Archive Tag:Holy Spirit

The Gift Wrap and The Jewel by Wanda B Goines

Biblical Response to Matters that Concern Us All

 

Corruption and Injustice

For to us a Child shall be born, to us a Son shall be given;
And the government shall be upon His shoulder,
And His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
There shall be no end to the increase of His government and of peace,
[He shall rule] on the throne of David and over his kingdom,
To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness
From that time forward and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this.

Isaiah 9:6-7

But in accordance with His promise we expectantly await new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.

2 Peter 3:13 

Crime and Violence

For yet a little while and the wicked one will be gone [forever];
Though you look carefully where he used to be, he will not be [found].
11 But the humble will [at last] inherit the land
And will delight themselves in abundant prosperity and peace.

Psalm 37:10-11 

For the upright [those who are in right standing with God] will live in the land, And those [of integrity] who are blameless [in God’s sight] will remain in it;22 But the wicked will be cut off from the land
And the treacherous shall be [forcibly] uprooted and removed from it.

Proverbs 2:21-22

 Death and Mourning

He will swallow up death [and abolish it] for all time.
And the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces,
And He will take away the disgrace of His people from all the earth;
For the Lord has spoken.

Isaiah 25:8 

And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, arrayed like a bride adorned for her husband; and then I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “See! The tabernacle of God is among men, and He will live among them, and they will be His people, and God Himself will be with them [a][as their God,] and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be death; there will no longer be sorrow and anguish, or crying, or pain; for the [b]former order of things has passed away.”

Revelation 21:2-4

Depression

O taste and see that the Lord [our God] is good;
How blessed [fortunate, prosperous, and favored by God] is the man who takes refuge in Him.

Psalm 34:8

“Behold, I am creating new heavens and a new earth;
And the former things [of life] will not be remembered or come to mind.
18 “But be glad and rejoice forever over what I create;
Behold, I am creating Jerusalem to be a source of rejoicing
And her people a joy.
19 “I will also rejoice in Jerusalem and be glad in My people;
And there will no longer be heard in her
The voice of weeping and the sound of crying.

Isaiah 65:17-19

Food Shortages and Malnutrition

There will be an abundance of grain in the soil on the top of the [a]mountains;
Its fruit will wave like [the cedars of] Lebanon,
And those of the city will flourish like grass of the earth.

Psalm 72:16

On this mountain [Zion] the Lord of hosts will prepare a lavish banquet for all peoples [to welcome His reign on earth],
A banquet of aged wines—choice pieces [flavored] with marrow,
Of refined, aged wines.

Isaiah 25:6

Housing and Economic Problems

“They will build houses and live in them;
They will plant vineyards and eat the fruit.
22 “They will not build and another occupy;
They will not plant and another eat [the fruit].
For as the lifetime of a tree, so will be the days of My people,
And My chosen [people] will fully enjoy [and long make use of] the work of their hands.

Isaiah 65:21-22

Ineffective Government

Do not trust in princes,
In mortal man, in whom there is no salvation (help).
When his spirit leaves him, he returns to the earth;
In that very day his thoughts and plans perish.

Psalm 146:3-4 

In the days of those [final ten] kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will its sovereignty be left for another people; but it will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, and it will stand forever.

Daniel 2:44

Mistreatment of Animals

A righteous man has kind regard for the life of his animal,
But even the compassion of the wicked is cruel.

Proverbs 12:10 

Moral Breakdown

But understand this, that in the last days dangerous times [of great stress and trouble] will come [difficult days that will be hard to bear]. For people will be lovers of self [narcissistic, self-focused], lovers of money [impelled by greed], boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy and profane, [and they will be] unloving [devoid of natural human affection, calloused and inhumane], irreconcilable, malicious gossips, devoid of self-control [intemperate, immoral], brutal, haters of good, traitors, reckless, conceited, lovers of [sensual] pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of [outward] godliness (religion), although they have denied its power [for their conduct nullifies their claim of faith]. Avoid such people and keep far away from them.

2 Timothy 3:1-5

Poverty and Oppression

For he will rescue the needy when he cries for help,
The afflicted and abused also, and him who has no helper.
13 He will have compassion on the poor and needy,
And he will save the lives of the needy.
14 He will redeem their life from oppression and fraud and violence,
And their blood will be precious in His sight.
 

Psalm 72:12-14

All this I have seen while applying my mind to every deed that is done under the sun. There is a time in which one man has exercised power over others to their detriment.

Ecclesiastes 8:9

Prejudice and Inequality

And He will delight in the fear of the Lord,
And He will not judge by what His eyes see,
Nor make decisions by what His ears hear;
But with righteousness and justice He will judge the poor,
And decide with fairness for the downtrodden of the earth;
And He shall strike the earth with the rod of His mouth,
And with the breath of His lips He shall slay the wicked.
And righteousness will be the belt around His loins,
And faithfulness the belt around His waist.

Isaiah 11:3-5

 Opening his mouth, Peter said:

“Most certainly I understand now that God is not one to show partiality [to people as though Gentiles were excluded from God’s blessing], 35 but in every nation the person who fears God and does what is right [by seeking Him] is acceptable and welcomed by Him.

Acts 10:34-35

Ruining of the Earth

And the nations (Gentiles) became enraged, and Your wrath and indignation came, and the time came for the dead to be judged, and [the time came] to reward Your bond-servants the prophets and the saints (God’s people) and those who fear Your name, the small and the great, and [the time came] to destroy the destroyers of the earth.”

Revelation 11:18 

Sickness and Disability

And no inhabitant [of Zion] will say, “I am sick”;
The people who dwell there will be forgiven their wickedness [their sin, their injustice, their wrongdoing].

 Isaiah 33:24 

Then the eyes of the blind will be opened
And the ears of the deaf will be unstopped.
Then the lame will leap like a deer,
And the tongue of the mute will shout for joy.
For waters will break forth in the wilderness
And streams in the desert.

Isaiah 35:5-6

War and Terrorism

Come, behold the works of the Lord,
Who has brought desolations and wonders on the earth.
He makes wars to cease to the end of the earth;
He breaks the bow into pieces and snaps the spear in two;
He burns the chariots with fire.

Psalm 46:8-9 

And He will judge between many peoples
And render decisions for strong and distant nations.
Then they shall hammer their swords into plowshares
And their spears into pruning hooks [so that the implements of war may become the tools of agriculture];
Nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
Nor shall they ever again train for war.
Each of them shall sit [in security and peace] under his vine
And under his fig tree,
With no one to make them afraid,
For the mouth of the [omnipotent] Lord of hosts has spoken it.

Micah 4:3-4

 

 

 

The Most Glorious Christmas Message You Will Ever Hear

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16

The key is believing (trusting) in Jesus. That’s the provision that God has required for those to be born again. You are born again when you, by faith, believe in Jesus Christ, that He bore God’s judgment for your sins in His death upon the cross, and you receive Him into your life. You are then born again by the Spirit of God and have become now a new creature in Jesus Christ, a son of God, a child of the King. Believing in Him, that is the key.

Then Jesus went on to declare to Nicodemus,

For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. John 3:17

I do not know why we always seem to picture Christ as condemning us. Well, I guess it’s because we’re so guilty all the time. But we always are thinking of Him in that posture of condemning. “You,” you know, “you’re doing it again!” And we’re always thinking of Him in that posture of condemning. But Paul the apostle asked the rhetorical question in Romans 8, “Who is he that condemneth?” And then he answers, “Not Jesus! For He died for us; ye, rather is risen again and is even at the right hand of the Father making intercession.” God didn’t send Him into the world to condemn the world. Jesus hasn’t come to condemn you. Jesus has come to save you. “God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” He didn’t need to come to condemn, because the world is already condemned.

He that believeth in him is not condemned. John 3:18

Oh, did you hear that? Do you believe that? “He that believeth in Him is not condemned.” What a glorious message of God’s grace to us tonight! That ought to thrill your soul beyond measure! “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who believe in Jesus Christ” (Romans 8:1). Isn’t that what it says? Do you believe it? Why is it that we are always going around condemning ourselves? Why is it that we are always going around feeling so defeated and so discouraged, when there is therefore now no condemnation to those that are in Christ Jesus? For he that believeth in Him is not condemned; however, he that believeth not is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. John 3:18

What is His name? Yeshua, the Lord is salvation. Jesus came to save. That’s what His name implies. “Thou shalt call His name Yeshua, for He shall save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). He did not come to condemn, He came to save. His name implies His mission. Jesus declared it plainly. He said, “I have come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10). Now, “he that believeth not is condemned already because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”

And what is the condemnation?

that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone that doeth evil hates the light, neither comes to the light, lest his deeds should be manifested. But he that doeth the truth comes to the light, that his deeds might be made manifested, that they are wrought in God. John 3:19-21

What is the condemnation? That men won’t come to the light, Yeshua (Jesus).

The key: Believe in and trust Jesus. He is all you will ever need. Halleluyah!

 

 

Thank God for Kids

 

I dedicate this post to my daughter, Alexandra Rose,  who has been in heaven with Jesus for close to twenty six years. I never had the chance to show her how much I loved her. She died in my womb when I was 8 months pregnant. due to an automobile accident.

If you  are currently an abuser of children. STOP! Listen to Jesus! For those who have been abused as children, I pray God’s healing and anointing on you right now this very moment. Call to Jesus, and He will hear you.  Feel free to contact me if I can pray for you or help in either situation.  My information is located on my contact page on this website. God bless you, and may you and yours have a very A Merry and Blessed Christmas. Remember….Jesus is the reason we celebrate! Jesus loves you!

But He said, “Leave the children alone, and do not forbid them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”  Matthew 19:14

 But when Jesus saw this, He was indignant and He said to them, “Allow the children to come to Me; do not forbid them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”  Mark 10:14

But Jesus called them to Himself, saying [to the apostles], “Allow the children to come to Me, and do not forbid them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”  Luke 18:16

 

Only One Black Friday Offers “Eternal” Saving

 

Why do we call Good Friday “good,” when it is such a dark and bleak event commemorating a day of suffering and death for Jesus?

 

For Christians, Good Friday is a crucial day of the year because it celebrates what we believe to be the most momentous weekend in the history of the world. Ever since Jesus died and was raised, Christians have proclaimed the cross and resurrection of Jesus to be the decisive turning point for all creation. Paul considered it to be “of first importance” that Jesus died for our sins, was buried, and was raised to life on the third day, all in accordance with what God had promised all along in the Scriptures (1 Corinthians 15:3).

 

On Good Friday we remember the day Jesus willingly suffered and died by crucifixion as the ultimate sacrifice for our sins (1 John 1:10). It is followed by Easter, the glorious celebration of the day Jesus was raised from the dead, heralding his victory over sin and death and pointing ahead to a future resurrection for all who are united to him by faith (Romans 6:5).

 

Still, why call the day of Jesus’ death “Good Friday” instead of “Bad Friday” or something similar? Some Christian traditions do take this approach: in German, for example, the day is called Karfreitag, or “Sorrowful Friday.” In English, in fact, the origin of the term “Good” is debated: some believe it developed from an older name, “God’s Friday.” Regardless of the origin, the name Good Friday is entirely appropriate because the suffering and death of Jesus, as terrible as it was, marked the dramatic culmination of God’s plan to save his people from their sins.

 

In order for the good news of the gospel to have meaning for us, we first have to understand the bad news of our condition as sinful people under condemnation. The good news of deliverance only makes sense once we see how we are enslaved. Another way of saying this is that it is important to understand and distinguish between law and gospel in Scripture. We need the law first to show us how hopeless our condition is; then the gospel of Jesus’ grace comes and brings us relief and salvation.

 

In the same way, Good Friday is “good” because as terrible as that day was, it had to happen for us to receive the joy of Easter. The wrath of God against sin had to be poured out on Jesus, the perfect sacrificial substitute, in order for forgiveness and salvation to be poured out to the nations. Without that awful day of suffering, sorrow, and shed blood at the cross, God could not be both “just and the justifier” of those who trust in Jesus (Romans 3:26). Paradoxically, the day that seemed to be the greatest triumph of evil was actually the deathblow in God’s gloriously good plan to redeem the world from bondage.

 

The cross is where we see the convergence of great suffering and God’s forgiveness. Psalms 85:10 sings of a day when “righteousness and peace” will “kiss each other.” The cross of Jesus is where that occurred, where God’s demands, his righteousness, coincided with his mercy. We receive divine forgiveness, mercy, and peace because Jesus willingly took our divine punishment, the result of God’s righteousness against sin. “For the joy set before him” (Hebrews 12:2) Jesus endured the cross on Good Friday, knowing it led to his resurrection, our salvation, and the beginning of God’s reign of righteousness and peace.

 

Good Friday marks the day when wrath and mercy met at the cross. That’s why Good Friday is so dark and so Good.

 

 

Incarnation, the Mystery of Christmas

And the Word (Christ) became flesh, and lived (tabernacled) among us; and we [actually] saw His glory, glory as belongs to the [One and] only begotten Son of the Father, [the Son who is truly unique, the only One of His kind, who is] full of grace and truth (absolutely free of deception). John 1:14

In the beginning was the Word, He was with God, He was God, He was in the beginning with God, and all things were made by Him. The divine, eternal creator. “And the Word was made flesh, and He dwelt among us.” The tremendous downward sweep from the area of the infinity into the realm of the finite, from the eternal into time. Surely our minds cannot grasp the scope of this.

The disciples, as the years passed, had an opportunity to really reflect upon Jesus and their acquaintance and relationship to Him.

John begins his first epistle much the same way…” [I am writing about] what existed from the beginning, what we (John the Apostle wrote the Gospel of John, this letter along with two others, and the book of Revelation. He and his brother James (also an apostle) were the sons of Zebedee and Salome) have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life [the One who existed even before the beginning of the world, Christ]— 2 and the Life [an aspect of His being] was manifested, and we have seen [it as eyewitnesses] and testify and declare to you [the Life], the eternal Life who was [already existing] with the Father and was [actually] made visible to us [His followers].” 1 John 1:1-2

John is reflecting on his relationship with Jesus. The disciples suddenly realized, “When we heard Him talk, we were listening to the voice of God! When we looked upon Him, were looking upon God! When we touched Him, we were touching God! That eternal life! We saw Him, we gazed, we touched!” Oh, the wonder of it all! John stands in awe and wonder of that experience that he had.

Jesus said, “I and the Father are one.” Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father and then we will be satisfied.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you for so long a time, and you do not know Me yet, Philip, nor recognize clearly who I am? Anyone who has seen Me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father?’ 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words I say to you I do not say on My own initiative or authority, but the Father, abiding continually in Me, does His works [His attesting miracles and acts of power]. 11 Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe [Me] because of the [very] works themselves [which you have witnessed]. John 14:8-11

In other words, “I have been doing the work of God. I have been showing you the Father.”

Do you want to know what God is like? Do you want to know the truth about God? Then you MUST look at Jesus Christ and study Him carefully, for He was God manifested in Flesh. “For the Word became flesh and dwelt among us,” in order that He might reveal the Father unto man. Because man had developed such wrong concepts of God.

God has been maligned and lied against continually by Satan. And even today, Satan continues his work so that people have all kinds of grotesque concepts concerning God. People see God as fury and wrath and judgment, fire and thunder. Reality is, He has a heart that yearns after your love and your fellowship. People even misread the Bible. Jesus shows us the broken heart of God over the failure of man. This is what Jesus shows us as He weeps of Jerusalem. “Oh, Jerusalem, if you only knew your possibilities, if you only knew the potentials, if you only knew the thins that belong to your peace! But you don’t. They are hidden from your eyes, and as a result of your ignorance, devastation is going to come.” And we see His chest as it is heaving, and we hear Him as He is sobbing, as He cries over Jerusalem, and the terror that will come because of their blindness, because of their ignorance. “If you only knew, if you only knew.”  He weeps and the impending doom that is coming to man because of the path they have chosen. Here is where you see the broken heart of the Heavenly Father as He is weeping over the lost estate of man. Jesus came to reveal God, in order that we might know the truth about God.

Sadly, many do not believe in the incarnation (a person who embodies in the flesh a deity, spirit, or abstract quality). They state they do not believe that Jesus is God in the flesh. They claim they do not see any reason why God would have to come in the flesh. So, what is the reason for the incarnation? That God might communicate to us the truth about Himself, the truth that had been lost in the garbled concepts man had created of God.

We are sons of God through faith; we have been begotten again through our faith, we have been “born again.” There is only one begotten Son in the sense that Jesus was begotten of the Father and we beheld Him as the only [a] begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.  God made man for fellowship. This is the sole purpose of God creating you, that He might receive just praise and glory, all of this from your fellowship with Him. He wants to enjoy and receive that joy and blessing of just fellowshipping with you. Sounds sort of selfish? Perhaps, it is. Nothing I can do about it. That is why God created you and me. That is the only reason why God created us, really, that we might have fellowship with Him.

If you are not fulfilling that primary purpose of your life, then your life is bound to be empty, unfulfilling, and ultimately frustrating. Why? Because you are not fulfilling the basic purpose for which God created you. You are not answering that basic need and necessity in man of worshipping God, fellowshipping with Him. Man did not live long on this planet before he broke that fellowship with God by disobedience, sinning against Go. And the net effect of sin is always that of severing fellowship with God.

“God’s hand is not short, that He cannot save; neither is His ear heavy, that He cannot hear; but your sins have separated between you and God.”  Isaiah 59:1-2

Sin always has the effect of separating man from Almighty God, the Creator. In order that man might again have fellowship with God, something had to be done about man’s sin. God first sent Moses and gave Moses the Law: the law of sacrifices, the covering of sin, making possible the restoration of fellowship with God. Basically, these offerings were just fellowship offerings. The communion offerings, the meal offering, in which I would just sit and eat with God and fellowship with Him after the sin offering; then, that offering of consecration, the burnt offering. And then, the peace offering, the fellowship offering, where I just sit down and eat with God and fellowship with Him, but that could not be until first of all, the sin offering. I had to take care, first, of the sin. Therefore, under the law of Moses, the covenant of God through Moses, there was that provision for the covering of sin so that man could be restored in fellowship with God.

The law as God intended it was a tool by which man could into fellowship with God, but an imperfect tool because of man’s failures. There is nothing wrong with the law; it was good, it was holy. But man was still sinful and thus, the necessity of year after year the offering of the sacrifices for sin.

Now, through Jesus Christ, God has established a new covenant of grace and truth. By the law, Moses’ covenant with God, but now through Jesus Christ a new covenant, a new covenant that is established on the grace of God and the truth of Jesus Christ. So, “the law came by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.”

* Encyclopedias – International Standard Bible Encyclopedia – Begotten

BEGOTTEN

be-got’-‘-n (yaladh; “to bear,” “bring forth,” “beget”; denotes the physical relation of either parent to a child, Genesis 3:16; 4:18):

Used metaphorically of God’s relation to Israel (Deuteronomy 32:18) and to the Messianic king (Psalms 2:7); (gennao, “to beget,” or “bear”): generally used of a father (Matthew 1:1-16); more rarely of a mother (Luke 1:13,57); used metaphorically of causing or engendering moral and spiritual relations and states (1 Corinthians 4:15; Philemon 1:10); of the new birth the Holy Spirit (John 3:3). Men who obey and love God as sons are begotten of Him (John 1:13; 1 John 2:29; 3:9; 4:7; 5:1,4,18; compare 1 Peter 1:23). Used especially of God’s act in making Christ His Son: “Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee” (Psalms 2:7) quoted in Acts 13:33 in reference to His resurrection (compare Romans 1:4). The same passage is cited (Hebrews 1:5) as proving Christ’s filial dignity, transcending the angels in that “he hath inherited a more excellent name than they,” i.e. the name of son; and again (Hebrews 5:5) of God conferring upon Christ the glory of the priestly office.

Commentators differ as to whether the act of begetting the Son in these two passages is:

the eternal generation, or

the incarnation in time, or

the resurrection and ascension.

The immediate context of Hebrews 1:5 (see Hebrews 1:3) seems to favor the last view (Westcott). The first view would not be foreign to the author’s thought:

with Hebrews 5:5 compare Hebrews 6:20, “a high priest forever” (Alford). The author of Hebrews thinks of the eternal and essential sonship of Christ as realized in history in His ascension to the “right hand of the Majesty” (Hebrews 1:3). And what is emphatic is the fact and status of sonship, rather than the time of begetting.

 

 

 

Prayers for Self-Deliverance & Breaking of Generational Curses

Pray ALWAYS in the Name Of Jesus Christ!

I break all generational curses of pride, rebellion, lust, poverty, witchcraft, idolatry, death, destruction, failure, sickness, infirmity, fear, schizophrenia, and rejection in the name of Jesus.

 

I command all generational and hereditary spirits operating in my life through curses to be bound and cast out in the name of Jesus.

 

I command all spirits of lust, perversion, adultery, fornication, uncleanness, and immorality to come out of my sexual character in the name of Jesus.

 

I command all spirits of hurt, rejection, fear, anger, wrath, sadness, depression, discouragement, grief, bitterness, and unforgiveness to come out of my emotions in the name of Jesus.

 

I command all spirits of confusion, forgetfulness, mind control, mental illness, double-mindedness, fantasy, pain, pride, and memory recall to come out of my mind in the name of Jesus.

 

I break all curses of schizophrenia and command all spirits of double-mindedness, rejection, rebellion, and root of bitterness to come out in the name of Jesus.

 

I command all spirits of guilt, shame, and condemnation to come out of my conscience in the name of Jesus.

 

I command all spirits of pride, stubbornness, disobedience, rebellion, self-will, selfishness, and arrogance to come out of my will in the name of Jesus.

 

I command all spirits of addiction to come out of my appetite in the name of Jesus.

 

I command all spirits of witchcraft, sorcery, divination, and occult to come out in the name of Jesus.

 

I command all spirits operating in my head, eyes, mouth, tongue, and throat to come out in the name of Jesus.

 

I command all spirits operating in my chest and lungs to come out in the name of Jesus.

 

I command all spirits operating in my back and spine to come out in the name of Jesus.

 

I command all spirits operating in my stomach, navel, and abdomen to come out in the name of Jesus.

I command all spirits operating in my heart, spleen, kidneys, liver, and pancreas to come out in the name of Jesus.

 

I command all spirits operating in my sexual organs to come out in the name of Jesus.

 

I command all spirits operating in my hands, arms, legs, and feet to come out in the name of Jesus.

 

I command all demons operating in my skeletal system, including my bones, joints, knees, and elbows, to come out in the name of Jesus.

 

I command all spirits operating in my glands and endocrine system to come out in the name of Jesus.

 

I command all spirits operating in my blood and circulatory systems to come out in the name of Jesus.

 

I command all spirits operating in my muscles and muscular system to come out in the name of Jesus.

 

I command all religious spirits of doubt, unbelief, error, heresy, and tradition that came in through religion to come out in the name of Jesus.

 

I command all spirits from my past that are hindering my present and future to come out in the name of Jesus.

 

I command all ancestral spirits that entered through my ancestors to come out in the name of Jesus.

 

I command all hidden spirits hiding in any part of my life to come out in the name of Jesus.

 

Uprising of Spiritual Abuse

 

Spiritual Abuse is real. There are several ways in which abuse can be spiritual abuse. People use this term with a variety of meanings and it is quite important to keep track of which definition people have in mind.

There is a sense in which all abuse can be spiritual abuse. For example, any form of child abuse can do damage to a child’s emerging spirituality. The fact that the damage includes damage to the spiritual self is what makes it spiritual abuse in addition to whatever other kind of abuse is going on.

Some abuse is spiritual abuse because it takes place in a spiritual place/context. Sexual abuse by a priest or pastor, for example, is clearly a form of spiritual abuse in addition to sexual abuse.

The use of spiritual truths or biblical texts to do harm is another form of spiritual abuse. Sometimes battered wives are told that God wants them to be submissive to their husbands. Sometimes children who are being molested by their parents are told that God wants them to be obedient. Sometimes people quote “do not think of yourself more highly that you ought” to suicidally depressed people. These are examples of abuse–even if what is said is a quote from the Bible, even if ‘submission’ and ‘obedience’ are in a general, sense virtues. It is the twisting of good things to do harm that is so disturbing about this kind of abuse.

Some abuse is spiritual abuse because the victim is perceived to be in a position of spiritual authority. Think here, for example, of the abuse of pastors by congregations. The real power in religious systems may not be in the hands of the obvious leadership.

Coercive spirituality is a form of spiritual abuse. This is most obvious in totalitarian cults. But there are many other forms of coercion. Compulsive religious practices are thought by some to be appropriate forms of Christian education of children. Others more committed to the notions of ‘soul freedom’ and ‘liberty of conscience’ are repelled at the idea of religious coercion.

Some abuse is spiritual abuse because it invokes divine authority to manipulate people into performing behaviors which meet the needs of the abuser. Example: If I am anxious in my relationship with God and I think that ‘success’ in evangelistic activities will solve that problem, then I may try to get someone to convert so that I will feel less anxious. This ‘using’ of someone else’s spiritual life to meet my spiritual needs is uncomfortably analogous to someone who ‘uses’ another person’s sexuality to meet their own needs. The latter is sexual abuse. The former is spiritual abuse.

Some abuse is spiritual abuse because it introduces a grace-less contingency in our relationship with God. This form of spiritual abuse is one of the central preoccupations of the New Testament text. Consider Jesus’ harsh comments about those who ‘lay burdens’ on others — those who make God’s love contingent on spiritual practices of one kind or another.

Biblical references on spiritual abuse

Spiritual abuse as speaking for God when God has not spoken
Her officials within her are like wolves tearing their prey; they shed blood and kill people to make unjust gain. Her prophets whitewash these deeds for them by false visions and lying divinations. They say, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says’-when the LORD has not spoken.
Ezekiel 22:28


Spiritual abuse as adding burdens

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
Matthew 11:28-30

They tie up heavy loads and put them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.
Matthew 23:4

“why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of the disciples a yoke that neither we nor our fathers have been able to bear?”
Acts 15:10

Spiritual Abusers as Ravenous wolves
“Beware of the false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.”
Matthew 7:15

Spiritual Abusers as Whitewashed tombs
27 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside, are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean. 28 In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside, you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.”
Matthew 23

Spiritual Abusers as “Brood of vipers”
“You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell?”
Matthew 23:33

Spiritual Abusers as “Blind guides”
“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.”
Matthew 23:23-24

RESOURCES

  • The National Association of Christian Recovery nacr.org
  • Three lectures on the topic of spiritual abuse by Jeff VanVonderen:

Healthy and Abusive Spiritual Dynamics

The Abusive Religious System

How We Get Hooked

This video can also be viewed online for free here

 

Do You Want to Stop? Then Find the Escape Hatch.

The most important strategy for beating temptation is avoid it all together. Stay out of the contest. Do not even go near it. As humans we like to play with danger, to have options, and take trouble head-on, because we believe that we can always pack on more power than our opponents. Not true!
With these temptations our instincts get us into trouble. You see, temptation pits us against our own sin nature and all the powers of evil. Just look around you. Sin weakens us and compromises our ability to receive God’s favor that He wants to give us.
Ponder this thought, we would never sin if we were never tempted. Stay away from the deceptive tactics of Satan whenever possible. Eve would not have eaten the forbidden fruit if she stayed away from the forbidden tree. The same is true for us.
For example, I overcame drug addiction. And because I have decided not to smoke pot, or use any other recreational drugs, I avoid places that are prone to have drugs available; parties and friends that use drugs. Someone who has overcome drunkenness will tell you that having decided not to drink, they stay out of bars, liquor stores, and away from drinking friends.
Someone who struggles with pornography has stated that he had started pulling into an adult video store on his way home from work. It had now become a habit. He was asked “is there another route you can take to get home?” He admitted that he never considered that option, but also watched trashy shows on HBO while his wife was sleeping at night. “Do you really want to quit?“ he was asked. He answered in the affirmative. He was advised to cancel his subscription to HBO. He did, and now enjoys sleeping with his wife in peace.
When you are ready to quit something that is ruining your life, you will do whatever necessary to remove that sin. But know this, it is refreshing to know that if you ask God to help you avoid evil, He will. He is your Father and watches out for you even when you do not. Just ask Him and He will tell you where not to go.
The Bible tells us in 1 Corinthians 10:13, “13 No temptation [regardless of its source] has overtaken or enticed you that is not common to human experience [nor is any temptation unusual or beyond human resistance]; but God is faithful [to His word—He is compassionate and trustworthy], and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability [to resist], but along with the temptation He [has in the past and is now and] will [always] provide the way out as well, so that you will be able to endure it [without yielding, and will overcome temptation with joy].”
Imagine for a minute that you are standing in front of your home and see a stranger coming up your street. He is dressed in black and walks in your direction. You notice that he is checking mailboxes and house numbers. You realize that this figure is here to do you harm, so you suck behind some bushes. A soon as the stranger finds your address, he steps up to your door and knocks.
As you watch, the door opens, and you see something remarkable. The person answering the door is Jesus.
The stranger hesitates, “Excuse me, but isn’t this the house of _____?” And he speaks your name.
Jesus replies, “As a matter of fact, it is. But My friend has asked Me to guard the door.”
The stranger tense, grinds his teeth, and seems to consider forcing his way in. Then he looks down at the hand on the knob. He sees the nail scars. He glances up at Jesus’ head and the marks left by the thorns.
And the stranger scowls as he turns away…
This is a defensive measure used by Martin Luther, the reat reformed of the sixteenth century, when he faced temptaions of all kinds. On the front lines of a spiritual awakening that wa shaking the world. Luther felt himself under constant attack. His story of Jesus answering the door of his home when temptation came calling had a specific purpose. It was his way of meditating on a powerful truth about Christ’s power to help us escape temptation. “Because He Himself [in His humanity] has suffered in being tempted, He is able to help and provide immediate assistance to those who are being tempted and exposed to suffering.” Hebrews 2:18.
This is the wonderful escape clause in 1 Corinthians 10:13. In His faithfulness, God pledges to not allow any temptation to push you beyond your ability to resist.
How do I use this? I say aloud, “This temptation to (name of sin) is not too strong for me, because my Father has limited it to what I am able to cope with right now; the truth of it is that there is a way out of this temptation, and God will not allow it to overpower me!”
You see my friend, God will help you in your temptation. He will open the way for you to escape.
If you do not already have a personal relationship with God, and desire one, why not prayer this prayer:
God I’m sorry for my sin. I turn from it right now. I thank You for sending Jesus Christ to die on the cross for my sin. Jesus, I ask You to come into my heart and life right now. Be my Lord, Savior, and friend. Help me to follow You all the days of my life as Your disciple. Thank You for forgiving me and receiving me right now. Thank You that my sin is forgiven and that I’m going to Heaven. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

Perhaps you have strayed from Jesus Christ. You have been a prodigal son or daughter. God will forgive you right now if you will return to Him. He tells us in Scripture, “My wayward children, come back to Me and I will heal your wayward hearts” (Jeremiah 3:22, If you would like to return to God and rededicate your life to Him right now, you may want to pray like this:
God I’m sorry for my sin. I’m, sorry that I have strayed from You. I ask You to forgive me now as I repent of my sin. I don’t want to live like a prodigal any longer. Renew and revive me as I once again follow You as my God. Thank You for Your forgiveness. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

Why Good Works Won’t Work

“Heaven never gets worse, only better. Hell never gets better, only worse.” Bruce Wilkinson

Do not be confused: Your good works can never lessen the torment of hell, in the same way that an evil work (sin) cannot lessen the joys of heaven. Please read on…

The Bible clearly tells us that we must be completely sinless to enter Heaven.

9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit or have any share in the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate [by perversion], nor those who participate in homosexuality, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers [whose words are used as weapons to abuse, insult, humiliate, intimidate, or slander], nor swindlers will inherit or have any share in the kingdom of God [This list of sinners is used by Paul to describe various sinful lifestyles. All such lifestyles are impossible for true believers, who continue to sin but not to live lives of sin]. 11 And such were some of you [before you believed]. But you were washed [by the atoning sacrifice of Christ], you were sanctified [set apart for God, and made holy], you were justified [declared free of guilt] in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the [Holy] Spirit of our God [the source of the believer’s new life and changed behavior].

1 Corinthians 6:9-11

That’s impossible, right? No one can solve the problem of sin on his/her own. What if I told you that the penalty for sin, even one sin, is death. Doesn’t seem fair does it? Let’s face it, none of us is perfect, we all sin, but the punishment according to the Bible is in fact, death. Ever since Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden, death, both physical and spiritual, has been the consequence. In the book of Genesis we read,

16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may freely (unconditionally) eat [the fruit] from every tree of the garden; 17 but [only] from the tree of the knowledge (recognition) of good and evil you shall not eat, otherwise on the day that you eat from it, you shall most certainly die [Both spiritually and physically, physical death in the sense of becoming mortal; they were created immortal-because of your disobedience].

Genesis 2:16-17

And in the New Testament we read:

For the wages of sin, is death.  Romans 6:23

Ponder this, suppose I went before a judge and was sentenced to die. However, I told the judge that I would spend the rest of my life doing a lot of community service. Would that work?

Of course not. So, there is no solution, is there? There is no hope.

Unless…I could find someone to be a perfect substitute. What if I could find someone who volunteered to substitute for me, to stand in my place, when it came time for God to judge me? Mind you that person would have to be 100% good. That would be great, wouldn’t it?

The Bible says that Jesus was God’s only Son and He alone lived on this earth without sin. In fact, God sent His only Son to earth so that He could be our substitute, die in our place, and pay the penalty for our sin, once and for all.

You have a choice to make. You can believe in your ‘good’ works, and hope you are correct, or you can believe in Jesus Christ and His death on your behalf.

For God so [greatly] loved and dearly prized the world, that He [even] gave His [One and] only begotten Son [Jesus, God’s only Son, the One who is truly unique, the only one of His kind], so that whoever believes and trusts in Him [as Savior] shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge and condemn the world [that is, to initiate the final judgment of the world], but that the world might be saved through Him.  John 3:16-17

If you are not sure that heaven is your destination, I urge you to put your faith in what Jesus said. If you want to put your full trust in Him, then why not pray this prayer….

Dear God, I am sorry for my sins, and now I know I cannot do anything to fix them. I accept Your Son’s death as full payment for my sins, and I receive the Lord Jesus Christ as my Savior. And Jesus, I am going to start serving You right now! In Your name, amen.

Friend, this is a prayer that God ALWAYS answers and is delighted to hear. If you just put your full trust in Jesus for your salvation, your eternal destination has already permanently changed from hell to heaven! Welcome to the family of God. You are now a new creation in Jesus. The Bible says:

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ [that is, grafted in, joined to Him by faith in Him as Savior], he is a new creature [reborn and renewed by the Holy Spirit]; the old things [the previous moral and spiritual condition] have passed away. Behold, new things have come [because spiritual awakening brings a new life]. 2 Corinthians 5:17

You now have eternal life as stated in John 3:16. Now you are a child of God and an heir of salvation.

Therefore you are no longer a slave (bond-servant), but a son; and if a son, then also an heir through [the gracious act of] God [through Christ].  Galatians 4:7

From this moment on, you do not have to hope that your good works will add up to your salvation, because like every other true follower of Jesus, you now understand the meaning of these well-known verses:

For it is by grace [God’s remarkable compassion and favor drawing you to Christ] that you have been saved [actually delivered from judgment and given eternal life] through faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [not through your own effort], but it is the [undeserved, gracious] gift of God; not as a result of [your] works [nor your attempts to keep the Law], so that no one will [be able to] boast or take credit in any way [for his salvation].  Ephesians 2:8-9

Because of this grace, you will never experience in eternity the negative consequences for your sins, because Jesus took those on Himself.

If you have prayed this prayer, please contact us so that we may send you some materials to help you in your walk.