Showing posts with label Change. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Change. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

All the More - Purity 866

All the More - Purity 866

Purity 866 10/19/2022  Purity 866 Podcast

Good morning,

Today’s photo of the shadows of trees stretching over the plains that lead to the autumn decorated hump of Willard Mountain in the distance under a blue sky with a cloud formation that in my imagination looks like Godzilla reaching out towards us comes from yours truly as I stopped long enough to capture this scene as I drove back up Watie Road on my way back to Riverhouse on Sunday.  I took this photo to capture those autumn colors on the mountain and was going to crop out the rest to highlight that feature but now that I see all that is going on in this photo I decided to leave it as is.   

Well, it’s Wednesday again and I share today's photo because of that hump of Willard mountain adequately represents the midpoint of another work week but I love that this photo has shown me that sometimes there's more than meets the eye, that sometimes we think we know what we're looking for only to discover that God has so much more for us.

Last night I facilitated the freedom in Christ course again and shared with the participants a photo of myself from 2017 where I was tabling for the recovery ministry I was doing at the time and it showed me smiling and wearing a Celebrate Freedom T-shirt and what must have been at least an additional 30 pounds of me. 

The photo had come up in my Facebook memories from five years ago and when I saw it II was shocked and marveled over how I had freedom over alcohol and drugs in 2017  and was obviously motivated and happy with my freedom enough to go out and table for my frecministry but I recall all the things I didn't know that I needed freedom from that I hadn't achieved yet. When I saw the photo I had laughed at it and said wow I really needed more freedom, you know? There was more freedom to be had and I didn’t even know it.   

I shared it with these participants last night to demonstrate that our freedom and our walk with Christ is a progressive thing. That the freedom that they may experience through the freedom in Christ course can be significant but that doesn't mean that the freedom they achieve is the only freedom that they can have. I shared the photo to encourage them that after they finished the course they should continue with the life of Christian discipleship to discover all the things that the Lord has for them.

In 2017, I had many things that I was in bondage to that I didn't quite realize at the time but that the Lord made me aware of and gave me the power to overcome in the years that followed. But I never would have known this freedom and victory that I have today if I had just stayed content to stay in recovery ministry and  claim that victory and only speak about that. If I had stayed complacent and stopped walking with the Lord and stopped examining my life I would have not known the great freedom and victory that I have today. And as I walk with the Lord today in 2022 I know that there's other things that I I can work on that I can overcome.  

As I've said in the past, after I realized that the Lord was willing to do the impossible in my life I asked “What's next Lord?” as I've continued to walk in the spirit I realized that there are no limits to what the Lord can do and I stopped trying to figure out what was the next thing a long time ago and just continue to do what I do day-to-day and remain open for the Lord to lead me in whatever direction he chooses.

Now just to be clear here I don't get an audible word from the Lord. Although sometimes the promptings in my spirit sure sounds like God, I can't claim that everything I “felt I was to do” was the Lord’s direct commands to me.  

The truth is that walking in the Spirit can be a process of trial and error because allthough we have the Spirit of God living in us, we also have ideas and dreams of our own that we have carried with us from our Pre-Christ existence or that the world and society values that influence us and we may think that we can discern God’s will perfectly only to discover that things don’t work out like we thought they would, that the things we decide to “do for the Lord” may not have been divinely inspired because they weren’t successful.    

But our failures are part of this path of Christian Discipleship, so rather than worrying about whether or not the “callings” we get are divinely inspired or not, I would advise others to “give it a try, and see what happens” rather than not doing something and be left always wondering “what if”.  When we step out in faith and try new things or take on challenges that we struggle with, the Lord can use the process to make us grow into the people He wants us to be: people who live by faith in the power of The Holy Spirit rather than people who have it all figured out and only do what is safe.   

Right now there are lies that we are believing, still, that we need to stop believing.  Like “I don’t have faith like ____” or “Overcoming X isn’t the same as overcoming Y” or The Lord blessed them with freedom and victory but He hasn’t blessed me”  or “You have to eat”  or “I only eat the food I like” or “I only do the things I like and that make me happy”

Now, if any of those statements ring a bell or confound you or even anger you, we might have found an area where there is more freedom to be had.  

I know a person who is constantly making “I can’t” or “I don’t” statements that are subtly defining their lives.  I can’t really go into detail about what this person is all about but I if I wanted I could give you a very long list of all the things they:

Don’t do

Can’t do

Don’t Like

Won’t do

Won’t Try

In my perception of this person, I just see a whole lot of resistance and I don’t see any joy.  I see someone who looks to other people or circumstances to make them happy and surprisingly as much as that seems to be the only thing that occupies their minds: what pleases them, some how they are continually in a state of discontent.  And once you think of applying a solution to “their problem” that has worked in the past, they shoot it down as “something they don’t want today” or “don’t feel like” today.  And instead of telling us, what will satisfy them, they hem and haw, expecting others to figure out, somehow magically, what will make them happy, what they “feel like” today.  

This person, and people like them, are slaves to their circumstantial happiness because they are in bondage to their preferences and the resistance they put up to new things and their utter failure to take personal responsibility for themselves.  

But there is great news here! There is lots of freedom to be won here! If they were so inclined, the Lord could lead them to cast fears and anxiety, the Lord could shift their focus off of themselves to consider Him and others, and the Lord could reveal to them that life is not all about pleasing ourselves.   

So what do you do with somebody like this? 

You try to encourage them to seek the Lord and to examine their lives according to what He says is true and to be open minded to consider all the things that He would lead them into.   And you pray for them. 

People like this are blinded by the lies of this world and trapped in a perspective that considers only themselves. They have mirror vision – where they only see themselves – and they rarely let anyone else into their frame. 

I think we all suffer from this to some extent, so none of us gets off this hook.  But the remedy to this self-centered ideation is to consider the Big Picture that the Lord reveals to us and to realize that what the Lord has for us is more than our personal preferences and likes. The Lord has much more than we could ever imagine, but we won’t know it unless we pursue His truth and His presence.  

So that’s why I say, keep walking and talking with God, because He will tell you what you need to know and He will invite you to follow Him where you should go.   

We currently don’t know all the lies we are believing. We don’t know all that we can be “free from” or all that we can be “free to” but if we keep seeking the Lord and His will for our lives, one day we will be able to look back and marvel over how far we have come and how much the Lord has given us. So keep going and see and experience, all “the more” that the Lord has in store for you. 



Today’s Bible verse comes to us from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.

This morning’s meditation verses are

Romans 15:5-7 (NLT2)
5  May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting for followers of Christ Jesus.
6  Then all of you can join together with one voice, giving praise and glory to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
7  Therefore, accept each other just as Christ has accepted you so that God will be given glory.

Today’s Bible verses encourages us who follow the Lord into the complete harmony that followers of Jesus Christ can know when we join together to give Him praise and glory and accept each other as Christ has accepted each of us.   

One of the biggest challenges of the Christian Walk is being discerning with what the Lord has revealed to us and how we are to interact with others now that we “know the TRUTH”.  

Because we are in Christ, we are sensitive to the Lord’s will for our lives to be sanctified and to repent of sin and worldliness.  But while we can have this conviction in our lives, other Christians or our friends and family may not have received the same message and in order to maintain harmony and unity in the body of Christ, we may have to learn to use that conviction to transform us and be accepting of our brothers and sisters in Christ who don’t seem to be there just yet, and we have to be even more careful with God’s Truth with our unsaved loved ones.  

I haven’t been discerning and in my zeal to share the gospel I have said some pretty harsh things that were true but somehow didn’t lead people to Christ or a deeper relationship with God.   It turns out I am not the Holy Spirit and I have learned that His job is not my job and, while I will speak the truth in love when I feel His leading, I have learned to get out of His way.  

When we gather as a church, I am not to judge my brother by their supposed sins and offer unsolicited advice on how they can be grow.  As today’s verse says, we are to come together and accept one another in peace as Christ has accepted us and should concern ourselves with giving God praise and glory.   That’s what the corporate gathering is for to praise the Lord and to encourage one another to keep in the faith.  

So, accept others, warts and all, encourage them to follow the Lord, and let The Holy Spirit do His work but be ready in case He calls you into service to help someone in their walk.  


As always, I invite all to go to where I always share insights from prominent Christian theologians and counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk.

Today we continue sharing from Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s “Discipleship”, also known as “The Cost of Discipleship”

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase Bonhoeffer’s books for your own private study and to support his work.  This resource is available on many websites for less than $20.00.

Chapter Six

The Sermon on the Mount

Matthew 5

On theExtraordinaryof Christian Life

The Visible Church-Community

The other possibility, of course, is that salt loses its taste, that it stops being salt. It ceases to be effective. Then it really is no longer good for anything except to be thrown away. That is the special distinction of salt. Everything has to be salted. But salt that has lost its taste can never again be salty. Everything, even the most spoiled stuff, can be saved by salt. Only salt which has lost its saltiness is hopelessly spoiled. That is the other reality of salt. That is the threatening judgment which hangs over the disciples’ community. The earth is supposed to be saved by the community. But the community that has stopped being what it is will be hopelessly lost. The call of Jesus Christ means being salt of the earth or being destroyed. It means following Christ or—the call itself will destroy the one called. There is no second opportunity to be saved. There cannot be such a salvation.

Jesus’ call promises the community of disciples not only the invisible efficacy of salt, but the visible shine of light. “You are the light”—again, not: “you should be the light”! The call itself has made them light. It cannot be any other way. They are a light which is seen. If it were different, then the call would not be revealed in them. What an impossible, senseless goal it would be for Jesus’ disciples, for these disciples, to want to become the light of the world! They have already been made into light by the call, in discipleship. Again, not “you have the light,” but “you are it!” The light is not something given to you as for example your preaching, but you yourselves are it. He who speaks directly of himself by saying, “I am the Light,” says directly to his disciples, “You are the light in your whole lives, as long as you remain faithful to the call. Because you are the light, you can stay hidden no longer, even if you wanted to. Light shines, and the city on the hill cannot be hidden.”[58] It simply cannot. It is visible far into the countryside, no matter whether it is a strong city, a guarded fortress, or a crumbling ruin. This city on the hill—what Israelite would not be reminded of Jerusalem, the city built on high!—is the community of disciples. With all this, the followers of Jesus are no longer faced with a decision. The only decision possible for them has already been made. Now they have to be what they are, or they are not following Jesus. The followers are the visible community of faith; their discipleship is a visible act which separates them from the world—or it is not discipleship. And discipleship is as visible as light in the night, as a mountain in the flatland.

To flee into invisibility is to deny the call. Any community of Jesus which wants to be invisible is no longer a community that follows him. “No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand”—there is that other possibility, that the light will be shaded intentionally, that it is extinguished under the basket, that the call is denied. The bushel basket, under which the visible community hides its light, can be fear of human beings just as much as it can be intentional conformity with the world for some arbitrary purposes, whether it be missionary purposes or whether it arises from misguided love for people! But it may also be—and that is even more dangerous—a so-called Reformation theology, which even dares to call itself theologia crucis [theology of the cross] and whose signature is that it prefers a “humble” invisibility in the form of total conformity to the world over “Pharisaic” visibility.[62] In that case the identifying mark of the community ceases to be an extraordinary visibility. Instead, it is identified by its fitness to function within the justitia civilis. Here the criterion for Christianity is considered to be that the light should not shine. But Jesus says, “Let your light shine before the Gentiles.” In any case, it is the light of Jesus’ call which is shining. But what sort of a light is it in which those followers of Jesus, those disciples of the Beatitudes, are to shine? What sort of light should come from that place, to which only the disciples have a claim? What do the invisibility and hiddenness of Jesus’ cross, under which the disciples stand, have in common with the light which is to shine? Shouldn’t it follow from the hiddenness of the cross that the disciples should likewise be hidden, and not stand in the light? It is an evil sophistry which uses the cross of Jesus to derive from it the church’s call to conformation to the world. Does not a simple listener recognize quite clearly that precisely at the cross something extraordinary has become visible? Or is that all nothing but justitia civilis? Is the cross conformation to the world? To the shock of everyone else, is the cross not something which became outrageously visible in the complete darkness? Is it not visible enough that Christ is rejected and must suffer, that his life ends outside the city gates on the hill of shame? Is that invisibility?

The good works of the disciples should be seen in this light. “Not you, but your good works should be seen,” says Jesus. What are these good works which can be seen in this light? They can be no other works than those Jesus himself created in the disciples when he called them, when he made them the light of the world under his cross—poverty, being strangers, meekness, peacemaking, and finally being persecuted and rejected, and in all of them the one work: bearing the cross of Jesus Christ. The cross is that strange light which shines there, by which alone all these good works of the disciples can be seen. Nowhere does it say that God becomes visible, but that the “good works” will be seen, and that the people will praise God for these works. The cross becomes visible, and the works of the cross become visible. The want and renunciation of the blessed become visible. But human beings can never be praised for the cross and for such a faith-community, only God can be praised. If the good works were all sorts of human virtues, then the disciples, not the Father, would be praised for them. As it is, there is nothing to praise in the disciple who bears the cross, or in the faith-community whose light so shines, which stands visibly on the mountain—only the Father in heaven can be praised for their “good works.” That is why they see the cross and the community of the cross, and have faith in God. There, then, shines the light of the resurrection.[1]

---------------------------more tomorrow------------------------

Join our “Victory over the Darkness”, “The Bondage Breaker”, "Freedom in Christ" series of Discipleship Classes via the mt4christ247 podcast!

at, You can also find it on Apple podcasts

( The mt4christ247 podcast is also available on Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartradio, and 

These teachings are also available on the MT4Christ247 You Tube Channel:

Email me at to receive the class materials, share your progress, and to be encouraged.

My wife, TammyLyn, also offers Christian encouragement via her Facebook Group: Ask, Seek, Knock ( ) and her podcast Ask, Seek, and Knock on Podbean (

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

[1] Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Discipleship, ed. Martin Kuske et al., trans. Barbara Green and Reinhard Krauss, vol. 4, Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2003), 112–114.

Friday, September 2, 2022

"Do What You Can!" Challenge Accepted. - Purity 826

Do What You Can!  Challenge Accepted. - Purity 826

Purity 826 09/02/2022  

Good morning,

Today’s photo of a “rocky sunset” on Lake Ontario comes to us from Celestial Blue Photography and from the depts of my phone’s photo archive as they must have originally shared this scene on or around June 6th 2021. To the best of my knowledge, I never highlighted it on the blog since and am glad that I have decided to look back to see what was left behind.  

Well it’s Friday again, so thank God, and as the sunsets on another work week it is my prayer that we all enjoy this Labor Day weekend to enjoy the last days before the new “back to school” season begins.  

The extended weekend could also give us the opportunity to either take care, or to take a rest, from  unfinished business from the previous months.  Seasonally it’s a good time to consider starting to pack up our summer accessories and to consider transitioning to Autumn.  Or we can use this weekend to make some summer memories that we were too busy to get to in the last few months.

I shared yesterday how I have recently been convicted to confront the one thing that remains that keeps me chained to my past: my former home. Although our divorce agreement states that my ex and I agreed to sell it “as soon as possible”, she refuses to sell it and lives there still.  I had previously decided to just let things lie but now that she is renting out a room to someone to help with costs, I see that my hopes that she would sell it eventually were naïve. 

So I have made the hard decision to pursue legal action to compel my ex to honor our divorce agreement and to sell the house but I decided yesterday to reach out to her and ask her about it instead of just having some attorney serve her papers without any warning.  And as you may have guess, that conversation didn’t go well but it did assure me of the need to pursue legal action to try to resolve this final tie that binds me to my ex.

My ex basically stated that she wasn’t selling the house and maliciously invited me to get an attorney and to “Do what you can!”  

So here we go and honestly, I don’t even know what can be done with this situation but I am going to find out and I will pursue what ever course I need to take to either sell the home or to get my name off of the mortgage. 

Sometimes people jokingly refer to their spouse as the “old ball and chain” and while I have severed the “old ball and chain” from my life, my name on the mortgage is sort of the manacle that is still attached to my ankle to remind me that I still have this one thing from our previous life that I need to get rid of to be completely free.   

Since 2019, I have run free and worked hard to get a new home for my children and I and have overcome massive debts and legal bills to get to enjoy my new life.  I have ignored my “anklet” and I guess I had hoped it would just fall off by itself some day but now I know that to be free of it I am going to have to get some help, there may be some suffering and pain involved in getting it off, and it may take some time before it is finally off.  

My ex seemed pretty confident that there is nothing I can do to make her sell. “Do what you can!”

I don’t know what I can do but I know that I won’t do nothing any longer. 

There is a quote that is attributed to Edmund Burke, but whose origins are disputed, that says: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

While I wouldn’t to call my ex evil, or myself good for that matter, I know this situation is wrong. It’s not just and it’s not fair. It’s a breach of contract. It’s contempt of court.  And I know that allowing this to continue isn’t right. 

James 4:17 (ESV) says
17  … whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.

Sin isn’t just doing what is wrong, it is also not doing what is right: to know what you should do but failing to do it.  

Out of fear of confrontation, out of fear of the costs of time, money, and effort, and out of fear of the possible negative opinion of others, I have allowed a situation that isn’t right to continue and according to the word of God and my spirit and heart’s conviction, I know that it is sin.  And I believe that the Lord has convicted my conscience to take this difficult road to take that “manacle” off my ankle and to be completely free of ties that bind me to my former life and to forsake this sin, to give my life completely to Him.  

This isn’t the first time the Lord has called me to take difficult road as He has encouraged me to follow Him out of the darkness of addictions, negative mind states and attitudes, and to sacrifice much for the freedom I have today and as much as the idea of having to do this causes me pain, I know that it is necessary to pursue it until this matter is resolved.   

When my ex challenges me to “Do what you can!”,  she doesn’t know who I know, and I’m not talking about some attorney.  You see, like in the story of Daniel”, I have been “cast into the fire” before and I wasn’t alone then and I am not alone now. 

As we walk through this life we will have trouble but when we walk with the Lord we can have peace as we walk through them.  

In John 16:33 (NKJV) Christ said:
33  These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."

Because I have peace with God through faith in Jesus Christ, I know something about overcoming adversity, I know something about walking into the dessert without knowing if or when the journey will end.  And even though some things can seem impossible for us. Christ said:

Matthew 19:26 (NKJV)
26  … with God all things are possible."

And I know that word of God is true and even though it may take time and effort, I know that it is the Lord’s will that I not sin anymore by letting this wrong thing to continue so I will “Do what I can” and pray for the Lord to what He can and I will continue until it is finished.  

I counsel people on this path of Christian discipleship all the time and I hear horrible stories of difficult situations that people are in but I share my stories of overcoming and I advise them that in order to solve our problems we have to “DO SOMETHING!”, we have to be responsible for our own messes and take steps to get out of them.  We can’t go back to undo the mistakes of the past but we can start today on the road to resolve them.   

When we have huge problems that have no end in sight we have to do what we can each day to get closer to the solution and because we are Christian, we know that God will work all things together for our good, we just don’t know His timing.  If we are faithful to follow the Lord, He will be faithful to help us.  

So we do our part and we for God to do His with the hope and assurance that one day our problems will be behind us and we can look back and know that we walked through the fire with the Lord God Almighty Himself to set us free.  

So keep walking and talking with God. “Do what you can!” and leave the rest up to God.


Today’s Bible verse comes to us from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.

This morning’s meditation verse is:

Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT2)
6  Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.
7  Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

Today’s verses encourage us to not to worry about anything but to keep praying about everything, telling God what we need and thanking Him for all He has done with the assurance that if we do this we will have peace.  As we live in Christ Jesus, His peace will guard our hearts and minds.   

Enough said? I mean, wow, if you need a prescription for the path of Christian Discipleship, here it is!  This is walking in the Spirit! 

You want peace? Live in Christ Jesus.  Pray about everything. Tell God what you need. Thank Him for what He has done. 

What happens when you live your life this way?   His peace will guard your heart and mind.  

This is walking and talking with God.  This is life more abundantly. Live in Christ Jesus, everyday.



As always, I invite all to go to where I always share insights from prominent Christian theologians and counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk.

Today we continue sharing from Clinton E. Arnold’s “Powers of Darkness”

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase Clinton Arnold’s books for your own private study and to support his work.  This resource is available on many websites for less than $20.00.

Structural Evil: One First-Century Case Example

In many ways Paul’s demonology reflects the common early Jewish understanding of evil spirits. In particular Paul apparently believed that pagan religions have close ties with the work of demons (see especially 1 Cor 10:19–20). We concluded earlier that the various non-Christian religions represent a special manifestation of the powers of darkness to deceive people and turn their attention away from the one true God.

According to Luke, Paul spent more time in Ephesus than anywhere else during his missionary journeys, which is understandable since Ephesus held strategic importance for reaching Asia Minor with the gospel. Some of Paul’s correspondence was written either from Ephesus (1 Corinthians) to Ephesus (Ephesians, 1 and 2 Timothy) or to nearby cities (Colossians and Philemon).

In some ways it is surprising that Paul never explicitly referred to one of the principal opponents of Christianity in Ephesus—the cult of the Ephesian Artemis. Artemis was the patron deity of Ephesus, and her cult wielded significant influence over the social, religious, economic and political lives of people throughout Asia Minor. Artemis, however, was not the only deity worshiped at Ephesus; up to fifty other gods and goddesses are also known to have had their cults in Ephesus during Paul’s time.

It appears Paul had not completely by-passed an issue of major importance to first-century Christians in Ephesus, that is, how to respond to the cult and the opposition it presented. In his letter to the Ephesians Paul provided a framework for a Christian response to the root issue: how to respond to the invisible realm of principalities and powers that stand behind it. The principles would therefore apply not only to the cult of Artemis, but also to any other pagan cult.

In chapter eleven, we discussed Paul’s concept of spiritual warfare. Here we will consider the cult of the Ephesian Artemis itself. An understanding of this cult provides one example of the multiplicity of ways that the powers exercised their hostile influence on people in Asia Minor as opponents of Christianity. This examination, in turn, may provide a model of the variety of levels of influence the powers exert on us today.

1. Through the Occult: The magical substructure of the Artemis cult brought individuals into direct contact with what we would call the occult. (I have documented and illustrated this point elsewhere.) The powers of darkness appear to gain direct access into the lives of people through involvement in magic, witchcraft and sorcery. It is little wonder the roaming Jewish exorcist Sceva found plenty of business in Ephesus (Acts 19:13–17).

Evangelical ministers today are giving numerous accounts of counseling severely demonized people who have had a background of involvement in the occult. Such people need the wise help of mature Christians to lead them to freedom from the bondage they experienced at the hands of the powers of darkness.

2. Through Counterfeit Religion: The term counterfeit implies a standard. For the early Christians there was only one true God—the God of Israel who is the God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ. Throughout the biblical revelation of both the Old and the New Testament, all other so-called gods are called “false gods.”

In the Artemis cult much evidence points to the celebration of mystery rites. A common trait of many religions throughout the Hellenistic world, the mystery rite normally involved a ritual that culminated in symbolic union with the deity. Satan might very well have used the worship of Artemis to satisfy the spiritual yearnings of people and their longing for “salvation” through counterfeit experiences.

There is still only one God and one way of approaching him—through the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul’s writings give no precedent for a positive view of obtaining salvation through any of the non-Christian religions.

3. Through Political, Economic and Civic Structures: The Artemis cult controlled major economic and civic structures of western Asia Minor. The cult was the major savings and loan institution for the entire region. Athletic contests were held in her honor, and even one of the months of the year was named after her. Christians would have been forced to decide on such questions as whether they should refuse to borrow money from the cult and whether they should decline from participation in the “Artemisian games.” The eyes of Christians would certainly have seen the pervasiveness of her influence on their society.

The demonic is able to influence any existing human structure. The cult of Artemis is merely one example of a first-century structure that Satan used to delude people and lead them away from devotion to the one true God.

Through all of these means, which the principalities and powers inspire and maintain, the Christian gospel faced an all-pervasive and supernaturally powerful opponent. In his letter to the Ephesians Paul gave stressed that the principal opponent is not “blood and flesh”: it is not something material and tangible, perhaps like the cultic paraphernalia, the temple of the goddess, the banking structure or the Ar-. temisian games. The opponent is what stands behind the Artemis cult and all structures, institutions, traditions and values that keep people from responding to the good news of Jesus Christ and the kingdom of God. The opponent is Satan and his powers of darkness.

We too need to develop the ability to discern the true nature of the opposition and respond accordingly. Satan and his powers are still alive and use many of the same methods to deceive, oppress, destroy and, ultimately, blind people to the redemptive message of the gospel.[1]

---------------------------more tomorrow------------------------

Join our “Victory over the Darkness”, “The Bondage Breaker”, "Freedom in Christ" series of Discipleship Classes via the mt4christ247 podcast!

at, You can also find it on Apple podcasts

( The mt4christ247 podcast is also available on Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartradio, and 

These teachings are also available on the MT4Christ247 You Tube Channel:

Email me at to receive the class materials, share your progress, and to be encouraged.

My wife, TammyLyn, also offers Christian encouragement via her Facebook Group: Ask, Seek, Knock ( ) and her podcast Ask, Seek, and Knock on Podbean (

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

[1] Clinton E. Arnold, Powers of Darkness: Principalities & Powers in Paul’s Letters (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic: An Imprint of InterVarsity Press, 1992), 207–209.

Thursday, September 1, 2022

The Path to Resolve Unfinished Business - Purity 825

 The Path to Resolve Unfinished Business - Purity 825

Purity 825 09/01/2022  Purity 825 Podcast

Good morning,

Today’s photo a water pathway between seemingly ending walls of rock comes to us from one of my family members who captured this scene during a visit to “The Grand Canyon of the Adirondacks” in Ausable Chasm NY.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to make the trip and so many of my family share photos from this trip that I am not sure which one shared this scene so I saved and shared it as “Ausable Chasm Pathway” – August 22, 2022 – Some Seguin or Clark”.  Even though I wasn’t able to go because of work I can get a small sense of what it must have been like at the bottom of that chasm from photos like this one.  

Well it’s Thursday again and even though I won’t be leading any discipleship groups on Zoom this evening, I share today’s photo as an encouragement to all who may feel that they are at the bottom of a chasm of problems or surrounded by problems on the right and the left to keep walking and talking with God on the pathway of Christian Discipleship.   When we decide to live out our faith by following the Lord with the way we live some how we can not only make it out of that chasm of personal and spiritual conflicts, we can have peace and joy while we walk through it because of the Lord’s presence with us. 

Today is also the first day of a new month so let’s choose to make a brand new start of it and take our first steps into September with the confidence that knows that God will be with us today and every day this month as we will transition from Summer to Fall and all the new experiences and responsibilities that come with the changing of the season.  

I don’t know about you but right now it sort of feels like I am at the bottom of a chasm because of the uncertainty of my wife’s current employment situation and because “back to school” season starts next week as I will be leading a new group into the Freedom in Christ Discipleship Course this Tuesday and will be leading some former graduates of the course through a course of my own making as we will examine Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s “Cost of Discipleship” on Thursdays. 

Also the Lord has put it on my heart to try to resolve some unfinished business of my past regarding my former home and I am admittedly a little nervous about it because it will involve lawyers and confrontation. But recently, I felt very convicted about this issue as I wish to walk into my future unhindered by the things of the past and even though I have taken care of so many things to put my past in the past. The issue of my old house has been something I have left on the back burner of my life and had resolved to ignore it and just hope that it would take care of itself in time.  

But the Lord apparently had different ideas. The other morning I was driving at work when suddenly I had thoughts of my own mortality and the simple fact that I am 50 I can’t really assume that I will be around forever. I started to think of my wife and kids and what would happen if I would suddenly die. 

My life insurance would be a blessing I guess but then I thought about my old house and how my ex has refused to sell it, as we agreed in our divorce and how she is “squatting” there and according to my son, has recently rented out a room someone to help her with the costs of living.  And I thought about how, if I should die suddenly, my wife or my kids would have to deal with my ex and probably fight her in court or surrender the value of the home that was legally mine.  

And that’s when my spirit, or The Spirit, hit me.  I had to take care of this.  I like to think of myself as a nice guy and I don’t like confrontation and I don’t want to necessarily cause my ex any trouble, but I got the sense that “right was right” – she should honor our divorce agreement – and that as a Christian, I was supposed to be responsible and take care of the things I have been entrusted to and do the things I have agreed to do . My ex and I both agreed to sell the house and by leaving things alone I was  not only shirking my responsibilities but was possibly endangering the inheritance that my family would receive.  

So, here we go into September and into the future ahead.  There is uncertainty. There is the excitement of new opportunities for ministry and encouraging more Christians to experience their freedom in Christ,  And there is the unpleasant business of settling unfinished business of the past, when part of me would just as much like to ignore things but even though I have some, okay anxiousness, about what will happen, I somehow have an enduring peace because I know that the Lord will be with me through it all and that I am doing the right thing.  

The Lord wants us to trust Him in uncertain times. He wants to walk with us into the excitement of new seasons. And the Lord wants us to resolve the issues of our pasts that we would rather just ignore, because He wants us to experience the abundant life of freedom that we can know when we resolve our problems and take all the obstacles out of our way that keep us from the joy of walking in peace with our heavenly Father knowing that we have resolved or forsaken all the trappings and turmoil from our old life to experience the new life we have in Him.



Today’s Bible verse comes to us from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.

This morning’s meditation verse is:

Colossians 1:22 (NLT2)
22  Yet now he has reconciled you to himself through the death of Christ in his physical body. As a result, he has brought you into his own presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault.

Today’s verse reminds us that through Christ’s death and our faith in Him, we have been reconciled to God, brought into His presence and are now holy, and blameless without a single fault as we stand before Him.  

The joy our faith comes from Jesus! He paid the cost for our new lives with the Father s and when we put our faith in Him we are not only declared “Not Guilty” because our debt has been paid, but we are also blameless, without a single fault, in the presence of the Lord.  

We don’t have to feel guilty anymore. We have been reconciled to God. We have peace with Him.

We are also holy.  We are “set apart” as His children and for His purposes. 

And as I wrote about above, the Lord will cause us to resolve the things in our lives that make us doubt these facts of who we are.  

The Holy Spirit convicts us to live a holy life, to walk away from the ways of darkness that we used to live in and to resolve the things in our past that would condemn or accuse us of “not really being a Christian”.  

The way of righteousness and truth may not sit well with the world and may cause people to hate us but when we follow the Lord with the way we live our lives we can have the assurance that we are living according to God’s will because we will have peace in HIs presence and we will be able to honestly confess that we have done our best to resolve our past problems, make peace with others, and do what is right.

So don’t doubt who you are in Christ. The word of God is true. If we feel less than “holy”, we have to accept the forgiveness that we have received, live a righteous life now, and resolve those things in our past that have been left undone.  


As always, I invite all to go to where I always share insights from prominent Christian theologians and counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk.

Today we continue sharing from Clinton E. Arnold’s “Powers of Darkness”

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase Clinton Arnold’s books for your own private study and to support his work.  This resource is available on many websites for less than $20.00.

The Recent Work of Frank Peretti

In his recent best-seller This Present Darkness, Frank Peretti unveils the strategy and networking of those hostile opponents who come from the realm of spirits, demons and powers. He depicts these forces of darkness mobilizing to gain control of a typical small town in America. They try to accomplish this takeover through a variety of means, but primarily through a plot to draw people away from Christ via an organized expression of the New Age movement.

Peretti moves the drama back and forth between the human and the spiritual plane. He discloses the demonic activity behind human struggles and difficulties. His conceptual framework is much the same as that of Lewis’s Screwtape Letters. Demons exert a direct influence on individuals. For instance, after portraying the evil activities of one of his human characters, Peretti gives his readers further spiritual insight into this person: “a deep and seductive voice spoke thoughts to her mind.” This character later turns out to be a university professor who is disseminating occultism through her teaching. Through similar demonic influence on key people throughout the university, the institution itself becomes perverted and is a major staging ground for this new philosophy.

While C. S. Lewis gave the Christian community a thought-provoking assessment of how an evil spirit may exert influence over a person in day-to-day life, Peretti builds upon this insight to help us imagine how the powers might work in concert to attain a much larger diabolical goal. He describes the individual workings of demonic powers, but he also shows their unified collective purpose. Assuming a well-defined hierarchy with a chain of command, Peretti depicts various ranks of powers carrying out their orders as part of a large-scale plan to usher in an occultic philosophy first to one strategic city, and from that base of operations, to the entire country.

As with any fictional representation of the unseen world, a few parts of his work are hard to swallow and perhaps do not seem to match biblical emphases. For instance, why is there so much said about the countermanding work of God’s angels and so little about the work of the Holy Spirit? Overall, however, Peretti gives us an account that is not only captivating but also imaginatively represents how the powers of darkness might actually work.

Those who appreciate Peretti’s novels will need to remember that the powers of darkness work through a multitude of ways to draw believers into sin and hinder the mission of the church. Satan may very well find his best line of attack against a church through something other than an organized conspiracy like the New Age movement. In fact, is it not more often the case that sexual impropriety, ethical misconduct, deeply entrenched feuds between church members and matters such as these do more to dim the light of the church’s testimony in its community than the inroads of occultism or Satanism? This is certainly not to minimize the danger of aberrant (or satanic) teaching, but it does emphasize Satan’s use of a wide variety of schemes (methodeia Eph 6:11).

The general impact that Peretti’s book has had on the life of the church has been quite positive in two respects: First, the book has effectively challenged people to factor the existence of the hostile demonic realm into their world view; and second, the comment I hear almost invariably from people who had read the book is, “It has prompted me to pray.” The soaring sales of his book and its sequel, Piercing the Darkness, indicate that much of evangelicalism was ready for this challenge.[1]

---------------------------more tomorrow------------------------

Join our “Victory over the Darkness”, “The Bondage Breaker”, "Freedom in Christ" series of Discipleship Classes via the mt4christ247 podcast!

at, You can also find it on Apple podcasts

( The mt4christ247 podcast is also available on Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartradio, and 

These teachings are also available on the MT4Christ247 You Tube Channel:

Email me at to receive the class materials, share your progress, and to be encouraged.

My wife, TammyLyn, also offers Christian encouragement via her Facebook Group: Ask, Seek, Knock ( ) and her podcast Ask, Seek, and Knock on Podbean (

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

[1] Clinton E. Arnold, Powers of Darkness: Principalities & Powers in Paul’s Letters (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic: An Imprint of InterVarsity Press, 1992), 205–207.

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Instant Liberation in Two Words: “I Quit!” - Purity 824

 Instant Liberation in Two Words: “I Quit!” - Purity 824

Purity 824 08/31/2022  Purity 824 Podcast

Good morning,

Today’s photo a of a the “hump” of a “rainbow in the hollers” comes from a friend who called West Liberty Kentucky home for a spell and shared this photo back on June 3, 2021.  But moss doesn’t grow on a rolling stone and the holler’s appeal didn’t last long and instead of staying put, our friend jettisoned his home in the holler and took to beaches of Florida for a spell and now has set his stakes in a new home in southwest North Carolina!  But that doesn’t mean he is done traveling because I just saw him share scenes from somewhere in Georgia just the other day that may be featured in a future post. 

Well, It’s hump day again, and as we seek to surmount the midpoint of another work week to move on into Labor Day weekend, I think we should all rejoice over the freedom that the Lord gives us to change our situations and the fact that He gives us our self-worth that is not dependent on where we are or what we are doing. Our changing circumstances don’t change who we are in Christ.   

In life we make our best decisions with the information we have at the time.  We may think a home in the hollers, a beach in Florida, or a place somewhere else may satisfy us at the time, only to discover that we want to try something else.  Moving can be an ordeal but I for one can attest to the sheer joy that comes from leaving your past behind and finding peace in a new home.  

Likewise professionally, we can decide to step out and try something new with the hopes of forging a prosperous future only to discover that the deal that seemed too good to be true was too good to be true and that the offers and promises that were made before we committed ourselves quickly changed almost as soon as we did.  

In a teaching on Jesus vs The Culture, Dr. Frank Turek asked if it was ethical for a business to change the conditions of someone’s employment after they were hired after they had committed themselves and turned down other offers. The people gathered for his class unanimously agreed that it was unethical to do that. 

But Turek’s question shows that things like this happen in the world of business, to lure people into filling a job unscrupulous employers will make promises that they have no intention of keeping and will eventually change the rules of the game after they hire someone and figure they now “own them”.   

Unfortunately, many people face this type of treatment and feel that they have no recourse but to stay because they need the money or the benefits or are told that the negative circumstances are only temporary.   

However, the Lord has given us free will and if we walk with Him we can be assured that He will be with us whether we decide to endure in our “raw deal”  or if we choose to utter the two word phrase that leads to instant liberation: I quit!

I think we all know people who have suffered in negative work circumstances at some point in their work histories and we listen to their complaints and laments with compassion but are puzzled at why they continue to stay.  Don’t they know they can quit?

There is no shame in quitting, regardless of reasons, but if we were lied to or if we are being abused or micromanaged, we have the right to set ourselves free.  

Unfortunately, this issue is close to home for me because my wife TammyLyn recently took a chance at a new career only to discover that her employers were dishonest about their expectations of her work hours and the level of authority she would have as the general  manager of their restaurant.

They expected her to turn Hell’s kitchen into heaven but didn’t give her the power to do it as they almost immediately undermined her authority, arbitrarily changed policies, gave preferential treatment to certain employees, allowed a hostile work environment to fester, made insulting abusive personal comments to employees, allowed rank insubordination to go without consequence, and tried to make her personally responsible for each and every aspect of the business, even when she wasn’t there! 

My wife was the general manager for less than a month and last night I fully supported her decision to resign immediately.  

I, of course, sought to support my wife in her new venture by becoming a delivery driver for the restaurant. I figured if she was there that was where I wanted to be.  But she isn’t there anymore, so I quit too!

No matter how bad things get in life we have the option of quitting. He have the option of leaving.  If we have been lied to, or abused, or disrespected and hurt,  the Lord doesn’t necessarily want us to stay in that.  

Christ came to give us life and life more abundantly and if people are making our lives hell on earth we can shake the dust off our feet and leave.  

Frank Turek’s point in asking that question about a business changing the terms of a contract after someone was hired was to ask about the changes in personal relationships: in marriages.  That if someone promises to love, honor and obey someone for life and abuses the promises of the relationship, and the abuse continues or the commitment is betrayed, we can try to work on the problems with counseling but if the other party refuses to repent, we can leave.  Ask me how I know.    

When we decide to follow the Lord with our lives, we make the decision to live in righteousness and the world may not always like that.  People will hate us for it or they may see our Christian character as something they can use for their own purposes.   

While we are to love our enemies and to endure through suffering at times, we are not expected to propagate or allow someone else’s sin to continue unchecked or without consequence.  If you lie to me or are sinning against me, I can forgive you, but it doesn’t mean I have to stay in relationship with you.  

So if that’s you, quit. Walk away.  Forgive them for they know not what they do, but shake the dust off your feet and surrender them to the Lord, as He says you are worthy of love, dignity, and respect, and no matter what the Lord will be with you where ever you go. 

So keep walking and talking with God.  When we trust the wrong people or suffer abuse, He will help us to recover and to find a new place where we will be provided for and where we can find our purpose in Him.  



Today’s Bible verse comes to us from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.

This morning’s meditation verse is:

Jeremiah 29:12-13 (NKJV)
12  Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.
13  And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.

Today’s verses encourage us to call upon the Lord, to pray, and to seek the Lord with the assurance that He will hear us and we will find Him.  

In life we can learn from our mistakes. When things go south we can really beat ourselves up for the mistakes we make.  But the Lord is with us and the book of Jerimiah is a rough portion of scripture in which the prophet delivers searing messages to the nation of Israel about impending judgement that will come because of their disobedience.  But even in this book of the Bible where there is so much “bad news” ,  the Lord reminds the faithful that even in their struggles that He is still with them and that His strength and guidance can still be found when they call upon Him, pray to Him and seek Him.  

So maybe things have gone wrong.  Things didn’t work out the way we hoped.  

So what do we do now that our dreams have gone up in smoke? 

We do what we always to as followers of Christ.  Just like Jesus, we go to the Father, We pray and we gather strength and wisdom from Him, knowing that He is the one who defines us and He is the one who determines our worth.  No matter what we do or how we may fail or suffer, God has accepted us as His children because of our faith in Jesus and He is with us.  

So call on the Lord, pray to Him, and seek your will for your life. He hears you and He will help you to find Him when you search for Him with all your heart.



As always, I invite all to go to where I always share insights from prominent Christian theologians and counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk.

Today we continue sharing from Clinton E. Arnold’s “Powers of Darkness”

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase Clinton Arnold’s books for your own private study and to support his work.  This resource is available on many websites for less than $20.00.

Reasserting the Pauline Emphasis

I am thus hesitant to use the Pauline references to the “principalities and powers” as the fundamental basis for developing a theology of society. On the one hand, a different foundation to social ethics is needed than that which is provided by those who take a structural interpretation of the powers. On the other hand, I believe it is essential to take the principalities and powers into careful consideration when discussing social evil. Robert Webber is correct when he notes, “A theology of society needs to deal with the problem of the demonic.”

There is no doubt Paul envisioned the work of evil spirits to extend beyond their hostile influence on individuals and the church. In Paul’s letters, however, the emphasis is clearly on their malevolent activity in preventing people from becoming Christians and hindering their growth in Christian virtue. The major issue of concern for Paul, therefore, is not so much the relevance of the powers with regard to social justice, but their implications on salvation history and Christian behavior.

In Paul’s eyes the powers unleash their greatest hostility when they hinder the proclamation of the gospel. They use the flesh and, indeed, the structures of the world to blind people from discovering the truth about God’s redemptive work in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Paul’s concept of ministry included no injunction for Christians to work toward reforming the social or political order. As E. Earle Ellis explains it, “As a reality of the resurrection age Christian ministry has for Paul an evangelical, Christ-imparting relationship to the community of the dying.” The proclamation of the gospel takes on decisive importance because it has other-worldly, eternal implications. Those who affirm faith in Christ are rescued from the deadly clutches of Satan’s kingdom and delivered from the community of Adam, which is moving toward its death.

This consideration does not mean that Christians are released from any obligation to society at large. Second to Jesus’ command to love God with full devotion is his command to love our neighbors. Paul reiterated this command when he called Christians to love their neighbors (Rom 13:8–10) and to do good to all people (Gal 6:10).

The Influence of the Powers on the World

The question we now ask is specifically how do the powers influence the world system with its manifold structures? I suggest two ways of describing the evil work of the powers on the social order.

First, it is essential to return to Paul’s emphasis on the direct work of the powers in the lives of individuals. According to Paul, spiritual warfare involves direct demonic enticement to individuals to violate God’s standards of holiness and act in ways contrary to his revealed will. Extrapolating from this explicit principle of operation to a larger scale, we must remember that people control governments, corporations, media and various other structures of our existence. If the powers of darkness can gain significant influence over the lives of key people, through them they can create oppressive dictatorships, evil drug rings, exploitative multinational corporations and all kinds of horrific, destructive mechanisms bent on destruction and terror.

The powers are not merely “up there” in the heavens waging war among themselves. They are here, very close to us, trying to influence our affections and our decisions.

Paul’s Jewish predecessors and contemporaries thought in these terms. For example, the first-century A.D. section of a Jewish document, entitled Ascension of Isaiah, reflects on why one of the kings of Judah was able to lead the whole city into apostasy:

And Manasseh abandoned the service of the Lord of his father [Hezekiah], and he served Satan and his angels, and his powers.… And he rejoiced over Jerusalem because of Manasseh, and he strengthened him in causing apostasy, and in the iniquity which was disseminated in Jerusalem. And sorcery and magic, augury and divination, fornication and adultery, and the persecution of the righteous increased through Manasseh. (Ascension of Isaiah 2:2–5)

In this text it is clear that the powers of darkness are viewed as independent agents who worked directly on the leader of a country to create a regime of terror and evil. Many similar references could be cited, but this is adequate to illustrate the simple concept of an evil spirit working through an individual who wields significant civil authority. The same principle could be applied to many different spheres and social/political structures.

In the twentieth century we have witnessed the extensive repression and exploitation that corrupt rulers can wield over millions of people. Mention the names of Adolf Hitler, Nicolae Ceausescu, Idi Amin, Manuel Noriega and Saddam Hussein, and one easily sees images of untold atrocities. Certainly, Satan and his forces make people of such power the objects of particular attack because of their political authority. Could it be more than coincidental that reports of these leaders’ involvement in the occult so often surface after they have fallen from power? Certainly, Satan has only to exploit the desires of their depraved natures to bring about his destructive aims. More direct Satanic influence, however, can sometimes be observed.

Second, I suggest that Paul’s concepts of “world” (kosmos) and “this age” (aiōn) correspond most closely with what many modern interpreters describe as structural evil. Paul described unredeemed humanity as trapped in a pattern of transgression and sin against God because “the age (aiōn) of this world (kosmos)” so heavily influences them (Eph 2:2). Becoming a Christian involves being crucified to the world (Gal 6:14) and being rescued from the present evil age (Gal 1:4). When Paul spoke of “the world” in a moral sense, he was thinking of the totality of people, social systems, values and traditions in terms of its opposition to God and his redemptive purposes. The structures of our existence, to a large extent, represent the composite result of human ideas, affections and activity. Both people and their ideas can have an evil bent. Yet they are also capable of redemption and purification. In his insightful book on social ethics Stephen Mott draws the correct distinction between the powers and the world. He notes, “The kosmos, a more pervasive theme in the New Testament than the powers, represents the social structuring of evil without necessitating recourse to the symbolism of supernatural personages.”28 He draws attention to the fact that the principle of sin has a serious impact on our social order: “If sin is as pervasive as we say that it is, … then it will affect not only our personal motivations, decisions, and acts, but also our social life. It will powerfully influence our customs, traditions, thinking, and institutions. It will pervert our kosmos.”

Not only does sin have a degenerative effect on the social order, but so also do the powers of darkness. The powers exert their influence to corrupt the various social orders of the world as a further means of drawing humanity away from God. Working through people, the powers can pollute a society’s traditions and values. They can influence authors, television producers, political thinkers and analysts, pastors, university professors, composers, artists, screenplay writers, economic policy makers, architects of defense strategies and journalists. Through a unified networking influence, it is not difficult to imagine how the powers can influence the direction of an entire culture. In one decade something may be considered morally outrageous and in the next morally acceptable through a changed public opinion.

The powers themselves, however, are not the structures. Although the powers do their best to influence the structures, evil still resides in the structures only insofar as the people involved are evil. Just as a glove has no ability on its own to carry out a task, ideologies, economic systems and the like have no power apart from the people who subscribe to them and enforce them. A tradition ceases to be a tradition when people no longer pass it on.

It is with good reason that Paul calls Satan “the god of this age (aiōn)” who “has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel” (2 Cor 4:4). We could legitimately say “Satan is the god of many of the structures that order our existence.” Through coordinating the activity of his innumerable powers of darkness, Satan attempts to permeate every aspect of life in his indefatigable attempts to oppose God and his kingdom. The work of the evil one moves far beyond the simple notion of tempting an individual to sin. Satan appears to have a well-organized strategy. He aims strongly at the people with power and influence. The moral lapse of one pastor can send one church reeling. Inciting the moral lapse of numerous prominent ministers devastates Christians all over the country and makes society perceive the fragrant aroma of the gospel as a stench to be avoided.

The powers do indeed influence society and its institutions. We must be careful not to assume, however, that the demonic has polluted all institutions, social structures, traditions and philosophies. As Stephen Mott points out, there is a battle for the control of God’s creation. Institutions are integral to human life. “Institutions function both to enslave and to liberate human existence. The powers are always present along with enslavement and death in small or large degree; but their real existence is behind the scenes in a system of hostile values vying for control of the life of the world.”

According to Paul, God calls Christians to be rescuing agents. The evil-infected institutions of this present age have trapped people, who are blinded from seeing Christ’s redeeming love. Since the institutions of this world (kosmos) and the structures of the present age (aiōn) are destined to perish, our highest priority is to help people find ultimate freedom from the deadly constraints and terror of the present age and experience the untold blessings of the age to come, and to be liberated from the world and its hellish prince and be inundated with the love, joy and peace of God’s kingdom.

By no means is this an encouragement for Christians to escape completely from the present world and withdraw from involvement in the social order and the structures of our existence. Jesus called us to be salt and light, to show the same loving compassion for our neighbors that led him to lay down his life for the lost. God demands that Christians engage in social action based on their love for humanity, their call to be salt and light, and their responsibility to be careful stewards of the creation.

Christians still live in the present evil age—in fact, they live in two ages. The kingdom of God and the blessings of the age to come have broken into the present age in the Lord Jesus Christ. The Spirit and the gifts, the grace of God and the power of the age to come are bestowed on us through relationship with the Lord Jesus. We are called to carry on the redemptive mission that Christ called us to and that Paul modelled for us by his own life and ministry. We are called to demonstrate Christ’s love.[1]

---------------------------more tomorrow------------------------

Join our “Victory over the Darkness”, “The Bondage Breaker”, "Freedom in Christ" series of Discipleship Classes via the mt4christ247 podcast!

at, You can also find it on Apple podcasts

( The mt4christ247 podcast is also available on Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartradio, and 

These teachings are also available on the MT4Christ247 You Tube Channel:

Email me at to receive the class materials, share your progress, and to be encouraged.

My wife, TammyLyn, also offers Christian encouragement via her Facebook Group: Ask, Seek, Knock ( ) and her podcast Ask, Seek, and Knock on Podbean (

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

[1] Clinton E. Arnold, Powers of Darkness: Principalities & Powers in Paul’s Letters (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic: An Imprint of InterVarsity Press, 1992), 201–205.