Showing posts with label Prayer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Prayer. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Breakthrough will Come - Purity 794

 Breakthrough will Come - Purity 794

Purity 07/27/2022   Purity 794 Podcast

Good morning,

Today’s photo of the sun situated between two groups of clouds and framed more or less in the middle of this scene over the waters of the Hudson River comes to us from yours truly as I captured this “answer to prayer” on Monday while visiting Margaret and William See Riverview Park in Stuyvesant NY with my wife.

The weather was milder on Monday afternoon because thunderstorms had rolled through the area earlier in the day and because things had cleared up I decided to take my wife for a short drive down river with the hopes of finding a secluded spot where we could enjoy a view of the river and each other’s company. 

Our arrival at the Riverview park in Stuyvesant was perfectly timed as we were alone, but a thick stand of clouds kept the sun hidden from view causing me to say something like: “Okay God, we just need those clouds out of the way” and shortly there after the sun came blazing through to our delight. 

Now you might say my “answered prayer” was just a coincidence or merely a product of time and wind, but I know God is sovereign and He directs our steps to put us in the right place at the right time. So I won’t claim a miracle necessarily, but I won’t deny that Lord is active in the world and providing things for us either. 

God uses His providence to bring His will about on the earth and to bless those who follow Him. God’s grace is His divine favor and it is experienced throughout the lives of those He calls into His kingdom, thus we keep walking and talking with God and see Him working all things together for good, because we love Him and are called according to His purpose.   

“Now Come on MT! The sun was going to come out anyway, it was inevitable!” – you might say.

You’re right of course, I guess. But it doesn’t mean that I can’t appreciate it coming out shortly after speaking to the One who created it and who has set the course of the movements of time and space.  And just because something that eventually happens appears to have been inevitable doesn’t mean we knew it was coming or that we didn’t desperately need it.   

In the fall of 2019, the Church of the City’s song “God turn it Around” was released at seeming just the right time in my life. I am sharing a link to a lyric video of it on the blog if you want to hear it (

Featuring Jon Reddick, the song is a prayer for God’s help and a declaration of the certainty of His working, right now, on the earth.  

The lyrics say:  

“I'm praying, God come
And turn this thing around
God, turn it around
God, turn it around
God, turn it around

I'm calling on the name
That changes everything, yes
God, turn it around
God, turn it around
God, turn it around

All of my hope
Is in the name
The name of Jesus
Breakthrough will come
Come in the name
The name of Jesus” 


  In 2019, I needed “God, to turn it around” in a major way.  Overcome by personal and financial difficulties, I was in a dry season of struggle and affliction and although I had a vague plan of what I could do to be delivered to a new life, I had absolutely no guarantees of if or when, I would be able to find a place to live for my children and I in the wake a messy divorce. 

Just like asking God to move those clouds the other day, from October 2019 to June 22nd, 2020 I would go daily before the Lord in prayer and worship, pleading to the Lord to “turn it around.” And through out those months, weeks, and days, I saw the Lord moving things together for good time and time again in such a manner that I know the Lord was directing my path.   That song goes on to say: 

“He is up to something
God is doing something right now

He is healing someone
He is saving someone
God is doing something, oh, right now
He is healing someone
He is saving someone
God is doing something right now (right now)

He is moving mountains
Making a way for someone
God is doing something right now, right now”


And then, again, 

“All of my hope
Is in the name
The name of Jesus
Breakthrough will come
Come in the name
The name of Jesus”


Somebody might ask me, Yeah? How do you know God was with you? 

How do I know? Because I wouldn’t leave Him alone!  And His word says, that He will never leave us or forsake us!  

Also because, He had been with me.  That particular dark period of my journey, was certainly not the beginning of our relationship together as I had been saved in 2010 and been progressively led to surrender to His will for my life ever since. 

I had trusted the Lord to help me before then and He was faithful to “turn things around” before in major ways, mind you, but that stretch from 2019 to 2020 was the “Master’s class” of overcoming, sort of a advanced degree program in patience, perseverance, hope, faith, and trust that really has led to a life of abundant joy and peace.   That is why when I sing that song, it’s not just good feelings. That song was an anthem of victory and a prophecy of things to come and I know that God is doing something still, right now,  

God is saving someone. God is healing someone, right now!

God is moving mountains, God is making a way for someone, right now.  

And I know that He’s not done with me, or you, either.  

God’s presence in my life has been the One Constant that I could stand on in the last 12 years and it is why I can say without blinking: All of my hope is in the name, the name of Jesus!  

When you are going through problems, through simple intellectual reasoning, we can surmise that “this too shall pass”, these things won’t last forever…. But if all you are hoping for is a change that will be merely the product of the changes that come through time and space, that is one lonely road to travel.   

As I prepare for tomorrow’s, Grace Course meeting in which the topic is overcoming fears, I am more and more convinced that I must seek to impress upon the group the fact of God’s grace, obviously, but also will endeavor to emphasize the Lord’s presence in their lives. 

We can logically conclude that somethings are inevitable, but when you are walking and talking with God through the days of your lives, we can walk through the valleys of darkness with hope, expectancy, and joy.  

When we are going with the Lord, we can be sure that “Breakthroughs will come, come in the name, the name of Jesus.”  

So if you haven’t already, develop your daily spiritual practice of prayer, Bible study, and applying the wisdom of God’s word to your life. But remember, these disciplines are not just ways to learn or “be a good Christian” – I don’t think I would claim to be good at anything – but they are simply the means to communicate with the Lord and to develop your love relationship with Him – that the goal.  The transformation in our lives comes from loving God and becoming more like Jesus because we love Him and want to be like Him, not because we “have to” or “ought to” or “should”.  

The Lord invites us to everlasting life and to walk in His ways out of His love for us. Our break throughs come when all of our hope is in Him and we decide to follow Him to where He leads us.  

Earlier summer, I went to the River Rock Music Festival in Maine, and frankly I was enthused to go at first, but shortly before committing to go, I was driving home and was worshipping the Lord in song and “got” the impression that I was “supposed to go.”  So my attitude changed about it. I was going… but I didn’t really know why.   

But the first day there, Jon Reddick came out on stage – just him and a keyboard really.  The crowd either didn’t know him or wasn’t really impressed by him, I guess.  But me? I went to the front of the stage, and was right there as he sang “God turn it around” and I was overcome by the Holy Spirit’s presence and my remembrance of all that the Lord has “turned around in my life” and I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I was right where I was supposed to be, as I rejoiced and marveled at the absolute goodness and love of God. 

So, don’t just wait for the inevitable, go out and pursue it. But don’t do it alone, Be bold and courageous, because if you are walking and talking with God, he will go before you and he will go behind you. And he will be there every step of the way as you put all of your hope in Him.


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

This morning’s meditation verse is:

Matthew 7:21 (NLT2)
21  “Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter.

Today’s verse are Christ’s words of warning to be sure that we are in the faith by doing the Father’s will for our lives.   

Nominal Christians are “Christians” in name only.  That means that they say they are a Christian but don’t necessarily have any fruit in their lives to prove they are a disciple of Jesus Christ.  A nominal Christian lives their lives much like their unsaved neighbors and generally don’t pray, read the Bible, have regular church attendance, or do anything for the church or Christian causes.  That varies of course, even nominals know they have to show up at church occasionally, give to charity, or be self-righteous in some way if they want to be able to continue to claim that they are Christians.

If they worry about their faith at all, nominals are interested in “what the minimum requirements of faith are” or what they “have to do” to be a Christian.  Nominals are into appearances and rules but have no  idea what a “relationship with God is like”  

They look at this verse and say: “Okay, I have to do God’s will to enter heaven. Tell me exactly what I have to do to be right with God to go to heaven.” They get out their pen and they get ready to make a list.   

The rich young ruler asked the same question – to which Jesus said to sell everything He had and to follow Him.  

As enthusiastic as the young man may have seemed to be into “being right with God”, those instructions sent him running to the exit.  

Give God everything and Follow Him, or as today’s verse says – “actually do the will of the Father”.  

I hope it is clear that God isn’t looking to have us “do stuff” to be right with Him. That’s religion. That’s a works based salvation and that’s the opposite of being saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.  

We are to “be” God’s children and seek to do His will. That’s about a relationship. We can’t buy our relationship. Through faith in Jesus, God gives it to us. 

So what God wants us to “do” is to “be” who we are, His children.  A child who loves his parents will do their “will” by representing the family’s values with the way they live their life.  That’s calls us to do. 

We learn from our brother, Jesus, how to be a Christian and out of the love we have for the Father, we seek to do His will by being a Christian in all our ways.  

So don’t be a stranger, or be a Christian in name only,  show the Lord that you know that you are His by surrendering to His will by living like Christ taught us.      


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.

Slavery to the Elemental Spirits (Galatians)

The novel teaching threatening the church at Galatia struck at the heart of the gospel (Gal 1:6–9). Evidently some zealous persons from Judea were teaching the Galatian Christians that they must be circumcised in accordance with the Mosaic regulations (and perform other legal requirements) in order to be saved. In Paul’s eyes, this requirement compromised the true nature of the gospel message, which is that salvation is given without performing any works of the law, a salvation by grace alone.

Paul also spoke of the Galatians “observing special days and months and seasons and years” (Gal 4:10). While Paul had no problem with Christians having personal convictions on such matters (Rom 14:5), he objected to these observances (including circumcision) being viewed as religious obligations, as part of the necessary response to the gospel message. In Paul’s mind, to turn to circumcision and legal observances was tantamount to returning to slavery—a slavery to the principalities and powers (stoicheia; Gal 4:9)!

For Paul both Jews and Gentiles were in bondage to the powers of darkness prior to conversion. He explained that unredeemed Jews are slaves to the elemental spirits of the universe (Gal 4:3). These hostile forces apparently exploit the law and use it as a tool to hold unbelieving Judaism in captivity. God’s redemption through Christ brings freedom—freedom from the law and freedom from servitude to the powers (Gal 4:3–5).

Likewise, prior to their conversion, the Gentiles “were slaves to those who by nature are not gods” (Gal 4:8). At one time they thought they were worshiping real gods and goddesses in their pagan worship, but they were soon to find out that these were mere idols—tools of the devil and his powers of darkness. The Galatians had appeared to have turned their backs on their pagan gods, but they were now tempted to add Jewish legal requirements to the pure gospel of Christ, which Paul had taught them. In Paul’s mind this would be trading one form of slavery to the powers for another.

According to F. F. Bruce, Paul was making the point that, “the stoicheia … not only regulated the Jewish way of life under law; they also regulated the pagan way of life in the service of gods that were no gods.… For all the basic differences between Judaism and paganism, both involved subjection to the same elemental forces.” He adds, “for those who did not live in the good of Christian freedom the stoicheia [‘elementary spirits’] were ‘principalities and powers’, keeping the souls of men in bondage.” The gospel is truly a message of freedom. Any form of legalism as a principle of Christian life is contrary to the gospel.

Both pagan religion and the Jewish law surface here as two systems that Satan and his powers exploit to hold the unbeliever in captivity and re-enslave the believer. As such, they function as two aspects of the world, or “the present evil age,” and illustrate how the powers operate in conjunction with the world.

Surprisingly, even something that is inherently good—the law—can be perverted by Satan and used to accomplish his own purposes. This evil influence came to the Galatians in the form of a new teaching propagated by people who appeared to them as credible and credentialed. On the surface the new teaching probably looked true and appealing to the Galatians. We might generalize from this that the influence of the powers comes in subtle ways. Only spiritual discernment can detect it One lesson to be learned from the situation of the Galatians as well as the Corinthians is the importance for every believer to be rooted deeply in sound doctrine, especially Christology. Satan consistently seeks to have us believe a lie about Christ and his redemptive work.

In light of these instances of satanically inspired false teaching, it is not surprising that at the end of his life Paul warned Timothy, “The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons” (1 Tim 4:1). He was increasingly aware of this subtle, yet effective, method of Satan for bringing about the demise of the church.

Paul described those who bring such false teachings as having fallen into “the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will” (2 Tim 2:26). This statement gives helpful insight into the character of false teachers. They are, in essence, Satan’s instruments. Satan and his powers work through these human agencies to deceive the church and lead it astray. All is not bleak, however. There is hope even for those who are the emissaries of Satan. God may still “grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth” (2 Tim 2:25). This could happen if they listen with an open heart to the leadership of the church. Paul urged the leadership to have an attitude of gentleness as they work with such people, always with an eye toward their repentance.[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

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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), 131–133.

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Asking for “Thoughts and Prayers” – Purity 787

Asking for “Thoughts and Prayers” – Purity 787

Purity 787 7/18/2022 Purity 787 Podcast

Good morning,

Today’s photo of a backyard towering inferno comes to us from a friend who shared this “first fire of the season” on social media back on June 15th and I share it today as an encouragement to my friends to take advantage of the summertime season to safely enjoy the comforts of a campfire or bonfire, preferably in company of friends and family.   

I have several friends and family members who enjoy camping and backyard bonfires and have been know to enjoy them myself. There is something strange peaceful and primitive about making a fire and just watching the flames consume the wood as they illuminate the night and provide comfort from the cooler temperatures at night.  And quite often it is in the solemn darkness that surrounds the campfire where stories are shared, burdens are confessed, answers are sought, and advice is given. 

In our modern world the light of social media can also be a place where we share our burdens and ask for support.  As friends face loss of employment, work problems, financial problems, things falling apart problems, and health problems,  I see requests for “your thoughts and prayers” and sometimes I see someone suggest occultic practices as general spiritual remedies!  

Although I would point out that general spiritual practices directed to “the universe” or other entities other that God,  – of the dead, or local or cultural “spirit”s or whoever -is witchcraft and that is specifically prohibited in the word of God and should be avoided at all costs.  In appealing to the general spiritual realm, at best nothing will happen, at worst you will conjure a demon.  There aren’t 50 shades of grey in the spiritual realm guys. Repeat after me: If it’s not Christ… It’s anti-Christ. And no matter how wise, good, kind, cuddly, or cute other spirits, religions, or philosophies of life may be if they don’t lead you to Christ, they will lead you to destruction. 

As someone who followed an alternate faith stream for years of my life, I can sympathize with those who have an axe to grind when it comes to organized religion and bad experiences in the church, but when it comes to Spiritual Truth the Word of God is clear that Jesus is the Way the Truth and the Life and that No One comes to the Father except through Him.  Jesus proved He was the Son of God and God the Sone through His life, His miracles, His teachings, and His resurrection.  His is the Way to go. His is the path to follow.

So as for advice that’s mine: Seek the Lord, Accept Jesus as Lord and Savior, and Live your life according to His ways and stay in constant communication with Him through prayer, worship, Bible study, and just talking with HIm.  

Experientially, I have followed, repented of many of my former ways of living, my sin, and have no regrets.  I have a peace that goes beyond understanding and have learned to live by faith, living in the presence of the Lord by continuously “walking and talking with God.” 

When days are good, I thank God and rejoice over the blessing I am enjoying.  When times are not so good, I thank God and am comforted that no matter how bad or confusing the times may be, I have the assurance that He is with me and will never leave me or forsake me.   

And that is why it pains to see my friends suffer.  In my opinion, I am not special. I don’t think of myself as particularly wise or skilled in any areas of my life. I am a klutz. I even got that wrong intially… apparently it is spelled with a “k” and means a “clumsy, awkward, or foolish person”.  I forget things. I get frustrated. I get stressed.   

But the good news is that this klutz just so happened to stumble his way into the kingdom of God… Not really, I ran from God like Jonah.  I looked for love in all the wrong places.  When the going got tough, I denied God and looked anywhere else for help… And in the midst of all that, God reached me through a radio message to show me the truth that obscure by religion, my ignorance, and my pride.   God allowed me to stumble through life but when He decided enough was enough, He opened my eyes and pulled me out of the darkness.

I don’t know how God’s illumination comes… I guess I do actually, through the Holy Spirit, of course. Get it?  Yeah…

But in my experience, in my hurting I sought a spiritual answer to the big questions of life and death and existence itself.  Although my searching was a prolonged process of stumbling through the dark in which I persisted in going the wrong way for years, the Lord rewarded my searching with His love and wisdom. 

Although I refused to even consider His way as an option, He was gracious to reveal to me that the answer I refused to consider, the one that was in plain sight, was the One that leads to meaning, purpose, and eternal life.    

So if you are hurting or in a situation where you are asking for “thoughts and prayers”, let me encourage you to think and pray for yourself and to purse the One who answers prayers.   Turn to God by placing your faith in His Son, Jesus Christ, and take a look at your life and examine the way you are living to see if you are living in a way that contrary to God’s way.  

When we turn a deaf ear or a blind eye to the Lord’s wisdom and choose to live according to our own desires or the world’s standards, we may be free to live that way but we are never free from the consequences of living in sin or from the ultimate judgement and wrath of God that will come upon us if we don’t make peace with God and decide to follow Him.  

Last Sunday, we did a Bible study on “The Silence of God” and we highlighted scriptures that indicated that when we don’t have a relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ, when you are an “unbeliever” the Lord doesn’t hear or honor your requests for “thoughts and prayers”.  It may sound mean but it makes sense. If you have nothing to do with God normally, it is not surprising that He may choose to let you suffer because of your sin.   

But as a “sinner saved by grace”,  let me assure you that doesn’t have to be your fate. God loves you and His word also is full of verses that highlight that He accepts and helps those who turn from their sins and ask for His help and mercy.  

My advice is that rather than just seeking His help during a crisis that you establish a relationship with Him through Jesus Christ that will provide you with His help on a continual basis. Recognize your and the world’s failure to have the answer to life and death and seek to meaning, peace, and purpose by making peace with God and surrendering your ways for His.

“Life sucks, right?” Well, it can. Suffering is not cool man. But when you turn to the Lord, you don’t have to be alone in it and He will help you through it, one way or the other.  So “give up the ghost” – stop working so hard to find peace through the world – die to it, by placing your life, hope, and trust into the hands of the One who made it and longs to redeem it.  

Instead of asking for “thoughts and prayers” or burning some mixture of spices and herbs to chase away the bad vibes… start walking and talking with God. He will see you through.


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

This morning’s meditation verse is:

1 Timothy 6:18-19 (NLT2)
18  Tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good works and generous to those in need, always being ready to share with others.
19  By doing this they will be storing up their treasure as a good foundation for the future so that they may experience true life.

In today’s verse, we are encouraged to tell people who trust in their riches to use their money to do good, to share it, and to store up their treasure as a good foundation for the future that they will experience true life.    

“True life” is “eternal life” in the NKJV and this points to the ultimate meaning to our lives.  While we could use our money for all kinds of things while we are here on earth, the word encourages us to us eit to do good things and to share it.  

I recently heard someone say that we never have to teach a child to be selfish, but we do have to teach them to share.   And similarly, the word of God is teaching us to mature in our faith with the way we use our money.   So as a part of our faith we should consider what we are spending our money on and examine our spending to see if we could make some changes to make our money be used for good.  

When “we put our money where our mouth” is as Christians, there will be evidence – financial records that will show that some of our funds went to good things.  Personally, I could stand to examine my ways but even I could point to my giving to my local church, the money I spend on my ministry needs, and the money I give to a child I sponsor in Haiti as evidence that a small part of my money is used for good.  And unlike some of my other purchases, those expenditures are expenses that I do not regret because they are spent by me for God’s kingdom or as a response to do good.  

So look at your financial statements and in your heart and see if there is more money available to do good things.  We can’t take our money with us but our funds can be used to do good things that will be remembered in heaven and help us to transform our hearts to be more generous like our God who freely gives us all we need.


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.

Dead, Resurrected and Exalted

While the powers rule over a domain of death, all who know Christ have been given life. God can bestow life on his people only through their identification with Christ’s work—especially his death and resurrection. Baptism symbolizes this unity with Christ, as Paul explains, “We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life” (Rom 6:4).

True freedom comes from identification with Jesus’ death—freedom from sin, freedom from death, and freedom from the grip of the principalities and powers. While this freedom is final and absolute insofar as we exist for the age to come, it needs to be appropriated as long as we still live in this present age and possess corruptible bodies. For this reason Paul found it necessary to admonish his readers by attempting to convince them that they are dead to sin. He urged the Roman Christians to “count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus” (Rom 6:11) because “the death he [Christ] died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God” (Rom 6:10). As believers, sin no longer has a compelling influence over us. Therefore, we can refuse to engage in it.

In a similar way with regard to the demonic powers Christians need to believe they truly do not have to succumb to their influence. Paul has to remind the Colossian Christians that they had died to the demonic powers, arguing, “If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the universe, why do you live as if you still belonged to the world?” (Col 2:20 RSV). The Colossians believers were tempted to follow the tenets of a false teaching that Paul believed to be inspired by the evil powers themselves. In whatever way the hostile powers might make their influence felt, believers have the strength to resist. The strength comes from identification with Christ’s death. On the cross he defeated sin, death and the powers of darkness.

Some of the difficulty comes in unmasking the influence of the evil powers. It is possible that the Colossian Christians were uncritically accepting the false teaching that was being presented to them, thinking it to be helpful for their spirituality. Paul, however, revealed to them the true demonic nature of the teaching in his epistle to them. We, too, need God’s wisdom to enable us to discern critically the nature of all teachings.

Believers’ authority over the evil powers is rooted in their identification with the resurrection and exaltation of Christ. This authority is explained most dearly in Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, a letter in which Paul was concerned with the issue of the evil powers. In Ephesians 1, Paul extolled God’s incomparably great power by which he raised and exalted Christ to a position “far above” every rank in the order of the powers of darkness (Eph 1:19–22). In Ephesians 2, he applied this exalted Christology directly to the believer, saying, “And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus” (Eph 2:6). The implication for believers with regard to the powers is clear from the informing context. Just as Christ holds a position of superiority to the powers, so too do believers have a position of superiority and authority over the devil’s forces. The power that raised Jesus from the dead is the same power now available to believers. Thus Paul can pray that the Ephesians will grow increasingly aware of this divine resource. He appealed to the Ephesians, saying, “I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know … his incomparably great power for us who believe” (Eph 1:18–19). This truth is especially significant in the larger context of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, since this truth becomes the doctrinal basis for his later discussion of spiritual warfare in Ephesians 6:10–20.

Paul also affirmed the same truth to the Colossians—people who were struggling with the influence of the powers of darkness. He reminded them that they were buried with Christ and raised with him through their faith in God’s power (Col 2:12). Based on their identification with Christ’s work, Paul could admonish them to regard themselves as dead to the evil powers (Col 2:20) and alive to Christ because they had been raised with him (Col 3:1). To these believers Paul gave one of the most comforting promises found in the New Testament: “For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God” (Col 3:3). In practical terms, Paul’s teaching about their relationship to Christ meant that the Colossian Christians had the power to resist the influence of unhealthy false teaching and align their conduct more closely with God’s desires. Neither should they continue to fear the influence of the demonic powers, which they dreaded prior to conversion and which their non-Christian friends and neighbors continued to dread.

Identification with Christ in his death and resurrection is an incredibly important truth for all who are struggling with the influence of the demonic in their lives. Becoming a Christian means being linked to a powerful Lord who wields overpowering authority over the realm of darkness.

Filled—Endowed with Power and Authority

Paul taught the Colossians that God had endowed Christ with all of his “fullness” (plērōma; Col 1:19). He reaffirmed this thought in his letter to them, saying, “For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form” (Col 2:9). Paul made this statement here because he wanted to relate it to the Colossian church—it is not merely another laudable truth about the omnipotent Christ, but is something that has great significance for the day-to-day lives of believers. Paul continued by saying, “and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority” (Col 2:10).

Notice that Paul connected the Colossians’ possession of divine “fullness” (plērōma) with Christ’s supremacy to the demonic powers. Why? Paul was trying to convince the Colossians that they have been endowed with Christ’s power and authority over the demonic realm. Paul could just as easily have left the statement out. It appears that he was specifically applying the significance of their filling with God’s resources to their struggle with the powers.

The verb Paul used here is in the Greek perfect tense and is translated “you have been given fullness.” In this instance Paul wanted to convey to these believers that when they became Christians they received this endowment, but more importantly, this divine “fullness” continues to be available to them as God’s provision for them in their ongoing conflict with Satan’s realm.

The word fullness indicates far more than just power and authority over the forces of darkness. Most scholars believe it refers to a number of things related to God, including his power, essence, glory, presence and love. It probably has as its background the idea of the Old Testament Shekinah: “I looked and saw the glory of the Lord filling the temple of the Lord” (Ezek 44:4). It comes very close to overlapping with the work of the Holy Spirit who fills the believer.

The believer must appropriate this “fullness.” Paul found it necessary to pray that the Ephesians would “be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God” (Eph 3:19). While God’s fullness is available to the believer, it must be received and used. Belief and prayer become highly important factors in appropriating these resources.[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), 114–117.

Saturday, June 25, 2022

Celebrating Life and Freedom! – Purity 767


Celebrating Life and Freedom! – Purity 767

Purity 767 06/24/2022 

Good morning,

Today’s photo of a blazing sun over Waite Rd comes to us from yours truly as I captured this moment while walking my canine friend, Harley, back to our countryside home back on June 3rd.  

Well we made it the weekend and those who love life and freedom have a reason to celebrate today! It’s 50th birthday my birthday and it is the 2 year Anniversary of my moving into “River House”   My birthday is the celebration of my life. And the move to my home “down by the River” is definitely a significant moment that marks the freedom from the darkness of my past. So today’ I have Nina Simone’s Feeling Good in my mind: The opening lyrics state: 

“Birds flying high, you know how I feel
Sun in the sky, you know how I feel
Breeze driftin' on by, you know how I feel

It's a new dawn
It's a new day
It's a new life for me, yeah

It's a new dawn
It's a new day
It's a new life for me, ooh
And I'm feeling good”

There is a link on the blog today to hear that song on YouTube, enjoy. (

Oh man, It’s so good. 

I got to mail it in today guys.  It’s my birthday and I’m feeling good.  So I am going to share the truth of the spiritual reality that we can and should stand in by presenting the Who I am in Christ List and the Overcomer’s Covenant.  I do these as a spiritual practice, reciting, praying, and meditating over them nearly every single day to remind myself of what the Lord has done: He has given me a new and eternal life where I am free from sin and death! And nothing and no one can stop me from being the person God created me to be, except me. 

I could exercise my freedom of choice to do all kinds of wrong things. And trust me, in the darkness of my past I enthusiastically “did what ever I wanted, whenever I wanted” and sometimes had to face some very bad consequences for doing so, but not always.  My “getting away with things” wasn’t a good thing as it caused me to think I could do what ever I wanted without consequence as long as I wasn’t discovered.  That “do what ever I want” form of freedom only made me a slave to my selfish and sinful desires that isolated me from everyone else and never led to lasting satisfaction.  

But the freedom God gave me, through faith in Jesus Christ, was the freedom to say no to those selfish desires that always led to pain and instead I began to understand that freedom really was best used in the pursuit of becoming the person God created me to be, a person who sought to do good instead of evil, a person who could receive and give love to others, a person who could know peace because I had peace with God.   

So pursue that peace the goes beyond all understanding by seeking the Lord and His will for your life. And feel good about it.  

Repeat after me, out loud or silently agree with Who I am in Christ:

Who I am in Christ


            I am God’s Child (John 1:12)

            I am Christ’s Friend (John 15:15)

            I have been justified (Romans 5:1)

            I am united with the Lord and one with Him in Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:17)

            I have been bought with a price; I belong to God (1 Corinthians 6:20)

            I am a member of Christ’s body (1 Corinthians 12:27)

            I am a saint (Ephesians 1:1)

            I have been adopted as God’s child (Ephesians 1:5)

            I have direct access to God through the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 2:18)

            I have been redeemed and forgiven of all my sins (Colossians 1:14)

            I am complete in Christ (Colossians 2:10)



            I am free forever from condemnation (Romans 8:1)

            I am assured that all things work together for good (Romans 8:28)

            I am free from the condemning charges against me (Romans 8:33-34)

            I cannot be separated from the love of God (Romans 8:35, 38-39)

            I have been established, anointed, and sealed by God (2 Corinthians 1:21-22)

            I am a citizen of heaven (Philippians 3:20)

            I am hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3)

            I can find grace and mercy to help me in time of need (Hebrews 4:16)

            I am born of God, and the evil one cannot touch me (1 John 5:18)  

I have not been given a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind (2 Tim 1:7)

I am confident that the good work God has begun in me will be perfected (Phil 1:6)


            I am the salt and light of the earth (Matthew 5:13-14)

            I am a branch of the true vine, a channel to His life (John 15:1,5)

            I have been chosen and appointed to bear fruit (John 15:16)

            I am a personal witness of Christ (Acts 1:8)

            I am God’s temple (1 Corinthians 3:16)

            I am a minister of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:17-20)

            I am God’s coworker (2 Corinthians 6:1)

            I am seated with Christ in the heavenly realms (Ephesians 2:6)

            I am God’s workmanship (Ephesians 2:10)

            I may approach God with freedom and confidence (Ephesians 3:12)

            I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength (Philippians 4:13)

Overcoming the darkness of a selfish, addicted, sinful life comes from knowing who you are in Christ. So say it, pray it, mean it and know it.    And you can also pray:

The Overcomer's Covenant in Christ

I usually pray this, starting with Dear Heavenly Father,


1.   I place all my trust and confidence in the Lord, I put no confidence in the flesh and I declare myself to be dependent upon God.

2.   I consciously and deliberately choose to submit to God and resist the devil by denying myself, picking up my cross daily and following Jesus.

3.   I choose to humble myself before the mighty hand of God in order that He may exalt me at the proper time.

4.   I declare the truth that I am dead to sin, freed from it and alive to God in Christ Jesus, since I have died with Christ and was raised with Him.

5.   I gladly embrace the truth that I am now a child of God who is unconditionally loved and accepted. I reject the lie that I have to perform to be accepted, and I reject my fallen and natural identity which was derived from the world.

6.   I declare that sin shall no longer be master over me because I am not under the law, but under grace, and there is no more guilt or condemnation because I am spiritually alive in Christ Jesus.

7.   I renounce every unrighteous use of my body and I commit myself to no longer be conformed to this world, but rather to be transformed by the renewing of my mind. I choose to believe the truth and walk in it, regardless of my feelings or circumstances.

8.   I commit myself to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, and choose to think upon that which is true, honorable, right, pure and lovely.

9.   I commit myself to God's great goal for my life to conform to His image. I know that I will face many trials, but God has given me the victory and I am not a victim, but an overcomer in Christ.

10. I choose to adopt the attitude of Christ, which was to do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind. I will regard others as more important than myself; and not merely look out for my own personal interests but also the interests of others. I know that it is more blessed to give than to receive.



I also pray this short prayer that encompasses a lot of the above as a concluding prayer before my Bible Study.

Dear heavenly Father,

I submit myself to You as Your child, and I declare myself to be totally dependent upon You. I yield my body to You as a living sacrifice, and I ask You to fill me with Your Holy Spirit. I renounce the lies of the evil one and I choose to believe the truth as You have revealed it to us in Your holy Word. Give me the grace and the wisdom to resist the devil so that he will flee from me. I now commit myself to You, including my body as an instrument of righteousness. In Jesus' precious name I pray.


That’s it that’s some of my “daily spiritual practice” and I invite you to utilize any or all of it as a part of yours.

Happy Birthday to me! I pray on day where I can celebrate my life and my freedom that all who listen to or read this message will seek the Lord and the life and freedom He has for you, in Christ.  


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

This morning’s meditation verse is:

Romans 8:38-39 (NLT2)
38  And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.
39  No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Today’s Bible verse that nothing can separated us from God’s love.  

He’s God guys. To quote Joe Cabot from Reservoir Dogs: “It’s my way, or the highway.”   Well, following Joe Cabot led to everyone’s death in that film, spoiler, so I would say we should take the “High Way” and decide to have peace and life everlasting with God through faith in Jesus Christ.  

God is sovereign. He is over and above all things. All must come before Him. And the only way to peace with Him is Jesus.  

But when you put your faith in Christ, we need not fear ever again.  For through Christ, we can know the love of God. When we are forgiven of our sins, we know God’s love through His mercy and grace.   

And because God is all powerful and eternal, we can know that nothing and no one can separate us from his love, even death,  

In Christ, we need never fear anything ever again and instead can pursue the meaning and purpose that God has for us and we can continually know His love when we stay in harmony with Him by seeking his strength and guidance to help us walk in HIS WAY. 


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.

Situations Involving Evil Spirits

In the Old Testament the activity of evil spirits is described a few times, and usually with the author carefully subordinating them to God’s sovereign control. During the time of the Judges, Abimelech sought to rule over a segment of the northern kingdom, which included the city of Shechem (Judg 9). After soliciting and receiving the support of the citizens of Shechem, he quickly eliminated all his competition for the throne by murdering his seventy brothers (except for one, Jotham). Because of his treacherous bloodshed, “God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the citizens of Shechem” after he had ruled over Israel for three years (Judg 9:23a). This conflict resulted in a time of great civil strife, war and death.

Because an evil spirit tormented King Saul, his advisors counseled him to find someone who could play the harp, believing music would bring him relief (1 Sam 16:14–23). Saul’s attendants discovered the talents of a young man named David, who was then summoned into the king’s service. Whenever this malignant spirit afflicted Saul, David would play the harp, and Saul would be relieved. The text says, “He would feel better, and the evil spirit would leave him” (1 Sam 16:23b). It was this same evil spirit who twice prompted Saul to attempt to kill David (1 Sam 18:10–11; 19:9–10).

One other account presents a situation in which an evil spirit inspired 400 prophets to give false advice to Ahab, king of Israel, when he inquired whether he should go to war to reclaim a foreign-occupied city (1 Kings 22:1–40). The text depicts a heavenly session with the Lord in which evil spirits were permitted to suggest to him ways of luring Ahab into attacking the city. Finally one of the wicked spirits suggests that it would go out and be “a lying spirit in the mouths of all his prophets” (1 Kings 22:21–22). Receiving Yahweh’s approval, the spirit was successful in its deceitful activity despite the Lord’s prophet disclosing to the king all the details of the heavenly plan as they had been revealed to him. Contrary to the advice of the Lord’s prophet, Ahab attacked the city, and in the ensuing battle he was killed. Some commentators on this text have much difficulty on deciding what to make of this “spiritual interpretation” of the events. It must be seen, however, in conjunction with the account of Satan asking Yahweh for permission to afflict Job (Job 1:6–12). All three of these scenarios not only stress God’s ultimate control over the realm of evil spirits, but also make the point that God even permits these forces to carry out their evil deeds as a means of accomplishing his own divine purposes.

The Serpent of Old

The Apocalypse of John brings its readers hope by predicting a future overthrow of “the serpent of old,” also known as Satan or the devil (Rev 20:2). This allusion is to the Genesis account of creation and the serpent’s temptation of Adam and Eve in the garden (Gen 3:1–15). Paul also spoke of this event in his second letter to the Corinthians, in which he compared the serpent’s effective cunning with the deceitful work of Satan on the Corinthians (2 Cor 11:3, 14–15). Although some scholars hesitate to identify the serpent in Genesis 3 with Satan, this was the unanimous early Christian (and Jewish) interpretation.

The scene in the garden is the classic portrayal of Satan’s character as the tempter—a motif found throughout the New Testament, especially in Paul’s treatment of the powers of darkness. This narrative does not reveal the devil as a spirit or angel, but his supernatural character comes to light for the reader when he animates a snake causing it to talk. The snake represented an “archetypal unclean animal” in the law of God (see Lev 11 and Deut 14).

This passage marks the beginning of salvation history. It establishes the need for the redemption of humanity because of the Fall. It points to the devil’s activity in promoting sin and rebellion against God and consequently to the need for this evil being to be dealt a crushing blow for God’s purposes to be brought to completion (Gen 3:15).

The Old Testament never explicitly addresses the origin of Satan or how or when he turned against God. It is possible that couched in the prophecies against the king of Tyre (Ezek 28) and the king of Babylon (Is 14) are insights into the original state and fall of Satan. This connection was certainly how early Jewish interpreters understood these passages. These texts, however, may also point to the heavenly angelic figures associated with those nations, as was the case with the angelic “prince of Persia” in Daniel 10:13.

Satan is mentioned only at three other places in the Old Testament (Job 1–2; Zech 3:1–2; 1 Chron 21:1). In all of these passages he appears as a supernatural enemy of both God and humanity. In Job Satan appears as an accuser and an afflicter. He challenges the genuineness of Job’s righteousness and commitment to God, claiming that Job fears God because God had so richly blessed him (Job 1:6–11). God sovereignly permits Satan to afflict Job. Satan then strips Job of his wealth, makes him dreadfully ill, kills all of his children and turns his wife against him. Yet Job responded to these overwhelming trials with integrity and did not sin or turn from God. This passage shows what great power the Lord God permits Satan to exercise on earth and even over his people. Not only does he function as an accuser, but God also gives him the authorization to control such things as sickness, robbery and even natural disasters that cause death.

The writer of 1 Chronicles reaffirms Satan’s activity as a tempter: “Satan rose up against Israel and incited David to take a census of Israel” (1 Chron 21:1). In this passage Satan is also portrayed as Israel’s adversary—a role that corresponds to the meaning of the word “devil” (diabolos), which the Greek translators of the Old Testament chose to translate the term “Satan.”

Finally in the vision of Zechariah Satan accuses the high priest Jonathan for his past sins in an apparent attempt to disqualify him from his office (Zech 3:1–2). Satan’s activity of bringing accusation is more in line with the extended usage of the Hebrew term satan. In the Old Testament the word is used elsewhere with the simple meaning of “accuser” or “adversary.” The writer of 1 Samuel records, for instance, that the Philistines were opposed to David fighting with them, “lest in the battle he become an adversary [satan] to us” (1 Sam 29:4 RSV).

Satan is thus an accuser and a powerful adversary against God’s people. He performs his hostile functions against them by luring them into rebelling against the express will of God and by causing even physical destruction, pain and grief. In spite of Satan’s powerful malignant activity, God’s people are called to maintain their pure devotion to the Lord.[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), 60–62.