Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Dreaming of a white Christmas?

I've lived in Spokane almost 8 years now, and for at least the last few years we'll get a little snow in December and then a few days before Christmas it'll warm up above freezing, the snow melts; and no white Christmas. This year is making up for that, and then some! A couple of weeks ago some arctic air moved down from Canada (not very neighborly of them, I'd say!) and it's been below zero Farenheit many nights, and just barely above that during the day. Then a week ago the snow started, and except for a few hours here and there, it hasn't let up. It sort of messed up my plans to attend the Christmas eve service at church, as well as my plans to drive across town and uphill to my brother's house for Christmas, since we have yet more snow tonight. My little car isn't made for this kind of weather. Of course, judging by the news of cars sliding off roads, and buses getting stuck; apparently a lot of vehicles aren't made for this kind of weather! But as the Apostle Paul said: If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content. (1 Tim 6:8 NASB)

So I took some pictures from my second floor apartment window, for those of you who don't get to enjoy (?) living through a winter climate, or a white Christmas. Skiers love it, at least.

The first one is from this afternoon , and the 2nd one is from a week ago. Winter in the inland Northwest.

And here's some scripture to remind me (us) why we celebrate Christmas:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
He was in the beginning with God.
All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.
In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men.
The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.
(John 1:1-5, 14 NASB)

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Does God give the devil permission to attack us?

I just finished an article on the topic above that I'm posting to my website. It's somewhat long (and I could have made it longer!), so I'm putting most of it below -- but for the whole thing please see here:

Have you ever heard someone say that the devil can't attack a believer (in Jesus Christ) unless he gets God's permission, as in the story of Job? And then there's sort of the underlying premise or statement, that IF you've been so attacked and God 'allowed it' -- then there isn't much you can do because that would go against God's will. Or maybe God allowed it to teach you to lean on Him. Right? I've heard it a few times from various believers, and even find it on a 'discernment' web site, yet even here some discernment is needed. Here's the quote:

This idea of the Devil claiming his wife is problematic in that believers are under the sovereign care of Jesus, it is he who has the keys of death and hell. No believer will die unless God himself allows it. The book of Job gives us insight on how God may allow the devil to afflict us but it is only by his permission, the Devil is not running around doing whatever he wants, his power and ability has to answer to God first.

Well, ok. This sounds plausible and not unreasonable at first glance. But, let us reason and see if these things be true. Since this sort of teaching appears to be somewhat prevalent, and since it does touch on issues that directly affect the issue of spiritual warfare, I wanted to sort it out myself, and write about what I found.

One of the premises is that as believers, we have a 'hedge of protection' around us, as Job had. Since there were no scripture references given to bolster this argument, as far as it may be applicable to Christians, I can't directly respond to this or any of the assertions in that regard. The only New Testament passage I may be able to liken to a 'hedge of protection', off the top of my head, would be the sheepfold that Jesus mentions in John chapter 10. He says that He is the door to the sheepfold, and that His sheep may go in and out and find pasture. However, He also adds that there may be some that try to enter in another way (sneaking over the fence perhaps?) and they would be thieves and robbers. [...] So to me, this argument is a mixed bag, one could make a case either way.

The first part of my response to the premise of God's sovereignty in our lives, is that according to Scripture (His Word), He operates in our lives under Covenant. We could speculate endlessly about what God could or might do or allow, but if it disagrees with His Word AND if we're believers, then Scripture is (or should be) our final authority. Right? From reading the Bible, there are many places where God tells his people that IF they do some thing, THEN he will do or not do certain things. I just did a search in e-Sword, for the term 'if ye' (King James Version) for both the Old and New Testament -- and it came up with 151 verses! Here's a very small sample, and not all of the 151 verses are in the 'if-then' category:

And if ye shall despise my statutes,or if your soul abhor my judgments, so that ye will not do all my commandments, but that ye break my covenant: (Lev 26:15 KJVA)
And it shall come to pass, if ye shall hearken diligently unto my commandments which I command you this day, to love the LORD your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul, That I will give you the rain of your land in his due season, the first rain and the latter rain, that thou mayest gather in thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil. (Deu 11:13-14 KJVA)
But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. (Gal 5:18 KJVA)
If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. (Joh 15:7 KJVA)

So clearly, where the word 'if' is used, it's a conditional sort of statement, there are conditions to be met. Jesus speaks of establishing the new covenant in Mat 26:28, Mar 14:24 and Luk 22:20. As far as I can tell, since I'm not an expert on the topic, a covenant is similar in some respects to what we in the U.S. would call a 'last will and testament' (hence the terms 'Old Testament' and 'New Testament'); and the terms of the will take effect after the person who drew up the will is deceased. Of course, in our case Jesus died and was resurrected, but it's through the covenant that we get to inherit the terms of his 'will', so to speak. So in relation to that part of the premise (namely the 'sovereign control' question), I think there's an element of free-will and choice along with God's sovereignty.

To me, the biggest question is: Does the devil need to get God's permission to attack a believer, or does God give such permission? This is the one I really wrestled with, and then after studying several scriptures the light came on.

First of all, we find in 1Jn 3:8b The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. (ESV) and that When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him. (Col 2:15 NASB) Which begs the question, why would God re-arm the devil when Jesus disarmed him? Finally, this is the passage of scripture that really settled the question for me: And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. (2Co 6:16 KJVA) Oh yeah, this made me remember, and it finally sunk in past my thinking, that I am a temple of the living God! Why would God give the devil permission to attack His temple?
If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. (Mar 3:24-25 ESV)

And just to put the icing on the cake, there is only 1 verse of scripture in the New Testament that mentions Job:
Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful. (Jas 5:11 ESV) The KJV uses the word 'patience' instead of 'steadfastness'. And just to state the obvious, if Job were an example to the New Testament believer of God giving the devil permission to attack us, wouldn't that have been the place to say so? Yet, all it says is that Job was patient / steadfast, as we should likewise be patient and steadfast.

I think one reason I wrestled with this so much was because I end up contradicting some people whom I greatly respect. However, I decided to 'let the peace of Christ rule (govern) my heart', and I've been greatly edified in the process. I think this particular belief or teaching benefits the devil more than God -- I can almost imagine him or one of his dark cohorts whispering in someone's ear 'hey, don't go running to God about that trouble, he gave me permission to attack you! Look at Job!'. In the end, if you come across a statement that appears on the surface to be scriptural, but that leads to feeling despair or without hope, confused or having been forsaken; then I submit it's not of God. Of course, you can use EFT for some of these feelings; but more importantly, look to the Lord for His Spirit to lead you into the truth of the matter through prayer and His Word.

Also, I ran across this article that also addresses the issue with a similar conclusion.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

An Outrageous Idea - EFT blog

I wanted to point you to a recent blog entry from last year on the emofree web site -- suggesting that EFT should be mandatory for all war veterans. The blog article isn't very long, but read the comments too! It was linked in a recent edition of the EFT Insights e-Newsletter, so most of the comments are very recent.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Positive Confession article

I just ran across this article on another blog, and thought it gave a balanced view of some things I've been pondering lately. On the one hand (exteme) you have those who say that everything that happens in your life is your doing, as in the 'law of attraction' teaching. On the other hand (extreme) there are those who say God has foreordained all things. This article is about the Christian use of 'positive confession' which would fall more along the lines of the 'law of attraction' end of the spectrum. It's a position paper by the Assemblies of God. It's somewhat lengthy -- I'll highlight a few paragraphs below:

While there are variations of interpretation and emphasis concerning this teaching, a conclusion seems to be that the unpleasant can be avoided by refraining from negative confessions. The pleasant can be enjoyed by making positive confessions.

According to this view, as expressed in various publications, the believer who refrains from acknowledging the negative and continues to affirm the positive will assure for himself pleasant circumstances. He will be able to rule over poverty, disease, and sickness. He will be sick only if he confesses he is sick. Some make a distinction between acknowledging the symptoms of an illness and the illness itself.

This view advocates that God wants believers to wear the best clothing, drive the best cars, and have the best of everything. Believers need not suffer financial setbacks. All they need to do is to tell Satan to take his hands off their money. The believer can have whatever he says whether the need is spiritual, physical, or financial. It is taught that faith compels God's action.

According to this position, what a person says determines what he will receive and what he will become. Thus people are instructed to start confessing even though what they want may not have been realized. If a person wants money, he is to confess he has it even if it is not true. If a person wants healing, he is to confess it even though it is obviously not the case. People are told they can have whatever they say, and for this reason great significance is attached to the spoken word. It is claimed the spoken word, if repeated often enough, will eventually result in faith which procures the desired blessing.

It is understandable that some people would like to accept the positive confession teaching. It promises a life free from problems, and its advocates seem to support it with passages of Scripture. Problems develop, however, when Bible statements are isolated from their context and from what the rest of Scripture has to say concerning the subject. Extremes result which distort truth and eventually hurt believers as individuals and the cause of Christ in general. [...]

When the positive confession doctrine indicates a person can have whatever he says, it fails to emphasize adequately that God's will must be considered. David had the best intentions when he indicated his desire to build a temple for the Lord, but it was not God's will (1 Chronicles 17:4). David was permitted to gather materials, but Solomon was to build the temple.

The positive confession teaching advocates reigning as kings in this life. It teaches that believers are to dominate and not be dominated by circumstances. Poverty and sickness are usually mentioned among the circumstances over which believers are to have dominion.

If believers choose the kings of this world as models, it is true they will seek the trouble-free life (although even kings of this world are not free from problems). They will be more concerned with physical and material prosperity than with spiritual growth. [i.e. the 'deceitfulness of riches' which promises what it can't deliver.] [...]

In this view there is very little consideration given to communion with God in order to discover His will. There is very little appeal to search the Scriptures for the framework of the will of God. There is little emphasis on the kind of discussion with fellow believers which results in two or three agreeing what the will of God might be. Instead, the desire of the heart is viewed as a binding mandate on God. It is seen as constituting the authority of the believer.

It is true that Jesus said, "Whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son" (John 14:13). But Scripture also teaches that the asking must be in harmony with the will of God. "This is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us: and if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him" (1 John 5:14, 15). [...]

God's Word does teach great truths such as healing, provision for need, faith, and the authority of believers. The Bible does teach that a disciplined mind is an important factor in victorious living. But these truths must always be considered in the framework of the total teaching of Scripture.

When abuses occur, there is sometimes a temptation to draw back from these great truths of God's Word. In some cases people even lose out with God altogether when they discover that exaggerated emphases do not always meet their expectations or result in freedom from problems.

The fact that doctrinal aberrations develop, however, is not a reason for rejecting or remaining silent concerning them. The existence of differences of opinion is all the more reason why believers should continue diligently to search the Scriptures. It is why servants of God must faithfully declare the whole counsel of God.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Sovereignty of God

I haven't blogged in a while, mostly because I've been doing some research. I'm working on an article about Job right now, it might take a few days to put it all together. In the meantime, part of the 'Job question' has to do with God's sovereignty, and I found a very helpful article on that topic that I wanted to share. Here's 2 of the first 3 paragraphs of the article, see the rest of it here.

I believe this is the worst doctrine in the church today. I know that this is a shocking statement and is near blasphemy to some people, but the way sovereignty is taught today is a real faith killer. The belief that God controls everything that happens to us is one of the devil's biggest inroads into our lives. If this belief is true, then our actions are irrelevant, and our efforts are meaningless. What will be will be.

If we believe that God wills everything, good or bad, to happen to us, it gives us some temporary relief from confusion and condemnation, but in the long-term, it slanders God, hinders our trust in God, and leads to passiveness.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Let not your heart be troubled

Since fear and anxiety (particularly in the area of finances) seems to be such a prevalent news topic, I thought I'd pull together a few verses of scripture that may be helpful. You could combine it with EFT by tapping a round on your fear or anxiety, and then do a round with 1 or 2 scriptures at a time. I read a news story the other day that said something like 'traders on Wall Street were fearful (or in panic?)'.... and my first thought was that they should learn EFT! Then maybe cooler heads can prevail. Remember to Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: (1Pe 5:8 KJV)

All verses are from the King James Version (KJV); and there are many more verses I could add -- a search under just the word 'riches' brought up 97 verses!

A little that a righteous man hath is better than the riches of many wicked. (Psa 37:16)

The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand. I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread. (Psa 37:23-25)

He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the LORD. (Psa 112:7)

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (Joh 14:27)

No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. (Mat 6:24)

He that trusteth in his riches shall fall: but the righteous shall flourish as a branch. (Pro 11:28)

And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the LORD, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel. (Isa 45:3)

Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD. (Jer 9:23-24)

That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, (Eph 3:16-20)

But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. (Php 4:19)

Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; (1Ti 6:17)

Consider the lilies, how they grow: they toil not, neither do they spin; yet I say unto you, Even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God doth so clothe the grass in the field, which to-day is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven; how much more shall he clothe you, O ye of little faith? And seek not ye what ye shall eat, and what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind. For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: but your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things. Yet seek ye his kingdom, and these things shall be added unto you. Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. (Luk 12:27-32)

For ye received not the spirit of bondage again unto fear; but ye received the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. (Rom 8:15)

So that with good courage we say, The Lord is my helper; I will not fear: What shall man do unto me? (Heb 13:6)

There is no fear in love: but perfect love casteth out fear, because fear hath punishment; and he that feareth is not made perfect in love. (1Jn 4:18)

And it may go without saying, but I'm also available for coaching, and donations are always welcome, too!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Truth vs Lies, the essence of Spiritual Warfare

When I first felt the call to become an EFT practitioner, I thought or maybe decided that I'd offer it more as a secular or 'generic' EFT. So I took the EFT-CC and ADV exams, got the certificate(s) of completion; and figured if I just had myself listed as a practitioner then I'd be set. (The old 'if you build it they will come' scenario.) It turns out that Gary Craig's listings required that you have at least 50 (now 100 I think?) individual sessions before you could be listed. Apparently some of the people listed there weren't really even offering EFT, which is why the whole scheme was recently changed. So, I haven't been listed there. (Which goes to show that honesty doesn't always pay, but I'll stick with it anyway...)

So my practice, as it were, was going nowhere fast. Through prayer, I was led to research and write the EFT for SW booklet. I'd been researching SW for a few years anyway, but I hadn't thought to really tie the two together for public consumption. Near the end of the booklet I have a list from Clint Byar's book Devil Walk , of various lies the devil uses, along with God's truth as found in His Word. When I started the blog, and even somewhat since then, I keep having this thought of 'the truth vs the lie'. While I know that's important, from an EFT practitioner perspective, I wasn't quite sure how to reveal or discover the lie. I felt like I was floundering around and not really 'getting it'. [For those who don't understand the 'floundering around' reference -- Flounder is a type of fish, so imagine a newly caught fish on a deck or boat flopping around.]

In addition, I'd put forth my idea that there's a link between one's emotions and the spiritual realm, and felt like I'd really crawled out on a limb with that idea. But, I found nothing in scripture or elsewhere that convinced me that wasn't true. Since EFT is a great tool for emotional issues, I saw it as sort of a method of 'deliverance lite'. Now that I'm studying Theophostic Prayer Ministry (TPM), it's clearing up a lot of the questions or issues that had me floundering around. Essentially the premise is that a lot of our emotional turmoil is rooted in lie-based beliefs, and sometimes conflicting beliefs. This fits in perfectly with what I found in Dr. M. Scott Peck's Glimpses of the Devil , on pg 52 he writes: Some instinct told me that the attack [on the demonic spirits] would fail unless it could discern the roots of Jersey's nihilism and demonstrate each of them to be fallacious. And on pg 74 he writes: Each of the four demons we encountered ... represented a lie of sorts or a false pattern of thinking.

To tie that into TPM and the topic of spiritual warfare; I found the following in the TPM Basic Seminar Manual 2007 to be very helpful:
The cure-all for a person’s emotional distress is not exorcising demons. Demon oppression is rooted in the lie-based pain in the person’s mind. When the lies are removed and truth replaces the pain with His peace there is no basis for further oppression. ... If we deal with the reason the demons are there in the first place, they can be permanently removed without a battle. ... I am convinced that demonic oppression is nothing more than demons punching our lie-based “buttons” and triggering the pain that is already there. If this is so, then they are actually providing a helpful service if we will attend to what they have exposed. ... Truth resides in a spiritual realm. However, we live in a physical world, and it is more natural to see with our physical eyes and to evaluate things from this perspective. As life happens around us, we are prone to draw conclusions based on lie-based interpretations, and as a result suffer emotional distress. (pg 45)

Apparently, in earlier training for TPM, there was some focus on more of the 'traditional' spiritual warfare practices, i.e. binding demons and the like. Now the focus is on uncovering the lie-based beliefs, and resting in the finished work of Christ. Page 44 of the Manual says: Satan is no longer in the same place he was 2000 years ago before the cross. Hebrews 2:14 says he was “rendered powerless” through the death of Christ. Either he is powerless or he is not. We cannot have it both ways. If he is powerless, but yet expresses power in our ministry sessions then something is wrong. I suggest we look at what we believe. It makes no logical sense for us to celebrate the victory of Christ and yet continue in the fight. To which I say, amen!

Does that mean that I'm abandoning EFT in favor of TPM? No. They're both excellent tools. I mention an instance in my e-book, about pondering some frustration I was having, and how I had a sudden thought that 'I can't make it on my own' and a childhood memory came up; that I ended up tapping on. In relation to what I've learned with TPM, it was a spontaneous exposure of a lie-based belief and the memory-container where the lie originated. Ed Smith has made it clear that if you're using something else in addition to TPM, then he doesn't want you to call it 'Theophostic', which is certainly fair. My inclination right now is to use EFT for the emotions or areas where there is a high level of pain -- say a SUDS level of 8+; and then when the pain is reduced, move on to Theophostic. Also, EFT is often helpful for things that I wouldn't use TPM for, such as some knee pain I had a couple of months ago. I also haven't yet completed the requirements for being able to officially call myself a TPM facilitator -- so for now I'll just say that I will most likely include prayer in any ministry or coaching sessions, but still follow the TPM Guidelines.

Using Theophostic Prayer

I wrote a few weeks ago about discovering Theophostic Prayer Ministry (not to be confused with Theosophy, which is a new-age philosophy), and after reading 'Healing Life's Hurts' I ordered the 2007 Basic Training, since the concepts are very much in line with what I've discovered through EFT and related spiritual warfare / discernment and Biblical studies. On one of the DVD's, Ed Smith says to take responsibility for your own painful emotions, as opposed to making it about other people or events. Just a few days before that, I'd asked a woman at church to pray for my ministry and I could tell from her response that she didn't believe I'd actually been called to this ministry. When she asked, I said things have been a little slow, as far as customers, but that I've only recently begun to feel more self-confident about it. (Doing web site support or other things at my current part-time job isn't quite as big a responsibility as putting myself out as a coach, but I've finally begun to trust that it's Jesus who is my / our Savior, and I can lean on Him, so I don't have to try and do it all under my own power... it had felt like it was more responsibility than I wanted to take on. After all, this is people's lives we're talking about! And of course the devil does his best to make me feel discouraged, etc.)

So I asked and she confirmed that no, she didn't believe it. That didn't feel good! It was sort of bugging me for a few days, since she's someone whose opinion I'd like to be favorable. So taking Ed Smith's advice, I decided to see if there were some memories with similar feelings attached to them, and I came up with 2 memories. The strongest and earliest one was where I'd been maybe 11 or 12 years old, and I was sitting at the dining room table writing a poem. My step-mother asked what I was doing and I told her, and though I hadn't finished the poem she wanted to see it. She decided immediately that I couldn't have written it, because it was too good. (!?) She was convinced I had to have copied it from a magazine -- though there was no magazine in sight; and started yelling at me to tell her where I'd copied it from. I kept saying I didn't copy it, I wrote it and then she showed it to one of my step-sisters and she also agreed I had to have copied it. That basically ended my poetry writing career, short as it was.

When I was thinking of that memory, I recalled an earlier memory from when I was in grade school (age 8 or so?), and our local library had a drawing contest -- and I won first prize! I had spent days on that drawing, after a couple of false starts. It's not like I'd hidden in a closet to do the drawing either, but I guess no one paid attention while I was drawing it. Because again, my step-mother didn't believe I'd drawn it and thought I copied it. So I was thrilled to have won (the prize was a copy of the book Charlotte's Web ), but there was this cloud of disapproval around it too. I was a little surprised that there was still a 'sting' left in these memories, because I'd already used EFT and tapped on them. So I discovered that the lie-based belief was that it's not o.k. to be who I am . When I asked the Lord for His truth about that belief, what He said was "I made you in my image." and the remaining sting of those memories is now gone. And my feelings about whether people believe me about this ministry are not great, but it doesn't feel so personal.

In fact, a couple of days ago I realized that the Lord had addressed the issue for me through scripture a couple of weeks before. I usually watch In Touch with Charles Stanley on Sunday mornings from 8-9am and then go to the 11am service at my church. On July 27, both Charles Stanley and my pastor had the same verse of scripture as part of their sermon, which is unusual -- so it really 'spoke to me'. That scripture was: Is 41:9 You whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, And called from its remotest parts And said to you, 'You are My servant, I have chosen you and not rejected you.

Is 41:10 'Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.' (NASB) He really does know what we need before we ask!

I'm going to post another message about how all of this relates to spiritual warfare.

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Occultic Mindset of Spiritual Warfare

Thought I'd share this article I just read on another blog. I'm going to put a very few comments [in brackets] in the article -- see below:

By Keith

Paul and Drew have both graciously shared a part of their spiritual journey with us. For myself, the area of the fringe that I became most involved with was spiritual warfare. For a season in my ministry I became deeply immersed in this teaching. I declared things in the heavenlies, attempted to discern the demons over my city, drove around my city claiming it for Jesus, anointed the chairs in our sanctuary on a regular basis, and bound Satan daily. I would be lying if I said that there wasn’t a part of me that really got in to this whole experience. I felt very important and very powerful. Even today, when discussing some of the things that I used to do, I have a strong feeling of power rise up in my body. It was very exciting. Until one day a very simple question refused to let go of me. “When did anyone in the Bible do this?”

That was the question that started me on an investigation of this teaching. Today I am confident that not only is this teaching not Biblical, it is actually occultic in nature. I don’t make that statement lightly. I have studied and written on the subjects of the New Age, Wicca and even tribal religion. The modern teaching on spiritual warfare has more in common with these practices than anything that can be found in the pages of the New Testament (that book that is supposed to teach us, among other things, how the church is to operate).

I should hasten to say that this is not an exclusively Charismatic issue. Evangelical writers like Neal Anderson and Mark Bubeck (incidentally one of the nicest guys you could ever hope to talk to) have done much damage to the body of Christ in this area. Bubeck’s books even include prayers for the Holy Spirit to search your blood stream, gastro-intestinal organs and other body systems for demons. (i.e. the demon of cholitis and I am not joking.)

Space will only allow for a small number of examples but perhaps these will cause readers to dig even further to determine if these teachings are truly from the Lord.

1. Manipulation of spiritual forces: One of the underlying assumptions of the occultic worldview is that all of life is connected by a spiritual force. The practice of magick is based on attempts to manipulate this force in order for the practitioner to create their own reality. Modern Word Faith teachers and spiritual warfare teachers unknowlingly have bought into the same mindset. For Word Faith teachers the monistic force is faith itself. Kenneth Copeland has frequently stated that faith is a force that even God uses to accomplish His purposes. David Yonggi Cho has stated that this force can even be used by non-believers which is why Buddhist monks sometimes get results. Many of the modern prophets have stated the same thing about the New Age. For many in the spiritual warfare community the force is more personal in the form of angels, demons and the Holy Spirit. While this may seem more biblical the fact remains that much of their efforts are aimed at manipulating these beings to their own ends. [A couple of the practices in New Age circles in 'keeping away dark spiritual forces' that I heard about is sprinkling salt outside windows and doors -- apparently they don't like salt? and also 'smudging' ; burning sage.]

It is out of this foundational belief that many other ancillary beliefs and practices arise. For instance words are seen as extremely powerful. Once again, in Word Faith circles, words are the containers of the force. What I confess I possess. If I say that I am going bald I will get more baldness. But if I confess that I have a full head of hair then that is what I will receive. This is what leads teachers like Marylin Hickey to teach us to, “Say to your wallet. Why you big fat wallet. You’re so full of money.” Of course, apparently it doesn’t work for her because she has to keep asking for donations. Similarly prophetic teachers like Victoria Boyson and Mike Bickle teach that when we criticize someone we are releasing and activating Satanic activity upon them and if we bless them we are releasing Holy Spirit activity. [I think there is some merit to the idea that words are powerful, but it's more along the lines of whether we build up or tear down ourselves or others, some of these ideas are 'over the top' and in the same vein as the 'law of attraction' ideas.]

This authority that is supposedly in words then leads to the increasingly popular binding and loosing and warfare in the heavenlies teachings. In this practice Satan and his forces are actually addressed and commanded in prayer. Their “strongholds” over cities are pulled down. Their strategies are foiled. They must leave the region. Authority is claimed by the Church and the Spirit is loosed.

Now, I hate to spoil the party. But is this really what Jesus was teaching in Matt. 16 when He said that whatever you bind on earth is bound in heaven? The answer is a decided “no”. Before discussing what binding and loosing really means, the evidence that modern spiritual warfare teachers cannot be correct in what they are teaching is easy to detect from the New Testament. The fact is simply this, NOWHERE IN THE NEW TESTAMENT IS SATAN EVER ADDRESSED IN PRAYER. Prayer is made to God. We do not have one single example of anyone in the New Testament ever engaging in this type of prayer. The only time that Satan or a demon is ever addressed by a believer is when they are being cast out of an individual. The historical fact is that binding and loosing were rabbinical terms that the apostles would have been familiar with that had to do with forbidding and permitting certain practices and which speaks to the apostle’s authority in laying the foundation for the practices of the church.

Christians are spending too much time shouting at the devil. And can someone please tell me, “What is the statute of limitations on binding the devil?” He seems to continually get loose! How long does it take to bind a demon and clear the heavenlies? This stuff has been going on over KC for over twenty years and yet 2005 was one of the worst years in our history for murder.

2. Ritual Magick. In the occult worldview, rituals can be performed in the physical that have ramifications in the spiritual. So a pin stuck in a voodoo doll can cause spiritual forces to work against an individual that can result in bodily injury. One of the most disturbing segments of the film, “Jesus Camp” was to see a teacher hand a hammer to children and tell them to go to the front and smash cups labelled “abortion”, “homosexuality” etc. etc. and by commanding the heavenlies and smashing the cups things would be broken in the spirit realm. Much of the same thing can be seen in many of the practices of anointing. Rebecca Brown teaches people to anoint the doors and windows of their homes so that demons don’t have any points of access to their homes.

3. Power Centers. In the occultic mindset, certain grounds are sacred. They may be possessed by either good or evil spirits. Some of these power centers may be taboo to all but the most highly initiated or they may be places to gather for worship because the power is strong. We have seen over the last two decades a number of these power centers emerge and diminish, Toronto, Pensacola, Smithton, etc. etc. Additionally, the modern teaching of spiritual portals by prophets like John Paul Jackson, Kathie Walters, Paul Keith Davis and many more has more in common with the occult than the bible despite the way they butcher the story of Jacob’s Ladder to try and make it fit.

4. The Devil Made Me Do It. The occultic world is all about spirits. Animism is all about spirits. Spirits are responsible for everything. Spirits must be placated. While it is certainly true that the Western mind tends to ignore the spiritual dimension and tends almost toward Deism, the modern spiritual warfare teachings are certainly an over-correction. If it rains on a church picnic it is the devil’s fault. Every sin is evidence of a “stronghold” that must be pulled down. The problem is that this silver bullet approach to holiness keeps the individual from dealing with what is often the true source of the problem, a carnal, rebellious heart. [That would tie into the emotions, wouldn't it?]

5. Shamanism. In the occult the shaman is the expert in the things of the spirit. He has visions of the spirit world and brings back information to the followers. Many of today’s so-called prophets are nothing more than shamen. People flock to them to hear of their visits to the otherworld and to act on the information that they bring back. This has opened a literal pandora’s box of new practices. What is particularly disturbing in the spiritual warfare scenario is that many of these practices were supposedly learned by interviewing demons!!!! Bubeck says that when we interview a demon we should ask, “Will this information stand as truth before the throne of God?” For some reason Bubeck believes that a demon can’t lie if you ask him in that way. But why would we ever seek to learn about the things of the Spirit from a liar and the father of lies?

Remember the question that I said started it all for me. “When did anyone in the Bible ever do this?” It’s a good question. It’s worth pondering the next time you are thinking about jumping into a new thing.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Emotions and evil spirits

Here's a short but interesting article on Spirit Daily, and I wanted to share a couple of sentences because they tie demonic attacks to our emotions -- confirming some of what I've written. And of course, EFT can be a good tool to help calm the situation, along with prayer, of course!
"The evil spirits might attempt to afflict you with spirits of agitation and aggravation," explains the author, John LaBriola, in explaining methods of detection. "He will either try to excite, exaggerate, or deaden your emotions. All at once you get to the point where you become irritable and angry for seemingly no reason. Or you may find yourself flat, devoid of feeling."

"He'll play with your emotions and push your buttons to the point of distress and distraction, agitation, or apathy," writes the author. "He'll use either end of the spectrum to try and lure you into the sins of despair or presumption."

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Let's Hear It For The GOP!

Since the Republican National Convention is next week and I've been a little negligent in blogging lately -- I wanted to share the following article :

Let's Hear It For The GOP!
by Chuck Baldwin
March 25, 2008

I think it is time that we all stood up and gave the Republican Party a big round of applause. I mean, they have done us all a huge favor. By an overwhelming majority, the GOP has prevented a potential plague from enveloping these United States of America, and I think it is time that we acknowledged it. Yes, the GOP stopped a potential catastrophe. Without the combined efforts of millions of Republicans, there is no telling what kind of disaster might have ensued. Let's hear it for the GOP! Hip Hip Hooray!

For a few minutes there, I thought the GOP might have lost its mind, but I am glad to report that all is well with the Republican Party. The international bankers and oil companies, and the military-industrial complex, as well as the presidents of Mexico and Canada, can breathe easy. With John McCain as the presumptive Republican nominee, the globalist power brokers who have dominated the last three Presidential administrations can know that they are still in charge. There will be no changing of the guard this November.

It was scary there for a while. You see, there was this kook who was running for the Republican nomination that had the potential to upset the applecart real good. But thankfully, the fine people within the GOP rose to the occasion and beat back the attempts of his nutty supporters to vault him to the nomination.

After all, just think what would have taken place if this kook Ron Paul had won the Republican nomination for President. This nut case actually believes that the U.S. Constitution is the supreme law of the land. Imagine that. That means he would never take America to war except with a Declaration of War by Congress. Think how such a thing would prevent America's meddling and interventionism worldwide. Think of the billions and even trillions of tax dollars that would not need to be spent overseas. Think of how much money Halliburton would lose. Think of how much money the Federal Reserve bankers would lose by not being able to loan money to the U.S. government. It is too ghastly to think about.

Furthermore, this Ron Paul nut might have actually insisted that the federal government declare unborn babies to be "persons" under the law. Think of it. This would mean that every unborn baby would have the immediate protection of law. And this would have happened without the necessity of appointing a single Supreme Court justice. Whew! The Republican Party dodged a bullet on that one. Now they can continue to talk about being "pro-life" for the next thirty years in order to fool Christian conservatives into voting for them without having to actually do anything about it.

This Ron Paul kook would also have put a stop to the incessant spying on the American people by their own federal government. Egad! This Paul character would have set America back two hundred years. Think of it. No more illegal wiretaps. No more reading private emails, letters, and telegrams. No more harassment by the BATFE of law-abiding firearms dealers for honest errors in paperwork. No more using the wars on "terror" and "drugs" to violate the Fourth Amendment. Think of the money that would be lost by the feds not confiscating the private property of the American people.

In addition, if this Ron Paul nut had actually become President, he might have succeeded in abolishing the Internal Revenue Service and overturning the Sixteenth Amendment. Holy Horrors! Can you imagine the tragedy that would have ensued? No more income taxes. No more tax forms to fill out. No more IRS agents arresting hard-working citizens for "tax evasion." No more government tracking of our private financial transactions. Think of the US attorneys whose services would no longer be necessary. Imagine that. The federal government would actually be required to live within its means; it could no longer raise taxes, because there would be no more taxes to raise.

And if all of the above is not bad enough, this Ron Paul kook would actually demand that the federal government obey the Tenth Amendment. This, all by itself, would reduce the size and scope of the federal government by at least fifty percent. Imagine if the American people suddenly had the federal government out of their pocketbooks and off their backs? What would they do with all that newfound freedom? It is too scary to contemplate.

Do not worry, however. Thanks to the fine men and women of the Republican Party, John McCain will carry their standard into the November elections. Yes, my dear friends, David Rockefeller and his fellow travelers at the Council on Foreign Relations can rest easy. Should McCain win the general election, they will retain their influence in the White House. Indeed, we can all rest easier knowing that John McCain will be the Republican nominee for President.

After all, John McCain will see to it that our borders and ports remain open to illegal aliens. In fact, a McCain Presidency will ensure that illegal aliens become permanent U.S. citizens. Or better yet, that the U.S. and Mexico will be merged into a North American Community, thus eliminating the need for U.S. citizenship altogether. This will greatly help the Chamber of Commerce and Big Business. Think of the money they can save by hiring cheap Mexican labor. Think of the plants and factories that can be moved to Mexico. Think of the cheap Chinese goods that can be loaded onto Mexican trucks from Mexican ports and shipped into the United States on the NAFTA superhighways.

And did I mention the advantage a John McCain Presidency will provide to incumbents in future elections? Because John McCain does not believe in the U.S. Constitution, the First Amendment means nothing to him. This is good, because he can use the bully pulpit of the Presidency to promote his McCain/Feingold bill that would make it illegal for citizens to voice their concerns and opinions regarding the voting records of incumbents during a general election. That means those sinister organizations such as the National Rifle Association and Gun Owners of America will no longer be able to publicly promote their views regarding the anti-Second Amendment voting records of congressmen and senators.

That Ron Paul kook would never have tolerated such a law as McCain/Feingold. But thanks to the fine men and women of the Republican Party, we do not need to worry about these little inconveniences such as the First and Second Amendments (or any of the other articles within the Bill of Rights, for that matter), because they wisely selected John McCain to be their standard-bearer.

Furthermore, because the good men and women of the GOP decided to nominate John McCain, we can look forward to one hundred years of war in the Middle East. We can all anticipate the opportunity of sending our troops into harm's way all over the world to promote the interests of international corporations, nation-building, and other U.N. machinations.

Had that nut Ron Paul been elected, he would have practiced a non-interventionist foreign policy. He would have sought peace with all nations. And, instead of preemptively invading foreign countries, he would have dealt constitutionally with terrorists, resulting in their capture or death, the protection of America, the absence of long-term war, and the respect of nations throughout the world. Furthermore, that nut Paul would have refused to use U.S. forces to do the bidding of the United Nations and other international entities.

However, we do not need to worry about old-fashioned, out-of-date ideas such as constitutional government, conservative principles, or common sense, because the fine men and women of the Republican Party wisely chose John McCain as their presumptive Presidential nominee. Yes, indeed. Let's hear it for the GOP!

*If you enjoyed this column and want to help me distribute these editorial opinions to an ever-growing audience, donations may now be made by credit card, check, or Money Order. Use this link:

© Chuck Baldwin

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Thursday, August 21, 2008

Speaking 'Shoat'

Excellent blog post , here are a few of the paragraphs:

I finally understand why Jesus didn't allow His time to be monopolized by Pharisees. He simply dismissed them and walked away. He wasn't willing to water down the message so they could get it and He wasn't about to try to explain it to them because doing so is impossible. He actually protected the message from the Pharisees in the same way that I might protect my children from an unsafe person. The problem with today's institutional system of American Christianity is that we have taken a heart-message and we've turned it into a head-religion. Because we need the money to make the Church payroll, we have found a way to include both those who get it and those who don't. We have successfully moved the sheep and the goats into the same house. The real catastrophe is that they've started breeding with one another and now we have a generation of "Shoats," people who half get it and half don't. The result of this is that the message becomes compromised and contaminated. I now understand fully why Jesus was so protective of in the first place.

Jesus identified the goats right away by their response to His teachings. In fact, His teachings were delivered in such a way that they would specifically root out the goats from the sheep. If you close your eyes and listen to the sound of sheep and goats, it's almost impossible to tell them apart. We actually used a baby goat in our Church Easter Pageant one year because we couldn't find a baby lamb, and you know what? Not a single person knew the difference. Jesus, however, found a way to catch the goats and winnow them. He placed "goat traps" all around the message. It had no effect on the sheep but would stop the goats dead in their tracks. When Jesus was finished with His sermon, He would walk through the field and collect all the goats that were caught in the goat traps and dismiss them. The goat traps were nothing more than illustrations that the goats couldn't swallow. While everyone else chewed them up, swallowed them and went on to see and experience the glorious truth that He came to show them, the goats grabbed their throats, doubled over along side of the road, gagging and coughing on an illustration and ended up missing the entire heart of the message. When confronted by one of the sheep as to why He did this to the goats, Jesus said, "The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to others I speak in parables, so that, though seeing, they may not see; though hearing, they may not understand." (Luke 8:10)

It was brilliant. He spoke in metaphors and parables because "head-thinkers" can't get beyond them in order to behold the truth. Metaphors and parables become a vault that protects the truth from those who would certainly defile the message if they came anywhere close to it. The metaphor would be so outlandish that only the heart-people could see past it. While the head thinking goats were choking to death from trying to figure out how a man could crawl back up into his mother's womb, how gross it would be to eat Jesus' flesh and blood, the heart-thinking sheep were frolicking in the grass of salvation and relationship with God. Unfortunately, today's version of Christianity has adopted both head and heart principles so that everyone can join, even with partial understanding. The results are devastating. No one frolics in the grass of salvation. Instead, they merely stand in line at the feeding trough with hollow looks in their eyes, waiting patiently for their pastor to dump the slop in front of them. ...

"Shoats" are an interesting breed. Some are sheep who were raised by goats and others are goats who were raised by sheep. In my opinion, the latter are the most impossible to deal with. I have found that the best way to separate the sheep-shoats from the goat-shoats is to set them all free. The goats-shoats will either attack you out of anger for opening their cage, or they'll run back into a life of sin. The sheep-shoats, however, will thank you and immediately recognize their need for freedom. They'll run nowhere. They will simply graze close to the shepherd because that's where they choose to be.

Another way to separate them is to speak the language of love. Only sheep recognize this language. It's totally foreign to goats. Sheep-shoats recognize it in their hearts even though they've never spoken it before and goat-shoats get angry when they hear it because their head cannot understand a word of it. The truth is encapsulated "in love" so that those who do not love cannot retrieve it.

If you are worried that you might be a goat-shoat, you probably aren't. The very fact that you even care is proof that you have sheep blood running through your veins. If you're angry because you think I'm accusing you of being a goat-shoat, and you need to see a Scripture with the word "shoat" in it for you to grant validity to this post, you're probably a goat-shoat.

I believe that the Free Believers movement taking place all over the world is a great way of separating sheep from goats. ONLY sheep can survive outside the pen. The goats cannot follow us to where we are because they'll run out of breath or starve to death. Surviving in the wild takes all heart in order to make it. It's either sink or swim out here. Learning to live in the wild is one thing, but reclaiming your identity as a heart-thinker sometimes takes years.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Using EFT when a specific word triggers you

Here's an interesting article from the EFT Insights e-newsletter, and while it has some 'new age' or non-Christian leanings; it has some good information. I'm going to quote the parts that are applicable regardless of one's faith (and it also ties in to some of the premises behind TPM or Theophostic Prayer which I'm going to write more about later).

By Jo Hainsworth

When I commented to a friend recently that I was struggling with reading a book because of the word ‘God’ appearing in it regularly, she suggested I try using EFT on it. Despite being a real advocate for EFT, after seeing amazing results for myself and others, I hadn’t even considered this as a possibility. This article details the process that I followed. It was just incredible how this netted amazing results in a very short time. I’m sure that you could use the same process with any other word that causes a negative reaction. If I had rated my reaction to the word when I started it would have been a level of intensity of 10 out of 10, and having done the EFT, I would now say it is a 0 out of 10.

I began by listing down all the memories I have of things that could have given me a bias against the word ‘God’. I didn’t think I’d have much to write down, as I was brought up without any religion at all, but soon had a list of 7 things that stood out as experiences with the word or concept of God that could have potentially left me with an issue with it. My intention at the start was to work through tapping each of the 7 experiences over a number of days, then trying some reframing using Wayne Dyer’s 7 Faces of Intention/God which I intellectually liked when I read them, but had been unable to really buy into because of my negative reaction to the word.
I next decided to tap the earliest memory, because experience working as an EFT practitioner has taught me that if we can collapse the earliest event that resulted in us taking on a belief, all the other events that simply reinforced that belief often tend to resolve soon after. The earliest memory I had was of being told about a man who lived nearby to us who was said to be doing something very cruel that resulted in a number of animals dying, who went to church each Saturday to Confession. As I started working with this event, a vow that I had made when I was about 9 or 10, and never consciously thought of again since, popped into my mind. I could suddenly clearly remember thinking “If God is OK with that sort of cruelty, so long as you go to church and confess it, I’m not having anything to do with God!”

I know from working with others (and from the Stephen Daniels in the Using EFT for Chronic Diseases DVD) that a vow made as a child or young person can alter the course of our lives, so I decided to tap not only on the event itself, and my memories surrounding it, but also the vow too. I started with tapping on the event, and while I hadn’t thought about it for over 25 years, found myself crying and feeling quite emotional. I tapped through all the emotions and words that came up for me, and by the time I’d finished tapping on the event, I realised that the person involve just didn’t know any better. No longer a monster in my mind, they became someone who simply lacked awareness. I then moved onto the vow, tapping on:

Even though I made a vow that day that if that's what God was like, I wouldn’t have anything to do with him, I now choose to recognise that God was misrepresented that day and to let the vow go. ... This was no longer an intellectual thought, after simply tapping the choices statement to set up my intention, the earliest memory and the vow that had come up as a result of it, my entire attitude towards the word ‘God’ had changed. As I couldn’t get any charge on any of the remaining issues on the list, it felt totally redundant to do any tapping on any of them.

I know I've had instances where I've blamed God, or been mad at Him and then tapped on it. Of course I also had to tap on feeling like it wasn't even o.k. to be mad at Him, but then I realized He already knows how I feel. Then after I tap on it I can see whatever the issue is more objectively or better yet, from His perspective (through scripture and/or prayer).

Friday, August 1, 2008

Tables of Comparison of Selected Scriptures

I happened to be looking for something in my bookmarks, and as so often happens I ran across something else. It is as the title above states, a Table of Comparison of Selected Scriptures -- it compares various verses of the KJV, RV, NASB, NIV and NKJV translations. It's laid out very well, so I thought I'd share it here for those of you who may be interested.

At my church, my pastor reads from the NKJV (New King James Version), and I read from the NASB, so I sometimes notice differences and make notations if it looks like there's a big difference between the two.

I admit I haven't done any deep study on the topic. At home I have a larger KJV that I read along with the NASB, fwiw.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

In Defense of Theophostic

To add to the article I just posted about Theophostic, I wanted to point to another article I just found, with the same title as this post. It sounds to me like some of the underpinnings of this are very similar to what EFT does. Here's one part in particular I wanted to note:
Some Christians are suspicious of Theophostic® because it uses some truth that psychologists have discovered. For example, it acknowledges that we are complex human beings, and our present way of experiencing life is heavily predicated on our early childhood experiences.

And this ties into what many EFT practitioners have found, and in the arena of spiritual warfare, in at least a few books I've read, it is noted that it is frequently through significant traumatic or emotional events that the demonic gains access.

Overall I really enjoyed the article, and will be spending more time exploring this topic.

New to me - Theophostic Prayer

I exchanged some messages from someone on a discussion group for Christian EFT Practitioners (on Yahoo), and she mentioned Theophostic prayer ministry (TPM). I had heard of it, but hadn't really looked into it. So I did a search and found an article titled A Biblical Evaluation of Theophostic Ministry that I want to comment on.

Some of the quotes taken from the founder of TPM, Dr. Smith, I very much agree with. I suspect most EFT practitioners, regardless of faith, would also agree. Here's a sample:

"Recovery is not building strong defenses against the lies or controlling undesirable behavior. Genuine recovery is freedom from the lies that control and dictate such behavior" (Genuine Recovery, p.10).

"If a person is truly recovered, then relapse should not be a concern…" (Genuine Recovery, p.12).

The article goes on to say:
That Theophostic offers new "methods" is indisputable. But that it offers new "applications" (presumably of Scripture) would be hard to establish. The proposal that Jesus Christ must directly reveal to a struggler the specific lie he is believing (not through Scripture or through bringing Scripture to mind, but directly) — that He does this only as painful memories are re-visited — and that Jesus himself must then personally refute that lie in that person’s heart, not merely in general but while the person is recalling the life context in which he began embracing that lie — these are not notions derived from a study of Scripture. They are new revelation.
I say it is not a new revelation, it is entirely scriptural if you take into account the spiritual side of the equation. And EFT has a similar approach, though EFT helps relieve the emotional 'hold' that keeps the lie in place, from my perspective. I'll probably expand on that in another article, but it's basically my premise behind using EFT as a tool in spiritual warfare. I think that would be in agreement with

Luk 8:35 ESV
(35) Then people went out to see what had happened, and they came to Jesus and found the man from whom the demons had gone, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind, and they were afraid. (emphasis added)

I think, from some of what's in the article, that it's written from a Reformed / Calvinist theology, which I don't hold. It appears to me that TPM is predicated on the Holy Spirit speaking directly to a believer, and that it's a form of deliverance (though they may not call it that, it'll be a bit before I have a better grasp of that.) However, in this article the author appears not to believe that the Holy Spirit speaks directly to believers, even though that belief is unscriptural. I think they believe that the following passages only applied to the Apostles at pentacost and now they don't apply.

And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; (Joh 14:16 KJV)

But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
(Joh 14:26 KJV)

Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.
(Joh 16:7 KJV)

Here's the part of the article that talks of the Holy Spirit:
So what do people need? "They need an experience." People need Jesus Christ to talk directly to their souls. This is not the secret work of the Holy Spirit, blowing like the wind, regenerating a person or strengthening him with power in his inner being (Ephesians 3:16).
This is the second person of the Trinity, the Son of God, directly speaking extra-biblical (although not anti-biblical) content into the person’s heart."
So to the author's way of thinking, the Holy Spirit does a 'secret work' and not according to the following verse of scripture: (13) When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. (14) He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. (Joh 16:13-14 ESV) However, the author at least says it isn't anti-biblical. It's a long article, but there's just one more part of it that I want to comment on, which also reveals the Reformed point of view, and ties in with a previous blog article I wrote. Here's a quote from the latter part of the Theophostic article:

Then why does it work?

We might ask, "Suppose Theophostic is shown to be in error — how do
we explain that it often seems to help people?" God alone can answer this. But two suggestions follow. [...]

Do any of these cases prove that the supplicants’ methods were justified? Not at all. They prove only that God sometimes responds generously to our misguided — or even sinful — approaches toward him. Many people no doubt pray sincerely during Theophostic sessions. God is at liberty to answer any of them with mercy, even while his Word demonstrates the error of their approach.

Second,in many cases people may merely be imagining that Christ speaks to them or that they receive divine help. The power of suggestion is very strong. [He then goes on to quote from a book titled Abnormal Psychology about the power of suggestion. Which begs the question of whether the field of psychology even acknowledges the spiritual realm -- but that's another topic I won't address here.]

What I do want to address is the statement: "God sometimes responds generously to our misguided — or even sinful — approaches toward him." and "God is at liberty to answer any of them with mercy, even while his Word demonstrates the error of their approach."

The above statements seem to imply, at least to me, that there is a 'right way' to approach God, outside of being a believer in the finished work of Jesus Christ. I think that idea borders on witchcraft, where you have to say the 'right words' and perform the 'right actions' to (allegedly) get results. I wanted to respond with the following verses of scripture that came to mind when I read that, which to me are in direct opposition to the premise:

Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. (Heb 4:16 KJV)

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. (Heb 11:6 KJV)

Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. (Jer 29:12-13 KJV)

That's my response to this article, though I'll probably have more on TPM.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

More on Todd Bentley

Here is an excellent article about TB and the 'Florida outpouring'. It's a pretty long article, so I'm just going to give the link (above) -- it has some information that I hadn't seen before and it's well worth reading.

Time to 'Get Real'

This is from an article titled Authentic Spirituality The whole article is worth reading , it's a bit long - here's a few paragraphs:

I think we do this because deep in our hearts we're trying to sell Jesus to the public. We attempt to make Him out to be more than He is in an effort to spark interest. We present "life with Jesus" as though it's a continuous mountain-top experience that comes with batteries included and a life-time guarantee. If this isn't your personal experience with Him, something is wrong with your spirituality. Sadly, the result of this pattern of exaggeration is that people chase a carrot that is always just out of reach and then become depressed and disillusioned.

Let me be the first to say that the reason you can't find the peace and joy and freedom that you've heard about is because it doesn't exist. At least not in the way it's been presented. The Christian life as advertised to you is a lie! The promises and claims that were made to you about Jesus were nothing but a list of sales tactics to close the deal. After all, who would reject eternal happiness and contentment? Who in their right mind would walk away from a Jesus who could make all their problems go away overnight? Who would say no to instantaneous freedom and victory? Especially when it's as easy as 1, 2, 3. Rattle off a quick sinner's prayer and you're on your way to a life of constant adventure and roller-coaster spirituality.

I think there is something to be said for the way Jesus presented Himself 2000 years ago. He rode into the city on the back of an ass. Now that resonates with my life! I get this real and raw picture in my mind, "Life on an Ass," and it rings true. Maybe it's not a popular concept with the Christian world, but the fact is, life is humdrum. There are "up" days and there are "down." There are times of purpose and times of purposelessness. There are extended times when there is clear direction and you know where you're going and then there are times when you just sit and stare at the walls and go nowhere. Life with Jesus is not filled with a continuous vibration of exhilaration and adventure. Scripture never promised that to us.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

The Faith of a Mustard Seed


One, mustard seed grows every place in the cold climates as well as hot ones. It can grow in any type of soil. It is disease-resistant and hardy. It comes in four different kinds of color: yellow, white, brown and black. And it is described as a TROUBLESOME seed. That word TROUBLESOME caught my immediate attention! Something clicked! For then I remembered the story of the unjust judge:

"There was in a city a judge which feared not God, neither regarded man, and there was a widow in that city, and she came unto him, saying. Avenge me of mine adversary. And he would not for awhile but afterward he said within himself, though I fear not God nor regard man, yet because this widow TROUBLETH me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me. And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith. And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find FAITH on the earth?"

Here was a revelation! The mustard seed certainly caused that farmer a lot of trouble...because it kept on multiplying and multiplying, just as that woman kept nagging that judge night and day about her case! And Jesus had linked her act of being persistent with FAITH!! The word "weary me" in this scripture is described as a "pugilist" (prize fighter) constantly pounding somebody in the eye! What does a prize fighter get in the ring to do? To keeping up the blows until the opponent goes down and he wins the bout!

Mustard seed, when crushed, sets off a pungent also stings and hurts! It definitely gets your attention! And Jesus had used an unjust judge in this illustration to tell us that we have a JUST judge...our God! And would He not avenge us of our adversaries, our problems, our situations if we too could have this same kind of persistence? I had now discovered why Jesus had linked mustard seed to was hidden in that story of the unjust judge! He even closed out the discourse by saying, "When the Son of Man cometh, shall He find faith on the earth?" (Luke 18:8). Mustard-seed faith?

See the rest of the article here.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Florida 'revival' - using discernment

Here's a good video that offers some sound advice (imho). It's about 10 minutes long. Also, given something he says near the beginning of the video, I wanted to share an experience I had before I posted the 1st post about this so-called revival in Florida. I'd been praying for discernment, and I was getting something in the kitchen prior to reading an article on the Apostasy Watch web site-- and I clearly heard a threatening voice behind me warning me to 'stop researching this'.
Prior to that, I wasn't particularly planning to post anything here about the 'revival' or 'outpouring', whatever they're calling it this week; since no one had actually asked for my opinion. BUT, since some demonic voice was trying to get me to stop researching I decided after I read the article to post about it, too.

Also, here's a link to the video I'd just watched when I saw the video above on the sidebar, and watched it. Pray for protection before watching it, if you watch it. I haven't watched many of these, but for some reason I did this one, and one thing I noticed was TB giving what I call the 'devil's hi sign' or it's also called devil's horns, at 2:14 into the video (total time for this one is about 6 minutes). And, he gives the sign with his left hand, and the church of satan calls itself 'the left hand way'. The implications are not good, to put it mildly.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

GRACE - it's just not fair

I wanted to share this video - just 3 minutes; and it almost brought tears to my eyes!

Friday, June 20, 2008

More on EFT and Christians

I just updated the article on my website about whether EFT is ok for Christians?, and wanted to post some of that here, in relation to acupuncture:
In the book They Shall Expel Demons , Derek Prince tells of a Chinese doctor in Malaysia as follows, leading to the inescapable conclusion that acupuncture is not something a Christian should engage in or practice:
About eight years ago, at a retreat in Singapore, God spoke to me about the dangers of acupuncture and its link to the occult, especially its inseparable origin with traditional Chinese religion. I immediately renounced my practice of acupuncture - a skill I learned in Hong Kong and practiced successfully for five years.

... I gathered all my machines, needles, books, diploma and charts and made a great bonfire of them publicly. The total cost of the items was about $15,000-- but the blessings after that were priceless because:

1. My wife, who had suffered from chronic migraine and had acupuncture, done by me many times before, was immediately healed without medicine or prayer.
2. My unexplained fear of darkness immediately vanished.
3. My medical practice, instead of suffering a loss, received a doublefold increase in blessings. [i]

There are 3 more paragraphs of the letter, well worth reading. After reading this (June 2008), I again became concerned about using EFT, since I obviously don't want to be involved in something that would be spiritually dangerous, and it is nominally based on the acupuncture meridian system. So I prayed, being ready to renounce EFT publically, along with re-doing this article and re-thinking this ministry. Had I been deceived? I slept on it, and when I woke up I remembered my dilemna and prayer, and here's what I believe the Lord revealed to me: 'The training for acupuncture involves many hours of study, and that study involves a good deal of the spiritual basis of the practice. However, one can learn EFT without any particular spiritual basis behind it.' Essentially leading to the conclusion that I can continue with the EFT work. However, I am also open to the thoughts of other believers on this topic.

Prince, Derek They Shall Expel Demons © 1998 by Derek Prince, Chosen Books, Grand Rapids MI,(Sixteenth Printing March 2008),pg 135.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The devil loves to take over those who hold political office

Here's an interesting article I thought I'd pass on --

Famous exorcist: 'The devil loves to take over those who hold political office'

Fr. Gabriele Amorth - Rome, Jun 6, 2008 / 11:10 am

In an interview with the magazine "Maria Mensajera," famous Italian exorcist Father Gabriele Amorth said, "Everybody is vulnerable to the work of Satan" and that "the devil loves to take over those who hold political office."

The Spanish daily "La Razon" published the interview in an article by Alexander Smoltczyk in which the 82 year-old priest describes what happens in an exorcism. He said he has performed more than 70,000.

"Evil exists in politics, quite often in fact," Father Amorth said. "The devil loves to take over business leaders and those who hold political office. Hitler and Stalin were possessed. How do I know? Because they killed millions of people. The Gospel says: 'By their fruits you will know them.' Unfortunately, an exorcism on them would not have been enough, since they were convinced of what they were doing. We can't say it was a possession in the strict sense of the word, but rather a total and voluntary acceptance of the suggestions of the devil."

"I tell those who come to see me to first go to a doctor or a psychologist," the priest continued. "Most of the time there is a physical or psychological basis for explaining their suffering. The psychiatrists send me the incurable cases. There is no rivalry. The psychiatrist determines if it is an illness, the exorcist if it is a curse," Father Amorth explained.

Nobody, he went on, not even himself, is "safe from the devil. Everyone is vulnerable." "The devil is very intelligent. He retains the intelligence of the angel that he was."

"Suppose, for example, that someone you work with is envious of you and casts a spell on you. You would get sick. 90 percent of the cases that I deal with are precisely spells. The rest are due to membership in satanic sects or participation in séances or magic. If you live in harmony with God, it is much more difficult for the devil to possess you," Father Amorth stated.

"The Pope supports exorcists," he explained, but "satanic sects are proliferating," and for this reason Father Amorth said his calendar for the next two months is full."I work seven days a week, from morning until night, including Christmas Eve and Holy Week," he said.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

An article about EFT for Christians

I was testing search engine keywords for my website, and one of the results was this article which adds a good perspective to the question. The title for the article is: Is EFT Appropriate for Christians? by Sally Creed, on the Family Christian Counseling Center website. Enjoy!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

The Florida revival - 'real deal' or demonic deception?

Like some of you have probably seen, I've seen some articles online about the 'Lakeland Revival' happening in Florida. Prior to this, I'd not really heard of Todd Bentley. Some of the articles I'd read are not very flattering, but on the other hand if this IS a 'move of God' and people are really being healed, then I didn't want to write against it. Mostly what I've done is to pray for discernment and that if it is a demonic deception, that God make that clear to me and more importantly to those of His children that are in the middle of it. I live on the other side of the country from where this 'revival' is going on, and I don't have; so except for reading a few articles I've mostly ignored it.

Since one of the main topics of this blog is spiritual warfare, and discernment and demonic activity very much relate to spiritual warfare, I decided to post what I've come up with. My answer to the question posed in the title is: demonic deception. Over a year ago, close to 2 years ago perhaps, I subscribed to the email list for 'Extreme Prophetic' with Patricia King. I'd seen some of her video's on her website and some of them had some good info. (She's more lately turned almost exclusively to the 'glory' and manifestations of this 'glory' -- and the word that came to mind when I prayed for discernment about that was 'sorcery'; but otherwise I'll leave it at that.)

On May 20 I received an email from XPMedia with the title:
Revival is for YOU and it is for NOW! Grab Hold of the Spirit of Revival and Bring it to Your Region!
I thought that was kind of interesting and sort of creepy & scary at the same time. So, I sent an email quoting part of the email as follows:
On Tue, May 20, 2008 at 8:52 AM, EXTREME PROPHETIC - XPMEDIA <patriciakinginjesus...> wrote:
<In addition to the powerful presence of God, and all the miracles, there are two things that really jump out about the revival going on in Lakeland. The first is that the Spirit of Revival moving there is so impartable. Everyone who comes back from Lakeland feels the Lord has told them to give it away, give it away, give it away! The second thing that jumps out is that it seems to be God's plan for this to be a revival that spreads!>
I have a question, if we have the Holy Spirit, why do we need a 'Spirit of Revival' ?? Is this one of the gifts of the Spirit? The fact that this 'spirit' is 'so impartable' makes my discernment antennae go up. Are they 'giving it away' with or without the gospel being preached? Is it for believers only, or are non-believers receiving this 'spirit' too?

I am in prayer about it, and hope it's for real, but there's a creepiness about it that gives me pause.

Here's the response I received, from Ruth Ripley at xpmedia:

Well, the spirit of revival is just an igniting of our spirits to get out there and do the “stuff”………it’s not like a 'real spirit' whereas the HOLY SPIRIT is actually real.

How's that for a non-response?

The following article is what finally convinced me that this 'move' is a demonic deception, below is a pivotal quote from an article: Todd Bentley Imports Anti-Christ Spirit
Based on the Holy Bible, Todd Bentley could not be imparting the Holy Spirit of GOD, since one human cannot impart the Holy Spirit to another, nor anoint one with the Holy Spirit. It shows in the Holy Bible, however, that one can impart demons. In Revelation 16:

12 Then the sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up, so that the way of the kings from the east might be prepared. 13 And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs coming out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. 14 For they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.

As I thought and thought about why on earth Todd Bentley would blow on people when he does this impartation…this verse soon came to mind. What on earth is in Todd Bentley that he not only wants to touch you to give it to you, but needs to blow it on you, too? My guess is that unclean spirits have possessed Todd Bentley and are spreading themselves among the willing. What on earth could all of those convulsions be about. Does Todd Bentley want us to believe that when the Holy Spirit manifests, He makes you shake your head from side to side, swing your arms wildly and fall backwards seemingly unconscious? [Might I also mention the uncontrollable laughter, twitching; literally behaving like an animal and making strange, guttural sounds?]

In addition, here some more good articles here: click on 'what's new' and then the link for The Florida 'Revival'.

The ones I'd recommend are 'Warning about watching 'revival' videos' by Joseph Urban; as well as 'Most 'contagious' anointing' by Andrew Strom.

Addition to post Wed May 28, 2008

Apparently Todd Bentley claims to have visitations from 'angels'; most notably one called Emma O and another one related to the Florida Revival is called Winds of Change .
The most important question would be: are these angels of God? Or demonic spirits? I haven't done a thorough study of the Bible in relation to angels, but from what I've gathered they are NOT called upon by us to increase our finances or to do healing. If, in response to a prayer to our Heavenly Father, He sends an angel on an assignment, or to communicate a message, that's all well and good.

So I wanted to share the following passage of scripture that appears to me to relate to this issue.

Col 2:18 Let no one defraud you by acting as an umpire {and} declaring you unworthy {and} disqualifying you for the prize, insisting on self-abasement and worship of angels, taking his stand on visions [he claims] he has seen, vainly puffed up by his sensuous notions {and} inflated by his unspiritual thoughts {and} fleshly conceit, [From the Amplified Bible ]

Friday, May 16, 2008

Destined to Reign - Grace has a name!

I previously wrote about reading a book called Destined to Reign by pastor Joseph Prince. Due to previous mental programming, I thought that maybe the title was a little presumptuous. But that's o.k., because He is faithful to show the way, one step at a time. And, it's also scriptural --
Rom 5:17 KJVA
(17) For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; [meaning Adam] much
more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness
shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)
and closely following that verse:
Rom 5:21 KJVA
(21) That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.

As I was reading the book, I came to page 149 where it discusses Romans 8:1, where the KJV says:
Rom 8:1 KJVA
(1) There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

So many (including myself) have come to the understanding that IF you walk after the Spirit, there is no condemnation; but IF you walk after the flesh, there IS condemnation. When I was growing up, my 1st step-mother would either threaten or proclaim that some 'wrong' action had put you on her 'shit-list'. Some days, it didn't take much more than having a pulse to put you there - seriously! So my view of God was somewhat colored by that, wondering if I was on or off that list. How wonderful to begin to glimpse the Truth of His grace.
In addition to e-Sword (electronic Bible); I have a print copy of the King James version and an NASB, as well as a Lamsa translation and the Jewish New Testament translation by David H. Stern. So before I finished reading pg 149 in Destined to Reign, I jumped up and got my NASB Bible and read that it says:
Rom 8:1 Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ

Then I turned the page, and see that on pg 150 Joseph Prince has the NASB translation there, too. Wow, that's amazing, was what I thought. Now I know there's some controversy about the different translations, and there's the 'King James only' crowd, so take a look at this
discussion about that, in relation to this passage, if you'd like.

In case you're wondering, here's a couple of other translations:

There is therefore no condemnation to them who walk in the flesh after the
Spirit of Jesus Christ. (Romans 8:1 - Lamsa translation)

And in the Jewish New Testament it reads:
Therefore there is no longer any condemnation awaiting those who are in union
with the Messiah Yeshua.

As I was pondering this insight, the Spirit had me look up the following passage, in effect He's confirming the NASB (and similar) translations:
Joh 3:17-18 KJVA
(17) For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
(18) He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
Notice it says 'He [or in my case she] that believeth on him is not condemned:...' with no qualifiers! (in verse 3:10 it says: "Jesus answered and said unto him..." and then it goes on. So if you have a 'red letter' Bible, John 3:17 and 18 are written in red!) So what Paul wrote to the Romans was and is in agreement with the words that Jesus himself spoke, and there is no higher authority!

As Joseph Prince says (I've watched some of his YouTube videos) - Hallelujah!
Knowing that goes a long way toward being relieved of the fear of condemnation, as a believer. It'll be a process to fully grasp the understanding and being able to rest in His finished work, and of course EFT can help in that process. More to come!