Sunday, March 29, 2009

Spiritual Warfare--Tearing Down the Strongholds

The majority of mental strongholds started with, or will begin with, some form of hurt or trauma. A person in a weaken state becomes easy prey for strongholds. The plan of Satan is to separate you...separate you from yourself and to separate you from God. He will use a hurt or a trauma to have you brokenhearted and to become fleshly, leading you into a place of separation.
Our strongholds are erected by our wounded souls trying to protect keep pain and rejection out of our lives.

Hurt, pain and trauma broke our hearts.

We then began to indulge in sinful thinking.

We took part in sinful behavior.

We then defended our sinful thoughts and sinful living.

A stronghold is what our mind will use to defend sinful thinking against any opposition. We will use the hurts and traumas of our lives as reasons to defend the sinful life we live and the sinful way we think. The devil, ready any time of course, rushes in to reinforce our bitterness, jealousy, resentment, rejection, self-pity, ect. The devil knows exactly what hurt or trauma it will require to allow a stronghold to take hold. He knows what to do that will lead us to fortify those strongholds and to build new ones. Of course, his demons are drawn to strongholds and we must tear down and destroy any stronghold at once. We can not allow it to become stronger and stronger.

Christians don't set out to build strongholds, they build them piece by piece. The devil's armour is constructed of sinful reactions that we have chosen to indulge in.




Anger with sin










It is now that a stronghold has been built, with bitterness lodged, rooted and protected in our minds. In Ephesians we are told to rid ourselves of "all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander...". Our greatest weapons are the Word, prayer and repenting before God. We must pray scriptures to tear down the strongholds rooted in our minds, praying that God will reveal each of them to us. We must declare the Word of God, waging war against the devil and his strongholds. It is our choice to live with Godly responses to hurt, pain and trauma. We must purify our hearts and our minds, from all sinful thinking and sinful lifestyles. "Resist the devil and he will flee from you".

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Spiritual Warfare--Our Enemy

In this spiritual war that we fight, there is no neutral ground. We are either with Jesus and against Satan, or against the Lord and with Satan. We will either fight for the Lord, or fight for Satan, there is no neutral ground. The war is being fought, which side can you be found on.

The enemy, our enemy, in this war is Satan, that old serpent the devil. If we are to identify him and recognize him we must understand the construction of his army, his armour, and those things that he covets. As the prince of the power of the air, Lucifer, he has at his command over thousands of rebellious angels [Ephesians 2:2, 6:10]. He as Beelzebub, the prince of demons, has millions of earthbound evil spirits at his command [Luke 11:24]. We are told in 2 Cor. 4:4 that he is the god of this present world and its system.

He is a thief, that has come but to steal, kill and destroy. The armour he wears is composed of the forces of sin and rebellion. These are manifested in many forms, such as sickness, drunkenness, poverty, fear, despair, divorce, mental anguish, and addictions. The devil seeks to have for himself the lives of the sinners, the backslid christian, all that lives and all the earth's resources. All of creation come into subjection to Satan when Adam fell allowing the devil to have control. Satan rules through a well-organized army of angelic princes, governors and generals. They war against us by hindering us in our prayers, and blocking the Holy Ghost from moving in our lives. As Beelzebub, his demonic forces try to possess, oppress and harass people to cause total destruction in their lives if they can. They will bring complications to any situation that they are allowed to. These forces accomplish their tasks by using fear, mental disorders, sickness, disease, confusion, addictions, and religious errors.

Our weapons are spiritual and not natural or carnal. If we are to war against spirits, then we must use spiritual weapons. The Word, the blood, praise, the Name, and our testimony are five weapons we possess in our spiritual arsenal. We must testify to what the Word says, apply the blood, use the mighty weapon of praise, and at the Name of Jesus every knee must bow. Every knee. We must prepare ourselves by staying vigilant in our prayer life, being sensitive to the Holy Ghost and study the Word. We are more than conquerors through Jesus, and the victory is already ours.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Spiritual Warfare--The Devil's Tactics

If we are to be successful in Spiritual Warfare, and battling the enemy, it will be through the Holy Ghost anointing and the Word of God. This will be only means to victory for the believer. We must rely upon the Holy Ghost to lead us and to teach us, and anoint us to do battle.

If we are to engage the Devil, and be effective against him, we must learn the tactics he will use. Then you and I must learn how to counteract those tactics. Jesus demonstrated his mastery over the powers and forces of the enemy, by challenging the devil at every opportunity. We cannot allow ourselves to leave a door open for attacks and assaults by the enemy. The devil is cruel, wicked and powerful, but he is also a coward. He will run away at the sound of the name of Jesus, or when he hears the blood being plead. The devil is no match for the blood of the Lamb, he's already lost.
Just remember, we are not at his mercy, we can defeat him in Jesus' name.

Satan wants to destroy the work of the church. Period. His desire is to destroy people and deliver them into hell. Knowing his destiny, an eternity spent in the lake of fire, he wants to take as many of us with him as possible. The devil is willing to use any means to force people to listen to him and follow him, follow him into eternal punishment. We must be prepared to fight the enemy and wage war against him. It is a war, a war filled with many battles.

We need to realize that our war is not with other people, it is with Satan, who holds people captive. It doesn't matter how bad a person may be, they are only a "conduit" for spiritual war. We can't get our eyes on people when doing spiritual warfare, we must focus on the enemy of our soul. The devil will attempt to keep people in spiritual darkness, away from hearing the Word of God. For if one should hear the Word, they would then know truth and be able to stand against him. You and I, on our own, would be helpless to fight against the devil. We must lean on the Holy Ghost and allow Him to lead us into battle. Submit yourselves to God, resist the devil and he will flee from you.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Eastern Tennessee and The Anceint Hebrews

In our history books, the "Yuchi" Indians have not been represented very well. This may be because of several reasons, one of which is that disease ravaged the tribe, after the Spanish made contact with them. The evidence tells us that the Spanish visited the Yuchi in what is now Eastern Tennessee. The tribe was known to have villages that extended from Florida to Illinois, and reaching from the coast of Carolina to the Mississippi River. It has been generally accepted that the Yuchi, settled throughout the Southeast, represented the original inhabitants of the area prior to the Iroquoian and Algonkian People. It is known that the Yuchi were of the Mound-building people and among the oldest known residents of the Southeast.

The Yuchi were a distinct tribe that were known for their insistence on "descent from the Sun", a religious belief that was a part of the Mound Building Sun Worship. They as a people, while living among other tribes, kept themselves distinct and remained separate. The language of the Yuchi, "Uchean", has never really been classified for certain. It does not resemble any of the known languages of the Americas. A practice of the Yuchi was to bury their dead laid out flat, and most often buried in wooden or stone lined pits. It is these cultural traits found among the tribe that separates them from their neighboring tribes.

There is some proof that there is at least some connection between the Yuchi and the ancient Hebrews. A similarity found in the religious practices of both people have led some to this conclusion. A more compelling proof is the "Bat Creek Stone" which was removed from a mound in Eastern Tennessee. The stone on its surface, has what has been interpreted as a Hebrew inscription. The stone was reportedly found under one of nine skeletons in a mound. Dr. Joseph D. Mahan Jr. of the Columbus, Ga. Museum of Arts and Crafts photographed the stone's inscription and sent it to Dr. Cyrus H. Gordon, professor of Mediterranean studies at Brandeis.
Dr. Mahan was convinced that there was a connection between the Indians of the Southeastern U.S. and the eastern Mediterranean people in ancient times.

Dr. Gordon, once he studied the inscription, discovered that five of its letters are in the writing style of Canaan, the "promised land" of the Israelites, located between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. The fifth letter he stated, corresponds to the style of writing you would find on Hebrew coins of the Roman era. Gordan translated the inscription as "for the land of Judah". He goes on to say that the inscription attests to a "migration" of Jews.
There is compelling evidence that the Indians of Eastern Tennessee were visited by the Hebrew people. Just as this detail of the The Bat Creek Stone illustrates. We now know for certain that North America was visited by various cultures many years prior to Columbus. The ancient Hebrews are now believed to be a part of those people.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Spiritual Warfare--A Lifestyle

In the modern day we are living, it is imperative that we learn that spiritual warfare is a "lifestyle" and not just an every now and then event of rebuking the enemy. The believer must be prepared spiritually at all times, ready to combat the enemy. The Bible tells us that our enemy is continually on the prowl seeking whom he may devour. The believer must be ever vigilant, maintaining a "warrior's awareness" of the unseen battle that continually rages around him. This understanding must become a natural part of the believer's life.
The spiritual warrior must be on guard, watching over his own mind and heart, as well as the world and the devil. It is not only a battle against the enemy, but also against our own sinful nature, which will desire what is contrary to God. The Apostle Paul reminds us in 2 Cor. 10:4-5:
"For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ".
The believer can not claim he is free from the "battle" with his sinful nature, just because he might not struggle with the "bigger" sins. We must bring every thought into captivity. There are many of us who continue to possess mind-sets which we know are not pleasing to God. Attitudes that prevent us from living as we should. These mind-sets and attitudes will allow the devil to get a foothold in our lives, and suddenly we are no longer where we should be spiritually. If at all possible, the devil will find ways to encourage and provoke the "sinful nature" in our lives. The enemy's goal is to have the believer consumed by sinful desires day and night. The book of Galatians, 5:19-21--list some of the acts that result from the "sinful nature":
"The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God."
The Word tells us that Adam and Eve were the first humans whom God created. In the beginning, their spiritual nature was completely and totally yielded unto God. It was their spirit which dominated and directed their soul and body, causing them to think and act in ways that were pleasing to God. However, Adam and Eve rejected God's Word and His authority, instead following Satan and his words. The result was spiritual death, and they became corrupt (sinful) and so then sin entered the world. With their souls and bodies no longer directed by the Spirit of God, Adam and Eve became dominated by the sinful nature and its desires and passions. The same is true of all people today, if they have not been born again.
In this age we live, Satan is well aware of people's weaknesses, and he continually tries to get them to disobey God, indulging in every kind of sin. We must be on guard against the enemy's attempts to lead us into sin. Spiritual warfare is needed to win not only the battles against the devil and the world, but against our own sinful nature. We are to be spiritually minded, occupied with what the Holy Spirit desires and not allow ourselves to be under the influence of the sinful nature. The final outcome for a spiritual warrior is "Victory", over the enemy and the sinful nature.

Monday, March 16, 2009

When Mercy Walked In

There's no greater gift than God's mercy. I can still remember when "Mercy Walked In", and found me. Here are the lyrics to the song "Mercy Walked In", I pray they will bless you.

Mercy Walked In

I stood in the court room the judge turned my way
It looks like you’re guilty now what do you say
I spoke up your honor I have no defense
But that’s when Mercy walked in

Mercy walked in and pleaded my case
Called to the stand: God’s saving grace
The blood was presented that covered my sin
Forgiven when Mercy walked in

I stood there and wondered how could this be
Someone so guilty had just been set free
My chains were broken I felt born again
The moment that Mercy walked in

Mercy walked in and pleaded my case
Called to the stand: God’s saving grace
The blood was presented that covered my sin
Forgiven when Mercy walked in

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Mistakes--God Turns Them Around

Today, I want to speak a word of encouragement to all of "us" who have ever made a mistake. Can I tell you that in the midst of any circumstance or trouble, God understands...and He can turn it around. In fact, God can take a mistake and turn it into a "miracle". We all make mistakes. There is not one of us immune from them, and at one time or another, we have all made a wrong choice or simply messed up. In these times, I'm sure we have even felt like we were trapped, when the solution to problem would seem worse than the problem. And yes, those mistakes we make may lead to circumstances that seem awfully hard...but, remember--God can turn it around.

Maybe today, you find yourself having done the wrong thing, made the wrong choice, done something you knew you shouldn't do and now, you are feeling the consequences of what you have done. Consequences that are all around you. It doesn't matter what mistake you have made, or what tragedy has struck, God is well able to take your mistake, your awful circumstances and turn them around. In the hands of God, your mistakes will be changed into a "miracle". God is on your side, and you can not lose. He will take whatever mistake you have made, and...turn it around.

The apostle Paul, in Romans 8:28, says "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those called according to His purpose". Let me encourage you today, when I tell you that this verse tells us of God's ability to turn our "situations, circumstances and mistakes" around. "All things" include our failures, our shortcomings, our mistakes and our "mess ups". He will take them all and turn them around for good, if we will Him and seek to do what He wants us to do.

Today, know that God can turn any situation around---period. You must be totally convinced that He can take anything, any problem, any situation, any trial, and any mistake--and make it into a miracle. Know that He can "turn it around". You must also accept that God loves you unconditionally. Please know, that no matter what has come your way, that you are more than a conqueror through Him who loves you. You are an overcomer.

Take your mistakes to Him, surrender all...and watch God---"turn it around".

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

"I'm Free" by Lynda Randle

May the words of this song bring the truth of being "free" alive in your spirit today. There are no more shackles, we are free.

Knowing God's Love

One of the first songs I can remember hearing as a child began like this, "Jesus loves me, this I know". It was from an early age that I learned of God's love and how much he loved me. It's true even when you and I don't feel it. This love of God. How can I know for sure that God loves me? "Because the bible tells me so." John 3:16 says, "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life."

"For God so loved...". Can you imagine the love it took for God to send his son to the cross? God loved us enough that He gave up His only son. Is it sometimes hard for you to believe God has a special love just for you? God doesn't see you as you see yourself, whether its feeling unworthy, feeling guilty, addicted, weak or a multitude of other things. When God looks at you, He only sees a beloved child, covered with His grace and mercy. I know, its easy to say God loves you and you've probably heard it a hundred times before. The question is how can you make it real in your life, so real that you are changed. You can't. But, God can. God can change the way we think, and change our lives, but you must seek Him and desire Him. You must draw close to Him, and ask Him to lead you.

No matter how you may feel, just remember, you are the focus of God's attention. He longs to love you, to be your friend. If there was ever a man who wanted to lavish his bride with love, or his son with many gifts, God longs for you to have only the best. Even in the midst of our struggles, we should expect great things from our God. With our Lord, the impossibilities are only playthings. Rise up!

How wide is God's love? Wide enough--to reach the broken, the empty, the prostitute, the abused, the rich, the poor and yes, even wider still.

How long is God's love? Beyond our most secret hiding place, beyond our foolishness, beyond our mistakes, beyond our faults and farther still.

How deep is God's love? Deeper than any feeling of guilt, deeper than our shame, deeper than our hurts, deeper than our unworthiness, deeper than any fear and deeper still.

In the darkest hours of our lives, when we are at our lowest and feeling so far from God...look up! The enemy will seek to keep you looking down, bound to your feelings, but...look up! When the world around us trembles, fear not...look up! The enemy will try anything he can to keep you defeated and bound, every tactic that he can employ. One of the devil's favorite tactics is to surround us and cut off our supplies. If he can, he will get us out of the Word, and to the place we no longer pray. He will do all he can to keep us out of church. If you no longer pray, if you no longer study the Word and you have drifted out of church--be prepared. You have created an opening for the enemy to lay siege on your life. You must awaken yourself, rouse yourself from this state and refuse to let the devil draw you away from God.

If you find yourself today lost in feelings of unworthiness, emptiness, or bound by the tactics of the enemy...humble yourself, be honest about your struggles before God and ask the Lord to forgive you. Ask Him to help you learn to forgive yourself. Yield yourself to Him, for his purposes and allow Him to flood you with His love. And remember, "It's never too late".

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Permagos-Satan's Throne

I want to share some thoughts with you today about the country of Turkey and bible prophecy. I have posted earlier studies of why I believe the anti-christ will arise out of Turkey, today I want to talk about the city of Permagos. Permagos was one of the seven churches which Christ delivered seven special messages to in Revelation 2:12-17. The city of Permagos (Pergamum) today lies in the country of Turkey.

Let's go back to the time when Christ wrote the seven letters, to the seven churches, and capture a view of this city Pergamum. The city lay about 65 miles north of Smyrna, spread along the valley of the Caicus River. The city was not as commerically important as Ephesus or Smyrna, because of it's location and having no major roads passing through it. Pergamum did hold the official honor of being the provincial capital of Roman Asia. It was a city of great beauty and wealth, with a library of reaching almost 200,000 volumes. Pergamum was a city filled with temples to Dionysus, Athena, Asclepius and Demeter, the three temples to the emperor cult, a great altar to Zeus and its many palaces. The city had 2 dominant religions, the worship of Dionysus-the god of the royal kings (symbolized by a bull) and Asclepius-the god of healing (symbolized by the snake). It is said that the temples of Asclepius were filled with these serpents. A Greek traveller, Pausanias of Lydia, wrote of Asclepios as "sitting on a throne with...his...hand upon the head of a serpent". The serpent was in fact a totem of the god, but harmless varieties of these snakes had free run of the shrines. A christian living in this time, would have found himself confronted not only with cults, but by the symbol of satan--the snake, at every turn.

Pergamum was a city plagued with idolatry, statues and idols being widespread. The city celebrated a victory over the Celtic tribes by building an altar to Zeus, then a temple. It stood high upon the hill of Acropolis, and was visible to almost all the city and for miles away. The altar has been reported being 36m square with a height of 15m. (A meter is roughly 3 feet). This altar was engraved with the gods of Olympus battling giants who had snake-like tails. Again, the symbol of satan presents itself.

Pergamum is said to have exceeded all other cities at that time in wickedness. Its pagan inhabitants lived in luxury, but were steeped in great vice. It at this time, probably had in it more idols than any other place in Asia. In Rev. 2:13, Jesus said something very interesting in His Words to the Church at Pergamum (Pergamos). Jesus said, "And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges; I know thy works and where thou dwellest, even where Satan's seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth."

Here, Jesus states that satan has a throne, in the city Pergamum. Satan had his throne set in a city where he felt most comfortable, where most of the citizens were worshipping him. If satan had a throne, in a city, then--would he not still have a throne, in a city, today. Satan is the god of this world, this we already know from scripture and surely today, he stills sits on a throne of some type. In my earlier studies, I linked the anti-christ to the country of Turkey. There is no doubt that in Permagos, there was a great evil and that satan ruled from there. I believe that this same evil exists today, and will be that which brings the anti-christ into power, as he is raised up in the end-times. I believe the city of Pergamos will play a vital role in the rise of the anti-christ as well. Until the next time--God Bless.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

"He Dropped The Charges" (Tareva Henderson)

I know that I often place videos of singing here on my blog, but I tend to believe that many times, a song can touch us when nothing else can. There are some songs that just reach out and minister to me in a way I can't explain. It feels like they were written, and are being sung just for me. I hope that one or more of the songs I post here on my blog, will find their way to your heart and minister to you in that time you need it the most.

Eliminating "Negativity"

Is it possible for you and I to open a door for "negativity" into our lives? The answer is, as you may already know, yes. There are in fact, many doors, for negativity to enter our lives if we will allow it to have a place. We are all receptacles--influenced by what we hear, what we see, the people around us, the environment we live in, and the circumstances we encounter. All these influences are doors into our lives, allowing either the positive or the negative to enter in. What are you opening the door to in your life today?

If we give way to negativity, before long it will begin to consume our thoughts, then flow into our words and eventually begin filling our lives. We will find that the things we don't want in our lives, we are drawing in. If we doubt, then that doubt will build on more doubt. If we fear, it will build on more fear. Worry, of course, builds on more worry. It is these type things that will pull more and more negative things into our minds, our speech, and our lives. We must commit to eliminating the negative influences in our lives.

I believe the first step begins with our mind, having the mind of Christ and thinking God's way not the way of the "world". We must be painfully aware of the influences of the "world's" way in our daily lives. How are you being influenced by the world today? The world is filled with negativity and it surrounds us everywhere we go. We must think in God's way to overcome it. Our speech will reveal the thoughts of our minds, and how we are thinking. We must speak God's way--not the way of the world. Our lives will come in line with our thoughts and our words, what type of life are you living today?

We should never, ever, allow the negative opinions, thoughts or influences of others to lead us away from living a "positive" lifestyle. When you hear someone tell you that you "can't"--you should rise up and know that you "can", that you were created as winner. There's no argument or debate, you "can". We are easily influenced (infected) by the negativity of other people. It is amazing how quickly negative thoughts can spread from one person to another. Hearing and receiving the "negative" is the easy way, in choosing to live for God and choosing a "positive" life, you have entered a battle. It will take effort, and we can not afford to let others influence (infect) us with the "negative". We must become either strong enough to live this godly life, filled with the positive, or shut the door on those that speak negativity into our lives.

If we allow the negative influence of others into our lives, then we open our lives up to defeat. I believe we should never leave a door open for defeat, only for victory. If David, when facing the gaint Goliath, had listen to those around him--David would have run in fear. David's own brother spoke negativity into David's life, and the door had to be shut on his brother's doubt filled words.
Everyone thought David to be just a child unable to fight the gaint. Yes, David in the natural (the world) appeared to be unbelievably outmatched. It seemed there was no way this teenage boy could defeat Goliath the giant. But, you know, isn't that the way our battles, struggles and trials should look? It's because they do look this way, that we have the opportunity to let the world see us exercise our faith and see God move as our faith takes hold. David was in covenant with God, and he knew that God would deliver him, no matter what the "world" said. You and I are in a covenant relationship with God, never allow the negativity to lead you to defeat.

Monday, March 2, 2009

The Trap of Mediocrity

The "Mediocre Life"...a safe, uneventful and ordinary life. A life in which we are attempting to do something, but of what quality. The world will tell you that a mediocre life is okay, that it is an average life and that there is nothing at all wrong with that. The average life. After all, aren't most people living an "average life". The world looks at us and asks us to choose...a life safe and ordinary or the exceptional life. The exceptional life filled with adventure and excellence. Which will you choose?

The problem with mediocrity is that we too easily become trapped. Once we settle for the mediocre, the average, it becomes easier to accept it in all areas of our lives. The life we have settled for isn't really a good or bad life, it is just an average life. It is a lower quality of life that has trapped our dreams, chained them and then locked them away. This life leaves us with no inspiration, as we find that we are "drifting"without direction or purpose. Inside, we can hear our purpose screaming out to not let go, to shake off the chains of the mediocre life and choose to live in excellence.

In choosing to live a life of excellence, we will embrace a life of freedom. It is deciding to do our best in all areas of our lives, in all things, large or small. It is a decision to free ourselves of fear and the burdens of past mistakes. This life of excellence is lived by choosing daily to live at our best, as we rise above the "mediocre" that surrounds us. "Life will pay you whatever amount you ask of it, if you demand enough of yourself to give only the very best". It is our decision to progress or remain in a life of mediocrity.