Angelic Visitations

I couldn’t find a list of people who saw or talked to angels in the Bible, so I wanted to share this list I formed. Comment with name and scripture reference if you can think of more and I’ll update the list. Rest assured, there are plenty more!



People who experienced the Angelic in the Bible:

  • Abraham (Gen. 18:2): heard angel, saw angel
  • Sarah (Gen. 18:15): heard angel
  • Hagar (Gen. 16:7): heard angel, saw angel
  • Lot & his family (Gen. 19:1): heard angel, saw angel
  • Joshua (Josh. 5:14): heard angel, saw angel
  • Jacob (Gen. 31:11): heard angel, saw angel
  • Daniel (Dan. 9:22): heard angel, saw angel
  • Zacharias (Luke 1:13): heard angel, saw angel
  • Samson’s parents (Jud. 13:3,11): heard angel, saw angel
  • Gideon (Jud. 6:12): heard angel, saw angel
  • Gad (1 Chron. 21:18): heard angel
  • Mary (Luke 1:28): heard angel, saw angel
  • Joseph (Matt. 1:20; 2:13,19): heard angel, saw angel
  • Shepherds (Luke 2:10): heard angel, saw angel
  • Mary Magdalene (John 20:13): heard angel, saw angel
  • the other Mary (Matt. 28:2): heard angel, saw angel
  • John (Rev. 1:1; 10:9): heard angel, saw angel. John mostly observed the angels talking instead of being spoken to.
  • Isaiah (Is. 6:7): heard angel, saw angel
  • Moses (Ex. 3:2): heard angel
  • David (1 Chron. 21:16): saw angel
  • Adam & Eve (Gen. 3:24): might have this angel
  • Cornelius (Acts 10:3): heard angel, saw angel
  • Peter, the other apostles, & possible the others in the public jail (Acts 5:19-20,29): heard angel, saw angel
  • Peter (Acts 12:7): heard angel, saw angel
  • Paul (Acts 27:23): heard angel, saw angel

Some of these people experienced the angelic multiple times. I did not list every account. Some of these scriptures say ‘angel of the Lord’ in which case you will have to decide if they saw an angel or God himself.

God hasn’t changed, so if He talked to people through angels in the Old and New Testament, He’s still talking to people through angels today. I hope this list helps you in your search to learn more about angels.

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Sons of God

There are two words for son in the NT: teknon & huios 

Teknon describes ‘babies, or immature sons’. Like when your child is born and you can’t tell them apart from the other babies in the hospital nursery without nametags. Or when you first accept Christ, but you don’t look any different than the worldly people around you.

Romans 8:15-16 – we have received the Spirit of adoption, the Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children (teknon) of God

Huios describes ‘mature sons’. This is when someone recognizes a childs character or characteristics to match that of their parents.

Romans 8:14 – for as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons (huios) of God.

Hebrews 5:8 – (Jesus) was the son (huios), yet he learned obedience by the things which he suffered.

Jesus was a huios son, one that portrayed the character of God. He learned that obedience through the things he suffered.

1 Peter 4:1 – since Jesus suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin.

We know we are mature sons when we crucify our fleshly desires instead of allowing our fleshly desires to control us/crucifying our spirit. Spiritual growth is a function of neither time nor learning, but of obedience.

~ The Bait of Satan, by John Bevere ~


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His Voice

Knowing God’s Voice:

We know we are following the Spirit of God when we are led by the fruits of the Spirit instead of the acts of the flesh (v19)

Gal. 5:16,22-25 – walk by the Spirit… the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

Is. 55:12 – You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace

Rom. 8:14 – For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.

God is always talking: 

Ps. 139:17-18 – How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand—when I awake, I am still with you.

Ps. 40:5 – Many, O Lord my God, are… Your thoughts toward us… If I would declare and speak of them, They would be too numerous to count.

Matt. 4:4 – Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'”

Comes not came! The command to ‘pray without ceasing’ (1 thess.5:17) is a call to dialogue not monologue. Prayer is listening to God just as much as it is talking to Him.

God lets us hear what He has to say:

 

1 Cor. 2:10-16 – The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God

 

1 Cor. 12:7-11 – Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.

Ways God may be speaking to you:

  1. Dreams. Write down your dreams and ask God what they mean. 

    Job 33:14-17 – Indeed God speaks once, or twice, yet no one notices it. In a dream, a vision of the night, When sound sleep falls on men, While they slumber in their beds, Then He opens the ears of men, And seals their instruction, That He may turn man aside from his conduct.

    Pharaoh had two dreams. God spoke in 2 ways, but God was saying the same thing (Gen. 41:25)

     

  2. Visions. Ask God to open your eyes. You may see visions while your eyes are open or closed.

    2 Kings 6:16-17 – “Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.

    Vision was allowed in order to encourage and comfort this person.

     

  3. Scripture. God revealed Himself through His Word to Jesus, as He will to anyone who seeks Him out through the Word:

    Luke 4:18-20 – Unrolling it, he (Jesus) found the place where it is written: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to… Then He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”

     

  4. Discernment. When we know the Word and understand who God is, we gain discernment about what is and is not God’s voice.

    1 John 4:1 – Dear friends, do not believe everyone who claims to speak by the Spirit. You must test them to see if the spirit they have comes from God.

     

  5. Small Voice.

    1 Kings 19:11-13 – Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

     

  6. Audible Voice. Pray for Him to open your ears to His voice. He is a kind and polite God, if you do not want to hear, He will not force the matter. Jesus spoke and Father God responded for all, who were willing, to hear

    John 12:28-30 – “Father, glorify your name!” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.” The crowd that was there and heard it said it had thundered; others said an angel had spoken to him. Jesus said, “This voice was for your benefit, not mine.

  7. Creation. God spoke to Moses and others through the world around them. Dead sticks grew flowers, seas parted, parables of farming were used, etc:

    Ex. 3:2 – There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up.

 

Ways God wants to speak through you:

 

  • Word of Knowledge. We can’t ‘read minds’ but God knows everything and He allows us to hear what is on His mind through His Spirit living in us. Sometimes He wants to speak to us about situations around us and give us an opportunity to lovingly teach others. This knowledge is something we can’t know, but that God can reveal to us

    Luke 7:39-40 – When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.” Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.”

  • Word of Wisdom. God speaks through people too. Moses was stressed, but Jethro had a word of wisdom from God to share:

    Ex. 18:17-19 – Moses’ father-in-law replied, “What you are doing is not good. You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out. The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone. Listen now to me and I will give you some advice, and may God be with you.

  • Tongues. God knows all languages and His Spirit may allow us to speak a language we don’t know on our own, in order to bring Him glory:

    Acts 2:7-8,11 – Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language?… we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!

  • Interpretation of Tongues. He spoke through human language in the verse above, but not all languages are languages. Dance and music are languages we often practice interpreting, but are we practicing hearing God’s voice or our own? Start asking God about His thoughts.

 

The Fruits of the Spirit. When we exhibit love, joy, peace, patience, etc… people receive the Truth of God, are healed from past wounds. God speaks through His Spirit whether it be through the Gifts of the Spirit or the Fruits of the Spirit! Gifts are given. Fruit is cultivated. How you react under pressure is how the real you reacts.

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Reasons for Suicide

Matt. 27:3-5 – When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders. “I have sinned,” he said, “for I have betrayed innocent blood.” “What is that to us?” they replied. “That’s your responsibility.” So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself.

Judas was torn up over his wrongdoing. He went to church leaders who he thought could lead him to God, but they didn’t do their job. Judas should’ve taken a second step, going to his brother (Jesus) to make amends. If he had, he would’ve realized that Jesus would forgive him for the betrayal:

Matt. 5:23-24 – if you… remember that your brother has something against you… go and be reconciled to your brother

Instead Judas believed what the wicked church leaders had said. He accepted the lie that it was solely his responsibility, and right there he judged himself. We are not responsible for the final evaluation of anyone’s character, including our own. ‘He who judges me is the Lord. Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes (1Cor.4:4-5)’. When it comes to judging a person’s inner personality, the only One who knows all the truth is God. And without knowing all the truth, we are not able to judge accurately or fairly–not others or ourselves. Only the Lord knows our motives. ‘He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives (counsels) of the heart (1Cor.4:5).’

Judas clearly stated that his motive wasn’t to see Jesus condemned, because he called that ‘innocent blood.’ The counsels of his heart were from church leaders, Judas perhaps thought he could trust, who deceived him with lies, and trapped him into their wicked ploys. Judas could not see clearly, making it the worse time to make a life altering decision. Sometimes we just need some time to sort things out and get a fresh perspective.

The whole point of Jesus is that we can now go directly to Him instead of to church leaders, who may have become corrupt, but in every case are sin prone humanbeings. We now have the Holy Spirit who comforts and counsels us. A leader who is close to God will be a great help however.

If you feel suicidal tonight, or are burdened by the weight of your own wrongdoings, have been deceived, have perhaps hurt or betrayed a loved one, or are suffering from a broken relationship–choose not to judge yourself. Accept what is wrong as wrong, and leave the judgement to God. Embrace God and He will forgive all your sin; ‘None of the sins that you have committed will be remembered against you (Eze. 33:16).’ With this clean slate, follow God’s lead in choosing not to remember your sins anymore. When we embrace God, accepting His son Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins, we stand before Him on the day of judgement and the Bible says, ‘The Lord has rewarded me according to my righteousness, according to the cleanness of my hands in his sight (Ps.18:24).’ In HIS sight we are pure and His judgement is not to condemn, but to reward. Stop condemning your sins, and start asking Jesus to wipe them away, so you can focus on rewarding your righteousness.

Eze. 36:31 – You will remember your evil ways and your deeds that were not good; and you will loathe yourselves in your own sight, for your iniquities and your abominations

Step 1 to being free from self hatred is: choosing not to remember what God chooses not to remember–your sins.

Eze. 36:33-36 – On the day I cleanse you from all your sins… the ruins will be rebuilt. The desolate land will be cultivated instead of lying desolate in the sight of all who pass through it. They will say, “This land that was laid waste has become like the garden of Eden; the cities that were lying in ruins… are now fortified… those around you that remain will know that I the Lord have rebuilt what was destroyed

Give Jesus a chance before you give up. And if you’ve already accepted Jesus, keep trusting Him to bring you through by restoring and rebuilding you.


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Prophecy: Forgery or Fulfillment?

God made a promise (prophesy), and you better believe that Satan was going to take advantage of it. Long before Jesus was born of a virgin, God told us that Jesus would inherit the nations of the earth.

Satan can quote scripture too you know? He spent a lot of time at God’s right hand before the fall. His whole outfit is based on taking the Word of God and twisting it into something different. He creates a cheap, deadly counterfeit for every rich and life giving original from God.


 

Jesus was getting baptized, and the second Satan heard the words ‘This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased’, it struck a cord. He remembered David writing something about that. He remembered what came next. Oh, this is when God promises to give the earth as an inheritance to His son… so he snuck on ahead. Since he knew what God had to offer, and what Jesus desired, why not try to beat them to the punch? ‘Surely, if I offer Jesus the gift first, He will take it from me?’, Satan snared.

Ps. 2:7-8 –  I will proclaim the Lord’s decree: He said to me, “You are my son; today I have become your father. Ask me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession.

Matt. 3:16-17; 4:1,8-10 – When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil….  Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’”

The enemy will try to create confusion about your future. If you’ve received a prophecy and ever wondered what to do with it, then know that it can find it’s fulfillment through two outlets: 1) Gods way or 2) the enemies way.

A lot of times when we receive a prophecy, Satan himself will show up and say ‘All this I will give you, if you will bow down and worship me.’ It just won’t be as blunt as that. It’ll come by tempting you to do even the tiniest thing that you know is wrong. He’ll cause you to question some scripture, and coax you away from God. It’ll be so deceptive that you might even think that it is God leading you into the promise.

When God is pleased with us, He likes to give us gifts. He is pleased with you! We don’t have to earn His love; it is freely given too! But what better tactic could the enemy have, but to eavesdrop into a conversation between us and God? ‘What if I can glean what it is they truly desire from Him?’, he plots.

God is a good Father and knows our desires inside out; anything He desires to give us will be freely given. Satan, on the other hand, will use what you desire most as a temptation and a trap for you; it’ll always come with a price: your relationship to the Father. Satan will offer you anything to keep you from the Father; he’ll even give you the desires of your heart, but at a moment and a way that it will cause the most destruction.

Jesus knew what was prophesied over Him; He knew that it was God’s will to have him inherit the world. However, when His Father’s promise seemed to be finding it’s fulfillment through Satan instead of through God, Jesus wasn’t deceived.

Unfortunately, we aren’t going to see the image of the devil, a snake crawling on the ground, or a voice saying ‘worship me and I’ll give you’,  when we come to this place of temptation in our lives. We aren’t going to know for sure whether it is Satan or God, because satan can come as an angel of light, and God’s route could take us through a desert. How then can we know which is God’s way? How can we look at the prophecies that we’ve received and know the right path? After all, Jesus would’ve been set over the world if he had followed Satan too. Satan’s route didn’t require death on the cross. It was easier, but it came with strings attached: ‘Let me fulfill your desire,’ Satan tempted him.

Prov. 16:25 – There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death

More so than the fulfillment of any desire, we want you God.

Maybe it always looks like a desert route?  We have to desert every counterfeit fulfillment of the desire, then wait for God to give the real mccoy.

We need to make sure that we are always receiving our gifts through a relationship with God. Outside of a relationship with God, there is no good gift or good desire. God repeatedly tells us to ask Him for what we desire:

Ps. 2:7-8 – He said to me, “You are my son; today I have become your father. Ask me, and I will

Matt. 7:7 – Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.


 

There are 2 ways to skin a cat, 2 ways to go at the fork in the road, and 2 ways to fulfill a promise. The first story of the Bible is there to remind us, we are all faced with a choice. Will we honor God’s ways? God isn’t keeping anything from us, He simply wants us to ask Him for the things we desire instead of going to a tree, a snake, an idol, a person, or alternate route that would lead us away from Him:

Gen. 3:1-6 – Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’? The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’ ”“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it.

James 1:5 – If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.

Stay in God’s will and His ways, always looking to Him and asking Him to fill your desires and bring about the prophecies:

Ps. 138:8 – The Lord will fulfill his purpose for you

Healing the Orphan Spirit – Part 2

Book Review
Healing the Orphan Spirit by Leif Hetland // Part 2

Below are some quotes, scriptures, and notes from the book. In Part 1 we left off with Job in his depression. Realizing that sometimes we have to lose the things we are relying on before the real issues can come to the surface. Loss is never fun, but it is an effective way to have to face your underlying issues. A brief moment of loss is worth going through, because we then deal with and find healing from the surfacing issues, knowing that once the season is over God will restore us with a two fold blessing of anything we lost.


 

Micah 7:8-9 – Do not rejoice over me, my enemy; When I fall, I will arise; When I sit in darkness, The Lord will be a light to me. I will bear the indignation of the Lord, Because I have sinned against Him, Until He pleads my case And executes justice for me. He will bring me forth to the light; I will see His righteousness.

David, Job, and Solomon all mentioned how they saw wicked people flourish on earth. They also noted that they finally came to an understanding of why. The wicked are judged in eternity, so God allows them to live as they choose while on earth. We however, are free from judgement in Christ; yet as the children of God, we are disciplined, directed, and corrected by the Father while on earth, so that we can live a more prosperous life. That discipline and allowance of some fires/trials, help the dross rise to the surface. Dross is the impurity in metal. When heated up those impurities surface and the metal worker skims it away, purifying the metal. We will ‘bear the indignation’ for our sins for a brief moment, but the whole time Jesus is advocating for us to execute justice on our behalf, and see all things work out to our benefit.

 

1 Peter 1:7 – These trials have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith–of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire–may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.

God tells us that we are of much greater worth than gold. Gold is put through fire, but it will not always be around. We however, are put through fire and get to live in eternity in our purified state.

Zech. 13:9 – This third I will put into the fire; I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are my people,’ and they will say, ‘The LORD is our God.’

I love this verse. It shows us that even though God finds dross and impurities in us, he still claims us as His children. The world has a habit of allowing hard times to drive us away from each other, but God shows us that in a relationship that displays true love and true commitment, hard times actually bring you closer together. It’s when we go through the fire that we claim and cling to God.

The enemy will try to create confusion about your future.

New. 4:6-9 – So we built the wall, and the entire wall was joined together up to half its height, for the people had a mind to work. Now it happened, when Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites, and the Ashdodites heard that the walls of Jerusalem were being restored and the gaps were beginning to be closed, that they became very angry, and all of them conspired together to come and attack Jerusalem and create confusion. Nevertheless we made our prayer to our God, and because of them we set a watch against them day and night.

If you are in a season of seeking healing from God, setting boundaries, and building back up the things that the enemy has destroyed, then rest assured the enemy’s tactic will be to come and create confusion. In fact, if you’re making enough progress, and working intensely at it, all the spirits that you’ve ever cast out may conspire to come attack you all at the same time. That’s been my experience in this season. It was also what Nehemiah witnessed as Israel built up the wall of Jerusalem with one hand, and defended themselves with the other. In order to be successful in this venture, we have to be on watch day and night, prepared to stand our ground and not give up on the progress we’ve made so far.

If the enemy can cut you off from your future, you will always go back to your past. The word confusion means, ‘to hinder’.

New. 6:9 –  For they all were trying to make us afraid, saying, “Their hands will be weakened in the work, and it will not be done.”

Don’t sit on the sidelines. For many believers, the enemy created enough confusion in their life that they stepped away from the calling of God on their life, and decided to sit this one out. He will do all that he can to stop your progress. The ultimate strategy for the enemy is to stop the growth and maturity of the believer. When Nehemiah was faced with this strategy, he prayed ‘God strengthen (take hold of) my hands’.

Like Eve in the garden of Eden, the enemy knows that if he can create enough doubt about the validity of God’s word, then he knows he can continue with his strategy of moving us from certainty to doubt.

Micah 7:8 – Rejoice not over me, O my enemy; when I fall, I shall rise; when I sit in darkness, the Lord will be a light to me.

Micah stated ‘when i fall’, not if I fall. That is the story of most of the people in the Bible. Moses committed murder, David adultery and murder, Jonah ran from God, Noah got drunk, Peter denied Jesus. We all fall. Just because you fail doesn’t mean you’re a failure.

Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker – William A Ward
Failure is good. It’s fertilizer
– Rick Pitino
Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently – Henry Ford

Facts don’t always line up with the truth. The facts may say you’re going under, but the truth of the matter is, you will make it to the other side.

2 Kings 6:15-18 – when the servant of the man of God arose early and went out, there was an army, surrounding the city with horses and chariots. And his servant said to him, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” So he answered, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” And Elisha prayed, and said, “Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. So when the Syrians came down to him, Elisha prayed to the Lord, and said, “Strike this people, I pray, with blindness.” And He struck them with blindness according to the word of Elisha.

In the naturally they were surrounded by an army. The facts were against them. Sometimes we just need to ask God to open our spiritual eyes so we can see His army around us waiting to protect us and carry out His good will.

Eph. 1:18 – I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people

You can have light in your mind, but your heart has to be enlightened.

What does it take for the thoughts of hope to become seeded in our hearts? At what point does the hope start to enlighten our hearts?

Much like Nehemiah, the wall wasn’t built in a day. It was ‘a great work’ that took time and effort.

Prov. 4:18 – The path of the righteous is like the morning sun, shining ever brighter till the full light of day.

We begin our journey with Christ while in darkness. We then travel, heading toward the light. Our path grows brighter and brighter with each step toward righteousness.

What is a stronghold? 

  • It’s where darkness reigns
  • It’s a thought pattern alien to the Word of God
  • It’s anything in us strong enough to keep us from becoming like Christ in a given area of life
  • It’s a command post, which the enemy works in the surrounding areas. It’s a system of logic that is a lie used to perpetrate the purposes of the enemy in our lives
  • It’s an act of rebellion much like cancer in the human body

2 Cor. 10:4-5 – The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholdsWe demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

A stronghold is a mindset. It is a system of lies that we believe that have made us unable to live in freedom in a certain realm of our lives.

Mark 3:27 – Let me illustrate this further. Who is powerful enough to enter the house of a strong man like Satan and plunder his goods?Only someone even stronger–someone who could tie him up and then plunder his house.

Mark 3:27 – But no one can go into a strong man’s house and steal his property unless he first overpowers and ties up the strong man, and then he will ransack and rob his house.

If we have a stronghold mindset, then we have a strong man (demon) residing there. The only way to deal with it is to ask Jesus to overpower it. Ask Jesus to tie up, or bind, the evil spirit and reclaim us as His holy temple and abiding place (home).

We always need to be on guard to ‘take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ’. Any lie or enemy that slips past the guard can create of bondage situation. We will be like a wrestler whose component has gained a foothold (Eph.4:27), and if we don’t recognize it and get out of it, the enemy will gain a leg hold, and then a stronghold.

Strongholds are like a cancer. Just as cancer is an incorrigible maverick and refuses to be checked, rebellious thoughts, that have resisted orders from the head (Christ), have gone into thought patterns that are against the revealed truth of God. Cancer must be detected early, and rooted out. The longer it is allowed to exist in the body, the more it spreads, and the more complex the root system becomes, which will surely bring death.

The longer it lasts, the more rigid are the ideas that give the bondage a foundation.

Without the capacity to detect which thoughts are ours, which are God’s, and which are the enemy’s, we will be open prey for the demons to attack.

Intimacy requires a feeling of safety and security. Without security you will not open up!

The prodigal son had to learn the hard way that it is better to dwell in the house of his Father, rather than live in the dwelling place of the wicked.

Luke 15:18-19 – I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’

He did not care if he would be relegated to the position of a slave as long as the father was nearby. He knew wherever the father went there would be provision and blessing. He had spent everything he had in pursuit of happiness and ended up more miserable than ever. He was hungry for more than food; he was hungry for his fathers love.

No amount of good deeds can change your status from slave to son. The amount of sacrifice you have struggled with over the years pale in comparison to the glory of sonship.  This is why works cannot buy this privilege.

Father, is there any part of me that is like the prodigal son who has squandered or been careless with my inheritance just to pursue pleasures or desires that will not last? Is there any part of me that is like the elder son and where I try to work for what is already mine?

I refuse to live any part of my life in the slave’s quarter anymore because I know the palace is my inheritance.

‘I am no longer worthy to be called your son’ – Luke 15:21
‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him’ – Luke 15:22

The prodigal son could have reasoned with his father insisting he was unworthy of such kindness… and he would have been theologically correct. According to the Law, he did not deserve mercy but punishment. Sometimes we try to preach to God and tell Him we know more about scriptures than He does. When we try to refuse the kindness of God because of our past history and failures, we think we are doing Him a favor.

Romans 13:14 – clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ

God gives us His best robe. He clothes us with His righteousness through Christ. In jewish history, the best robe was one that the father would have worn himself. This was a prophetic foretelling of what God had in mind, to give us and clothe us with His Holy Spirit.

You can have the most expensive wardrobe comprised of signature clothing from well-known designers, but in the spiritual realm you are still naked.

Jesus was stripped naked before he was hung on the cross. He was made naked so He could pass on His clothes to us. The robe of glory and righteousness is also a badge of authority because in the spiritual realm it establishes the identity of the owner. The owner of that robe has full access  to what Father owns, and no servant of Father will refuse his request for help.

Jesus said he did not come for the righteous, but for sinners (Mark 2:17). As long as the elder brother continued to believe he could work his way into the heart of his father, he could never experience true sonship and would never receive what was graciously given to his prodigal brother. Saul had the orphan spirit, and, for it to be dislodged he had to go through a process. First, he fell off his high horse of religious pride, and was blinded. During his restoration process, he was made into a new person, and given a new name: Paul.

He will not lecture us, but love us, for we are His prize possession.

The mercy and love of our Father is amazing. He took extraordinary lengths to restore back to us our identity, our inheritance, and our position as sons and daughters.

They could not believe that Jesus, a supposedly righteous teacher, was actually having fun! He ate and talked with sinners, rubbed elbows with greedy tax agents, received food prepared by prostitutes, and answered questions asked by petty thieves and crooks.

Though Jesus taught occasionally in the synagogues (churches), he mostly taught as each opportunity arose in his day to day life.

Most of us will play the role of the prodigal son and the elder brother at some point in our lives.

I went from being a prodigal son to being the elder brother. I tried to win the favor of my Father by working tirelessly.

Jesus did not talk about the love of God based on what He knew from reading scriptures, but from an intense personal experience.

On July 31, 1838 on the Island of Jamaica, a man named William Knibbs gathered 10,000 slaves for a great praise gathering. They were celebrating the New Emancipation Proclamation Act that would abolish slavery on the island. They had built an immense coffin and into it were placed whips, chains, branding irons, fetters of all kinds, salve garments, and all the things that represented the terrible slavery system that was now coming to a welcomed end.

At the first stroke of the midnight bell, Knibbs shouted out, ‘The monster is dying.’ At each stroke of the bell that followed, this cry was repeated and the great crowd began to join in the cry. At the 12th stroke 10,000 voices cried out, ‘The monster is dead, the monster is dead, let us bury him.’ They then screwed the coffin lid down and lowered it into a huge grave and covered it up. That night, every heart rejoiced and 10,000 voices grew hoarse, shouting and crying with joy. Once they were in bondage to slavery, but now they were free.

There is a tragic side to this story. While many rejoiced in their new liberty and freedom, there were some slaves that lived in remote areas of the island. These slaves did not know they had been legally set free. Because they didn’t know for many years the Emancipation Proclamation had been made law, they still serve their slave masters. Their former masters successfully kept the news from them as long as they could. By law they had been declared free men and did not have to live as slaves any longer. However, ignorance of the truth kept them in bondage.

Hearing this may cause a feeling of sympathy or even anger, But the truth is, the same type of thing is happening in our day. Jesus through the cross has issued an Emancipation Proclamation of freedom from sin to everyone on earth, but like some of the Jamaicans, there are those today that don’t understand that they no longer have to live as slaves to sin.

As America continues to suffer from racial division I would add that there are even slaves who have legally been freed, but who choose to remain in their slavery. Instead of burying the whips, chains, dependences, and words that represent the slavery system coming to an end, they are holding on to them and using them against their own people. We can all understand the human desire to turn the tables, choose not to forgive, and make the masters children pay for the sins our their fathers, but to take the pains and turn them against their own people… that’s heart wrenching.

If we continue to use words that represent certain ideas, then you better believe that we are keeping those ideas alive. Satan loves to shape culture, and he has shaped a culture that is eating us alive where former slaves continue to use inflammatory words to describe their own brothers. As long as this continues they will never be free from the ideas and inflammation those words represent. They will live under the words/mindset as slaves, never realizing that they have already been set free. They will continue to hate the people who created the word, never looking up to realize that it’s themselves who are now using it. Freedom is scary, and it’s hard work, and it’s easy to give up and lay down especially if that’s what you’ve been trained to do.

Satan’s chief joy is to separate children from God, while Father’s delight is to turn their hearts back to Him.

Satan offered Jesus a chance to rule the world. He said if you worship me, I’ll give you. Satan always wants something before he’ll give something. Satan wants to give us the same gift that God wants to give us, not out of love, but as an opportunity to win us. He will dangle the gift in front of us and try to use it to his advantage. He’ll give it to us prematurely so that we can’t enjoy it. He’ll try to beat God to the punch so that we won’t get closer to Him. His way always comes at great price. God is the only good Father, and the only one who gives good gifts. He gives them to us freely, because He loves us. He will never ask for something beforehand or afterward. It’s a free gift.

He will teach us how to handle the gift however.

The passing of his tests qualified him to receive a nation, not as a servant, but a a beloved son.

Jer. 32:40 – I will never stop doing good to you

Jer. 32:41 – I desire to establish you with all my heart and all my soul

Phil. 2:13 – For it is I who gave you those desires

In Jesus, my love for you is revealed (John17:26). He is the exact representation of my being (Heb.1:3). He came to demonstrate that I am for you, not against you (Rom.8:31).


 

Well, there’s some quotes, scriptures, and thoughts from the book. Not necessarily cohesive, but tidbits of goodness. Get the book for the full read:

Healing the Orphan Spirit by Leif Hetland – $9

 

The Kingdom of God

Rom. 14:17 – For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking (external), but of righteousness, peace and joy (internal) in the Holy Spirit

The Jews missed their Messiah King because they were looking for a political leader. They missed all the signs in the scriptures they thought they knew so well.

Now, will we miss the kingdom of God? Can we see His kingdom and ask Him to sit enthroned upon on hearts? Can we cast out every other love that takes that seat of honor, and make sure it is reserved for our one true love and allowing Him to reign in His rightful place? Can we be a faithful bride, and in so doing, become an heir and queen of a kingdom?