Sermons Series 3:77, 3 February 2007
Resisting the Devil
Part 2: Right Thinking
Click here for Part 1
Brethren and sisters, I welcome you back to our discussion on worldliness and resisting the devil which we began last week. As promised, we are going to look at this in greater depth today. Some of the things we're going to be looking at will feel uncomfortable to you and provoke self-defence mechanisms. That is what I intend. It will be an opportunity for you to shine the spotlight of truth on some issues.
Last Yom Rishon (Sunday) in early hours of the morning Yahweh showed me a vision of a large fortress with black walls. I immediately recognised it as a demonic stronghold. Above the main gate was a dominating and familiar logo - a large blue shield with a golden rim and the golden letters 'WB' inside. I am sure you are familiar with that particular logo as it represents a company which is one of the world's largest producers of film and television entertainment which was begun in 1903 by four Polish Jewish brothers. They, and their successors, have, though thousands of movies, and together with other movie companies, done a great deal to shape the collective consciousness of the West and the world, and in particular in the English-speaking nations. They have spun illusion and created alternative realities. And as I warned you last week, Yahweh wants us to shun entertainment that would reshape His reality and truth - in short, all worldly entertainment.
Last week I asked you to consider several questions, one of which was this: why do Christians fail to resist the negative thoughts that demons whisper and their agents whisper into our ears or project into our eyes and ears through movies, music and the like? Why are so few believers bothering to do anything about the satanic influence all around them? What is it that causes them to passively absorb whatever is fed into them and, indeed, why do they even go to these places of entertainment in the first place? Why do we continue to absorb worldliness like sponges? And the reason is this: we feel protected and secure in the privacy of our imaginations.
The human imagination - what is this faculty that Yahweh has given us and how are we supposed to use it? But first we need to ask ourselves: what is imagination? Imagination is the faculty or action of producing mental images of what is not present or has not been experienced. It is the visualisation of something that is not real. The problems come when you start believing the visualisation to be real. Then your heart gets involved and you start getting feelings. And when you do that, you have created an alternative reality - one that is unique to yourself which no one else can experience until you open a spiritual door and allow one or more demons in. And doors open, as you know, when you believe in a lie. Then commonly shared demons can create the same illusion and reinforce the belief that this is, in some way, a reality by virtue of their being multiple 'witnesses' to the same experience. Visualise something that is not true (like Yahweh being some sort of horrible ogre), believe it, and demons will enter that visualisation process and channel your feelings in directions which they want them to go in. You'll soon find other people with the same demons believing the same illusion.
Let me give you a simple example. As a pastor I do a lot of marriage counselling. One very common question I get from men and women alike is: how do I know who I should marry? And a not uncommon scenario is this: man meets woman and falls in love with her. He wants to know if this woman is right for him or not - he wants to know if this is his soul-mate and if the romantic feelings he is experiencing are in Yahweh's will. So he prays. And every time he prays about his beloved he gets these warm, passionate feelings. At night all he does is dream about her and finds himself in situations where everything is paradise. Later he marries the woman and finds out that she is very different to what he thought - reality is very different to the feelings he got in prayer and all those wonderful dreams. He realises that there are two totally different realities - or to be precise, the first one wasn't reality at all. It was all fantasy, idealised imagination.
I use this as an example as it's one of the most common and potent kinds of fantasy that men and women have. The falling-in-love bug has a negative impact in proportion to the way the one who has fallen in love sees life. As I said last week, we don't see things as they really are, but as we really are. And when men and women fall in love, they are often desperately seeking to fill an emptiness in their lives and are looking for magical solutions. Romantic love, however, does not solve spiritual issues, because romance is not psychotherapy or an instrument thereof. A person can fall in love with someone wonderful or someone utterly despicable and feel exactly the same feelings for both. And when they start idealising someone to the point that there is no resemblance to reality, you know that there is a very serious spiritual issue involved. What's actually happening, in most cases, is that the soul is looking for comfort in an alternative reality that seems to offer safety, comfort and protection from the real world outside.
Now I am not saying that imagination is bad. Imagination that operates within the secure borders of the real world and real people and is fenced in by the protective wall of Yahweh's Torah can be used for creative enterprise. When King David received inspiration to construct a temple for Yahweh and got the go-ahead through the prophet Nathan, he drew up plans and collected wealth and materials. He wasn't allowed to build the temple - to translate it into physical reality - but was blessed in the use of his creative mind allied to his heart which was operating in Yahweh's will. We need imagination to be creative - but that imagination was not given to us to create alternative realities to creep into and hide because we don't want to face the truth of the outside world and the truth of the cosmic reality of Yahweh. Imagination was not given to us to find false comfort zones or to conceal ourselves in the caves of wrong thinking. Imagination is to be used after reality has been established, not as a substitute for it.
We can enjoy harmless and beneficial imagination as well. We can crack jokes about an imaginary situation so long as we make it plain that it's not real. But imagination that seeks to escape from the unpleasant world of reality into a negative fantasy environment can harm both the one escaping as well as those that person is around. In my counselling of people I am coming across the destructive effects of negative fantasy all the time. A wife suspects her husband of being unfaithful and begins to imagine all sorts of lies about him. A wall of mistrust is created between the two. Their relationship gets strained. She won't take the word of the one she's closest to in this life but trusts instead outsiders who have far less investment or interest in the relationship succeeding. So she goes into the unknown and imagines things that are not real. Not only does she suffer, but her husband suffers, her children suffer, and her friends suffer because she is no longer open and free. And because she believes in a lie, demons have power over her. As the demonic gets stronger and stronger - as the lie gets more and more entrenched - it can create such oppression and friction that relationships can fall apart and families shatter. All because of a lie - all because of a fantasy and imagination abused.
Some people resort to fantasy simply to get attention. The hypochondriac, for instance, does not resist the physical symptoms of illness because they bring him the attention and sympathy he craves. His lack of resistance reveals a sickness which is not physical but spiritual. Well-adjusted people feel no need for drawing attention to themselves. The family's 'white sheep' - the wholesome, well-adjusted member - is often ignored or taken for granted. The spiritual 'black sheep' finds gratification from having the spotlight focused on him because of his constant complaining. Getting attention through illness is one of the weaknesses of the Anglo-Saxon people - for generations children have been imitating their parents by either making themselves out to be more ill than they really are or maintaining the illness in order to get attention. It has been physical as well as psychological. People often get ill or iller because of this fantasy world they choose to live in.
Creating alternative realities in order to get attention they feel they won't otherwise get is one of the commonest symptoms in our dysfunctional society. It's done individually, as families and as nations. Being a 'victim' is one of the most popular. Instead of dealing with reality and living responsibly, people are blaming ancestors or even genes. 'I am not responsible for what I am, what I think, what I feel or what I do' is the rallying cry of people who want attention. 'Satan made me do it' is one of the commonest excuses Christians make. 'I heard a voice in my head' is another. We are responsible for our own choices - no-one can assume responsibility for our own decision-making processes. If I buy a product which numerous people have warned me against, and it turns out to be faulty or dangerous, then I can't blame anyone other than myself for not listening or not doing proper research work. If I fall in love with someone, ignore advice, jump in and marry her, and she doesn't turn out to be at all what I fantasised, then whose fault is it? Hers or mine? And it doesn't have to be marriage - it can be a career, a vacation, a friendship, an investment - anything. Because people want instant gratification without responsibility, they just dive into their own fantasy worlds and get bitter when fantasy and reality collide.
One of the major problems in our modern world, I think, is what Dan Kiley called the 'Peter Plan Complex'. One of the most dangerous films ever released by Hollywood is, in my opinion, Peter Pan. This movie offers an escape from reality - an alternative world to the reality around us - it's a refusal to grow up and accept responsibility for life and living. Instead, they interact with the real world round about them much as a teenager interacts with a computer game. The real self stays hidden in a world of make believe while they project into the world outside an image which they feel others will accept. As Evan Baiylin wrote:
"These people learn how to game the adult world by conforming to its conventions, all the while secretly plotting to escape as soon as they have attained the resources to do so."
They're not interacting with real people heart-to-heart but with a projected image of themselves which is safe from being hurt. I call it a 'doll' - a doll which talks and acts like a perfectly ordinary human being - a doll which is extra sweet and kind in order to be liked and not rejected. The wall of emotional self-protection doesn't always work, or course, and when they do get hurt they often react like typical children by throwing a temper tantrum, as I discussed recently. Most of the adults out there in the real world are children pretending to be adults - they are living out their childhood fantasies to get rich, famous or have lots of lovers. They're seeking for attention because they're emotionally starved but because they are so dysfunctional they attempt to get recognition and acceptance by abnormal or immature means.
It is hard work maintaining the doll and sometimes the illusion can spin out of control as reality forces itself violently on them. Adult physical men and women who are small children inside, who subsequently marry, soon realise what each is up to - and they get sick of the dolls. They want to hold onto their own but at the same time demand their partner get rid of their own. Their partners throw back frightening mirrors at each other and they are either forced to confront reality or they come to a perverse sort of alliance and sustain one another in their own illusions. Yet they fail at what matters the most to them, and what they really want: intimate heart-to-heart contact. The problem is compounded by the fact that the longer this fantasy is spun and played out, the stronger the demonic powers become, and they will resist by all means their exposure and expulsion. The 'children within' come, as a result, to be quite nasty as they start resembling their demonic captors.
As ministers we are responsible to forcibly deal with the truth about such issues. Sadly, few ministers want to because they know the kind of trouble it will get them into. The demons, who have already messed up their victim's minds, then cause them to project and accuse those trying to help them of 'messing up their minds' even if the ministers have sat down and carefully explained the processes and risks involved. The demonic will always make you blame-shift. Recently a man was having lusty thoughts and blamed the imagined demons in someone else for those thoughts! That's blame-shifting. We, and we alone, are responsible for what we think and feel, and when we act negatively. We face three choices in dealing with these things: (1) to passively do nothing, (2) to actively blame others or (3) to actively resist the devil. The first two play into the enemy's hand and just make things worse.
Anyone who has failed to actively resist Satan's attacks upon his mind recognises the ugly symptoms. Christians give a frightening number of excuses for not resisting Satan. These are usually based on a passive stance resulting from too many years of worldly influence. And so, rather than face reality and taking control of their lives, and then giving their lives to Yah'shua fully, they retreat into the imaginary realm. However, a lifestyle of habitual failure to resist until Satan pushes you to the edge of the cliff - to the brink of disaster - can and must be changed if they are to mature and become conquerors and overcomers. We would do well to take seriously the advice David gave to Solomon:
"And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the Elohim of your father, and serve Him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for Yahweh searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will reject you forever (le-olam-va-ed)" (1 Chron.28:9, NIV).
"Wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind" - if you resist Yahweh, He will resist you. And if you forsake Yahweh, He will reject you and say he never knew you even if you have been doing miracles in Yah'shua's Name because it will all have been a pretence - an act - to serve a carnal, ulterior motive. And we should remember that wise King Solomon did not take his father's advice, did he? Yahweh searched his heart and found it corrupt - He looked at the motive behind his thoughts and saw that it was not, ultimately, pure. Instead, He found vain confidence and faithlessness. King Solomon himself said before his fall:
"There are six things Yahweh hates, seven that are detestable to Him: (1) haughty eyes, (2) a lying tongue, (3) hands that shed innocent blood, (4) a heart that devises wicked schemes, (5) feet that are quick to rush into evil, (6) a false witness who pours out lies and (7) a man who stirs up dissension among brothers" (Prov.6:16-19, NIV).
Do you hate these things? Do you detest them with all your heart? Does your blood boil when you see or hear of these behaviours in people? If you don't, you're not resisting. These things Yahweh hates. Do you remember what the word 'resist' means? It means to violently hate perpetually which to my mind implies just a little bit of passion. If you feel indifferent to these things - if your heart is not stirred, something is seriously wrong spiritually.
The reason Yahweh detests these seven traits is because they are rooted in Enemy #1 and the source of all trouble, namely PRIDE. Pride is insidious, developing slowly through the years. A person knows when he has stolen, lied, lusted, or gossiped, but is often unaware when pride has crept into his life. And what is pride? Pride is excessive self-esteem, of thinking too highly of oneself or opinions. Pride is conceit. Of the wicked, King David said: "pride is their necklace" (Ps.73:6, NIV) - they literally adorn themselves with it. Yahweh said through Amos: "I abhor the pride of Jacob and detest his fortresses; I will deliver up the city and everything in it" (Amos 6:8, NIV). What is the fate of 'Fortress Pride'? A handing over to the enemy because Yahweh abhors pride.
Enemy #2 is LYING. We learn to lie by copying others, and especially our parents. If parents are involved in dishonest activities and cover it up, their children will likely imitate them. Sadly, the majority of children today have been brought up to lie. Lying is endemic in society today that people don't think twice about it. Our politicians and government are prodigious liars. Their promises are like the wind.
Enemy #3 is VIOLENCE. The media have brainwashed us into thinking that violence is normal. Hollywood depicts criminals as heroes and our sympathies are conditioned to be with them rather than the police. And we are being taught that death is the only way to deal with our enemies. Satanic Ritual Abuse is ignored and dismissed as fantasy because the world élite is involved in it.
Last week I saw a film which opened my eyes as to the deviousness in which SRA is being protected. It was a modern documentary series, made in 2005, about witch-hunting in the 1600's when 1,000 Scandinavian women were falsely accused of being witches by children and were beheaded or burned to death My initial thoughts were: 'Uh oh, this is going to be an open attack on Christianity.' But to my huge surprise the series was surpassingly 'forgiving'. They said that the series of events had got out of control because of some misunderstandings that were peculiar to the time. I was shocked. Why so protective of Christianity in a country were Christianity is under major attack, with a leader of the Social Democrats here in Sweden recently comparing Christians to Nazis?
I remained baffled until later on in the series an event from the 1950's, in which children reported Satanic Ritual Abuse occurring, was mentioned. The commentator then pointed out that children witnesses were not reliable and that just as children had lied or distorted the truth in accusing women of being witches four centuries ago, so they were doing the same today. In other words, this was a deliberate cover-up for modern SRA. Clever. Very clever. If children are no longer believable, and since hard-core Satanists or devil-worshippers abuse children from the time they are born, they now have a justification for dismissing the witness of children. It meant saying nice things about 17th century Christians who were 'gullible' for assuming the children were always truthful but who were, in the circumstances, not to be blamed for the murder of these women. Here lies conspire to protect violence.
Defending righteousness, protecting the innocent, and eliminating sadistic torture is necessary. However, we must avoid opposing the will of our Heavenly Father. We want to hate what Yahweh hates and love what Yahweh loves. We want, like Him, to hate sin but love the sinner. Yahweh repeatedly instructs us to love our enemies. For this reason we cannot possibly justify violence - whether physical or mental torture - against any creature. We are expected to cultivate the love and forgiveness which Yah'shua demonstrated in life and in death.
Evil #4 is HEARTS THAT INVENT EVIL IMAGINATIONS. If someone offends you, resist that flood of imagined calamities which could befall him. Don't wish him dead! Pray for him, even if he despitefully uses you (Lk.6:28), and let Yahweh pass judgement and sentence. Don't go plotting someone's ruin because it is you who will be ruined in the end. Do unto others what you would wish them to do unto you. Do what Yah'shua would have you do.
Evil #5 is FEET THAT RUN SWIFTLY TO DO MISCHIEF. These are people who enjoy trouble, either causing it or relishing it. The fact that they do it 'swiftly' implies that they get a thrill from the lifestyle. They just can't wait to 'spread dirt' about others and drag them through the mire. They quickly make any difficulty they hear the focal point of their conversations. They want to tear down rather than build up. They may want to sound 'reasonable' by claiming that people should believe in whatever they want to but secretly they want everyone to believe as they do. These people enjoy life's negatives because they themselves are negative. They especially resent the positive people around them. They want everyone to be as miserable as themselves.
Evil #6 is FALSE WITNESS. 6,000 years of suffering by the innocent is testimonial enough to the wickedness of being a false witness. Yahweh enshrined it as one of the Ten Commandments. And the innocent are still suffering today because of it.
Evil #7 is SOWING DISCORD AMONG THE BRETHREN. It is a lot easier to tear down than to build up. A beautiful classical building like a cathedral can be demolished by a bomb in less than a minute but it may have taken a lifetime to build. It's easy to spread gossip and cause division within the Messianic Community. Yahweh hates this - Satan loves it. I always mistrust someone who tears something apart but has nothing to replace it with, and especially if he isn't willing to sacrifice for it. It's easy to forget that people may have sacrificed their lives for something. Satan builds nothing. He creates chaos out of suspicion and fear and then offers dictatorship as a solution to the problem he has created himself. People are the same.
Now these are just seven things that we are commanded to resist, picked out from a proverb of Solomon. Yah'shua tells us to resist other things too. We are to resist anger and turn the other cheek (Mt.5:39). We are to come to agreement with our enemies instead of being dragged to court. He warns against the compulsion to always be right and the tendency toward extreme competition. He warns us about carnal, lustful thoughts and says that the sin we commit in our hearts is almost as bad as the sin of commission (Mt.5:28). He also warned about not allowing one part of the physical body dominate the rest - an eye, a hand or the mind might be the cause of a downfall. Indeed, the list of things to resist is endless - hatred, greed, animosity, envy, jealousy, lies, flattery, being spoiled, having to dominate the conversation or events, self-centredness, and so on. Paul said:
"Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Messiah Yah'shua, because through Messiah Yah'shua the law of the Ruach of life set me free from the torah of sin and death. For what the Torah was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, Elohim did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so He condemned sin in sinful man, in order that the righteous requirements of the Torah might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Ruach. Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Ruach have their minds set on what the Ruach desires. The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Ruach is life and peace; the sinful mind is hostile to Elohim. It does not submit to Elohim's Torah, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please Elohim" (Rom.8:1-8, NIV).
Now you and I know that things like stealing, committing adultery, offending one's neighbour, gossiping or putting someone else down, are evil (though amazingly, today, a lot of Christians seem to be ignorant about even these basics). When Yah'shua said: "Why do you entertain evil thoughts in your hearts?" (Matt.9:4, NIV), He wasn't talking to atheists but to a religious crowd. Religious people think evil too. The fact that you call yourself a Christian doesn't ipso facto make you righteous. What, then, was wrong with these religious people? They lacked something fundamental, and Paul tells us what:
"Love ... thinks no evil" (1 Cor.13:5, NKJV)
or as another version puts it, "keeps no record of wrongdoing" (NIV). Yes, they lacked love, and in its absence, their religion counted for nothing. Evil is the opposite of good, and evil opposes Yahweh Who is love. Religious people do think and commit evil - all the time. Yahweh doesn't accept you because you are religious but because you are loving - and that loving is defined by truth. To avoid evil, we have to learn to think as Yahweh thinks, and do as Yahweh does. There is no other way to avoid thinking evil. Evil thoughts are not harmless just because you can see them. Paul contradicts the lie that our thoughts don't matter provided we don't carry them out physically when he said:
"Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgement, in accordance with the measure of faith Elohim has given you" (Rom.12:3-4, NIV).
Did you know that the word 'think' here translates the Greek word phroneo from which we get the English word 'pornography'? Everyone knows that pornography begins with the thoughts. This verse of Scripture literally means that no one should "over-think beyond what it behoves him to think" (Vine's Expository Dictionary, Vol.4, p.127). In other words, don't think beyond what you're supposed to think. Remain firmly rooted in truth and reality. Don't let your mind wander off into lawlessness and fantasy. Learn to think in positive, Torah-honouring habits. Learn from that Scripture and let the Ruach haQodesh teach you in different situations. Stay with what you know, don't wander off into the unknown and start imagining things. Be single-minded, not double-minded. Choose properly, don't have reserve 'Plan-B's' in case your faith in Yahweh is misplaced. Imitate the prophet Elisha. When you know the Truth, commit to it 100% by burning your oxen and plough so you can't go back to your old, unprofitable habits (1 Ki.19:21). Do things wholeheartedly, without doubting, with a full investment of your being.
I wonder if you have ever driven down a muddy dirt road in a car? The first vehicle to do this makes a track. Eventually it becomes a deep rut, doesn't it? When you think a certain way for a long time, you create deep 'ruts' in your mind. Only by exerting a great effort will you be able to discipline your mind into making 'new tracks' of thinking patterns. It takes time to 'reprogram' your thought patterns from negative to positive so don't be discouraged if good results are not immediate. Just be sure you don't go back to the old ruts and make them even deeper.
The Bible teaches that we need a 'new mind'. It must be developed until we are controlled by it instead of our old carnal mind. That old programming has to cease being used and then finally deleted permanently:
"The mind controlled by the Ruach is life and peace; the sinful mind is hostile to Elohim. It does not submit to Elohim's law, nor can it do so" (Rom 8:6b-7, NIV).
I want you to note the words, "nor can it do so". The carnal or sinful mind cannot be trained to submit to Torah. It's impossible. That's like trying to make pornography pure by getting Christian men and women to become the photographic models. Yes, believe it or not, there are misguided and deceived carnal 'Christians' who believe in 'Christian pornography' as I've mentioned to you once before. Needless to say the sinful people proposing this also advocate BDSM, onanism and other sinful practices. This means that the carnal or sinful mind has to be given to Yah'shua to be removed while we retrain ourselves to think the way Yahweh wants us to think by studying scripture, imitating spiritual men and women and listening carefully to the Ruach. In short, we have to listen to the right source - there are plenty of 'sources' out there which would train you in sin.
How do we deal with unspiritual thoughts, irrespective of the source - whether internally or externally perceived? By contradicting them with truth and affirming that we choose the truth in Yah'shua.
What about so-called 'random thoughts'? Again, irrespective of the source, we must control such thoughts if the new mind is to be effective.
Have you ever had the experience where the brain seems to just 'think all on its own'? Again, irrespective of what's actually happening or what the origin of this is, recognise that that something is wrong and resist those thoughts when they are presented.
Let's say you are introduced to someone you don't know and you hear a thought inside you say: 'I don't think I'm going to like this person', instantly resist the thought, irrespective of its source, as being unchristian. You're prejudging and pre-programming yourself. Listen to the Ruach instead.
There can be all sorts of programming in our head that will take time to erase. If we have been trained to think negatively, every time we hear something positive, a negative thought may suddenly appear out of nowhere to contradict it. Counter the negativity by resisting with a positive statement that represents the new mind, not your old one.
Finally, resist quick responses - give yourself time to think before you speak, no matter how much pressure you might be under. The Bible says:
"If you have devised evil, put your hand on your mouth" (Prov.30:32, NKJV).
That's more or less saying what I have told you about the unredeemed mind. Discipline yourself into new habits as the Ruach cleanses you and as you develop new habits. Even if evil thoughts surface desiring expression, don't let your tongue speak them, even if you have to physically place your hand on your mouth - that's how Yahweh wants you to start your training in self-discipline! Learn the lesson of Joshua who led the children of Israel in the seeming impossible task of capturing the fortress of Jericho. Joshua did not allow them to say what they were thinking. You see, he knew a great truth: If left unspoken, thoughts of doubt and unbelief will not pass into the heart where faith dwells. Instead, he made the children of Israel march round the walls of Jericho in silence! Yah'shua said:
"A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks" (Luke 6:45, NKJV).
We have the choice to bring out whatever we want. Choose to bring out the good rather than the evil. The apostle James said:
"Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that Elohim desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you" (James 1:19-21, NIV).
Now admittedly this is not easy in a society where everything around you encourages you back to the old mindset. That's why the media is especially dangerous because it encourages it - it encourages us, through rôle-playing, to start thinking as the world does again; and even if we are not aware of it consciously, it is happening unconsciously. With all the best will in the world, we are being programmed when we allow ourselves to be entertained by the world. The creators of our entertainments aren't fools - there is systematic brainwashing going on. 'Society,' says Evan Baiylin, 'runs like a well-oiled machine. The media enforces its ethics and people become intoxicated with normalcy'. And that's the problem - because everyone's doing it, because we've maybe done it all our lives, we accept it as 'normal' and do something fatal - we relax in it when we should be resisting it! And the more you immerse yourself in it, the more acclimatised you get to it and the more 'normal' it seems to you until, before you know it, you have retreated to the old carnal mind again and suddenly find yourself being turned off by Christian ways - you start wanting the fleshpots of Egypt again! And I am not necessarily talking about crass immorality here but simply relaxing in the atmosphere or worldliness which by definition is anti-law and anti-responsibility. Remember, that 'atmosphere' of indifference, carelessness and sleepiness is mediated by a territorial demon - anything that is not of Yahweh, or under His authority, is by definition of something else and of that-something-else's authority. It stands to reason. That is why we must dedicate and purify ourselves so that we have a spiritual sanctuary where we can genuinely relax and bathe in the atmosphere of the Ruach Elohim.
This may sound very esoteric but really it's very simple. It's simply dealing with realities which we might otherwise choose not to see because of laziness. And I admit life in this world of darkness is energy-consuming. Being around people who love the world is draining if you open yourselves to them. Just like water moves by gravity over the ground of least resistance, so the spirit of carnal man moves between people along the paths of least spiritual resistance. People are open sewers these days and they are connected by intoxicating cords formed by music beating out a dull, monotonous, self-centred message and not infrequently invoking demons either audibly in the lyrics or subliminally. We have to resist the influence of ungodly music too and learn to cut it out. We are not to emotionally bathe in its dirty waters.
May I end today with a topic which I know affects everyone to one degree or another, a rather depressing one? It's called 'depression'. How does one resist the forces behind that? Depression is an emotional condition characterised by gloom, dejection, sadness, discouragement and a feeling of inadequacy. Most people only experience depression occasionally, others maybe a couple of times a week. But for the rest, depression is a whole lifestyle. Such people are forever holding 'pity parties' and constantly feeling sorry for themselves.
So how does depression start? People usually feel dejected or inadequate because, in their own eyes, they don't measure up when they compare themselves with parents or peers. When these feelings ease into everyday life, they become pathologically depressed. As negativism is the opposite of positivism, and discouragement the opposite of encouragement, so depression is the opposite of joy or cheerfulness.
Depressed people broadcast their feelings. They spread a spirit of gloom and despair wherever they go. And unfortunately, some people in this mental state commit suicide or homicide. This alone should set of alarm bells, warning us that this state of being is not safe and that its source is not benevolent or of Yahweh. We have to come to recognise depression as an emotional enemy which can be overcome with a good dose of the 'antihistamine' of solid resistance. Now whether all depression originates with Satan or not is hard to say, but what one can say is that Satan makes good use of it. The Enemy always takes advantage of our weak moments, and depression very definitely opens up spiritual doors, making us more liable to attack than usual. You'd be surprised how depression animates the demons in others around you into life in a bid to try and control or manipulate you.
Have you ever woken up in the morning and felt: 'Oh dear, it's going to be one of those days'. Now this feeling could be triggered by a lack of sleep, a shortage of money, improper clothing for the day's events, a stuffy nose or almost anything trivial. Or it could be because of dreams in which we have made wrong subconscious choices and have opened doors to demonic attack. Whatever the cause, if you wake up and say, 'It's going to be one of those days', and continue saying throughout the day, 'It's one of those days', you are preconditioning yourself with negative words - you are stating that it's going to be a bad day no matter what. And surprise, surprise, things go wrong all day long. Saying 'It's one of those days' is just a form of fatalism and it is not from Yahweh. It comes from the Enemy who wishes to discourage you.
Say NO! to this attitude! Take decisive action to prevent this happening - you have the power of choice to do so. Turn your speech against Satan and oppose him violently. Tell him you refuse to have a bad day or to give into emotion. Quote Scripture. Sing spiritual songs. Praise Yahweh-Elohim! But don't precondition yourself to a day's depression. And you know what? It only takes a minute to do this. Declare how much you have to be thankful for. Count your blessings.
I remember a few weeks ago I felt really depressed as I looked at all the difficulties and challenges my family and I were facing. I felt like hiding in a corner and hoping everything would go away. So what did I do? I made a choice. And even though my soul was protesting vehemently, I grabbed a Bible, sat down in a comfortable chair, and started reading the Psalms. By the time I had read four psalms my soul was lifted up, and whilst I wasn't exactly brimming with joy, I did feel a strength returning to me and went out to deal with a particular issue. I could have given up and hidden but I chose not to. I chose to fill my mind with Yahweh's Word and let Him do the rest. And He did.
Now a spirit of thankfulness is a form of resistance to Satan and to depression. You can offset feelings of inadequacy and a 'pity party' by thanksgiving. Do you remember one of the triads I told you about last week?
"Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful" (Col.4:2, NIV).
When depression strikes out, you have to be sufficiently watchful so that you head into prayer and thankfulness. Depression results in heaviness. When a demon tries to stamp out your desire to be normal, do what Isaiah says: exchange a spirit of mourning for a garment of praise (Isa.61:3).
May I suggest 10 'commandments' for resisting depression?
- 1. Stop blaming others for your feelings - your feelings will change;
- 2. Check your priorities - put the important ones first;
- 3. Try to spot the cause of your insecurities - it could be a carry-over from childhood;
- 4. Evaluate your losses - if a loss is causing your depression, it may not be important;
- 5. When you feel a low time coming, stay active;
- 6. Even though you may not feel like it, speak loud words of praise and victory in Yah'shua - vocal expression dominates feelings;
- 7. Triumphantly read aloud a large portion of Scripture;
- 8. Be selective with whom you share - you need strength, not sympathy;
- 9. Pray in the Ruach haQodesh a great deal; and
- 10. When your thoughts start turning toward yourself, do something quickly for someone else.
Now it may be that there is an issue that needs careful attention - if that is so, follow the ten 'commandments' in the meantime until you have the time to look into matters more closely.
Next week I want to continue with this important theme. May you be blessed by El Elyon as you take up the sword and resist the enemy ever more firmly - remember, resist with perpetual violence against, and hate of, all sin - but love all people! Because Satan is coming against you with violence as Yah'shua warned:
"And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force" (Matt.11:12-13, NKJV).
Our warfare is against the demonic powers and principalities, and we war in Yah'shua's Name by standing up against them in spiritual warfare - in active, violent offensive attacks. That means the men of the kingdom have to be real men and not wimps - Yahweh did not make men to be weak, cowardly and ineffectual but to stand up for the truth in His power by surrendering self-sovereignty and the illusion of carnal 'strength' to Him. The cowardly do not inherit the Kingdom of Elohim (Rev.20:8), only the overcomers. How do you cease being a coward? By choosing not to be one and letting Yah'shua expose the lies in your system that make you cowardly. You were not born to be a coward! You were born in Yahweh-Elohim's image! And that goes for the women too. "Take courage!" Yah'shua said to His disciples (Ac.23:11, NIV). "Don't be afraid", Yahweh and Yah'shua say 69 times in Scripture. Overcome your fear by letting Yah'shua take charge. He is capable - more than capable. Dare to do good, dare to be real, dare to be true, dare to be spiritually naked before your Creator and to end all pretence, acting and lying. Choose not to be a wimp any longer! Say what you really mean and feel, and then deal with the reality of yourself, however ugly and shameful it may be. Yah'shua will not reject you for being real if your intention is to surrender to Him. Then He'll make you a real man or woman, and not the empty, lifeless action-man toy or charming doll of the demonic. Take the bull by the horns and do something now - repent, change direction, be revolted by the demonic behaviour that reduces you into a mere puppet of Satan. Declare your independence from Satan and bow the knee to Yahweh. At least surrender to the One who loves you and will take care of you. Imitate Joshua, whose name is the same as our Deliverer, Yah'shua, who said to the children of Israel as they went to war:
"Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Be strong and courageous. This is what Yahweh will do to all the enemies you are going to fight" (Josh.10:25-26, NIV).
Take the bull by the horns, no matter your situation, and get to work! Amen.
- Dr. Roy Hicks, The Power of Positive Resistance (Harrison House, 1964)
Click here for Part 3
|Glossary of MLT Hebraic, Greek and English Terms |
For other terms and full details please see the Micropedia
AGlossary Copyright ©2007 Mishpachah Lev-Tsiyon (MLT) - All Rights Reserved
Adon(ai) = Master, a pagan fertility god, Adonis; used by many Messianics but not MLT
(a)eon(ian) = 7 dispensation- or age-long time periods, not forever (see le-olam-va-ed)
Alef-Tav = Alpha-Omega, A-Z, first and last letters of the Hebrew alphabet = Yah'shua
Amen = truly, let it be so, written Amein by some Messianics
Apocrypha = Hebraic Scriptures not a part of the Protestant canon (e.g. Baruch)
Anti-Messiah = Hebraic term for the end-time Antichrist or anyone opposed to the Messiah
antinomian = lawless Christian who disregards all or part of Torah/commandments
Ashkenazi Jew = East European Jew descended from the Turkic-Japhethite Khazars
Assembly = church, congregation, ekklesia, community, fellowship, koinonia, gathering
Azazel = the Yom Kippur scapegoat
Baal, Ba'al = any other master than Yahweh, usually demonic in MLT terminology
Bachor(im) = firstborn son(s)
Bar/Bat Mitzvah = Son/Daughter of Commandment, covenant to obey Torah at age 12
being = soul, the whole person (spirit and body), e.g. "my whole being"
Beit, bet, beth = house, e.g. Beit Yisrael (House of Israel), Beth Lechem (House of Bread)
Beit haMikdash = Yahweh's Temple in Yerushalayim
B'rit Chadashah = the New Covenant; B'rit Chadashah Scriptures = New Testament
B'rit Milah = circumcision - abolished in the B'rit Chadashah, replaced by Mikvah
canon = authoritative Scripture (Heb. qaneh, Gk. kanŰn = measuring instrument)
Catechumen = a serious, covenanted investigator seeking Mikvah or Baptism in MLT
Chag haMatzah = Feast of Unleavened Bread, second of the annual feasts of Yahweh
Chavurat Bekorot = MLT's Priesthood Order, Holy Order and Assembly of the Firstborn
Cohen = priest; Cohen Gadol = High Priest (also spelled Kohen)
Council of Yah's elohim = the heavenly Assembly of the Firstborn or Chavurat Bekorot
demon = fallen malek or angel in rebellion against Yahweh (Heb. shad; see l-Shaddai)
derech = the Way, Path or Road - Yah'shua and the Gospel are the Way
Drash = moral or homiletic interpretation of Scripture - see PaRDeS
Echad = One, Union of two or more in one (as opposed to Yachid) - see Elohim
Echad Godhead Doctrine = Father Yahweh, Son Yah'shua and Sevenfold Ruach (Mother)
Êl, Eloah, Elah = God the Father, Yahweh
Êl-Elyon = Most High God, Yahweh
Êl-Shaddai = Master/Lord over all shads or demons
Elohim = God, the Godhead (Father, Son & Holy Spirit), lit. 'Mighty One(s)', 'Ruler(s)'
elohim = Israelite judges, rulers, angels or gods (false deities, idols, demons)
emunah = faith, actively trusting, clinging or adhering to (especially Yahweh or Yah'shua)
emet = truth, Yah'shua is the Emet
Ephraimite = descendant of the patriarch Ephraim and head of Messsianic Israel
Feasts of Yahweh = the 7 annual Moedim (Pesach, Chag haMatzah, Yom haBikkurim, Shavu'ot, Yom Teruah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot)
Gan-Eden = Garden of Eden, Paradise and state of the purified heart in Messiah
goy(im) = nation(s), Israelites or gentiles not born in or converted to the Covenant
hallelu-Yah = praise Yah(weh)!
Heylel = proper name of Satan or haSatan = the Adversary, the devil
Sabbath = Yom Shabbat (Friday to Saturday sunset, add 1 day in IDL Zone)
Hochmah = Wisdom, title of the 7-fold Ruach haQodesh
IDL = International Date Line, false man-made time division in Pacific Ocean
IDL Zone = Area between the true Divine Date Line (Lake Van/Eden) and the false one
Israeli = citizen of the modern Edomite-Khazar Republic of Israel (not Biblical Israel)
Israelite = citizen of biblical state of Israel or a modern follower of the Messiah
Jew = post-biblical term describing descendants of Edomite and Khazar converts to Judaism
Johannine = pertaining to the Apostle Yochanan (e.g. Gospel of John)
Josephite = descendant of the patriarch Joseph, the head of Messianic Israel
Judahite = a person in direct descent from the patriarch Judah, forefather of the Messiah
Judaism = a Talmudic-based religion rejecting Yah'shua the Messiah
Judean = a citizen of the Kingdom or Province of Judah until the 2nd Century diaspora
Kadosh la Yahweh = set-apart or dedicated to Yahweh, 'Holiness to the Lord', MLT motto
Karaites = Jews (from 700 AD) who reject the Talmud and accept only the Tanakh
kashrut = keeping kosher, food laws of Yahweh and correspinding lifestyle
Ketuvim = Writings or Hagiographa of the Tanakh
Khazar = a Turkic convert to Judaism ~700 AD forming the Ashkenazi Jewish community
kosher = clean foods authorised by Yahweh for human consumption
Lashon Hara = evil-speaking, gossip or slander
legalism = false route to salvation through works (self-salvation)
le-olam-va-ed = dispensation- or age-long, aeonian, not eternal, forever or for eternity
Lev = heart, as in Lev-Tsiyon = heart of Zion
Lev-Tsiyon = Heart of the Fortress [of Yahweh], Hebrew name of MLT's founder
Master = Lord, Sir, Adon(ai) - (one in authority, a ruler - a king, husband, prophet, judge)
Malak(im) = Angel(s), heavenly supernatural messenger(s)
manna = wafers of honey, bread from heaven (lit. 'what is this?')
matzah = unleavened bread, see Chag haMatzah
Menorah = 7-armed candlearbra = the 7 annual Moedim and 7-fold Ruach haQodesh
Messiah = Christ; Anti-Messiah = Antichrist
Messianic Community = Body of Christ, sum total of all true believers; all true fellowships
Messianic Israel = all who worship Yahweh, trust in Yah'shua, obey Torah and overcome
Messianic Jew = Messianic convert from Judaism still clinging to Talmudic traditions
Midrash = aggadic interpretation of scripture vi‚ Drash, a scriptural discussion
Mikvah = baptism by immersion of convert into Yah'shua or of wife into husband
Mishpachah = family: nuclear, congregational, tribal or the whole of Messianic Israel
MLT = Mishpachah Lev-Tsiyon = family of the heart of the fortress [of Yahweh]
Mishpat = right-ruling or judgement
mitzvah/mitzvot = commandment(s)
moed(im) = appointment(s) of Yahweh, 7 Annual Feasts, Sabbath and Rosh Chodesh
Nefilim, Nephilim = giant offspring of materialised demons and human women
Nevi'im = prophetic writings of the Old Testament or Tanakh
New Birth = spiritual conversion in the Ruach haRishon, being 'born again' with new heart
Nidah = a woman's menstruation period during which no intercourse is permitted
Olive Branch = collection of revelations, prophecies and visions published by MLT
Paraclete = Comforter, Advocate (NEB), Counsellor, Ruach haQodesh (Gk. paraklÍtos)
PaRDeS = method of textual interpretation (homiletics) - see P'shat, Remez, Drash, Sod
Patriarch = a father who is head of his family, clan or tribe (lit. 'father-ruler')
Pentateuch = first five books of the Tanakh (Genesis-Deuteronomy), also called Torah
peribolaion = headcovering worn by daughters/wives in submission to fathers/husbands
Pesach = Passover, first of the annual feasts of Yahweh
Peshitta = an Aramaic version of the Bible
Prototrinitarianism = early, simplified MLT formulation of the Echad Godhead Doctrine
Prush(im) = Pharisee(s)
Pseudepigrapha = Non-canonical Hebrew writings additional to the Apocrypha
P'shat = literal, contextual, philological, exoteric, outer meaning of Scripture - see PaRDeS
Qadosh Qadoshim = Holy of Holies, most sacred set-apart room of the Beit haMikdash
Qodesh, Kodesh = set-apart, holy (see Ruach haQodesh)
Rabbi = Teacher, term used by Messianic Jews and some Messianic Israelites = Pastor
Refuge, the 12 Cities of = divinely protected MLT fortresses during the 7-year Tribulation
Remez = hint or allegorical level of Hebraic understanding of Scripture - see PaRDeS
Rosh Chodesh = monthly New Moon appointment of Yahweh
ruach = spirit of a person (lit.'breath')
Ruach Elohim = Spirit of God (the Spirit of the collective Godhead or Elohim)
Ruach haChamashee = 5th Ruach presides over Yom Teruah and Yom Chamashee
Ruach haQodesh = the Sevenfold Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost (lit. 'Set-Apart Breath')
Ruach haRevee = 4th Ruach presides over Shavu'ot, Yom Revee and Bar Mitzvah
Ruach haRishon = 1st Ruach presides over Pesach, Yom Rishon and the New Birth
Ruach haShanee = 2nd Ruach presides over Chag haMatzah and Yom Shanee
Ruach haSheshi = 6th Ruach presides over Yom Kippur and Yom Sheshi
Ruach haShleshi = 3rd Ruach presides over Yom haBikkurim, Yom Shleshi and Mikvah
Sabbath = Yom Shabbat (Friday to Saturday sunset, add 1 day in IDL Zone)
Satan = rebel archangel Heylel, father of lies, devil, chief demon (lit.'Adversary')
Sephardic Jew = West European Jew of mixed blood containing many Judahites
Septuagint = Greek translation of the Tanakh, LXX
Shegal haShabbat = 7th Ruach (Sabbath Queen) presides over Sukkot and Yom Shabbat
Shekinah = Divine Presence and Glory of Yahweh-Elohim
Set-apart = holy, sanctified, consecrated, dedicated, separated (to and by Yahweh)
Shabbat-Shabbaton = High Sabbath (e.g. Yom Kippur)
Shalom = heavenly peace, standard Hebraic greeting invoking Yahweh's peace
Shamash(im) = servant(s), deacon(s), attendant(s)
Shavu'ot = Pentecost or Weeks, fourth of the annual feasts of Yahweh
Sheol = grave or pit, euphamism for Hades or hell - also see Tartarus
shofar = ram's horn, blown during Yahweh's Moedim
simcha = joy, keynote of Sukkot
Sod = mystical, anagogic, inner or esoteric understanding of Scripture - see PaRDeS
Sukkot = Tabernacles or Booths, seventh of the annual feasts of Yahweh
Synagogue = Greek word used by Jews and Messianics (but not MLT) for a meeting house
talmid(a) = male/female disciple or student
Talmud = scriptures, teachings and commentaries belonging to non-Messianic Judaism
Tanakh = acronym for Old Testament Scriptures - Torah, Nevi'im & Ketuvim
Tartarus = place of imprisonment under the earth for rebellious angels and Nephilim
teshuvah = repentance, remorse and contrition leading back to Torah obedience
Torah = Yahweh's teachings or Law; New Covenant Torah includes Yah'shua's teachings
Tribulation, the Great = the final 7 years of the present aeon when Anti-Messiah rules
Trinity = Catholic Godhead formula - see Echad Godhead Doctrine and Prototrinitarianism
Tsiyon = Zion, a fortress, a name of Jerusalem and a prominent hill
Tzitzit/Tizitziyot = tassel(s) worn by men in remembrance of Torah
Universalism = salvation of all at the cosmic Yovel, with different rewards and punishments
Yachid = one, single person or item, as opposed to Echad (many in one, unity)
Yah'shua the Messiah = Jesus Christ (the Son)
Yahudah = Judah - see Judahite
Yahweh, Yah, YHWH = the true Name of our Heavenly Father, also carried by Yah'shua
Yahweh-Elohim = LORD God (the Father, Yahweh as Head of the Godhead or Elohim)
Yahweh haQatan = the sent Yahweh = Yah(weh)'shua, Malak of Yahweh's Presence
Yam Suf = Sea of Reeds, the true Israelite Exodus water crossing, not the Red Sea
Yarden = Jordan River (lit. 'meanderer')
Yerushalayim = Jerusalem
Yisrael = Israel (lit. 'ruling with l') = true believers under the New Covenant
Yom Chamashee = 5th day of the week (Thursday, Friday in IDL Zone)
Yom Din, Yom haDin = (the) Day of Judgement
Yom haBikkurim = Feast of Firstfruits, third of the annual feasts of Yahweh
Yom Revee = 4th day of the week (Wednesday, Thursday in IDL Zone)
Yom Rishon = 1st day of the week (Sunday, Monday in IDL Zone)
Yom Kippur = Day of Atonement, sixth of the annual feasts of Yahweh
Yom Shabbat = 7th day of the week and Sabbath Rest (Saturday, Sunday in IDL Zone)
Yom Shanee = 2nd day of the week (Monday, Tuesday in IDL Zone)
Yom Sheshi = 6th day of the week (Friday, Saturday in IDL Zone)
Yom Shleshi = 3rd day of the week (Tuesday, Wednesday in IDL Zone)
Yom Teruah = Day of Trumpets, fifth of the annual feasts of Yahweh
Yosef = Joseph - see Josephite
Yovel = Jubilee or Year of Jubilee
Zaqen(im) = elder(s) of an assembly or congregation, or senior members of a community
ZoŽ Life = Greek term for spiritual life in the Messiah
Commonly Used MLT Abbreviations
For additional abbreviations and explanations,
please see the Micropedia
Amp.V(er). = Amplified Version of the Bible
Aram. = Aramaic
AV = Authorised Version of the Bible - see KJV
BCAY = B'rit Chadashah Assembly of Yahweh - see NCCG
BoA = Books of Abraham (e.g. 1Abr., 2Abr., etc.)
cp, cf = compare with
CB(Q) = Chavurat Bekorot
CEV = Contemporary English Version of the Bible
ch. = chapter
CJB = Complete Jewish Bible
CLNT = Concordant Literal New Testament
CYe = Council of Yah's elohim
Eng. = English
ff. = and onwards/forwards
fn = footnote
Gk. = Greek
GNB = Good News Bible - see TEV
Heb. = Hebrew, Hebraic
HEM = Holy Echad Marriage, eternal marriage
HO = Holy Order - see Chavurat Bekorot
HOC = Holy Order Collection of revelations - see OB
HRV = Hebraic-Roots Version of the Bible
ibid. = ibidem (lit. 'in the same place'), referring to a book previously cited
ICJC = Independent Church of Jesus Christ, earlier name of NCCF
ISRV = Institute for Scripture Research Version of the Bible
JB = Jerusalem Bible
JBP/Phillips = J.B.Phillips translation of the New Testament
JNT = Jewish New Testament
KJV = King James Version of the Bible - see AV
LB = Living Bible
lit. = literally or literature
LXX = Septuagint, Greek translation of the OT
MLT = Mishpachah Lev-Tsiyon
Moff. = Moffatt translation of the Bible
MRC = Messianic Renewed Covenant Version of the NT
MS(S) = Manuscript(s)
NASB, NASV = New American Standard Bible/Version
NC&C = New Covenants & Commandments - see OB
NCCF = New Covenant Christian Fellowship, earlier name of NCCG
NCCG = New Covenant Church of God, earlier name of MLT - see BCAY
NCP = New Covenant Press, publishing arm of MLT
NCW = New Covenant Witness, MLT magazine
NEB = New English Bible
NIV = New International Version of the Bible
NKJV = New King James Version of the Bible
Nor. = Norwegian
NT = New Testament, B'rit Chadashah
NWT = New World Translation of the Bible, unreliable Jehovah's Witness version
OB = Olive Branch - see NC&C
op.cit. = opere citato (lit. in the work cited)
OT = Old Testament, Tanakh
p(p). = page(s)
pl. = plural - see s.
PWNC = Prophetic Words of the New Covenant, revelation cataloging system - see OB
QED = quod erat demonstrandum (lit. which was shown to be proved)
RCF = Restoration Christian Fellowship, earlier name of ICJC
RhQ = Ruach haQodesh, Holy Spirit
RSTNE = Restoration Scriptures True Name Edition of the Bible
RSV = Revised Standard Version of the Bible
RV = Revised Version of the Bible
s. = singular - see pl.
S&G = Smith & Goodspeed Version of the Bible
TEV = Today's English Version of the Bible - see GNB
Vulg. = Biblia Vulgata, Latin Vulgate translation of the Bible
WEB = World English Bible
This page was first created on 20 March 2007
Last updated on 20 March 2007
Copyright ©2007 Mishpachah Lev-Tsiyon (MLT) - All Rights Reserved