Principles of Military Strategy

The Principles of Military Strategy

Somewhere on the Internet many years ago, I found a website that listed principles of military strategy. I was looking for this because I was comparing spiritual warfare to earthly warfare. Although much of the Bible is a historical recording of the many battles of the Israelites, could this not also serve as an allegory of our life as believers? We are supposed to engage in daily spiritual warfare with our enemy. The scripture says that we are not ignorant of Satan’s devices (II Corinthians 11:2). Is that really true in your life?

We have heard so many Christians tell us things like, they don’t pay attention to Satan, or deliverance ministers find a demon under every rock, or deliverance ministers give Satan more glory than they do God, etc. Of course, we disagree with all of this. Here are some scriptures, and I am sure there are many more, that we should know regarding the warfare we are in, whether one chooses to accept this truth or not.

The principle of mass – all things being equal, sending a single tactical allied unit to combat a single tactical enemy unit will result in 50% chance of victory. But when you have God on your side, you have a 100% chance of victory.

When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. “Oh, my lord, what shall we do?” the servant asked. “Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” And Elisha prayed, “O LORD, open his eyes so he may see.” Then the LORD opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. (II Kings 6:15-17)

Selecting decisive objectives (by knowing your enemy). Do you really know your enemy and his devices?

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. (Hosea 4:6)

Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices. (II Corinthians 2:11)

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. (I Peter 5:8)

Taking the initiative away from your foe. Take the offense, rather than the defense – use our God-given authority.

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (James 4:7)

For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 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… (II Corinthians 10:4)

Concentrating your resources at the decisive point. Who is your “resource”?
Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle. (Psalm 24:8)

The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. (Psalm 18:2)

Be strong and courageous; do not be afraid nor dismayed before the king of Assyria, nor before all the multitude that is with him; for there are more with us than with him. With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the LORD our God, to help us and to fight our battles. II Chronicles 32:7-8

Coordinating the movement of your resources to meet your objective. God is our resource.

Come near and rescue me; redeem me because of my foes. (Psalm 69:18)

Maintaining unity of command. When the commander-in-chief speaks, you’d better obey.

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go. (Joshua 1:9)

Coordinating your tasks to achieve maximum effectiveness. Your #1 task is to pray.

The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. (James 5:16)

Maintaining secrecy until it is too late for your opponent to react. Go to the secret place of the Most High to get your battle plans.

But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. (Matthew 6:6)

Employing unexpected elements such as deception, speed, creativity, and audacity. Turn the tables on Satan, he’ll never know what hit him.

The wicked man flees though no one pursues, but the righteous are as bold as a lion. (Proverbs 28:1)

Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. (Matthew 10:16)

Keep your plans as simple as is needed to accomplish the task. KISS: Keep it simple, saint!

But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. (II Corinthians 11:3)

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. (Jeremiah 29:11)

Choose a flexible strategy so you can adapt to changing conditions. Employ all of the spiritual disciplines.

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (I Thessalonians 5:16-18)

Organize for maximum efficiency. Here is an example of efficiently organizing an army for success and following God’s instructions to a T.

Now Jericho was tightly shut up because of the Israelites. No one went out and no one came in. Then the LORD said to Joshua, “See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men. March around the city once with all the armed men. Do this for six days. Have seven priests carry trumpets of rams’ horns in front of the ark. On the seventh day, march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets. When you hear them sound a long blast on the trumpets, have all the people give a loud shout; then the wall of the city will collapse and the people will go up, every man straight in.” So Joshua son of Nun called the priests and said to them, “Take up the ark of the covenant of the LORD and have seven priests carry trumpets in front of it.” And he ordered the people, “Advance! March around the city, with the armed guard going ahead of the ark of the LORD.” When Joshua had spoken to the people, the seven priests carrying the seven trumpets before the LORD went forward, blowing their trumpets, and the ark of the LORD’s covenant followed them. The armed guard marched ahead of the priests who blew the trumpets, and the rear guard followed the ark. All this time the trumpets were sounding. But Joshua had commanded the people, “Do not give a war cry, do not raise your voices, do not say a word until the day I tell you to shout. Then shout!” So he had the ark of the LORD carried around the city, circling it once. Then the people returned to camp and spent the night there. Joshua got up early the next morning and the priests took up the ark of the LORD. The seven priests carrying the seven trumpets went forward, marching before the ark of the LORD and blowing the trumpets. The armed men went ahead of them and the rear guard followed the ark of the LORD, while the trumpets kept sounding. So on the second day they marched around the city once and returned to the camp. They did this for six days. On the seventh day, they got up at daybreak and marched around the city seven times in the same manner, except that on that day they circled the city seven times. The seventh time around, when the priests sounded the trumpet blast, Joshua commanded the people, “Shout! For the LORD has given you the city! The city and all that is in it are to be devoted to the LORD. Only Rahab the prostitute and all who are with her in her house shall be spared, because she hid the spies we sent. But keep away from the devoted things, so that you will not bring about your own destruction by taking any of them. Otherwise you will make the camp of Israel liable to destruction and bring trouble on it. All the silver and gold and the articles of bronze and iron are sacred to the LORD and must go into his treasury.” When the trumpets sounded, the people shouted, and at the sound of the trumpet, when the people gave a loud shout, the wall collapsed; so every man charged straight in, and they took the city. (Joshua 6:1-20)

Maintain a positive morale even in the face of set-backs. Be of good cheer, for He has overcome the world.

Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, 18 yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior. (Habakkuk 3:17)

Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” (Nehemiah 8:10)

Maintain momentum until success is accomplished. Fight the good fight of faith.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. (Ephesians 6:10)

And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. (Galatians 6:9)

Are you a Pearl Harbor?

A Letter to a Friend (Are you a Pearl Harbor?)

You are in a war, whether you realize it or not, whether you want to believe it or not. It’s a spiritual war, and you can’t see the enemy but you definitely feel his presence.

Our God is a God of war. Practically the entire Old Testament is about wars. Even though they were physical wars, they are a type and shadow of the spiritual war that people – Christians and non-Christians alike – are engaged in with the enemy (Satan, the Hebrew word for the accuser, the adversary, also originally named Lucifer by God) whether they know it or not.

The modern church has depicted God as a God of love, which is true, but they have omitted that He is also a God of war. Look up all the scriptures that depict God as a God of war. He is also a God of righteousness and justice, and in order for Him to be those things, that means there has to be good and evil, right and wrong. The wrong things need to be corrected, which is where the war comes in. Look up all the scriptures in the New Testament where Jesus went to war with demons, casting them out of people. Read Revelation. Look at the war that is going to happen – the war of wars.

Think of yourself as Pearl Harbor. When Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, the US was not officially in WWII. We were just staying neutral, staying out of it, minding our own business, etc. The Japanese planned a surprise attack to maximize the devastation they could achieve. Why were the so successful? Because the US blithely thought they were not in the war, therefore why would there be any reason to be attacked? So here come the bombs from the Japanese on sitting ducks, taking our good men by complete surprise, demolishing the lives of hundreds of young men and their families forever.

So, what happened next? The US got ANGRY. ANGRY. Righteous anger rose up first. The second thing that happened is that the nation probably went to pray (back in the ’40s I suspect the US was much more Godly than it is today). Then #3, the US formed a strategy to attack the enemy, cripple them and hopefully end the war. It took us several years before the attack was actually executed because we wanted to make sure it would not fail. In the end, of course, you know that the dropping of the nuclear bomb on Japan worked and devastated Japan in even larger numbers and ended the war.

So you are Pearl Harbor and the enemy has you zeroed in on his scope. He keeps dropping bombs because you have not done all three steps as described above. You’ve gotten angry and frustrated and you’ve prayed. But what is your strategy of counterattack?

That is where spiritual warfare comes in. Satan wants you to believe you are powerless, you are defeated. He wants you to believe the doctor’s report that you have clinical depression. You can believe that if you want, and that’s what you will have. Or you can reject it and fight it in the name of Jesus.

Here are the two most often quoted scripture regarding our responsibilities as Christians in spiritual warfare:

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, 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… (Ephesians 6:10-17)

3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 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, 6 and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled. (II Corinthians 10:3-6)

So the first thing you need to do is get into the mental exercise, the mental discipline to start rejecting the negative thoughts because those thoughts and words come from Satan. If God has something correctional to tell you or teach you, He does it in a non-condemning way. Fear and guilt and condemnation come from Satan, not from God.

So the first exercise is to start saying, “I rebuke or reject that thought in the name of Jesus” and then you replace that thought with a scripture like, “My God will supply all my needs according to His riches in Glory by Christ Jesus!” (Phil. 4:19). This might be used, for example, if a fear comes over you that you cannot make the car payment or something like that.

Another example might be the doctor’s report of your clinical depression. “I reject that in the name of Jesus. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind!” (2 Tim. 1:7)

Another example might be anxiety over some other problem. Satan comes to give you the bad news. You say, “Satan I rebuke you in the name of Jesus. The Lord God Most High is my Rock, my fortress, my shield, my deliverer. I abide under the shadow of the Almighty and I rest under the shadow of his wings. He’s my provider, my comforter, my shelter from the storm and my shade from the heat.” (Psalms)

And so forth and so on. You make this a HABIT EVERY DAY OF YOUR LIFE. You do NOT let Satan defeat you in your private thought life.

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. (Phil. 4:8)

The next thing you do is study, memorize, understand and work the following scripture. I found this commentary on a blog (and I agree with it):

And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. (Matthew 16:19)

Now looking at this in the context written we see that Jesus was not just speaking to Peter but to the entire Church Body at this point. When he says “whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven”, He reveals to us (the church) that we are the connecting bridge between Heaven and Earth…not just heaven as paradise but when he compares Heaven to Earth, He is comparing the spiritual realm to the physical. We are responsible for bringing the kingdom of God to the Earth. Hence, why He entrusted us with the “keys.” And what exactly do keys do? They lock and unlock (bind and loose). The word for bound in this passage is the word deo in Greek. Meaning in this context, “to pronounce or determine.” This, to me, doesn’t sound passive. Not something that is just automatically happening because we exist, but something that we must do…a verb.

When we pronounce to bind things on earth (i.e. disease, demons, depression, etc.) they are also “pronounced” and bound in heaven (or in the spirit). The word loose in this passage is the Greek word luo. Meaning the direct opposite of deo, and to pronounce or determine, not to be bound. So when we pronounce to loose things on earth (i.e. addictions, demonic influences, spirits of infirmities etc.) they are also pronounced and loosed in heaven (or the spirit). We are the bridge between Earth and God, just as Jesus was. This passage clearly directs us as Christians to be Christ’s hands and feet, and voice, here on earth. We now must act on it. Bind (deo) and loose (luo) are both verbs. Meaning we have to do something in order for them to take place. People aren’t just gonna be set free from addictions, and demons aren’t going to be silenced simply because we are AROUND them. Jesus’ name is powerful! It is our weapon and strength as a Church. USE IT!

We have to take action. We have to bind evil spirits and loose the Spirits of God in our lives. Get your head into the war against Satan because you’re in it whether you know it or not or like it or not.

Father, I pray in the name of Jesus, that for my friend and for whoever else reads this writing, that the word of God will cut them to the core and they will hear the Holy Spirit speaking to them that it’s time to take action – to be transformed by the renewing of their mind. To call upon the God of Heaven and Earth to help equip them for battle and not be afraid to fight the enemy. I pray for boldness like a lion. Amen.

The Game of Life

The Game of Life

This is the story of a woman gambler who lost the game of life. I am going to call her Consuela. We were both from Cuba. Consuela invited her Cuban friends to come over once a week to play cards.

One day, Consuela had an accident with a leg injury, leaving her unable to drive, so she invited me, my mother, and another lady named Martha to play cards at her house.

Consuela knew I was a Spirit-filled Christian. The other ladies were Catholic, and Consuela explained to me that her husband was an atheist and did not let her practice Catholicism or anything else.

One day at her house, I asked her if she would let me pray for her legs. She agreed, and I asked her to sit straight up in her chair so I could lift her legs and see if they were the same length. The legs were obviously different lengths, in the amount of an inch or so. My mother and Martha were around us watching closely, and they saw the difference.

I prayed for her legs, and there was a sudden movement as both legs became the same length. Consuela said excitedly that she could feel a pull in one of her legs. Her eyes were like saucers, I guess from trying to decide whether to believe the miracle or not. Martha, on the other hand, started walking in circles with her hands in her face, crying “Oh, my God!!” non-stop. My mother bit her lip, and I could see her mind going at full speed looking for an explanation that was logical and earthly, and not finding any, she went back to her chair and sat in silence.

The whole group of card-playing ladies really never fully accepted me because I was “a holy roller”. I had written a booklet especially for them which I titled, “A Letter To My Catholic Friends”. It was intended to explain why I was not a Catholic. I had it printed and gave one booklet to each lady. My supernatural testimony was there, which was enough for someone to ask some questions, but it elicited only one comment from one lady who did not agree with me on one minor point.

About two years later Consuela invited a new friend to her house and threw a party so she could introduce her new friend to us.

Not long after that, I went to Consuela’s house with a relative of mine who had not been there. Consuela wanted to show her the house (I went along for the tour) and she opened a cabinet door where there was a hidden altar. She promptly shut the door, but I can’t believe she had forgotten that the altar was there. It was almost like she wanted me to see it.

I knew what this altar was. It was a Santeria altar, Santeria being a specific form of witchcraft from Cuba. I acted as if I did not see it and did not question her about it.

She already had experienced the power of the Lord Jesus Christ and the miracle on her leg done in His name, and she never mentioned it or asked any questions about it. I realized that the new friend was inducing her into Santeria.

Consuela had always been an avid card player. She was the one who insisted on playing for money. Although she was very affluent, she would get angry if she did not win.

At our table, she was the best player, and I came in a close second. But I played primarily so I could bring my mother, as this was her only weekly outing and she enjoyed it. Secondly, because I enjoyed solving any kind of puzzles like card games. And thirdly, because of the fellowship.

I did not mind if I lost, but I tried to play the best I could. This was a dumb card game, the kind that children play. It was nothing like poker or bridge–just a step up from Old Maid.

We had played the same card game every week, and by now I knew the average time it took to win a game. One day, Consuela started to win games faster than normal. I found it strange and started observing her. When it was her turn, she would pick a card from the pile in expectation. And sure enough, it was the card she needed. I would watch her lay her cards down with an expression of triumph in her face.

I got a funny feeling, like there was something abnormal happening. Just then, the Holy Spirit told me, “witchcraft!” Very low, and shielding my face with the cards in my hand, I said, “I break the power of this witchcraft, in the name of Jesus.”

Things started to change. I watched her. The cards she was picking were not as she expected. At the beginning she showed unbelief, as if there was something wrong. Then she got angry.

I can’t remember who won that game. I went home and forgot all about it.

The next time we played, she started winning right away. She would lay her cards down when the rest of us were barely starting. Then I remembered what happened the week before, and again I commanded the power of witchcraft to be broken in the name of the Lord Jesus.

This time, Consuela knew it was not a coincidence. She started looking around the table, and she zeroed in on me. She knew I had done it, got very angry, and did not want to play with me again. She formed a new table with other ladies and left me and my mother out.

I wonder about those poor ladies losing every game they played, not knowing what was really happening.

Consuela had made a pact with the devil to satisfy her desire to win. A pact with the devil, selling her soul for four dollars a game. And that, after witnessing the power of God in her own body.

Recently I saw her at a restaurant with a young lady. When she looked at me, I saw fear in her face. She left the restaurant as fast as she could after finishing her meal.

I hope something happens that causes her to repent and bring Jesus into her life. If that does not happen, I wish her a very, very long life.

About Pastoral Madness

About Pastoral Madness

It is in the news. Pastors and evangelists who keep asking for money but live lavishly. They have, and they want more. Excessive spending on luxuries for their ministries and personal lives. Not a clear-cut line where the expenses for ministries end and personal expenses begin. So much so that a Congressional investigation has started, and those investigated claim separation of church and state as a shelter to continue their financial operations. Although high-profile ministers have come to the attention of officials, there are many more ministries that operate similarly but on a lesser scale.

More news: Ministers who divorce and continue ministering, with the approval of the congregation.

Not long after a lavish, spectacular wedding of a high-profile ministerial couple, the pastor-husband beats his evangelist-wife publicly. He is arrested, and after legal proceedings, comes back to the pulpit and receives a standing ovation from his congregation. Not only is there Pastoral Madness, but there also seems to be “congregation madness”!

Another high-profile couple co-pastoring a church divorces. The woman continues appearing on her TV program, and is offered a nice position with another ministry. The man does not miss a beat pastoring his church.

Not very old news: A highly influential, mega-church pastor is accused of homosexual activity by his homosexual partner, who also exposed the pastor’s alleged drug use. A few months after he stepped down from the pulpit, he wanted his “followers” to provide financial support for him and his wife to go college to obtain a certain degree.

Old news: A famous pastor is caught with a prostitute. This judgmental pastor was judging others while visiting prostitutes. His sexual escapade makes the news, he repents on national TV with tears streaming down his face, and later, he is caught with the prostitute again. He is still pastoring.

Old news, about the same time as above: A married couple with a large ministry and a very much watched TV program cry and moan for more money constantly or the program is going to fold. A financial mess is uncovered. An investigation uncovering excessive spending hits the news, where it became a joke that their dogs have air-conditioned dog houses. Jail time for him. Divorce. The woman marries the pastor’s best friend. He is out of jail and has started a ministry again, with a television show.

More stories like these are happening across the country in smaller, less famous churches and ministries. These stories rarely get in print, but there are many. What is happening to the churches?

 

Pastoral Madness!

 

I am one of those persons whom pastors like to call church-hoppers. But here is the catch: because I am in the deliverance ministry, many pastors don’t want me in their church. I have been kicked out of some churches. From others, God led me out, but not soon enough–I wanted to leave, but He would not let me go until He showed me something that He wanted me to learn.

I learned about Pastoral Madness in a very small church, rather financially poor. I had visited the church, and I did not like it–it looked dirty, and the children were not disciplined. God made me go to that church anyway. As I started observing some anomalies, I wanted to leave. The Lord said “No.” This was repeated several times, as I was seeing more and more things that disturbed me. I finally became disgusted with the pastor and desperately wanted to leave.

One day, the pastor’s face came to my mind, like a vision. This happened a few times thereafter. I did not want his face on my mind. Because of my experience in the deliverance ministry, I discerned a demon giving me that vision, so I called a friend for deliverance.

As soon as she told the demon to manifest, it did. She asked his name and he did not want to give it. She asked how he entered and he said “through her pastor”. She asked the name of the demon’s boss and he said “Pastoral Madness”. I was delivered of that demon and the vision did not return.

Now if you think this is far out and I don’t have scriptural backing, read this:

And it came to pass also on another sabbath, that he entered into the synagogue and taught: and there was a man whose right hand was withered. And the scribes and Pharisees watched him, whether he would heal on the sabbath day; that they might find an accusation against him. But he knew their thoughts, and said to the man which had the withered hand, Rise up, and stand forth in the midst. And he arose and stood forth. Then said Jesus unto them, I will ask you one thing; Is it lawful on the sabbath days to do good, or to do evil? to save life, or to destroy it? And looking round about upon them all, he said unto the man, Stretch forth thy hand. And he did so: and his hand was restored whole as the other. And they were filled with madness; and communed one with another what they might do to Jesus. (Luke 6:6-11)

10 But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities. 11 Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord. 12 But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption; 13 And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you; 14 Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children: 15 Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; 16 But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man’s voice forbad the madness of the prophet. 17 These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever. 18 For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error. 19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage. 20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. 21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. 22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire. (2 Peter 2:10-22)

The first scripture refers to the Pharisees. They were accurate in all matters referring to the law; however, their thoughts were about murdering Jesus. Jesus knew it, and asked them if it was lawful to save life or to destroy it. They, the “ecclesiastical” group, were filled with madness.

The second scripture refers to a prophet filled with madness. In both scriptures, it shows that men who were spiritual leaders were filled with madness. In the first case, because of spiritual jealousy and a desire for power. In the second case, because of greed.

What the Lord showed me.

I came back home wondering about that Pastoral Madness demon. I felt I was released to leave the church. Then the Lord explained to me that Pastoral Madness is the demon that corrupts religious leaders, and he does it this way:

1- The demon starts by building the pastor’s ego. The demon speaks to the pastor’s mind telling him he is an important person now.

2- Next, he tells the pastor that he is one of God’s favorites, that he is special. The pastor starts feeling that he is superior to the congregation. This is the teaching of the Nicolaitians: clergy and laity. (Revelation 2:15)

3- The demon picks people from the congregation to start idolizing the pastor. In their eyes, the pastor can’t do any wrong. They laugh at all the pastor’s jokes, and applaud for any little thing the pastor says or does from the pulpit. This keeps building up the pastor’s ego.

4- The demon tells the pastor he deserves more salary, a luxury car, a bigger building, a TV program. The congregation starts feeling the pressure to give more and more money.

5- The demon tells the pastor that he is special, anointed, chosen, elected, and that in this exalted status he can do some things that are prohibited to other people, but not to him, of course. The demons tells him that he is so pleasing to God that he can get away with anything.

6- The pastor starts demanding more giving from the congregation. He might imply or even say outright that those who withhold their money will be cursed. By this time he is also thinking that his wife has not kept up with him, that she does not look the part, perhaps he made a mistake in marrying her, and this is not the woman that God had for him.

7- The pastor starts feeling he needs bodyguards, who not only keep him safe outside, but also keep members of the congregation away from him when he leaves the pulpit.

8- Due to his TV program, the pastor starts to become known, and he starts to be invited to speak in out-of-town places. Coach travel is no longer acceptable, only first-class will do. Later he feels he deserves to rent a private airplane, then buy his own airplane.

9- He now feels he needs a new wife, because his first wife is not a match for him. After all, he is not the same person that he was before. Now he is important, famous and rich. He has a chauffeur, a pilot and bodyguards. He needs a trophy wife.

I hesitated to write this next part, but this has been in the media lately: because a divorce does not look good for their careers, some pastors murder their wives, making it look as a suicide. In their madness, they believe murder is a better solution than divorce. About 15 or 20 years ago, there was a case in Dallas about a pastor who wanted to be bishop. He had been having an affair with a beautiful prophetess, the daughter of a bishop. He planned the murder of his wife, and created his alibi by using his car phone to leave messages on his home answering machine where he gave the time of each call, creating the illusion that there’s no way he could have murdered his wife as he was calling from his car phone at the time of the murder. However, the phone records showed that when he was leaving messages saying what time it was, it was not the correct time. He was the primary suspect, and there was a lengthy trial. Because of lack of evidence, he was freed. He moved to California and found a job at a church there. This is how far Pastoral Madness can go.

Pastoral Madness may be in a pastor from the beginning of his calling. I have ministered to poor and humble pastors in Mexico, and I have cast out Pastoral Madness from them. I was surprised, because I really did not expect them to have it. But greed, adultery and desire for fame and recognition can work their way into a soul no matter the financial status of man.

In my experience, the majority of spiritual leaders reject the deliverance ministry. They explain their position with cliches such as “we are Christ-minded, not devil-minded”, ignoring the fact that a large part of Jesus’ ministry was deliverance. Because of their rejection of this ministry and the erroneous belief that “Christians don’t have demons”, they succumb to the wiles of the devil, because they have not been trained to recognize the devil’s traps, much less combat them. Thus, instead of being overcomers, they become losers in the warfare. It becomes the case of the blind leading the blind.

Are You Going Backwards?

Are You Going Backwards?

My first major introduction to rejection due to being involved in the deliverance ministry came at the hand of a church pastor – a rabbi of a Messianic synagogue. My mother and I wanted to join the church, but we disagreed about telling the pastor about the deliverance ministry. She wanted to tell him, I didn’t think it was necessary. She merely wanted him to know about it – she didn’t necessarily want to minister there, unless he wanted her to. We agreed to pray about it.

One day she called me and told me that she had been reading her Bible, and she felt the Lord plop a big word of knowledge upon her – exactly what to tell the pastor and in what order. When she told me this, I felt it confirmed in my spirit that she was right, we needed to tell the pastor. So we made an appointment. She left her books with him and asked him to pray about us joining the church.

Many weeks went by, and we still hadn’t heard an answer from the pastor on whether we could join or not. She called him, reminded him who she was, and was curtly told that they weren’t in the same “place” and it wasn’t going to “work out”. He was very abrupt with her.

After I got over the disbelief and shock, the pain started to set in for me. I wanted to be a part of this congregation badly. My mother and I loved going to worship there. We felt the Holy Spirit was in the music and dance, and even though I felt the Spirit was often “quenched”, I felt something special there. We were making lots of friends, and it broke my heart to think we couldn’t go back.

I prayed, I cried out to God, and I pondered all this a lot. One day my mind went back to thinking, “why?” As I pondered why would the pastor be so rude to my Mother, as I pondered what was the “root” of his problem, all of the sudden, my mind was taken back to the meeting we had with him, and I distinctly remembered a thought that entered my mind while my mom was giving her testimony. I thought, “It must be hard for a man of God to hear that if this nice little old lady had demons tearing out of her, that he might have demons living within him too.” Mom was saying that she was a “good girl”, and yet she had plenty of deliverance the first time she was ministered to.

I felt the Spirit telling me that this was the root cause: this man didn’t like what she was saying and it was due to pride, his own pride. He couldn’t bear the thought of anyone implying that he might have demons. And what does the Bible say about pride, was my next thought. “Pride comes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall.” (Proverbs 16:18) I thought, this man is going to fall if he doesn’t repent about his attitude.

Then I thought, but the pastor appears to be so humble and worshipful in front of the congregation. Yes, but there is a demon of pride “lurking” in the background, was my next thought. “But he, a Gentile, was called by God to establish a Messianic synagogue. How could a man called of God to do such a thing be so prideful?” The next thought was, “Because even if you’re called by God, if you don’t keep growing in the things of God, if you get complacent, if you don’t keep seeking God, some thing is going to seek you – a demon. If you don’t keep growing with God, you’re going backward.”

I started realizing that there’s no such thing as reaching a plateau in your spiritual walk, unless you let it become a plateau. If you get a prideful attitude, like someone I know who has said, “I’ve heard ALL the teachings,” you’re opening yourself up for demons to enter and distort your mind and take away the wisdom, counsel, knowledge, understanding and the Fear of the Lord that God had previously given you.

I had just finished reading the books of Kings and Chronicles and I was constantly amazed and shocked that several kings would start off being good, righteous, God-fearing kings, and then somewhere along the line, they became rebellious and corrupt in their latter, aging years. I got the idea that the pastor had started off young on fire for God, but somewhere along the line, he missed it, like the Kings of Judah. He got his big, beautiful new building for his congregation now, so he’s “made” it. So he thinks. But when someone presented him with the next phase in his growth, to learn about Jesus’ deliverance power, he rejected it. Plus, I had the feeling God was not pleased with him quenching the Holy Spirit in the worship. I had often noticed how at crucial moments in the worship when I thought the Holy Spirit was going to move with a message, the pastor would jump in and start talking and stop the flow.

Back to the statement mentioned earlier that if we don’t constantly seek God, something will seek us – a demon. I had just read the first 10 chapters of Job this morning, where Satan went before God and asked Him if he could destroy Job. The point is Satan is out to destroy us. He wants to sift all of us like wheat. Period. We can’t give him an opportunity. And if we are a man or woman of God doing some kind of ministry or work for Him, even more so do we have to guard our thoughts and our mouths and seek God’s will all the time.

Later on, I had been reading the Proverbs, and I came across this one proverb that caught my attention:

One who turns away his ear from hearing the law, Even his prayer is an abomination. (Proverbs 28:9)

One morning as I was waking up, this Proverb came to my mind, and I started thinking, “The law, the law. There are so many laws in the Torah. God wouldn’t look upon someone’s prayer as being an abomination if they ate pork, would He?” As I was pondering this in my mind, very suddenly, these scriptures came to me:

36 Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” 37 Jesus said to him, “ ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets. (Matthew 22)

I realized that, as Jesus said, on these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets. The Pastor, because he addressed my mother with such a lack of respect and a spirit of haughtiness, did not follow these two commandments, or “all the law”, at all. He did not love the Lord his God with all his heart, soul and mind, because if he did, he would not have been embracing Jesus’ deliverance power, not rejecting it. And he certainly didn’t love his neighbor as himself, or he would not have been so arrogant and rude to my mother about the topic.

A few weeks later, I was reading the book of Jeremiah and I came across this scripture that caught my attention:

But this is what I commanded them, saying, ‘Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be My people. And walk in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well with you.’ 24 Yet they did not obey or incline their ear, but followed the counsels and the dictates of their evil hearts, and went backward and not forward. 25 Since the day that your fathers came out of the land of Egypt until this day, I have even sent to you all My servants the prophets, daily rising up early and sending them. 26 Yet they did not obey Me or incline their ear, but stiffened their neck. They did worse than their fathers. 27 “Therefore you shall speak all these words to them, but they will not obey you. You shall also call to them, but they will not answer you. 28 “So you shall say to them, ‘This is a nation that does not obey the voice of the LORD their God nor receive correction. Truth has perished and has been cut off from their mouth. (Jeremiah 7:23)

Since I have not been super-experienced in hearing God’s voice, I had been wondering if all these words I had received from the Lord were my imagination or not. Then I saw the word “backward” in this scripture and it clicked with the word I had received about going “backward”. If you’re not going “forward” as the scripture says (I heard, if you’re not growing with God – same thing), then you’re going backward. AND, to top it off, the night before, I was listening to a Patricia King recording, and the Lord brought to my remembrance that she had said, “The Lord doesn’t tell anything to His people that He doesn’t back up with scripture.”

About a week later I was finishing reading a great book called, You Can Hear the Voice of God by Steve Sampson. I was on the next to the last page when I came across this:

“The Lord deals with all of us. To the Christian, He corrects us, He provokes us, He challenges us and He convicts us of sin. When He calls us to change, whether it is in repentance over a specific thing or a change in any part of our life, we have a choice—we can hear His voice, or we can harden our hearts.

The moment our hearts resist Him and begin to harden, we cease to move forward but rather backward.

Yet they did not obey or incline their ear, but followed the counsels and the dictates of their evil hearts, and went backward and not forward. (Jeremiah 7:24)

“We think when we become callused or hardened we are simply not moving forward. But when we are not moving forward, our movement is actually backward, because His movement is always forward!”

Yet another confirmation!!! Thank you, Lord!

Remember, remember, remember: the take-away from this article is that you have to constantly seek God – that’s loving God with all your heart, soul and mind. And then you won’t go backwards, you won’t have to concern yourself with becoming like the reprobate kings of the Old Testament. Keep going forward with God!

Religious Spirits

Religious Spirits

When I was a little girl, my non-Christian (yet moral) parents sent me to a private Episcopalian school for my education, and I graduated from there. The Episcopal church was my first taste of God, and I learned quite a bit, Episcopalian-style. I was required to go to a 30-minute chapel service every day that was very structured: stand up, sing, sit down, kneel, stand up, recite the Apostle’s creed, repeat prayers, etc. I did this every weekday, minus summers, nearly all my childhood up until I was 18 years old. I learned to have a very intellectual relationship with God, who was far, far away. I learned to past tests about my knowledge of the Bible, but I really didn’t hide the Word in my heart. (Psalm 119:11)

When I was a teenager, my mother became a born-again Christian and started taking me to Pentecostal, spirit-filled churches that welcomed the spontaneity of the Holy Spirit. I struggled horribly with this. I was unnerved. I thought my mother had lost her mind. I thought the things that went on in these churches were scary and not Godly because this is not what I had been taught through the Episcopalian church. I tried to understand and eventually got some understanding, but I was still bound to most of the religious doctrines I had been taught.

Later, I went to a Baptist college and started dating a Baptist and was seeped in the Baptist doctrines, taking tests again on my Bible knowledge to pass college classes. Even later I married a Methodist and went to the Methodist church.

I was a mess of doctrines and teachings and confusion. Deep inside of me I had a feeling that the Holy Spirit-directed kind of churches, no matter how bizarre to me, hit the mark more closely than anything else. Yet, I could not, no matter how I tried, raise my hands up to God comfortably as is the custom in the churches we were visiting, (see Nehemiah 8:6; Psalm 28:2, 63:4, 134:2, 141:2; Lamentations 3:41; I Timothy 2:8). I could not speak in other tongues, I certainly would never allow myself to be “slain in the Spirit”!

I was torn between two worlds. I would try going to the denominational churches and I would leave unsatisfied. I would be bored with the teaching. I would not feel the presence of God in those types of churches (sorry, no offense). Yet when I went to the charismatic churches, I was uncomfortable there too. I felt like a fish out of water. In my mind, I knew that Jesus said in Mark 16:

17 And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; 18 they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.

I knew what happened to the believers when the Holy Spirit came upon them in Acts 2:

4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

I knew the writings of Paul about the gifts of the Spirit in I Corinthians 12:

1 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant: 2 You know that you were Gentiles, carried away to these dumb idols, however you were led. 3 Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit. 4 There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. 6 And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. 7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: 8 for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.

But all these scriptures were never taught to me at my school. I couldn’t reconcile the scriptures with my well-entrenched religious paradigms. I struggled with this until my mid 30s.

In my mid to late 30s, events started happening in my life that caused me to start waking up out of my spirit of stupor (Romans 11:8) to start seeking God more earnestly. As I started reading my Bible (for the first time not just to pass a test), I found this very telling scripture, where Jesus quoted Isaiah in both Matthew and Mark (so this is mentioned three times in the Bible – pay attention!)

8 These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. 9 And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.

Jesus says the commandments of men, the doctrines of men are useless in worshipping Him and having intimacy with Him. So, had I been taught wrongly? Yes!

Because of all the well-meaning teachings of the schools I went to, I had developed strongholds in my mind of the way God and “religion” should be. I had put God in this neat little package and any deviance from that was unacceptable. (See our Paradigms article.) I even remember this very Jezebellic voice in my head telling me when my mother had become a Christian, “What does SHE know? YOU have been going to church ALL your life!” I remember being split about this – on one hand, I thought, “That’s right!” On the other hand, I thought, “She’s my mother and a good one – what do I know?!?” At the time, I did not know that was a demon trying to sow discord between me and my mother.

The religious strongholds I had created had allowed demons to enter me who would not let me have my freedom in the Lord. They would not let me worship God with all my heart and all my soul and all my strength. It was a huge internal battle I faced for many years, until the stronghold started weakening through seeking and study and prayer and understanding.

One day I was reading my Bible and I came across this scripture in Matthew 6:

7 And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words. 8 “Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him. 9 In this manner, therefore, pray: (What is known as The Lord’s prayer follows).

I felt impressed that the vain repetitions (such as reciting the Lord’s prayer, as I did day after day at Episcopalian chapel) may cause religious spirits to enter you. Because Jesus said, “Do NOT use vain repetitions,” and when you do something that Jesus said NOT to do, the demons have a legal right to enter you. You see, the Lord’s Prayer became a vain repetition to me. I could say it backward, forward, sideways because I had said it without meaning day after day for a decade. I could say it while thinking about something else. It didn’t mean anything to me any more. And, Jesus gave what we call “The Lord’s prayer” as a model. He said to pray “in this manner”, not “these exact words over and over again”.

When I finally understood with my mind, I could have the religious spirits cast out of me. And then what freedom came to me! I had tremendous joy! I could go to a spirit-filled church, raise my hands, sing at the top of my lungs, dance if I wanted to and just generally be a fool for God! One of my favorite scriptures, from someone who had no religiosity was from II Samuel 6:

21 So David said to Michal, It was before the LORD, who chose me instead of your father and all his house, to appoint me ruler over the people of the LORD, over Israel. Therefore I will play music before the LORD. 22 And I will be even more undignified than this, and will be humble in my own sight.

So, are you having trouble achieving the level of intimacy that you want with God? Do you want to hear His voice but can’t? Do you want to move in the supernatural (God’s world) but feel that something is holding you back? Maybe you need to deal with religious spirits and strongholds.

Warning signs that you might have a religious spirit (not an exhaustive list):

  • You drop names of all the TV evangelists like they’re your personal friends.
  • You’re jealous of someone else’s spiritual gifts.
  • You cop a holier than thou attitude.
  • You find yourself being critical of the Christian things that your Christian friends say or do.
  • You ask everyone to pray for you about the slightest little distresses.
  • You feel compelled to tell everyone about your latest mission trip.
  • Your mind is closed to any new teachings/revelations about the God/Jesus/The Holy Spirit/The Kingdom of Heaven, etc.
  • You preach the gospel to people who you know are already saved, baptized and filled with the Spirit.
  • You question and argue over any testimony or any revelation another Christian had.
  • You say “I have to pray about that” without really meaning it, and for any inconsequential thing, such as a friend inviting you to lunch.
  • You have thoughts or you say things like these:
    – “I’ve heard ALL the teachings.”
    – “I know what my Bible says better than anyone.”
    – “You can’t tell me something I don’t already know.”
    – “I went to Bible College.”
    – “I never missed a Sunday school class all my years growing up.”
    – “I watch Christian television 24/7.”
    – “I’m special. My parents (grandparents, etc.) were missionaries.”
    – “I’m one of the ‘chosen’” (if you’re Jewish).

Once Saved, Always Saved

Once Saved, Always Saved

Many people believe that once you receive Jesus as Lord and Savior and are “saved”, that you’re good for the rest of your life until you die and go to Heaven. We do not believe this is so.

In this article, we are not talking about Christians who sin and repent and keep on walking with God. We are talking about people who once called themselves a Christian, and probably still do, but who sin regularly, do not repent, live a carnal life and feel smug in the idea that we live under grace, so “God will forgive me and let me into Heaven”. I may just squeak by, but I’ll get in.” Here’s another paradigm we intend to break.

There are several scriptures that support the fact that you shouldn’t be too smug in your salvation.

First of all, why does Paul say that we must work out our salvation in fear and trembling?

Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence , work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. (Philippians 2:12)

If we’re saved once and it’s a done deal, then why do we have to “work it out”? This is something to think about.

In Romans 11, Paul uses an olive tree to represent our salvation in Jesus, the natural branches being the Jews, the children of the God of Israel, and the grafted in branches of the wild olive tree being the Gentiles. In this passage, he’s talking about the fact that many Jews do not believe that Jesus is the Messiah, and they are like branches that are being pruned from the olive tree, while the non-Jews, the Gentiles, are grafted into the olive tree. Note the underlined section below:

16 For if the firstfruit is holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root is holy, so are the branches. 17 And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree, 18 do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you. 19 You will say then, “Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.” 20 Well said. Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either. 22 Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off. 23 And they also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. 24 For if you were cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, who are natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree?

Notice the word continue. We have to continue in goodness or we might be cut off. It’s pretty clear to me what this means.

To make the point even more clearly, look at this scripture:

He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels. (Revelation 3:5)

In this passage, Jesus is talking to the seven churches and what they need to do to be overcomers and inherit the Kingdom of Heaven. Note two things: first we have to be overcomers. This requires continuous work, dedication and commitment, as anyone who has fought the good fight of faith knows. Overcoming Satan’s obstacles in this life is a daily battle, not a one time event. Secondly, notice Jesus says, “and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life”. Well, that means in order to NOT have your name blotted out, it must have been IN the book in the first place.

So, when you’re saved, your name is written in the Book of Life. But Jesus says we have to overcome so your name does not become blotted OUT of the Book of Life. How much more clear can this be?

The book of Revelation goes on to say in the last chapter:

14 Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. 15 But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie.

This scripture says that we need to do His commandments in order to enter the gates of Heaven. And the commandments are much more than just the famous 10. Those were just the beginning. God’s commandments are all through the Torah (first five books of the Bible). Jesus said in Matthew 5:

Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.

This Revelation scripture also says that people who are sexually immoral and liars, etc. will be outside the gate. So if you’re a “Christian” living under “grace”, but you don’t follow God’s rules of proper sexual behavior, will you be inside or outside the gate?

The bottom line is we have to revere our salvation like a precious gift that can be lost if we don’t guard it with our very lives, like the parable of the great pearl or the treasure in the field. If you have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to find a pearl of great value or a treasure in a field, wouldn’t you guard it with your life? If you were smart, you wouldn’t just take it for granted that it would always be there. Someone might snatch it away from you. It’s something you would fight for if it were threatened. This same logic should be applied with our salvation.

So, how do we keep our salvation? By continuously seeking God’s face. There are numerous scriptures encouraging us to seek God’s face. Seeking God’s face earnestly will cause you to read His Word (which will teach you what the Torah says), will cause you to pray to Him, and I will allow Him to reveal His will and His ways to you. Then obedience is key. If you love Him, you will find obedience easy. And if you read His Word, you will come to love Him as you learn about Him.

And of course, if you have problems reading His word and retaining it, or if you constantly fall into sin against your will, you might need to seek a deliverance minister.

All The World’s a Stage

All The World’s a Stage

Shakespeare said, “All the world’s as stage” in his play, “As You Like It”. Well, perhaps he had more insight into the reality of this statement than we may have ever given him credit for.

I was listening to a teaching about the time that Jesus walked upon the Sea of Galilee in the middle of a huge storm in which the disciples thought they were going to die. The scriptures say that “He would have passed by them” had they not called to Him for help. I thought, wow, was He just out for a casual stroll and didn’t notice the disciples needed help desperately? He was cool as a cucumber, which made me ponder the situation.

All of the sudden, the Lord gave me one of those capsule forms of the Word of Knowledge where in an instant you have some explosive insight into something scriptural. I pictured Jesus calmly walking upon this raging sea toward the boat that was about to be capsized with the totally-soaked disciples frantically bailing water, trying to keep the sail from ripping, hanging on for dear life and screaming out to Jesus in a sheer terror. Freeze frame.

What the Lord showed me was why He was so calm. He showed me the relationship between the spiritual and the physical world – it’s like a play or the theater. I had a vision of Jesus on the stormy see with the stormy sky all around, except that behind him the scene morphed into what looked like the backstage of a theater with cast and crew running frantically around to make sure the play keeps moving and things get ready for the next act.

I felt like the parable I was seeing was that the stage represents the physical world. It is what the audience sees (we’re the audience) – that’s all they can see – what’s before their eyes. Back stage is the spiritual world – what the audience can’t see, that is creating what is going on onstage – and what’s going on back stage is more real than what is happening on the stage. What is happening on the stage is secondary, almost unreal – it’s fake – a play is just pretend.

The disciples were the audience and they were very caught up in the play. They saw Jesus and this tremendous storm. Jesus represented the actor on the stage, in control of the audience, and the stage hands were creating the storm with their special effects to frighten the audience and convince them that the storm is deadly. But Jesus remained perfectly calm about the storm because He knew what was causing the storm, He knew it was just part of the play, and that everything was under control – His control. And, He also knew what was going on back stage: hundreds of people running around, getting ready for the next scene, applying makeup, moving lights, getting props ready, sound technicians, special effects personnel, etc. The stage hands are the metaphor for spirits: demons and angels.

I said earlier that what was going on back stage was more real than what was happening onstage. That’s because the spirit world is more real than the physical world. The physical world was created FROM the spirit world, not the other way around. In this particular story in Scripture, this storm was caused by demon spirits who didn’t want Jesus and the disciples to cross the Sea of Galilee to go to the land of Gad. Because when He arrived there, the people were excited to see Him and brought everyone who needed healing to Him, and the scriptures say He healed everyone. The demons didn’t want that to happen, thus the cause of the storm.

So to summarize, the audience, the disciples, couldn’t see back stage-they couldn’t see the spiritual world that Jesus could. But Jesus was trying to teach them something in the short time He was with them. In this case, He was trying to make them understand the power of God that would soon be theirs to command once He died on the cross, resurrected and ascended into Heaven to sit at the right hand of the Father. They would soon have the power to change the next act as He did when He calmed the storm. “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.” (John 14:12)

As Christians, we have the power to change the next act. We have the power to command the stagehands (we can ask the Lord to send angels to work for us, we can command demons to depart in Jesus’ name, and we can speak to the mountain and cast it into the sea). Therefore, those who believe the Word fully, trust the Lord completely, do not fear as the Lord commanded, and are doers of the Word have the power to take authority over the spiritual realm and make it manifest in the physical realm. We have to remember that the storms are there only to attempt to scare us and crumble our faith. They are nothing as long as we keep our mind on Jesus.

You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. (Isaiah 26:3)

The Paradigm Shift

The Paradigm Shift

Many of us may remember studying about Galileo in science class when we were in school. He was a brilliant mathematician, physicist and inventor in his time (early 1600s) who defended the Copernican Theory, which states that the earth revolves around the sun. Most people at that time, including the Catholic Church, believed that the sun revolved around the earth, and in fact felt that Galileo’s beliefs were blasphemous. The Roman Inquisition was going on at this time, and there was a lot of hatred in the world for people who did not conform to the Catholic Church’s beliefs. Galileo was charged with heresy. He was threatened with torture if he didn’t formally renounce his belief in the Copernican Theory, which he eventually did. However, he was under house arrest until he died.

As we all know now, Galileo and Copernicus were correct – the earth does revolve around the sun and not the other way around. Yet a huge body of people-in this case, the Catholic Church–could not or would not consider that they might be wrong and someone else might be right. They could not make the paradigm shift to what was Truth.

A paradigm can be defined as a “generally accepted perspective of a particular discipline”. It’s a way of thinking, a model in your mind, so that if something doesn’t fit that model, it is rejected. A paradigm shift is just like it sounds – you make a “shift” away from a deeply held perspective. Many times people make paradigm shifts because they’ve discovered their thinking has been wrong. Sometimes paradigm shifts are hard to make–even when the evidence is clear that the shift should be made—because of mental strongholds—fortified, erroneous beliefs in people’s minds that are like fortresses that cannot be destroyed.

The paradigm shift from believing that the carnal, physical world that one can see, smell, feel, hear and taste is all that exists, to a new paradigm that a spiritual world exists all around us is a tough one for many people. Most Christians believe that the Lord exists in some spiritual plane, and that we’ll see Him some day in “the sweet by and by” when we die and go to Heaven. But the truth is that He and His angels are right here all around us, as are Satan and demons, even though we cannot see them with our physical eyes.

Believing that the spiritual world is right here and now, and that it is as real or more real than the physical world (remember, Spirit created the material world, and not the other way around) has tremendous ramifications for the Believer. It creates a whole new way of thinking about and approaching God and Satan. As you study the Word in light of this new paradigm, you will realize the power and authority you have over evil spirits and curses. You realize that you have a right to get angry at spiritual injustices against you and your family, and that you can engage in spiritual warfare. You become a victor, not a victim.

People frequently ask, “Why aren’t these things taught in the church?” Simple. It all goes back to the paradigm. Examine yours to see if you have been deceived.

Addictions and Compulsions

Addictions and Compulsions

Human beings are composed of spirit, soul and body (I Thessalonians 5:23). Some scholars believe that soul and spirit are one and the same; however the word of God indicates otherwise. Mary, the mother of Jesus, in what is known as The Magnificat (Luke 1:46-47), states that she has a soul and a spirit.

When someone becomes a born-again Christian, his/her spirit is cleansed and filled with the Spirit of God. The soul, however, remains in the same state it was before conversion. So does the body, except in rare circumstances where the act of conversion brings a miracle healing.

The soul is comprised of the mind, the will and the emotions. While the Christian’s spirit cannot be touched by the enemy, the soul and the body can be and often are subject to the enemy’s attack. This is why the Lord Jesus Christ commanded the disciples to preach the Gospel, heal the sick and cast out demons. (Matthew 10:7-8)

The mind, will and emotions can be manipulated by the enemy. The control of the enemy in one of these three areas could be greater than in the other two areas. In the case of addictions and compulsions, the area more heavily manipulated is the will. The will has been surrendered to the enemy. The enemy dictates what the person is going to will.

When we hear the word addiction, we think mainly of drugs or alcohol, possibly gambling. However, people can have other addictions and compulsions, some that are clearly sinful and some not: eating, smoking, sex, pornography, self- stimulation, sports, music, etc. I knew a young woman once who was addicted to aspirin. She was an employee of mine, and she would go through a large bottle of aspirin in a week. Another employee was addicted to soft drinks, and drank about eight or more a day. A Christian woman I knew was addicted to shopping. A “sweet tooth” is nothing more than an addiction to sugar.

People addicted might not realize that they are addicted until they try to stop the addiction. Then they realize that they are not in charge of themselves. They cannot do what they want to do. The strongman that manipulates their will is the one in charge.

To be delivered from the addiction, the person needs to realize that there is an evil entity controlling their will, and they need to believe that Jesus Christ can set them free from that evil entity. The person needs to submit their will to Jesus Christ and have the resolve to walk away from the addiction. Next, the strongman must be cast out. Thus deliverance will be accomplished. However, the enemy will try to come back, but the person must resist. (James 4:7)

And the very god of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit, soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Thessalonians 5:23)

My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my savior. (Luke 1: 46, 47)

And as you go, preach, saying, the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely you have received, freely give. (Matthew 10: 7, 8)

Submit yourselves therefore to God; resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (James 4:7)