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Fukushima First Baptist Church – an evacuated pastor’s diary 1

This report is from Pastor Akira Sato, who is the pastor for the Fukushima First Baptist Church, near the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. He is the pastor of the church where the project leader Mr. Sato is a member. Please pray for this congregation.

13th March – Report 1

Evacuation report by Pastor Akira Satoh

Dear members of churches and pastors,

Praise the name of the Lord. I truly appreciate all your prayers and thoughts for us.

On March 11th, when the earthquake struck, I was in Chiba to attend the commencement ceremony of Tokyo Christian University. I am still in Chiba because of the rough conditions of the road and the lack of gasoline. I have been trying to contact with church members who were stricken by the quake, as well as with Rev. Masashi Sato, and finding out how they are doing.

This has been triple disasters. Because of the quake, some member’s house was partially destroyed. I still haven’t been able to get in touch with the families who live near the beach. JR Tomioka station has been washed away by the tsunami. The city was utterly destroyed. You have already heard of the accident of Fukushima first nuclear power plant. All the residents were forced to evacuate, and my church members had to get on a bus without any belongings and sent to schools and gyms separately. It’s been hard to find out how they are doing. I heard that there were not enough blankets for everyone, and some couldn’t sleep all night because it was cold in the shelter. In some shelters, no water or food were distributed all day. I’m very concerned for Bro. Suenaga, 95-year-old, who was in a hospital due to pneumonia was forced to leave the hospital to evacuate. There are also people who have broken bones, in need of dialysis, with little children or children with disabilities…

I heard that onigiri (rice balls) have been distributed 3 times a day, one each at a time. Nevertheless, I can’t help worrying about those who are elderly and sick. They must have been exhausted by now. I covet your fervent prayers for them.

In addition, my biggest prayer request is that there would be no more radiation leaks. The worst possible scenario would be that people would never be able to go back to their town and homes, and that the church would be closed down and the history of mission in this region would end. Please pray this wouldn’t happen. Please pray that people would be able to come back to the city and church doors would be opened again and we can praise and worship the Lord there again.

Today’s service was canceled as well as a baptismal service and an engagement service which was planned to be held today. I have no idea for how long church members have to wander being unable to go home… I feel depressed to just think about it. However, I do believe and confess that our almighty God and the Lord of the history who reigns everything including nature WILL open a new page of mission and lead us on.

Rev. Keiichi Mori has requested prayer after receiving my phone call this morning. I really appreciate it. Some 10+ people have moved from a shelter to Aizu Chapel. They will stay there. I’m very grateful for it. Others will have to stay in shelters where they are now. Many people have offered help and even to donate. I’m so grateful. The church has been closed and we can’t even go into the city, but if you could use the account number which is listed on the Conservative Baptist directory, I’d appreciate it very much. (To give through post office, the account number is Koriyama 1-2199 Fukushima First Bible Baptist Church 郡山1-2199福島第一聖書バプテスト教会)

Lastly, my last Sunday’s message was titled “Hezekiah, an urgent prayer,” Even though I never expected something like this would happen the following week. When about to destroyed by Assyria, Hezekiah put on sackcloth, prayed, and requested an urgent prayer to prophet Isaiah as they faced the life or death crisis of the nation. Then, the king of Assyria went back to Nineveh and killed by his own son. Before Hezekiah knew it, the crisis has passed… We were reminded that God of the history works in a wondrous way. I have never thought I would have to request an urgent prayer just like Hezekiah, and that we would be scattered to different shelters, and read the Word at wherever we were placed.

Again, I humbly request your fervent, urgent prayers that our church would survive this crisis and the work of mission would not be stopped, that we would rise again, and that the radiation leak would be stopped. I covet your prayer.

14th March – Report 2

We have contacted 150 church members and they are safe. Hallelujah! One sister told me that waves approached her but she was able to swim to safety. My eyes fill with tears as I call members from a pay phone – fifty or sixty still need to be contacted.

As we travelled to Yonezawa we bought quite a few materials. I heard other shoppers say, “He is panic buying” but I didn’t feel like defending myself. Buses took us to the rescue centres. One of them is quite comfortable with hot springs nearby and some shops too.

Another place has no heating, and very little food. To protect ourselves from cold, I bought many pairs of warm socks. At a mobile phone shop, I asked for a charger and extra cables. They spoke words of encouragement which was quite moving.

When I hear news of rescue teams coming from abroad, it moves me to tears. To avoid congestion, we will leave in two hours time, after midnight.

16th March – Report 3

Travelling with two other trucks we stopped at some shops at about 1am on March 15th and bought whatever was there. We arrived at a church in Aizu at 11am – 10 hours drive from Chiba. We will take shelter here for a while.

About a third of our 60 church members live close to the Fukushima power plant. They had to go through radiation checks, so we all gathered in the afternoon for a time of worship. I could hear people sobbing and saw that they had been through hardship. In the evening I went to a nearby hot spring. What a relief to have a soak after five days! People are so glad to find each other, which again led me to tears. Our nomad life has started. When I asked people whether they had any laundry, their reply was that there were no clothes to wash. All they have is what they are wearing.

Now we need to find petrol and a place to stay. Sixty of us decided to move north to Yamagata hoping to be able to stay there longer. Nothing is clear to us – Will be able to go back home? If so, how long it will take? Will we ever be able to worship in our church again, or will the town simply be abandoned? Like the Israelites in the desert, all we can do is follow God as He leads us with pillars of fire and clouds.

1 I lift up my eyes to the mountains — where does my help come from?

2 My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.

3 He will not let your foot slip — he who watches over you will not slumber;

4 indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.

5 The LORD watches over you — the LORD is your shade at your right hand;

6 the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night.

7 The LORD will keep you from all harm — he will watch over your life;

8 the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore. ’

(Psalm 121)

18th March – Report 4

I feel upheld by the prayers of our friends. Listening to the stories of people here I see that each one arrived through fire and through tsunami. One church member who I was very concerned about contacted me yesterday. He had a heart attack immediately after the earthquake. If he had not had emergency surgery 30 minutes later, he would have died. He was very grateful that God had saved him.

A female member escaped death by sitting in her colleague’s seat at work. Later, as she was driving, the roads had been affected by liquefaction. She gave a lift to some who were running for their lives and one of these people was able to tell her how to drive in these conditions. Many cars were stuck in cracks on the road. She arrived at a rescue center, and then went on to another one. Now she is staying with relatives.

The most miraculous thing to me is that I never get asked questions like ‘Why did God allow this?’ or ‘I can’t believe in God. There is no God.’ From the 160 members I have been in touch with, all I hear are words like, ‘God is great. I want to trust Him as I walk with Him from now on.’ I marvel at the strength of their faith in the Lord.

Yesterday, three of those who are with us prayed to receive Jesus into their hearts. Hallelujah!

Two days ago, when we were moving from Fukushima to Yamagata, some decided to stay with their friends and family. Once more, I was moved to tears, fearing we might not see each other again. It is very sad to say goodbye to members of God’s family.

Yesterday a total of 12 cars drove through a blizzard to the next place. The church facilities here in Yonezawa are blanketed with snow. In extremely cold weather, church members welcomed us with hot udon and soba. I ate a rice ball trying not to cry. ‘Lord, make our hearts as white as the snow that surrounds us.’

Are we going to be diaspora people? Are we going to be led to a stable life? What is obvious is that God is shaking everything through these extraordinary events. Some people are receiving the Lord Jesus without question. Others are repenting saying their belief in God was dormant. They say that what sustains us as human beings is actually very little. We don’t really need many material possessions. The Lord challenges each one, shaking them from the bottom of their souls. Is this a beginning of an Exodus into a new frontier that the Lord is opening for us?

19 March – Report 5

Day 3 in Yonezawa. I am grateful for the prayers and support of our brothers and sisters. People around me say they left home thinking they would only be gone for an hour or two. They literally have nothing with them. Brothers and sisters are bringing us food and clothing from all over Japan. I feel like Elijah, sustained by God with food carried by a raven. Our group of 50 is kept well by kind donations. Many of us are tired, and go to see the doctor. I have had a fever.

Yesterday I had my mobile in my hand but couldn’t remember what I had been going to do. I felt numb. My heart ached. Two or three layers of loss suddenly engulfed me. My home was gone, so was my church. I was driven from my town. My ministry is gone. I can’t see what is going to happen next. I am trying to grasp the whole thing, but find myself unable to.

My church was planted by an American missionary long before the power plant was built. Fukushima First (part of our church name) was the name given by the missionary in accordance with the practice of his church at home. The power plant has the same name, but ours was named first. Two days ago, a brother who works at the plant but has been with us, was called back to work. We prayed together with his family and sent him off. Other church members are working there risking their lives. ’Lord, please protect them with your mighty hand.’ In 1 Chron. 4:10 we read, ‘Jabez cried out to the God of Israel‚ Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.‘ And God granted his request.

21st March – Report 6

We had a worship service yesterday, the first in two weeks. Yonezawa church let us use their musical instruments, PA and video equipment. I cried, blaming the leader (the assistant pastor) who was also in tears! It seems that if you have to cry, you should do it without embarrassment. I will cry 50 years worth, or a life-time worth of tears.

Living with fifty people, cooking, eating, and sleeping with them is out of the ordinary. It has been ten days now and I can’t even tell what is ordinary and what is not. I am trying to accept it and go with the flow. By doing so, I might be charging my battery for the days to come.

Is. 42:3: ‘A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out‘ May the Great Shepherd embrace this flock and carry them on His wings.

Report 1 translated by Sachi Nakamura, Report 2-6 translated by Yoshie Yokoyama

Source

http://f1church.com/

Photo link

http://gallery.me.com/smatch#100081

Testimony:

I got into yoga before going to college, and when the Lord came for me after my first year, I became a truly converted and regenerated believer in Christ. For a short time, though, because of a lack of knowledge, I went further and practiced what is called Ashtanga Yoga. Being an athlete, I thought it was great! It was supposed to be good for ME. I had strength and vitality; I could move in ways that others could not and I was proud of it. Oh and the supposed “stress relief”…I was sold!

It did not take long for the Lord to take away the blindness. When the Lord first pricked my heart and conscience that practicing this kind of yoga is wrong, I tried to ignore it…LITERALLY. I would still go to yoga practice but would sometimes try to plug my ears whenever someone opened with a chant or meditation. I thought “Well I believe in Christ now, and I can still practice, but just not do the things that make it seem bad.” Ugh!!! Our God says, “I am the LORD your God, you shall have NO other gods before Me.” Then, in my particular case, these “yogis” as they are called, started talking about practicing so that Garugi the Monkey God would not be angry. (Hello…anyone see something wrong here?!?!). Finally, I couldn’t take it. I was out of there.

True Christians love God more than anything else. Period. It is not fanatical to give up your life for Christ. It is what we as Christians are called to do. We are to join Him in the fellowship of His sufferings and count the cost worthy to suffer for His sake. Very often that means giving up what we think will make us happy. If God truly has your heart bound to Him in Christ Jesus, you cannot practice sin consistently as a pattern of life. What a mercy of God that He chastens those whom He loves.

 Many demonstrate by their lives the belief that Jesus the Christ is an accessory, something they’ve got tacked on to life along with all of the other baggage. “I’ll do what I want, and Christ can come, too.” No, brothers and sisters. Christ is all in all. The beginning and the end. You cannot live the Christian life in word only. Please come back to Christ. In Love,

(printed by permission)

Finding Freedom From The Spirits Of “Revival”

Part 1: When Evil Perseveres

By Ed Tarkowski

God is working within the “revival,” not to lead people further into it, but to lead people out of it. We should all be familiar with the phenomena of the “revival” at this point, and there have been many in the past who have hesitatingly experienced things and realized what they were experiencing was not of God. The question is, “How have they gotten free from that which tried to effect them or actually did affect them?” Some of those who have come free of the so-called “Toronto Blessing” have not had much of a struggle while others have, and it to these that I address this series. I have at one time or another heard from people who do enter into what seems like an endless battle to get free of what they had submitted themselves to. Hopefully, this article will help them tomove on with the Lord.

KNOWING THIS: Jesus Has Authority Over The Spirit World

A Christian can be deceived if he does not hold fast to the word of God. If you want to be free from the effects you’ve experienced in the false “revival,” the answer is quite simple: GET BACK TO THE BASICS. The question is, what are the basics? It seems little has been written on getting free of the effects of the “revival.” Many end up rebuking demons or praying or fasting and yet the struggle goes on, for some, to be free in spite of such efforts. Their struggle and feelings they encountered when they received “the Blessing” persist or leave for a time and then return. Often, though not always, this struggle is carried on for quite a length of time, even for years, rebuking spirits in Jesus’ name only to find little or no or slow deliverance. Many have rebuked demons over and over again, yet the phenomena persists in their lives. Yet, the Scripture is clear concerning the Lordship of Christ over the spiritual realm:

JESUS CREATED THE SPIRIT WORLD:

Col 1:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:

17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

JESUS HAS AUTHORITY OVER THE SPIRIT WORLD:

Eph 1:19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,

20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,

21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:

22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,

23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

HIS AUTHORITY OVER THE SPIRIT WORLD IS SEEN IN THE CHURCH

Acts 16:16 And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying:

17 The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which show unto us the way of salvation.

18 And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour.

I believe the reason why this struggle sometimes persists is because during this time there is an emphasis on prayer, rebuking and examining oneself and what one is feeling and whether the feelings are subsiding or worsening rather than on what God has FIRST commanded. These things engulf some Christians and they talk much about their feelings and fears and doubts. For some, this cycle only tends to increase anxiety and the desire to be free. For some, doubts creep in to make the battle worse:

1. Maybe I am lost because these things persist?

2. Maybe God is so angry He has given me over to these things?

3. Will I ever be free?

4. Maybe I was never saved to begin with?

5. When will these things leave?

6. Why is God doing this to me?

7. I don’t want these feelings, but can I ever get rid of them?

Why this vicious cycle? Many have also prayed and prayed and yet the phenomena persists. Rebuking the devil and his demons and prayer are good things and they are Scriptural things that are be done to get oneself free from such things. But, to repeat, many do these things for a time and then find the manifestations and feelings trying to come back. I believe the reason this happens is given in these verses:

Mat 12:43 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none.

44 Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished.

45 Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.

When a Christian believes on Christ, he is delivered from spirits and sins of the flesh and the love for the world during an initial work of the Spirit of God in his life. This working by the Holy Spirit is to accomplish one purpose: to begin to conform one to the image of Christ in one’s Chirstian walk (Romans 8:26-29). This work is to bring about two things: to take out of one’s life those things that do not reflect the second purpose: bringing the believer into a walk where they manifest the character of Christ. Being conformed to His life does not mean having all nine gifts dripping off of one’s fingertips or having a powerful ministry. It has to do with the bringing forth the fruit of the Spirit in one’s life. The extent to which this is accomplished by the Holy Spirit in the believer’s life is equal to one’s faithfulness in reading the word of God in its proper context out of a deep desire to be holy as He is holy. Once the fruit of the Spirit becomes evident, one usually finds an increase of gifts and ministry to others.

The “revival” shortcircuits this work of the Holy Spirit by emphasizing gifts and spiritual experiences as one’s supposed preparation for service to the Lord. These gifts and experiences, of course, are counterfeits and open doors for demons to masquerade as the Holy Spirit. What Paul feared for the Corinthians then comes to pass:

2 Cor 11:3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

4 For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.

Notice why entrance is given to the “other gospel” or “other Jesus” or “other spirit” (which “other” there is really not): the mind has been corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. Once the simplicity which is in Christ as related in the word in context is changed, the word is corrupted and one is open to receive the counterfeit “Jesus” or “spirit.” The renewing of the mind is now, so to speak, hindered and instead on its way to being “unrenewed.” The pure word of God is exchanged for a corruption of the word of God. The truth is exchanged for a lie. The sure foundation upon which one was building his Christian life is chipped away and another foundation laid. Such a one has literally moved his house from the Rock to a sandy beach. The softness of the sand, the glorious feeling of the sun, the sound of power of the rushing waves is very enticing . . . until the storm comes one is caught in troublesome predicament.

Notice that the verses from Corinthians point to the subtlety of the adversary that is wrapped around a corruption of the word of God. The good things of the Lord are used by the adversary in a very subtle way, things such as those we mentioned: the word of God and prayer and fasting. If you are trying to get free from experiencing manifestations or feelings that you submitted yourself to and find it a struggle, acknowledge the reason for it: you have forsaken the word of God in its proper context. You have received “another gospel” that proclaimed “another Jesus” who gave you “another spirit.” When a Christian has ignorantly submitted himself to these things and then tries to get free, the ones that seem to struggle getting free are the ones who turn to prayer and fasting and rebuking without dealing with the foundation of why they got themselves in such a fix in the first place: they received “another Jesus” and “another spirit” because they BELIEVED ANOTHER MESSAGE WHICH CHANGED WHO JESUS AND THE HOLY SPIRIT REALLY ARE. David wrote,

Psa 11:1 In the LORD put I my trust: how say ye to my soul, Flee as a bird to your mountain?

2 For, lo, the wicked bend their bow, they make ready their arrow upon the string, that they may privily shoot at the upright in heart.

3 If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?

Without restoring the Scriptural foundations, there will be an ongoing battle of prayer, fasting and rebuking. How many of you have stepped into the “River Revival” only to realize later that what you experienced was not of God? How many of you then immediately turned to fasting and prayer and rebuking, only to find a battle on your hands that only persists? Have you ever said to someone, “Yesterday I felt better, but today its all back again.” What you need to do is to undo what you allowed to be changed regarding the foundation of your Christian life, and the origin of your problems is PRIMARILY that you allowed the word of God to be changed in your mind and heart. What you should NOT DO is DWELL ON what happened to you, but renounce those things and repent before God that you listened to another message. You need to immediately get into the word of God and STAY IN IT to get your mind filled with the truth so that where the adversary “unrenewed” your mind can be restored back to its renewed state. How do you do that? Like I said, DON’T DWELL ON the “new” message, the lie, YOU received and believed, but certainly acknowledge having accepted another message in repentance and go over it ONLY ENOUGH to replace the lies you’ve believed with the truth of God’s word and then put the lie behind you. For instance, did the preacher you listened to say, “Don’t think about it, don’t question it, just receive it. It will become clear to you later once you’ve received”? Then repent for that, and read Scripture about discerning all things and how we are to renew our minds through the reading of the word. Read in Scripture how God gives understanding and wisdom and knowledge and expects us to know what we are believing and why and not to forsake what He has said. Read about how we are to meditate on God’s word and how the spiritual man is to discern all things by God’s word. Acknowledge your desire for feelings and how you desired experiencing “the presence of God.” Repent for desiring and being driven by the seeking of experiences and good feelings. Dwell on Scripture and discern the motive behind the desires of your heart:

Eccl 8:5 Whoso keepeth the commandment shall feel no evil thing: and a wise man’s heart discerneth both time and judgment.

6 Because to every purpose there is time and judgment, therefore the misery of man is great upon him.

Why is “the misery of [this] man great”? Because he didn’t “keepeth the commandment.” Therefore, his heart was not wise and he had no discernment because he didn’t keep God’s word. The word of God is our standard and it points to our true foundation: Jesus Christ.

Once you have gone through the steps that led you into the false experience, put them behind you and don’t think about them, but dwell on the truth of Scripture that you have now returned to. Let the desire of your heart be to know Jesus, to know Him better and to realize that He has conquered all the lies and deceits of the enemy and has authority over them.

Don’t get me wrong about praying and rebuking the devil and the like. I am not saying not to do these things. Prayer is necessary and certainly the Lord would have us exercise authority over spirits when they are truly discerned. But, rebuking the devil in Jesus’ name is not a forumla or a method or a thing for us to show what great power we have. That is play and show and leads to futility. We are to rebuke spirits we discern on the basis of a knowledge of Him who has been given all authority. It is our knowing Him as the one described in our opening Scriptures. The devil knows when you’re using Jesus’ name as a method or a process. That only leads to an ongoing battle that never seems to stop and can only lead to further oppression:

Acts 19:13 Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth.

14 And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so.

15 And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye?

16 And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.

Rebuking demons is a futile exercise unless they are backed up by a personal faith in Jesus Christ as the one who has power over all principalities and powers and thrones and dominions. Let me ask you this question if you are one who is constantly rebuking demons and things only seem to get worse. Have you ever had this thought while doing so: “I rebuked him and he didn’t leave. It didn’t work.” and you go one rebuking him over and over again. The fault here is with you, not with the authority of Jesus’ name. You would never allow this battle to go on and on if you really knew that you knew that you knew that Jesus’ name is spoken in His authority and that he backs up His authority. Repentance would then be in order for using His name as a forumla or a method. That’s using His name in vain. Reading the word of God about who He is in relation to the spirit world will bring faith in HIM as you meditate on the word and study the word to know Him more fully in this way. I’ve gone through this rebuking and rebuking until it wore me out. I would rebuke the devil while HOPING he would leave. As I read the word, faith in who Christ is came and my efforts to SOUND authoritive stopped. You know what I’m talking about. I would then rebuke whatever spirit once, and then stand on my knowledge of who Christ is and that He doesn’t lie. Doubts would still come for a very short time, but they could no longer overcome the faith in my heart concerning Christ. The constant rebuking stopped through a fuller knowledge of Him. He is risen. He is Lord of all and all authority is His in heaven and on earth and under the eatth.

In Ephesian 6, Paul stated:

Eph 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

Notice: you stand strong in the Lord and in the power of HIS might. Simply put, it isn’t who your are, it’s who He is.

11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

Allowing the devil to get you to believe he didn’t leave is only an invitation for him to stay. This is one of his wiles. If you truly discern a spirit, you rebuke him once and then stand strong in the Lord. You don’t talk to him, you don’t accept his doubts aimed at your mind, but you do stand in who the Lord is and when you get your mind on who Christ IS and don’t give the devil the satisfaction by thinking he’s going to be hard to get rid of, you are resisting him and he will flee.

12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Yes, he will try to get you into his “revival” and yes, he will make it seem like you can’t get rid of what you are experiencing. Turn your heart and mind, then, to the word of God because Scripture says we ARE complete in Christ and we ARE more than conquerors in Him. What I am saying is what Paul said in 2 Corinthians:

2 Corinthians 10:3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:

4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)

5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

6 And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.

Imaginations and high things exalt themselves in our lives through the mind when we don’t stay in the word of God. These things can come through the flesh, through false apostles and teachers and prophets or from the spirits themselves. The answer to them all is a knowledge of Christ given us in God’s word because imaginations and high things exalt themselves against “the knowledge of God.”

A good comparison concerning the spiritual mind can be found at The Scriptural Mind

Part 1: When Evil Perseveres

Source

Part 2: Being Established Through Repentence And The Word

Finding Freedom From The Spirits Of “Revival”
Part 2: Being Established Through Repentence And The Word
By Ed Tarkowski

The blood of the Lamb of God has purchased you and you are His possession. You may fall for the wiles of the devil, but a true child of God will “hear” the persistent promptings of the Holy Spirit within and sooner or later realize he has taken a wrong road. Many believers who have stepped onto the road of deception have all had thoughts or doubts about what they were doing. They have thought thoughts like, “Something seems wrong though it seems so right” or “I am not sure about all of this. I need to be cautious.” In spite of these checks in one’s spirit, many persist and even go up for prayer during “revival” services. But, through it all, God is there, prompting one that something is wrong until the realization hits that this is not of God. When it does, he must gird up his faith that though he has committed a grievous offense in his ignorance, the blood of Jesus still avails for him:

1 John 1:5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:
7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

Notice the words “if we walk in darkness.” That’s what has happened to you when you were deceived into the “revival” and all it entails. You turned from walking in the light of God to walking in darkness. It may have looked like light, but it was darkness. It may have looked like truth, but it was a lie. It may have looked like God and His workings, but it wasn’t. It was darkness, and Jesus said,

Mat 6:23 But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!

This leads to another area of repentance and a turning to the word of God. Being deceived into the “revival” lead you into a fellowship that is totally contrary to the fellowship described in 1 John, yet Scripture says,

2 Cor 6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?
16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,

When you caught on to what you were following, you started to come out of what you were entering into. You started to return to the true fellowship God has ordained for His people, fellowship with Himself and His people. The blood cleansed your conscience from these dead works and the word in its proper context once again was the light that got you back on the narrow road.

As I stated before, some have a hard time getting free of what they have experienced, but not all do get out. I have run across four kinds of people concerning the current “revival”:

1. Those who get so involved, they are absorbed into it to the point where their “faith” will never be shaken. I believe Hebrews 6:1-8 can be applied to some who have fallen for the “revival” teachings, even though these verses in context speak of Jews returning to the Old Covenant:

Heb 6:1 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,
2 Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.
3 And this will we do, if God permit.
4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,
5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,
6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.
7 For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God:
8 But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned.

I don’t believe in judging whether God can turn a man from evil when he goes astray, but there are some powerful implications in these verses. I also believe God does all He can to pull a wayward one back to the foundation which is in Christ, but it is the man who has to chose to repent and return.

2. Those who leave because they have been hurt or damaged and consider true Christianity a farce and leave it altogether

3. Those who come out of it immediately because the light of God’s word and conviction by the Holy Spirit is so clear

4. Those who come out of it, but struggle to get rid of the oppression and experiences and feelings

Regardless, God’s mindset, if you will, is to bring all into a relationship with Himself. His forgiveness is readily avaiable. He still wants to establish all in His truth and in Himself. Yet, it is the heart of the individual that limits to what extent God can work to fully restore them. But, know this: God wants to ESTABLISH you again in His truth and He has the total power to do so if you will return to the faith you once followed:

1. God desires to establish you again according to His gospel through your obedience yto the faith it presaents to you:

Rom 16:25 Now to him that is of power to STABLISH YOU ACCORDING TO my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,
26 But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:

2. God wants to establish you in holiness by ridding you of the deceptions you fell for:

1 Th 3:13 To the end HE MAY STABLISH YOUR HEARTS UNBLAMEABLE IN HOLINESS before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.

3. God wants to establish you in good works once again and deliver you from the works of darkness:

2 Th 2:16 Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace,
17 Comfort your hearts, and STABLISH YOU IN EVERY GOOD WORD AND WORK.

4. The Lord will establish you and deliver you from those who have not faith according to your faithfulness in doing what the word of God says. As you are faithful to His word, He is shown to be faithful to his word and will keep you from evil. Many think God will protect them from evil even when they are not responsible toward the word of God. He will certainly warn you, but He cannot force you to be faithful to His word. That is why when coming out of the “revival,” you must return towards a faithfulness to the word of God:

2 Th 3:1 Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you:
2 And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith.
3 But the Lord is faithful, WHO SHALL STABLISH YOU, and keep you from evil.
4 And we have confidence in the Lord touching you, that ye both do and will do the things which we command you.

5. As I said in Part 1, there are reasons to rebuke the devil, pray and fast, but what is crucial is your faithfulness to the word of God, to study it, meditate on it, and know Him in it in full reliance on the Holy Spirit because the adversary’s main goal is to get you to depart from the word of God in its true context. If you do depart from it in ignorance, know that that effort is the advsersary’s work to destroy you spiritually. But, through it all, God is prompting and warning and disturbing you that something is wrong and you should immediately check things out in His word through reading the Scriptures and prayer. The following verses has to do with persecution and trials because of preaching the gospel, but they also apply in this case:

1 Pet 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.
10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, STABLISH, strengthen, SETTLE YOU.

Notice: God WILL STABLISH you once again and SETTLE YOU. I say that because many get really unsettled when they realize what was happening to them. Notice, too, the meaning of the word SETTLE:

SETTLE 2311. themelioo, them-el-ee-o’-o; from G2310; to lay a basis for, i.e. (lit.) erect, or (fig.) consolidate:–(lay the) found (-ation), ground, settle.SETTLE 2310. themelios, them-el’-ee-os; from a der. of G5087; something put down, i.e. a substruction (of a building, etc.), (lit. or fig.):–foundation.

Notice the very last word in these definitions: foundation. God will return you to your true foundation, Jesus Christ, according to your response to His trying to save you from going too far down the road of “revival” to the point that you cannot hear Him at all.

I don’t totally understand why some have such a hard time getting free of the manifestations they submitted themselves to, but I do know that it is only through the truth of God’s word that they can persevere to the point of ridding themselves of them. Jesus said, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32).

One final note for this Part is that many people struggle to get OUT OF what they have brought themselves into with very little vision of getting BACK ONTO something. For some, the effects have been so devastating that all they can see is what has happened and is happening to them and that is what they emphasize. What they need to do is to set their eyes on the narrow road they desire to start walking again and keep the emphasis there. There has to come a point where they do what Paul says:

Phil 3:13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

There is a life and walk and a call on the Christian and after realizing one’s waywardness, one should also keep his eyes on the following as he does all he can against the oppression and then stands against those evils. Those things are described in Ephesians 6:

Eph 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

One word of caution here. I have heard many people say things like, “When I get up in the morning, I put on my armor. I pray, ‘I put on my righteousness and the belt of truth, etc.'” One gets the impression that this is just ritual and method and words rather than a realization of the realities of what the armor is. Check yourself out on this one and ask yourself if you do that, and then study what the following verses mean and that every one is a spiritual reality centered in Christ.

12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

Having returned to the word of God in its true context, you can now say you have “loins girt about with truth.” You have again placed your faith in the blood of Christ and your conscience is now clean. Hopefully, you didn’t go on and on confessing how wrong you were over and over again, and that you didn’t go on and on pleading the blood of Jesus. You only need to confess your sin once, and God said when you did, the blood did its work in your conscience. Don’t get hung up in trying to feel forgiven or feeling the blood cleansing you. It doesn’t matter how you feel. What matters is you simply believe God’s word concerning your confession of sin and the immediate cleansing of your sin.

Go over the basics of the gospel once again because what you’ve been through has placed teaching in your mind that sounded like the gospel, but wasn’t. Gird yourself with the basic truths of God’s word and God’s gospel concerning His Son. Realize, too, in God restoring you that the righteousness of Jesus Christ is yours, that Christ’s righteous is still yours through your faith in Jesus and His finished work. Such a realization gives great strength against the wiles of the enemy to accuse you and oppress you.

15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

Your going over the basics should be refershsing to your spirit, and it will help set your mind on one of the purposes God has for you: to present that message to others.

16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

The truth of God’s word is restoring you and your faith will increase as you spend time in it. I mentioned in Part 1 about going over, only as necessary, the steps which led you into apostasy so you can replace those lies with the truth of God’s word concerning who He is and what He does. This truth then becomes your shield against the fiery darts of the enemy.

17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

You are now on the road of maturity again, having left the road of apostasy. You are walking again in the truths of the gospel. You know what those truths are, having refreshed yourself in them. All the lies have pretty much been dealt with through the word of God, which has now restored your mind in the true knowledge of Him. The gospel and the lies you once accepted have now been destroyed and you realize that these things are the helmet of salvation, the truth of God’s word protecting you against the lies of the adversary.

18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

Prayer now becomes a very important part of your restoration to the truth, interceeding for others caught in the trap of the evil one. You also persevere in prayer as you watch for the wiles of the enemy and pray for God’s wisdom, strength and truth to deal with them in patient and sure manner.

19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,
20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

You are now realizing your freedom from that which had almost engulfed you, and you pray for boldness to be a witness to the true Gospel and the true Jesus Christ.

 Part 2

 

A Dangerous Journey – My Wife’s Deliverance from Extreme Pentecostalism (Part 1)

m’kayla has featured this amazing story on her blog.  Please read the full story from her link or go to Inerrant Word.

m’kayla’s korner

At the beginning of 2010 I decided I wanted to get involved in a more passionate “Christianity”. I have always thought of myself as a worshipper & I craved being around others who lived & breathed worshipping the Lord. 

Our church had been *pushing* & wanting revival to break out. So naturally I went home one day and decided to research about what “revival” actually was and how we could get it!  Through my discoveries I found out about The Welsh Revival, Charles Finney and others.

I wanted *revival* to break out in our church. The more I read about the “amazing” things that happened in Wales, the more I wanted that to happen to us.

A member of our church had been involved in the Brownsville Revival.  She told me many stories about the revival that happened there & the anointing that she received from there.  Whenever she went up for prayer her body would shake & eventually she would, fall to the floor.

Full story and the other three parts on the below link.

http://inerrantword.wordpress.com/2011/03/26/a-dangerous-journal-my-wifes-deliverance-from-extreme-pentecostalism-part-1/

Also see

http://www.velocity.net/~edju70/Revival1.htm

Finding Freedom From The Spirits Of “Revival”
Part 1: When Evil Perseveres
By Ed Tarkowski 

This I will post separately.

Homiletics.

What is homiletics?

Homiletics is a study system often used by pastors to extract key information from a passage. This is done by analyzing the passage for key phrases and condensing it to determine its basic content. Once you have the key words or phrases try to summarize the entire passage into a single composed sentence.

Next write down lessons or truths that can be learned from the passage. It is amazing how many truths can be lifted from a single passage when you really begin to study and contemplate it. Pray before you start that God will open your heart and mind to receive his Word.

Once the key truths are realized then you can start to expand the passage back out with applications that you can use in your life. Think of situations where you can actually apply the truth. How can your behavior be changed to glorify God?

Here is an example using homiletics from Matthew.

First read Matthew 17: 1-13 —-The Transfiguration

Where is it? High on the mountain.

Who is it? God – Jesus – Peter – James – John – Moses – Elijah

Key words in each verse.

1. Jesus 3 disciples mountain

2. Jesus transfigured bright light

3. Moses Elijah Jesus talking

4. Peter build shelters?

5. Voice Son Love Pleased Listen

6. Disciples Terrified

7. Do not be afraid

8. Saw only Jesus

9. Don’t tell raised

10. Why Elijah first?

11. Elijah will restore

12. Elijah & Son suffer

13. Elijah/John the Baptist

Next summarize the passage using only one sentence.

Matthew records that Jesus is transformed showing the disciples His true glory.

Then look for lessons or truths.

1. Jesus is the light

2. Jesus will reveal himself to you.

3. Jesus knew the OT prophets.

4. Jesus is truly God.

5. God the Father made it clear his Son is Jesus.

6. We are to listen what Jesus says.

7. Even though we love God we are to also fear him.

8. Do not be afraid of what God reveals to you.

9. Do not be afraid to tell others about Jesus Christ.

10. Jesus would be rejected like John the Baptist.

Since the main purpose of Bible study is to apply God’s word to our lives, think in terms of applications. One way is to start with the words …I Will…..

I will get to know Jesus by reading His Word, listening to sermons, or fellowship with others. I know that Jesus will reveal Himself to me as I follow Him.

I will be confident explaining to others that Jesus is truly the Son of God, since these word came from the Father Himself.

I will listen to what Jesus tells me.

I will boldly tell others about Jesus because I was told not to be afraid.

I will expect that the very presence of God would cause fear and trembling.

I will go into the valleys to serve as I descend from the spiritual highpoints.

I will ask God what truth He wants me to know so that I can share with others.

***********

I want to tell you that this was one of the homiletic lessons that I prepared  for my students while in the BSF program . Some will see other truths that I did not see so I wanted you to know that this is only an example. The students are to do the above procedure on their own worksheet just as you can do. At the end of the year there were students who could pick out the content words on their worksheet, write a sentence, find at least one lesson and application and more during discussion, in the 30 minutes we were allowed for this part of the evening. The age group I taught that year were 10-11 year olds. To watch what God has done in these children who seek the Lord is nothing short of amazing. It is totally a blessing and filling of the Holy Spirit.

**********

My personal summary of Matthew 17:1-13

The transfiguration revealed to the disciples the Glory of God and of Jesus Christ. It looked to the past and it looked to the future. Jesus left the glory of heaven to come to earth as man and then to return after His work on the cross to His resurrected glory. He now abides at the right hand of the Father till He returns and someday we will witness Jesus in all His glory just as the disciples saw Him that night.

The transfiguration gave the disciples a witness account of what he actually and truly looks like. What a gift this was for the disciples who at Pentecost would remember His glory so they would profess to the world as eyewitnesses, the significance of His majesty.

Peter had earlier proclaimed Jesus as the Messiah and he did so without seeing anything like the splendor that had been later revealed to him, and John and James. But once they believed by faith they were given a spectacular view of His glory. He revealed Himself to His servants, and they saw His radiant face and garments, Moses and Elijah and heard the voice of God.

A cloud enveloped them and the voice said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!”

What a wonderful confirmation of who Jesus truly is. God Himself assured the disciples and us, that Jesus is truly the Son of God.

The disciples fell face down into the ground in terror. (What does this tell us today about those who say they communicate directly with God?) However, Jesus told them not to be afraid, and when they looked up Jesus was alone. How could they ever look at Jesus the same way again? What awe this must have created. And to see Moses and Elijah. What an unspeakable honor to see the Old Testament prophets. Oh, to hear what they spoke of. We are told very little in Luke about their conversation.

They asked Jesus, “Why do the teachers of the law say that Elijah must come first? Jesus explained that Elijah did come as John the Baptist to prepare the way for Him, but he was killed just as Jesus would also be killed.

They then went down from the mountain and back into the world. After this spiritual high point they were to move on and were immediately met by a needy person. What a lesson in itself right here, that after a glorious experience, one is expected to help another.

How many people are continually seeking spiritual mountaintops? Meeting after meeting, conferences, seminars, always seeking signs and wonders, desiring only the high points, never serving.

There are times when all I want to do is sit in my little room and think about God’s glory. But I know that this is not what I have been trained to do. I can only serve God by coming down off the mountaintop and into the valleys to serve. But one of the things that I take away from this passage is the commandment to listen and to obey Jesus. His commandments are laid out in the Word of God. When I have a spiritual highpoint in my life now I take it as an encouragement to go forth and serve God. It is not something to bask in like we see so much of today. We are not to be afraid to do what He asks of us. He showed His glory to the disciples so that they would go out and preach the Gospel.

We can apply what we have learned here by listening to God’s voice in the Bible. We can boldly go forth and tell others because God has revealed himself to us through his Word. Doing so will please God.

Luke adds that Jesus was praying after ascending the mountain. Jesus prayed at all the important steps in His life and this time was no exception. This is a reminder that when we are facing an important decision or step in our life, we need to go the Father in prayer.

Peter later wrote:

“We were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain.”

2 Peter 1:16-18

What an affirmation for the disciples who actually heard the voice of God and saw the Shekinah glory. What a confirmation to them that Jesus not only knew Moses and Elijah, but that He was fulfilling their teachings. What a glorious vision to recall as they went out after Pentecost knowing what Jesus truly looked like in all his glory as He sits at the right hand of the Father.

Bible study is your personal time spent with God. Pray first for understanding from the Holy Spirit and let the Spirit guide you into the Truth.

                           

Question: “Why does God allow natural disasters, i.e. earthquakes, hurricanes, and tsunamis?”

Answer: Why does God allow earthquakes, tornados, hurricanes, tsunamis, typhoons, cyclones, mudslides, and other natural disasters? Tragedies such as Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the 2008 cyclone in Myanmar, the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, and the 2011 earthquake/tsunami near Japan cause many people to question God’s goodness. It is distressing that natural disasters are often termed “acts of God” while no “credit” is given to God for years, decades, or even centuries of peaceful weather. God created the whole universe and the laws of nature (Genesis 1:1). Most natural disasters are a result of these laws at work. Hurricanes, typhoons, and tornados are the results of divergent weather patterns colliding. Earthquakes are the result of the earth’s plate structure shifting. A tsunami is caused by an underwater earthquake.

Full article HERE

Many of us have been researching and keeping an eye on Rick Warren. His background reveals connections with C. Peter Wagner, a self-proclaimed apostle, and new-age and self-help guru Robert Schuller, for starters.

When a root is nourished by contaminated water, it will grow into a poisonous plant. Now we are seeing the true fruit of Rick Warren and it is on display for all to see and hear. ” He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

On Rick Warren’s Health Seminar.

 From m’kayla’s korner comes this very important article about Rick Warren.

I was very happy to find a testimony from someone who had first hand knowledge of the goings on at this seminar. It is so important to the church that we get the truth out there. Please pay attention if you still think Warren is a Christian. This is only one thing he has his hand in. There are others and he is proving to be quite dangerous.  Thanks to Jennifer, Ponderings from Patmos.  For Reference See Weight Loss at All Costs and A Purpose  Driven Whatever

 

full link here.

http://mkayla.wordpress.com/2011/03/04/on-rick-warrens-health-seminar/#comments

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