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Friday, January 18, 2019

Sons and Bastards (Jim Croft)

Sons & Bastards
Heb 12:7-17 speaks of sons and bastards. The legitimate are born of the Father’s Seed & accept chastening (disciplining). Bastards born of clever oratory want heir benefits, but totally reject the possibility of chastening.
This generation has a bumper crop of the illegitimate who were attracted to the Kingdom by its perks as opposed to the glory of relational sonship with God the Father. Like Esau, they smelt tasty morsels and entered with mental assent to gain right to the banqueting table. Tragically, they have no guarantees that they’ll later find a place to repent (change their minds) though they seek it with tears. Generally, bastards will rebel rather than repent when they discover there are lulls between the 9 courses of the banquet. They consider tributes to the Host a waste of time. For them, toasts to applaud the testimonies of honored guests about their turnarounds from carnality to holiness are boring (and not worthy of an ear). Denial of the possibility of the legitimate and the illegitimate among us is spiritual blindness.
The Chastening in Heb 12:12-17 is depicted by ancient Middle East shepherding terms. Feeble/sin-prone human appendages of hands & knees that need strengthening/correction to avoid severe chattering are symbolic of sheep legs. If sheep continually strayed, shepherd would hold close then twist & sprain leg rendering sore/feeble. If senseless sheep persisted; shepherd would hold sheep closer & would jerk leg permanently dislocating it. Sins were falling short of grace = ingratitude; sexual immorality; spreading bitter speech; and refusal to pursue holiness. If you don’t think that Jesus can & will lovingly hold you close while simultaneously dislocating your leg to make sure that you don’t stray again; you don’t have a biblical concept of the Good Shepherd.

Demonology Basics

Demonology Basics
There are several different theories on the origin of demons and each can be debated. One thing that can be said for certain is that Demons are fallen angelic beings - but NOT Fallen Angels.
Although angels are spirit beings, they can transform into physical bodies and can appear physically as men to humans on earth. There are many references in scripture that support this fact (Gen 19:1; Daniel 10:5; Luke 1:11, etc ) and absolutely zero scriptural evidence supporting that demons have the same capability. Demons can manifest physically, even though physical attacks, leaving scratch marks and other physical evidence while having no physical bodies themselves. There are many scriptural references to demons being cast out of humans which dictate that they were inside human bodies at the time they are cast out. From the vast majority of scripture we can deduce that demons are invisible, bodiless, demonic spirits that seek out bodies to inhabit in order to torment humans or animals (see Matt. 12:43–45; Mark 5:11–13).
In addition to physical body transformation, angels can move between heavens. As mentioned above in the way of earthly visitations and in Daniel 10 we previously discussed principalities of the second heaven, between earth and God’s throne in the third heaven (see 2 Cor 12:1-4). In the second heaven (outer space) they do warfare against the angels of heaven and against man. In contrast, demons are relegated to earth and are here to torment mankind, up close and personal. In every instance of scripture regarding battling demons, they are always on earth and involve mankind. Think of them as demonic parasites to humankind.
My opinion is that demons are a kind of subspecies to angels that were originally created by God (Col 1:16) to serve Him in some capacity just as all angelic beings were. Demons are inferior to angels in that they lack the power, movement, physicality and capabilities of angels, but nonetheless present a great threat to man, both saved and unsaved. Demons are disembodied spirit beings - persons.
Characteristics of Demons
Demons have all the traits of normal human personality:
 Will (see Matt. 12:44; Mark 5:11–13)
 Emotion (see James 2:19)
 Knowledge (see Mark 1:23–24; Acts 19:15)
 Self-awareness (see Mark 5:9)
 Ability to speak (see Mark 1:24; 5:7–12; Acts 19:15) Anything that can speak is a person!
 Intellect and Memory (See Luke 11:24-26 and James 2:19)
Activities of Demons
 Entice (see James 1:14)
Demons entice or tempt people to do or think evil. Enticement usually comes in verbal form with the demon speaking to us through our thoughts. Again, anything that has a voice is a person!
 Torment/Harass (see 2 Tim. 1:7; 1 John 4:18)
Matthew 18:34, the parable of the unforgiving servant, says “And his lord was angry, and delivered him to the tormentors…” In this case, the unforgiving servant was delivered by God to demons for tormenting. Matthew 6:15 says very clearly, “But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.” Today there are millions of self-professing Christians who have unforgiveness in their heart.
If you have any unforgiveness in your heart toward anybody, you are a totally legitimate target for demonization. Torment can take form in the physical, mental or spiritual.
 Deceive (see 1 Tim. 4:1–2)
Satan is the great deceiver and, since he isn’t omnipresent, his minions or demons are his tools. All forms of spiritual deception are demonic and demons will tempt you away from the truth and inject error in its place. False teachers and prophets are demonically deceived.
 Enslave (see Romans 8:15)
Demons enslave their host by driving them to continue in sin
 Drive/compel (see Luke 8:29)

Demons compel and cause compulsive behavior. Almost anything compulsive is liable to be demonic. If you combine compulsion with enslaving, you have addiction. The compulsion to do something coupled with being enslaved to it can be a powerful combination.
 Defile (see Titus 1:15)
Demons defile by making you feel dirty and unclean or unworthy of God’s love.
 Make sick (or apathetic) (see Matthew 9:20)
Besides dis-eases, there is a spirit of apathy that physically robs us of energy to do almost anything if it is centered around God. A Barna Group poll showed that 95% of self-professed Christians never crack a Bible between Sundays – if then.
 Kill (see John 10:10)
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.” When people are raised from the dead the spirit of death must be overcome. Death here isn’t just physical death but can be a state of death - In 2012 a woman was brought out of a 3-year coma when I cast out the spirit of death from her.
 Make restless / Not At Peace (see Daniel 2:1)
Restlessness or fidgetiness can sum up all of the other characteristics of being demonized. Demons try and disrupt peace in every aspect. This fight is sometimes directly focused in the areas of:
 Inner personal harmony
 Peace of mind
 Physical well-being
 Harmonious relationships with other people, especially those closest to us
 Dealing with external circumstances
Demonic Areas of Operation
 Emotions and Attitudes
 The Mind
 The Tongue
 Sex / Lust
 Addiction
 The Occult
 Participation in False Religions
 All Heresies
 Diseases
While most equate demonic infestation strictly to outright sin (although this can be the case) with implied shame attached to the afflicted, the most common demonic infestations involve emotional and psychological scars. These injuries, whether real or perceived, usually took place during the formative years, which can range from prenatal to mid-teens. The displayed attributes can range from anger, fear, hatred, misery, rejection, resentment, rebellion, loneliness, self-pity, doubt, jealousy, depression, anxiety, despair and even murder or suicide. These emotional scars can lead to sexual sin, addiction and turning to false religions (I.e. new age remedies) for a cure or release. If turned inward they can lead to disease. While many are set free at the time of salvation, many are not and it is the body’s responsibility and Christ-given authority (Mark 16:17-18) to treat the afflicted by casting out these injurious spirits rather than shunning or ignoring their victims. The answer as to why this doesn’t happen is plain ignorance and an unscriptural belief that Christians can’t be demonized (see Acts 8:9-25) While a believer can’t be possessed, they can still suffer from deep injuries that manifest in ungodly thoughts and actions.
There are millions of Christian believers tormented by experiences and memories from an early age that the enemy used to plant seeds of unworthiness, shame, guilt and self-destruction. If untreated, these can lead to a lack in fulfillment of experiencing God’s love and abundant life that He has for all believers. Demons have two main objectives assigned to them by Satan…first, to come between us and God and if they fail in this, their second objective is to keep us from leading fruitful lives and ministry. One of the most fulfilling, exciting and love-filled experiences one can have in ministry is seeing the power of Jesus at work through you in setting someone free from demonic torment. As the Lord instructed me during my first deliverance ministry experience, the aforementioned coma patient, “Step up and do it...I'm right here with you"

Prophetic Watchmen

Prophetic Watchmen
One of the things I do when I study is to look at the Hebrew and Greek meanings of words which always leads to a deeper understanding of what God actually meant when He said what He said. When we look in scripture at the word and context of ‘watchman’ and look at the Hebrew, we'll encounter words like Tsaphah (to keep watch; peer into), Shama (to hear; listen intently), Zahar (to warn), Shamar (to restrain or confine), natsar (guard from danger what is most important).
Unlike English, each Hebrew letter, or symbol in its 22 symbol alphabet has its own meaning, so when you string these symbols together to form words you get a much deeper defined meaning of the word. Each symbol also has a corresponding number assigned to it. They are also, at times, composed of more than one ‘letter’. For example, the symbol ‘Heh’ (or hey) ה, is actually comprised of the letters dalet and yud. The vertical and horizontal lines of the dalet represent the physical world, while the vertical yud signifies the spiritual world. Therefore the ‘hey’ represents the physical and spiritual realms or a combination of the two. It also correlates to the number 5, grace, because of its usage in the Hebrew name for God. There’s much to say on each Hebrew symbol but I’m not going to bore you with the details – because I know you will be. I want to get to the nuts and bolts here. Hebrew symbols have changed in appearance a few times throughout history but the meaning of each individual symbol has remained the same from the beginning of time.
The most common symbols in the words I’ve mentioned above are these:
Heh (or hey)- ה - means ‘to reveal or behold’
Ayin – ע – means ‘to see and understand’
Cheth (or het) – ח - means ‘to protect or tend to’
Shin – ש – means “to consume or destroy”
Reysh (or resh) – ר – means “what is most important”
Phe (or peh) – פ – means “”to speak, command or present”
Putting it all together, ‘A watchman is one who restrains evil by warning (speaking) what is revealed in order to protect what is most important to God.’
Watchmen watch and listen, understanding what they see and hear and they speak it! They have a purpose in reporting what is revealed regardless of whether or not the warning is heeded. A watchman isn’t necessarily a prophet but a prophet is also a watchman.

When Was Jesus Born?

The most important aspect of Christmas is, of course, celebrating the birth of Jesus, the savior of the world. This being said, the time frame of December is off the mark - and this post is meant to shed light on this aspect alone.
If you’ve ever been to Israel in Winter or spoken with someone from Israel, you will know that it’s cold at night in December - and that animals are sheltered in pens in winter, not pastured. The shepherds wouldn’t be ‘tending their sheep by night’ in December. But, this isn’t enough to disprove a December birth of Jesus - for this we turn to the word.
According to Luke 1:24-26, Mary ’conceived’ Jesus in the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy with John the Baptist. This means that Jesus was born 15 months (9 +6) after the angel Gabriel appeared to Elizabeth’s husband, Zacharias, and informed him that his wife would bear a child.
According to Luke 1:5, Zacharias was a priest of the division of Abijah. Luke 1:8 says that Gabriel appeared to Zacharias while he was serving as a priest in the Temple. The division of Abijah served as priests during the second half of the fourth month of the Jewish calendar — which would have put it in late June since the Jewish religious calendar begins in March, with Passover. Three months later (9-6) would place the birth of Jesus in the seventh month of the Jewish calendar, which would be in either late September or early October. Jesus’ conception, not His birth, occurred in December (of the previous year). This time frame also coincides with the Feast of Tabernacles, the Feast of Ingathering, a biblical Jewish holiday celebrated on the 15th day of the seventh month, Tishrei. An aside: The number seven represents perfection in scripture. Coincidence? Nope.
John 1:14, speaking of Jesus as the Word, says: “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” The word “dwelt” that is used here is the Greek word “skenoo”, which literally means “to tabernacle”. When God came to earth to tabernacle among men, He deliberately chose His arrival to coincide with the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles. Coincidenza? Nope, God doesn’t do coincidences. This is very appropriate, for the Feast of Tabernacles is the most joyous of all the Jewish feasts. It is, in fact the feast of praise and thanksgiving.
In addition to this is the fact that lambing season, when lambs are born, is from March to late September-early October in Israel. Jesus is the ‘Lamb of God’, sent as sacrifice for our sins. No coincidence here either.
The birth of the lamb of God, dwelling with us, Feast of Tabernacles. Hallelujah!

La-La Christianity

La-la Christianity
Where there is no hunger, or even recognition of truth, going through motions in an appearance of interest and holiness, a facade devoid of substance where worship becomes entertainment and conviction/correction falls on deaf ears, where fire-less hearts, frozen in stagnation, sit in powerless pews and souls are soothed in lukewarm baths of indifference.

Witchcraft, a Threat?

Witchcraft A Threat?
A recent Pew study has shown that during the Obama presidency, the number of professing Christians in America fell by a full 8%. Meanwhile, the number of self-professed witchcraft participants rose dramatically. In fact, in 1990 there were approximately 8,000 professed Wiccans in the U.S. and, as of October of this past year, that number is estimated at 1.5 million- with an increase of over 1 million in the last ten years. There are 100,000 more Wiccans than Presbyterians, to give it some scale.
I agree with many that we are and have been for a few years, living in a ‘post-Christian era’, mainly because the numbers don’t refute that statement, but support it. This should come as no great shock to any disciple of Christ. This is just the beginning of the end of this age and we haven’t even seen the start of true persecution in America as of yet. The good news is that things are happening exactly as they were foretold by Christ. The really good news is that, as true believers, we are protected by the blood of Jesus and if He is for us nobody stands a chance of coming against us - and certainly not the likes of witchcraft, hoodoo voodoo.
For three years in Miami, I ministered deliverance and spiritual house cleanings in houses of various kinds of witchcraft, from Santeria to Voodoo to Macumba and have ministered to 'high-level' witches, including the head of the Church of Satan for the entire eastern seaboard. I can tell you that as long as you’re walking in the authority of Christ, there is no spell that has been or ever will be conjured that can harm you - and that every knee shall bow, period. Now, more than ever in recent times, it’s time to put on your big boy Jesus pants and stand tall. Walk in HIS power and HIS authority and stop whining. Instead, go slap a little Holy Spirit BOOYAH on the satanic - Who you gonna call?

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