This issue is tantamount to truly understanding God and Christianity. If this issue could ever be resolved, between denominations, then perhaps we can stand as a united front and be of one belief. Will this post do it, no it won't, but it may spark an interest in truly studying the Bible for the answer. I encourage all to read and discover for yourself the Truths that are in the Holy Word of God.
There is more difference in the Old and New Testament, then just a blank page. This is huge, the Old Testament shows us life under the Old Covenant, this is before Our Savior came and while God had wrath against those who sinned. These were the days when God cursed mankind, as is fully made known in Deuteronomy 28 this chapter deals with the blessings and cursings that God dealt out. In psalms David himself expresses how fortunate those are when God no longer impunes our sins to us and longed to see it. That is us! We no longer have to sacrifice animals every time we sin and then once every year for all the sins of that year. Why? Because Christ is our Lamb, once and for all. The Sabath day was done away with, in fact all of the Old Covenant traditions were done away with, by Jesus. The Day Jesus was born the Angels appeared to the shepherds with a message. Luke 2:14 "Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, good will towards men" We know this message was not peace "between men", for Jesus stated that he did not come to bring peace on earth Matthew 10:34-38. No, the angels message was that the Glad Tidings was that with Jesus' birth, that God was at Peace with Man..........A new Covenant. The debt has been paid in full. If the Law had not been fulfilled Jesus would have let the Pharisees stone the adultress woman. If the Law had not been fulfilled than when John and James asked Jesus if they should be fire down on Samaria as Elijah did on the prophets of baal, then Jesus would have allowed it. Also, if God still held to the curses of the Old Covenant then Jesus would not have commanded the disciples to heal the sick Luke 9:2 And He sent them to preach of the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick!" For then their sickness would have been sent directly from God (curses). He would have stated that to heal the sicknesses that were not curses sent by God! Romans 5:1 "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" Romans 5:9-11 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. 10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement." Paul again and again confirms this fact, that Jesus' fulfilled the Law. The Old Testament is vital and should be studied, but with the realization that it is the Old Covenant. The New Testament is the New Covenant, Jesus had to teach the disciples, because it was NEW, meaning it had never existed, before. Ponder this.........Before the Mosiac Law (prior to the Ten Commandments) God did not impune sin unto men. In fact He protected the first murderer from mankind and did not impune his sin to him. He seperated himself from cain, but did not impune his sin to him. Then came the Mosiac Law and God impuned man's sin onto us and His Wrath was upon those who sinned. Then Came The New Covenant and now when we Accept Christ and His Sacrifice, he does not impune sin unto us. Yes, there were three seperate stages of how God dealt with mankind! Sin is death, this is not a license to sin, it does lead to death of the physical body and opens a door for Satan. Sin also seperates us from God, Not because God is mad or angry at us, it's because we seperate ourselves from Him. Corinthians 5:5 5 "deliver such a one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the Day of the Lord Jesus." Notice the distinction between the flesh and the spirit." I pray that all will read the Bible and learn, Love and Live it. The study of the Bible, is the renewing of the mind, and then and only then can the spirit and mind come together to force the corrupted body to submit.
What is carnality or living carnal. Many people believe it is limited sin, it is so much more than that. Carnality is relying on the physical world and on our five physical senses. Hearing, tasting, seeing, touching and smell we have to use these senses, but that is it, using them and not letting them dominant us. Our body is carnal and if we do not control it, then the senses control us. When we are sick then we hear the dr tell us that we have for instance an neurological disease. We accept this as fact, when our body does not move we accept that we are dying and our body is shutting down. This is letting our five senses control us, we accept it and then run to the doctor, in most cases there's nothing they can do........so we accept it. When we start to get a cold, we state it out loud to others, "I'm coming down with a cold", we just claimed it and accepted it. Words are powerful and are life or death, we choose it according to our words. We feel pain and then believe our bodies and tell others, "my back is killing me". No, our choice of words is killing us. We speak out of the abundance of our hearts. I can judge myself, by my words. "I'm depressed today", or "I'm tired", if I speak those words then I know I've let my senses take control. Time for me to start focusing on God again, through Prayer, Praise, Worship and the Word of God.
We are made up of three seperate parts: Body, Soul (mind and emotions), and spirit. Upon accepting Christ our spirit is brand new, a new creature with the mind of Jesus. Our body is corrupt and will be until, we are given are glorified bodies. We have one against one; a new creature against a corrupt body. The tie-breaker is our soul, we get to choose who wins. We can either allow our mind to agree with the corrupt body or............we can renew our mind and choose to be a victorious Believer. How do we renew our mind? We fill it with our focus being God, Jesus and the Word of God. Seek God, meditate on The Word. We get what we meditate (ponder, think about), where our focus is .........what are thoughts are............is what we get. We can meditate on God's Word 24/7.............WHAT!!!!?????? Really????!!!!!!!!!! No Way!!!!!!!!!!???????? While driving to work, where is our focus, on our health/problems/ finanacial crisis, replace those thoughts with thoughts of the scripture. Instead of worrying, imagine being their when Jesus and His disciples fed thousands. Instead of focusing on not sinning or what the devil is up to.........Replace it with meditating on God's Love.................this is renewing the mind. Instead of watching the tv, and allowing our senses to vain imaginations, replace your tv time with reading God's Word. We wish to know God, but we constantly allow the physical world to be our focus. We want to change our lives than change our thoughts. We want God to use us, yet we ponder the physical world. The more the focus is of God, then we come to the end of ourselves. Instead of "my back is killing me" then our thoughts become "Thank you God, for the provision of healing" Instead of focusing on the evils of the world, we see God's Unfathomble Love for us. It is complete reliance on Jesus' Finished Work. Taking the focus off of self. Coming to the end of self (self-esteem, self-worth, self reliance)these words say it all..........self! If I can say of my worldly possesions I earned this house, I bought and earned this car........then we're not at the end of self. Instead, when I can say What a wonderful house that the Lord has provided for me! How awesome is His Power!
This will be a short quick blog. My challenge is simply this.........pick up the Bible and read it for yourselves. Those who already do..........awesome!!! Those who don't I encourage you to read it for yourself. Don't do it to "earn" points with God. Do it seeking God's Wisdom. Ask the Holy Spirit for guidance and read it slow, not trying to get through a book or chapter a day. Do not rely on anyone else for their interpretation, listen to others, but study the Bible to reveal the Truth. I will honestly tell you, that when you study on your own, you will reach many Ereka!! Moments where the truth starts to be revealed through the Holy Spirit. You will have moments where your soul (mind) and spirit combine and it is a WOW moment. Trust me when I tell you there is NO substitute for private time alone with Just you, God and The Word. Take one scripture then look at its context and the Truth will come to you. If someone tells you that they know it all and not to listen to anyone else..........run don't walk away from them. Discover for yourself the Truth. Then you will instantly know when the truth isn't being spoken. Stir yourself up and become excited about spending time with God in the Word. Use your imagination and experience the Gospel through it! This is such an exciting time to be a Believer, Christ is Coming back.........Soon. If this strikes fear in you then you aren't hearing the Truth! in God's Love there is no Fear. There is Joy of the Holy Spirit! Will there be hard times for True Believers absolutely!!! Yet, the Holy Spirit replaces fear with boldness and Joy! Always have reverance for God, but there is no Need to FEAR His Wrath, if you have accepted Jesus into your Heart. Paul was singing with Joy in the middle of the Night, while imprisoned and after being whipped, this is the JOY that true Belief Brings!!! Peace and JOY of The Comforter be on everyone.........AMEN!
Luke 12:8-9 "Also I say unto you, Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God: But he that denieth me before men shall be denied before the angels of God"
This verse I have contemplated on for a while now. (Luke 22:33)After all Peter denied Jesus three times, yet Jesus did not turn him away, instead he told him to "feed his sheep"John (21:17-25). Furthermore this was after Jesus said " Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thou that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren." Then Jesus stated in Luke 22:33 "I tell thee, Peter the cock shall not crow this day before that thou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest me." Paul when he was Saul denied Jesus by persecuting Jesus' followers. In fact, one could say that all of Jesus' disciples denied Him, by fleeing when the soldiers arrested Him. In fact the very soldiers that persecuted Jesus prayed for their forgiveness.
So with all of these things and with the many teachings of Paul, to shorten this I have chosen one scripture (although there are many that prove Jesus died once for all sins). (Romans 10:15-16 And how shall they preach except they be sent? as it is with them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings and good things! But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For E-sai-as saith Lord, who hath believed our report?)
The gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings and good things. But they have not all obeyed the gospel. The Gospel of peace is that God is no longer at war with men. Jesus died once for all sins! Christ earned for us Peace with God. Those that portray God as keeping a checklist when we sin, and even send us bad situations to "teach us", A wrathful God, then they deny what Jesus did for us. Even more so they that focus all their attention on "not sinning", what is happening there is carnal, for then we determine that of ourselves we can be spotless. The focus of the Whole Bible is Jesus' Finished Work. Therefore if we focus on pointing out our sins and being perfect within ourselves, we are denying what Jesus did. He removed our sins as far as the east is to the west. Let's focus not on trying to be perfect, but on the One Who Is Perfect......Jesus. One last point, in the old testament, the sacrifices were inspected by the Priest for perfection, not the one who brought the sacrifice. Jesus is the sacrifice, who is to be inspected and is found to be perfect, we who accept Jesus' sacrifice are not going to be inspected, but for one thing.........Did we accept Jesus' Sacrifice?
Here we go, I intend to prove that Satan is not the all-powerful force of darkness that he’s made out to be. When we finally learn this, he is easily put under our feet. In fact he has no power, except deception. Which he does quite well. Lucifer, was an angel, he had only delegated authority, as with all angels. Let’s start with why he chose a serpent and did not force his will open them. Why not just beat them to a pulp and force them to turn against God? He couldn’t and still can’t. In Genesis 1:26 we see that God gave man authority over all the world. Genesis 1:26 “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air , and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.” God spoke this, when God speaks it is a covenant/ contract, humans break contracts, God doesn’t. This contract was unconditional, God did not say, if man screws up, then I take my covenant back. No, He gave us authority over the world unconditionally. This means that flesh and blood man was the ruler of the earth. Psalms 82:6 I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the Most High.” Psalm 89:34 My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips”. So we have established that we were given dominion over the world.
So why did Satan take the form of a serpent? One reason is since he only had delegated power he could not just materialize, he had to inhabit something that was of the flesh. Hebrews 1:14 Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation”? Ezekial 28:11-15 go to it and read it, this describes Lucifer. 15 says: Thou wast perfect in thy days from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.” So Satan had to possess an animal, why a serpent? A serpent was the smartest, sneakiest animal on the earth. In Genesis 3:1 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. He could not just overpower Adam and Eve, he did not have the power to do so. So he had to outwit them, why? Because they had what he wanted power, he wanted Adam and Eve to worship him. So how does he accomplish this? By getting them to disobey God, then automatically if we aren’t serving God then we are serving evil. Deuteronomy 30:19 “I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:” Romans 6:16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” God does not change so therefore, Lucifer, knew this and took advantage of it, and set himself up to gain our authority and obedience. Here’s the clincher, since God gave authority to flesh and bone man, Satan can only work through flesh and bone, he can do nothing of his own. I want to stress this point, a swine has more authority than Satan. Mark 5:12 “ and all the devils besought him, saying, send us into the swine, that we may enter into them.” The swine killed themselves rather than being possessed of demons. The point is that rather than just being cast into a dry wasteland wandering about, they wished to inhabit anything material, of flesh and bone. The same can be said of humans that are possessed, one the person has to allow it, and then they (unclean spirits) use the God given authority of man to reek havoc. This is why a possessed individual often has supernatural strength. The Devil knows his only source of power, us. Quit blaming God, quit giving the devil authority and take your authority back………In Christ!
In the Old Testament, we had no recourse, we had yielded authority to the devil through our constant sins of disobedience. The Heavenly Father had placed himself under the same restriction, he could only work through mankind. In fact, my eyes have searched to and fro and I have found none righteous no not one. God was searching for the one to save the world. At the same time using the prophets to speak the words that would be spoken for God to become the Son of Man. By His Own restriction he had to become a man to set things right. I will scripturally prove this in another post. Christ came stayed perfectly perfect with no sin. Took our sin, sickness and death. Conquered death as the Son of Man. Now IN Christ our authority has been restored and Satan fully and completely conquered. The dictionary meaning of War is two undefeated foes in opposition. Satan is defeated, done, over, stick a fork in him. His only power is deception. We have all authority over him………….period. My main point in this is to show how powerless Satan is. The Church wants to give Satan the power and authority he doesn’t have. We have the authority to cast out demons……….so who’s more powerful. 1 Peter 5:8
“Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil walketh about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” Whom he may devour. Imagine a lion in a cage, he roars, because he wants to devour a small child that is looking at him, he cannot because the cage is closed. This is how the devil and all unclean spirits are, they can only do anything when we open the door. Ephesians 4:27 “Neither give place to the devil” We have to give the devil authority, this is done through sin. The devil cannot make us sin, when we do sin, we simply repent (change our ways) and then the door is slammed in his face. The devil is as OZ in the movie Wizard of Oz, when we look with our eyes he seems to be of great power, when we pull the curtain back we see an old man, who is capable of nothing. I’ve heard Christians say, I’m at war with the devil, this is so not true. War is opposition between two undefeated foes, Satan is defeated. James 1:26 But every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust, and is enticed.” We can only be tempted, by what we think……….period. If our focus is on God and Jesus then we are drawn to Jesus’ righteousness. If we think of sin, even in the aspect of trying to keep from sin, then that is what is drawn to us. We must take our focus off of ourselves, focus on God, Jesus and His Word. On the same hand if we see unclean spirits everywhere then that is what is drawn to us. We get what we search for. If our only focus is God and His Word and we are grateful in Praise and Worship, then Praise and Worship will drive the demons away.