Month: July 2012

Paths to Walk In–Part 13

Understanding the Power of the Blood of Jesus

 

Paths to Walk In – Part 13:  In the last session, I introduced the concept of the five things needed to establish your walk with God – (1) the blood of Jesus, (2) the name of Jesus, (3) the Spirit of God, (4) the Armor of God, and (5) the commandments of God.  In this session, we examine the Blood of Jesus 101.

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Biblical Life Assembly (includes free weekly messages in MP3): www.biblicallifeassembly.org

Biblical Life College and Seminary: www.biblical-life.com

Biblical Life Publishing: www.biblical-life.net

Biblical Life Weekly Teaching Videos: www.youtube.com/biblicallife

Unit 318: www.unit318.org

Follow Biblical Life on Twitter:  @biblicallife

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Biblical Life eMagazine–Spiritual Warfare Edition

BLeMag2The next edition of the Biblical Life eMagazine is ready to download in PDF.  This edition includes:

Understanding the Foundational Nature of Spiritual Warfare by Michael K. Lake, Th.D.
Ahab Rehab by Pastor Michael Rodhouse, B.A.
A Mother’s Torah: A Prophetic Warning by Mary Lake
Biblical Life Kids’ Corner: Teach Them Diligently by Stephanie Emmerson

Download eMagazine in PDF

Paths to Walk In–Part 12

It’s Not Culture, But Our Personal Walk with God that Adds Power!

 

Paths to Walk In – Part 12:  Did you know each church and movement develops its own culture?  These cultures can serve us well when they are biblically based.  But culture is not true spirituality.  Never confuse the culture with the Walk with God.  The power is in the walk!

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Biblical Life Assembly (includes free weekly messages in MP3): www.biblicallifeassembly.org

Biblical Life College and Seminary: www.biblical-life.com

Biblical Life Publishing: www.biblical-life.net

Biblical Life Weekly Teaching Videos: www.youtube.com/biblicallife

Unit 318: www.unit318.org

Follow Biblical Life on Twitter:  @biblicallife

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Paths to Walk In–Part 11

There are two laws?

 

Paths to Walk In – Part 11:  Have you ever been confused with Paul’s position and dialog on the Law in Romans 6 – 8?  We need to realize the Book of Romans is one long theological argument that is conducted by a classically trained rabbi.  Jewish hermeneutics is quite different than the Protestant hermeneutics we use today.  Enter into Paul’s dialog through Hebraic eyes and understand the profound revelation he was attempting to convey.

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Biblical Life Assembly (includes free weekly messages in MP3): www.biblicallifeassembly.org

Biblical Life College and Seminary: www.biblical-life.com

Biblical Life Publishing: www.biblical-life.net

Biblical Life Weekly Teaching Videos: www.youtube.com/biblicallife

Unit 318: www.unit318.org

Follow Biblical Life on Twitter:  @biblicallife

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New Fax Number for Biblical Life

Please note that we are changing over to a new Internet fax service.  Our old fax number (417-468-2037) will work until September 1. 

Our new number is 888-958-3564 (FAX ONLY).  This new number is working as of today.  After September 1, it will be the only number to use to fax our office.

Our voice number will stay the same.

Prayer Request from RFI

We received the following prayer request today from the Headquarters of Restoration Fellowship International.


Dear RFI Colleagues & Friends:

Just a note to give you an update on some current prayers needs, as follows …

Dr. Mary Ann Brown and her son, Buster Brown are on their way to a center in Augusta, Georgia, where she will not only see medical doctors, but will be ministered to by the affiliated church and healing center through their fasting and prayer ministry. She indeed needs a miracle from Jehovah-Rapha to curse the inoperable pancreatic cancer she is battling as well as to restore her health and strength.

About three months ago, my wife Jean, underwent bilateral knee replacements. A long story short, there is serious complications with the right knee implant and major surgery (to replace the implant with another type) is the only viable option left. She will undergo surgery next Monday, July 16th @ 8;00 a.m. We are trusting the Lord for a better outcome, this time around.

Remember all of our fellow colleagues, congregations and associates in your daily prayers.

With Love and blessings to all! …

Your friend and servant

Dr. John A. Looper

Executive Director


Please keep both Jean Looper and Dr. Mary Ann Brown in your prayers.

Dr. Michael K. Lake

Understanding the Foundational Nature of Spiritual Warfare

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by Michael K. Lake, Th.D., D.R.E.

Isaiah 46:10 (KJV)

10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:

 

As I approach the end of days (or the last part of the end of days), I am finding Isaiah 46:10 rings truer with every passing day. I also believe it reveals why the enemy has planted such an aversion to the Old Testament in the modern Church. In the beginning (i.e., B’Resheet – Genesis), many of the secrets of the last days are revealed. Encoded into the stories and instructions provided within the Torah are definitions, principles, and powerful clues to the last days that every believer must possess to both empower his/her walk with God today and to prepare for the final move of the Almighty in the earth, before the return of the true and only Messiah – Jesus of Nazareth!

Let me give one very powerful example: the hermeneutical principle of first mention. (I know that I harp on this principle quite a bit, but I find it is also the most ignored of all hermeneutical principles.) Here is a basic definition of this important principle:

A.W. Pink: Interpretation of the Scriptures

We have treated the principle of first mention, and showed that the initial reference to a subject or the earliest occurrence of a term indicated from its context and the manner in which it was used would be its force in all later references. [1]

Wikipedia: In Definition of Biblical Hermeneutics

The First Mention Principle: "God indicates in the first mention of a subject the truth with which that subject stands connected in the mind of God."[2]

Biblical Research Organization: Rules for Interpretation

The Meaning of the Law of First Mention

The law of first mention may be said to be the principle that requires one to go to that portion of the Scriptures where a doctrine is mentioned for the first time and to study the first occurrence of the same in order to get the fundamental inherent meaning of that doctrine. When we thus see the first appearance, which is usually in the simplest form, we can then examine the doctrine in other portions of the Word that were given later. We shall see that the fundamental concept in the first occurrence remains dominant as a rule, and colors all later additions to that doctrine. In view of this fact, it becomes imperative that we understand the law of first mention.[3]

I have included three different definitions of the principle of first mention to provide several points of view regarding this habitually overlooked rule for proper biblical interpretation. When we extrapolate the various points of view into a useable formulated principle, we could say that:

The law of first mention assists the biblical researcher in discovering the initial truth in the mind of God when it is first revealed in Holy Scripture. This established truth remains consistent and is only expanded upon (rather than altered) throughout the whole of Scripture.

When we violate this principle, it causes the biblical researcher to define principles and truths in the Word of God from something other than the mind of God. This causes the researcher to perform eisegesis instead of exegesis. (Exegesis is drawing from Scripture the original intent of all meanings presented. Eisegesis is adding to Scripture your own cultural or personal bias, thus causing a misinterpretation of what is presented.)

Dr. James White, in his book “Pulpit Crimes” provides the following warning regarding eisegesis:

Eisegesis. The reading into a text, in this case, an ancient text of the Bible, of a meaning that is not supported by the grammar, syntax, lexical meanings, and over-all context, of the original. It is the opposite of exegesis, where you read out of the text its original meaning by careful attention to the same things, grammar, syntax, the lexical meanings of the words used by the author (as they were used in his day and in his area), and the over-all context of the document. As common as it is, it should be something the Christian minister finds abhorrent, for when you stop and think about it, eisegesis muffles the voice of God. If the text of Scripture is in fact God-breathed (2 Tim. 3:16) and if God speaks in the entirety of the Bible (Matt. 22:31) then eisegesis would involve silencing that divine voice and replacing it with the thoughts, intents, and most often, traditions, of the one doing the interpretation. In fact, in my experience, eisegetical mishandling of the inspired text is the single most common source of heresy, division, disunity, and a lack of clarity in the proclamation of the gospel. The man of God is commended when he handles Gods truth aright (2 Tim. 2:15), and it should be his highest honor to be privileged to do so. Exegesis, then, apart from being a skill honed over years of practice, is an absolutely necessary means of honoring the Lord a minister claims to serve. For some today, exegesis and all the attendant study that goes into it robs one of the Spirit. The fact is, there is no greater spiritual service the minister can render to the Lord and to the flock entrusted to his care than to allow Gods voice to speak with the clarity that only sound exegetical practice can provide. (Emphasis mine)[4]

Dr. White, I could not have said it any better. By ignoring the principle of first mention regarding the truths of God, we have muffled the voice of God and, therefore, have become the seedbed of modern heresies! The last place you want to be standing regarding spiritual warfare is in a man-made heresy. It could not only cost you a victory in a given situation, but your very life!

Back to the Beginning

Genesis 1:1-2 (KJV)

1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. 2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

There are several important clues in verse 2 for understanding spiritual warfare. The first is the Hebrew word used for “was” referring to the earth “was” without form and void. Let’s take a look at this Hebrew word:

Was: Strongs # H 01961 hayah {haw-yaw} [5]

Meaning: to be, become, come to pass, exist, happen, fall out.

The primary meaning of the word “hayah” is “to become or to come to pass.” The Theological Workbook of the Old Testament also provides additional insight into the usage of this word:

Very seldom in the ot is hāyâ used to denote either simple existence or the identification of a thing or person.[6]

In other words, something happened that caused God’s creation to be something other than that which He had created it to be.

The second clue is the phrase “without form and void.” Again, let’s take a look at the Hebrew word used here:

Without Form: Strongs # H 08414 tohuw {to’-hoo}[7]

Meaning: formlessness, confusion, unreality, emptiness.

Something happened that caused confusion and an “unreality” to take hold on this planet. The Commentary, Critical and Explanatory, on the Old and New Testaments provides further insights:

2. the earth was without form and void—or in “confusion and emptiness,” as the words are rendered in Is 34:11. This globe, at some undescribed period, having been convulsed and broken up, was a dark and watery waste for ages perhaps, till out of this chaotic state, the present fabric of the world was made to arise.[8]

Notice that the commentary states: “having been convulsed and broken up.” This is an event that is separate from the process of creation. The RSV of the Bible translates “tohuw” as “chaos.” Chaos is something that took hold of this planet after God had created. The Word of God reminds us that:

1 Corinthians 14:33 (KJV)
33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

What happened that caused such chaos? Many theologians believe it was possibly the fall of Lucifer. When Lucifer fell, he was thrown to the earth. Finis Dake, in his annotated reference Bible, makes the following statement regarding Genesis 1:2:

According to Isa. 14:12-14, Lucifer actually invaded heaven from earth, hoping to defeat God and take His kingdom; but Lucifer himself was defeated and his kingdom cursed. Before his defeat, he had a throne, implying a kingdom and subjects to rule over. His kingdom was under the clouds, under the stars, and under heaven — therefore, on earth. Having weakened the nations over whom he ruled, and wanting to be like God and take His place in heaven, Lucifer led the invasion of heaven. All this had to be before Adam’s day, because no such things have occurred since Adam was created.[9]

The work of Lucifer (and his rebellion toward God) affected this planet and the result was chaos, darkness, and unreality (i.e. bringing about something other than that which God had in mind). These are still the fingerprints of Lucifer in the lives of men today.

The question that we need to ask ourselves in light of all this is:

“By what method does God restore His creation to His original intent once Lucifer brings chaos?”

This is paramount in the life of the believer. Let me explain:

God created, and then Lucifer brought chaos. Listed in Genesis 1:3-31 are the recreation principles of God in motion (rather than creation). Man was placed in the Garden in Earth 2.0 – a recreated earth. (Remember, man was commanded to replenish the earth.) In the midst of this recreation, Lucifer was able to sneak into the Garden and bring Chaos 2.0. This new chaos was not released upon the physical planet like we find in Genesis 1:2; rather it was released into the spirit and heart of man. Even within the lives of those recreated through the new birth (Man 2.0), we find that Lucifer is still able to release chaos into our lives. (We call this spiritual warfare.) So what we will discover in Genesis Chapter 1 is crucial in the life of the believer today.

God’s Cure for Chaos

Genesis 1:3 (KJV)

3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

The answer is so simple, and yet so profound. God began releasing His Word into the situation. I am reminded of the Scripture:

Psalm 107:20 (KJV)

20 He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.

In Psalms 107:20, there are many layers of understanding that we can draw from. Here are a few:

1. God released His Word in Genesis 1 to heal the planet of the destruction it had received.

2. God released His Word through the mouths of the prophets to His people to deliver and restore them.

3. God sent His Word and He became flesh. Through the working of His Word in the earth, the Word made flesh provided the ultimate deliverance through Messiah’s completed work on the cross.

All of these are true and very significant. Yet there is still another truth revealed that has escaped the sight of most believers. We find in A Commentary, Critical and Explanatory, on the Old and New Testaments a powerful clue:

3. God said—This phrase, which occurs so repeatedly in the account means: willed, decreed, appointed; and the determining will of God was followed in every instance by an immediate result. Whether the sun was created at the same time with, or long before, the earth, the dense accumulation of fogs and vapors which enveloped the chaos had covered the globe with a settled gloom. But by the command of God, light was rendered visible; the thick murky clouds were dispersed, broken, or rarefied, and light diffused over the expanse of waters. The effect is described in the name “day,” which in Hebrew signifies “warmth,” “heat”; while the name “night” signifies a “rolling up,” as night wraps all things in a shady mantle.[10] (Emphasis mine)

God began to speak commands to His creation to restore the chaos that had occurred. In other words, the commands of God provide a cure for the chaos that the enemy releases into our lives.

After reviewing the creation story in Genesis 1, here are a few observations that I have made regarding the nature of God’s commands:

  • God’s Commandments Contain the Spiritual Blueprint of His Complete Thoughts (Hope)
  • God’s Commandments Contain the Spiritual Power to Bring the Word to Pass

Again, we find these truths in both Psalms 107:20 and the Gospel:

  • God releases His Word (which will have commands embedded in it). If the command is received and acted upon, it releases the power of the command/promise to bring it to pass. (All of God’s promises are wrapped in commands/instruction.)
  • The heart of the Gospel is that one must “believe” on the Lord Jesus Christ and trust in His completed work upon the Cross. Believe it or not, this is actually a command. In fact, there is no other way to be saved. By following the commandment of “believing on Jesus,” the power of God is released to produce the new birth.

The realization of the truths presented here will demand that the modern believer examine his/her paradigms regarding God’s commandments. As we will see in Genesis 3, it is the work of the enemy to get man to question the very nature of God’s commandments.

The Nature of Spiritual Warfare Revealed

Genesis 3:1-3 (KJV)

1 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? 2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: 3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.

There is so much revelation revealed in the account of man’s fall in the Garden. First, it reveals the nature of sin. God commanded Adam not to eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Adam and Eve disobeyed the command of God and thus defined what sin is. The Apostle John reminds us of this truth in 1 John 3:4.

4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.

Note: The principle of first mention is fully intact here. What God established as sin in Genesis 3 is still sin all the way in 1 John (to the shock of most believers today).

The second truth revealed is the very foundational nature of all spiritual warfare. What is the seedbed of the work of the enemy in the lives of men? It is to get them to bring into question the commandments of God! That is exactly what the serpent did with Eve. How powerful and practical these seeds are in spiritual warfare. If the enemy can get us to question God’s commands and then to violate them, it will always give him access and control in our lives!

Just like the principle of first mention regarding the definition of sin, this truth about the very nature of spiritual warfare will flow from Genesis to Revelation. Let’s look at another example of these truths:

Isaiah 42:22 (KJV)

22 But this is a people robbed and spoiled; they are all of them snared in holes, and they are hid in prison houses: they are for a prey, and none delivereth; for a spoil, and none saith, Restore.

Years ago, I heard one minister preach from this verse and say that there was no one to stand in authority and command the enemy to give what was stolen back. Although this conclusion can be drawn from “snippet theology,” hermeneutically speaking, it is not at all what is being said here.

The Hebrew word used here for “restore” is “shuwb.” Here is what it means:

Restore:  Strong # H07725 ‫ ‪shuwb {shoob}[11]

Meaning: to return, turn back.

It was not a call for the enemy to give back what was stolen. Rather it was a call to God’s people to return to the ways, statutes, and commandments of God. It was their disregard for God’s commands that enabled the plundering! This same truth is revealed in the famous Scripture regarding the ministry of the intercessor.

Ezekiel 22:29-31 (KJV)

29 The people of the land have used oppression, and exercised robbery, and have vexed the poor and needy: yea, they have oppressed the stranger wrongfully. 30 And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none. 31 Therefore have I poured out mine indignation upon them; I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath: their own way have I recompensed upon their heads, saith the Lord GOD.

In reality, this Scripture does not refer directly to the ministry of intercession (although that is indeed a part of what is going on here.) Here in Ezekiel, it is referring to the ministry of the prophet. The prophet sees the gap in the hedge of protection in the lives of the people. The task of the prophet is twofold:

  • To call the people to repent and to return to the ways of God. Here is the connection with the concept of “restore” in Isaiah 42. Violation of God’s commands created the gap. The only way to close this gap in our hedge of protection is through repentance and renewed obedience.
  • To intercede for the people. This includes interceding for God to give the people the time and grace to repent and to push back the enemy so that the people can move in true, heart-felt repentance and obedience.

Another truth that we need to adjust in our modern paradigm is that, throughout Scripture, God’s judgment for violating His commandments and covenant was revealed by the enemy gaining a foothold to plunder and destroy among His people. This is a truth we need to understand in light of 911. America’s hedge was broken down because of her disregard to the covenant the founders’ made at the very beginning of this nation with the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. (Note: Only two nations have done this in the history of mankind – Israel and America.) 911 was a wake up call, or as Rabbi Jonathan Cahn so powerfully reveals in his bestseller “The Harbinger,” it was a harbinger of God’s impending judgment upon America.

What is the Foundational Nature of All Spiritual Warfare?

When we prayerfully examine Genesis 3, we will discover that the foundational nature of spiritual warfare is:

1. To get you to question God’s Word, God’s commandments, and God’s very nature. The primary purpose Satan has in mind for both the temptations and trials you go through: Has God really said?

2. To get you to disobey God’s commandments and instruction. Disobedience opens the door for Lucifer into your life.

3. To get power and control over your life. Sin (disobedience to God’s commandments) opens the door to the enemy and gives him control in your life.

The truths revealed in Genesis 3 also are emphasized by both Jesus and the Apostle Paul.

John 8:34 (KJV)

34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.

Romans 6:12-18 (KJV)

12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. 13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. 14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. 15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. 16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? 17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. 18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.

2 Timothy 2:22-26 (KJV)

22 Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 23 But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes. 24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, 25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; 26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

The key to staying free in Messiah? Become a servant of righteousness and begin walking in the commandments of God through the power of the Holy Spirit within you! This is a consistent truth from Genesis to Revelation, and it will empower you today for the road ahead!


[1] A. W. Pink, Interpretation of the Scriptures, electronic ed. (Escondido, CA: Ephesians Four group, 2000), 132.

[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biblical_hermeneutics .

[3] Article: Rules of Interpretation: The Law of First Mention. http://www.biblicalresearch.info/page56.html

[4] Article: Exegesis v. Eisegesis. Reformed Theology Website. http://www.reformationtheology.com/2006/10/exegesis_v_eisegesis.php

[5] Strong’s Enhanced Lexicon.  BibleWorks for Windows 7.0.  BibleWorks, LLC, Norfolk, VA.  Copyright © 2006.

[6] Victor P. Hamilton, "491 הָיָה" In , in Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, ed. R. Laird Harris, Gleason L. Archer, Jr. and Bruce K. Waltke, electronic ed. (Chicago: Moody Press, 1999), 213.

[7] Ibid.

[8] Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset, A. R. Fausset et al., A Commentary, Critical and Explanatory, on the Old and New Testaments (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997), Ge 1:2.

[9] Dake’s Annotated Reference Bible: Containing the Old and New Testaments of the Authorized or King James Version Text.

[10] Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset, A. R. Fausset et al., A Commentary, Critical and Explanatory, on the Old and New Testaments (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997), Ge 1:3.

[11] Ibid