Tag Archives: spirit

Demons with Job Titles & the ‘Spirit’ of Biblical Abuse . . .

Sometimes, unwilling to accept that we may be the cause of sickness or feelings such as anger, depression, or sadness, we seek to blame other people or specific demons with job titles. This is unfortunate because it makes possible the shirking of personal ownership and repentance as well as the growth of grace in us as we deal with difficult people and difficult circumstances.

The idea of naming spirits in an effort to place blame for our bad circumstances comes from a few Scriptural references that, in context, only refer to a state of mind or personal attitude.

For instance: Numbers 5:14 refers to a spirit of jealousy; Deuteronomy 34:9 introduces a spirit of wisdom; Isaiah 19:14 introduces a spirit of distortion; Isaiah 61:3 mentions a spirit of fainting; Romans 8:15 warns of a spirit of slavery; 1Corinthians 4:21 describes a possible spirit of gentleness; Ephesians 1:17 reveals a spirit of wisdom; 2Timothy 1:7 includes a spirit of timidity.

Some people name other spirits such as ‘heaviness’ or ‘depression’ or ‘jezebel’ to make sense of how they feel or others behave. Remember that all spiritual beings are creations regardless of whether they’re demons or the spirit within us, and all have a leader – either God or Satan. So, what about Satan? Perhaps another time . . .

For anyone who believes they’re being hounded, possessed, influenced, or hindered by a demonic spirit of ‘this or that’: Just remember that those of us who truly have given ourselves to God through faith and obedience have nothing to worry about – we’ll remain beyond reach of any temptation or oppression demonic spirits can initiate. In addition to God’s protection, we also have wisdom and guidance through His Spirit.

Keep an eye out for “Finding Answers to Stuff Churches Don’t Discuss!” scheduled for a mid-2015 publication. There, you’ll find roughly 60 topics related to daily life (such as sex, religion, finances, tattooing, and everything in between!) along with practical application of God’s guidance for navigating those difficult waters!

And, for a very comprehensive and detailed study of the very important topic of God’s judgment to come and being rescued from it, feel free to read my 2011 guide titled, “Finding the End of the World” available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and from www.ronbraley.com in paper and e-book formats. In the guide, you’ll find roughly 500 pages of building blocks to help you do your own complete and unbiased study based on Scripture and history!

Apocalyptic Misquotes . . . Part V

“God Needs an Audience”

Misquote: “Where two or three are gathered, God’s there too!

I’d always found this popular church cliché confusing, as it indicates that God needs an audience to show up. The basic truth is that God and our Christ are in heaven – the kingdom of God – making preparation for coming reconciliation of the saints to our God . . . and judgment. In the meantime, those who have entered into a covenant with God through our Christ’s sacrifice have received the Holy Spirit to teach, comfort, and intercede for them until His return.

At any rate, here’s the biblical reference taken out of its context:

“For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”—Matthew 18:20.

What you’ll discover if you read the entire chapter, keeping verse 20 in its context, is that the theme of Matthew Chapter 18 is salvation from coming judgment.

Verses 1-5: Those who are ‘heaven-bound’ will have to be ‘like’ children in their innocence and humility.

Verses 6-7: But, beware of the things that can keep us from being children of the most-high God and headed for His kingdom.

Verses 8-9: Do what you have to do to avoid sinful behavior and the judgment and wrath of God that will come as a result to those who are not His.

Verse 10: Intend nothing against those who are our God and Christ’s! This appears to go along with the rest of the verses that tell us to not cause our brothers and sisters in Christ to stumble.

Verses 11-14: Jesus’ purpose in coming to earth was to save the lost from coming judgment and punishment. This directly supports God’s will – His plan of reconciliation with mankind – and, again, is why we must not put up any roadblocks as admonished in the previous verses.

Verses 15-20: Those who are children of the most-high God must do what we can to aid in His plan of reconciliation by identifying and correcting sinful behavior in others within the Church. Quoting from the Torah in verse 16 (see Deuteronomy 17:6 and 19:15), Jesus is telling His disciples that His children within the Church must bring at least two other followers with them to address the sinful behavior if the offender refuses to listen during private correction. Why two or three witnesses? Failure to repent (change of action that comes from a change of heart) of truly sinful behavior will lead to a spiritual death sentence. This requirement of two or three witnesses was implemented to justly condemn a person to death in ancient Israel (i.e. Deuteronomy 17:6).

To summarize, we’re to believe and act appropriately out of belief. Those actions should often involve teaching, discipling, and correcting sinful behavior for the benefit of our brothers and sisters as we do what we can to aid our God in accomplishing His plan to reconcile mankind to himself at the end of time.

Remember – God doesn’t need an audience of two or three to show up . . . just you. As a follower of our Christ, you already have His Spirit within you and that connection to the Father of Spirits!

For more information regarding the return of our Christ and our ‘marriage’ to Him, and of the end of our world as we know it, please consider studying my very comprehensive guide “Finding the End of the World”. You’ll easily find it in paper and electronic format at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and www.ronbraley.com.

Next week, we’ll look at some relatively harmless misquotes (but misunderstandings nonetheless) as we continue to explore common misquotes and abuses of Scripture: “In Jesus’ Name” & “The Bible says you can’t add to or take away . . .”.

It’s all About God, the Father of Spirits!

It’s easy in our ‘Jesus culture’ of roughly the last 100 years or so to get lost in emotion and lose sight of “Why?

The will – desire, by definition – of our God the “father of spirits” has been to reconcile with His creation from the time mankind walked away from Him in the Garden of Eden1. Covenant after covenant have been witness to this extraordinary effort by our God: first through Noah, then through Abraham and Moses, and finally through Jesus’, the promised savior.

Jesus voluntarily became our ‘one sacrifice for all’ at the request of God the Father as a way of accomplishing His desire to reconcile2. But, the ‘new covenant’3 made possible by our Jesus is still a covenant with our heavenly father.

We are to strive to be perfect like our God the Father is perfect4 as we await a heaven-bound gathering to be with Him. Our prayers are to Him, although Jesus intercedes for us. Those who enter into this final covenant do so by being obedient out of faith to God’s commandments. And we are brothers with Jesus in the sense that we will inherit the kingdom of God the Father5.

Believe in Jesus’ fulfillment of God’s promised covenant with mankind (the “Why?”) and then obey because you believe. There, you’ll find righteousness and the way to God the Father through our Messiah.

 

Scripture references:

  1. Romans 5:10-11, etc.
  2. i.e. John 6:38-40
  3. Luke 22:20; Romans 11:26-27; 2Corinthians 3:6; Hebrews 13:20 -21; many others
  4. Matthew 5:48
  5. i.e. Matthew 25:34 and Revelation 21:7