The Intercession of God

“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” Luke 22:31-32. 

“Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:26-28.

“In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.” Ephesians 1:13-14.

Shortly after recovering from a pneumonia that brought me near to death last year and also receiving word that I still faced open heart surgery I entered a period of spiritual warfare that I have discussed elsewhere in these pages. At my lowest I was in a dark place, with my shield of faith lowered and the wicked one’s fiery missiles beginning to find their mark (Ephesians 6:16). Just then, God gave me several verses which caused me to raise my shield anew and recover from the spiritual depression I was in.

The first and most important verse was Luke 22:31-32, given one night in the hospital as I was struggling with oppressive thoughts of death and the uncertain future of my health. It came to my mind out of nowhere and instantly extinguished the missiles of the enemy. Right after, the Romans verse came to mind and I remembered that, like Peter, the only way my faith did not fail was that the Spirit was praying for me, constantly interceding so my weak faith would not fail. In fact, the only way I can stand any day of my life is God praying for me, otherwise Satan would sift me like wheat.

I had not thought about these verses in a while nor had access to a Bible at the time I received them but God graciously brought the verses to memory just when I needed them. God continued to give me wonderful verses in the days following and soon the dark time passed and today I have good health (everything did work together for good) but I have often remembered these two verses since.

It has become a great comfort to me to know that my ability to stand is entirely in His hands and not in my weak nature. Satan demands of God to have me and every Christian for that matter, and absent God he would have us to sift. But we can rest in the fact that we are sealed with the Holy Spirit as the guarantee of our future inheritance and in the meantime He is constantly interceding for us to help us stand. Praise God!

Children of the Devil

1 John 3-8 He Who Practices Sin Belongs To The Evil One blackThis is a dreadful topic, but it explains a lot of what is happening in our day.  Moreover, it is true and we need not ignore the designs, purposes, and plans of God.  “The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.  No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God.  This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not God’s child, nor is anyone who does not love their brother and sister.” (1 John 3: 8-10).

Here is a foreboding message – there are children of the Devil in this world.  Hitler, McVey, and others who arm themselves, go into crowded unprotected places and start killing people, then kill themselves.  There could be many more and some might surprise us since their evil work may be done in secret, like abortionists who together kill thousands of innocent babies in their mother’s womb, then sell the body parts for profit.  There are horrible atrocities, some unspeakable, that have happened down through the centuries. In fact, the entire world’s population prior to the flood was so wicked that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. (Gen. 6: 5).  God started over with Noah and his immediate family, because Noah found favor or grace in the eyes of the Lord.  Yeshua told us that it was like the enemy sowing weed seed in with the good farmers wheat crop. (Matt. 13: 24-30).  The key point of the parable was that the farmer told the servants not to pull up the weeds, lest they inadvertently damage the wheat plants in the process.  He said, let them grow together and they will be separated at the harvest.

God is love and He is good, merciful, compassionate, and patient; but He is also just and part of His justice is the wrath that is being stored up for those to whom it is due.  Sin is lawlessness and it is sin that brings forth wrath.  “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom. 6: 23).  The wrath of God is reserved for all sin and rebellion, even things that we may consider minor like gossip, greed, filthy language, etc. (Col. 3: 5).  However, through Yeshua’s death on the cross all who believe receive the gift of righteousness and eternal life.  No sin is too great to be forgiven through the blood of Yeshua, the Lamb of God.

Here is the main thing for believers – do not judge.  “You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.” (Rom. 2: 1). We are imperfect at identifying the children of the devil, because we also are broken with a fallen human nature and because we are not authorized to judge.  “But I tell you, do not resist an evil person.  If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also…But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven.  He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” (Matt. 5: 39, 44-45).

God puts us in family and the congregation of believers is important for us individually and collectively.  The saints are so important to God, He says, “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his faithful servants.” (Psalm 116: 15).  Your life is in God’s hands and your destiny and purposes are watched over by Yeshua, Messiah, King of Kings.  The Kingdom of our God is advancing, the enemy is defeated and waging a losing battle against the children of God because God is for us, not against us.  His good and perfect will is being fulfilled everyday.  The Lord Yeshua will return to earth and redeem His people Israel together with all who call upon His Name.  Glory and blessing await the children of God.

Satan’s Teat

36szlig7lul011 Peter 2:2-3 “Like newborn babies, thirst for the pure milk of the word so that by it you may grow in your salvation.  Surely you have tasted that the Lord is good!”

Scripture encourages us to study God’s Word in order to grow in the Lord. Learning and applying God’s Word to our lives, strengthens our faith and our faithfulness.  Like newborn babies, our vision is not clear when we turn and grope the wrong teat.  Too often, we are satisfied with Satan’s teat.  It tastes good, feels good, and is readily available.  Satan’s teat of deception is anti-God as it hinders both growth and good works.

Below are symptoms of those who are sucking from the wrong teat:

  1. They doubt God’s word – the Bible.  Satan always begins here.  If he can get you to doubt God’s Word – he’s got you.  Just like when he told Eve that God didn’t really mean that her disobedience would result in death, Satan deceives many by telling them what they want to hear, “You can rebel against God without consequences” (Genesis 3, John 8:4).
  2. Their Bible study consist of reflecting on how verses or stories can benefit their personal lives.  The primary focus of Bible study should be to draw closer to God – to know Him, to grow in faith, and to learn how to glorify God by doing His will.  Personal application comes with knowledge and wisdom (Romans 10:17, Psalm 119:151-153).
  3. Their prayer life is void of self-reflection and repentance.  Prayer is about developing a strong relationship with Father God as we seek to worship Him in spirit and truth.  We must go before God in humility, with remorse and repentance for our sins in order to have a right relationship with Him (Luke 18:9-14, Acts 3:19, James 4:8, Psalm 145:18-19, Philippians 4:6-7).
  4. They think they need to apologize for God.  For example, they think the Old Testament paints God as intolerant, revengeful, judgmental, and violent, therefore they excuse the Old Testament as no longer relevant in today’s progressive society. They avoid the use of the word “blood” and other offensive words when discussing Christ and His work.  They insist on making the Gospel socially acceptable and not offensive.  In other words, they think that they know more about who God is and what He expects than what He said and demonstrated in Scripture (Psalm 7:11, 1 Corinthians 2:14, Romans 3:4, Psalm 18:30 and 92:15, 2 John 1:9-11, Romans 12:1-2).
  5. They think all religions have some validity.  Jesus was clear…..He is the only way to the Father.  There is no other name under heaven whereby we can be saved (John 14:6, Acts 4:12).
  6. They refuse to make a stance against immorality.  Weak Christians don’t stand up against sin.  They go along, to get along.  Daniel refused to be defiled and he was determined to glorify God, and God alone, even in life and death situations (Daniel 1 and 6, Romans 16:18, James 4:17, ).
  7. They believe a good God won’t send anyone to hell.  They think that only Hitler and a few others like him will be in hell.  Jesus said wide is the gate that leads to destruction – any many find it.  Narrow is the gate to eternal life – and few find it (Matthew 7:13-14, 13:42, and 25:4-6 and 41, Ezekiel 18:20, 2 Thess. 1:9, Jude 1:7).
  8. They don’t recognize modern forms of idolatry such as pride, vanity, materialism, celebrity worship, self-sufficiency, self-indulgence, and humanism. Self-actualization, meditation outside of meditating on Scripture and the practice of Yoga are also forms of idolatry as people glorify “self” and self-sufficiency (1 Corinthians 10:7 & 14, Revelation 9:20, Psalm 135:15-18, Exodus 20:3-6, 1 Timothy 4:1, 1 John 4:1).
  9. They don’t grieve over the sins of America and the world….many even think the world is getting better.  As we approach the last days, the Bible warns that it will be as in the days of Noah – when every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time.  God hated the sin of Noah’s day as demonstrated by his total annihilation of every human and animal, except those saved by God in the ark. Today’s culture turns morality upside down.  “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness” (Isaiah 5:20).  This world is on a downward spiral and sin is ramped – this sinful culture should grieve every believer (Genesis 6:5-8, Galatians 5:19-21, 1 Corinthians 3:19, Matt. 24:37-39).
  10. They aren’t hungry for more of God.  The one who is satisfied with Satan’s teat will never hunger for a closer walk with God.  They will never dig deep into Scripture and grow in faith, knowledge and wisdom.  They cling to Satan’s teat of deception as they blindly grope for more. (Ephesians 4:14, Psalm 52:3, 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12).

If you suffer from one or more of the symptoms above, ask God to refocus your devotion to Him and His Word.  Draw near to God and He will draw near to you…” (James 4:8).

“Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall” (1 Cor. 10:12).

 

 

 

The Gift of Discerning of Spirits

wpid-damsel-intro“For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.” I Corinthians 12:8-10.

The Gift of Discernment of Spirits is the capacity to distinguish the source of a spiritual manifestation – whether it emanates from a good or evil spirit.  All Christians have the responsibility to “test the spirits” to see if a message being delivered conforms to the Word of God – “Beloved, do not believe Continue reading

Accusations

11327095_1680424062187557_88332089_nHave you ever heard accusations in your mind?  Are they immediately after some interaction with someone or as a consequence of your own thoughts or actions?  Are they out of the blue almost random accusations pointing out your weakness, things you have already confessed from the distant past, or things that you could never make right or even address in a reasonable manner.  If you are a believer, the enemy is set on destroying, stealing or killing your faith.  Jesus said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”  John 10:10.

The enemy is… Continue reading

The Unman

UnmanI have often imagined Satan as a super intelligent being perhaps only a little less intelligent than God himself.  However, in the fiction story told in the book, Perelandra, written by C. S. Lewis the being representative of Satan is described as more like “an imbecile or a monkey or a very nasty child”.  Perelandra was the story of the Fall of Man repeated in another Garden of Eden on another planet.  In this story, Eve (The Lady in the story) does not succumb to the temptations of Satan (called the “Unman” in the story) even through he used “plenty of subtlety and intelligence” to try to seduce her to sin against God (named Maledldil’s in the story).  However, the story noted that the Unman regarded intelligence as a weapon and when the Lady dismissed him for a while it reverted to its true form of practicing petty wickednesses such as grabbing fur or feathers to torture a beast or pulling up leaves of a plant.  The Unman was at heart not a sophisticated intelligent being at all but just wicked, a nasty child.  “Thought was for it a device necessary to certain ends, but thought in itself did not interest it. “

C S Lewis’s observations ring true.  Satan is not a being with a super intelligence.  He is a trickster, devious and cunning but not in an intelligent way – in a destructive way.