Monday, May 30, 2016

Sorcery At The Right Hand Of Power by John Rankin

Sorcery at the Right Hand of Power
John C. Rankin
In the biblical contest between light and dark, there are three domains – physics, ethics and spiritual warfare. In the former, light exists atomically, and darkness has no such existence, thus by definition, darkness flees the presence of light. In the middle category, when we live openly and in accountability, those who hide their intentions and action flee our presence. And in the latter, Jesus is the Light of the world, Satan is the prince of darkness, thus the devil flees the presence of Jesus.
Yet the devil is able to take opportunity of any and every sphere where we allow any measure of ethical and spiritual darkness into our lives.
Throughout the Bible, Satan’s agenda is to pervert political power so that it can subvert the Messianic promise, seeking to find darkness in the human soul in which to establish a beachhead. Accordingly, “sorcery at the right hand of power” reflects a reality where demonic counsel seeks access to political power in order shut down unalienable rights for all people equally, to shut down religious, political and economic liberty. Such liberty is uniquely the gift God, revealed fully in the Bible; wherever such liberty flourishes, the Gospel flourishes, and vice versa.
For example, we see this with:
  1. the Egyptian sorcerers advising Pharaoh against Moses and Aaron;
  2. the pagan prophet Bala’am’s hired opposition to the Israelites during the Exodus;
  3. the Sidonian queen and witch Jezebel’s influence over King Ahab against Elijah, and against the other prophets whom she killed or sought to kill;
  4. the witch at Endor being sought out for counsel by King Saul;
  5. the Babylonian sorcerers in their counsel to Nebuchadnezzar in opposing Daniel;
  6. the Amalekite and political opportunist Haman’s advice to King Xerxes, in opposing Mordecai and Esther, in the plot to kill all the Jews in the Medo-Persian empire;
  7. the high priest Caiaphas in his counsel to the Sanhedrin to seek and have King Herod kill Jesus;
  8. the other religious and political elitists of Jesus behaving as children of the devil and “sons of hell” in their plots to kill Jesus;
  9. the Jewish sorcerer Elymas in his counsel to the governor of Cyprus, seeking to turn him away from the apostle Paul’s preaching; and
  10. in the Book of Revelation, the spirit of Bala’am against the church at Pergamum, alongside the false prophetess Jezebel in the church at Thyatira. 
      John Rankin

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Spiritual Detoxifacation

"On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified."

(John 7:37-39 ESV)

Most of us desire to rid ourselves of negative feelings and emotions. There is a sense in which even followers of Jesus need to be spiritually detoxed, from time to time. This detoxification involves the removal of the things that poison our souls. 

The western world is being enslaved through the use of mass media of all sorts. Many spiritual lives are being destroyed by our exposure to sensual images that can lead to pornographic addiction. We also need to allow our minds to rest from an unhealthy and obsessive desire for information, and entertainment.

While social media can be used for good purposes by many, it can also create a false sense of reality. Without people really knowing us, we can easily portray ourselves as something we are not. Twenty-four hour news cycles are now being viewed as a form of entertainment, and they are being used to indoctrinate the masses.

It's past time, for slumbering Christians to wake up and to spiritually discern the situation we find ourselves in. We, in the United States, and most of the western world have been a part of  various social experiments for decades. These experiments are actually backed by very real, but unseen evil forces. Everything from the internet, daily news, and seemingly harmless sitcoms, influence how we think.

Those with a dark agenda use the media to condition the minds of people to accept a new social order, that despises the Christian values, that our nation was originally founded upon. The political, social, and moral atmosphere in this country has been filled like a toxic waste dump, with dark ideas.

I stretch out my hands to you;
my soul thirsts for you like a parched land. Selah  (Psalm 143:6 ESV)

For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd,
and he will guide them to springs of living water,
and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” (Revelation 7:17 ESV)

The way to begin our spiritual detox program is deepen our roots in the Gospel, turn our attention back to the Lamb of God, and to  earnestly seek the fullness of the Holy Spirit.  We must counter the toxic information we are exposed to by seeking the presence of God, and by meditating on words of truth, and life. 

Once we begin to drink from the stream of living water that originates from the throne of God, the healing process will begin.  Natural water sustains life in the body and causes us to flourish, and so likewise spiritual water causes spiritual flourishing.

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,the holy habitation of the Most High. God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns. The nations rage, the kingdoms totter; he utters his voice, the earth melts. The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah (Psalm 46:4-7 ESV)

We are  to be washed by the water of the Word,  and we  must drink of the Holy Spirit, so that we might taste and see that the Lord is good. (Psalm 34:8) 

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.  (Ephesians 5:25-27 ESV)

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Christ Is Our Light And Shield: A Celtic Prayer

Prayers for others

Christ, as a light
illumine and guide me.
Christ, as a shield
overshadow me.
Christ under me;
Christ over me;
Christ beside me
on my left and my right.
This day be within and without me,
lowly and meek, yet all-powerful.
Be in the heart of each to whom I speak;
in the mouth of each who speaks unto me.
This day be within and without me,
lowly and meek, yet all-powerful.
Christ as a light;
Christ as a shield;
Christ beside me
on my left and my right.
May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you,
wherever He may send you.
May He guide you through the wilderness,
protect you through the storm.
May He bring you home rejoicing
at the wonders He has shown you.
May He bring you home rejoicing
once again into our doors.
+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Friday, May 20, 2016

How To Become A Spiritual Survivalist

"And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.’” And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says. And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” (Luke 18:1-8 ESV)

Only those that know the living God will be able to deal with the onslaught of spiritual darkness, and chaos in the days to come. Our spiritual survival will be dependent upon our relationship with Jesus, and his people, the Church. As believers (God's elect) we are  His spiritual temple, both individually, and corporately. God's presence abides by his Spirit, in and with his people. Having extra food and access to pure drinking water may be a good idea, but without the presence of God in our lives, we will not prosper spiritually. 

Jesus said,  "And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell." (Matthew 10:28 ESV)

Jesus also tells us, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? (Matthew 6:25 ESV) 

But he also expects us to be wise, Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. (Matthew 10:16 ESV)
  The book of Proverbs is good place to look for wisdom and how to prepare for calamities in life.  There is no doubt that social unrest may increase in the United States, in the near future. And those that are not yet spiritually prepared for the social, and moral chaos, that seems to be upon us, will lose heart.

Jesus' question "will he find faith on the earth" when he comes is worth a considerable amount of our time to ponder. The question we must ask ourselves is;  are we prepared for suffering for the sake of Christ, if real persecution comes to America? While it is OK to prepare materially for possible natural, and man-made disasters, or social unrest - the question is, are we prepared spiritually?

The way of preparation is simple but costly. We must choose Christ as the top priority in our lives and discover the way of the cross. It requires persistent prayer, and time with God. Abiding in his Word through deep reflective meditation, is essential. We are spiritually transformed by our intimacy with God. 

This prepares our hearts for the rhythm of night and day prayer. We also must learn from the persistent widow to ask our heavenly Father for justice, not only for ourselves, but for justice in the earth as well.

The privilege of having an audience with the righteous Judge, is for his elect (God's spiritual children.)

The faith we need will come as we saturate our minds with the Word of God, and the intent to obey what we've learned. We can trust God for our spiritual survival as we seek his presence and guidance daily. - Bobby

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Spiritual Zombies And The Dark Path

"For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.

 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.

 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God's righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them."

(Romans 1:18-32 ESV)

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—

(Ephesians 2:1-2 ESV) 

The rejection of God has lead our Nation down a dark path. A spiritual dark age is upon us. And it appears God is giving us over to the idols of our hearts. We all either worship God, or some "god substitute." Our imaginations have become darkened, and  once unthinkable lifestyles and actions have become mainstream. Through the use of mass media, the political, economic, and educational systems, we have been re-programmed as a society. 

Believing in absolute truth is seen as archaic, and backwards. Those who stand for biblical truth are viewed as dinosaurs. That's not to say all those that work in the above mentioned fields are bad people. Many still hold to their faith, and even some non-believers still believe  that a society should practice common sense values. But we are now living in a morally bankrupt Nation, that has been influenced by spiritual darkness, in all spheres of our society. 

There has never been a time in history when things were perfect. And the "good old days" were not always that good. And not everything in modern society is negative. Some progress has been made on social issues.  But if we continue down the present path we are on, we will lose whatever good progress that has been made.

God will give individuals and societies over to what they desire most, even if it destroys them. The worship of our new "sexual freedoms" and the desire to live outside God's rule, is idolatry.  

Zombies are "dead men walking" (or women). And I believe we are witnessing the mass demonization of our society. We now call "evil good and good evil." We are trapped in a world of political correctness that denies the truth, and perpetuates lies. The New Age philosophy that we are 'our own gods'  seeks to absolve us of our guilt. Without a sovereign personal Creator, we get to live by whatever standard we choose. 

 In the name of love we refuse to warn others , and choose to ignore  harmful behaviors.

Love and truth go hand and hand. And a denial of truth in the name of love is actually hate, and a perversion of reality. What is the answer to this mass deception, and spiritual darkness? We must (and I'm talking about the Church) fully embrace the Kingdom of God again. Christians must  submit to God and resist this darkness. We must first leave our own idols, and embrace the Gospel again, if we are to lead our society out of darkness.

 Disciples of Jesus are called to be the salt and light of the world. It's our responsibility to love and show compassion to a dying world. It's time for us to practice what we preach. - Bobby