Posted in discernment, scripture, spiritual armor, spiritual warfare

Have you laid down your sword of the Spirit?

Jesus promised us trials in this world, but He followed that promise with a reminder, He has overcome the world. (John 16:32-33). There are many reasons we undergo trials. Sometimes it’s to count it all joy that we are participating in the trials Jesus underwent. Sometimes it’s because the testing we receive through a trial helps us discern the will of God. (Romans 12:2). Trials produce endurance (James 1:2-4). Testing and trials prove our faith. (1 Peter 1:6-7).

We live on a battlefield, and it isn’t even our home turf we are fighting for. Our home is in heaven, we are strangers and aliens here. Satan wants to subdue us, break us, entice us into a snare and immobilize us. We are warned to remain vigilant (1 Peter 5:8, Matthew 26:41). So we fight, relentlessly, constantly.

1 Corinthians 16:13 says, Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.

The Lord didn’t leave us defenseless. He gave us armor. We are outfitted from head to toe, and we hold a mighty sword.

and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, (Ephesians 6:18)

The sword is specifically the word of God. It is the only offensive weapon in the Christian’s armor. The helmet, breastplate, shield, belt, and shoes are defensive.

The sword mentioned in the verse is not a broadsword. It is a sharp dagger, which all soldiers had at hand.

Sword: CC0 Public Domain Free use No
attribution required. Grass, EPrata photo

What happens though is that a Christian may be vigilant for a while, and then he lays down his sword (which is the scripture). He is sitting at the campfire, mending his shoes or polishing his breastplate. The vigilant soldier keeps the sword handy for taking up when the battle heats up again. But some lay it down in the grass, and wander a bit away, looking for daisies to pick, or to follow a butterfly. They wander farther and farther, and then suddenly the battle heats up and they are caught without their only offensive weapon! They go back to try and find it but weeds have sprung up and hidden the sword.

Matthew Henry says,

Those who would prove themselves to have true grace, must aim at all grace; and put on the whole armour of God, which he prepares and bestows. The Christian armour is made to be worn; and there is no putting off our armour till we have done our warfare, and finished our course. (Matthew Henry)

Don’t let too many days go by without reading the Word. When Jesus was tempted by the Devil, He countered with the word. And the fact that the Ephesians verse distinguishes between the two types of swords, the broadsword v. the dagger and specifically used the word for dagger in this case, means that the the Christian is to wield it with precision. Jesus knew exactly which scriptures to use in reply to the devil. A Christian who knows some scripture but not many isn’t going to be an effective soldier nor a good witness.

There is no armor specified for the back, but only for the front of the body; implying that we must never turn our back to the foe (Lu 9:62); our only safety is in resisting ceaselessly (Mt 4:11; Jas 4:7). Jamieson Fausset Brown)

Is your Bible in the weeds, metaphorically? Or is it by your side, in your heart, on your mind? Be a good soldier, and have your offensive weapon ready when trials come. They will come. Jesus promised it. And He always keeps His promises.

Posted in encouragement, jesus, prophecy, spiritual warfare

The names of Satan

Spiritual warfare is very real. Even pagans are in a constant state of war. To be a pagan is to be at war- against God. To be a Christian is to be at war- against the flesh, the world and the devil. Life on earth is a battle.

EPrata art

God did not leave us unequipped. He gave us armor.

Take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”—Ephesians 6:17.

TO BE A CHRISTIAN is to be a warrior. The good soldier of Jesus Christ must not expect to find ease in this world: it is a battle-field. Neither must he reckon upon the friendship of the world; for that would be enmity against God. His occupation is war. As he puts on piece by piece of the panoply provided for him, he may wisely say to himself, “This warns me of danger; this prepares me for warfare; this prophesies opposition.” 

Difficulties meet us even in standing our ground; for the apostle, two or three times, bids us “Stand.” In the rush of the fight, men are apt to be carried off their legs. If they can keep their footing, they will be victorious; but if they are borne down by the rush of their adversaries, everything is lost. You are to put on the heavenly armor in order that you may stand; and you will need it to maintain the position in which your Captain has placed you. If even to stand requires all this care, judge ye what the warfare must be! 

~Charles Spurgeon, The Sword of the Spirit

By the words in the Bible, we are given to understand that our life is a fight. Here is the enemy:

He is a formidable enemy. Left to our own devices, warring against Satan would be as a mosquito to an atom bomb. However God’s power so far exceeds the atom bomb that when facing Him, this seemingly formidable enemy, the devil, becomes the mosquito! Our Holy Father is the all powerful God, and He has won the victory already. He has overcome the world. (John 16:33).

What we must do is put on our armor, pray always, and stir one another up to good works. Confessing our sin and repenting of it, we gain more strength in wielding the sword of the Lord which is His word, we have ample military support to stand against the world, the devil, and the flesh.

Our Jesus has fulfilled the prophecy:

He will swallow up death forever, and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from all faces; the rebuke of His people he will take away from all the earth; for the LORD has spoken. (Isaiah 25:8 )

Posted in creator, hubble, spiritual warfare, wrath

Some good stuff: Importance of preaching Divine Wrath, Tithing is not a New Testament command, Reality of Spiritual Warfare, 25 Years of Hubble (allowing us to see God’s handiwork)

Some good stuff:

John Martin – The Great Day of Divine Wrath

I’m big on wrath. What are we “saved” from, if we never teach, witness about, or preach the wrath? How can we understand the majesty, depth, and generosity of His love if we do not first understand the wrath? This article appeared at Ligonier and is written by one of the preachers I enjoy most, Steven Lawson:

Is It Necessary to Preach Divine Wrath?

The Genevan Reformer John Calvin said, “Preaching is the public exposition of Scripture by the man sent from God, in which God Himself is present in judgment and in grace.” Faithful pulpit ministry requires the declaration of both judgment and grace. The Word of God is a sharp, two-edged sword that softens and hardens, comforts and afflicts, saves and damns.

1 Corinthians 9 is a tremendous chapter, embedded as it is between 8 and 10, where Paul lengthily expounds about eating meat sacrificed to idols. In reading the passage, I found some parts of chapter 9 difficult to understand. My puny mind and all. I turned to another of my favorite preachers, S. Lewis Johnson, after I’d read the particular passage. He expounded on it in a tremendous way. In one part of the sermon, he took a little side trip. Oh, our beloved preachers and their rabbit trails, lol. Here is the side trip down tithing lane in his sermon “Paul’s Right to Compensation“:

Now, we know that of course in the Old Testament, the Levitical priests carried out the ministry, and they were supported by the children of Israel, the other tribes. They were supported by the tithe. The tithe was not a gift. The tithe was income tax. They had to pay a tenth to the support of the priests, and so the priests carried on the work of the Lord, and they were supported by the children of Israel because they were taxed, ten percent. Clinton hasn’t brought that up yet. But nevertheless, in the Old Testament that’s the way it was done. The Old Testament speaks of tithes and offerings. Offerings were in addition to the tithe. Tithe was income tax. It’s so amazing to me, so amazing to me that we can hear ministry to the effect that we ought to give tithes. Tithes are the big thing in most of our churches, tithes. If you’ll just simply take your Concordance out and look at the New Testament and look up the term “tithe,” and you’ll see that it is never used of anything other than something that happened as history, as history, not now.

I remember my father, when the church in Charleston was putting up a new addition, First Presbyterian Church there, the Old Scots Church. And it was later on, I had been a minister of the gospel for a good time, and we had a number of talks. He was an elder in the church, and he handed me the literature. And he said, “Well, what do you think about this? Do you think — what do you think he was implying what I thought he should give? Well, I wasn’t going to give him any advice at all, but I read the material. And it was an appeal to the members of the First Presbyterian Church of Charleston to give for the new addition. Tithes was mentioned I don’t know how many times. I may still have that in my — in my notes somewhere. I thought it was a good illustration. I could use it in preaching.

But tithes, tithes were mentioned, and I had an opportunity to mention to my father that, as far as the tithe is concerned, the tithe is an Old Testament income tax. And I do know that he happened to give an offering. He told me later, he had given an offering. But we just, I feel, after all these years as old as I am, the biggest mistake made in a local church is failure to read the Bible, failure to read the Bible. The elders, deacons, and members, failure to read the Bible. Expect others to do it for us. Let Dr. Johnson tell us what the Bible has to say. No. If it depended on me, somewhere you’d go wrong because I’d go wrong somewhere. But read the Bible.

So, no, tithing was a national tax in the OT, rendered to support the temple upkeep and support the priests. It is not a NT mandate. Don’t let anyone pressure you otherwise.

Another little gem from SL Johnson’s sermon,

Lord Bacon, who was not a religious man to my knowledge, authored an aphorism regarding the interpretation of legal documents that bears directly on the interpretation of the Biblical records as well. He said, “Interpretation that departs from the letter of the text is not interpretation but divination.” That’s precisely what it is. It’s you adding things to the text as if you are an authority like the Lord God in heaven, the divine being.

EPrata photo

I really enjoyed this article from Answers in Genesis about the reality of spiritual warfare. If one peeve of mine is that the wrath is hardly preached, the reality of the spiritual war is even less so.

The Reality of Spiritual Warfare in the Home
by Dr. Robert H. Carpenter on December 13, 2007

One of the sad realities within the local church today centers on the fact that numerous born-again Christians have little or no knowledge of the spiritual warfare that takes place all around us. The Bible is crystal clear in proclaiming that there is a battle raging in the heavenlies as the forces of evil continue to wage war against not only the Creator, but also against all who trust in Christ Jesus as Savior and Lord.

Look at what our Creator has done! Just look at it!

Visit Hubble’s 25th anniversary website to see the curated collection of Hubble’s anniversary images. In contrast, this Flickr set contains one image from each year that Hubble has been in orbit.

Explore beautiful Hubble Space Telescope images from each year the telescope has been in orbit

Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, indeed everything that is in the heavens and the earth; Yours is the dominion, O LORD, and You exalt Yourself as head over all”. (1 Chronicles 29:11)

Posted in armistice, spiritual warfare, veterans day

Armistice Day, Veterans Day…the war is over for many valiant military men and women, but not for the Christian fighting on

This is a slightly updated and refreshed post I published a few years ago. May it glorify the Lord.

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The signs of the end are unmistakable. Though the signs Jesus warned us about (wars, rumors of wars, earthquakes, apostasy, false messiahs…) have always plagued man, the rush of prophetic activity the Lord has been doing the last 50 years is unlike any other in history. The headlines we are reading today were unthinkable even 10 years ago. The Lord could come at any time. And yet, that has always been true. The Lord could come at any time, therefore He told us to be ready always.

It is not time to get ready, it is time to be ready. The schoolbus is not in the next neighborhood, it is not down the block, it is not even at the next house. It’s downstairs honking, and the time is now to be ready to get on board. We need to be already packed and ready to go.

Sometimes I read in the news, or see in a novel, a particularly tragic event that happens in a war. I am thinking particularly of WWI, where a famous armistice was the prelude to the final peace treaty. An armistice is a cessation of hostilities as a prelude to peace negotiations. The armistice in WWI was signed on the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month. The commemoration of WW1 Armistice Day is now known to Americans as Veterans Day. It is different from a truce and it is not a treaty, but it is effectively the beginning stages of the end of the war. Did you know that though the 11-11-11th 1918, is held to be the official end of the First World War, final peace with Germany was not ratified until 1919, and peace was not finally ratified on all other fronts until January 1920?

Anyway, the when the news of Armistice got around, soldiers started to relax because they knew they were going home soon. The war is almost over. Almost.

It is such a tragedy when a soldier dies after the armistice is signed. In France, 3,500 casualties occurred between the armistice signing and the official end of hostilities.

Here is an article about the aftermath of those deaths. It is a good article that explains the thinking of the commanders and generals and what happened to cause so many to die when the end was so near. Were those soldiers’ lives wasted?

Wasted Lives on Armistice Day
“On November 11, 1918, Armistice Day, the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) on the Western Front in France suffered more than thirty-five hundred casualties, although it had been known unofficially for two days that the fighting would end that day and known with absolute certainty as of 5 o’clock that morning that it would end at 11 a.m.”

General John J. Pershing, in a Congressional hearing a year after the armistice period, said, “When the subject of the armistice was under discussion we did not know what the purpose of it was definitely, whether it was something proposed by the German High Command to gain time or whether they were sincere in their desire to have an armistice; and the mere discussion of an armistice would not be sufficient grounds for any judicious commander to relax his military activities….”

You see, although the soldiers and commanders knew that the end was near, they were not sure what the enemy was going to do, whether it was a feint or not. They remained vigilant because they knew that the enemy was likely still out to kill and destroy.

Besides, the thinking went, the word had not gotten to all the soldiers that the end was near. They could not relax because some of their compatriots were not relaxing their guard. They were all in this together, one unit, even though strewn on different battlefields. The article continues with Pershing’s testimony:

“No one could possibly know when the armistice was to be signed, or what hour be fixed for the cessation of hostilities, so that the only thing for us to do, and which I did as commander in chief of the American forces, and which Marshal Foch did as commander in chief of the Allied armies was to continue the military activities.”

My grandfather, serving in WW1, British Army, Royal Leicestershire Regiment

It makes sense, doesn’t it, if the soldiers didn’t know the day or hour, then they were duty bound to continue the good fight.

“Marshal Ferdinand Foch, commander in chief of Allied forces in France, issued on November 9, to keep up the pressure against the retreating enemy until the cease-fire went into effect. …Foch had described to his staff his intention ‘to pursue the Feldgrauen [field grays, or German soldiers] with a sword at their backs’ to the last minute until an armistice went into effect.”

Keeping up the pressure on the enemy, pouring ourselves out as a drink offering… As Paul said in the bible, “However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me–the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.” (Acts 20:24).

Pershing continued, on the notion that the very idea of an armistice was repugnant, because the enemy was still fighting. The enemy was still the enemy, after all:

‘Their request is an acknowledgment of weakness and clearly means that the Allies are winning the war,’ he maintained. ‘Germany’s desire is only to regain time to restore order among her forces, but she must be given no opportunity to recuperate and we must strike harder than ever.’ As for terms, Pershing had one response: ‘There can be no conclusion to this war until Germany is brought to her knees.’ “

Pershing is right to say that the war is not over until every knee bows and all acknowledge the victor.

that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,”(Philippians 2:10.)

“Pershing saw his army akin to a fighter ready to deliver the knockout punch who is told to quit with his opponent reeling but still standing. Conciliation now, he claimed, would lead only to future war. He wanted Germany’s unconditional surrender.”

That’s right. Unless the job is done thoroughly, the enemy comes back stronger than before.

When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, but finds none. Then it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when it comes, it finds the house empty, swept, and put in order. Then it goes and brings with it seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and dwell there, and the last state of that person is worse than the first. So also will it be with this evil generation.” (Mt 12:43-45).

I hope by now you have caught the metaphor. Though we old prophecy soldiers can see the signs that the end of our war in the spiritual realms is near, we cannot relax. “And let us not be weary in well-doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” (Galatians 6:9)

It feels so close, doesn’t it! But the enemy is still on the field and actively engaged. We won’t go home until the Commander in Chief calls for us, and until then, we continue to fight the good fight with all due vigor and attention. Until we hear the Trump of God, carry on, soldiers! (1 Thess 4:6).

Posted in D-day, discernment, Justin Peters, Omaha Beach, spiritual warfare

Justin Peters, Todd Bentley, Omaha Beach, and D-Day in Spiritual Warfare

There are so many subjects I have on deck to write and discuss. But today this subject bumped them all away and made it to the top of the list.

Justin Peters

I know he is the kind of man who would be excessively embarrassed at having a blog entry devoted to him, even from an obscure woman in a lonely corner of the internet like myself. He is a humble man, and totally devoted to praising Jesus, all the time. But that is why I want to highlight this man and his ministry. That, and something that happened yesterday which has already blessed many people.

http://justinpeters.org/

Regular readers of this blog know that I enjoy John MacArthur’s preaching tremendously. He is a grace-filled, steady, wise man of God, and he has been for 50 years. His over 3000 sermons are available for free, in audio or transcribed. His study bibles and commentaries are wonderful, his devotionals are helpful, his Radio Ministry wide-spread, his books are invariably full of wisdom, and his Master’s Seminary sow solidly doctrinal men of God into the world. I believe he is the Spurgeon of our day.

Speaking of Spurgeon, we all owe him a great debt. I frequently quote him on this blog. His exposition lines my heart, having read many of his sermons. I read at least a sermon, a sermon excerpt, or devotional of his every day. For months at a time, Spurgeon preached 12 sermons a week. You heard me. He preached at the royal courts of the Dutch monarchs and the Royals of England, and he preached to the homeless warming themselves in his boiler room. His sermons were printed one per week for over thirty years. He is called the Prince of Preachers and rightly so. You’ve undoubtedly heard of Spurgeon and will hear more about him in an upcoming blog entry here.

Regular readers also know I enjoy the sermons of Phil Johnson, Steve Lawson, Don Green, and especially S. Lewis Johnson and Martyn Lloyd Jones.

The key here is that MacArthur, Spurgeon, Phil Johnson, Steve Lawson, Don Green, S. Lewis Johnson, and Martyn Lloyd Jones are or were all expositors, preaching to one congregation they pastored verse-by-verse. These men are given double honor by me. Pastoring is hard, heartbreaking work. Expositional preaching is out of favor now. Long-term pastorates like the ones these men enjoy are nearly extinct.

Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching.” (1 Timothy 5:17)

But there are there preachers out there without regular pastorate. Paul Washer is an itinerant missionary. Tony Miano is a street preacher. Ray Comfort and Todd Friel are …well, lol, I don’t know what to call those fine men except faithful to be out among the people reaching many with the Gospel.

Justin Peters is a pastor without a church as far as I know, but he is also another of these faithful men of God being used in a mighty way. Pr. Peters has two seminary degrees and is ordained. He preaches on call, he fills pulpits, he leads teaching conferences, and he does apologetics. His niche is a discernment ministry focused on Word-Faith lies.

Pastor Peters is kind, compassionate, humble, gentle, sensitive to the grace of God, wise, and kind. I know I said kind twice. I want to highlight it.

Being in a discernment ministry for so many years, leading seminars on how to detect lies in false doctrine, means Pr Peters must be involved in negativity for long stretches. He studies the word, of course, intensively, but then he must go out and attend a revival, or a charismatic conference, or a prophetic outpouring, and be among false teachers and listen to lies, in order to be able to refute. It is a muddy, dirty, potentially defeating business.

Even if one maintains one’s nose above the muck, many discernment ministers tend to become snarky, or caustic and sarcastic, or just plain arrogant. When men fall into those discernment sins it’s not because they aren’t earnest and they are usually right, but the attitude infiltrating a discernment minister’s mind and heart can often become less than graceful. Sarcasm, snark, caustic comments, derision, contempt, and scorn often accompany discernment. I combat that myself all the time. It is born of a righteous anger, but it degenerates into something that sometimes can come out as less than righteous.

It is only by clinging severely to the grace of God that one can swim in such dark waters for so many years, and yet remain humble and filled with compassion, and still declare the beauty of the Gospel with clarity and simplicity, like Pr. Peters has.

His ministry not only teaches us in apologetics how and why the Word-Faith or other doctrines are false, and in so doing, teaches how to be discerning in general, but his very example is a testament to the ample ability the Holy Spirit has to enrich a ministry while protecting a soul.

What happened yesterday is an example of how these diligent men of God, especially the ones not in front of a congregation that are seen by many, go about their work declaring the word of the Lord. They protect the sheep. They confront sin and sinners in love and with hope and prayer they will repent.

Todd Bentley is a charismatic “preacher” known for being rough, looking rough, and speaking rough.

His “healing” services have included kicking a 4th stage cancer patient in the stomach, and kneeing an elderly woman. He is covered in tattoos, many of them obtained after his “conversion.” He preaches healing if you have enough faith- AND if you sow a seed into his ministry. He is a false preacher of God, employed firmly in satan’s camp. Yet he is big in the US and bigger overseas. Bentley is deceiving many. He brings shame and reproach onto Jesus’ name. Bentley made the mistake of preaching near where Justin Peters lives.

Peters, who has cerebral palsy and walks with a large crutch, or moves in a wheelchair, went with his friend Michael Miller to hear Bentley ‘preach’ in Tulsa. Peters is well familiar with charismatic events, attending many himself in search of healing when he was a youth, and attending as a mature Christian in order to observe and learn. He and Miller had asked for prayer prior to attending Bentley’s service. This was the prayer request on Peters’ Facebook ministry page, from Mike Miller:

Brothers and sisters in Christ, I would ask for your earnest prayers for Justin and I tomorrow. We need boldness to present the truth in love with precision, Divine encounters, wisdom and to put it frankly, we are in great need of every sort of grace. No details yet but the Lord knows where we are going, and He knows how much I appreciate your prayers! We definitely need them! More info later. Grace and peace, Mike

The response of the faithful to this precious pastor and his friend was huge, and thus bathed in prayer, the pair drove from Oklahoma City to Bentley’s Tulsa “Healing and Debt Cancellation Service.” I am not kidding about the title. The service was live streamed internationally, which turned out to be a blessing for Peters. Miller was also video recording Peters’ interaction. Peters is in the cammo cap.

There Miller and Peters sat for two and a half hours, listening, praying, seeking an opportunity to speak to Bentley and also on behalf of the unwittingly deluded congregation. There was music playing constantly, and Bentley was constantly talking. It was difficult to know when to speak. Yet Peters’ conscience would not let him remain silent. Pastor Peters recounted his experience on the JD Hall Show and it is archived at sermon audio- the link is below. I encourage you to listen. Hall for the most part simply lets Peters explain what happened before, during, and after the event.

Suddenly for some reason the music stopped. Peters knew this was the moment. He got up and said out loud, “I have a word.” Peters said that at Charismatic services when someone says they have a word they always stop what they are doing and eagerly listen to man’s word. However as proof is shown in a moment, they are not always so eager to listen to God’s word. Peters then recited Matthew 7:21-23.

““Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’”

Bentley looked confused for a moment, Peters said later, and asked Peters, “Who…who is the worker of iniquity?” Peters looked Bentley in the eye and said,

“You are.”

There was a split second of shock that went through Bentley and the audience. As one biblically wise person on Peters Facebook page said, it was a moment like when Nathan the Prophet rebuked David the King in 2 Samuel 12:1-15. In verse 7, “Nathan said to David, “You are the man!

In the next second, Bentley whirled, took the microphone from Peters, muscle men leaped in to physically remove Peters, and Bentley cued the music again. The muscle men attempted to remove Peters, who was not resisting, by arm, but he has crutches attached at his elbows and if you move his arm, he’ll fall. At one point Bentley moved in to take hold of Peters, but Peters said he did not want Bentley to touch him. Peters instinctively raised his hand a bit to stop the touch. It was then that Bentley said loudly “Don’t you hit me with your crutch!”

This is ironic given that Bentley is a large, burly man and Peters is weak and unsteady.

Left, Peters with his crutch in his motorized scooter, Bentley on rt.

Peters continued to preach as he was hustled up the aisle and out the door, reminding the assembled that Bentley is a divorced man, having abandoned his handicapped wife and children. Peters advised them they were being deceived by a wolf. Though Peters and Miller left immediately when told, the Bentley team still called the police on them. The blessing was that the event was live streamed as I mentioned. This means that Peters’ preaching of the Matthew verse and the ensuing activity was broadcast live around the world.

Here is Miller’s thank you for the prayers.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, thank you for your prayers. The Lord graciously gave brother Justin an opportunity to publicly and personally call a false teacher out on a live streaming broadcast in front of a congregation, and Justin gave the false prophet a true “word” from God reading Matthew 7:21-23. 

Justin asked me to be discreet about this lest he receive any acclaim which should only go to the Lord. God is the one that made this public rebuke possible, and who protected us. Soli Deo Gloria. So I am not going to post the video or give details, but I did want to thank you for your prayers because this situation would not have occurred without the gracious provision of the Holy Spirit and the prayers of God’s people. 

Yes, they did remove Justin from the premises under force, and they did call the cops on us, but no harm was done. We did get to testify to quite a few people about this false prophet and warn them, and we got to sow the true Gospel of Jesus Christ in this heretical church. Please pray that God will have mercy on these people and save them from a very dark deception. The ones we talked to were willingly ignorant and unwilling to listen to any truth for more than a few seconds. Grace and peace to you all. Sincerely in Christ, Mike

Changing gears just a bit, Peters said on JD Hall’s interview show that in Peters’ long career as a discernment minister, there are a few false teachers who he feels are directly possessed by satan. All false teachers are under satan’s influence, being lost, but a few are directly invaded in body. Yes, possession still happens, friends. Peters said that he feels Kenneth Copeland is so dark, that he is possessed by a demon, and also Bentley is so dark that he also has a demon. This was the main reason he did not want Bentley to touch him. Now think about this:

In Peters’ work, he must attend services in places which proclaim a false gospel, tell lies, grab for greed, and in a few cases, directly confront a demon-possessed person. These spiritual soldiers are the D-Day soldiers of Omaha Beach, in the mud, in the trenches, first off the boat. The face enemy fire first and directly. They often become casualties, but if one remains in Christ, in prayer, and submits their very ego, soul, strength, and mind to Christ, they are spared the bullets and make it to the woods.

1944 D-Day invasion of Normandy

Like our precious soldiers who went to Omaha Beach on D-Day, these spiritual soldiers do it for freedom. They do it because foremost the name of Jesus must be proclaimed and protected. But they do it for the hostages. The people filling the services like Bentley’s are in bondage to a false gospel, they have no hope. Wading in to such places, Peters and men like him (Miano, Friel, Comfort, Kirk) bring the light and hope of freedom.

The men at D-Day were attempting to gain back ground for the cause of freedom, and while noble in the extreme, it was a temporal endeavor. While it brings tears to my eyes just thinking about that day 70 years ago, and the soldiers’ sacrifices, pastors like Peters are attempting to gain back ground by gathering souls for Christ, an eternal endeavor.

Peters pleaded with Hall on the interview show never to ascribe any particular honor to him. He doesn’t want limelight. Peters said it was all for the glory of God, and done by the strength of the Spirit. This is true, and it is one reason why we love Pastor Justin Peters. But we also are advised in the bible to give double honor to our soldiers on the front lines: pastors-

Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching.” (1 Timothy 5:17)

When you pray for your pastor and deacons, please also pray for the pastors who don’t have a regular flock. These men minister to the lost, bewildered, and wandering via a discernment ministry, a street ministry, or a media ministry. Spiritual warfare is sometimes more evident and more palpable in those realms, on spiritual hamburger hills all over the globe. The charismatic prosperity healing service or the public street in a gay city is the Omaha Beach of Christ. Preaching there is like D-Day. Every time.

Please also give praise to the Holy Spirit who obviously has Peters well protected, and is growing him in Christ-likeness in leaps and bounds. This is an example of a gentle, grace-filled pastor who loves Jesus. Let’s cherish these men. The Lord certainly does.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Sermon audio: JD Hall interview with Justin Peters. 25 min.

Blog essay, review of Justin Peters/Todd Bentley incident

Photo of Peters in motorized scooter is from 2009 Shepherd’s Conference, pic of a participant with Peters here.

Posted in armageddon, satan, soldier, spiritual warfare

"If Jesus returns, kill him again" says Canadian man, echoing prophecy in Revelation 19:19

I want to dwell for a moment on the hatred satan has for Jesus and the people of Jesus. It is not a pleasant subject, but a necessary one to examine. We are warned repeatedly in the bible that satan prowls around like a lion-

“The LORD said to Satan, “Where have you come from?” Satan answered the LORD, “From roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it.” (Job 1:7)

“Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8)

He has schemes; and those schemes are not for our good-

“in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.” (2 Corinthians 2:11)

Satan has pride and plans and a purpose. It is to be higher than God. It is to usurp God.

How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit“. (Isaiah 14:13-15)

It is good news that in the end God will calmly and easily flick satan into the Lake of Fire, but until then, we are on his world and we are prey to his prowling which seeks to devour and destroy us.

Do you know how much satan hates us and hates Jesus? Do you have an inkling? Just as God’s love is incomprehensible, satan’s hatred of the Holy One is inchoerent, yet, it is relentless and it is horrific. This hatred extends to you and to me, as His children. His hatred is unreasonable, impenetrable, unfathomable. I want us to try and fathom it, for a moment.

Here is one example of satan’s hatred. We can’t plumb the depths of it, because there is no end to this hatred, but here is one earthly expression of the hate that satan has for Jesus and His children:

Darwin Bedford is a Canadian man on a mission. He calls himself an atheist messiah. His message is simple and it is straightforward. It is this:

Bedford says “If Earth is to remain an everlasting paradise, then socially we need to denormalize religion because it is so harmful.”

It goes without saying that Bedford is on a mission to stamp out religion. You notice that he focuses on Christianity as the sole cause of the world’s ills. Muhammad is [supposedly] coming back, but Bedford doesn’t mention that. His rabid focus on Jesus and the death of Jesus is due to the work Jesus did on the cross, atoning for the world’s sins. He mocks it with a typically darkened understanding of the plan of God to forgive sins, saying that we need to kill Jesus over and over in order to atone for the living people who have not yet had this ‘benefit’. he says,

Will you please help me kill Jesus should He return? I’m thinking of forming an official society under the Societies Act for the purpose of killing Him should he return. And should God send us His only daughter in flesh instead (for the purpose of dying for forgiveness of sins) then we should kill Her too.

In days of yore and not so long ago, a position like Bedford’s would have been unthinkable to speak out loud. Simple peer pressure from the majority who believed in Jesus would have kept those with extremist and utterly blasphemous views like his from even being spoken aloud. Now, not only does he appear at political events with his sign, but Bedford has alliances with other organizations who believe the same.

Such hatred of Jesus is shown to us in the bible. At the end of time, satan successfully incites all of the world’s armies to assemble at the plains of Armageddon. Most people think this is so that they can fight each other. The world will have been in a perpetual state of war by the time the 7th year of the designated tribulation period arrives, so the assumption is logical. It is not entirely correct, though. (Revelation 6:4). While peace is taken from the earth, the moment at the time when all the world’s armies are ready to fight is not so that they fight each other. It is so they can fight and kill Jesus. Here is the scene.

Jesus is introduced in Revelation 19:11 as the returning rider on the white horse. Jesus in His glory is described, and so are His armies. Then a few things happen. Finally in Revelation 19:19 we read the following:

And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth with their armies gathered to make war against him who was sitting on the horse and against his army. And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who in its presence had done the signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped its image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur. And the rest were slain by the sword that came from the mouth of him who was sitting on the horse, and all the birds were gorged with their flesh.” [emphasis mine]

The armies are ready to fight Jesus, who is returning on His horse. The eons-long hatred of satan against the Holy One will culminate ins a fruitless assembly of the world’s military to fight Him who is called Faithful and True.

Of course it is over in a moment. Jesus utters a word and they all fall. Satan is captured and locked up and the antichrist & false prophet, who are leading the armies, are captured and thrown into the Lake of Fire. This scene is previewed for us in John 18:6. When the soldiers who had come to arrest Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane asked if He is the man they are seeking, Jesus replied ‘I AM He’. And the soldiers all fell to the ground under the power of His name. They will do the same at Armageddon. And the vultures will feast on their dead carcasses.

In 2 Peter 3, Peter is writing reassurances to the Christians at that time (and us at this time). He reminds His flock that the prophets of old have much to say to us about this time (2 Peter 3:2). He moves on to say that mockers and scoffers will try to intimidate us by their ridicule, but don’t worry (verse 4). He specifically reminds us that thought it may seem slow in coming, His Day will arrive on perfect schedule. (vv9-10).

Then Peter says, since we know all this, what kind of people shall we be as we are “waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God” ?

be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace. … You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.” (2 Peter 2:14b, 17-18)

“Knowing this beforehand”…we know how much satan hates us, so let’s be holy and diligent. Why diligence? Because of the satanic hatred leveled at us every second of every day. (Ephesians 6:10-20). What is diligence? Pray ceaselessly. Read the bible daily. Encourage one another constantly. Tithe or donate sacrificially to meet needs. As Peter urged, remain stable – and that stability is only on the Rock. Cling to the love of Jesus, but don’t relax in knowing satan’s hate will try to knock you off your game. Don’t underestimate his prowling and his constant and sole goal of destruction

No matter how or where or why satan has his schemes, no matter how deep his hatred is for Jesus and by extension, of us, it will all come to naught. Our momentary afflictions are but a wisp of time and almost weightless compared to the glory and joy awaiting us in heaven.

Posted in camp life, soldier, spiritual warfare

A soldier’s life: earth is our camp and we’re homesick for home

What was life for a soldier during the Civil War in camp? Authors Brooke C. Stoddard and Daniel P. Murphy, Ph.D tell us-

Soldiers in the Civil War did not see battle every day, or even every week. Most were inactive about 75 percent of the time, thanks to the hurry-up-and-wait nature of warfare. During these down periods, the typical day started at 5 A.M. during the spring and summer months and 6 A.M. during the fall and winter. Soldiers were awakened by reveille, roll call was taken by the first sergeant, and then everyone sat down to breakfast.

Much of a soldier’s life is waiting around for orders

During the rest of the day, soldiers engaged in as many as five two-hour drill sessions on weaponry or maneuvers. Most soldiers found these drills extremely boring and tedious; they wanted to fight, not practice, though they realized the drills could mean the difference between life and death when fighting did occur.

Soldiers also cleaned and readied the camp, built roads, dug latrines, gathered wood for cooking and heating, and sometimes foraged for food to supplement their meals. Letters from home kept them going.

[They engaged in] recreation to help them while away the rest of the hours. Those who were able wrote long letters home or read books, magazines, and newspapers when they could get them. Others played cards or engaged in various sports, such as baseball, boxing, and cockfighting.

Of all the hardships soldiers faced in camp, homesickness was probably the most rampant and difficult to cure.

Source

It is the same for a Christian soldier. Exactly the same. We are all called to persevere in the battle, but the battle isn’t always at the same pitch every day. While waiting for orders, we go to work, have leisure, engage in drills and practice (corporate worship, study, and prayer). We live for letters from home, which of course is the bible.

We’re moms, dads, youths, and regular people, living a Christian life … living in camp, joshing with other soldiers, cleaning our armor and longing for home, until called upon to launch into action. And do you know what that action is?

Standing.
Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. (Ephesians 6:13)

Praying.
For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. (2 Corinthians 10:4)

Resisting.
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (James 4:7)

We are not loudly pronouncing binding and loosing in Jesus’s name in public places. We do not exorcise demons from every bush. We do not prayer walk a location to assess the enemy’s capability. We do not map out the demonic strongholds in a place and gather to scream prophecies at them.

We pray, stand, and resist. We do this because our High Commander has won the battle. The battle is His.

Yes, earth is our camp and sometimes camp life is boring. Sometimes there is a long time between skirmishes and sometimes soldiers enter skirmishes that last a long time. It is an enduring and tiring war, outlasting our lifetimes, unless the Lord comes and raptures us. As President Abraham Lincoln said at the conclusion of the United States Civil War-

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Read that with understanding that when Lincoln says ‘nation’ we understand that nation to be the kingdom of God. Understand the soldiers who died and are buried here precede us in the long battle. And indeed, the world as Lincoln says, does not like what we do but they cannot ignore it and cannot forget it. We have a great task, and it is our measure of devotion to our Commander that these soldiers who went on before us have not died in vain and that one day, the kingdom of Jesus shall not perish from the earth but shall endure forever.

Posted in c. peter wagner, resist, spiritual mapping, spiritual warfare

Spiritual warfare: there is a right way and a wrong way

[Updated to add two photos]

I’m still thinking about my last post about the fallen angels and satan flooding the earth. It will be a time of potent evil.

The Christian is always engaged in spiritual warfare, it is a fact of life. The bible tells us in many ways and in many books that we are to be vigilant. The most famous of these warnings is when Peter said,

“Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8- ESV).

There is a lot of truth in there. Let’s unpack it for a moment before we go on. Be sober-minded, and then he emphasizes again, be watchful. The word for sober literally means to be not drunk with wine, and figuratively, be free from the drunken influences that sin causes, so that you may keep your wits about you. You don’t want a drunk person driving you around in your car, do you? A drunk babysitter? A drunk security guard at your store? A drunk sentry at the barracks? No, of course not. When we are drunk with alcohol or sin, we cannot act in a responsible manner.

Be watchful means just that, as well: watch, be vigilant. The literal Greek word translated to English means “stay awake.” Too many of us fall asleep on our Christian walk. The figurative meaning is also obvious, stay on the alert.

Then Peter said “your adversary the devil…” Devil means adversary, (and slanderer) so using both adversary and devil in rapid succession drives the point home. The word adversary also has a legal connotation. Satan acts as such an adversary, “bringing the (law)suit of darkness against believers for their eternal damnation.” He is the opponent at Law.

The word prowls connotes constant, sneaky, quiet motion. But the Greek word is peripateo, from which we get peripatetic in English. A peripatetic person is someone who walks around constantly, a wayfarer, a traveler.

A roaring lion…why did Peter use the Holy Spirit’s inspired word “roaring”? Doesn’t that contradict with prowling? Why would satan sneakily prowl but then announce his presence by roaring at his prey? Well, did you know that in real life, “resident males only roar when they are on their own territory. So the first thing we can say about roaring in males is that it is a display of ownership that is only given by residents on their own territory.” We know that satan is god of this world, (2 Corinthians 4:4) given authority and power on earth (Mt 4:7-9).

Wiki Answers explains the lion’s roar: “They roar to communicate with each other and they roar to proclaim where their territory is, they do this every evening. Roaring is also one of their strategies for catching prey – they creep up on the prey and when they are close enough, they will let out a roar that confuses that animal(s) and strikes fear into the lion’s prey. The prey then cannot “think” or react correctly out of fear and so is trapped and caught by the lion.”

Seeking whom he may devour…the Greek word means “swallow, devour, destroy, consume.”

It is clear: we have an enemy we must always vigilantly be on guard from. But now here is the point of the essay.

People engaged in misguided spiritual warfare fancy themselves as warriors brandishing swords, going out deliberately and purposely engaging with demons. This kind of wayward spiritual warfare uses “spiritual mapping.” The proponents go to a territory or neighborhood and try to uncover the demonic obstacles that are hindering spiritual growth in that location. Through spiritual mapping they attempt to discover the specific hindrances to the Gospel message in an area, such as divination, or fortune telling, and then, through persistent intercession performed in various ways, remove them. They believe that if they know first that it is a spirit of fortune telling that is blocking the flourishing of the Gospel in that neighborhood, they pray in that direction, then they can share the Gospel and God can do His work.

The seminal book on this type of warfare is James Dawson’s 1989 book Taking Our Cities For God in with the subtitle: “How to Break Spiritual Strongholds”. C. Peter Wagner is the next generation carrying this kind of spiritual warfare forward. In the book Mr Dawson stated, “To overcome the enemy we must resist temptation ourselves and then continue in united, travailing prayer until we sense that we have gained authority and that God has broken through.” The approach is man-centered, with conditions that must be met before God can be effective. You see how wrong this approach is.

On its face this is unbiblical. Not that there aren’t hindrances to the Gospel. We read up above that satan is the god of this world. Earth is his territory, all of it. Not that we are supposed to succumb to temptation. Not at all. But one can simply acknowledge that there will be hindrances to the Gospel and get on with sharing it. Paul didn’t spend two weeks at Mars Hill walking about the area spiritually mapping it, learning the history of the city, discerning its moral weaknesses, deciding which demon was working where. After the scales fell from Saul’s eyes, Saul, now Paul, “At once he began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God.” (Acts 9:20). At once.

“When they arrived at Salamis, they proclaimed the word of God in the Jewish synagogues.” (Acts 13:5). Did Paul walk around for a few weeks, gather a focus group, and discern which spirits were were hindering the word of Jesus? No. He simply walked in and told them about Jesus. Preach the gospel, witness, disciple.

How did Jesus engage in spiritual warfare? When satan tempted Jesus in the desert, Jesus answered with the Word. He said, “It is written.” Jesus didn’t go into the desert and say “Satan, come out come out wherever you are so I can bind you before I do this work here!”

The problem with this kind of spiritual warfare is that the soldiers take their eyes off Jesus. They wind up looking for demons instead of looking at Jesus. They get so wrapped up in searching out the demonic that they go off on tangents when it is Jesus they should be looking to all the time.

The other unbiblical aspect of this kind of offensive warfare, as opposed to defensive, is that the verse in James 4:7 states: “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” Every translation says the same.

The verse does not say “Engage the devil and he will flee from you.”
The verse does not say “Charge at the devil & he will flee from you.”
The verse does not say “Bind the devil and he will flee from you.”
The verse does not say “Locate the devil and he will flee from you.”

It says resist. It is the Gospel that has the power to make the spirits flee. The Gospel has the power to bind the devil’s work. The evil spirits are not scared of us. They are scared of the power of Jesus. Even the angel Michael did not rebuke satan in his own power. (Jude 1:9). It is defensive action, not offensive.

The seven sons of Sceva were going around binding spirits. One day, “the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I recognize, but who are you?”” (Acts 19:15). The Sons of Sceva were relying on a methodology, applying it uniformly in every town they went. So it is the same with the methodology of spiritual mapping and offensive spiritual warfare as opposed to the biblical method of defensively resisting, sharing, witnessing and discipling.

Be mindful of the schemes of the devil and his spirits, rebuke when you come across them in Jesus’ authority. We always seek a balance. We don’t underestimate them and we don’t overestimate them. They are not under every rock, but they do exist. They are not the root cause of every failed neighborhood, but they do love to cavort in ruined waste places.

Our best defense against satan is knowing the word and being ready to apply it when satan does come, as Jesus showed us in his handling of spiritual warfare.

“Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.” (1 John 4:4)

Posted in satan, spiritual warfare

Satan is real

Petrus Comestor’s “Bible Historiale”

When God said to satan “Have you considered my servant Job?” satan didn’t say “Job who?” Satan knows the Godly. Do you think he knows you?

Alternately, when the demons met the Jewish exorcists of Sceva, look at what happened. “But also some of the Jewish exorcists, who went from place to place, attempted to name over those who had the evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, “I adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preaches.” Seven sons of one Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this. And the evil spirit answered and said to them, “I recognize Jesus, and I know about Paul, but who are you?” (Acts 19:13-15.)

Pastor Steven Lawson preached: “Many today try to deny the existence of satan, and say that he is a figment of medieval  imagination. I would remind us all here today that the existence of a real, personal devil is taught in 7 Old Testament books, by every New Testament writer, and by Christ Himself.”

Satan is real. But glory be, so is Jesus, who is sovereign and above all names. If you submit to Jesus, you will be forever Christ’s friend and satan’s enemy. If you choose to reject Jesus you are His enemy and satan’s toy to destroy. “[Satan] The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10).
http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.jshttp://www.facebook.com/widgets/like.php?href=%20http://the-end-time.blogspot.com/2011/10/satan-is-real.html

http://s7.addthis.com/js/250/addthis_widget.js#pubid=xa-4df8df7d18b59150