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Showing posts with label Demons. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Demons. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 9, 2023

“Talk to Me” – A Regression into the Dark Side - Self-Deception Series 27 – Purity 1116

 

“Talk to Me” – A Regression into the Dark Side - Self-Deception Series 27 – Purity 1116

Purity 1116 08/09/2023 Purity 116 Podcast

Purity 1116 on YouTube: 


Good morning,

Today’s photo of grey and green coastal shoreline and blue-green waters of the Atlantic Ocean, underneath a pleasant cloud-filled blue sky comes to us from Pastor Andy Elmes as he shared this scene on social media, from somewhere along the Cornwall coast in the United Kingdom while traveling with his family, yesterday.  With a view like this, you can understand why Andy reported he was “Loving Cornwall” and his “Time to just Breathe In.”

Well, It’s Wednesday and I figured Andy’s Cornwall Coastal Cliffs were enough of a hump to visually represent our arrival at the midpoint of my last full week of vacation.  As I consider that it’s “It’s all downhill” from here as I begin the slow descent toward work next week, I am going to do my best to slow things down and just breathe in the peace that this break from work has given me.  

The last couple of days of this vacation were actually spent doing a fair amount of work as I finally put pen to paper to chronicle my “client experience” that is required for Deeper Walk International’s School of Prayer Ministry. A few months ago I went through 6 sessions of prayer ministry with Christy Edge in which we invited the Lord into my past to provide His truth and healing to some memories and misconceptions from my childhood. I spent the last two days writing a report about how the Lord cleaned out my closet with His light of truth and love.  Even though the outcomes were exceedingly positive, recalling and writing about how I processed and resolved some painful experiences I had suffered through and lies I had believed because of them in my childhood was emotionally draining and after I was done I was looking for a way to decompress and have some fun.  

So after dinner last night, I decided to go to “regress” a little by going back to the movies to see “Talk to Me”, an Australian horror film about some teenage kids making a “Tik Tok challenge” out of demonic possession! It turned out to be absolutely terrifying, a little disturbing, and one of the best horror films I have seen in quite some time because it accurately portrayed the dangers of meddling with the occult and how “the spirits of the dead” are actually malevolent demonic entities, although you would have to have a spiritual warfare world view to discern that.  Part of the story documents how one of the characters is deceived into believing that a spirit they contact is their departed loved one, only to discover too late that it’s a lie and that the “spirit” they thought was there to provide comfort and guidance was actually plotting for their destruction. 

“Talk to Me” was well done but didn’t end well as it didn’t have a happy ending. It disturbed me quite frankly because while it was a macabre fantasy film, the spiritual realities that it inadvertently revealed are more truth than fiction. I would recommend it as a cautionary tale and object lesson of why you don’t dabble with the occult and you don’t attempt to talk to the dead because there are no such things as “friendly ghosts”, as every reported paranormal experience, if examined closely, would reveal a demonic agenda to deceive, kill, steal, or destroy.   Unfortunately, the bad ending of “Talk to Me” is all too real as people are being deceived by the world, the flesh, and the devil and trust in themselves or the things of this world instead of finding safety in God’s kingdom by putting their faith in Jesus Christ.

Part of my enjoyment of the horror genre for me lies not in my decision to take them seriously. Unlike others who relieve themselves of the tension created by these depictions of evil by joking or reminding themselves “these things aren’t real”, I choose to not only “suspend my disbelief” but fully enter into the experience by reminding myself that, even though the stories on the screen may have bad effects, gaps in logic or consistency,  or deviate from the truth of the spiritual forces of darkness, there is evil in the world and not all of it lies in the hearts of men and the only thing I comfort myself with is the knowledge that I know the Lord and have His protection as my heavenly Father.

So, Lord, forgive me for my walk on the dark side last night. Although I consider these jaunts into the secular world of entertainment to be “research” in some regards, I know that “regressing” to enjoy the things that entertained me as a child or before I came to Christ, is not good because, as Christians, we are directed to not look back, to move forward, and to put away childish things.

And that brings us to our current series on Self-Deception, where we have decided to investigate some of the ways we deceive ourselves by walking through Step 2, Deception Vs. Truth, of the Steps to Freedom in Christ to see what ways we may have been deceived by “the world” and ourselves and in what ways we have wrongly defended ourselves. 

So we present the fourth of the  “Ways to Wrongly Defend Yourself”:

4. Regression

The Steps to Freedom in Christ describes regression as “reverting back to less threatening times.”

As I stated above, as Christians we are to pursue spiritual maturity by putting away childish things. While we should have “childlike faith”, we aren’t commended for being “babes in Christ” and are encouraged to grow in maturity progressively from “sons” to “fathers”, and to “elders”.   This is the appropriate direction for our life journey after all and is made clear to us when we encounter someone “not acting their age”.  

While I understand that we have liberty and that in some ways there is no harm in enjoying the things we did as children, like coloring, collecting comic books, or playing with toys, the extreme cases of “regression” show us that this isn’t right. The further you go into “childish things”, the more it is clear that this behavior isn’t necessarily where we should be going.

In our warped society today, there are grown men that enjoy dressing up as babies. These deluded individuals have found comfort in abandoning their adulthood and unfortunately, there are others that encourage their regression. 

I know that’s an extreme example but it’s out there and it highlights that although we can enjoy our freedom to fondly reminiscence about our childhoods and even perhaps indulge in the things we like to do as kids, we should realize that there is possible danger there.  

When we pursue childish delights we run the risk of being an escapist by denying reality or by simply choosing to stop growing in the wisdom or into the purpose that God has for us.  

If you honestly believe the “all I really need to know I learned in kindergarten”, you have been deceived. God doesn’t call us to go back to innocent childish times and neither does He call us to “lay down and die”. He has welcomed us into His eternal kingdom, and we are to grow into the fullness of Christ. Our responsibility is to be built up and become equipped to do God’s work and build up His church.  

Ephesians 4:13 (NLT2) tells us
13  This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ.

So while we all may need to take a break and blow off some steam with a little play from time to time, we should watch ourselves to make sure we are progressing, and not regressing, when it comes to our overall purpose in God’s kingdom and becoming “mature in the Lord”.

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For those who want more evidence for Christianity than my simple encouragements provide, I offer apologist, Frank Turek’s website, https://crossexamined.org/ .

Today’s Bible verse comes to us from “The Quick Scripture Reference for Counseling” By John G. Kruis.

( While Bible verses on various topics of Counseling can be found with a quick google search, we encourage you to purchase this resource to support the late author’s work. (https://www.amazon.com/Quick-Scripture-Reference-Counseling-Kruis-ebook/dp/B00CIUJZT2?ref_=ast_author_dp )

This morning’s meditation verse comes from the section on Affliction, Discipline, Chastisement, & Trials.

1 Corinthians 10:13 (NASB)
13  No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.

Today’s verse fall under the thirteenth point of our counseling reference guide resource’s section on Affliction, Discipline, Chastisement, & Trials

 13. “God will never give you more than you can bear.” 

Today’s verse encourages us that when we are relying on the Lord, His help will allow us to endure temptation.  

Okay, I’m about to throw a flag and penalize the late John G. Kruis, for being offsides here….

Today’s verse is encouraging. It does tell us we can endure. And while I could extrapolate an explanation on how “giving into despair” could be “giving into the temptation” of not trusting the Lord, I have a little bit of a problem with this verse being used to support the true principle that “God will never give you more than you can bear” because frankly even upholding that conclusion demands some extrapolating to make us see its truth.   

I guess the idea that “God will never give you never give you more than you can bear” is true in an ultimate sense because we are always secure in His love and the ultimate protection of His eternal kingdom.  To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord, thank God, because there can and will be situations in life that our bodies, our hearts, or our minds won’t be able to bear.   I would say that if we examine some of the excruciating things Christians have suffered throughout history we might be a little more comfortable by changing that sentiment to : “God will never give you more than you can bear in your spirit.” because quite frankly there is documented evidence of “broken hearts, minds, and bodies” that would challenge whether or not God gave us some things we could “bear”.  

Granted, the sufferings we survive can be seen as things we were able to bear. Obviously, we survived! We bore them! Even if we are minus some body parts or some mental, emotional, or physical capabilities afterward– we bore them, praise God!    

But some people don’t survive, their bodies couldn’t bear what they went through, and some suffer violence and perish. Thus we look to heaven to see that all though we die, we live because of Christ.

So yes in these instances – we bear it – we live and bear it,  or we die and bear it.  

But one of the things that we may have trouble bearing is the loss of loved ones, and their absence from our lives is rather unbearable.  In our grief, it sure doesn’t feel like we can bear it. In our physical or mental suffering, it sure doesn’t feel like we didn’t get a raw deal from God.  It sure doesn’t feel like our pain is something we can bear.  

However, that principle – that God will never give you more than you can bear” is true all the same.  

Although those words could be cold comfort to someone who is suffering if they test them by drawing close to the Lord, they will discover that “His grace is sufficient, and when we are weak, He is strong” and that He will comfort and empower us with His presence and His strength and that if we ask for His help we will receive it.  

When you have faith and call on God to help you, He will be faithful, although I can’t tell you exactly how in every situation.  Some are healed, some live with suffering, some are restored, and some remain broken. Some are given more time and life here on earth,  Others are called into eternity – suddenly or slowly. But because of Jesus, we know that God is for us and will never leave us or forsake us. And even though we may suffer greatly, when we seek His help and presence in our lives, we can even take a Bible verse out of its proper context and use its underlying truth to help us to endure and one day proclaim with confidence that God will never give you more than you can bear.

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As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org 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  The Holy Spirit By A.W. Pink.

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage you all to purchase A.W. Pink’s books for your own private study and to support his work.  This resource is available online for $0.99 (https://www.amazon.com/Holy-Spirit-Arthur-Pink-Collection-ebook/dp/B008CM5292/ref=sr_1_3?crid=AHKAQOM39CTN&keywords=a.w.+pink+the+holy+spirit&qid=1684376225&sprefix=a.w.+pink+the+holy+spirit+%2Caps%2C96&sr=8-3) 

A.W. Pink’s The Holy Spirit

18 - The Spirit Indwelling

The Evidences of the Spirit’s Indwelling

What are the evidences and fruits of the Spirit’s inhabitation? First, wherever the Spirit dwells, He does in some degree mortify and subdue the evils of the soul in which He resides. “The Spirit (lusts) against the flesh” (Gal. 5:17), and believers “through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body” (Rom. 8:13). This is one special part of His sanctifying work. Though He kills not sin in believers, He subdues it—though He does not subdue the flesh as that it never troubles or defiles them any more, its dominion is taken away. Perfect freedom from its very presence awaits them in Heaven; but even now, animated by their holy Indweller, Christians deny themselves and use the means of grace which God has appointed for deliverance from the reigning power of sin.

Second, wherever the Spirit dwells, He produces a spirit of prayer and supplication. “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered” (Rom. 8:26). The two things are inseparable: wherever He is poured out as the Spirit of grace, He is also poured out as the Spirit of supplication (Zech. 12:10). He helps Christians before they pray by stirring up their spiritual affections and stimulating holy desires. He helps them in prayer by teaching them to ask for those things which are according to God’s will. He it is who humbles the pride of their hearts, moves their sluggish wills, and out of weakness makes them strong. He helps them after prayer by quickening hope and patience to wait for God’s answers.

Third, wherever the Spirit dwells He works a heavenly and spiritual frame of mind. “They that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace” (Rom. 8:5–6). The workings of every creature follow the being and bent of its nature. If God, Christ, Heaven, engage the thoughts and affections of the soul, the Spirit of God is there. There are times in each Christian’s life when he exclaims, “How precious also are Thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with Thee” (Ps. 139:17, 18)—such holy contemplation is the very life of the regenerate.

But, says the sincere Christian, If the Spirit of God dwelt in me, could my heart be so listless and averse to spiritual duties? Answer, The very fact that you are exercised and burdened over this sad state evidences the presence of spiritual life in your soul. Let it be borne in mind that there is a vast difference between spiritual death and spiritual deadness: the former is the condition of the unregenerate, the latter is the disease and complaint of thousands of the regenerate. Note it well that nine times over, David, in a single Psalm, prayed, “Quicken me!” (119). Though it be so often, it is not so always with you: there are seasons when the Lord breaks in upon your heart, enlarges you affections, and sets your soul at liberty—clear proof you are not deserted by the Comforter![1]

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

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

at https://mt4christ247.podbean.com, You can also find it on Apple podcasts

(https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-mt4christ247s-podcast/id1551615154). The mt4christ247 podcast is also available on Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartradio, and Audible.com. 

These teachings are also available on the MT4Christ247 You Tube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/@MT4Christ247

Email me at mt4christ247@gmail.com to receive the class materials, share your progress, and to be encouraged.

My wife, TammyLyn, also offers Christian encouragement via her Ask Seek Knock blog (https://tammylynask.blogspot.com/ ),  her Facebook Group: Ask, Seek, Knock (https://www.facebook.com/groups/529047851449098 ) and her podcast Ask, Seek, and Knock on Podbean (https://feed.podbean.com/tammalyn78/feed.xml)

For those who require the assistance of a Deeper Walk International Prayer Minister to experience healing or your freedom in Christ, I highly recommend Christy Edge’s Life on the Edge Freedom Prayer Ministry. You can schedule a session by going to : https://cedge216.wixsite.com/life-on-the-edge     

“The views, opinions, and commentary of this publication are those of the author, M.T. Clark, only, and do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of any of the photographers, artists, ministries, or other authors of the other works that may be included in this publication, and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of any entities the author may represent.”

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship


[1] Arthur Walkington Pink, The Holy Spirit (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, n.d.).


Monday, April 17, 2023

“I Will Never Be Enough.” – Lies of the Enemy #7– Purity 1019


“I Will Never Be Enough.” – Lies of the Enemy #7– Purity 1019

Purity 1019 04/17/2023 Purity 1019 Podcast

Purity 1019 on YouTube: 


It has been so long since You Tube turned one of my photos sideways, 
I had began to thought it would never happen..... 


Good morning,

Today’s photo of a flowering tree under a cumulus cloud filled blue sky and the light of a mid afternoon sun comes to us from yours truly as I decided to capture this springtime scene upon my arrival to my countryside home after a day well spent, worshipping the Lord at church and in the presence of my beloved wife.

Well, It’s Monday again and even though my shifted tour reduced my weekend to a single day, my wife and I made the most of the time we did have together by doing what we normally do, going to Bible study and church, and then tried something new by stepping out to enjoy the splendor of a wonderful springtime day in God’s creation at Garnsey Park in Rexford. We then enjoyed some good food and one another’s company by having lunch together at the Olive Garden in Clifton Park before I had to get back to my place down by the River to be ready for another week of work.  

And I’m glad we did get to enjoy the weather yesterday because the forecast calls for showers proving once again that we have to be intentional about enjoying our lives, here and now, and that we have to be aware of what’s going on around us so that we don’t miss our opportunities to do so or allow our inattention to our circumstances to cause us to suffer.  And as much as we should have an eye on the skies to be prepared for changes in the weather, we should also  to pay attention to our thoughts and the conditions of our spiritual atmosphere.   

Our thoughts have a direct relationship to our emotions and if we are thinking “Oh no, It’s Monday or  oh no, It’s going to rain , today!”, we shouldn’t be surprised if our emotions are anxious or depressed.   Thus we recommend a daily practice of gratitude, intentionally giving thanks to God for the good things we do have, rather than dwelling on negative circumstances or the things we lack.   

Of course, this is good practical advice, don’t dwell on the negative, but unfortunately when we are afflicted with negative or condemning thoughts it may not be all our own doing. Scripture indicates that Satan and the demonic forces of darkness can tempt, accuse, and deceive us.  Just like we should be prepared for what the day may hold for us by looking at the sky or checking the local weather forecast, we are well served in knowing how the enemy operates so we can resist his efforts to steal, kill, and destroy us or our peace.   

So, let’s continue to resist the devil, by continuing our current series,which is an examination of some of the common lies the enemy tells us to cause us to doubt our faith, steal our peace, or to choose not to follow the Lord with the way we live our lives. 

So today’s big lie is:

Lie # 7:  I Will Never Be Enough.   

This lie comes straight from the enemy’s mouth and I mean that quite literally.  I am currently enrolled in Deeper Walk International’s school of prayer ministry and our current course of study is on spiritual warfare prayer. On Thursday evening, our cohort was introduced to the confrontational spiritual warfare prayer method that is based on the teachings of Dr. Karl Payne’s book, Spiritual Warfare: Christians, Demonization, and Deliverance.  And when I say introduced, I don’t mean that we just had a lecture. Thursday night, we watched a video of a prayer minister lead a participant through the process to confront and cast out demons that were afflicting him.  

The participant had demonic entities afflicting him in the areas of the occult, generational sins, unforgiveness, and soul ties.  Thankfully, Payne’s process of spiritual warfare prayer utilizes the power and authority that we have in Christ and establishes the rules of engagement in such a way that the demons are bound and cast out without much fan fare.   If you are imagining “The Exorcist” or other demonic possession movies, you would be relieved to know that when we use the authority that Christ has given us wisely, the enemy is rendered powerless and has no choice but to obey the commands to leave and the process looks more like an interrogation than and exorcism.

In the session we viewed, demonic entities were cast out in each of the four areas where the participant was afflicted, after the demons were commanded to reveal themselves, asked about what their purpose was, and when the participant’s “foothold causing” sins and underlying circumstances that gave the enemy permission to afflict them were confessed and canceled, they obeyed the command to leave.  

In the area of the occult, the dem when the demon was asked “what lies do you tell X?”  The demon answered: “It will never be enough. I will never be enough.”

The implication is that no matter what the participant did in his life, he would never be satisfied. He could never be happy. He would never be accepted. No matter what he tried to do or managed to accomplish in life, he would never be enough.    

Unfortunately, our materialistic society fully supports this lie of the enemy. The field of marketing is built on it!  Advertisers cleverly craft their advertisements and marketing campaigns to cause us to feel that we need something we don’t have.  Although their ads promise we can get what we need by purchasing their products or services, our experience has taught us that “we can’t get no satisfaction” from the things we buy.

And if we have been around the block a few times, we understand that earthly relationships, career accomplishments, and travel or euphoric experiences also fail to “be enough” to give us fulfillment. Because of the impermanent nature of the world and because of our spiritual make up, these circumstantial variables will always fail to “be enough”.  

As we stated in a previous post in this series, the best lies are often based on truth but never are truthful enough to point to THE TRUTH, Jesus Christ, and the fact that the only meaningful peace that we will be able to find is the peace that He gives us.  Through faith in Christ we have peace with God and it lasts for eternity. The peace, meaning, and purpose that will be enough is found in God’s kingdom and we can only enter into it through Jesus.

Today’s Big lie, that “I will never be enough” is only true when we try to “be enough” through obtaining circumstantial happiness on the earth, through our own efforts, and ignore the big picture and the call of God on our lives to find peace with Him.  

To understand that we can’t accomplish enough to be enough, Read Ephesians 2, which points out that we are saved by faith, not because of our works.

Ephesians 2:8-9 (NKJV) tells us
8  For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9  not of works, lest anyone should boast.    

When we are in Christ, we are accepted because of our faith. Our faith in Christ makes us enough! There is nothing to accomplish! We are complete in Christ.  

But if we fail to live according to who we are in Christ we can forget this. We can be deceived by the world, the flesh, and the devil.  So we have to follow the Lord and know we are complete already, in Christ.  The Apostle Paul tells us as much in:

Colossians 2:6-10 (NLT2) where the word says:
6  And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him.
7  Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.
8  Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ.
9  For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body.
10  So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority.

In our union with Christ, we are complete. We are enough.  

So resist the lies of the enemy, and keep walking and talking with God. Let your roots grow down in Him and your faith will grow strong in the truth of what you were taught – that you are complete in Christ! In Him, we are enough!

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For those who want more evidence for Christianity than my simple apologetic will provide, I offer apologist, Frank Turek’s website, https://crossexamined.org/ .

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

This morning’s meditation verse is:

2 Peter 3:9 (NLT2)
9  The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.

Today’s verse was presented by our resource for “When you wonder why Christ hasn’t come back yet…”  

We actually touched on this verse last week when we examined 2 Peter 3:8, that told us that a thousand years was as a day for the Lord, and we needed verse 9 to tell us that God’s timing is not fast or slow, but always on time.  And that the reason Christ hasn’t come back yet is because of God’s merciful and graceful desire for more to be saved.  

So, while we wait for Christ’s return, we should enjoy our salvation and allow the Lord to use us to share His truth and love with others to bring them into His kingdom. 

So, be a light in the darkness, think of all who don’t have the light of Christ and you will see your life in the light of God’s grace and that will cause you to be thankful and to endeavor to share the good news in hopes of saving some.

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As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org 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 A.W. Pink’s “The Sovereignty of God.”

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase A.W. Pink’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 SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD

By  ARTHUR W. PINK

CONCLUSION continues

 

It now remains for us to offer a few closing reflections and our happy task is finished.

God’s sovereign election of certain ones to salvation is a MERCIFUL provision. The sufficient answer to all the wicked accusations that the doctrine of Predestination is cruel, horrible, and unjust, is that unless God had chosen certain ones to salvation none would have been saved, for “there is none that seeketh after God” (Rom. 3:11). This is no mere inference of ours but the definite teaching of Holy Scripture. Attend closely to the words of the apostle in Romans 9 where this theme is fully discussed: “Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved.… And as Isaiah said before, Except the Lord of hosts had left us a seed, we had been as Sodom, and been made like unto Gomorrah” (Rom. 9:27, 29). The teaching of this passage is unmistakable: but for Divine interference Israel would have become as Sodom and Gomorrah. Had God left Israel alone human depravity would have run its course to its own tragic end. But God left Israel a “remnant” or “seed.” Of old the cities of the plain had been obliterated for their sin and none was left to survive them; and so it would have been in Israel’s case had not God “left” or spared a remnant. Thus it is with the human race: but for God’s sovereign grace in sparing a remnant all of Adam’s descendants had perished in their sins. Therefore, we say that God’s sovereign election of certain ones to salvation is a merciful provision. And, be it noted, in choosing the ones He did God did no injustice to the others who were passed by, for none had any right to salvation. Salvation is by grace, and the exercise of grace is a matter of pure sovereignty—God might save all or none, many or few, one or ten thousand, just as He saw best. Should it be replied, But surely it were ‘best’ to save all, the answer would be: We are not capable of judging. We might have thought it “best” never to have created Satan, never to have allowed sin to enter the world, or having entered to have brought the conflict between good and evil to an end long before now. Ah! God’s ways are not ours, and His ways are “past finding out.”[1]

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

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

at https://mt4christ247.podbean.com, You can also find it on Apple podcasts

(https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-mt4christ247s-podcast/id1551615154). The mt4christ247 podcast is also available on Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartradio, and Audible.com. 

These teachings are also available on the MT4Christ247 You Tube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/@MT4Christ247

Email me at mt4christ247@gmail.com to receive the class materials, share your progress, and to be encouraged.

My wife, TammyLyn, also offers Christian encouragement via her Ask Seek Knock blog (https://tammylynask.blogspot.com/ ),  her Facebook Group: Ask, Seek, Knock (https://www.facebook.com/groups/529047851449098 ) and her podcast Ask, Seek, and Knock on Podbean (https://feed.podbean.com/tammalyn78/feed.xml)

“The views, opinions, and commentary of this publication are those of the author, M.T. Clark, only, and do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of any of the photographers, artists, ministries, or other authors of the other works that may be included in this publication, and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of any entities the author may represent.”

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship



[1] Arthur W. Pink, The Sovereignty of God (Swengel, PA: Bible Truth Depot, 1949), 249–250.

Friday, December 30, 2022

Demonic Oppression, Addiction, and Freedom - Purity 928


Demonic Oppression, Addiction, and Freedom -   Purity 928

Purity 928 12/30/2022 Purity 928 Podcast

Purity 928 on YouTube:



Good morning,

Today’s photo of a green ghostly entity floating through the night sky is not the disembodied soul of a long lost loved one, a demonic spirit, or an intergalactic cruise ship. No today’s photo are of the Northern Lights and it comes to us from my sister-in-law, who is on a post-Christmas vacation with my brother in Iceland!   There are more on the blog today, here:





Well, it is THE last Friday of 2022 and very soon just like those Northern Lights, this year will slowly fade away as tomorrow evening the countdown will begin and 2022 will come to an end.  

While I talked about how some are mourning the bad fortunes of the year that is ending and looking to the new year with fear, I guess since coming to Christ I would be considered an optimist – what some would call a “glass half full” person, but I would have to disagree.  Because I know who I am in Christ and have experienced and continue to walk in my freedom in Christ, if we use the “glass analogy” – I would insist that you call me a “glass full” guy for what we would see as a glass filled to the half way point with some liquid, I would insist that because God is omnipresent, everywhere at once, the “empty” portion of that glass is actually full with the unseen presence of the Lord. So because there is a God who lives – there is NEVER a real or “conceptual” glass that is half full or half empty – of liquid, “good things”, “blessings” or “hope”. God fills in the empty spaces. God gives us “good things”, “blessings” and “hope” that not only fills the glass but who’s presence and love spill over to fill the entire universe.  

God is all around us. If you have put your faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior, The Holy Spirit indwells you and the word of God encourages us to be “filled with the Spirit” continually. And this indicates that God’s presence is also yet another paradox of our faith.  He is omnipresent – everywhere at once, all the time – but if you have ever experienced the manifest presence of the Lord or the “refilling of the Holy Spirit” in your life, you can understand experientially how God can be “more present” at particular times depending on the circumstances and according to His purposes.  

Anyone who has said “And God showed up…” as part of their testimony, knows what I am talking about.   Don’t take the word of me and other “ultra-Christian Pollyanna optimists” for it.  Scripture tells us repeatedly all about how the Lord makes his presence immediate and powerfully experienced.  

 In the Old Testament, the patriarchs and prophets demonstrated the presence of the Lord by speaking for Him with a “Thus saith the Lord…” and to prove they were legit, the Lord backed up His words with miraculous signs and wonders and magnificent victories over “impossible odds” to show everyone that God was “with them”. He was present in a major way.  

In the New Testament, God came to earth in the person of Jesus Christ.  God wanted to demonstrate the He was with us in such an extreme way that people could physically reach out and touch Him, and sometimes with miraculous results.  

When Christ ascended to heaven, He sent the Holy Spirit to be “God in us” and the book of Acts documents how the Holy Spirit was poured out not only on the faithful Jews who believed that Jesus was the Messiah but also upon the Gentiles demonstrating that God would be “with” and “dwell within” everyone who put their faith in Jesus.  

God is not just in a church building, in the Bible, or “somewhere out there” – He is everywhere and His presence, love, and power can be experienced by us when we call on Him and when we follow Him.  

Sometimes when we have a bad year or things go wrong, people ask “where is God in all this?” 

To them I would marvel.. “Right here, right now. Don’t you see Him?”

Things aren’t worse because of Him. The good things, heck all the things, we experienced before this latest calamity were because Him. This is His created universe and He shapes its history. And although this world is broken by sin and death, He has a plan for that.  His word tells us that if we put our faith in Jesus Christ, we will have power over sin and we will never die. In Christ, we receive a new life of freedom that never ends. 

So if you ask me where God is in all of this… I have to ask you: “Where are you?”

The joy of the Lord is our strength.  But if you are not with Him, if you are not In Christ, you won’t know His joy, His love, His peace, or His strength.  

If you are focused on this world and this present moment only, You don’t know the future hope that trumps everything.

God is with us… but are you with God? Did you seek the truth in His word? Did you put your faith in Jesus? Are you walking and talking with Him?      

I hate to sound trite but when we understand the Lord’s kingdom, there are no tragedies.  The dead go where they have chosen to go and our sufferings on this planet are temporary.  This is true for all of us but for those in Christ there is hope as our futures are guaranteed and we will one day experience the reality that God was working all things together for our good, because we love him for loving us and we have been called for His purposes.    

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (NKJV) encourages us:
16  Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.
17  For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory,
18  while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
 

So start walking by faith, believe what the word of God tells us, and start living according to the reality of what you already have received by the power of the Holy Spirit lives in you. 

But as someone who struggled with just about everything in life, you may be like I was: afflicted with doubts, disbelief, low self-esteem, the sins of this world, or just plain old selfishness.  

But just as I have found my freedom, you can find yours by abandoning the course of your life that has led you to question where God is and to instead seek Him and commit yourself to finding Him and receiving all those “good things” that the word of God promises you.  

If you have “believed on the Lord Jesus”, you are already there.  If you put your faith in Jesus, you just need to follow Him by agreeing with His word and living according to it.  

If you haven’t put your faith in Christ, you can do that – Right Now – with an act of faith – say a prayer – and ask for the Lord to forgive you and to make Jesus your Lord and Savior.  

For the both of you, now you have to renew your mind and resist the devil.   

Oh yeah, this might not just be a matter of memorizing some Bible verses and deciding to be a “good boy or girl” now.  

The difficulties that we have in “believing”, “obeying”, and “repenting” can the result of a combination of things including: 

·       The world - Bad examples – corrupted environment – worldly influences /philosophies – the world taught us some bad ways to think, believe, and live and we need to reject those lies and commit ourselves to believe and live by the truth of God’s word.

·       The flesh -  our individual biological makeups may give us certain advantages or disadvantages – talents or predispositions that have either made us weak toward sins of the flesh or strong in the sin of pride – both are bondages that teach us to live independent of God – but can be retrained – With the power God gives us, our weakness can be overcome and our strengths can be used for good

·       Spiritual forces of darkness – demons – who accuse, condemn, tempt, and deceive us  - whose sole mission is to lead us away from the Lord and who uses the world and flesh to lead us astray.   By Christ’s authority, we can cast out demons.      

I was reading Karl Payne’s book, “Christians, Demonization, and Deliverance” yesterday and his work provided me with food for thought, weapons for spiritual warfare, and the follow insight.  

Payne suggests a deviation from the common “possession/oppression” paradigm.  This paradigm suggests that only Non-Christians could be “possessed” – completely controlled by demons, and that Christians could be “oppressed” – tempted, accused, deceived – by the spiritual forces of darkness.  

The remedy for both of these situations is faith in Christ and “putting on the whole armor of God” and using the word of God as an offensive weapon, like Jesus did in wilderness, rebuking the devil when he shows up with some timely Bible verses and either fleeing from sin or standing firm to deny the lies and temptations that the enemy brings.   Christians the world over have used these tactics of spiritual warfare with great success.  

However, Payne’s book documents the fact some Christian’s battles with the enemy are unrelenting, thus his suggestion for a third category of demonic involvement: “demonization” – where people who have put their faith in Christ – Christians – have unwittingly given a ‘foothold” to the enemy – and have unknowingly given the spiritual forces of darkness a “place” in their lives – where they are free to remain and to wage a war of unrelenting torment.   

Demonization would be categorized by Christians who can never maintain freedom from besetting sins or who never mature in their faith because of demonic interference and continuous interior dialogs of condemnation. 

Payne asked us to wonder:

 Why is it that some Christians can have victory over addictions or other sins of the flesh, while others can’t? 

Why is it that some Christians have a rich relationship with the Lord while others continuously remain unsure of their place in His kingdom?

Why is it that some Christians can pray with confidence and others don’t think their prayers go anywhere? 

Why is it that some Christians love to read the Bible and others find no joy in it at all?   

While it certainly is possible that these differences can be explained by individual biological or volitional differences, Payne suggests that we should also consider the demonic as a contributing cause in these struggles.   

But there is good news to this dilemma as well.   As state above Christ has given us the power to overcome the spiritual forces of darkness. So even in this troubling “worst case scenario”, we can have hope.  

Ask me how I know…

In the 38 years prior to coming to Christ, I was inundated with the sins of the flesh, a rebel spirit, addictions, anxiety, low self-esteem, suicidal thoughts, hopelessness and depression.   

While I was “saved” in 2010, I still struggled mightily with the sins of the flesh, doubts, and those negative mind states despite having a strong commitment to learn all I could about my faith and was actively attending and serving in my local church.   As I continued to seek the Lord and His will for my life, I made some progress but it wasn’t until I trusted the Lord with my addictions by going to a Christian recovery group did the real work of repentance and spiritual warfare begin.  

I don’t remember where in my journey that I read Dr. Neil Anderson’s The Bondage Breaker. It was probably after I had a year of sobriety but I refer to those days as the “white knuckling days” where I had to constantly be on guard against temptation and feared an eventual relapse.  

But in Anderson’s book, I discovered “the Steps to Freedom in Christ” which is a series of prayers, proclamations, and renunciations that guides you through a repentance process where you commit yourself to Christ and where you renounce the spiritual forces of darkness and resolve any conflicts of unconfessed sins, pride, rebellion, ancestral baggage, and the bitterness of unforgiveness.    

While I can’t say I ever thought I was “demonized” before going through the Steps to Freedom in Christ, I admit that I was at least “oppressed” by the enemy afterwards because the condemning, blasphemous, tempting dialog of mental chatter that seemed to be a part of “me” was gone! 

Anderson states that many of the Christians that He leads through the Steps to Freedom in Christ are amazed at the peace and the “silence” they experience.  And that was me.  To this day, I can stop what I am doing and just listen to the silence – of no thoughts, no condemnation, no “noise” and I know that I am still free. The Lord has not only lead me out of the darkness of the flesh but he put a stop to the mental torment that I always thought was “just me beating myself up.”   

Since then I have become trained to lead others through the Steps to Freedom in Christ I have seen the enemy face to face in others and have seen people get set free when they came to know who they are in Christ and when they used the authority that Christ gave them to walk out of the darkness.  

So if you had a bad year or a bad life, if you just can’t “believe like others do”, or if you are filled with fear or depression, let me encourage you that the “glass is full” when you make Christ your Lord and savior and when you choose to follow Him into the abundant life of freedom and victory that He has for you.  

It’s going to be a new year, so why not make it the one where overcome the struggles? With God you are never alone but we also need others to help us along the way.   So while I would first recommend becoming a part of a Bible believing church where you can worship and serve, I would also encourage your freedom by pursuing the wisdom and methods that have helped me at Freedom in Christ Ministries (www.Ficm.org). There you can find a free book “Restored” that can tell you all about the Steps to Freedom in Christ, or you can even join an online course that will guide you through the process with a trained encourager. 

The biggest lie that the enemy every told us is that somethings are just “impossible” and that somethings will “never change”, but with God you can find your freedom and discover all the “impossible” things you can accomplish with your new life in Christ.

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Well, I’m short on time this morning because I think I wrote “too much” and I had to find a “new resource” to share  so I’m taking a vacation from sharing the “Bible Verse of the Day” but I do encourage you to read the Bible every day, for yourself.

I am including a link to Ligonier Ministries: “Bible Reading Plans for 2023” ( https://www.ligonier.org/posts/bible-reading-plans?fbclid=IwAR0aVs0a31ebdwexS1-N9i-dwV5v45fVTH5zoKCHsnmCPJnDks9fY9AjWsQ) as an encouragement to read the word this year - to have a plan, if you need one, to draw close to God through His word to experience the power that He wants to unleash into your life.  

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As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian theologians and counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk.

Today we begin sharing from A.W. Pink’s “The Sovereignty of God”

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

THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD

By  ARTHUR W. PINK

INTRODUCTION

Who is regulating affairs on this earth today—God, or the Devil? That God reigns supreme in Heaven is generally conceded; that He does so over this world, is almost universally denied—if not directly, then indirectly. More and more are men in their philosophizings and theorizings relegating God to the background. Take the material realm. Not only is it denied that God created everything by personal and direct action, but few believe that He has any immediate concern in regulating the works of His own hands. Everything is supposed to be ordered according to the (impersonal and abstract) “laws of Nature.” Thus is the Creator banished from His own creation. Therefore we need not be surprised that men, in their degrading conceptions, exclude Him from the realm of human affairs. Throughout Christendom, with an almost negligible exception, the theory is held that man is “a free agent,” and therefore, lord of his fortunes and the determiner of his destiny. That Satan is to be blamed for much of the evil which is in the world is freely affirmed by those who, though having so much to say about “the responsibility of man,” often deny their own responsibility, by attributing to the Devil what, in fact, proceeds from their own evil hearts (Mark 7:21–23).

But who is regulating affairs on this earth today—God, or the Devil? Attempt to take a serious and comprehensive view of the world. What a scene of confusion and chaos confronts us on every side! Sin is rampant; lawlessness abounds; evil men and seducers are waxing “worse and worse” (2 Tim. 3:13). Today, everything appears to be out of joint. Thrones are creaking and tottering, ancient dynasties are being overturned, democracies are revolting, civilization is a demonstrated failure; half of Christendom was but recently locked-together in a death grapple; and now that the titanic conflict is over, instead of the world having been made “safe for democracy,” we have discovered that democracy is very unsafe for the world. Unrest, discontent, and lawlessness are rife everywhere, and none can say how soon another great war will be set in motion. Statesmen are perplexed and staggered. Men’s hearts are “failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth” (Luke 21:26). Do these things look as though God had full control?

But let us confine our attention to the religious realm. After nineteen centuries of Gospel preaching, Christ is still “despised and rejected of men.” Worse still, He (the Christ of Scripture) is proclaimed and magnified by very few. In the majority of modern pulpits He is dishonored and disowned. Despite frantic efforts to attract the crowds, the majority of the churches are being emptied rather than filled. And what of the great masses of non-church goers? In the light of Scripture we are compelled to believe that the “many” are on the Broad Road that leadeth to destruction, and that only “few” are on the Narrow Way that leadeth unto life. Many are declaring that Christianity is a failure, and despair is settling on many faces. Not a few of the Lord’s own people are bewildered, and their faith is being severely tried. And what of God? Does He see and hear? Is He impotent or indifferent? A number of those who are regarded as leaders of Christian-thought told us that God could not help the coming of the late awful War, and that He was unable to bring about its termination. It was said, and said openly, that conditions were beyond God’s control. Do these things look as though God were ruling the world?

Who is regulating affairs on this earth today—God, or the Devil? What impression is made upon the minds of those men of the world who, occasionally, attend a Gospel service? What are the conceptions formed by those who hear even those preachers who are counted as “orthodox?” Is it not that a disappointed God is the One whom Christians believe in? From what is heard from the average evangelist today, is not any serious hearer obliged to conclude that he professes to represent a God who is filled with benevolent intentions, yet unable to carry them out; that He is earnestly desirous of blessing men, but that they will not let Him? Then, must not the average hearer draw the inference that the Devil has gained the upper hand, and that God is to be pitied rather than blamed?

But does not everything seem to show that the Devil has far more to do with the affairs of earth than God has? Ah, it all depends upon whether we are walking by faith, or walking by sight. Are your thoughts, my reader, concerning this world and God’s relation to it, based upon what you see? Face this question seriously and honestly. And if you are a Christian you will, most probably, have cause to bow your head with shame and sorrow, and to acknowledge that it is so. Alas, in reality, we walk very little “by faith.” But what does “walking by faith” signify? It means that our thoughts are formed, our actions regulated, our lives moulded by the Holy Scriptures, for, “faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God” (Rom. 10:17). It is from the Word of Truth, and that alone, that we can learn what is God’s relation to this world.

Who is regulating affairs on this earth today—God or the Devil? What saith the Scriptures? Ere we consider the direct reply to this query, let it be said that the Scriptures predicted just what we now see and hear. The prophecy of Jude is in course of fulfillment. It would lead us too far astray from our present inquiry to fully amplify this assertion, but what we have particularly in mind is a sentence in verse 8—“Likewise also these dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion and speak evil of dignities.” Yes, they “speak evil” of the Supreme Dignity, the “Only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords.” Ours is peculiarly an age of irreverence, and as the consequence, the spirit of lawlessness, which brooks no restraint and which is desirous of casting off everything which interferes with the free course of self-will, is rapidly engulfing the earth like some giant tidal wave. The members of the rising generation are the most flagrant offenders, and in the decay and disappearing of parental authority we have the certain precursor of the abolition of civic authority. Therefore, in view of the growing disrespect for human law and the refusal to “render honor to whom honor is due,” we need not be surprised that the recognition of the majesty, the authority, the sovereignty of the Almighty law-giver should recede more and more into the background, and the masses have less and less patience with those who insist upon them. And conditions will not improve; instead, the more sure Word of Prophecy makes known to us that they will grow worse and worse. Nor do we expect to be able to stem the tide—it has already risen much too high for that. All we can now hope to do is warn our fellow-saints against the spirit of the age, and thus seek to counteract its baneful influence upon them.

Who is regulating affairs on this earth today—God, or the Devil? What saith the Scriptures? If we believe their plain and positive declarations, no room is left for uncertainty. They affirm, again and again, that God is on the throne of the universe; that the sceptre is in His hands; that He is directing all things “after the counsel of His own will.” They affirm, not only that God created all things, but also that God is ruling and reigning over all the works of His hands. They affirm that God is the “Almighty,” that His will is irreversible, that He is absolute sovereign in every realm of all His vast dominions. And surely it must be so. Only two alternatives are possible: God must either rule, or be ruled; sway, or be swayed; accomplish His own will, or be thwarted by His creatures. Accepting the fact that He is the “Most High,” the only Potentate and King of kings, vested with perfect wisdom and illimitable power, and the conclusion is irresistible that He must be God in fact as well as in name.

It is in view of what we have briefly referred to above that we say, Present-day conditions call loudly for a new examination and new presentation of God’s omnipotency, God’s sufficiency, God’s sovereignty. From every pulpit in the land it needs to be thundered forth that God still lives, that God still observes, that God still reigns. Faith is now in the crucible, it is being tested by fire, and there is no fixed and sufficient resting-place for the heart and mind but in the Throne of God. What is needed now, as never before, is a full, positive, constructive setting forth of the Godhood of God. Drastic diseases call for drastic remedies. People are weary of platitudes and mere generalizations—the call is for something definite and specific. Soothing-syrup may serve for peevish children, but an iron tonic is better suited for adults, and we know of nothing which is more calculated to infuse spiritual vigor into our frames than a scriptural apprehension of the full character of God. It is written, “The people that do know their God shall be strong and do exploits” (Dan. 11:32).

Without a doubt a world-crisis is at hand, and everywhere men are alarmed. But God is not! He is never taken by surprise. It is no unexpected emergency which now confronts Him, for He is the One who “worketh all things after the counsel of His own will” (Eph. 1:11). Hence, though the world is panic-stricken, the word to the believer is, “Fear not!” “All things” are subject to His immediate control: “all things” are moving in accord with His eternal purpose, and therefore “all things” are “working together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.” It must be so, for “of Him, and through Him, and to Him are all things” (Rom. 11:36). Yet how little is this realized today even by the people of God! Many suppose that He is little more than a far-distant Spectator, taking no immediate hand in the affairs of earth. It is true that man is endowed with power, but God is all-powerful. It is true that, speaking generally, the material world is regulated by law, but behind that law is the law-Giver and law-Administrator. Man is but the creature. God is the Creator, and endless ages before man first saw the light “the mighty God” (Isa. 9:6) existed, and ere the world was founded, made His plans; and being infinite in power and man only finite, His purpose and plan cannot be withstood or thwarted by the creatures of His own hands.[1]

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

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 Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship



[1] Arthur W. Pink, The Sovereignty of God (Swengel, PA: Bible Truth Depot, 1949), 15–19.