I be at fault?  Now scripture tells us that nobody is without sin and if anyone says he has no sin he is a liar.  This man had lied to us for a couple of decades and after having been kicked out of his own cult, he was still lying.   However, I once saw a picture of him up on his facebook page.  He had that typical narcissist smug grin.  It is the grin of a naughty child who is making you their co-conspirator.  It’s the ‘we all know I am naughty but you know you love me’ look that very small children are apt to get away with.  Its ugly and its an outright offence against the body of Christ and God himself.