Thursday, August 15, 2013

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Devil Possession

Today in the dispensation of the grace of God, are people still being possessed by devils?

The answer is ‘yes’ and ‘no.’ Today we live in the dispensation of grace.  I assume that you are referring to the type of devil possession in the nation of Israel during the Lord’s earthly ministry (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and in Acts), when one of the miracles that was performed by the Lord and the apostles and disciples (to whom he delegated authority) was to cast out devils.

Mark 1:39
And he [Jesus] preached in their synagogues throughout all Galilee, and cast out devils.

Luke 9:1
Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases.

This will also happen in the future, after this dispensation has ended.  Casting out devils will be part and parcel of God’s plan and purpose for the nation of Israel (Matt. 12:45).

Not all in Israel were possessed by devils during Christ’s earthly ministry; and by the way, no believer then or now can be possessed by devils.  If you are ‘in Christ’ (a member of the church the body of Christ) because you have trusted in the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ as payment for your sins and in him as your Saviour (1 Cor. 15:1, 3-4), no devil can possess you because God possesses you.  God the Spirit is in you.

1 Corinthians 3:16
Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

You have been given the Holy Ghost.

Romans 5:5
And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

It is not possible for you to be possessed by devils. 

Colossians 1:13
Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:

But let’s talk about lost people.  First of all, every lost person is influenced by Satan and his angels.  That is who they worship.

Revelation 9:20
And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk:

You are worshipping devils if you are not worshipping the God of the bible, and you can only do that through the Lord Jesus Christ as a believer today in the body of Christ.

1 Corinthians 8:4-6
As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one.  For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,)  But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.

The lost are worshipping devils/fallen angels/evil spirits. 

1 Corinthians 10:20
But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils.

But they don’t necessarily have to be possessed by them.  The only way a person can be possessed by a devil is by allowing it to come in and take them over.  Mankind still has free will.  You have to allow another power to possess you.  Even the stories about vampires [a type of devil/fallen angel] say that they cannot come into a house unless they are invited in.

We believers allow God the Spirit to come in and possess us.  We make that choice when we trust Christ.  When we, by our own volition, decide to trust Jesus Christ as our Saviour, one of the things that God does is to come live inside us by his Spirit.  That is our new life in Christ.

Romans 6:4
Therefore we are buried with him by baptism [by the Holy Spirit 1 Cor. 12:13] into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

But if people desire it, they can be possessed by devils [i.e., Shamans calling demons into their chests].  As we get closer and closer to the end of our dispensation of the grace of God (at the Rapture) when the Prophecy program will resume, the powers of darkness will become more prevalent. 

One of the things the powers of darkness can do is possess people.  There are YouTube videos that show two women in England running out into traffic and being hit by trucks and cars.  They are knocked down and then get up and run away.  I also saw a guy who was run over by a big roller that construction workers use smooth out pavement.  It rolled up to his neck and back and then he jumped up.  There was glass under him that broke, but his body didn’t break.

We also see a lot of black magic, magicians, witches, guys who can float in the air.  They are either possessed by devils or they are definitely being influenced by them.  All magic is evil. 

Exodus 7:11
Then Pharaoh also called the wise men and the sorcerers: now the magicians of Egypt, they also did in like manner with their enchantments.

You can’t see the possession, but you can see the results of it.  One of the things you can see is that people who are possessed by fallen angels have supernatural strength.

Mark 5:1-5
And they came over unto the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gadarenes.  And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, Who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains:  Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any man tame him.  And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones.

When we see things that are not humanly possible to do or to endure, when you see someone get hit on the expressway by an 18-wheeler and then get up and run away, it is certainly possible they are possessed by a devil.
Satan is the god of this world. 

2 Corinthians 4:4
In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

Satan and his fallen angels run this world. 

Colossians 1:16
For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:

The only people who they can’t have dominion over are believers in Christ.  But, you can be a believer today and work with Satan with doctrines of devils.

1 Timothy 4:1
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;

But every lost person is run by Satan and his angels, whether physically possessed by a devil or not.

Ephesians 2
And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince [Satan] of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:  Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

Ephesians 6:12
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places [Satan and his fallen angels/devils to whom he has delegated authority].

So in a way you can say that every lost person is possessed by a devil because they are run by devils.

John 8:44
Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

Neither the devils nor God the Spirit can just come in and take over a person.  They must be invited in by a person’s free will.  God limits what Satan can do with humanity.  Satan would like to kill every human being.  But Satan and his angels can have an effect on believers.

Romans 12:2
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

2 Corinthians 11:3-4
But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.  For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.

Satan will bring another gospel, another Jesus, another spirit – a spirit of law and not of grace.

Galatians 1:6-8
I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.  But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.

Ephesians 5:6
Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.

The mindset of the course of this world is satanic; so in that sense the children of disobedience are possessed.  But there are people who want Satan to live in them and control them.  They worship him in the Church of Satan.

Devils do not want to be disembodied; they have an affinity towards the physical.

Matthew 12:43-45
When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none.  Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished.  Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.

Matthew 8:31
So the devils besought him, saying, If thou cast us out, suffer us to go away into the herd of swine.

Every lost person is influenced by Satan.

John 13:2
And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him;

Another passage says:

Luke 22:3
Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve.

Satan entered Judas, and he also put it into his heart to betray Jesus.  Could the thought have been put into his heart before he entered Judas?  Sure.  Satan can possess someone by a mindset, i.e., a thought process.

2 Timothy 2:26
And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

Satan can take believers captive.  Not in your physical body; but in your mind.

Genesis 6:5
And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

Romans 8:5
For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.

2 Corinthians 10:5
Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

Philippians 4:8
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Hopefully this helps!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Widow’s Mite

The widow who gave her last two mites is usually held up as a virtuous example of generous giving. 

Mark 12:41-44
And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much.  And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing.  And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury:  For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.

But I'm wondering if that is the purpose of the story. Is she really supposed to be an example of how the Pharisees were robbing widows? Could it be that the Pharisees were manipulating people with verses like Malachi 3:10 to squeeze all the money out of them that they could in exchange for blessings of some kind? That would be similar to the Word of Faith teachers today who want their gullible followers to send them all the money they can swindle out of them in exchange for their valuable prayers.

When you say she is usually held up as a virtuous example of generous giving, it depends upon who is doing that.  It is usually the health/wealth/prosperity people who want you to give everything to God (which actually means ‘give it to them’).  We need to look at her giving in context.  Right before that Christ is condemning the scribes and Pharisees.

Mark 12:38-40
And he said unto them in his doctrine, Beware of the scribes, which love to go in long clothing, and love salutations in the marketplaces, And the chief seats in the synagogues, and the uppermost rooms at feasts: Which devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayers: these shall receive greater damnation.

The poor widow gave all she had.  Not only did she not have a husband, but she probably did not have any sons or children who could provide for her.  Part of her motivation for giving her last could have been that she was told to do that by these Pharisees who were robbing widows and devouring their houses.  That very well could be it.

But also because the kingdom of heaven was at hand, and the Lord was going about letting Israel know they should sell all they have, give alms and follow him.

Luke 12:33
Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth.

Luke 18:22
 Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.

We don’t know if she heard the Lord teach and preach those things.  It is very likely that she knew about the Pharisees’ doctrine that if widows would give to the temple (them), they would pray for them.  You know how religious people are...  ‘Give us your money and God will bless you.’

The Lord was taking notice of that, just like God does when religious leaders do that today.  So it could very well be the case that she is an example of how the Pharisees were robbing widows.  It could be that they were convincing these women to give all that they had.

Again, once the Lord showed up, he was telling them to sell all they had and give alms and follow him.  But in the context we don’t see her following him.  The Lord takes notice of her and speaks well of her because they gave out of their abundance, but she gave from her poverty.

The dynamic of what is happening is interesting.  She could have been giving because of the satanic influence of those Pharisees who desired to devour her house; but it is more likely that her motivation was in obedience to the Lord to give and follow him.

+ + + +
Malachi 3:10
Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.

Sure, it is possible that the Pharisees were taking this verse out of context to manipulate people, because it has to do with tithes and offerings which were not money; they were from the fruit of their land.   The only time their tithes and offerings would be actual money was if they lived too far from Jerusalem to bring their first fruits.  They would exchange their first fruits for money and carry it to Jerusalem and exchange it there for an offering.

But no doubt these apostate religious leaders would manipulate people.  Religion manipulates in order to extort money out of people, whether it is Catholicism, Islam, Mormonism, Seventh Day Adventist, Christian Science or the religious system of Christianity – Christendom, the denominational system.

Matthew 23:25
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.

Every religious system manipulates, particularly the ones that use the Bible.  Anyone who uses verses about giving that are not Pauline (pure grace giving), is handling the word of God deceitfully.

2 Corinthians 4:2
But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God.

Most people in denominational systems today use Malachi 3:8-10 to get you to tithe (which was never money), to squeeze money out of you.  But when Christians give today God only desires one thing – that you give, not grudgingly, and not out of necessity, but cheerfully and willingly…

2 Corinthians 9:7
Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.

…to the grace message to build up the mystery of Christ.  But the religious system manipulates people with many verses from scripture that are not rightly divided in order to extort.

1 Corinthians 6:10
Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

It is fraud.  It is what Bernie Madoff did, only worse, because they are using God’s word to do it.  They will pay for extorting money.  Grace ministries like Norcal Grace can barely scrape together enough money for a place to meet because most Christians are in denominational systems and they allow men to take of them.

2 Corinthians 11:19-20
For ye suffer fools gladly, seeing ye yourselves are wise.  For ye suffer, if a man bring you into bondage, if a man devour you, if a man take of you, if a man exalt himself, if a man smite you on the face.
This fraud involves both the religious system and the people who claim to be Christians and allow those men to extort from them.

You wrote, “That would be similar to the Word of Faith teachers today who want their gullible followers to send them all the money they can swindle out of them in exchange for their valuable prayers”.  You’re right.  “Squeeze”, “swindle” and “extort” are all good words to describe what they do.  And you’re right that the Word of Faith, Health/Wealth/Prosperity religious shysters and hucksters use this poor widow as an example of giving all.  They are using the word of God deceitfully to extort money from people.

2 Peter 3:16
As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Dealing with Rejection

Bro Ron:   That video [How To Deal With Rejection] you did for a sister in Christ was so much like my own situation (at some points I even thought it could have been my own letters I've written to you), and I just cried from the depths of my heart as I listened.  I wish I could comfort that sister, too.  I know EXACTLY what she is feeling and going through, and I have thought, w/regards to my own situation, it was what you were saying with regards to it being something within the other folks, but I just kept thinking, well, maybe I'm doing something wrong, or I'm not handling telling others about these truths, correctly.  Your words to her were very comforting and helpful, even strengthening.  I praise the Lord for your love towards the other saints, dear bro. The Lord knows I appreciate you and the work of faith and labor of love you have for his body as well as the love for lost souls.  

This morning I came across an article on Suffering by Keith Blades that may be helpful to the sister in Christ to whom you were addressing the questions on rejection; of course, it's up to you if you think it should be shared w/her or not.  I pray that I would learn about these sufferings and come to the place, as our Apostle Paul did, where I am able to rejoice in these sufferings for Christ sake, to really understand that this is what it is about; that I would learn to not complain about it, but have an understanding of this doctrine and learn how to handle these sufferings in a godly manner that is glorifying to the Lord.

Dear Sister:

There are saints who are suffering in their closest relationships for Christ’s sake.  You are suffering for who you are in Christ, which is part of the suffering we can expect to experience with and for Christ.  We will all experience those things.

2 Corinthians 1:5-7
For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.  And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation.  And our hope of you is stedfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation.

I have lost a number of friends and contact with family members just because I have been faithful to the doctrine committed to the apostle Paul – the grace gospel, the mystery of Christ.

Acts 20:24
But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.

Colossians 4:3
Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds:

But do you know what Paul says?

2 Timothy 1:12
For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.

Know that all of this suffering that you are going through because of who you are in Christ and because you are a Pauline grace believer, is fruit that is abounding to your account!

Philippians 4:17
Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account.

You have committed it to the Lord Jesus because you are suffering with him…and for him.  Although it is difficult now and it seems like it will never end, one day soon you will get it all back at the judgment seat of Christ.

1 Corinthians 3:11-14
For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ [according to the revelation of the mystery].  Now if any man build upon this foundation [Pauline doctrine] gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;  Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.

You will rule and reign as a joint-heir with him if you stay faithful to this doctrine the rest of your life.

Romans 8:17
And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

Rejection is part of this suffering.  Our desire is to have our family members be a part of it and be zealous about these things, and yet [quite often] they are not.  They are apathetic and maybe even hostile towards it in some cases.  It may be your spouse, parents, sibling or dear friends.  There are saints who have lost husbands and wives because they believe the doctrine, but their spouses are into religion, a denominational system, and they reject the Pauline grace message and the mystery.

Saints who experience this rejection may be far in distance from each other, but not in heart.  Sisters and brothers in the Lord, grace believers, who are going through similar situations, can offer encouragement to each other.

1 Thessalonians 5:11
Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.

2 Corinthians 1:4
Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.

You may think that you’re doing something wrong or that you’re not telling others about these truths correctly.  No, it is not you.  It is that people desire darkness rather than light.

John 3:19
And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

Be careful that you deliver Pauline doctrine in meekness.

2 Timothy 2:25
In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;

But no matter how gracious you are in presenting the truth, when some people’s hearts are convicted they will become hostile towards you [as the messenger].  They might accuse you of thinking that you’re God and that you know everything, but don’t be discouraged.

1 Samuel 8:7b
…for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me,

1 Samuel 15:23
For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.

I want you to be encouraged, uplifted and edified.  I am edified and encouraged by the questions of the saints because I love to minister in that way.  Let’s grow together and help each other to get a full reward at the judgment seat of Christ which is soon to come.

Romans 8:18
For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

2 Corinthians 4:17
For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;