Most of us know that having pride is a sure way to fall on our big head, but did you know that pride manifest in different ways?
One creature that is used to illustrate pride is the peacock. To be “proud as a peacock” is a saying used to mean a vain or self-centered person.
Vanity is a form of pride that, while seemingly obvious may also be just as subtle. That is vanity may be hiding in a very obvious place!
Most of us know that the proud peacock struts his stuff for all to see. The peacock may not even be lying about his beauty! Peacocks are very beautiful!
The male peacock’s plumage spreads in a big way to attract. Those feathers are pretty awesome!
Pride puffs up. It is pompous, vain, boastful and egotistical! (Romans 11:21, Proverbs 21:4, )
The peacock has a beautiful plumage! God has gifted the peacock with dazzling gifts! The problem with the peacock, however, is that the peacock takes all the glory! It seems to me I have read about another character in the Bible so puffed up with vain glory that he couldn’t see past his beauty! That guy was blinded by his beauty which ended up being his downfall!
I have mentioned the peacock as a thief because this character steals glory from God!
The peacock is so blinded by his gifts that he does not even realize what he is doing! Have you ever seen one of these vain peacocks?
Their pictures are everywhere! It’s all about them! They boast about themselves in a big way! Don’t get me wrong; to market your business or ministry, you have to be out there, but the peacock is way out there! Also, peacocks takes most of the glory for themselves, giving Jesus only a thread.
The problem with the peacock is that the peacock has an exaggerated sense of his own importance. But the peacock is just being himself, you may argue.
Fine feathers, plumage long and sleek! So beautiful! Why shouldn’t the peacock strut his stuff? After all, God has given him those gifts!
True, but that is the problem! God gave those gifts, so God should get the glory!
Vanity is trusting in one’s own importance. God hates vanity because it brings no profit!
Vanity cannot deliver anyone! Vanity is a useless thing to trust in!
And turn ye not aside: for [then should ye go] after vain [things], which cannot profit nor deliver; for they [are] vain. Samuel 1: 12-21
Vanity rejects God’s word, replacing it with their word. Their way of doing things!
Following secular mindsets, patterns of self-image and self-glorification. This is what the world does! The world boasts continually about themselves! The world takes the glory, giving God none or only a tidbit!
And they rejected his statutes, and his covenant that he made with their fathers, and his testimonies which he testified against them; and they followed vanity, and became vain, and went after the heathen that [were] round about them, [concerning] whom the LORD had charged them, that they should not do like them. 2 Kings 17:15
Vanity is one of the seven deadly sins. Vanity is a sure way to end up in the has-been heap!
Remember that the peacock is open game for the predator! Those beautiful feathers strutted about will attract the enemy ! He sees the peacock coming a mile away.
Surely every man walketh in a vain show: surely they are disquieted in vain: he heapeth up [riches], and knoweth not who shall gather them. Psalm 39:6
It is far safer to trust in the Lord, putting our confidence in Him by displaying our gifts in a way that is not so obvious! Not so in your face! A little humility goes a long way!
Jesus is the best example of that! Though he was God in the flesh, he did not feel the need to be showy about it! (Philippians 2: 5-11)
Vanity trusts in one’s own power and ability! After all, those gifts are pretty awesome!
God, however, says, don’t trust in anything (even your gifts) but trust in him alone.
The word ‘vain’ means to be empty. To be worth nothing, having no good purpose.
All the peacock’s beautiful feathers will not do the peacock any good if he ends up on a roasting stick!
Vanity is a form of pride. The peacock likes to look good to others and to themselves.
Vanity is being preoccupied with one’s achievement. Constantly having to prove one’s own worth and success. Vanity is being overly proud of one’s qualities or giftings. Vanity is self-conceit. Vanity is vain, empty, and worthless because pride rejects the giver of the gift.
God tells us to trust in Him. Not in the peacock, no matter how beautiful he looks! (Psalm 118:9)
Humbling ourselves is using our gifts in such a way that Jesus Christ gets the glory! His word is promoted over our word! His glory is seen through us!
Being humble will give us God’s favor.
But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”
Don’t get side tracked by all the peacocks out there!
Keep your gaze on the one who is fairer than ten thousands! For Jesus Christ is all together lovely!
In our thief series, I would like to draw your attention to another adversary. I’m sure you have heard of this one. SWINE have not been given a bad reputation for nothing!
So much controversy over this creature, and with good reason! Swine are interesting animals. For one thing, they are highly intelligent! They are social animals that use their snouts as sensory receptors. They have good memories, are inquisitive, emotional, playful, and very strategic in their mission!
Why do I mention this? You should realize that Swine are not to be underestimated by any means.
Pigs, like people, have similar digestive systems with similar diets. Both are omnivores who dine on meat, roots, and seeds.
The book of Leviticus tells us that under the law, Swine are to be avoided as edible meats. The reason is both metaphorical and physical. (Leviticus 11:27)
Physically Swine have a similar digestive system as humans. In fact, Swine are very similar to humans in genetics, anatomy, and physiology. 
Swine were considered unclean under the law because rather than eating grass strictly, they ate just about anything else!
Swine are not able to digest cellulose. Swine eat calorie-dense food. Plus, they are not too particular, either. They will even eat human corpses and feces.
Swine carry parasites that, even when cooking, may not be destroyed. Swine meat can carry trichinosis, which will cause sickness and sometimes even death. It is recommended to cook pork very well done! Trichinosis is a health problem worldwide.
Historically speaking, some civilizations have always avoided eating pork. Namely, Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Israel. However, the Romans loved eating pork.  Romans also sacrificed Swine to their gods.
Now we come to the metaphorical aspect of the Swine. In the New Testament, Jesus says to his disciples, ‘Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet and turn and tear you to pieces.” Matthew 7:6
Swine were considered unclean under the law of God, but they also metaphorically meant Gentiles or unbelievers. Since the Gentiles have come to salvation because of the sacrifice of the lamb of God Jesus Christ, we can deduce that Swine today, metaphorically speaking, are the unbelieving or those outside the New Covenant of God or his promises.
By New Covenant, I mean the one that has replaced, and may I emphasize replaced, the Old Covenant. Obedience to the letter of the law has been replaced by life and liberty in the Holy Spirit!
Now I know some Christians believe we are still obligated to obey the law, and some, even today, want to bring the born-again Gentile under obligation to Jewish festivals. These, however, are wrong doctrines.
The Bible says explicitly that the Old Covenant has been replaced by the New Covenant!
But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second. For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away. Hebrews 8:6-13
What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was appointed through angels by the hand of a mediator. Galatians 3:9
Therefore, the law was our tutorto bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by FAITH But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. Galatians 3:24,25
For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes. Romans 10:4
Having said that, let’s look at why Swine in reference to the ‘unbelieving’, are adversarial to the Christian.
Swine though intelligent from a secular perspective, have no spiritual understanding. This includes ALL not born again by the Holy Spirit or those not believing God’s word. Like Swine, they cannot digest spiritual food.
Jesus tells us not to cast pearls before Swine. This is significant! Jesus references pearls in his teaching because pearls were one of the most desired gems in the world, particularly in Israel. Since pearls were and are rare and costly, they are considered highly prized items. The Bible uses the pearl as a standard by equating them with spiritual wisdom. Spiritual wisdom is far superior than pearls. 
Jesus tells us in his parable that the kingdom of God is more desirable than pearls.
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went, and sold all that he had and bought it. Matthew 13:45-46
As you can see, valuable pearls should not be thrown at Swine, who will trample all over them! Not only that but Swine, not valuing pearls, will also attack the one throwing the pearls at them!
Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces. Matthew 7:6
Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. 1 Peter 3:3,4
This admonition covers unbelievers as in the unsaved, but it also covers those who don’t believe all of the Bible within its proper context. These “believers” do not believe the Bible says what it says. Now keep in mind there are inferences in the Bible not specifically stated that can be interpreted according to one’s limited understanding. However, attacking someone who does not have the same revelation in the word of God that we have is a sin. Bottom line.
Correcting wrong doctrine has scriptural application BUT we are never to attack the person on a personal basis. Many of us have believed error in one way or another over our lives, but God did not condemn us. He corrected us in his love. Keeping this in mind, let us pray for the one we perceive is in error. If they are open, we can bring correction to the error. If not, we should not continue fellowship as it may produce strife and all kind of demonic attacks in our lives.
From personal experience, I have been on both ends of the stick on this one! Let me share with you what I learned.
Being in error about certain scriptural doctrines, I limited myself because I did not (because I was not open) receive the blessings of that spiritual application. I suffered for many years because of it. Paul made reference to coming behind in a gift.
Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly await the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 1:7
We will not receive those blessings if we are closed to certain scripturally stated premises.
For example, many believe that speaking in tongues is not for today. The scriptures they give to support this belief are out of context and inferred by denominational interpretation, not explicitly stated scripture. Actually, some scriptures specifically say that tongues benefit the believer.
I mention this topic because it is a highly controversial one.
That being said, the non-tongue speaker will not receive from the blessing of praying in the Holy Ghost! Is this a big deal? It is if you want to use one of the weapons of our warfare to battle the powers of darkness. You can do a scripture study yourself on this topic.
A genuinely open person searching for truth ALWAYS looks at both sides of an argument. To ignore one side is to bias which means, as the scriptures confirm, one wants to believe a lie because it benefits them in some way.
Let me give you another argument. Some Christians do not believe in divine healing, while others believe in divine healing, but don’t believe its for everyone. They believe God picks and chooses who he heals and who he does not. I was one of them until I had a Holy Spirit encounter and revelation of the word of God.
According to God’s word, it is God’s will to save, deliver, and heal everyone. Are all saved? Are all delivered? Are all healed? No!
Why is that? If you study the scriptures, you will find that the fault always lies with the person. Reasons are given in the Bible why a person does not receive from God. The number one reason is UNBELIEF. (To find out more, check out my blog link)
I have actually met people who do not want to be healed! They will not say this outright, but their actions reveal it. One person I was sharing scripture with on healing had a particular disease. This lady headed up a support group for those suffering in this area. She loved her leadership role and had a close-knit friendship with the women in her group. She rejected the scriptures I gave because (I perceived by the Spirit) she did not want to give up her position in that support group.
Some people want to continue being sick because they get a financial benefit from their sickness.
I have met others who like their sickness because it gives them attention. Everyone at church fawns all over them. They get catered to and receive many benefits! One person I met would go so far as to attack people preaching healing because they did not want their lie exposed.
In my Holy Spirit encounter, which I will share with you, the Lord spoke to me loud in my spirit two things. He asked me a question. Are you ready to deal with things? I instinctively knew this was the condition of my heart. I said, “Yes, Lord.”
Then he gave me a command. He said, “Take up your bed and walk!”
I was becoming sick with a disease and was seeking the Lord about it. I did not want the sickness at all! In obedience to God I rejected the devil’s lie. I began trusting God for my healing. (another topic)
I learned a lot of things from that experience.
Doctors don’t have all the answers. They often prescribe drugs that, while beneficial in one way, may give you a lot of terrible side effects. If you don’t believe me, check out your meds’ labels!
God does use doctors, don’t get me wrong, but they are not the end all to be all.
We need to be personally led by the Holy Spirit in our healing journey. I was healed progressively in order to teach others that you don’t have to give up hope. God is there to answer your problems when you diligently seek him!
Sin and unbelief will hinder healing! Not always, but many times this is the case!
I was unaware of all the junk in my heart until the Holy Spirit started revealing things to me little by little. Our junk hinders God’s blessing in our lives. Including healing.
My healing was and is progressive. Again, this is used to help others receive their healing. God does do miracles immediately, but not always.
My faith was increased in the area of healing. Now I teach others about healing and pray for them to be healed.
Now back to the swine adversarial topic. If we try to minister in an area where people are not open, many times, we will get attacked. If any person wants to be ignorant, scriptures tell us to let them be ignorant. (1 Corinthians 14:38) We should remove ourselves as best we can from the adversarial situation, continuing to pray.
Swine prefer to wallow in mire rather than admire God’s pearls. Swine are humans with ungodly attitudes. When we have a revelation from the word of God, we need to pray for wisdom in ministering that revelation to others. Persecution comes because of the word’s sake. (Mark 4:17) Casting pearls before Swine will only end up causing us unnecessary pain.
Ask the Lord for open hearts to share the word of God ! This way, you will cast pearls before those who value their great price!
In this next blog, I want to expose another tactic of the enemy that he uses to kill, steal, and destroy. This is the bewitching spirit.
We hear about this spirit in the book of Galatians. Paul asks these new converts in Galatia, ‘who has bewitched you?”
Before we get into this demonic culprit, let’s do some background context.
Galatia was a major region of north-central Turkey. The name Galatia came from the Gaul inhabitants who settled in the region in 278 B.C. The Gauls were a Celtic people who invaded Greece in the 3rd century B.C. Two centuries later, in 25 B.C., the area became a Roman province.
Paul’s missionary work resulted in the conversion of some of these Galatians (Gauls)from polytheistic paganism.
The Judaizers Paul refers to were both ethnic Jews and Gentile converts, who continued to observe Jewish customs and laws. These sought to persuade Christians that one had to adhere to Jewish customs and laws to be saved.
Not only did these Judaizers bring in their religious practices to mix with Christianity, but they also brought in their elitist attitude. In other words, they thought their ways were better than the gospel of grace given by the Holy Spirit. Better than God’s method for salvation, which is grace through faith in Jesus Christ APART FROM works or deeds of the law.
For by grace, you have been saved through faith, and this is not from you; it is the gift of God; it is not from works, so no one may boast. Ephesians 2:8,9
Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Titus 3:5
In the book of Galatians, Paul addresses the problem of adding works to salvation. He exposes these false teachers. Warning against adding anything cultural or social to the gospel for justification before God.
How does he do this? By asking them a question, ‘Who has bewitched you?”
This is significant. Paul is making a correlation here between witchcraft and adding works to the gospel. To understand precisely what he is talking about, we must know what witchcraft is!
While it is true that blatant practitioners of the dark side use witchcraft, it is also true that witchcraft is used by regular people and carnal Christians. That might be a new concept to some of you reading this blog, but if you understand witchcraft, you will know what I mean.
The Bible defines witchcraft as a work of the flesh. That means it is a sinful behavior not necessarily equated with blatant sorcery, although it can be.
Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. Galatians 5:19-21
Witchcraft, according to the scriptures, is a work of the flesh. Paul tells the Galatians that they are being bewitched by the Judaizers because they are being removed from the true gospel of grace into another false or perverted gospel. (Galatians 1:6)
Paul says that even if an angel came down from heaven and preached another gospel to them, don’t believe it! Paul tells the Galatians that he received the gospel of Jesus Christ through the revelation of the Holy Spirit, not from men. He said those who preach a false gospel will be eternally cursed or lost. (Galatians 1:7-9)
I would like to point out that the scriptures tell us that adding works of the law to our salvation is a false gospel.
Therefore, we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law. Romans 3:28
While most Christians don’t adhere to Jewish customs and laws, some may still add works of the law to their salvation. To understand this fully, we must define what ‘law’ is.
According to Hugh Evander Willis, Indiana university of law, the definition of law (which I will paraphrase) is a rule of action prescribed by some superior that the inferior is bound to obey. Civil law he defined as “a rule of civil conduct prescribed by the supreme power in a state, commanding what is right and prohibiting what is wrong. These have two main concepts: (1) the concept of a “superior” and (2) the concept of command. The law according to Hugh Evander Willis is a scheme of social control.
The law of God was given by Moses for much the same thing. For social control of the sinful nature through rules and regulations to have a society operating justly. Since this was not a perfect system, God also set up animal sacrifices as temporal atonement for the sins of the people.
But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterward be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith has come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. Galatians 3: 23-25
Falling from grace is when the law is added to salvation as a justification rather than faith in Jesus Christ alone.
This brings us to the thief culprit. The bewitcher who operates in witchcraft.
To bewitch means to attract or interest someone by manipulating them through influence in order to have power and control over them. That’s the definition of ‘bewitching’ in a nutshell.
This is a method used by many in the church to control others. Witchcraft is a carnal act. It is a sin.
To manipulate in order to control another person for our own benefit or to keep them under our thumb in any way is to practice witchcraft. Whether a bully club or a honey pot is used to do it, does not matter!
Formal witchcraft uses these methods! According to the formal operation of witchcraft, Elemental magic or Elemental manipulation is a craft using demonic influence to control. Whether it’s to control the natural elements or a person or persons.
In much the same way, people not formally practicing witchcraft are, in fact, witchcraft practitioners if they are using manipulation to control another person(s).
The term witchcraft comes from Old English wiccecraeft.Wicca (masculine) or wicce (feminine). It denotes one who practices sorcery or charming. That’s where we get the word, charm from. (the power or attribute of delighting or arousing admiration.)
The bewitcher had developed the art or skill of manipulation, charm, indoctrination, groupthink, mind control, and enchantment over others through manipulation.
Paul calls this art of witchcraft a work of the flesh. In other words, it is a sin in which carnal Christians participate. To manipulate or control through artful means for one’s advantage at the detriment of another is the art of witchcraft.
Using control through condemnation, guilt, intimidation, fear, charm, or other manipulative means is practicing witchcraft. To bewitch is to charm through deceit in order to sway a person’s thinking.
The Judaizers were adding Jewish customs and practices to the gospel of Jesus Christ to control others. Paul says Gentiles DO NOT have to observe Jewish holidays or cultural practices to be saved. (Romans 2:12-29)
However, other forms of social control are used in the church to control others. When someone, even preachers influence by the flesh in order to get someone to do something they want rather than allowing Holy Spirit to do his job, (which is to teach, counsel, draw, influence, and control), then they are operating in a spirit of witchcraft.
Does that mean that God does not use people? No, it does not. God uses people to administer his gifts, but the Holy Spirit is the controller of another person, period! The teacher or preacher’s job is to instruct in scriptures, then leave the rest to God. Using scriptures out of context to manipulate, dominate, and control other people is a sin. It does not matter, even if it’s for a good cause!
How can you know if you are being bewitched? By the fruit that results in your life!
Bewitching through manipulation, domination and control causes condemnation, guilt, an inferiority complex, feeling not good enough, you don’t measure up, powerlessness, defeatism, fear, and other negative emotions. There is a difference between Holy Spirit conviction and condemnation.
Holy Spirit convicts through love. He tells you your problem then gives you a solution, like a Father correcting his child. He does not use a big stick to tell you to measure up or else!
But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace. James 3:17-18
There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. Romans 8:1,2
Spiritual abusers use witchcraft to manipulate, dominate and control others. They tell you that if you do not adhere to such and such, then you are not good enough. They give you guilt trips and condemnation in order to make a person feel inferior. It’s their craft! A form of control. Some even use honey sticks. ‘If you do this, we will do that for you’!
Let me give you some examples.
When I was a young Christian, I began attending this church. Lo and behold, I found myself in the middle of a split! One side wanted to do things one way, and the other side wanted to do things another way. I hardly knew anybody because I was new to the congregation. As it turns out, the leader of one side wanted to secure my vote. (Why I could vote anyway was beyond me) This leader told me that if I voted for their side, I would be given my own bible study. I didn’t have to be a mature believer to know that was wrong, so I found another church, getting out of that mess!
If you have been saved as long as I have, you probably remember the days of the prosperity preachers. Today some still do the same practices. In those days, preachers would use all kinds of ways or gimics to get your money! Manipulation was rampant! Thank God I stayed out of that stuff! The Bible clarifies that giving to the Lord is a free-will offering that should be delivered from a cheerful heart, not because of necessity or because you have to or don’t measure up.
God does not need our money. He owns cattle on a thousand hills. The scriptures tell us how to give and how to receive. Each is to be led by the Lord in their giving. Using manipulative methods to get someone’s money is a form of witchcraft.
Offering special privileges if you do something is a form of witchcraft. Brow beating from the pulpit by using scriptures taken out of context to make one feel inferior or manipulate them to perform something is witchcraft.
Playing someone through manipulation to do something or buy something is witchcraft. Jesus said to let our conversation be yes or no. In other words be straight up! Many marketing methods used by Christians today are witchcraft. They use misleading click bate, sensationalism, and downright deception for gain. A good product will sell based on its worth. Just tell the truth about what you are offering! Then leave the rest to the Lord.
One last example (there are others) is the use of condemnation. This is also rampant in the church. To make disciples for themselves, some teachers, preachers, and church leaders bewitch others to see themselves always in perpetual need. Constantly feeding spiritual baby food, keeping the people ignorant, constantly having prayer lines, constant inferiority blasted at the sheep from the pulpits. It’s just horrible.
Jesus said…go and make disciples for him, not for yourself! The teaching ministry exists to train, instruct in righteousness, and mature God’s sheep, so they don’t need your services anymore! Making disciples means letting the sheep go when it’s time. Letting go when they are ready, when they get itchy feet to leave home. Helping the lambs mature so they can go out and do the work of the ministry! You wouldn’t let your young adult son or daughter stay home forever, would you? It is the same with sheep or those we mentor or disciple. The objective is to train them in the ways of the Lord then let them go!
Paul gives a remedy for the Galatians who have been bewitched. He tells them that they have been justified and made righteous before God by faith in Jesus Christ without the deeds of the law.
To be justified means that a person has a reasonable and acceptable basis for something. In common law, this is a type of defense. This defense exempts the defendant from liability because the defendant’s actions were justified.
In other words, the defendant will not suffer the usual penalty for their actions in a court of law because they had a valid justification. The defendant could not have been asked to act any differently in this situation. (Cornell law school legal information institute)
It is the same with God’s law. The shedding of the blood of Jesus Christ is our justification for the penalty of sin. (Hebrew Chapter 9)
For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law. Romans 3:28
Paul tells the Galatians that he is now dead to the law (It’s an old method) so that he can live for God by faith in Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit that dwells in him!
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20
Returning to old methods by adding works of any kind for our justification is slavery, according to Paul. Bewitchers want to make slaves to be under their control. (Galatians 4)
Bewitchers want to bring you under their laws, customs and forms. They seek to bind you to a custom, practice, or rule of conduct in order to control you! Witchcraft is the manipulation of the flesh. It is a skillful art used by bewitchers to control others.
God’s Holy Spirit brings the fruit of righteousness; Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against this fruit, there is NO LAW! (Galatians 5:22-23)
The next culprit the Bible talks about for the Christian to be aware of is the scorpion.
Scriptures tell us that the Christian is given power over serpents and scorpions, but did you ever wonder what scorpions mean?
Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents, scorpions, and over all the enemy’s power, and nothing shall hurt you. Luke 10:19
Scorpions are lobster-shaped insects about 2 or 3 inches long. These give a venomous sting through their tails from a gland at the end of their tail. When a scorpion stings, it secretes a poisonous fluid into the wound or a prick on the skin within one or two minutes.
Scorpions live in tropical climates. In the Bible, these creatures lived in the wilderness of Sinai.
It is interesting to note that unless you happen upon the scorpion’s territory, you probably won’t meet one, but if you do enter their territory, you must be watchful in prayer, so you don’t get stung by one!
Scorpions are usually found in dry and dark places. They may be hiding under stones or in the ruins of a building.
Most of us will avoid places where scorpions live, but if you have a ministry to reach those living in darkness, you may meet up with a scorpion, maybe more than one! This is why Jesus says that he gives us authority over scorpions.
Scorpions attack in a very threatening way when they are not hidden. If a scorpion sees you on its territory, it may move towards you threateningly with its tail up, ready to strike!
However, most of the time, scorpions are hiding. For those who live in the desert or are walking in the desert, these scorpions might be hiding in the crevices of walls in a house, under stones in the yard, or in empty containers. Even in dung heaps!
In Deuteronomy 8:15, Moses tells the people that God led them out of the wilderness with its fiery serpents and scorpions.
The wilderness experience is an uncomfortable place to be. It represents a time of testing, refining, and temptation. There are many scorpions that live in the wilderness!
Scorpions dwell in dry places where there is very little rain. The Lord likens the place of scorpions to a place where there is no life of the Spirit. A religious or secular place. A place where the rebellious dwell.
And you, son of man, do not be afraid of them nor be afraid of their words, though (briers and thorns are with you and you dwell among scorpions; do not be afraid of their words or dismayed by their looks, (though they are a rebellious house.) Ezekiel 2:6.
God sets the solitary in families; He brings out those who are bound into prosperity; But the rebellious dwell in a dry land. Psalms 68:6
Even though the sting of a scorpion is rarely fatal, it is a very painful experience. God likens the words and body language of the rebellious who dwell in a dry land to be extremely painful. They are filled with bitterness, anger, scoffing, rejection, and ridicule.
I Kings 12: 11 tells us that the scourge of scorpions is synonymous with being scourged with whips with bits of metal.
The same type of whipping that Jesus received from the Romans after being given over by the religious leaders. (the world and religion)
Then Pilate, therefore, took Jesus and scourged him. John 19:19
Receiving tongue lashings from others is like getting a scorpion bite! Words hurt. The Bible tells us that slander and backbiting are like the sting of a scorpion.
A slanderer or backbiter is a false accuser. One who defames others. They bring an evil report against someone. The motive is usually to undermine someone’s character. The root cause is always envy.
Backbiting is defaming others. To speak against them with a motive to ruin their reputation. (2 Cor. 12:20)
When the religious leaders handed over Jesus to the government of the day, their motive was envy.
For he knew that they had handed Him over because of envy. Matthew 27:18
To be envious is to feel discontented or resentful because of someone else’s possessions or qualities.
When a person slanders, they are trying to undermine. In this way, the slanderer raises themselves in a higher position because pointing out others’ faults undermines any good qualities.
The religious people did this to Jesus. They found fault with him. Jesus healed on the Sabbath, ate with unclean hands, and sat with sinners. All the while, though, they were envious of him. This was because of their pride.
Being religious, the religious people of Jesus’ day studied the law. Every jot and tittle of it! Then here comes this upstart with great wisdom and healing powers showing them up!
The religious people rejected Jesus because he upset their way of doing things! We don’t do that in our church! Who told you to do this? Where are your credentials? How many years of Bible school do you have?
The Bible tells us that slanderers are foolish because they do not fear God. They do not fear the consequences of their words or actions against others. (Proverbs 10: 18)
However, the Lord tells us not to fear the sting of scorpions or slander because he has given us authority over them. We are called to tread on snakes and on scorpions. To tread is to walk on or set our foot on. How do we do this?
We tread on scorpions with our gospel boots. Wherever we go we go in the fullness of the blessings of the Gospel of Jesus Christ! (Romans 15:29)
By presenting the truth of the word of God wherever we go, we tread on the slander of others. Those words will lose their power. Others will see our fruit. They will see because God will show them that he has called us.
Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Luke 10:19
This is God’s strategy for dealing with scorpions. Whether they be secular or religious. We present the Gospel wherever we go, and God will defend our reputation.
Jesus tells us that when we ask for the power of his Holy Spirit, we will never receive a rebuke or tongue-lashing.
Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? Luke 11: 12
When we go to the Lord, he always gives us bread to eat. Manna from heaven. It doesn’t matter how many degrees we have or don’t have. Holy Spirit gives wisdom to the simple. Child-like faith receives more of God’s grace than any kind of education.
Not that education (religious or secular)is bad in and of itself because the Lord can use it if it’s yielded to him BUT never does man-made education replace Holy Spirit wisdom, knowledge, and power!
If you envy other people’s gifts and callings, how about seeking the Lord in Spirit and truth? Dwelling in a dry land is very disheartening. It will keep you from experiencing the rain of the Spirit. God has a special call tailor-made just for you! Unique gifts only you can impart to others! You will find them as you dwell in the secret place with Jesus!
Who shall dwell in the Lord’s temple? He who does not backbite with his tongue. Psalms 15:3
In part 3 of the thief series, I would like to talk about foxes. Scriptures use the analogy of the fox to depict certain characteristics which are dangerous to the Christian. Things to look for so that we can stay safe in Jesus.
A fox is a nighttime predator. One who works undercover in darkness. Foxes are focused on what they do and are very cunning.
In Nehemiah 4:3 we are told that the fox climbs up the wall of the temple in order to burrow through any gap or unstable area.
Nehemiah was building the Lord’s temple, but the naysayers said the temple would not be strong enough to keep a fox out. Since we are now the temple of the Holy Spirit, our temple must be secure. If not then it is possible for a fox to get in and cause damage.
Neither give place to the devil. Ephesians 4:27
What kind of damage does a fox do? Foxes spoil the fruit. They tread all over the fruit growing on the vine. S of S 2:15
Our fruit is the fruit of the Holy Spirit. Foxes want to spoil our fruit. That is they want to trample on it, destroy it, cause havoc in our lives, and undermine our fruit.
In order to understand how this is done, we must understand what the Bible refers to as the fox.
Jesus referred to Herod (the ruler of Israel at that time) as ‘that fox.’
Herod was not appointed by God. He was put in his position by secular authority. Herod was hated by the people but worked alongside the religious order of the day. In other words, Herod was a religious and secular institutional enterprise.
In addressing Herod Jesus called him a fox. One who spoils the Lord’s Vineyard. The religious institution of Jesus’ day was in agreement with this secular appointment. Notice the message Jesus gave to Herod!
“Go tell that fox behold I cast out devils, I do cures, (heal the sick), today and tomorrow and the third day I shall be perfected.” Luke 13:32
Jesus was declaring his Kingdom policies to the religious secular institution. The power of the Holy Spirit with signs following are evidence of God’s Kingdom. The kingdom of God is not a secular religious institution.
Little foxes come into the vineyard to spoil the vine (Jesus Christ and his kingdom) in order to trample on the fruit. The secular religious institution is a man-made system. It rejects the power of God! These institutions have a few earmarks to look for.
These secular religious institutions claim to be followers of Jesus Christ, but they deny the power of the Holy Spirit! They have instead aligned themselves with the secular realm! How you may ask? Several ways. Taking government money, relying on for provision, parroting man-made secular policies and ideas, and using secular protocols with world views instead of the scriptures.
Such are the foxes who have burrowed into the walls of the church. God’s Holy temple!
Here is another indicator that a fox is burrowed into God’s house. Prayerlessness!
Lamentations 5:18 Because of the mountain of Zion which is desolate,(Prayerlessness) foxes walk on it. ( religious secular institutions hyjack)
Ezek 13:4 False prophets are like Foxes in the desert. (chorbâh desolate, destruction, destroy)
Without a life dedicated to prayer and seeking the Lord, foxes will come in and spoil the vine. These foxes are both predators, preying on God’s people and scavengers. They eat what food is left out for them to get into.
Unless you close that gap, foxes will burrow into your life!
What do the scriptures tell us to do when we think we have a fox trying to burrow into our temple? (That can be individually and corporately.)
Simply get out of that situation! Stay away from those who deny the power of the Holy Spirit with signs following! Those foxes will bad mouth the things of the Spirit, stomp all over the vine, causing destruction in the lives of others, and in the end be removed.
I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. John 15:2
Having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. 2 Timothy 3:5
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever! He is not dry religion filled with dead man’s bones! Your temple (if you are born again) is filled with the Spirit of the living God! The river of life is in your belly! The same Spirit that rose Jesus from the dead! The Spirit of faith, the Spirit of prayer, the Spirit of love, the Spirit of soundness, and the Spirit of miraculous power!
And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. Mark 16:17-18
Stay far away from the little foxes that spoil the vine!
Walk in the power of the Holy Spirit!
Jesus Christ is the head of the church. He has all power and authority. He has entrusted that power to his true church!
Jesus said the thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy. By definition, a thief steals another person’s property. In the world, there are different kinds of thieves. There are professional robbers and petty thieves. A petty thief steals things not highly valued. That is, the value attached to the property is not worth much monetarily. However, your property may have a higher value to you than what is legally determined.
A professional thief steals as a business. This thief plans carefully and is very skilled at what he does. The professional thief’s objective is to steal valuable property. Something that is prized for its monetary value and rarity.
Jesus warned us in the scriptures about the thief. He told us to carefully watch our property because the thief comes to steal. Not only does the thief Jesus was talking about steal, but he also kills and destroys! That makes that thief not only a robber of property but a murderer and one who damages property.
Let’s take a look at this thief and how he operates. We see him in the book of Genesis.
Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. Genesis 3:1
From the beginning, the thief was called a serpent. Metaphorically this is significant. The serpent is cunning. It waits patiently to catch its pray and at the right moment it strikes.
Throughout history, the snake has been seen as a symbol of evil, power, chaos, fertility, life, healing, and rebirth.
The serpent thief is a usurper. One who steals dominion, throne, and rulership. The serpent in the garden of Eden steals God’s property through deception. He then takes over the joint!
This thief in the garden was sly. He had cased the situation for a long time. That is what a professional thief does. He plans very strategically. Sometimes for many years before making a move. He watches, takes note of who goes in and out, and looks for potential weaknesses. Then, when the time is right, the thief comes in to steal. In this particular situation, the thief steals through deception.
He uses something forbidden and looking good as bait!
To deceive somebody, there has to be a predisposed preponderance towards a particular vise. The serpent watched for a long time his victim. He had to have noticed her weakness to deposit doubt in the woman’s mind. First of all, he asked her a question. Did God say that you could eat of every tree of the garden?
In Genesis chapter 1, verse 17, God told this to Adam before he created Eve. That would mean that Eve received the command not to eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil from Adam. Making this second-hand information. Adam received the commandment straight from God’s mouth. Obviously, the serpent knew this. That made the woman an easier victim than the man. Therefore, he approached her with the challenge of God’s command.
The thief uses this same tactic today. Did God really say? Well, you know it is second-hand information, after all. That book could have been changed, altered somehow. How do you know for sure God said it?
The woman obviously needed to be more trusting. She could have said, My husband, told me that God told him. I have a good and reliable source so take a hike, serpent!
When we do not have a trusting relationship with God, we are susceptible to deception. The serpent can come along and challenge what we believe to be true. Did God really say?
Notice the following way in which the thief deceived the woman. But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil. Genesis 3:4,5
The serpent basically told the woman that God was lying to her. Withholding something good. Not wanting her to be in the know. As you can see, from observation, the serpent knew that the woman was weaker in her faith than her husband.
The woman had trust issues. Somehow through observation, the serpent knew this. Notice then how the serpent appealed to the woman’s vanity.
So, when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. Genesis 3:7
Trust issues many times are a result of rejection. The Bible does not explain why the woman felt rejected or left out. We can only speculate. We know that trust issues can cause us to doubt the sincerity of others. When we have trust issues with God, we doubt his word. We cannot believe that the Lord has his best interests in store for us. We somehow think God doesn’t care or that he loves others more than he loves us. When we think along those lines, we are a prime target for the serpent’s wiles.
The thief comes to steal. That is his objective. The serpent example tells us that if we don’t trust God’s word, the thief will bring something along to entice us into walking away from the Lord. He will bring something our way that looks good to our flesh. Something that appeals to our vanity and desire to be noticed.
What is a remedy for our rejection and trust issues? How can we guard against his deception?
Recognizing we have a weakness in that area for one thing but also to run to our Father in heaven! Cry out to him to shower us with his love and affection. He has promised to do that.
Draw near to me and I will draw near to you!
Seek his face. Confess your weakness. Make the Lord your refuge! Ask him to heal your insecurity!
I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore, I have continued my faithfulness to you.Jeremiah 31:3
The Bible says there is a court in heaven. God opens his court to hear testimony. God is the judge in his heavenly court. God stands up to open heaven’s court. He pronounces judgement in the earth. TLB PSALMS 82:1
The word for court or ‘congregation’ is Edah. This word does not just mean a group of people. The TLB version says God’s court system is a council. Like a king’s court in which David or Solomon made judgments for the people’s concerns. Like a judge and jury.
Psalms 89:14 “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne. Unfailing love and truth walk before you as attendants.
The heavenly court operates much like our western common law court.
In a court of law for criminality, the prosecution brings forth a charge based on a broken law.
To prove the law was broken, there must be evidence presented.
The defense needs a good argument based on a set of defense standards to beat the charges.
Our defense in God’s court is to plead the blood of Jesus Christ once we confess and forsake our sins.
In a civil case, the opposition must have more evidence for or against it to win or lose a case. It’s called preponderance of evidence. In other words, the more evidence one has, the better to prove guilt or innocence.
In God’s court, the accuser (satan) sets out his case against us. He tells the court of God how we have violated the law somehow. He points out all our failures and inadequacies.
It is important to confess our sins before God and repent ASAP because it can be used against us in a court of law. God’s court.
If the accuser has legal precedence against us, we will reap the consequence of our sin. There is a correlation between a particular sin and a particular judgment in our lives. These are set out in scripture under the law.
The law cannot save us but it can call us out on our sins. The law is not abolished under the New Testament, but the sting of death brought forth by breaking the law is broken through the atonement of Jesus Christ.
Unconfessed sin is dangerous in a Christian’s life.
It causes a curse to operate. Scriptures call this the curse of the law. Breaking God’s law causes death. Spiritually, physically, emotionally, and materially.
Jesus came to redeem us from the curse of the law. All confessed, and repentant sin is redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ. Some Christians make excuses for having chaotic lives with trouble on their doorstep all the time. They argue, “well, we live in a fallen world.”
I know about the consequences of having sin in my life. I’ve had to learn things the hard way. Since I am old and wiser now, I can warn you to make sure you work out your salvation with the fear of the Lord always at your forefront. That is, don’t take anything in the Bible lightly. Disregarding the scriptures will cause you no end of grief.
Just because you may have been honest all your life but your mouth shoots off doubt, scorn, disbelief, accusations against others, gossip, slander, etc., this will cause demonic activity to flourish in your life. The tongue is a wicked member, but some Christians don’t take this seriously.
When I started doing some huck and chuck, my life got better. When I took God’s word more seriously, I had more success.
Jesus came to redeem us from the curse of the law. Not to let us wallow in sin with the world. Christians do have tribulation, but the Scriptures tell us there is deliverance. The devil will try to trip us up, but we have a way out. That way out is a sword.
In the story of Ester, when the wicked one wanted to kill all of God’s people, the King gave them a sword in order to defend themselves.
We have the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God to counter the accuser.
When MR. Devil tells you that you are a failure because you blew it too many times,you can take the sword of the Spirit and say…IT IS WRITTEN; Mr. Devil, that a righteous man, falls 7 times and gets back up again. That means I’m going to get this right, and you are a liar!
God will back you up.
That’s legal precedence for him to be able to kick the devil out of your life.
If Mr. Devil says, “oh, you are weak, sick, infirmed. You can’t possibly be of any use.”
Take the sword of the Spirit and give him a good one.
Mr. Devil, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Get behind me, in Jesus’ name.
The only thing that the devil listens to is the word of God. He has to. Its the word of God that holds all things together.
Who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high. Hebrews 1:3
When we bring our legal precedence before God’s court, he will honor it.
If you believe that God’s word is more powerful than anything in the universe, you will see your life changed for the better. When you take God’s word and present it before the court of heaven, God will always honor it. He watches over his word to perform it. Be patient and give him time to work all things together for your good!
Don’t give Satan any place. Use the sword of the Spirit when he attacks. Keep a clean slate with the Lord. Plead the blood of Jesus over your life every day. Then the accuser will stay under your feet where he belongs.
What does it mean to walk in the light? To find that out, we need to know what is ‘the light’?
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. 1 John 1:7
Obviously, light is the opposite of darkness. Darkness is the absence of light.
According to the ancient Greeks light, or phōs was a pure brilliant light that overcame or triumphed over darkness, blindness, and ignorance.
Scriptures say that we have been delivered from the domain of darkness. Satan’s kingdom has no light. It is void of anything to do with God. When we were lost, we were alienated from God. That is, we lived in darkness under the domain of the wicked one.
For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son. (Collisions 1:13 Ephesians 5:8, 1 John 2:8,1 Peter 2:9)
Those of us who are born again no longer belong to the kingdom of darkness because we have been translated into the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Now we are living in the kingdom of light. That being said, we must walk in the kingdom of light. Why would scriptures exhort us to walk in the light if we are born into the kingdom of light? You would think that would be a given, but, it is not. Many are born into the kingdom of light but they do not walk as if they belonged to the kingdom of light.
God’s kingdom of light has no darkness at all. That is why Jesus said, ‘if your eye be single (clear) your whole body will be full of light’. (1 John 1:5)
The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. Matthew 6:22
To be clear is to perceive, understand, or interpret. (oxford dic.)
In other words, if your focus or eye gate is on the kingdom of light, then you will be filled with that light.
God dwells in the light. Where he lives there is no darkness at all. (1 Timothy 6:16)
Scriptures tell us that we are seated with Christ in heavenly places. We are in Jesus Christ positionally. Therefore we dwell in the light. (Ephesians 2:6, Colossions 1:12 )
Now we must walk in the light.
How do we do that? We know, first of all, that it is by perception. By understanding who we are in Jesus Christ, what was accomplished through his death and resurrection, and understanding the mysteries of the kingdom.
Let’s examine this scripture verse to find out more.
If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. 1 John 1:6,7
If we say or epō, speak, say, tell, or write that we have fellowship with God.
In other words, if we make a claim that we have fellowship with him, (Jesus)
Koinōnia: Social intercourse, communication, benefaction, communion
And walk or peripateō, to live, regulate one’s life, conduct one’s self, tred around in, live in, be occupied with.
In darkness skotos, that is in shadiness, blindness, ignorance.
Then we deceive ourselves and others. (We are not in the truth)
And do not the truth. (God’s word is truth. alētheia)
But, if we walk (peripateō to live, regulate one’s life, conduct one’s self, tred around in, live in, be occupied with) in the light phōsphōs or luminescence of God’s word, in his Kingdom of light, then we have fellowship with one another.
We are in a relationship with each other or those who are like-minded.
Whoever loves his brother abides in the light. 1 John 2:10
AND the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanses us (purges and purifies)us from all sin. 1 John 2:6
This is important. It means that IF we are walking in the light, then the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us continually from all sin. In other words, IF we are dwelling in the light, under the blood, in a covenant relationship with God who dwells in the light AND are walking in the light of his word or truth, THEN we are under the covenant of grace.
If we say we are in the light, that we have fellowship with God, BUT we are not walking in the light the Bible tells us that we are deceived. Because God is light and in him is no darkness at all.
And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.Ephesians 5:11-14
He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked. 1 John 2:6
Whoever abides in him or dwells in him, (the light) continues in him, endures with him, remains in Jesus Christ, is under obligation or has a moral duty to walk (peripateō -to live in, tred around in, be occupied with) in the kingdom of light doing things that pertain to the kingdom of light.
Jesus told us that we are the light of the world. When we walk in the light as he is in the light, then we are dwelling in the redeemed state, holding forth the light before those who are still in darkness. Jesus told us to shine our light in this dark world. That is, by walking in the light we show others the way out of the darkness. We are a witness to the light who is Jesus Christ.
Phōs is where we get the word phosphorus. (Latin) It means ‘to bear the light’. Luminescence or light bearing is a result of a chemical reaction from phosphorus.
In the same way, when we are in a relationship with God the light in us shines in the darkness.
When we walk in the light we reveal who God is to the world. We shine like beacons or lanterns. This is why we must be like the 5 virgins who had light in their lanterns. Walking in the light of God’s kingdom in a dark world.
If we are like the 5 virgins who had no light in their lanterns or who walked in the darkness, then we cannot radiate God’s light.
Moses spent so much time in God’s presence that he radiated God’s light so brightly it was visibly manifest to others. The same with Stephen. He was filled with God’s word. No one could refute his wisdom.
Jesus said, ‘let your light shine before others so that they will see your good works’, or the works of the kingdom. (Matthew 5:16)
Walking in the light brings glory to God! It reveals his kingdom to the world that sits in darkness. Walk in the light of God’s kingdom and let it shine in the darkness!
One of the things that the scriptures say but most of us Christians do not take seriously is the spiritual law of sowing and reaping.
In the natural realm, we call this by many things;
Input and output, cause and effect, action and consequence. To name a few.
Even people adhering to false religions and false spiritual ideologies understand this principle. Though they may call it by another name.
Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. Galatians 6:7-9
The positive outcome of sowing, which brings a good benefit, is often focused on, to the detriment of the adverse effects that result from sowing that result in a bad outcome.
Being deceived is the result of not taking this spiritual law seriously.
By nature, I’m an analytical person. It’s a personality trait that some in my family find annoying, but from my perspective, I’d rather know the truth about something than live my life in pain because I failed to look into a matter.
Due to ignorance, most of us including myself do the same dumb thing, over and over again, ending up with the same dumb results.
My dumb results piled up until I had a mountain of dumb results.
I guess it takes a hammer to fall on my head before I get it, but better late than never.
When I realized that my actions in life resulted in my bad outcomes, I had to do a great deal of repenting.
I did the same thing everyone else did when bad things happened to them. I blamed God or the devil.
When that didn’t do me any good but only gave me another big fat headache, I started seeking God. Why? Why? Why?
I took every nut and bolt apart. With God’s help, he showed me the ins and outs of a good deal of my problems.
Don’t get me wrong. There is a devil who wants to beat your brains out, BUT did you know that Satan can do nothing to you without your permission? That is unless you violate scripture.
‘I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5
Neither give place to the devil. Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Ephesians 4:27,30
When I went to the Lord with my why he gave me back his whats.
Why did this happen?
What did you do?
What did you do?
I began to see that most of the time I was getting back what I had given out.
They were mean to me.
Were you mean to others?
Why did you let this happen?
Didn’t you judge somebody going through something similar?
After a while, I discovered that I was reaping many bad effects from my bad actions.
To tell you the truth most of my bad outcomes in life were due to my bad actions or the bad actions of others.
Jesus answered, “You would have no authority over Me, unless it had been given you from above; for this reason he who delivered Me to you has the greater sin. John 19:19
When I finally got this revelation, I started changing things big time.
I started rearranging my attitude instead of rearranging someone else’s attitude.
I also started keeping my mouth shut. Making critical judgments and lambasting others wasn’t something I would play around with anymore. I might as well place my palm on a hot iron! No thanks.
Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin. Proverbs 13:3
I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned. Matthew 12:36,37
Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits. Proverbs 18:21
Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble. Proverbs 21:23
Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Matthew 7:1-3
But I needed a strategy to stay sane! How was I going to bear all the negative inputs from others? I was responsible for my actions but what about the actions of others toward me?
God, in his mercy, gave me some good advice.
Turn your complaints into prayers.
You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:43-45:
Be nice. It doesn’t hurt.
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.Ephesians 4:32
When a man’s ways please the Lord, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him. Proverbs 16:7
If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat, and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink, for you will heap burning coals on his head, and the Lord will reward you. Proverbs 25:21-22
Persevere in affliction. Pray it through. There’s a reason it’s called laboring in prayer!
Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits. Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:1-8
Forgive right away. Never and I mean never, hold a grudge. Might as well
be suffering a three-day hangover than be out of God’s presence. That feels awful!
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:32
For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. Matthew 6:14
Go out of your way. You’d be surprised at how good that feels. While your flesh may be having a bit of uncomfortableness, your spirit will soar!
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9
Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness. Psalm 37:3
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10
Lastly, pray and do good even if you get no credit. No one thanks you, no one notices, or no one cares.
Remember the Lord is watching!
And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. Luke 11:1-4
And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ. But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons. Colossians 3:23,24
Am I perfect now? Flawless? Grown angel wings? Hardly, but one thing I’m not anymore is deceived.
I know that whatever I sow in this life, good or bad, is what I will end up reaping. Knowing this truth is liberating because, with God’s help, I will have more positive outcomes from giving more positive inputs.
I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. Luke 13: 3
Salvation, yasa in Hebrew means to save, help in distress, rescue, deliver, set free.
This includes salvation from eternal death and anything that a believer needs saving from.
In particular, salvation refers to being saved from sin.
Sin is defined as “transgression of God’s law.”
In other words, violation of the law of God as set out in both the conscience and the Bible.
To be saved from our sins we must repent. In the Greek language, this word is, Metanoeō which means to think differently, reconsider, and feel moral compunction. (That is to feel guilty for doing something wrong)
True Repentance, according to the scriptures has several steps or parts.
For repentance to occur in our life we must recognize our sins.
Romans 7: 7-25 tells us that God’s law shows us our sins. When we see that we have failed to live up to God’s expectations as put forth in our conscience and in the word of God, we need to, first of all, recognize we have sinned against God. If we lie to ourselves, disregard the scriptures, and hide our sins we will not prosper. Also, if we do not listen to God’s word, eventually our sins will find us out. They will be exposed. Sometimes publicly, to others.
People who conceal their sins will not prosper, but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy. Proverbs 28:13
But if you will not do so, behold, you have sinned against the Lord, and be sure your sin will find you out. Numbers 32: 23
Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. Luke 12:2
For nothing is hidden that will not be made manifest, nor is anything secret that will not be known and come to light. Luke 8:17
After we acknowledge our sin then we must confess our sin. That means owning up to our stuff. We can confess to God alone, or sometimes it is good to also confess to a friend we trust or a church leader we trust. This is so we can have prayer support.
Acknowledging our sins means taking accountability. We come to the realization that we messed up. The onus is on us, not the other guy. Even if they had a part in our sin. Our responsibility is to confess for our part in the matter.
In Psalm 32 David acknowledges his sin. That is he saw his sin for what it was. He recognized his failure to live up to God’s law. Then David said that he did not try to hide his sin. He looked at his failure well and called it for what it was. Breaking God’s law.
Many of us have failed to take a good look at our actions, our thoughts and our motives. We justify our sin.
“Well, you know they did such and such. They said such and such. I’m in the right. I had just a little slip.”
Failure to own up to our sins will cause us to reap many consequences. Some of us think we are going through trials because God is proving us or it’s appointed for us to suffer, when in actuality, we have unconfessed sin in our hearts and we are reaping the results of our sins!
Now I’m not saying there isn’t persecution for the righteous but trials we are going through many times are to deal with our stuff! Our bad attitudes, our justifications for wrong behavior, our slothful diligence in spiritual matters.
Jesus told us that Satan came to him but he couldn’t find anything in him to accuse him. That’s because Jesus had no sin.
I will no more speak much with you, for the prince of the world comes, and he has nothing in me. But that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father commanded me, even so I do. Arise, let us go from here. John 14: 30,31
Peter went through the fire. His heart was exposed. Peter denied Jesus three times. He failed many times in his faith, but he repented and became a mighty man of God! (Matthew 16:22-23)
David Committed adultery, lied, and murdered, but he also repented, and God used him to write the beautiful Psalms. 2 Samuel 11, 12
David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” And Nathan said to David, “The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die. 2 Samuel 12:13
Paul persecuted Christians and even sanctioned their death. (Acts 9)
Just about every Bible character found out through their trial what was in their heart.
Even righteous Job found out he was not so righteous because God challenged him about it. (Job chapter 39)
When our sin is revealed to the light by God then we need to own up to it.
We must recognize our sin as sin against God’s word, then we must confess our sin.
What does confess actually mean? In Hebrew yâdâh means to bemoan or be sorry for. That is having intense regret. To toss away as bad.
In Greek confess is homologeō which means to acknowledge, but also to make a promise not to do the wrong behavior again. The word actually means making a covenant agreement.
We agree with God that our sin is wrong. We agree we broke God’s law. We are sorry to the point of changing our behavior. Then we agree in a covenant or promise with God not to continue in that sin.
Some sins, however are so ingrained in us that we need supernatural divine intervention. Addictions are like that, but so are some cultural practices that differ from the word of God. Sometimes it’s our upbringing or training in violation of scriptures or our many years of thinking a certain way.
Whatever the sin issue is, if we acknowledge that it is against God’s word, if we are sorry, if we want to change then we can work with the Holy Spirit to bring down the strongholds of sin in our life.
Not everything is a quick deliverance fix. Some things need action from our decision and will. We then cooperate with Holy Spirit to be delivered entirely. This repentance fruit may take a process of time. It is up to us to make that first step.
Renouncingour sin makes the demonic powers who have had their hand in our sin somewhere know we mean business with God.
Renounced is apeipomēn in Greek. It means to disown or refuse to have a connection to.
In other words, stop the sin, disconnect from the sin, or any demonic powers associated with that sin.
Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?” “No, Lord,” she said. And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.” John 8: 10,11
Finally, we must bring forth fruits of repentance. This means that if we are genuinely repentant, our lives will begin to reflect it. We will walk in the light of the Lord. Then those old sins will not have a hold on us anymore.
Bring forth, therefore fruit worthy of repentance. Matthew 3:8
God’s blessings flow into our lives when we genuinely repent of our sins. The darkness will have no more control over us. Obedience to the word of God always brings blessings with it!
If you walk in My statutes and keep My commandments so as to carry them out, then I shall give you rains in their season, so that the land will yield its produce and the trees of the field will bear their fruit. Indeed, your threshing will last for you until grape gathering, and grape gathering will last until sowing time. You will thus eat your food to the full and live securely in your land. Leviticus 26:3-10
If only you had paid attention to My commandments! Then your well-being would have been like a river, And your righteousness like the waves of the sea. Isaiah 48:18
He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.” Luke 11:28
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