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Month 2:01, Rosh Chodesh, Year:Day 5936:030 AM
ROSH CHODESH II (Shanee haChodesh) & Jericho I (Rishon/Pesach)
Gregorian Calendar: Saturday 21 April 2012
Rosh Chodesh II
Jericho, Overcoming and Mind Renewal

    Continued from Part 7 (Jericho 2011)

      "Therefore gird up the loins of your mind" (1 Peter 1:13, NKJV).

    Chag sameach Rosh Chodesh kol beit Yisra'el and welcome to both the second month of the biblical year and to the second year of our recently established traditional series of seven annual Battle of Jericho Devotionals.

    The Battle of Jericho was Israel's first great victory against the Canaanites on the west bank of the River Jordan and it was accomplished by the people, under Joshua, obeying Yahweh's instructions to the letter. It involved no Israelite casualities whatsoever, the destruction of the fortress was accomplished supernaturally by the power of Yahweh alone without military arms, and it is a sacred tavnith (pattern) model for both spiritual and physical warfare. This is warfare in its proper divine order.

    After our meeting yesterday morning, I spent the Sabbath afternoon listening to some sermons and testimonies of various ministers. It is always spiritually refreshing to hear how Yahweh is working in the lives others, what He has been revealing to them and what it is we are ourselves missing. Preachers need preaching too! Some of the stories were quite astounding not so much because of their miraculous content (which was wonderful to hear in itself) but because I was reminded of two important lessons that we are apt to quickly forget:

    • 1. Everything ultimately boils down to emunah (faith, trusting); and
    • 2. We are held back not because the Enemy has terrible powers arrayed against us but because we believe in lies about our apparent inability to experience Yahweh's presence the way we want to.

    So it's good to hear how fellow ministers have experienced these lies, seen through them, and regained lost footholds on the mountain of emunah (faith).

    We are under constant attack in the invisible realm. Only a few hours ago, when I was taking a nap to catch up on lost sleep owing to a disturbed night, did I see several visions of what the Enemy's lackies are sowing in the atmosphere. I had seen a vision a couple of days ago of one of our dogs puking up some green, bileous looking liquid, and had wondered what it was. This morning I saw that the atmosphere was being seeded with some kind of respiratory fungus.

    This is interesting because I was recently reminded by Yahweh of the incredible discovery by Dr.Tullio Simoncini that nearly all forms of cancer are, in fact, a fungal infection and that its treatment is ludicrously simple and inexpensive: ordinary baking soda or Sodium bicarbonate - NaHCO3 - applied in the proper way [1]. It's not the only cure but it's certainly one of the most promising.

    Given that the Úlite are poisoning us in every way imaginable in our water supply, in food, in vaccines and in the air, the believer naturally asks himself the question: How can I be protected?

    Obviously we can take practical, physical steps by improving our diet and by drinking filtered or distilled water. I was reminded of the latter only a few days ago in some visions Yahweh shared with me. But there are some things you can't do much about which includes the air that you breathe, without physically relocating - but even that isn't always much use because air-carried contaminents, whether chemicals or micro-organisms - spread anyway. So what we cannot ourselves do, we definitely need supernatural help in dealing with. No matter what "death in the pot" there is, the emunah (faith) of Elisha can remove it (2 Ki.4:38-41).

    Yahweh promises us health if we trust in Him and keep the Shavu'ot covenant - if we obey the mitzvot (commandments). A huge part of our emunah (faith) rests on our standing on His promises. When we doubt them we program our minds into believing lies and this at once gives the enemy a door into our souls to cause us trouble. This is true, I believe, for both spiritual bondage and physical illness.

    Many believers are confused when they still find themselves in spiritual bondage. In their desperation, they go searching for complicated answers and not untypically blame their problems on Satanists sending curses and hexes on them or even ministers who don't 'fix' them. And, yes, curses are a problem if you are not covered, and, yes, it is also perfectly true that many believers have not fully yielded their lives to the Saviour and so leave themselves exposed to such things, and are in need of deliverance. And yet, no matter the reason, failure to be delivered does ultimately boil down to a lack of emunah (faith).

    Rick Renner shares an interesting illustration of this common problem we have as believers [2]. A friend of his had been called by the police in the middle of the night because one of his animals - a goat - had apparently escaped from his property and had been hit and killed by a car. The owner quickly put on his jacket and rushed to the place where the dead goat was supposed to be lying. When he got there, he discovered that the goat wasn't dead at all. Someone had stolen it, tied up its legs with rope so that it couldn't move, and then dumped the goat along the side of the road. He untied the rope that held the goat captive, gave it a slap and said, 'Get up!' But the goat just lay there as though it was still bound and unable to move. It continued to lay on its side as if it were incapable of moving. The man looked over the goat to see if it had been immobilised by a wound or some other injury but could find none. Then he noticed something interesting: the animal's legs were still tightly clinging to each other as though they were still tied up with ropes! Then he realised - the goat still believed it was tied up! Anyway, the man picked the goat up and set it on its feet, slapped it again telling it to 'Get up!' Finally, the animal realised its feet were no longer bound and began to jump and leap in its new-found freedom.

    Most of us are just like the goat in this story. We were previously bound by Satan's destructive power. He tied us up in total slavery and then dumped us, waiting for destruction to completely ruin us. When we heard the Besorah (Gospel) message and surrendered to Yah'shua (Jesus), the Master untied us from Satan's cords according to the Torah rules established by the Father from the beginning. This ended Satan's legal hold on us that formerly kept us captive but we didn't always realise it or believe it. Our minds, so long accustomed to being tied up, could not, or would not, accept that we had actually been set free because we didn't necessarily experience anything dramatic as many others do when they are delivered.

    I hope that this will be a liberating day for many who accepted Messiah - sincerely and with real emunah (faith) - but who did not have any dramatic experience. Many believe the lies spread by charismatics and others that if you haven't had some fantastic supernatural experience, haven't experienced instant healing, or haven't started speaking in 'tongues' that you either haven't been born again or haven't been baptised in the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit). Believing this lie can hold them captive. For one thing, some people are converted gradually and others make sudden leaps - there is no one single experience of salvation. I have known people of all kinds who have been saved. If we are not very careful we can be like that goat who believed it was still in bondage when it had, in fact, already been set free.

    We lie on our sides, like that goat, bound up in our scars, pains and mental hang-ups, not realising that we have really been set free. Somehow we still cling onto the illusion that our inner world of suffering or disappointment is so much bigger than the vast Universe around us that Yahweh created and controls. Even when someone comes along and points out our freedom to us, we still have to maintain our Messiah-bought, Messiah-imparted freedom by renewing our minds. Freedom becomes a way of life only as we replace our wrong thinking and wrong believing with what the Word of Elohim (God) declares about our new condition in Messiah.

    Even after Yah'shua (Jesus) has done His work on our spirit by the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit), the mind, emotions and body must still be conformed to the image of that renewed inner man. Like light travelling from distant stars to our own earth, sometimes it takes a while for the emet (truth) to filter down to those layers of our being that surround our innermost spiritual core. We look up at the heavens and sometimes forget that what we are seeing is stars as they were long, long ago. Some may not even exist any more. So it is with the emet (truth) of our salvation - the old bondages we think are there aren't actually - we just believe they are.

    Now obviously there is a world of difference pretending you are unbound when in fact you still are because you are unsurrendered to Yah'shua (Jesus). Many oriental religions pursue this path of illusion and do so by trying to kill off the essential self which is the spirit. All they achieve is greater bondage because the soul is then truly bound by layer after layer of lies as the real self is buried deep in the subconscious, believed to be dead but in reality incarcerated in a dark mental dungeon. We must ensure that a person is truly saved before we start assuming that our bondage is purely illusiory.

    The unsaved soul in Satan's slave market can suffer from all sorts of abuse - bad marriage, drug problems, sexual perversion, a lying spirit, mental hang-ups or any number of scars that life can leave on us before we met Yah'shua (Jesus). These residual areas from the past still need to be removed by having our minds renewed by the Davar (Word) of Yahweh. If they aren't, these strongholds can and will continue to exert power in the life of a believer because demons inhabit the spaces of our minds where lies are believed and from there wage war against us.

    When the Adversary finds an area of our lives that has never been surrendered to the sanctifying work of the Ruach (Spirit), he will try to seize that unsurrendered area in our minds or emotions and energise it - filling it with a brand new vitality. Then the Enemy will begin to use that stronghold to work against the growth and development of our new freedom in Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ). This is why our refusal to deal with specific areas of sin in our lives is where we are constantly at war within.

    The Adversary knows exactly where to look to find weak areas in us. These he uses against us and tries to persuade us that we were never saved, stealing our legitimate freedom in Messiah. These are some of the most common 'open doors' he looks for to gain acces sinto our lives:

    • 1. Wrong thinking;
    • 2. Wrong believing;
    • 3. Memories of terrible experiences that happened before we knew Yah'shua (Jesus) that we still allow to dominate our emotions;
    • 4. Fears that were transferred to us from our parents, family members, friends and others; and
    • 5. Years of incorrect doctrine in an overall matrix of false tavnith (pattern) taught to us in our former chuches and messianic synagogues that we must now 'unlearn' and overcome - lawlessness (Torahlessness) and false traditions being two of the most potent.

    Deliverance ministers have to work on all these layers. Many people who come to us for help will usually be happy for us to help them with the first four areas but strongly resist the fifth because they want to remain where they are, in an environment of false security born of familiarity over time. That's why some demons are called "familiar spirits" (Lev.20:27; Is.29:4) because these are beings we are used to and comfortable with. Full deliverance has to be on all five levels. For this reason, many leave us only partially delivered. And then there are those who were never saved who want deliverance but not Yah'shua (Jesus) for whom nothing can, in reality, be done other than to plant some seeds in the hope that one day they will accept His invitation to come to Him.

    Satan knows very well the importance of the mind because he knows that the mind is the key to controlling your life. That is why education of the mind is so important. That is why we must study the Davar (Word) to show ourselves approved of Elohim (God). I can't emphasise the importance of Scripture study enough for it is there we learn the most important lessons of emet (truth) and the divine tavnith (pattern) for living.

    Satan knows that if he can take control of one small area of your mind that he can begin to expand outward into other weak areas that need to be strengthened by the Ruach (Spirit). By poisoning your mind with unbelief and lying strongholds, he can manipulate your thoughts, your emotions, and your body. Moreover, he can then use you as his instrument to pour the same kind of unbelief and lying strongholds into the minds of others around you. Therefore the mind is the strategic centre for spiritual warfare!

    Today is the beginning of the second month of the year and also the first day of the Battle of Jericho. One vitally important thing to learn from this battle is that it was six parts spiritual exercise and one part action. This was the divine tavnith (pattern) that Yahweh's malak (angel) - the pre-incarnate Yah'shua (Jesus) - revealed to Joshua:

      "You shall march around the city [of Jericho], all you men of war; you shall go all around the city once. This you shall do six days. And seven cohenim (priests) shall bear seven trumpets of rams' horns (shofars) before the ark. But the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the cohenim (priests) shall blow the trumpets. It shall come to pass, when they make a long blast with the ram's horn, and when you hear the sound of the trumpet, that all the people shall shout with a great shout; then the wall of the city will fall down flat. And the people shall go up every man straight before him" (Josh.6:3-5, NKJV).

    The conquest of the stronghold of Jericho, that was blocking their entrance to the Promised Land, required that the Israelite people wrap their minds around the problem in a totally new way. They had to learn to think differently and to view soldiering in a totally different light. Their actively employed weapons consisted of:

    • 1. Their feet - they had to march around the target;
    • 2. Ruach or Breath - the blowing of the shofars;
    • 3. The leadership of the cohenim (priests) who set the example by executing divine tavnith (pattern) precisely;
    • 4. The Ark of the Covenant - indicating felicity to b'rit (covenant), the Ten Commandments, obedience to divine toqef (authority) represented by Aaron's almond rod, and reliance on manna, the heavenly food provided for a complete spiritual and bodily diet; and
    • 5. Their voices (and ruach or breath again)

    The sucecss of the mission required faithful obedience to every detail. In spiritual warfare it is no different. We have to act (by using our spiritual feet) under toqef (authority), in divine tavnith (pattern), obeying the mitzvot (commandments) eating only Yahweh's manna which is trusting in Yah'shua (Jesus) (the heavenly manna - Jn.6:31-33), making declarations of our emunah (faith) by spiritually blowing the shofar and by finally shouting loud in complete confidence of victory! All of these things require mental acquiescence - we must believe in our heads and in our levim (hearts)! Without this emunah (faith) there is no victory.

    None of this comes naturally. We are told that the natural mind is ar war against Yahweh (Rom.8:7), prior to salvation we are alienated and enemies of Yahweh in our minds leading to wicked deeds (Col.1:21) and walk in vanity with darkened understanding, alienated from the chayim (life) of Yahweh because of ignorance and blindness of lev (heart) (Eph.4:17-18) - blinded by the god of this world because of unbelief (2 Cor.4:4). Indeed, Scripture says that the natural mind is so completely contrary to Elohim (God) that it is reprobate (Rom.1:28). Take Yahweh's word on the matter, the mind of the unsaved soul has a satanic disposition - a nature bent toward self-annihilation and more than capable to developing Jericho-like strongholds all by itself. Thus Paul accurately warned us that befroe salvation:

      "We all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath" (Eph.2:3, NKJV).

    Not even the greatest intellectuals and philsophers can figure out the emet (truth) until they have been saved and empowered by the mind of Elohim (God)! But remember this also: even after salvation the mind needs continual renewal otherwise it will slip back into fallen, fleshy thinking tavniths (patterns) - the mind of the devil himself which we have inherited through the flesh from Adam. That is why it is necessary to saturate the mind with the Davar (Word) until all unrenewed areas of thinking have been washed clean by that Davar (Word) and the foul influence of the devil is finally extirpated. Satan knows that if your mind is renewed to the emet (truth) he cannot wage successful warfare against you or your family.

    That is why husbands and fathers have been given the stewardship to be cohenim (priests) and teachers of their families by Yahweh according to His patriarchal order. It is their sacred duty to study to know the emet (truth) and tavnith (pattern) and teach so that their wives and children have renewed minds themselves.

    The Messianic Scriptures (New Testament) are full of the admonition to believers to give serious attention to the state of our minds - if we don't do something about it, our minds will revert back to the default carnal state and become corrupted and reprobate again (Rom.12:2; Eph.4:23; Eph.4:24; Col.3:10,16). Especially take note of today's passage by Peter, "gird up the loins of your mind" which conjures up a picture of a runner whose pants have fallen down and got entangled around his legs. He was running a good race and his stride was picking up until this loosely hanging clothing hindered his steps. We are to do the same with our minds, constantly exercising them with the Davar (Word) of Elohim (God) which in due course will eradicate wrong thinking, wrong believing, scars from the past and hurtful, emotional memories that would exert their influence on our new life in Messiah. The emet (truth) that we learn must, moreover, be translated into action - into footwork - for without that, the strongholds do not come tumbling down. Otherwise those loose, unsurrendered, dangling, lawless areas of our minds will be used by the devil to wage warfare against us.

    I will have more to say about this in the days to come. Now we must translate the theory into practice for we are at war! May this Rosh Chodesh be a blessed one for you and the next six days as we focus on the Jericho model and experience. Amen.

    Endnotes

    [1] Cure Naturali Cancero - this method does not work for bone cancer.
    [2] Rick Renner, Dressed to Kill: A Biblical Approach to Spiritual Warfare and Armor (Rick Renner, Tulsa, Oklahoma: 2007), pp.103-104.

    Continued in Part 9

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