Daily Archives: June 25, 2014

Questions about Angels and Demons: How Much Emphasis Should Be Given to Demonic Deliverance in the Christian Life?

 

There are two extremes in people’s thinking about demons. One says that what we call demons are nothing more than negative thoughts and behaviors that any human being is capable of. Those who hold this view believe that “deliverance” from a “demon” is brought about by the application of self-control; this view is usually accompanied by the discounting of anything supernatural. The other extreme says that any bad happening whatsoever is the work of demons. Those who hold this view often “rebuke” everything from the common cold to a drop in the stock market. The correct emphasis on demonic deliverance lies somewhere between these two extremes.

Scripture is clear that demons are real and that they interfere in human affairs (Matthew 12:43; Mark 1:26; Acts 8:7). Demons were very much at work in Bible times, and there is no reason to assume that demons are inactive now (1 Peter 5:8). However, among those who do believe demons are at work today, there are a variety of perspectives. Some tend to over-emphasize the work of Satan, giving him more attention than he deserves. Our focus should be on the glory of God and His righteousness (Matthew 6:33), since “the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world” (1 John 4:4). Satan and God are not “equal” or “balanced” opposites, in a yin-yang way. Satan is a created, finite being who possesses only the power God allows him to have (Job 1:9–10).

Jesus cast out many demons during His earthly ministry, and the early church continued to address spiritual warfare after Jesus had ascended back to heaven (Acts 5:3; 8:7; Ephesians 6:11–13; 2 Corinthians 10:3–5). There is no evidence to suggest that Satan and his fallen angels have ceased to torment human beings. However, James 1:13–15 makes it clear that much of our struggle against sin is due to our own fleshly desires, not a direct attack from Satan.

The Greek word daimonizomai, often translated “demon-possessed” in the Gospels, simply means “demonized.” The word refers to more than just possession. Anyone under the influence of a demon could be considered “demonized.” Even a Christian can be “demonized” or suffer demonic oppression if he allows his thoughts, actions, or attitudes to be influenced by demons. Even Peter, one of the Lord’s closest friends, allowed himself to be a mouthpiece for Satan when he tried to talk Jesus out of going to the cross (Matthew 16:21–23). Although a Christian has been purchased by the blood of Jesus (John 10:28–29; Romans 5:9), Satan can still wreak a great deal of havoc if allowed. He cannot steal the soul of a Christian or possess him, but he can render him fruitless and rob his life of joy and victory.

Ephesians 6:10–17 instructs us in combating the forces of darkness. We are told to continually put on the “full armor of God” and “stand firm.” Although Satan and his forces are constantly at work to “steal, kill, and destroy” (John 10:10), God’s armor allows His children to be victorious against the attacks. Often, in situations when demonic oppression in a believer’s life is overwhelming, it is due to that believer’s sinful choices (2 Corinthians 2:11). We are told to resist the devil (James 4:7), be careful of him (1 Peter 5:8), and not give him room in our lives (Ephesians 4:27).

The most scriptural way of defeating demonic influence in a Christian’s life is to follow Jesus’ example when He was tempted by Satan. Luke 4:1–12 recounts the conversation between Jesus and Satan. Although Jesus is God in the flesh, He did not rely on His own wit or authority to rebuke His enemy. Every time Satan came against Him, He replied, “It is written …” The best defense against demonic attack is the Word of God (Ephesians 6:17).

Christians are in a spiritual battle, and we need to be aware of the spiritual realities around us. But our focus should not be on the demons; our eyes are to be fixed “on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2). That’s where the victory is.[1]

 

 

[1] Got Questions Ministries. (2010). Got Questions? Bible Questions Answered. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

Questions about False Doctrine: What Is Transcendentalism?

 

Transcendentalism is a philosophy that says that our knowledge of reality comes from an analysis of our own thought processes, rather than from scientific evidence. According to the transcendentalist, if God exists, He can be found through human intuition. Transcendentalism is most commonly associated with a philosophical/religious view developed in the mid-1800s by a group of mainly Unitarian and agnostic intellectuals in New England, including Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau.

Much of transcendental thinking comes from German idealism and the writings of Immanuel Kant, the philosopher generally seen as laying the foundation of all modern philosophy. Kant used the term transcendental to describe those a priori (nonanalytic) elements involved in empirical experience. Kant did not believe these elements to be “spiritual” in any sense, but he held that they did not originate with empiric observation and so were, in some sense, intuitive.

The transcendentalism of 1830–60s New England essentially hijacked Kant’s philosophy and applied his “transcendentals” to ideas as well as to the phenomenological realm. Thus, intuition was valued as a necessary guide in the understanding of all reality, including science, philosophy, and religion. This idea came from Samuel Taylor Coleridge as interpreted by Unitarian Minister Frederic Henry Hedge.

Hedge started a group that became the Transcendental Club, originally a discussion group for disenchanted Unitarian ministers and some others. Important transcendentalists include Emerson, Thoreau, Theodore Parker—who ultimately rejected even a Unitarian understanding of the supernatural—James Marsh, Caleb Henry, and Hedge himself. Margaret Fuller was also influential in the movement through her writing, editing, and organizing efforts.

Defining transcendentalism has been troublesome from its beginning. Emerson himself had great difficulty putting it succinctly, complaining in letters to his mother that people always asked him to define it because he was identified as a transcendentalist. It does not help that the only truly consistent belief among the original transcendentalists was Hedge’s adaptation of Coleridge’s interpretation of Kant—an already confusing chain of ideas! A conglomeration of many different definitions could be boiled down to “a philosophy of intuition as a guide for spirituality.”

Some transcendentalists have claimed to be Christian; however, the idea that a human, intuitive understanding of “the transcendental” can bring us to the truth is misguided. Transcendentalism directly conflicts with the biblical command to “lean not on your own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5). But the transcendentalists did more than trust their feelings. They also received guidance from Romantic poets like William Wordsworth and from the sacred texts of Hinduism. Thoreau, in Walden, spoke of how “in the morning I bathe my intellect in the stupendous and cosmogonal philosophy of the Bhagavad Gita.”

The Bible is truth (John 17:17). The heart of man is deceitful (Jeremiah 17:9). Those who rely on their own intuition and “good sense” to lead them to spiritual truth will find themselves being led astray (Isaiah 53:6).[1]

 

 

[1] Got Questions Ministries. (2010). Got Questions? Bible Questions Answered. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

Questions about Family / Parenting: What Does the Bible Say about Obeying Parents?

 

Obeying one’s parents is a direct command from God. “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right” (Ephesians 6:1). The word obey in this verse cannot be separated from the idea of “honoring” them. Ephesians 6:2–3 continues: “ ‘Honor your father and mother’—which is the first command with a promise—‘so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on earth.’ ” Honor has more to do with one’s attitude of respect toward one’s parents, and it’s understood that the obedience is to be done with an attitude of honor toward one’s parents. Grudging obedience does not conform to the command.

It may be challenging for children to learn to obey and honor their parents—for some children, it’s harder than others! But there is a very good reason for this command. Proverbs teaches that those who listen to their parents gain wisdom: “A wise son heeds his father’s instruction, but a mocker does not respond to rebukes” (Proverbs 13:1). God’s design is for children to learn to honor and obey their parents as they grow up so that they can live wisely. As they learn respect at home, they will respect others appropriately when they leave the home. Even young Jesus, though he was the Son of God, obeyed His earthly parents and as a result grew in wisdom (Luke 2:51–52). The Bible says that children who are not disciplined or who fail to obey to their parents are much worse off in life (see Proverbs 22:15; 19:18; and 29:15).

As children have a responsibility to obey their parents, parents have a responsibility to instruct their children in the ways of God. “Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4). But even if one’s parents are not following the command directed toward them, children still have the command to obey and respect their parents.

Our ultimate responsibility is to love and obey God, above all else. He has commanded children to obey their parents. The only appropriate reason for disobedience of one’s parents would be if the parents were instructing a child to do something that clearly goes against one of God’s commands. In that case, the child must obey God instead (see Acts 5:29)[1]

 

 

[1] Got Questions Ministries. (2010). Got Questions? Bible Questions Answered. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

“I have a Word:” An interview with Justin Peters

Benny Hinn

One of the movements we’ve covered on this program is the Word of Faith, name-it-claim-it prosperity gospel, which is really no Gospel at all, but a dangerous counterfeit that first crept into the church at the turn of the last century.  Check out these links for a complete rundown on what Word of Faith is, how it developed and who the historical and current leaders are.

There are watchmen on the wall who have done extensive research comparing these teachings to Scripture, and we’re going to meet one of them, Justin Peters, of the Justin Peters Ministry.

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How to watch the world cup: soccer and sanctification

 

If you are new to watching televised soccer, you might not know what exactly it is you are supposed to be looking for. You understand that the goal is goals… but certainly there is more nuance than that, right? If the average game is 2-1, then you are spending a lot of time watching something other than scoring. What exactly is it, and how do you enjoy it?

Here is the simplest explanation I can come up with, and if you understand this, then not only will you enjoy soccer, but you will be a better Christian as well—and yes, I meant to type that.

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10 Things This Huffington Post Writer Got Wrong About Hell

Like Sweeney, I too believe that a lot of what both Christians and non-Christians assume about Hell comes from the world and not from the Bible. Thus, I challenge all my readers to both tear down the straw-man Hells and see the truth of Scripture that lies uncorrupted beneath it all.

By my count, Sweeney got 3½ of his points right. Clearly that’s not a precise figure. But all 10 need to be addressed. Let’s go through his piece and see how it lines up with what God has long ago revealed about himself.

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7 Good Reasons To Stop Looking at Porn Right Now

There are certain topics I return to on a regular basis and, if you are a regular reader of this site, you know that one of those topics is pornography. I return to it again and again because I see the damage it is doing and I see the despair of those who are caught up in it. My goal for today is simple: I want to give you 7 good reasons you need to stop looking at porn right now.

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End Times Prophecy Headlines: June 25, 2014

End Times Prophecy Report

End Times Prophecy Report Headlines: Bible prophecy in Today's headlines. Bible prophecy in Today’s headlines.

End Times Prophecy Report
HEADLINES
June 25, 2014

CommentaryAnd OPINION

===INTERNATIONAL

BOLIVIA: China, G77 Tyrants, and UN Boss Demand “New World Order”

RUSSIA: Russia test-fires six new air-launched cruise missiles

RUSSIA:The Kremlin Is Trying To Erase Memories Of The Gulag

ISRAEL: Did Israel just start World War III?  Dave Hodges asks the question so that detractors can’t later put the blame on him when events prove him wrong–as they have time and again and again and again…

===NATIONAL

General Hayden: Obama pulled out of Iraq too soon; Obama set the stage for Iraqi collapse – A few observations. 1- There will be no end of military and ex-military pinning the blame on Obama.  Otherwise, the events in Iraq reflect badly on the military leadership. There are no more political animals alive than generals. 2- The U.S. military only had ten year to get…

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If The Clintons Are Worth 50 Million, Why Do They Get Nearly A Million A Year From The Taxpayers?

Since leaving the White House, the Clintons have earned at least 100 million dollars and currently have a net worth of up to 50 million dollars. So why in the world do the taxpayers need to give Bill Clinton $944,000 to fund his extravagant lifestyle in 2014? If ordinary Americans truly understood how much money many former politicians are being handed every year they would go bananas. According to a Congressional Research Service report that was published earlier this year, the federal government has given a total of nearly 16 million dollars to Bill Clinton since 2001. Each one of those dollars is a dollar that some U.S. taxpayer worked really hard for or that we had to borrow. Yes, we don’t want our former presidents to go broke for a whole bunch of reasons, but it is absolutely absurd that we are showering them with millions upon millions of dollars. (Read More….)

Intel Memo: Obamacare

While many are calling Obamacare an incredible failure, is it possible that it is doing exactly what it was intended to do – massively socialize America, crater the US economy, and badly divide (polarize) the American people – the haves versus the have-nots, the producers versus the non-producers, the givers versus the takers? The following are some of the political left’s objectives via Obamacare:

1. Obamacare’s goal was to bring about a Marxist society via redistribution of wealth. People of means, small business owners, and the middle class are having their assets stolen so that the money can be redistributed to non-taxpaying poor people (who vote Democrat). Consider this: If you’re rich or middle class, under Obamacare, you will have to pay for your own healthcare costs (at much higher rates) AND 30-40 million more people’s costs as well (through huge tax increases). You get to pay for it all! Welcome to Socialist America!

2. Obamacare is designed to eliminate the middle class and make them wards of the government. Consider this: Even Obama’s IRS has forecast that health insurance for a typical American family by 2016 will cost $20,000 annually. QUESTION: how can the average middle class American family pay that bill and have anything left for food, education, housing or a reasonable standard of living? People earning $40K or $50K or $60K will not be able to spend $20K on health insurance without being impoverished. And that is how the socialists plan to make the American middle class dependent on government. They will have to depend on the government for medical care. Welcome to Socialist America!

[ED. NOTE: This writer has long written that to control a people, establish a dictatorship, and ultimately world government, the socialists need/plan to control: a) The money/financial system (think central banks and Wall Street mega-banks; cashless society; abolition of all financial privacy; foreign exchange/capital controls); b) Food production/distribution (think FDA/EPA/USDA regulations restricting who grows what and where; think government-protected GMOs – which will ultimately dominate ALL food production); c) All information via complete control of the media (think of the government controlled liberal media monopoly in America); d) All healthcare via a socialist medical system (think Obamacare); e) All people movement (via internal police/security checkpoints, passport controls, etc.; f) The economy, which must be strangled (to reduce America to near Third World status).]

(Excerpt from McAlvany Intelligence Advisor, December 2013)

Count it all joy

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes in the Dispersion: Greetings. 2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (James 1:1-4 ESV) 

33 “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 ESV)

While the emergents and other forms of relativistic Christianity attempt to refocus Christians to this present age, we are clearly taught throughout the New Testament that what awaits us after we leave this life is that for which we should really be preparing. In the world, we will have tribulation (θλιψιν)…

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MANUFACTURING A GOD OF YOUR OWN

Samuel at Gilgal

sermon_IdolFactoryJ.C. Ryle:

“Beware of manufacturing a God of your own: a God who is all mercy, but not just; a God who is all love, but not holy; a God who as a heaven for everybody, but a hell for none; a God who can allow good and bad to be side by side in time, but will make no distinction between good and broad in eternity. Such a God is an idol of your own, as truly an idol as any snake or crocodile in an Egyptian temple. The hands of your own fancy and sentimentality have made him. He is not the God of the Bible, and beside the God of the Bible there is no God at all.”

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