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.

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What A Successful Christian Looks Like

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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

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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.

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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.

How Not To Be a Badass – or – Sucker Punches Part 2

A Badass Boxer
A Badass Boxer

Previously I wrote about Sucker Punches and how to deal with them. But something the Lord showed me the other day has prompted me to revisit this subject. I was ruminating on the means we use to avoid Sucker Punches. Since Sucker Punches are, by definition, a surprise, it is very difficult to prepare yourself for them. Some might suggest that you could, in martial arts terms, just become really good at self-defence thereby continually being at the ready. The article I quoted from last time did this very thing. It outlined a number of red flags to look out for when in the company of those who might be likely to suddenly swing at you; drunken idiots at parties for example. This is all well and good, but in general terms, the Sucker Punches I have described are those which come at us from all quarters, are often coming from those we feel safe with and come in ways we cannot possibly prepare ourselves for. I would even go so far as to suggest that God makes sure we cannot possibly prepare for every eventuality so that the trials and tribulations He has prepared to refine our faith do the work they are supposed to do. A Christian’s preparedness for battle is not that of the unsaved individual. And we should remind ourselves that a battle it most assuredly is.

For many of our worst Sucker Punches come from people, yet Paul tells us in Ephesians 6 that we do not wrestle against flesh and blood but against demonic powers. What we really need to be doing to both avoid and to defend ourselves against Sucker Punches is using the armour God has given us. What many of us do, myself included, is use the armour that the flesh attests to.

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.

14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 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, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— 19 and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak

We tend to think that hardening ourselves against impending attack is the best means to defend ourselves. We are impressed with what popular culture calls a ‘badass’ – a tough, uncompromising and intimidating person (internet dictionary). When we as real, vulnerable, tender and sensitive human beings try and harden ourselves to become like Dirty Harry we end up with stony hearts, impregnable minds and brittle souls. Like the boy David who tried to put on King Saul’s armour to fight the enemy of Israel, we find these defences unwieldy and in fact an impediment to action. We cannot be ‘badass’ and remain open to other human beings, or in fact and more importantly to God. Yet so many of us give ourselves permission to close off, shut down, and simply live life with fleshly armour on condemning ourselves in the process to eternal misery.

Let’s look at some of the types of armour we employ as human beings against the Sucker Punches, and the Sucker Punchers of life.

Many believe that mental preparedness paves the way to personal peace and security and they employ a method called ‘Defensive Pessimism’. This involves thinking of every conceivable negative outcome of a situation and devising strategies to deal with each possibility. Once you have done this, theoretically, you are supposed to lay them aside and carry on. The only problem is that the sorts of people who espouse Defensive Pessimism are often the sorts of people who get manically obsessed with ideas really easily. They find it incredibly hard to just put down the plans they have made to deal with the possible negative outcomes. Instead they will be crafting and polishing until the day comes that they finally realise that none of these outcomes have eventuated and they have just wasted months if not years of their precious time and energy in an imaginary world getting more and more tense and anxious. No, I am sorry, but I have tried this method. It. Does. Not. Work. I cannot emphasise this enough. DO NOT try this at home. It is not a means of defence and eternal pessimism results in depression, not peace and tranquillity. I mean just who are you fighting against here? In the end, you are fighting yourself.

The biblical alternative to this is simple.

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

(2 Corinthians 10:5)

How about that favourite of many people being angry all the time? Not violently angry, and not so much as anyone else would notice, but just simmering under the surface and ready to jump up and defend yourself whenever anyone looks at you funny or makes an off-hand remark. The trouble with this kind of defence is that it doesn’t do much for your mental or emotional health. It is incredibly exhausting being emotionally on the balls of your feet at all times. You are like a boxer who is all keyed up to get into the ring and begin to fight but there’s nobody there when you get there. So you have to start looking for other people to get stuck into.

I recently heard a story about a boss who told his second in command that the best way he found to keep his employees in line was to use sarcasm. What he may not have realised was that sarcasm is actually verbal aggression. Sometimes it can be very funny (it is used regularly on sit-coms) but it is always a means of subtly putting somebody else down and is therefore a hostile mechanism. In fact, I found some time ago that when my children were small they started using the tone of voice often employed by actors on sit-coms. They began talking to each other with the sarcasm they heard other people using on television. It was then that I realised the damage it was doing. There is no respect, no care, no empathy and no kindness in sarcasm, yet many people use it as a matter of course to keep others at bay, or as in the above example, to control other people. I have heard teachers use it in a classroom of adults. Not helpful! It is both a weapon and a defense. It is a very human means of armouring yourself up, but as with every other type of human defense it comes at a cost to yourself and your relationships. Unfortunately, the media and television, not to mention the internet have encouraged this form of communication until now it is hardly even noticed that people talk almost permanently with withering expressions of deprecation and scornful attitudes. People out there get wounded easily but most of us walk around with a hardened façade making sure nobody else sees the pain. Again, we end up with terminally scarred souls if we don’t acknowledge the problem. So what is the answer? Even for Christians, its really hard to allow yourself to be vulnerable and open and God I believe both understands and saves us in our weakness. The answer is to understand God’s perspective and to get the big picture.

Some psychologists have suggested that the best way to deal with relational aggression is through self-esteem and assertiveness. In my many studies of psychological methods I well remember the mantra, assertiveness is different to aggression. When you are assertive you are being respectful to the other party and if you are being aggressive you are being abusive. While this is true, it doesn’t technically prepare you for a Sucker Punch which is the main point to this post. You can be as assertive as you like, but if you fear being punched when you are not looking then you are going to need to find some other means of protecting yourself. Assertiveness is great if you already have a strong personality and are not concerned with arousing somebody else’s aggression against you. But there are many people out there who have spent their whole lives dealing with abuse, especially from family members or spouses and their personalities have been shredded with anxiety and fear which eventually turns to anger which becomes that most dreaded of human defenses. You cannot be angry all the time. At some point or other you have to recognise that all this does is cause you to become a vengeful, bitter and defensive person who has no capacity to relate to others because you are continually looking for the sucker punch. You spend all your time on DefCon. 1 and no time at all actually enjoying life. In fact, it is my experience, that people like this have completely done away with any fantasy that their lives are ever going to be enjoyable. They have in fact learned to live entirely on adrenalin and they will probably not stop to consider the consequences until they are in hospital or jail. Even then, many have hardened their hearts to such a degree that they no longer even know what peace and joy are.

Here for your amusement is a table of all the Def Con’s and what they involve (thanks to Wikipedia)

 

Readiness condition Exercise term Description Readiness Color
DEFCON 1 COCKED PISTOL Nuclear war is imminent Maximum readiness White
DEFCON 2 FAST PACE Next step to nuclear war Armed Forces ready to deploy and engage in less than 6 hours Red
DEFCON 3 ROUND HOUSE Increase in force readiness above that required for normal readiness Air Force ready to mobilize in 15 minutes Yellow
DEFCON 4 DOUBLE TAKE Increased intelligence watch and strengthened security measures Above normal readiness Green
DEFCON 5 FADE OUT Lowest state of readiness Normal readiness Blue

I don’t know about you but Operation Double-take looks to be about right in my household.

And here I must return to the Ephesians 6 verses above, for this is what God showed me about self-defense. There is absolutely no point in trying to prepare yourself for either abuse, unkindness or sucker punches from other people. You cannot ever get to the place where you will always be ready for the unexpected. Not even insurance policy advertisers will try and get away with that fallacy. In fact, they use the fear of the unexpected to convince you that you can never fully relax because maybe you might just need another insurance policy for some other unforeseen misfortune. Recently the advertising for funeral insurance hit an all time high. When we used to have a television set, I remember thinking that every second and third ad on TV was about insurance. Human beings are fully aware that they can’t clean up their lives and keep them clean for very long before stuff gets messed up again.

That being the case, what is our best means of getting through this life marginally unscathed? The armour of God is our answer. God has given us spiritual armour to defend ourselves against the wiles of the enemy. For as He points out through Paul, we do NOT wrestle against flesh and blood. Our defense should not be against human beings. Which would seem to be a strange thing to say. People make their own decisions about how they treat us right? Even the sucker punchers decide to get drunk, or deliberately do mean and horrible things because that is who they are. I know people are inclined to think the best of others – because frankly that is what they are hoping others will do of them – but lets face it we all know somebody who is just plain ornery. Or evil. I know a few of them.

So if it is true that we can rule out human beings, flesh and blood, as the root of all evil, what we truly need to do is armour up against the spiritual forces of darkness and wickedness. There are apparently ‘hosts’ of them which means very large numbers. When we go and deal with people who are mean, vile and aggressive, we are not in fact dealing with human beings, but with the spirits who work through them. Which begs the question, was Paul talking about other Christians in this passage, or simply those who were not saved? Because we do get sucker punched often by other Christians. Whether Paul meant Christians or not is unclear, but the fact of the matter is that spiritual forces of darkness work in the church as well as out of it. Paul frequently warned about false brethren, teachers and prophets and our need to watch against these individuals (Galatians 2:4). If he is warning us to be on the watch, (or DEFCON 4) then it is clear to me that he must have meant that those principalities and powers were going to come at us from all corners, and some of those corners had brothers and sisters in them.

Our means of preparedness against the fiery darts of the wicked one is not mental, emotional, or physical, it is spiritual. But here is the thing. The armour of God covers all the vital areas. Our heads are covered via the helmet of salvation. Our hearts are covered by the breastplate of righteousness, our intestines or gut (ever had a gut feeling?) are covered and kept by truth and our feet are shod with the gospel. Our whole bodies are protected by faith. Consider the actual armour Paul is talking about. Some have suggested he is thinking of the Roman soldier’s outfit. Their shields, their breastplates and their helmets were made of metal; hard, unable to be pierced, protective and sure. God’s protection, which in essence is Christ himself, is able to ward off the devices of the evil one. We cannot harden ourselves against the battle which is coming against us, only God can do that. He doesn’t prepare us internally however. Please note that there is no such thing as defensive pessimism in the Bible. In fact, scripture calls this ‘unbelief’. It is a sin. We are ‘limiting the Holy One of Israel’ (Psalm 78:41) by daring to believe that we can arm ourselves with our imaginations and intellects in order to defeat any calamity which comes our way. Instead, the helmet of salvation protects our heads. And in fact, scripture, another means of defense – the sword of the spirit which is the word of God – tells us that ‘all things work together for good to those who love the Lord and walk according to His purpose’ (Romans 8:28). This, my friends, is the very best form of defense. If we are putting on Christ and everything he has given us, salvation, righteousness, truth, faith and the word of God, then we are both arming against the real enemy and able to defeat him, and also protecting our inner lives, our souls, hearts, minds and spirits. For every other defense we try and employ as human beings is destructive to those sensitive parts of us. They undermine, sabotage, rot and destroy, which are the very things which Satan employs to defeat us. He prowls around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour, and we are devoured by our own protection every time we use fleshly methods to defeat spiritual forces. And we must continually remind ourselves it is against spiritual forces that we fight.

“War On The Saints” Jesse Penn-Lewis (excerpt)

From sermon-index
From sermon-index

Revival Dawn and the Baptism of the Spirit

We have seen that the period in the believer’s life wherein he receives the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is the special time of danger from the evil supernatural world, and the Baptism of the Spirit is THE ESSENCE OF REVIVAL. Revival dawn, is, therefore, the great moment for deceiving spirits to find entrance into the believer by deception through counterfeits, resulting sometimes in the possession dealt with in preceding pages.

The hour of Revival is a time of crisis and possible catastrophe. A crisis in the history of every individual, as well as in the history of a country, a church, or a district. A crisis for the unregenerate man, wherein he settles his eternal destiny, as he accepts, or rejects conversion to God; a crisis to those who receive the fulness of the Holy Spirit, and to those who reject Him; for to the believer who bends and receives the Holy Spirit, it is the day of the visitation of the Most High, but to others it means the decision whether they will become spiritual men or remain carnal (1 Cor. 3: 1); whether they will elect to remain in defeat in the personal life, or determine to press on as overcomers.

Few go through the crisis without deception by the enemy in more or less degree, and only those who cling to the use of their reasoning faculties at this time, can hope to be saved from the catastrophe of becoming a victim to the subtle workings of evil supernatural powers. If the believer does become deceived by evil spirits at the time that he is baptized with the Spirit, almost immediately after the highest point of his experience, he begins through deception to descend into a pit which ultimately means depth of darkness, bondage and misery, until he is undeceived and returns to the normal path. Those who do not discover the deceptions, sink into deeper deception, and become practically useless to God and to the Church.

REVIVAL THE HOUR AND POWER OF GOD

Revival is the hour and power of God, and of the devil, for the descent of the Divine power brings the accompanying onslaught of evil supernatural powers. It means MOVEMENT IN THE SPIRITUAL REALM. Revival itself is the hour of God, when heaven is opened, and the power of God works among men, but when the Divine power appears to pass away, and evil supernatural powers manifest their workings in a man, or a church, or a country, then men marvel that the devil’s work should be where God had been so manifest, not knowing that the devil was planting his seeds, and DOING HIS WORK, FROM THE DAWN OF REVIVAL. Revival ebb began with its flow, but all unseen. In the hour and power of God in Revival, the “Tempter” appears to be absent, but he is present as the Counterfeiter. Men say there is “no devil,” and yet it is his greatest harvest time. He is netting his victims, mixing his workings with the workings of God, and beguiling the saints more effectively than he was ever able to do with his temptations to sin. As a counterfeiter, and deceiver, the ever watchful foe uses his old methods of deception and guile on new converts, who, having victory over known sin, think the Tempter has left them, not knowing his new ways. His absence is only apparent, and not real. Satan was never more active among the sons of God.

WHY REVIVAL STOPS

The Devil’s great purpose is to stop the Revival power of God, and every Revival that has been given of God to awaken His people, has ceased after a time, more or less short, because of (1) the Church’s ignorance of the laws of the spirit for co-working with God;note 1 and (2) the insidious creeping on of the powers of darkness, unrecognized, and yielded to by the people of God through ignorance. Those who are born of the Spirit at such a period of the manifested power of the Holy Spirit emerge into a spiritual world, where they come into contact with spirit-beings of evil, OF

WHOSE EXISTENCE THEY HAVE NO EXPERIMENTAL KNOWLEDGE. They become conscious of spiritual forces and things which they think must be of God, and they do not know of the possibility of workings mingled by wicked spirits with the things of God. This is the reason why Revival, which quickens the Church, and for a period manifests to the world the regenerating, uplifting power of God, produces as an aftermath a number of genuine Spirit-born believers who are said to have “religious mania,” or are called “cranks.” And this is why “Revival” is sooner or later checked and discredited, the testimony to the world destroyed, the sober section of the Church dismayed, and made fearful of its effects. To put it in bluntest language, the Revival hour is the occasion for evil spirits to obtain “possession” of spiritual believers, and REVIVAL CEASES BECAUSE OF SUCH POSSESSION. The most spiritual

believers, baptized with the Holy Spirit, and most fitted to be used of God in Revival service, may become deceived and possessed by evil spirits in their outer being THROUGH ACCEPTING THE COUNTERFEITS OF SATAN. Believers who are not so abandoned to the Spirit escape the acute “possession, ” but in their contact with hitherto unknown workings from the spiritual realm, are equally open to deception which is manifested in a less recognizable way.

What is called the “fanatical” spirit, which in some degree, follows Revival, is purely the work of evil spirits. At Revival dawn the ignorant are teachable, but through their “spiritual experiences,” later on they become unteachable. Pre-Revival simplicity gives place to Satanic “infallibility,” or an unteachable spirit. Dogged, stubborn obstinacy in a believer after Revival is not from the source of the man himself, but from evil spirits deceiving his mind, holding his spirit in their grip, and making

him unbending and unreasonable. The scheme of the powers of darkness in Revival dawn, is to drive, or push to extreme, what is true. Their “push” is very slight and imperceptible at the beginning, in suggesting thoughts, or impelling to actions a very little contrary to reason, but as the “push” is yielded to, and the use of the reason is silenced,note 5 those who are thus deceived in due course become fanatical. The

judgment of those believers impelled to unreasonable actions, may be against, and even resisting the things they are supernaturally urged to do,note 6 yet they are unable to stand against the supernatural power driving them, which they think and believe is from God.

REVIVAL AND WAR ON SATAN

All this, and much else already dealt with in preceding pages, together with the after history of all Revivals of the past, shows that REVIVAL MINUS WAR ON SATAN AND HIS WICKED SPIRITS, must always appear to end in partial failure through the mixed results, consequent upon Satanic counterfeits of the working of the Holy Spirit. The Church, therefore, sorely needs believers equipped with knowledge and discernment, to meet the Satanic counterfeits which invariably follow the advent of Revival, knowing the symptoms of Satanic deception and possession, and able to

resist the powers of darkness, and teach the children of God the way of victory over them, as well as the aggressive warfare upon them.note 7 War upon the attacking spirits of evil is indispensable for maintaining the health, sanity and spiritual power of those who are revived. A PURE REVIVAL–free from the usual aftermath–IS POSSIBLE if the Church understood the truth about the powers of darkness, as well as the way of co- operation with the Holy Spirit. Apart from this same knowledge of the workings of Satan and his wicked spirits, so as to be able to recognize their presence under any guise, no one can with safety accept all the supernatural manifestations which accompany Revival, or believe all seeming “Pentecostal power” to be of God. A PURE Revival is Divine power in full operation, minus sin and Satan. It is not cold “belief,” but life, and it has to do with the spirit, not the intellect.

PRAYER FOR REVIVAL

Apart from this same knowledge, those who pray for Revival do not clearly understand what they pray for, nor how to act when their prayers are answered; for they are not prepared to meet the Satanic opposition to their prayers; nor even the dangers attendant upon prayer for Revival. Why is there not yet world-wide Revival in answer to world-wide prayer? For the same reason that Revival subsides when it has begun, and that prayer meetings for Revival may end in catastrophe,

or powerlessness. The check to Revival, both when it has begun, and in the prayer preceding its advent, is caused by the spirits of evil deceiving or hindering the praying ones. The hindrance to Revival, at the present time lies, not only in this opposition of the powers of darkness, but in the PRESENT CONDITION OF THE MOST SPIRITUAL SECTION OF THE CHURCH, through whom alone God can work in Revival power. These are the believers who know the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, and were liberated in spirit in the Revivals of the last decade, but who are now

driven back into themselves by the pressure of the enemy in the atmosphere, or else are in captivity to the foe through his counterfeits. Let these quenched or deceived believers be liberated once more, and THOSE WHO ARE NOW USELESS WILL BE PRICELESS IN VALUE for teaching and strengthening others when Revival is once more given.

INSTRUMENTS FOR REVIVAL

The Holy Spirit is still in those who were baptized with the Spirit, during the last Revivals. The mistake at the time of the Revival in Wales in 1904 was to become occupied with the effects of Revival, and not to watch and pray in protecting and guarding the cause of Revival. The Spirit baptized souls, at present locked up in spirit, or side-tracked through Satanic deceptions, are still those who would be the instruments through whom God could work, were they but set free. Useless

now, but priceless in maturity, and experience and knowledge for the guiding and guarding of a Revived Church, when they are once more liberated for true co-working with the Holy Spirit of God. How, then, should the Lord’s praying ones pray at the present time? They should pray:

(1) Against evil spirits now blocking and hindering Revival.

(2) For the cleansing and delivering of those who became possessed through deception during the time of later Revivals.

(3) That when Revival is once more given it may be kept pure, and

(4) For the preparation of instruments for Revival, trained and taught of God to guard against further inroads of the powers of darkness.

In brief, let all who pray for Revival, pray for light to reach those who HAVE BEEN ENSNARED INTO BONDAGE TO THE DECEIVING POWERS OF DARKNESS, that they may be set free, and once more become usable in Revival service; then will the forces of evil be beaten back from the ground they have regained, which still belongs to God. The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is the essence of Revival, for Revival comes from a knowledge of the Holy Spirit, and the way of co-working with Him which enables Him to work in Revival power. The primary condition for Revival is, therefore, that believers should individually know the Baptism of the Holy Ghost. This term being used as a convenient expression for describing a definite influx of

the Holy Spirit which thousands of believers throughout the Church of Christ have received as a definite experience. Such an infilling of the Spirit was the cause not only of the Revival in Wales in 1904-5, but of all other Revivals in the history of the world. The fact that the counterfeiting work of Satan follows Revival through such an opening of the spiritual world as enables the evil spirit-beings to find access to believers under the guise of the Divine Spirit, must not hold back the children of God from seeking the true flood tide of the Spirit, for the bringing about of pure Revival, and the emacipation of the Church of Christ from the bonds of sin and Satan.

Dan’s Discourse

Daniel's Discourse

Spiritual Warfare: What We Really Face on the Battlefield

“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”

Ephesians 6:12 (NKJV)

Most people believe that spirits, demons and other such supernatural phenomena are just the products of people’s imaginations. That they are make-believe. Fairy-tales. Not real. But this belief is so far from the truth it’s not funny. There are many instances throughout Scripture that paint a terrible picture of what the spiritual realm contains, and demonstrate a very grim reality for those that meddle with such entities. There are many unfortunate people in Scripture that are tormented by spirits, both innocent and unrighteous (by this I mean people like King Saul, who so displeased the LORD that He sent a distressing spirit to punish him for his actions (1 Samuel 16:14-23)). Admittedly, many of the instances of spirits being mentioned are contained within the New Testament, but this doesn’t impact the seriousness of the issue at all. The fact remains; spirits are neither to be trifled with nor taken lightly.

Ephesians speaks of our true enemies as being ‘principalities and powers’. A principality is a parcel of land, sometimes confined to a city’s limits, but is usually larger, that is ruled by a prince. And considering the fact that Satan is often referred to as ‘the prince of the power of the air’ (Ephesians 2:2), this is a very apt description of the spirits and demons that form Satan’s hordes. If you think about it, Satan’s power on Earth is formidable, especially since the invention of the television, computer, and the Internet. Now, please don’t misunderstand me, I’m not saying that these things are ‘of the devil’, and that we all need to get rid of all of our electronic devices lest Satan corrupt us. What I am saying is that Satan has tremendous power over these things, and he seeks to distract us and destroy us through what we absorb through these media.

I can definitely tell you from experience, the things displayed on TV, movies and the Internet can be very alluring, and are very distracting. I’ve often found myself sitting down to do one thing, and later on finding myself on something completely unrelated and wondering how in the world I ended up on it. This is because of the spirits behind the things we see and watch. One such spirit is that of obsession. Obsessions can start off as being an occasional thing; watching a few minutes of a show, having a quick scan over a page on the internet. It can seem very innocent at first, but this is where the danger lies; most if not all obsessions start off as little more than a passing interest.

But a passing interest can quickly grow out of control. As the Lord Jesus said in Scripture, ‘a little leaven leavens the whole lump’. It’s a little out of context, I admit, but I think that it still applies in this case. Leaven, or yeast in modern-day terms, is a living organism that requires very little in order to multiply, and multiply explosively. Such is the same with obsessions. I can tell you from my own struggles with this exact problem; interests become obsessions very quickly, so quickly that you don’t even know that you have a problem until someone else points it out. You can protest against it until you turn blue in the face, but the truth remains; you have an obsession, and it needs to be dealt with.

You may not think you are obsessed; in fact, in my experience, you often think that everything is fine and dandy, and it’s everyone else with the problem. But just try going without it for a while, even just for a couple of days, and you’ll quickly find out that things aren’t what you originally believed. If you try going cold turkey, especially in your own strength, you’ll quickly find that you can’t stop thinking about whatever it is you’re obsessed over, in my case fantasy/science fiction, even when you’re asleep. This is the mark of the spirit of obsession, and this is when you need to seek deliverance from the LORD. Believe you me; it will make an exponential difference to your life.

When I prayed to the LORD for deliverance from the spirit of obsession over my life, I tell you, it was like feeling a physical weight being lifted off my chest. When I was under the power of the spirit, I felt suffocated, and that feeling multiplied when I tried to stop my obsession on my own. Trust me, this is the worst possible thing you can do when trapped under the power of a spirit. But when I fell on my face before the LORD and prayed for release, the difference was like night and day; I truly felt freed from my obsession.

This is what I mean about not taking principalities and powers lightly. People might scoff and say that there are no such things as spirits or demons, but they are very wrong. Spirits and demons exist everywhere on this earth; this is their playground, after all. If you’ve ever heard people talking about run-ins with ghosts, or aliens, or any type of supernatural happenings, then you can almost always be sure that it is demonic activity. Granted, there are mysterious occurrences that have solid scientifically-based explanations, but more often than not the inexplicable usually has only one source: the demonic servants of Satan.

Case in point; aliens. If you’ve ever seen a science fiction program on TV or watched a movie that is based on aliens, take a moment to stop and actually look at the creatures that are portrayed as the non-humans. If you think about it, these creatures look like demons. Really, think about it. The Alien franchise, Predator, the V TV series, and everything else that comes out of Hollywood looking like something originating from the pits of hell, actually does come from hell. These are creatures that are purportedly from another world. The spiritual realm is another world, albeit one that we cannot view with our natural eyes. And they cannot be vanquished by a dashing rogue with a laser pistol. These entities are real, and they are dangerous. Don’t be fooled. These are creatures that you do not mess around with.

Again, granted, we need not be afraid of these terrible and destructive entities when we have the Spirit of the LORD residing within us. Is says in Isaiah 59:19 that ‘When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD will raise up a standard against him.’, which means that the Holy Spirit will intercede for us whenever the hordes of the enemy seek to make our lives difficult, and will protect us against the machinations of the spirits of this world. But, this does not mean that we can simply indulge in worldly pursuits with abandon and expect to be protected from these spirits. We need to be very careful about what we allow into our hearts and minds, because, as I said, it is ridiculously easy to be overtaken by obsession and be influenced by the principalities and powers of this world, and very difficult to get out from under these influences without the power of the LORD.

Also, be aware; when praying to be released from these spirits, speak against them in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and pray in the Spirit. There is a very clear picture in the Bible of what happens when people try to banish spirits in their own strength, something I think I can relate to. When I tried to be rid of the spirit of obsession over my own life, especially in my own strength, and I wasn’t truly praying with my whole heart for release, it didn’t work. In fact, I felt even more trapped than before; the spirit of obsession became even stronger, making me feel imprisoned by the things that I had obsessed over. Let me tell you, this is not something I would want anyone to experience. It’s not an easy thing to explain what it felt like to be shackled by this spirit, but I can definitely tell you of the sheer and joyous relief that I felt when I was finally set free by the power of the LORD.

In the Bible, specifically the Gospels and Acts, there are a couple of examples of the difference between the power of the LORD and the ‘power’ of men when it comes to spirits and spiritual warfare. Jesus was an obvious example of the Power of God compared to the powers of hell; in fact, just His presence was enough to send demons running in fear of the Judgement of the LORD and the lake of fire. They feared Him, greatly so! So much so, that even they pleaded with the LORD for mercy from judgement, because they knew what was coming for them at the end. All Jesus had to do was speak a word, and they would be sent fleeing in terror. How powerful is our Almighty LORD!

However, when certain people tried to banish spirits (Acts 19:11-20) they failed spectacularly; because they didn’t speak in the name of the LORD, nor, I believe, did they truly speak in faith. This is because they spoke to the spirit and said ‘We exorcise you by the Jesus that Paul preaches.’ They didn’t say, ‘We speak against you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ’, or something to that effect, which make me think that they didn’t truly understand what they were doing, nor did they understand the power of the name of the LORD. This is made pretty clear when the demon answers the men by saying, ‘Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?’. This makes me think that these men didn’t have a true faith in the LORD; the Bible says that we are the light and salt of the world. We shine in the world because we have been washed by the blood of the Lamb, and because we have the Spirit of the LORD living within us. I don’t really think that these men had that, otherwise they wouldn’t have failed in their efforts to banish the spirits.

When I prayed in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, I was released from the spirit that had held sway over my life for a long time, and I gave the glory to the LORD because of it. There is no power of hell that can withstand His magnificent Light, and I encourage you to read all you can about His power and mercy to those that cry out for release from torment. If we have true faith in the LORD, and pray to him for release from the principalities and powers of this world, we can and will be released. And this isn’t just confined to spirits over our own lives. I would also encourage you to pray for those you know that are imprisoned by obsessions and other things that have their claws deeply embedded in their lives. I can tell you from personal experience, your prayers will have an effect. Scripture tells us that ‘The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.’ Pray effectively and fervently for those that are trapped under the power of the world, brothers and sisters; I know that your prayers will be heard, and that you will see the power of the LORD working wonders in their lives, and your own.

May the Lord keep you and bless you abundantly,

Dan Brady