The Demonization of Christians – Jack Deere

Originally from pages 26-27 in Jack Deere’s The Vineyard’s Response to “The Briefing”

This issue has been hotly debated among evangelical Christians. In the Vineyard we believe that the Bible teaches that Christians can be demonized. By “demonized” we mean coming under the influence or control of demonic power, whether that power is exercised externally or internally against the victims. Our reasons for believing this may be briefly summarized:

1. There is no text in the New Testament or Old Testament that says Christians cannot be demonized or have a demon. The most commonly used argument against Christians being demonized is theological rather than Biblical. The question is usually asked, “How can Christ and a demon inhabit the same home?” or “How can light and darkness dwell together?” The answer to this may also be stated in the form of a question, “How can Christ and sin dwell together?” Jesus dwells with sin any time He inhabits the heart of a new believer. If He can dwell in a sinful person why could He not dwell in a demonized person?

2. In the Old Testament Saul is described with language that is appropriate for a believer. The “Spirit of the Lord came upon Saul,” he “was changed into another person” and “was given a new heart” (1 Sam. 10:6-9; 11:6ff); and even in his rebellion the Spirit still came upon him and he prophesied (1 Sam. 19:23ff). Yet the Lord gave Saul an evil spirit to torment him (1 Sam. 16:14; 18:10-11).

3. The crippled woman in Luke 13:10-17 seems to be a believer for Jesus calls her a “daughter of Abraham” in verse 16. The expression “daughter of Abraham” seems to designate a believer. Jesus used this phrase to refer to Zacchaeus’ salvation experience when he said, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he, too, is a son of Abraham” (Luke 19:9). Yet an evil spirit bound this daughter of Abraham for eighteen years.

4. The man in 1 Corinthians 5:1-5 was delivered over to Satan for the destruction of his flesh. This man was going to die or suffer significantly as a direct result of demonic activity. Yet he is clearly a believer because Paul refers to his spirit being saved in the Day of the Lord Jesus Christ in verse five. It also stands to reason that prolonged, voluntary sin could remove the protection of the Lord and open one up to some form of demonic influence.

These are the main reasons why we believe that Christians can be demonized. Our experience in ministering to the demonized also confirms our interpretation of the Biblical texts. However, these texts do not conclusively demonstrate that Christians can be demonized. There are other possible explanations for each text mentioned above. An internationally known and respected theologian, Charles Ryrie, has evaluated the evidence of both positions and found it to be inconclusive for either side (Basic Theology, [Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books, 1987], pp. 167-68). What Ryrie does not do, however, is ridicule either position as unBiblical or the product of fanciful exegesis. We may be wrong in what we believe on this point, but we sincerely believe it because we think the Scripture teaches it and our experience confirms it.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Spirit of Hauntings – John Boruff

Drop C / ideally on electric with band.

Verses influenced by Herbert Thurston’s Ghosts and Poltergeists,
“Appendix–The Exorcism of Haunted Houses”

Verse 1
5  –   5    –   5    –   5     2 /1 / 6
Behold the sign of crucifixion
5  –   5    –   5    –   5     2 /1 /      6
May every demon flee away, yeah
5  –   5    –   5    –   5 –   5    –   5    –   5  –   5    –   5    –   5    2 /1 /      6
In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost, amen
5    –   5    –   5  –   5    –   5    –   5     2 /1 /          6
God lend the hand of Your mighty power, yeah

Chorus (2x)
1 / 3           6 – 6         0
Spirit of hauntings: go!
               3        /      6
In the name of Jesus
              6 – 0 – 0 – 0 – 0
By the blood of Jesus
1 / 3           6 – 6         0
Spirit of witchcraft: go!
               3      /        6
In the name of Jesus
              6 – 0 – 0 – 0 – 0
By the blood of Jesus

Break (Instrumental) (4x)
2 – pm – 1 – 6 / 5 – pm – pm – 2 – pm – 1 – 4 – 3 – 1 – 0
Aaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh! (1x)

Verse 2
5  –   5    –   5    –   5     2 /1 / 6
I adjure thee, O serpent of old
5  –   5    –   5    –   5     2 /1 /      6
By the Judge of the living and the dead, yeah
5  –   5    –   5    –   5 –   5    –   5    –   5  –   5    –   5    –   5    2 /1 /      6
Depart forthwith from this house
5    –   5    –   5  –   5    –   5    –   5     2 /1 /          6
So the Lord God may come rest in here, yeah

Chorus

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Review of Adam Clarke’s “Christian Theology” – John Boruff

Clarke's Christian TheologyI just finished catechizing my daughter Mary with Adam Clarke’s Christian Theology (1835): its taken almost 2 years. I think this is a rare gem of theology. Its systematic, but it is also revivalist (a hard combination to find). The life of God is breathing on this book. Clarke was one of the successors of John Wesley and knew him in his old age. An Arminian couldn’t ask for a better starting point in studying Christian doctrine: it is sound doctrine, practical, and driven by a holy life. I would also suggest Wesleyana (1840) as a companion volume. Clarke does not waste time on speculative subjects. But all throughout the volume, he presents some interesting and convincing anti-Calvinistic arguments. Clarke’s style is more stream-of-consciousness: he writes as if he’s preaching his heart out. Like in Wesley’s sermons, you see lots of exclamation points (!) as he makes statements and pointed observations. Although there are perhaps hundreds of sentences in this book that use Biblical expressions, because he writes on the go, he doesn’t take the time to provide many Biblical proof texts (chapters and verses), but assumes the reader is already very familiar with the Bible. I think this is one of the weakest parts of the book, but one that can be easily remedied by careful scholarship. I would challenge some Wesleyan scholar out there to treat this book like Albert Outler treated Wesley’s works, and make some fruitful editorial notes and comments, for many could be made.

1. Scripture. He does not waste time trying prove the inerrancy of Scripture, but simply states that it is authoritative, inspired by God, sufficient for salvation, and does not hesitate to say that dreams and visions played a role in the writing of the Bible.

2. God. God is love, but He also has other attributes: goodness, happiness, self-existence, reason, excellence, moral perfection, lordship, unity of the Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Matt. 28:19, easily illustrated by a shamrock), that there are degrees of the power and presence of the Holy Spirit, God is a Spirit (an immaterial substance), God is eternal, omnipotent (all powerful), omnipresent (present everywhere through His Spirit), He makes Himself seen, heard, and felt by dreams, visions, voices, and the presence of God in worship and prayer, omniscience (all knowledge), justice, holiness, and benevolence (lovingkindness and charitability)–an attribute that is inconsistent with the Calvinistic doctrines of limited atonement and double predestination. Jesus is God (Col. 1:16-17).

3. Man. God made Adam, the first man, in the Garden of Eden; he was made in the image and likeness of God, not in the likeness of animals or monkeys or any beast. Evolution was not part of it, as this was before Darwin, and Christians actually believed in Genesis 1-3 without doubting. I also believe as Clarke does about creation. Adam was originally very smart and righteous; and had the capability of being physically immortal, if he had eaten from the tree of life. The first occasion of backsliding was the fall of Adam and Eve in Genesis 3 when they were seduced by a demon-possessed snake. Clarke makes the observation that if if “once saved, always saved” were true, then why would Adam have fallen? He was already in the state of salvation when God made him, but his freedom to resist God’s grace is what led to his downfall. The Arminian doctrine of conditional security has been true since the beginning of time.

4. Salvation and the Christian Life. God’s Spirit grants men REPENTANCE: its a spirit of repentance (2 Tim. 2:25): when a man has this spirit, he “feels deep anguish of soul, because he has sinned against God, unfitted himself for Heaven, and exposed his soul to Hell”…its “a deep and alarming conviction, that thou art a fallen spirit,–hast broken God’s laws,–art under His curse, and in danger of Hell fire” (pp. 122-123). He confesses his sin to God, hates his sin, and makes up his mind that he wants to get it out of his life: he sees and admires the purity of the moral law of Scripture, and looks upon his sin as something vile, impure, and shameful (Rom. 3:20). The first use of the law takes its effect in repentance: it is then that the Ten Commandments scream condemnation and Hell! The next stage is FAITH in the atoning blood of Jesus. This is justification by faith alone–not salvation by faith alone–because repentance and sanctification are also needed for final salvation (Heb. 12:14). But in JUSTIFICATION, the convicted sinner feels like a convict, a criminal about to face a fiery prison sentence, and here comes Jesus with His love to bail him out: he trusts and believes in Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross and comes to believe that the record of his sins have been erased. Faith in the cross can strengthen or weaken or completely fizzle out, so it is necessary for Christians to do their part and strengthen and keep their faith as much as possible through obedience to Biblical commands, taking the Lord’s Supper, heartfelt prayer and contemplation, Christian fellowship, and good works like evangelism and charity to the poor. Justification is the imputation of God’s forgiveness of our sins (see Romans 4), but it is not the imputation of Jesus’ obedience to the moral law, as Calvinistic antinomians love to preach: Christians are still fully responsible to obey God’s law. As justification also affords the believer a state of adoption into the family of God the Father (Rom. 8:15), the Scripture never insinuates that adoption cannot be cancelled or that persistent backsliders can’t be disinherited. REGENERATION, or the incoming of the Holy Spirit into the Christian’s heart, is an empowerment to live a godly life of SANCTIFICATION; and to hunger and thirst after righteousness and so be filled (Matt. 5:6). It is evidenced by “love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control,” as the Holy Spirit regenerates or breathes new life, spirit, and emotion into the sinner’s heart, making a saint out of him (Gal. 5:22-23). Entire sanctification is the great myth of Methodism that I cannot believe, though Clarke teaches it. Nowhere in Ephesians 6, Galatians 5, or Romans 7-8 do I see any indication that the spiritual war with the flesh is supposed to stop at any point in the Christian life. THE WITNESS OF THE SPIRIT, or the spirit of adoption, is mentioned in Romans 8:15-16: “You received the spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.” But the adoption remains conditional. This adoption is optional; and remains in the choice of the child of God; if the child runs away from God, he is a prodigal, and will die in his sins if he persists (John 8:24); but if a prodigal returns to God, he will be forgiven and accepted once again (Luke 15:11-32). A child of God can be lost and found, dead or alive again, saved or unsaved, depending on the state of his life, his repentance, and his faith. There is no basis in the Word of God that implies the doctrine of adoption contradicts the fear of Hell. Luke 12:5: “Fear Him who, after your body has been killed, has authority to throw you into Hell. Yes, I tell you, fear Him.” Jesus said this to the apostles. Romans 8:15 says, “Ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.” Yes this is true, but let’s not kid ourselves about whom this verse applies to: it only applies to people who are truly experiencing the Holy Spirit of adoption, and this can only be seen in the larger context of Romans 8: a life of purity and righteousness from walking in the Spirit. Such people do not live in constant terror of Hell, simply because their holy lives give them peace with God and comfort from the Holy Spirit. But those who rebel, choose Hell.

–PENTECOSTAL ADDITION–

[Let me add in right here some things that Clarke left out: THE BAPTISM IN THE HOLY SPIRIT, which is to me an outgrowth of regeneration and the witness of adoption. In this experience, clearly explained in chs. 7-8 in P. C. Nelson’s Bible Doctrines, the believer is immersed in the Holy Spirit and he feels the presence of God comforting him, energizing him, filling him with zeal for righteousness, and passion for God (Matt. 3:11; John 14:15). By the presence of this Spirit immersion he gets dreams and visions from God and prophesies based on them (Joel 2:28-29). Spirit-filled Christians have courage to do open-air preaching of the Gospel, like the apostles, George Fox, John Wesley, and the early Pentecostals (Acts 4:18-33). The fruit of the Spirit becomes stronger (Gal. 5:22-23), especially a holy, divine love (1 Cor. 13; Rom. 5:5). SPEAKING IN TONGUES is the most obvious, direct, physical, and observable sign of having been baptized in the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:4: “All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.” Nelson says that the tongue speaker “knows that his vocal organs are under the control of the Spirit” (p. 88). There were other occasions when it was taken for granted that tongue speakers had been baptized in the Holy Spirit: the house of Cornelius (Acts 10:46 & 11:16), the disciples in Ephesus (Acts 19:1-7), and the church of Corinth (1 Cor. 14). Pentecostals don’t mean that non-Pentecostals don’t have any degree of the Holy Spirit (Nelson, p. 87). That would be absurd; there are many, Wesley included, who did not speak in tongues, but had the witness of the Spirit, the interior fire, the voice of God, the fruit of the Spirit, and regeneration. Pentecostals don’t mean to suggest that they are automatically more godly than non-Pentecostals. They simply mean that they have more of the Holy Spirit available for them to use in the Christian life; but the level to which they use this power is up to them. Spirit baptism is a maximum overflowing of God’s presence, coming out of the man, and causing him to speak in tongues. Ephesians 4:7: “Unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.” Pentecostals have received a higher measure of the Holy Spirit than other evangelicals, because 1. They want it and need it more and 2. They seek it more. Matthew 7:7: “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find.” But where there is no desire nor faith for such things, skeptical evangelicals shouldn’t be surprised if they go on without ever speaking in tongues (e.g., John MacArthur and friends). I agree with Nelson when he says, “We esteem this gift so highly that we are willing to suffer reproach and loss for the sake of the wonderful privilege of receiving the Holy Spirit in the way the hundred and twenty did at Pentecost” (pp. 91-92). The next outgrowth of the Holy Spirit must be THE MIRACULOUS GIFTS (1 Cor. 12:8-10), explained at length by Donald Gee’s Concerning Spiritual Gifts, Jack Deere’s Surprised by the Voice of God, and John Wimber’s Power Healing.] Then what follows is that those who persevere in the state of salvation; and especially those who die in the state of salvation, will die and be in the state of GLORIFICATION, receiving heavenly bodies that will be incapable of thinking or feeling anything evil (1 Cor. 15:40).

5. Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Like Wesley and the Anglicans, Clarke tries to find reasons to justify infant baptism, but comes out with no strong arguments. The reality is, every time baptism is referred to in the Bible, it is shown to be an outward symbolic action of death to a sinful life and resurrection to a new life of faith and holiness in the Gospel. The Greek word for baptize means to immerse in water; and so that excludes sprinkling. In the Bible, only adults who are making a free will confession of faith are seen being baptized. For this cause, the Anabaptists shed their blood as martyrs, that the true meaning of baptism would never be lost, nor that the true understanding of salvation would ever be distorted, because that is what ultimately happens when infants are misguidedly baptized for saving purposes. To baptize an infant also insidiously suggests that unbaptized infants who die will go to Hell, because of original sin. Clarke says that the Lord’s Supper should be shared once a month and only with true Christians who are repentant. All forms of irreverence should be avoided. While I will agree with Clarke that the Lord’s Supper is not transubstantiated into the physical body and blood of Christ (as Catholics say), I will believe with Luther that there is a “real presence” of God present in the elements to anyone who has faith (John 6:56). In addition to this, the ceremony is meant to remind Christians of the sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross (1 Cor. 11:24).

6. The Christian Family. Clarke believes so strongly in marriage, that he rejects the idea of celibacy, something Paul would have disagreed with him about (1 Cor. 7:8). Spouses are expected to seek God and pray for the Holy Spirit to give them special help to love each other as Christ loves the church. They are expected to leave the control of their parents and cling to each other: “leave and cleave.” Clarke doesn’t hesitate to say that gold diggers, or “those who marry for money are committing adultery as long as they live” (p. 265), because they are liars, and are not truly attached to their spouses in their hearts. Parents, and especially mothers like Susanna Wesley, are to be seen as teachers of their children, they are to teach theology (catechism), reading and writing, and academics, so they can get a good job and take care of themselves when they are older. They should be taught spirituality, so they can know the Spirit of God. Nurture should be balanced by admonition and vice versa (Eph. 6:4), with no harshness, ill temper, or abuse: “cruel parents generally have bad children” (p. 274).

7. Social Policies. Clarke lived in a time when servants and slaves still existed in English society, and he plainly said, “A good servant never disputes, speaks little, and always follows his work” (p. 283). He also explains the different kinds of government: patriarchy, theocracy, monarchy (with autocracy, gynaecocracy, despotism, and tyranny), aristocracy (with oligarchy), democracy (with republicanism and federalism), and finally anarchy. At the time of writing, England was governed by monarchy and aristocracy, while America was governed by democratic republicanism. No matter what form of government is in power, Clarke reminds every Christian that they must still pay their taxes, just as Christ did to Caesar (Matt. 22:21); we are also supposed to honor our rulers and obey the civil laws (Rom. 13). Clarke had no high views of luxurious living. He said:

The affluently rich, full of sensuality, and pampered with the good things of this life, are only occupied with what they shall eat, what they shall drink, how they shall amuse and sport themselves, and wherewithal they shall be clothed according to the endless changes in fantastic flippery fashions; are too busy or too brutally happy to attend to the call of the Gospel; and because it would break in upon their gratifications, they hate religion, despise a crucified Savior and the men who proclaim salvation through His name alone (p. 289).

On the other hand, those who are miserably poor, should look on their trials as momentary, and should work hard to relieve themselves a bit: they should pray for God’s providence to come to their help as they trust in Him (pp. 290-291). Ministers should be zealous Christians and filled with the Spirit of holiness, strong proponents of lordship salvation, and baptized in the Holy Spirit (and I would add, speak in tongues). These are the men who should be ordained for this task. Lay hands on such men and commission them to preach on Hell, the law, and the Gospel! This person must have some level of theological hunger, to know the Bible, and apply the teachings of Jesus to life. I disagree with Clarke allowing women to preach which undermines Biblical male leadership. Nobody needs a preacher’s license: Christ has already commissioned His followers to preach. Preachers should follow in the steps of revivalists and should aspire to be carriers of evangelical revival. The preacher should denounce Calvinistic eternal security, antinomianism, and whatever doctrine throws water on fiery religion. Pastors should avoid talking to women, because it leads to scandals. Clarke would strongly differ with men like John Wimber, who advocated slackness in spiritual disciplines and cracked jokes during sermons. Personal discipline (as in Richard Foster’s Celebration of Discipline) and solemnity should mark a minister’s behavior at all times: especially during church services. Clarke would strongly differ with flamboyant Pentecostal preachers and televangelists: “Never shake or flourish your handkerchief; this is abominable; nor stuff it into your bosom; this is unseemly” (p. 324). Church members are expected to be Bible centered and support their pastors any way they can, not allowing them to get all worn out.

8. Angels and Demons. The word angel in the Greek means messenger, because their primary function is to bring visionary revelation to prophets, in visions and dreams, in cooperation with God. Angels are, first and foremost, God’s mailmen. Secondly, they also serve the purpose of guarding, protecting, delivering, and guiding true Christians to safety. Demons are fallen angels; and while they are made of the same spiritual light as angels, they have evil designs, and are often revealed to be dark and monstrous, by the revelation of the Holy Spirit, that men may not be deceived, whether as spirits of fear, or lust, or hate, they are evil, malicious spirits, and should be cast out by prayer in Jesus’ name, by Jesus’ blood. “Those who deny the existence of the devil are they who pray little or none at all” (p. 342), because prayer makes a person sensitive to the spirit world.

9. Temptations and Afflictions. Temptations are thoughts and situations that demons take advantage of in order to pull Christians into sinful practices that separate them from fellowship with God. These can often take on a sexual nature, as in the case of Potiphar’s wife, when Joseph rightly ran away from her (Gen. 39). Other temptations are purely mental; and require submission to God and resistance of the devil’s thoughts put into the mind (Jas. 4:7). Handling it by either fight or flight, no real Christian can be neutral with temptation: action must be taken against it in order to remain in salvation. Here lies another reason why “once saved, always saved” is a doctrinal fallacy: resistance to temptation would be unnecessary if eternal security were true. But the reality is that temptation is all around us, at every turn, trying to pull us away from God. “The best way to foil the adversary is by the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God” (p. 349). Afflictions come to all men, both Christians and non-Christians; they come in different forms, but it seems that Christians have more. Medical, financial, and social afflictions can hit anyone, but Christians seem to attract social afflictions more often, because they excite the devil to stir up hypocrites and God haters to come against them. But Jesus said, “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in Heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matt. 5:11-12). When afflictions come, and they usually come at the same time, or one right after another, it is the Christian’s responsibility to view these things as the devil testing their faith to see if it is genuine or false (see Job 1). Christians are advised to avoid Job’s error of blaming God for these things, but should rather bear up under them manfully, trusting God to deliver and bless those who remain faithful to God.

10. Providence. What we call the “providence of God” is the supernatural provision of finances for extreme needs brought about by afflictions. Without afflictions, it is impossible to experience providence: one follows the other, like the solution to a problem that only God can fix. It may come in the form of food or help from other people. But it usually comes in the form of money that has arrived just at the last minute, in the most timely fashion. It may also come in the form of stranded sailors at sea suddenly striking land; and coming into safety at the last minute. Either way, it generally comes in answer to prayer for these needs to be met; and is maintained through faith in God as a Provider. The story of Israel’s wilderness wanderings is one long 40 year lesson in the providence of God; the same with the angel providing food for Elijah; or the time that Jesus multiplied loaves and fish for 5,000 starving people; or the time when Paul and the men on the ship struck land on the island of Malta. All of these are examples of the providence of God.

11. Apostasy. Samuel Dunn was responsible for arranging the topics in this theological work, not Clarke. At first glance it seems that the subject of apostasy should come in right after “entire sanctification” in ch. 12 or XII. But he places it here after the subjects of temptation, affliction, and providence; and rightly so. That is because apostasy usually comes about in destroying a Christian’s faith and holiness through times affliction and temptation. Affliction causes hardship and distraction from God; temptation then comes as a worldly or demonic means of relieving that hardship, deceiving the afflicted soul who has now turned his eye away from God for the moment, and is all consumed with his afflictions: then he accepts the temptation as the solution to his problem, to comfort him in his distress, because he finds no immediate relief from God’s presence or providence; and as a result of continuing in the temptation long enough, finds that the temptation helps him to cope with the afflictions he has been facing, and makes him feel stronger. In this situation, he hardens himself against God, because he feels that God was too weak of a source to turn to for such an affliction as this; but in the temptation he found what he thought was a good enough coping mechanism and stress reliever. In such a case, the Christian fails to pass the test of affliction; and is too impatient to wait for God’s providence to come. He loses his faith and patience in God’s timing; and he compromises for an earthly means of relief: bar hopping, alcoholism, sexual immorality, drug use, secularist rock music and movies, profanity, worldly friends, and other vices of the flesh. Anyone living like this is in a state of damnation if they don’t turn back to God (1 Cor. 6:9-10); they have lost their salvation, but can gain it back immediately if they repent and turn to God. This might be something they have to do over and over, in order to fight themselves out of the devil’s grip, but fight they will if they want to be free from his grip again (Rev. 2:4-5). Calvinists deny that any of this can happen; or they deny that the danger is real enough to be a possible damnation issue. So avoid Calvinism!

12. Death, Judgment, Hell, and Heaven. These four subjects appear together in a cluster intentionally, because they are what the Puritans called “the four last things.” For example, see Robert Bolton’s The Four Last Things: Death, Judgment, Hell, and Heaven. They were called this, because they were traditionally the four last subjects dealt with in theology books, and because they were the four last things that Christians will face at the end of their lives. (This was Puritan eschatology, not the rapture, the Antichrist, and the millennium.) All men will experience death because of sin; and then they will be judged by God to see whether they will be fit for Heaven or Hell (Rom. 5:12; Heb. 9:27). Those who die in the state of repentance and faith in the cross will be fit for Heaven, but those who die in the state of impenitence and unbelief, will go to Hell. Faith in the Gospel is the deciding factor, not double predestination, not Purgatory, not annihilation, not universal love and salvation–but personal faith and holiness. Luke 16 shows us a number of things about living in Hell: sorrow, pain, thirst, regret, desire to escape, desire to warn loved ones on earth but being unable, burning in fire, etc. There is no escape from this burning heart of the earth. In Hell the earthly state of probation is over; now all chances of returning to God through repentance and faith are lost: those in there must suffer eternally under the wrath of God. Heaven is the eternal living space of those who die in the state of repentance and faith in the cross (salvation). New Jerusalem is its capital city and the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit reside there in full manifestation and glory. It is the third heaven, above the realm of outer space, far above the domain of demonic principalities and powers. It is what Christians have been looking forward to for all of their lives. In this holy paradise of God, there is no pain and suffering, and no sin. Everyone lives in a heavenly body and is without the taint of original sin: they have a perfect sense of the fruits of the Spirit: “love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Gal. 5:22-23).

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Don’t Pray Against Principalities and Powers! – John Paul Jackson

Further Reading.

John Paul Jackson’s Needless Casualties of War

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Review of “The Shack” Movie – John Boruff

While it teaches people to forgive and accept God’s love, it unfortunately also teaches heresies such as feminist theology, universalism, antinomianism, and a kind of patripassianism. Its no wonder that John Crowder is a big fan. I also bring some Biblical correction about the fatherhood of God and the spirit of adoption in Romans 8:15.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Give, And It Will Be Given to You – John Boruff

Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.                                                                                                                –Luke 6:38

John Wesley (d. 1791)John Wesley said:

Into your bosom – Alluding to the mantles the Jews wore, into which a large quantity of corn might be received. With the same measure that ye mete with, it shall be measured to you again – Amazing goodness! So we are permitted even to carve for ourselves! We ourselves are, as it were, to tell God how much mercy he shall show us! And can we be content with less than the very largest measure? Give then to man, what thou designest to receive of God.

Matthew Henry said:

Give, and it shall be given to you. God, in his providence, will recompense it to you; it is lent to him, and he is not unrighteous to forget it (Hebrews 6:10), but he will pay it again. Men shall return it into your bosom; for God often makes use of men as instruments, not only of his avenging, but of his rewarding justice. If we in a right manner give to others when they need, God will incline the hearts of others to give to us when we need, and to give liberally, good measure pressed down and shaken together. They that sow plentifully shall reap plentifully. Whom God recompenses he recompenses abundantly.

Although Christ’s command to give and His promise of return on your investment have been dreadfully distorted and abused by prosperity preachers, it remains true that Luke 6:38 is still the Word of God, as all Scripture is inspired by God (2 Tim. 3:16). All too often we see these flaky Word of Faith Pentecostals preaching that if you give money to their ministry, then God will give you a financial blessing in return, in proportion to the amount you donated to them. We know that these men are wolves in sheep’s clothing, manipulating the Scriptures for their own financial gain (2 Pet. 2:3). Benny HinnI have certain televangelists in mind like Kenneth Copeland, Creflo Dollar, Benny Hinn, and Robert Tilton–men who are materialistic and proud of their wealth. It is sad that the devil has used these men to steal the blessed teaching on financial providence that Jesus gave to us when He spoke the words in Luke 6:38. The promise is quite literal and not symbolic. The teaching is plain: If you give a little bit of money to God’s cause (that is, what you feel to be a truly godly Gospel ministry), then you have a right to trust and pray for God to give you a little bit of a financial blessing, of whatever it is you ask of Him. God’s way is greater and superior than a genie with only three measly wishes: He is infinite in His providence.

God says, “All the animals of the forest are Mine, and I own the cattle on a thousand hills” (Ps. 50:10). God has more wealth available for us than you can imagine, but if you want Him to help you out financially, then you’re going to have to put your money where your mouth is, and trust Him with some of your money. It’s one thing to say, “Lord, I trust that you will provide for all of my financial needs,” but never give any money to God’s cause. It’s quite another to say, “Lord, I trust that you will provide for all of my financial needs; and much more so as I give to your cause, and wait for your help according to Luke 6:38, where you promised that if I give money to You, then men will give money back to me, and more so, with interest.” God has so fixed His covenant of providence that when men trust in Him and put their money where their mouth is, and they back up their faith with action (James 2:26), and they give to the cause of God–that He will reward their financial trust fund, with a financial blessing in return, according to their faith. Is it unemployment, debt, a car, a college education, medical bills, rent? What is your financial need? Pray your heart out to God; give money as you are able to a true ministry, and ask God to help you financially in whatever area you specify to Him in prayer. God is a good, good Father; and He has provided this as part of the covenant of providence for Christians.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Antediluvians: The World Before Noah’s Flood: A Commentary on Genesis 1-6 – John Boruff

Genesis 1 – This chapter can be summarized by verse 31: “God saw every thing that He had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.” It took six days for God to create the world and everything in it. The creation of mankind was His crowning achievement, having made them in His own image (v. 27). There is not one suggestion in this chapter that God used millions of years nor Darwinistic evolution to create the world.

Genesis 2 – To further counter the idea of Darwinistic evolution, it specifically says how God made Adam and Eve, the first people: 1. Adam was made from the dust of the ground (v. 7). 2. Eve was made from Adam’s rib (v. 22). Darwinism says something totally different: that, over the course of millions of years, smaller animals changed into larger animals, and a certain kind of monkey changed into a Neanderthal (cave man), and then into the first man called Homo sapiens. This idea also contradicts verse 19, which says that God created all animals directly from the ground. There is no evolutionary concept in this chapter of a slow, gradual progression from one kind of animal changing into another, eventually resulting in humans. Such an idea was invented in Charles Darwin’s imagination, and published in On the Origin of Species (1859) and The Descent of Man (1871); it is now the origins myth of all secular school systems today, and embraced as a scientific fact, despite the clear testimony of Scripture. See Jonathan Sarfati’s Refuting Evolution I and II.

Genesis 3 – Here is described the fall of Adam and Eve (or their natures) into sin. Satan, in the form of a demonized lizard, perhaps a dragon, or a small four legged dinosaur (maybe something like a Tanystropheus), speaks to Eve within view of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. There has been much speculation about what kind of fruit this was, but suffice it to say, that God had placed a curse of sin and death on it for disobedience. Satan convinced Eve that God was trying to keep her from knowing as much as He did, so she was persuaded to eat it, not only because it looked like it would taste good, but because she thought it might give her more intelligence. Perhaps this fruit had some psychological properties (a drug), because it had a direct effect on her mind, as she immediately realized that she was naked, and was ashamed of it. God punished the demonized lizard by removing its legs and turning it into a snake (the reverse of evolution if anything), thus serving as a symbolic memorial for all time of the wicked vehicle through which mankind fell: even though it is the wisest of all land animals, it would have to be considered the lowest and most humiliated: despised by man, licking the dust of the ground all its days because of what it did. Observe that the snake is often used as a symbol of paganism and witchcraft: as if the devil still intends to use this to symbolize rebellion against God. There was also the tree of life in the Garden of Eden, then guarded by angels with flaming swords, but now swept away by the flood of Noah, the fruit of which imparted immortality; this was previously located in Iraq, most likely where the Tigris and Euphrates rivers converge by the town of Al-Qurnah. Local folklore holds that this is the original site of the Garden of Eden; and they even have a park there for what is called Adam’s Tree, in which they believe it to still contain the six thousand year old tree of knowledge: it is a jujube or date tree. Whether or not this is really that tree is beside the point: what is true is that Moses identified Eden with that place where the Tigris (Hiddekel in KJV) and the Euphrates intersected (2:10-15).

Genesis 4 – Without going into specifics, it is apparent that Abel’s relationship with God was good, but Cain’s was bad (Josephus, Ant. 2.1): hence the reason for God rejecting his sacrifice; and the reason why Cain so quickly burned with jealousy and hatred and murdered Abel even after hearing the voice of God! But the grace of God is shown in this: that although Cain was punished to wander into the land of Nod, and to never see his parents again, he was given a mark so that no man would kill him. Adam and Eve also had daughters (Josephus, Ant. 2.1), and so God provided him with a wife and a son named Enoch, not to be confused with the prophet Enoch who was seven generations removed from Adam, and descended from Seth (5:18-24). It is assumed that the world had been somewhat populated by now, because there were other towns with people in them, so this must have happened about 130 years after the events in Genesis 2 and 3: because Adam had already lived that many years when Eve conceived Seth in the place of Abel (5:3); this was plenty of time for other adults to procreate an adult wife for Cain to marry in Nod, a city that he built, but continued an evil life, being greedy and robbing people; he also built a city called Enoch, named after his eldest (Josephus, Ant. 2.2). Of course, all were “inbreeding” in those days, since everyone came from Adam and Eve, and there were no laws against it. Seth named his son Enos, and it was then that men began to “call upon the name of the Lord” (v. 26), bringing a revival probably through Seth (Josephus, Ant. 2.3), now that he was a grown man, and the eventual ancestor of Enoch and Noah. It seems that this was the first revival in history after the fall of Adam and Eve.

Genesis 5 – It is astonishing that so many men had lived for hundreds of years before dying! Young earth creationists explain this by saying that human bodies were in prime condition in those times, excluding the thousands of years of genetic defects that would eventually crop up in the human race and shorten lives; also, they say, the oxygen level, the ozone layer, and the general atmosphere was much more conducive to life back then than it is today. This is evidenced by giant fossils of plants, insects, animals, and humans believed to have lived in “prehistoric” or “antediluvian” pre-flood times. For an in-depth treatment of the antediluvian world, see Henry Morris’ The Genesis Record.

Genesis 6 – The revival in 4:26 was short lived, as all revivals are; but by that time, the men who followed the Lord were called the “sons of God” just as Christian men are under the Gospel (1 John 3:1), for God becomes the Father of all who live by faith in Him. Some men were gigantic in these times (v. 4), but this is not necessarily because the “sons of God” were fallen angels breeding with women. It could simply be for the same reasons given in chapter 5: things were larger back then and lived longer, because the natural conditions were nearly perfect. However, an alternative view holds that the giants were larger than others because the “sons of God” were fallen angelic beings who impregnated women with giants, see Job 38:7 (see Josephus, Ant. 3.1; this was the main view of the ancient world; and it was believed that Noah disapproved of this interbreeding with demons). In Greek mythology, Zeus supposedly turned into a swan and seduced a woman named Leda into sexual relations. This interpretation finds expression in ch. 6 of The Book of Enoch. Also, it had been a long held belief in the Middle Ages that witches can have sexual relations with demons called incubi: this was so serious a subject that a whole chapter was spent on it in part 1, question 3 of Heinrich Kramer and Jacob Sprenger’s Malleus Maleficarum. But if we assume the “sons of God” were godly men, then as in the history of Israel, it was the seductions of pagan women that drew the hearts of these sons of God away from God; and they intermarried with the daughters of Cain, who was a murderer; and apparently his descendants were violent like he was, because the whole earth was filled with violence by the time of Noah, and for this reason, God decided to flood the world and only save Noah’s family in the ark.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment