EFFECTIVE SPIRITUAL WARFARE – Final Notes & What is Coming Next?

A TUTORIAL ON EFFECTIVE SPIRITUAL WARFARE

Teaching, Training & Commissioning

FINAL NOTES – WHAT IS COMING NEXT?

Jesus’ work, now complete on earth, He gives a final few words of instruction and encouragement, then sets the stage as the Last Days are now well under way.

One lesson His disciples, both then and now, should learn is that, “our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.

“Therefore, (you are to) take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.  Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,  and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints.”(Ephesians 6:12-18)

As a fully devoted and completely surrendered disciple of Jesus, you will be imbued with and filled with a power so great and so transformative, that your way of dealing with the matters of this world are, like Jesus, antithetical to this world’s ways.

A Witness, The Holy Spirit & Power

Acts 1:6-11 tells us, So when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, “Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?”  He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority;  

but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”

We are reminded, in Psalms 34:15-19, that,

The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous, and His ears are open to their cry.
The face of the Lord is against evildoers, to cut off the memory of them from the earth.

“The righteous cry, and the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles.
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

“Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the Lord delivers him out of them all.”

Jesus continues to tell us about His indwelling presence in the life of a Disciple. 

Mark 9:21-23 says, ”And He asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. It has often thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, take pity on us and help us!” And Jesus said to him, “‘If You can?’ All things are possible to him who believes.”

 Matthew 7:7-8 tells us to,Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.

 Matthew 21:21-22  reminds us, And Jesus answered and said to them, “Truly I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ it will happen. And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.”

Jesus tells us in John 15:7-8,  If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples”.

 Here are some of the many Spiritual Blessings of a disciple of Jesus:  a Christian

  1.  ETERNAL LIFE: John3:14“, As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; verse 15. so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life.

Verse 16. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. Verse 17. “For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. Verse 18. “He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

  1.  ABUNDANT LIFE: John10:910. I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.
  2.  PROSPERITY AND GOOD HEALTH: 3 John 3:2“. “Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers.”
  3.  MANIFEST BLESSINGS:
    1. OBEY GOD:  Deuteronomy28:1“Now it shall be, if you diligently obey the LORD your God, being   careful to do all His commandments which I command you today, The LORD your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth.
    2. IRRESISTIBLE BLESSINGS:  verse 2.“All these blessings will come upon you and overtake you if you obey the LORD your God:
    3. OMNIPRESENT BLESSINGS:  verse 3.“Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the country.
    4. GENERATIONAL BLESSINGS: verse 4. “Blessed shall be the offspring of your body and the produce of your ground and the offspring of your beasts, the increase of your herd and the young of your flock.
    5. NATURAL BLESSING:  verse 5. “ Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl.
    6. CONTINUAL BLESSINGS:  verse 6.“Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out.
    7. PROTECTIVE BLESSINGS:  verse 7. “The LORD shall cause your enemies who rise up against you to be defeated before you; they will come out against you one way and will flee before you seven ways.
    8. OMNISCIENT BLESSINGS:  verse 8. “The LORD will command the blessing upon you in your barns and in all that you put your hand to, and He will bless you in the land which the LORD your God gives you.
    9. HOLY BLESSINGS:  verse 9. “The LORD will establish you as a holy people to Himself, as He swore to you, if you keep the commandments of the LORD your God and walk in His ways. Verse 10. “So all the peoples of the earth will see that you are called by the name of the LORD, and they will be afraid of you.
    10. ABUNDANT BLESSINGS:  verse 11. “The LORD will make you abound in prosperity, in the offspring of your body and in the offspring of your beast and in the produce of your ground, in the land which the LORD swore to your fathers to give you.
    11. ESTABLISHED BLESSINGS:  verse12. “The LORD will open for you His good storehouse, the heavens, to give rain to your land in its season and to bless all the work of your hand; and you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow.
    12. BLESSINGS OF AUTHORITY: verse 13. “The LORD will make you the head and not the tail, and you only will be above, and you will not be underneath, if you listen to the commandments of the LORD your God, which I charge you today, to observe them carefully,

The Ascension

Acts 1:9-11 tells us “And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight.  

And as they were gazing intently into the sky while He was going, behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them. They also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven.”

 

THE GUIDE

(Click on the image)

Your Brother and Friend,

Mike Young

Here is this entire series in Booklet form:

TUTORIAL ON EFFECTIVE SPIRITUAL WARFARE (digital book)

TUTORIAL ON EFFECTIVE SPIRITUAL WARFARE (Adobe PDF format)

What’s Next?  The Last Days

When does the 7-year Tribulation Begin?

EFFECTIVE SPIRITUAL WARFARE – Ch. 19 – Mission, Focus & Commissioning of a disciple

A TUTORIAL ON EFFECTIVE SPIRITUAL WARFARE

Teaching, Training & Commissioning

Chapter  19

MISSION, FOCUS & COMMISSIONING OF A DISCIPLE

“Instructions for Service”

Becoming a disciple of Jesus is a calling from God. It is a difficult and trying experience, and, at times, bewildering, despite what you might have been told.  It can also be dangerous and expensive.  Dangerous in the sense that it will cost you your life, ether through transformation or through “the fiery trials”, as mentioned in 1 Peter 4:12-14.  Expensive in the sense that it will likely cost you everything you had been beforehand, and, everything you had possessed.

Difficult and dangerous as it may be, this Journey will be exciting, rewarding, full of purpose and power.  It will give you rewards, worth more than you could even imagine to ask for.

The destination will astound you. Thousands upon thousands have gladly paid the price and would do it again.

The Teachings of Jesus, as pointed out earlier, are antithetical to worldly standards, practices and norms.  Jesus was crucified as a sacrifice for our sins.  But, as far as the unbelieving world was concerned, it was for His controversial and counter cultural teachings.

Jesus made it clear that if you choose to follow Him, you will have to pay the price of a disciple, and that cost is high.  Both the religious and secular worlds persecuted Jesus and His followers because of His teachings.  And, they will persecute you, too, if you choose to be His disciple.

A careful and thorough reading of Matthew will give you the teaching you need in order to take the first steps to becoming a disciple of Jesus.  Specifically, chapters three through chapters ten will help you focus on Jesus’ teachings, His Works demonstrated and the commissioning and sending of His disciples.

Matthew 10:1-20 says, Jesus summoned His twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every kind of disease and every kind of sickness.

“And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ “

“Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. Freely you received, freely give.  

“Do not acquire gold, or silver, or copper for your money belts, or a bag for your journey, or even two coats, or sandals, or a staff; for the worker is worthy of his support.

“And whatever city or village you enter, inquire who is worthy in it, and stay at his house until you leave that city.

“As you enter the house, give it your greeting. “If the house is worthy, give it your blessing of peace. But if it is not worthy, take back your blessing of peace. “Whoever does not receive you, nor heed your words, as you go out of that house or that city, shake the dust off your feet. “Truly I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city.”

Jesus is now, for the first time, giving His disciples His ‘Authority’. As you progress in your training and preparation, He will also give you His Authority. Just remember, it is He Who is doing the work through you.

And, once again, has given His disciples instructions on how they are to proceed.  This is not the conclusion of Jesus’ teaching, but, this is the conclusion of the disciples initial preparation. It will be the same for you and for me.

A Hard Road before Them

Jesus reminds His disciples of the difficulties that await them.  You would be wise to settle your accounts and get ready for what is coming for the true disciple of Jesus.

Jesus reminds and warns His disciples, both then and now, in Matthew 10:16-23, “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves.

“But beware of men, for they will hand you over to the courts and scourge you in their synagogues; and you will even be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles.

“But when they hand you over, do not worry about how or what you are to say; for it will be given you in that hour what you are to say. “For it is not you who speak, but it is the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.

 “Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. “You will be hated by all because of My name, but it is the one who has endured to the end who will be saved.

“But whenever they persecute you in one city, flee to the next; for truly I say to you, you will not finish going through the cities of Israel until the Son of Man comes.”

The Great Commission

Matthew28:16-20 tells us, But the eleven disciples proceeded to Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had designated. When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some were doubtful. And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,  teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

  • The disciples proceeded.
  • The disciples worshiped Jesus.
  • Some disciples were doubtful.
  • Jesus sent them anyway, because He will be with His disciples, including you, even to the end of the age.

If you have any questions, doubts or comments, please let me know.  None of us should embark on this journey alone,  Let’s join together.  The Body of Christ, on Mission with Jesus.

Your Brother and Friend,

Mike Young

Now, go.  Make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that Jesus has  commanded you.

Please remember to click the blue italicized links in each chapter, in order to get the important details on these Bible teachings)

The Final Episode: “WHAT’S NEXT – AND FINAL NOTES”

(The previous episode can be found at “The Works of Healing – Episode 3)

(Please also notice, you can listen by podcast as you read along.  You can pause the audio in order to click the links for details and references, which are necessary for the entire teaching)

EFFECTIVE SPIRITUAL WARFARE – Ch. 18, Episode 3 – The Works of Healing

A TUTORIAL ON EFFECTIVE SPIRITUAL WARFARE

Teaching, Training & Commissioning

Chapter 18, Episode 3

THE WORKS OF HEALING

Jesus Says the Words; Shows the Wonders; Sends the Workers

Matthew 8:14-17 tells us, “When Jesus came into Peter’s home, He saw his mother-in-law lying sick in bed with a fever. He touched her hand, and the fever left her; and she got up and waited on Him. When evening came, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed; and He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were ill.  

This was to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet: “HE HIMSELF TOOK OUR INFIRMITIES AND CARRIED AWAY OUR DISEASES.”

*Jesus touched her hand, the fever left; It is Jesus Who does the works.

*And she got up and served; Peter’s mother showed her gratitude through service.

*They brought many who were demon-possessed and ill; Jesus cast out the spirits with a word and healed all who were ill. Jesus does His works through His disciples. We are to lift Jesus up and people are drawn to Him.

“Jesus, Himself, took our infirmities and carried away our diseases.”

Please read and meditate on these words of Jesus from John chapter 15 as He reiterates our roles as His disciples.

Verse 1. I am the true vine, and My Father is the vine dresser.  

Verse 2. “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit.

Verse 3. “You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.

Verse 4. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.

Verse 5. “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.”

During most of His earthly ministry, Jesus worked through eleven disciples.  Jesus ministry and works could be multiplied by eleven.

There was estimated, in 2010, to be around 800 million Protestant Christians in the world.  Assuming these Christians truly “Abide in Jesus” that means Jesus’ ministry and works could be multiplied by 800 million.

There is no way of knowing how many of those 800 million Protestants, or of the over 1 billion Roman Catholics, or of the 260 million Orthodox Christians or the other 28 million adherents not affiliated with a major denomination are actually “Abiding in Jesus”, but that is not our concern.

Your concern and my concern, is that we, “Abide in Jesus, and He is in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.  Jesus is the vine, we are the branches; he who abides in Jesus and Jesus in him, bears much fruit, for apart from apart from Jesus, you can do nothing.”  

Your Brother and Friend,

Mike Young

Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go to the Father.”

John 14:12

More resources on this matter:

Power of One

Then There was One

Please remember to click the blue italicized links in each chapter, in order to get the important details on these Bible teachings)

Please bookmark this page and watch for our next chapter, “The Focus of Discipleship”

(The previous episode can be found at “The Works of Healing – Episode 2”)

(Please also notice, you can listen by podcast as you read along.  You can pause the audio in order to click the links for details and references, which are necessary for the entire teaching)

EFFECTIVE SPIRITUAL WARFARE – Ch. 18, Episode 2 – The Works of Healing

A TUTORIAL ON EFFECTIVE SPIRITUAL WARFARE

Teaching, Training & Commissioning

Chapter 18, Episode 2

THE WORKS OF HEALING

Jesus Says the Words; Shows the Wonders; Sends the Workers

Jesus’ method of teaching His disciples, as we see in the Book of Matthew, is this:

  • First, He teaches with words; next,
  • He demonstrates His teaching with ‘works in action’; then,
  • He sends His disciples to do His Works.

If Jesus had not intended His disciples to make disciples, who in turn, repeated the process, Christianity would have ended with the death of the last Apostle.  But, Jesus, set in motion a process, by which “you shall be His witness, both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” (see Acts 1:8)

A MAN UNDER AUTHORITY

Matthew 8:5-13 tells us, “And when Jesus entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, imploring Him, and saying, “Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, fearfully tormented.”

“Jesus said to him, “I will come and heal him.”  But the centurion said, “Lord, I am not worthy for You to come under my roof, but just say the word, and my servant will be healed.

For I also am a man under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to this one, ‘Go!’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come!’ and he comes, and to my slave, ‘Do this!’ and he does it.”

“Now when Jesus heard this, He marveled and said to those who were following, “Truly I say to you, I have not found such great faith with anyone in Israel. “I say to you that many will come from east and west, and recline at the table with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven; but the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” And Jesus said to the centurion, “Go; it shall be done for you as you have believed.” And the servant was healed that very moment.

The Centurion did not make the mistake so many contemporary Christians make.  He did not assume that anything he could do would make any difference.  He humbly submitted himself to the authority of Jesus and made his request known.

Anything we ever do, in and of ourselves, is ‘wood, hay and stubble’.  The Works of Jesus are eternal, built of ‘gold, silver, precious stones’.

We are to be the yielded and still instrument of our Lord. He will do His Works through us as we submit ourselves to Him.

Secondly, there are no obstacles which can impede the Work of God. In this case, distance is no matter of concern.

Finally, it is the certain faith of the Centurion through which Jesus worked.  It was this faith at which Jesus marveled.

We, disciples of Jesus, enter this world of Spiritual warfare under the protection of God, submitted and yielded to the authority of Jesus.  He has prepared His Works ahead of time that we should walk in His works – not our own works.

When we are obedient to His Word, He completes His Works through us.

Your Brother and Friend,

Mike Young

Prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.”

Please remember to click the blue italicized links in each chapter, in order to get the important details on these Bible teachings)

Please bookmark this page and watch for our next chapter, The Works of Healing – Episode 3.

(The previous episode can be found at “The Works of Healing – Episode 1”)

(Please also notice, you can listen by podcast as you read along.  You can pause the audio in order to click the links for details and references, which are necessary for the entire teaching)

EFFECTIVE SPIRITUAL WARFARE – Ch. 18 – The Works of Healing

A TUTORIAL ON EFFECTIVE SPIRITUAL WARFARE

Teaching, Training & Commissioning

Chapter  18

THE WORKS OF HEALING

Says the Words; Shows the Wonders; Sends the Workers

Jesus’ method of teaching His disciples, as we see in the Book of Matthew, is this:

  • First, He teaches with words; next,
  • He demonstrates His teaching with ‘works in action’; then,
  • He sends His disciples to do His Works.

If Jesus had not intended His disciples to make disciples, who in turn, repeated the process, Christianity would have ended with the death of the last Apostle.  But, Jesus, set in motion a process, by which “you shall be His witness, both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” (see Acts 1:8)

JESUS DEMONSTRATES HIS TEACHINGS

Matthew 8:1-4, says, “When Jesus came down from the mountain, large crowds followed Him. Verse 2.  And a leper came to Him and bowed down before Him, and said, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.” Verse 3.  Jesus stretched out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. Verse 4.  And Jesus said to him, “See that you tell no one; but go, show yourself to the priest and present the offering that Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.”

It has now begun.  Jesus, in Matthew 4:19, said, Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” 

Later, in Matthew 10, “Jesus summoned His twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every kind of disease and every kind of sickness.

If you are a disciple of Jesus, you are now with Him, looking closely over His shoulder, watching and learning.  You will learn at His side.  You will be forever identified as having been with Jesus.

We are now, the clay in the Potter’s Hands; as He touches our lives, we are made new, into His image for His purpose.  This is IMPORTANT to grasp.

The words, from Matthew 4:19, in the Greek translations, tell us, not only of the urgency of Jesus’ call, but of how

the state of our lives is to be made well off.  We will fare well and prosper in our soul, by answering His call and following Him.

These words are so descriptive that you must take each definition and consider their impact and importance:

You are entering His Kingdom of “royal power, kingship, dominion, rule. You are being given the right and the authority to serve in His Kingdom; the royal power of Jesus as the triumphant Messiah and the royal power and dignity conferred on Christians in the Messiah’s kingdom.”

The definitions of this word are complimentary:

To serve, to worship, to heal, to cure, to restore to health.  Jesus heals the whole person, body, mind/will/emotions and spirit.  His healing is complete.  We are called to this ministry, we will learn as His disciples, to do His Works.

Again, Jesus heals the body, the mind, the soul and the spirit of all infirmities. There is nothing outside the reach of God, and we are on mission with Jesus.  We cannot stand idly by and watch.  To be His disciple means we join God is what He is already doing.

Jesus called these men to Himself, and He is calling you and me to follow Him, today.

This call has an urgency associated with it.  It is a command in the imperative.  Jesus is saying, “Come, Now!

It is IMPORTANT that we remember Jesus was speaking prophetically then and is speaking prophetically to us, today!  This is our calling and our role as Christians, Disciples of Jesus. He will make you, fashion you into a “fisher of men”!

I encourage you to study the details of this teaching by clicking this link “In the Beginning”.

Study the definitions of the words used, and, apply them to yourself, as you journey into His Kingdom and prepare yourself to be on Mission with Jesus, engaging in this Spiritual War.

Your Brother and Friend,

Mike Young

Prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.”

Please remember to click the blue italicized links in each chapter, in order to get the important details on these Bible teachings)

Please bookmark this page and watch for our next chapter, The Focus of Discipleship

(The previous episode can be found at The Two Foundations)

(Please also notice, you can listen by podcast as you read along.  You can pause the audio in order to click the links for details and references, which are necessary for the entire teaching)

EFFECTIVE SPIRITUAL WARFARE – Ch. 17 – The Two Foundations

A TUTORIAL ON EFFECTIVE SPIRITUAL WARFARE

Teaching, Training & Commissioning

Chapter  17

THE TWO FOUNDATIONS

Matthew 7:24-29 says, “Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock.

Verse 25. “And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock.

Verse 26. “Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand.

Verse 27.“The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell—and great was its fall.”

      Verses 28 and 29. “When Jesus had finished these words, the crowds were amazed at His teaching; for He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as their scribes.

It is fitting that within this concluding statement, Jesus tells His disciples, both, then and now, that it is the wise man or woman, who hears His teachings and acts on them.

We must pay close attention.  Jesus has warned His disciples, ahead of time, “the rains, winds and floods are coming” and they will slam against your “house”.  We must act on His Words so that our “house will not fall because it has been founded on the rock”.

Although, this teaching can be applied to “everyone who hears these words of His and acts on them, Jesus said these Words, specifically, to His disciples.

The gravity of this teaching must not slip past us.

Keeping in context of Jesus’ teaching to this point:  As it was in our previous chapters concerning “The Wide and Narrow Gates” inMatthew 7:13“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide, and the way is broad that leads to destruction;  

Knowing a Tree by its Fruit”, in Matthew 7:19“Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.;

So it is in this chapter, “The Two Foundations”, found in Matthew 7:2425. “Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell—and great was its fall.”

Please, beware pastors and teachers: You are held to a stricter accountability.

Please, beware Christians and church leaders: “Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

Your righteousness must exceed that of the scribes and the Pharisees or you will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

This is the concluding statement of ‘teaching-by-the-saying’ of His Word.  Next, Jesus will begin to teach us by demonstrating and performing His Word. We will see the Word of Jesus, in action!

We must pay close attention, because Jesus has told us that, “he who believes in Him, shall do the works He does; and he will do even greater works ; because Jesus has gone to the Father”.  (John 14:12).  The kingdom is now at hand!

Your Brother and Friend

Mike Young

Prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.”

Please remember to click the blue italicized links in each chapter, in order to get the important details on these Bible teachings)

Please bookmark this page and watch for our next chapter, Healing of the Multitudes

(The previous episode can be found at “A Tree and its Fruit – False Prophets”)

(Please also notice, you can listen by podcast as you read along.  You can pause the audio in order to click the links for details and references, which are necessary for the entire teaching)

SHIPWRECKED – Enemies Within the Church

SHIPWRECKED?

And, what is “Big Eva”?

Before I introduce my main point, I want to point out, that it was common for Jesus and His Apostles to deal with false teachers and false prophets within the Church.  Here are some links for your study:

FALSE PROPHETS WITHIN THE CHURCH- Biblegateway.com

HYPOCRITES WITHIN THE CHURCH – Biblegateway.com

FALSE TEACHERS WITHIN THE CHURCH – Biblegateway.com

SOUND DOCTRINE – Biblegateway.com

We are hearing about and reading about so many being SHIPWRECKED with regard to their faith. What is this world is going on? And how is this happening?

SHIPWRECKED – a noun

  • The destruction or loss of a ship, as by sinking.
  • The remains of a wrecked ship.
  • Destruction or ruin: the shipwreck of one’s hopes.

Verb (used with object)

  • To cause suffering in shipwreck.
  • To destroy; ruin.

Just in the small area where I live, in the past few years, there have been and are, at least 3 major Christian SHIPWRECKS on public display.  I will point out on one, but, here is a link to others:  CHURCH SHIPWRECKS IN NAPLES, FL

First Baptist Church, Naples: Crisis

These videos are produced by http://www.EnemiesWithinTheChurch.com

“Conservative church members labeled racists, purged by elite Southern Baptists” (Capstone Report)

“F.B.C. Naples leadership sinfully violated Matthew 18, smeared church members concerned about pastoral candidate’s support for pro-abortion, pro-LGBTQ Democrat” (Capstone Report)

“Report: Coup forced out longtime pastor who wanted period of transition to new leadership” (Capstone Report)

Neo-Marxists turn Stalinist after election defeat (Capstone Report)

Now, finally, what about Big Eva?

Big Eva” is not a large German who works in border control for the Bundesrepublik.  Big Eva is a term for the network of large evangelical organizations and conferences that seeks to shape the thinking and strategy of the American evangelical churches. (“Big Eva” = “Big Evangelical Churches, organizations and conferences”)

“What Big Eva has done is, create an economy of power, people, and indeed money which is non-ecclesiastical but highly influential within evangelical churches. It is a populist movement of tremendous influence and minimal accountability. It provides an identity for its most passionate acolytes.

“And because it promises rewards to individuals and organizations – influence, students, platform – it is both very hard to criticize and functionally unaccountable to any but its own. The Trinity controversy of two years ago was a case in point: no church creed had ever taught the nonsense that had become so pervasive in evangelicalism. Quite the contrary – the creedal history of the church was arguably constructed to exclude precisely the kind of views that were being espoused. But key conferences and key organizations had a vested interest in sidestepping orthodoxy and demonizing any who pointed that out.

“An aspiring movement, to direct and shape the policies and testimony of the church, is quite another thing. (This is what has been done, or, put more bluntly, ‘What have we done?’ Selected and edited (comments from Carl Trueman, “Revoice, Evangelical Culture, and the Return of an Old Friend”  July 31, 2018).

Here are links to several other notable and tragic recent SHIPWRECKS:

Willow Creek, Chicago, Illinois and Bill Hybels

Willow Creek, Chicago, Illinois and Bill Hybles, II

Harvest Chapel, Sandwich, Illinois and James MacDonald fired by Harvest Bible Chapel

Harvest Bible Chapel in Naples, Florida sent eviction notice by landlord

This article and its content was collected from various “identified sources” and is reprinted as originally posted by these “identified sources. Some parts are editorialized and contain the opinion of this author.   White Stone Fellowship.

The Apostle Paul instructed Timothy in 1 Timothy 1:18, saying, “This command I entrust to you, Timothy, my son, in accordance with the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them, you fight the good fight, 19 keeping faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith.”

This is advice to all Christians.  Let’s heed the words of the Apostle Paul and stay vigilant and “fight the good fight”, and God will be with us.

Your Brother and Friend,

Mike Young

EFFECTIVE SPIRITUAL WARFARE – Ch. 16 – A Tree and its Fruit & False Prophets

A TUTORIAL ON EFFECTIVE SPIRITUAL WARFARE

Teaching, Training & Commissioning

Chapter  16

A TREE AND ITS FRUIT
(False Prophets)

Jesus warns us, in Matthew 7:15-20“Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they?  “So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. “A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. “So, then, you will know them by their fruits.

We are drawing ever closer to the time when Jesus will expect you to be a fully functioning and fully devoted follower. This teaching is representative of that, and, comes in two parts.

The first part is a warning and a call for the Christian and disciple to use Spiritual discernment when encountering false prophets.

The second part is also a warning, but, it is to be applied to yourself and to others. It describes the severe consequences reserved for false prophets and deceivers.

PART I.

Verses 15-20 tells us to be on the alert because you will encounter false prophets who take on the appearance and behavior of one of God’s own people. Jesus calls them ‘false prophets’, so we can assume they are using the moniker of pastor, prophet or teacher.

You are being taught and instructed to watch the fruit of the lives, particularly, of those claiming to hold the office of pastor, prophet or teacher or church leader. We, too often, revere and elevate the man in such an office as guiltless, because of his or her position. This can be a deadly mistake.  There comes a time, when a pattern of behavior will disclose the nature and character of the person. (‘their fruit’).  Beware!  A person bearing bad fruit is headed to destruction, and they will take many with them.

(False Prophets, Pulpit Bullies, False Teachers, Apostasy, Heretics)

PART II.

Jesus explains the consequence in store for the false prophet or teacher, in  Matthew 7:21-23, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’

Verse 23. “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’

A mark of a false prophet is most often accompanied by a pattern of spiritual abuse. Spiritual abuse is a form of emotional and psychological abuse used by pastors,  (false prophets), or church leaders or even by ‘lay people’, to control, coerce, manipulate and exploit others, in a religious context.

This abuse may include, among other methods:

  • manipulation, exploitation, enforced accountability,
  • censorship of decision-making,
  • requirements for secrecy and silence,
  • coercion to conform,
  • inability to ask questions,
  • control through the use of sacred texts or teaching, requirement of obedience to the abuser,
  • the suggestion that the abuser has a ‘divine’ position(i.e., ‘don’t touch God’s anointed’),
  • marginalization and/or isolation as a means of punishment, and
  • superiority and elitism.

Spiritual abuse can have a deeply damaging impact on those who experience it, especially at the hands of a trusted Christian authority figure, such as a pastor.

We are now entering into the heat of Spiritual Warfare, where peoples lives and eternities are at stake. These false prophets must be exposed and abandoned in the Church.

Finally, and most importantly, check yourself on these matters. Make certain you do not possess or practice any of these traits or methods.

It is common for a person to start off right, but, when one is tempted and enticed by his own lust, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.”

Pray. Watch. Submit yourself to Him.

Your Brother and Friend,

Mike Young

(NOTE: If you suspect spiritual abuse is occurring in your church or religious organization, you should separate yourself from the abuse and the abuser, and speak with a superior or to an oversight organization, if there is one.  Be careful not to accuse, but to inquire.

If you have been the subject of Spiritual abuse, again, separate yourself from the abuser and report the pattern of behavior to the church’s headquarters, ask for and get assurances of confidentiality. And seek personal counseling.

Further reading:

CHURCH SCANDAL AND SPIRITUAL ABUSE

A CALLING OR A CULT?

THE FALSE CHURCH EMERGES

Please remember to click the blue italicized links in each chapter, in order to get the important details on these Bible teachings)

Please bookmark this page and watch for our next chapter, “The Two Foundations

(The previous episode can be found at “The Narrow and the Wide Gates”)

(Please also notice, you can listen by podcast as you read along.  You can pause the audio in order to click the links for details and references, which are necessary for the entire teaching)

EFFECTIVE SPIRITUAL WARFARE – Ch. 15 – The Narrow Gate

A TUTORIAL ON EFFECTIVE SPIRITUAL WARFARE

Teaching, Training & Commissioning

Chapter  15

THE NARROW AND THE WIDE GATES

Jesus instructs us, in Matthew 7:13, to “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide, and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. Verse 14 goes on to say, “For the gate is small, and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.”

Everything we are learning and training on, as disciples, hinges on this ‘directive’.  A disciple who is making their way on mission with Jesus, will likely will miss their destination and be rendered lost and wandering unless they follow the right path.  In this case, the path is one of Spiritual Warfare and the destination is Eternal life.  This is the mission and calling of being a disciple and an ambassador of Christ.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN TO YOU?

Jesus is telling us to take the right path, the path which leads to life.  And, to assist us, He reminds us, in John 10:9, that He is that Path and that Gate.

Again, in John 14:6, Jesus says, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”  

There is no other Path.  There is no other way.  There is only The One Gate.  Not only is this narrow way, which leads to life, clearly mapped out in scriptures, we have Jesus as our personal Guide.  There is never room for deviation for those who hope to successfully arrive at God’s predetermined destination.

There are many pastors, bible teachers, church leaders and Christians, whether through carelessness, ignorance or rebelliousness, think they have found ways around the difficulties of entering by this small and narrow passage way.  And, they lead others down the broad path and through the wide gate which leads to destruction.

How can I tell if I am on the Narrow Path which leads to the Small Gate and to life?  You can find The Way as God reveals Himself, by the Holy Spirit, through the Bible, by prayer, through circumstances and through the church.  Know and depend on these 7 realities:

  1. God is always at work around you. If you are on the right path, you will see where He is at work.

2.  God pursues a continuing love relationship with you that is real
and personal.  He will not leave nor forsake you.  He will always be with you.  You can know you are on the right path if If you are extending that love to others. God and people are the priority – not the path.

3.  God invites you to become involved with Him in His work.

( John 6:29 says, “Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.”

(Matthew 10:7-15 says, “And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’

8“Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. Freely you received, freely give.

9“Do not acquire gold, or silver, or copper for your money belts, 10or a bag for your journey, or even two coats, or sandals, or a staff; for the worker is worthy of his support.

11“And whatever city or village you enter, inquire who is worthy in it, and stay at his house until you leave that city.

12“As you enter the house, give it your greeting. 13“If the house is worthy, give it your blessing of peace. But if it is not worthy, take back your blessing of peace. 14“Whoever does not receive you, nor heed your words, as you go out of that house or that city, shake the dust off your feet. 15“Truly I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city.)

(Matthew 28:19 says, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”)  If you are doing anything other than what Jesus has already done, or if you are doing more that Jesus has already done, you are not on the right path! Simply join Him in doing what He has already done – that is His Work.

4. God speaks by the Holy Spirit through the Bible, prayer,
circumstances, and the church to reveal Himself, His purposes,
and His ways.  If you are on the right path, you can listen, and you will hear Him; you can read His Word and understand; you can meditate on Him and know Him; you can pray, and He will answer you; you can watch, and you will see Him.

5. God’s invitation for you to work with Him always leads you to a
crisis of belief that requires faith and action.  ACT in faith, doing what He is already doing – or go home.

6. You must make major adjustments in your life to join God in
what He is doing.  Take that leap of faith and join Him, today, in what He is already doing!!

7. You come to know God by experience as you obey Him and He
accomplishes His work through you.

(Taken from “The 7 Realities for Knowing and Experiencing God, by Henry and Richard Blackaby – published by LifeWay Press® Nashville, Tennessee.)

We must be reminded, that the walk and calling of a disciple means to give up your life in order to have the life of Christ.  We may struggle and suffer, but we will overcome the evil that besets us in this life, in order to gain eternal life with God.  Or, we can live this life carelessly and in ease, but, lose our life.

Your Brother and Friend,

Mike Young

Please remember to click the blue italicized links in each chapter, in order to get the important details on these Bible teachings)

Please bookmark this page and watch for our next chapter, A Tree and its Fruit

(The previous episode can be found at “Righteous Judgment”)

(Please also notice, you can listen by podcast as you read along.  You can pause the audio in order to click the links for details and references, which are necessary for the entire teaching)

EFFECTIVE SPIRITUAL WARFARE – Ch. 14 – Righteous Judgment

A TUTORIAL ON EFFECTIVE SPIRITUAL WARFARE

Teaching, Training & Commissioning

Chapter  14

RIGHTEOUS JUDGMENT

The previous chapter on “Prayer and the Golden Rule” was the opening volley of the Christian’s offensive in Spiritual Warfare.

Oswald Chambers once said, “A child of God never prays to be made aware of the fact that God answers prayer, because he is so restfully certain that God always answers prayer.” August 21, 2018,

​” We look upon prayer simply as a means of getting things for ourselves, but the biblical purpose of prayer is that we may get to know God Himself.” August 14, 2014

“To say that “prayer changes things” is not as close to the truth as saying, “Prayer changes me, and then I change things.” August 14, 2014

The second phase of our training in Spiritual Warfare is learning to have clear vision and to maintain your innocence before God. This begins with making Right Judgments.

Matthew 7:1-6 says, “Do not judge so that you will not be judged.  “For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. “Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?  “Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye?  “You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”

The “hypocrite”, according to Bible lexicons and concordances, is an actor, stage player, a dissembler, a pretender and a hypocrite.  A hypocrite is one who simulates, feign or pretends.  One who is vile, shameful, reproachful, full of dishonor, ignominy, and disgrace.

Definitions won’t adequately describe what Jesus is talking about.  Jesus is saying that one’s attitude reveals their character, their heart and their intentions.  The hypocrite is in danger of being lost and perishing.

Read what Jesus says about, and to, hypocrites (I have abbreviated these verses for context.  (You can read the full chapter here: Matthew 23)

Verse 13:  “But WOE to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, you will receive greater condemnation.”

Verse 15:  “WOE to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.”

Verse 27:  “WOE to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.”

Verse 29:  “WOE to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites You serpents, you brood of vipers, how will you escape the sentence of hell?”

Hypocrisy could be described as a deadly form of narcissism, where the practice of claiming to have moral standards or views to which one’s own behavior does not meet.  It is a pretense of morality that cloaks our inability to meet some predetermined moral code.

The word, in the verses cited above, comes from the Greek word,  “hupokrinomai”, which means, to be an actor under an assumed character, a stage-player;  figuratively, to disguise or conceal one’s real nature, motives, or feelings behind a false appearance.

One of the root causes of hypocrisy is fear and low self-esteem. We suffer hypocrisy as an avoidance for looking at our shortcomings and figuring out our part in it.  Hypocrisy  typically stems from a sincere belief that the double-standard we apply to ourselves is justifiable, because we have better intentions, therefore, we are forgiven for our “mistakes”.

We believe our intentions are just, noble and sincere, despite how we act at times.  The Bible, in Jeremiah 17:9, warns us about trusting our ‘heart’ on these matters, when it tells us, “The heart is more deceitful than all else, and is desperately sick. Who can understand it?”

1 John 1:8, tells us that, If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us.

In order to find relief from this satanic trap, this disorder, we must admit that we are imperfect beings, created with flaws, who are prone to fail.  1 John 1:9, says that, If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

We must learn to look at our own shortcomings and recognize that every one of us is prone to wrongdoing.  The Bible tells us that we all fall short of God’s Glory and that none of us are righteous, no not anyone!

The person suffering from hypocrisy has a strong desire to be loved and accepted. The fear of personal failure, humility and judgment is so powerful, that the hypocrite uses “double-mindedness” and cognitive dissonance to avoid facing themselves.

Also, at the root of hypocrisy is a desire to be loved and accepted without judgment.   Only God can give that kind of love. And, only the fully devoted follower of Jesus, filled with His Holy Spirit, can also give that kind of love.

Until you “clear your own eye”, rid yourself of hypocrisy and master Righteous Judgment, you cannot possibly be effective nor survive the Spiritual War which rages.

Your Brother and Friend,

Mike Young

Please remember to click the blue italicized links in each chapter, in order to get the important details on these Bible teachings)

Please bookmark this page and watch for our next chapter, THE NARROW AND THE WIDE GATES”

(The previous episode can be found at “Prayer and the Golden Rule”)

(Please also notice, you can listen by podcast as you read along.  You can pause the audio in order to click the links for details and references, which are necessary for the entire teaching)

EFFECTIVE SPIRITUAL WARFARE – Ch. 13 – Prayer and the Golden Rule

A TUTORIAL ON EFFECTIVE SPIRITUAL WARFARE

Teaching, Training & Commissioning

Chapter  13

PRAYER AND THE “GOLDEN RULE”

Becoming a disciple of Jesus requires much of a person, as we have already learned.  And, prayer is an indispensable activity of the disciple. But, praying, just for the sake of praying, is never enough.  We saw, in chapter 12, episode 7, that praying in order to be recognized, will achieve nothing in the Kingdom of God.

Furthermore, the Apostle James tells us that, “When you do ask you don’t receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that is so that you may spend it on your own pleasures.” (James 4:2-3)

Read and hear what Jesus says, in Matthew 7 verses 7 through 12, about the requisites of prayer.  And, remember, this is for His disciples:

Matthew 7:7-12, says,  “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.  

“For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.

What man is there among you, who, when his son asks for a loaf, will give him a stone? “Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake?

“If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!

      “Therefore, In everything, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

It is important, first, to know the Greek word for ‘ask’ is in the Greek, is “aiteó”, and, it means to ask, to beg, to call for, to crave, to desire and to require. This word strongly implies an urgency and a fervency in prayer.

Additionally, it is in the Greek, aorist tense, which means the ‘asking’ has no regard for the past, present or future.

It is the same for the words, to “seek” and to “knock”.  In other words, it is continuing; it is not a simple “one and done” request.

Secondly, Jesus establishes the fact that if you continue to ask, seek and knock,” it will be opened to you”.  This phrase is emphatic, and is in the future aorist tense, meaning “it will continue to be opened to you”.

Finally, the requisite. “THEREFORE, In everything, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets.”

This is an oracle of the Word of God.  A ‘golden key’ which opens the Kingdom’s treasury to you. ” Treat people the same way you want them to treat you”. 

You will have to do this with the right attitude. This cannot be contrived to reach your own ends, “so that you may spend it on your own pleasures.”

You must give, so, as it says in Luke 6:38, “it will be given back to you, good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.” 

For this is the “Laws and the Prophets, which were meant to teach and guide the Jewish people in all their thought and conduct in order to live a life pleasing to God to have success in their affairs.

You cannot successfully complete the training, nor function as a fully devoted disciple of Jesus, until you learn and master the secret of this Golden Key of the Kingdom.  Neither, can you engage effectively in the spiritual warfare, which will inevitably ensue.

Trust His Words.  Believe Him.  Do His Words.  Practice His Presence.  And, by faith, we will overcome by the Blood of the Lamb and by the word of your testimony! (Revelation 12:11)

Your Brother and Friend,

Mike Young

Please remember to click the blue italicized links in each chapter, in order to get the important details on these Bible teachings)

Please bookmark this page and watch for our next chapter, RIGHTEOUS JUDGEMENT

(The previous episode can be found at “Removing The Obstacles of Worry and Anxiety)

(Please also notice, you can listen by podcast as you read along.  You can pause the audio in order to click the links for details and references, which are necessary for the entire teaching)

EFFECTIVE SPIRITUAL WARFARE – Ch. 12, Ep. 9 – Removing the Obstacle of Worry and Anxiety

A TUTORIAL ON EFFECTIVE SPIRITUAL WARFARE

Teaching, Training & Commissioning

Chapter  12  Episode  9

REMOVING THE OBSTACLES OF WORRY & ANXIETY

This final episode, on the removal of the obstacles of discipleship and of following Jesus, is one of the longest and most difficult.  It requires prayer, faith, trust, self-discipline and obedience to God’s Word, in the midst of a storm. Read carefully, trust God, then do what He says.

Worry brings doubt; worry and doubt are sin; sin separates us from God and brings destruction and death.

We must repent of our sinful thinking and ways, for the Kingdom of God is at hand.

Therefore, if you confess with your mouth what you believe in your heart, and you will be saved; for it is with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. For the Scripture says, “WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.” (Romans 10-:10-11)

(For our convenience, I have coded the Obstacle in green, the penalty in purple and the Remedy in Blue.)

Episode 9:  Removing the Obstacles of Worry & Anxiety requires that we Seek, First, His Kingdom and His Righteousness.

Matthew 6:25-34 says, For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?

”Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?

“And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?  “And why are you worried about clothing?

Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. “But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? 

You of little faith!

“Do not worry, then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’  “For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things;

For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”

“So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself.”

“Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

I will use the example of God’s servant, Job, to help understand how to remove the obstacles of worry and anxiety.

Job, according to the Bible, (Job 1:1-3), was blameless, upright, fearing God and turning away from evil. Job had seven sons and three daughters, he owned 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 yoke of oxen, 500 female donkeys, and very many servants; The Bible says that Job  was the greatest of all the men of the east. In other words, Job had it all!

But, Job worried. (see Job 1:4-5).  He worried that “his sons had sinned and cursed God in their hearts.” So, Job would pray and consecrate them, daily. The Bible says, “Job did this continually.”  The Hebrew word for ‘continually’ is a complex word, but, in essence could be compared to our modern word describing an obsessive and compulsive behavior, stemming from worry.

Now read carefully what comes next, because, because it is not a coincidence; it is a result of compulsive worrying:

Job:1:6-12  says, “Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them.  The LORD said to Satan, “From where do you come?”

First, notice, Job has ‘left a door open for evil’ through his worry, and Satan will enter Job’s thinking and his life.

Secondly, ask yourself, “Is God not omniscient?  How could God not know this?” But, God did know, and He was revealing the intentions and activities of Satan for all to hear.

Then Satan answered the LORD and said, “From roaming about on the earth and walking around on it.”

The LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job?

(Once again, God is making Satan confess)

God goes on to say, “For there is no one like Job on the earth, a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil.”  Then Satan answered the LORD, “Does Job fear God for nothing?  “Have You not made a hedge about him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. “But put forth Your hand now and touch all that he has; he will surely curse You to Your face.” Then the LORD said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power, only do not put forth your hand on him.” So Satan departed from the presence of the LORD.

Then tragedy struck.  In one day, Job lost all his possessions and all of his children. (see Job 1:13-19)

But, it does not end there.  Once again, tragedy strikes and Job loses his health. (see Job 2:1-6)

Then, Job, crying out in pain, laments.  Sadly, Job’s confession of lament confirms only and solidifies his condition. “Afterward, Job opened his mouth and cursed the day of his birth.” (see Job 3:1)

Next, Job utters the realization we must remember, in

(Job 3:25-26)

“For what I fear comes upon me,
            And what I dread befalls me.

“I am not at ease, nor am I quiet,
            And I am not at rest, but turmoil comes.”

What follows in Job’s life are distorted relationships, tragedy, pain and suffering. (see Job chapter 4 through Job chapter 37)

Then, the most amazing of all miracles occurs. God speaks directly to Job in Chapter 38 and verses 2 and 3, and says,

“Who is this that darkens counsel
            By words without knowledge?

      “Now gird up your loins like a man,
            And I will ask you, and you instruct Me!

(In our contemporary language, we might hear, “Who do you think you are, clouding the truth with ignorance?  Now, hike up your pants like and man and face Me!  If you are so smart, tell me what you know about Who I Am!)

Job, after receiving instructions about his own ignorance of the matters of God, utters A NEW CONFESSION that begins the process of removal of the Obstacles of Worry and Anxiety from his life,

” Then Job answered the LORD and said,

      “I know that You can do all things,
            And that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.

      ‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’
            “Therefore I have declared that which I did not understand,
            Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.”

      ‘Hear, now, and I will speak;
            I will ask You, and You instruct me.’

      “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear;
            But now my eye sees You;

      “Therefore, I retract,
            And I repent in dust and ashes.”

The results?

The LORD restored the fortunes of Job when he prayed for his friends, and the LORD increased all that Job had twofold.

Then all his brothers and all his sisters and all who had known him before came to him, and they ate bread with him in his house; and they consoled him and comforted him for all the adversities that the LORD had brought on him. And each one gave him one piece of money, and each a ring of gold.

The LORD blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning; and he had 14,000 sheep and 6,000 camels and 1,000 yoke of oxen and 1,000 female donkeys. He had seven sons and three daughters. He named the first Jemimah, and the second Keziah, and the third Keren-happuch. In all the land no women were found so fair as Job’s daughters; and their father gave them inheritance among their brothers. After this, Job lived 140 years, and saw his sons and his grandsons, four generations. And Job died, an old man and full of days.”

RECAP

  • Worry brings doubt; worry and doubt are sin
  • Sin separates us from God
  • Sin brings destruction and death
  • Repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand
  • Confess with your mouth what you believe in your heart, and you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. For the Scripture says, “WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.” (Romans 10-:10-11)

Knowing of these things and not doing them, make empty words. But, if we do as John 15:7 tells us, “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.”

Believe it!  Do it!

Your Brother and Friend,

Mike Young

Please remember to click the blue italicized links in each chapter, in order to get the important details on these Bible teachings)

Please bookmark this page and watch for our next chapter,  “ANSWERED PRAYER – THE GOLDEN RULE”

(The previous episode can be found at “Removing The Obstacle Pride Serving Two Masters”)

(Please also notice, you can listen by podcast as you read along.  You can pause the audio in order to click the links for details and references, which are necessary for the entire teaching)

EFFECTIVE SPIRITUAL WARFARE – Ch. 12, Ep. 8 -Removing the Obstacle of Two Masters

 

A TUTORIAL ON EFFECTIVE SPIRITUAL WARFARE

Teaching, Training & Commissioning

Chapter  12  Episode  8

REMOVING THE OBSTACLE OF TWO MASTERS

No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other.  Having two masters is untenable as a disciple of Jesus.  In order to follow Jesus and to serve Him, in order to inherit the Kingdom of God, there is room for only One Master:  Jesus.

We are faced with the reality of making a choice. This choice will determine the path you will follow.  You may have the intention of following Jesus, but, if you practice the “the love of money”, your steps will take you away from Him and into a temporal darkness, far away from the path of the Disciple of Jesus.

(For our convenience, I have coded the Obstacle in green, the penalty in purple and the Remedy in Blue.)

Episode 8:  Removing the Obstacle of Two Masters requires you choose between  God and Wealth.

Matthew 6:19-24 says, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 

“But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven,

“where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal;

“for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light. 

But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!

“No one can serve two masters;

“for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. 

“You cannot serve God and wealth.”

This teaching is about the obstacle of having to choose between two masters: God or Wealth.

Jesus starts by telling His disciples they must choose between immediate gratification of earthly treasures or the delayed, but, permanent rewards with God. The consequence of gathering earthly treasure is lifetime lost.  It is a choice between the temporal and the eternal.  The text is about God and wealth, but, the CONTEXT is about lust.

Next, Jesus addresses “the lust of the eye” which affects your entire body and soul.  And, we are warned, that if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness.  We are instructed and commanded to walk light as He is in the light, so we will have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.

Finally, He describes the lust as the cruel, unforgiving and demanding taskmaster when He says, “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other.  You cannot serve God and wealth.

Once your mind and soul have been ensnared by the lust for money, (1 Timothy 6:10), you will have wandered away from the faith and pierced yourself with many griefs.

When you have been enticed, your lust gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.

THE CURE is to repent, daily, for His Kingdom is at hand; literally, as near as your hand is to your wrist – it is within you!

Repenting, in the Biblical sense, literally means, “To change one’s mind; to change one’s mind for the better” and it comes from two root words which mean, “Hereafter, have this understanding or perception”.

Repenting is the act of changing your mind which means your mindset, your values, and your worldview is changed.  Some would say you then live by new standards.  But it is much greater than just living by new standards.

A person of sound mind cannot simultaneously think one thing and do another, repentance results in a complete change of mind and direction of one’s life.

Another way of saying this is, “As a man or woman thinks, so are they”.

BOTH A COMMAND AND A PROPHETIC WORD

Interestingly, Jesus, the Son of God, in fact God Himself, said these very words which is recorded in Matthew 4:17.  Remembering, this is both a Command and a prophetic Word from God.

Jesus said this is what we are to do – Repent – in order to become His disciple and to follow Him, and, this is what will happen is we repent.

The disciples echoed and repeated these very words as they continued to do the Works of God, “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is now at hand”.

Jesus says for each of us to repent as an act of our will and that Repentance will allow the Holy Spirit to come into our bodies, our minds and regenerate our spirits.  We will become One with Him.

Our fleshly desires begin to fade, and our new desires emanate from the Holy Spirit of God.  It is not us producing Spiritual Fruit, it is from The Holy Spirit, and it should pour out of us, liberally.

We begin to desire the Things of God.  We are made new, and we can now walk with certainty, with purpose and power in our New Life.

Your Brother and Friend,

Mike Young

Please remember to click the blue italicized links in each chapter, in order to get the important details on these Bible teachings)

Please bookmark this page and watch for our next chapter, Removing the Obstacle of Anxiety

(The previous episode can be found at Removing The Obstacle Pride and Hypocrisy”)

(Please also notice, you can listen by podcast as you read along.  You can pause the audio in order to click the links for details and references, which are necessary for the entire teaching)

EFFECTIVE SPIRITUAL WARFARE – Ch. 12, Ep. 7 – Removing the Obstacle of Pride and Hypocrisy

A TUTORIAL ON EFFECTIVE SPIRITUAL WARFARE

Teaching, Training & Commissioning

Chapter  12  Episode  7

REMOVING THE OBSTACLE OF PRIDE & HYPOCRISY

Be on the alert, because sin is lurking at your door, and its desire is to snare you, but you must master it. He has laid traps to entice you and to snare you in order to prevent you from completing your mission.

Pride and hypocrisy are among the snares of the devil.  Jesus will show you the way around these deadly traps, if you will listen, follow and obey Him.

(For our convenience, I have coded the Obstacle in green, the penalty in purple and the Remedy in Blue.)

Episode 7:  Removing the Obstacle of pride and hypocrisy requires practicing Humility & Truth.

Matthew 6:1-15 says,

“Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them;

 otherwise, you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven.

“So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. 

Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. 

“But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.

“When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. 

“But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.

      “And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words.

“So do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.

      “Pray, then, in this way:
            ‘Our Father who is in heaven,
            Hallowed be Your name.

      ‘Your kingdom come.
            Your will be done,
            On earth as it is in heaven.

      ‘Give us this day our daily bread.

      ‘And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.

      ‘And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

“For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.

“But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.”

Jesus is teaching on the matter of “practicing righteousness”. Righteousness is defined, in the Bible, as justice or “justness” according to God’s standard.  A simple way of defining Godly Righteousness is “to be in right standing with God and man”.  Yet, the Bible teaches us that “None are righteous, no not one.”  Therefore, Jesus teaches us the differences because the consequences of failure are dire.

CONTEXT

Jesus teaches on and warns about practicing your righteousness before people.  He illustrates this teaching by using examples of giving to the poor, praying and giving forgiveness.  But, the CONTEXT of this teaching, is hypocrisy.  Jesus is teaching, for a second time, on the deadly consequences of hypocrisy.

Notice that the hypocrite, #1, “loves to be noticed by people”, #2, they “love to be honored by people”, #3, they “love to be seen by people”, and, #4, they “love to talk to be heard”, and, #5, apparently, they are slow to forgive others.

Please, check yourself on these matters.

By these actions, a person who is behaving as a hypocrite, shall receive their full reward from “men”.  They will receive no reward from God, and, are no longer of any use as a disciple of Jesus, “except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.

Also, notice, that in each example, the remedy for hypocrisy is humility and the transparency of truth.  Sadly, it is a difficult thing for a person who is caught in the snares of hypocrisy, to honestly humble themselves and admit their fault of pride.

A hypocrite could be compared to a ‘the rich young ruler’ who, although rich with worldly riches, is in fact, poor, miserable and wretched in spiritual possessions.

Jesus teaches that it would be easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a man ‘rich in pride and hypocrisy’ to enter the kingdom of heaven’.

This teaching can be traced to Matthew 5:3, which says, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”  The word, “Poor” in the phrase, “Poor in Spirit”, (from the Greek word, Ptochos), means that a person is in a state of falling down, terrified, feeling poor and near begging, destitute of wealth, influence, position and honor, feeling lowly, afflicted helpless, powerless to accomplish anything, they are in a state of ‘poor in spirit’.

Both, in Matthew 5:4 and in Matthew 19:22, the result of becoming poor or ‘poor in spirit’ is followed by a mournful or a grieving state of mind. Mourning and grieving the loss of worldliness, both in a natural and a spiritual sense, which can lead to a truthful transparency of your life and an honest humility in your life.

It is in this condition that most people are ready and able to give themselves up to Christ’s teaching and find themselves able to lay hold of God’s heavenly treasure. This is when you have come near to the Kingdom of God and into His Salvation.  This opens the way for the operation of the process of sanctification in your life.

This is why Matthew 5 says,

Blessed are you when you mourn as a person is in a state of falling down, terrified, feeling poor and near begging;  destitute of wealth, influence, position and honor;  feeling lowly, afflicted helpless, powerless to accomplish anything; you are, therefore, in a state of being ‘poor in spirit’.

Blessed are you when you are made to be gentle from this condition, for then, you shall inherit the earth;

Blessed are you when you surrender yourself to God, which creates in you a hunger and a thirst for God’s righteousness, for then you shall be satisfied;

Blessed are you when you gain the capacity to be merciful as a result of having been humbled and made poor in spirit, for then you shall receive the mercy of God;

Blessed are you when you have been made to be pure in heart because of your lowly state, for it is now that you shall see God.

Blessed are you as the peace of God settles over you mind, soul and spirit, having been freed from the worries, burdens, false prides, hypocrisies and the toils of the world, are have become a peacemaker, and, you shall be called a son or a daughter of God.

Romans 6:20-22 tells us,

When you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed?

“For the end of those things is death.

 “But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, and the fruit you now get leads to sanctification and its end, is eternal life.”

Your Brother and Friend,

Mike Young

Please remember to click the blue italicized links in each chapter, in order to get the important details on these Bible teachings)

Please bookmark this page and watch for our next chapter, Fasting, Treasures and Wealth

(The previous episode can be found at Removing The Obstacle of Hate)

(Please also notice, you can listen by podcast as you read along.  You can pause the audio in order to click the links for details and references, which are necessary for the entire teaching)

AND YOU SHALL BE MY DISCIPLES – Lesson 15

  • Judge Not

“Do not judge so that you will not be judged.  For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.

“Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?  “Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye?”   (Matthew 7:1–3).

WHAT DOES IT SAY?

To get a clear understanding of these verses, we have to look at the context of what Jesus is teaching.  And the context is “hypocrisy”.

v3  “Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?

v4  “Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye?

v5  “You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.

The “hypocrite”, according to Bible lexicons and concordances, is an actor, stage player, a dissembler, a pretender and a hypocrite.  A hypocrite is one who simulates, feign or pretends.  One who is vile, shameful, reproachful, full of dishonor, ignominy, and disgrace.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

Definitions won’t adequately describe what Jesus is talking about.  Jesus is saying that one’s attitude reveals their character, their heart and their intentions.  The hypocrite is in danger of being lost and perishing.

Read what Jesus says about, and to, hypocrites (I have abbreviated these verses for context.  You can read the full chapter of Matthew 23, here:

Matthew 23

13 “But WOE to you, scribes and Pharisees,

hypocrites, you will receive greater condemnation.

15 “WOE to you, scribes and Pharisees,

hypocrites, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.

27 “WOE to you, scribes and Pharisees,

hypocrites, you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

29 “WOE to you, scribes and Pharisees,

hypocrites You serpents, you brood of vipers, how will you escape the sentence of hell?

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO ME?

Read, again, Matthew 23, verse 29, “WOE to you, scribes and Pharisees,

hypocrites You serpents, you brood of vipers, how will you escape the sentence of hell?

Hypocrisy could be described as a deadly form of narcissism, where the practice of claiming to have moral standards or views to which one’s own behavior does not meet.  It is a pretense of morality that cloaks our inability to meet some predetermined moral code.

The word, in the verses cited above, comes from the Greek word,  “hupokrinomai”, which means, to be an actor under an assumed character, a stage-player;  figuratively, to disguise or conceal one’s real nature, motives, or feelings behind a false appearance.

One of the root causes of hypocrisy is fear and low self-esteem. We suffer hypocrisy as an avoidance for looking at our shortcomings and figuring out our part in it.  Hypocrisy  typically stems from a sincere belief that the double-standard we apply to ourselves is justifiable, because we have better intentions, therefore, we are forgiven for our “mistakes”.

We believe our intentions are just, noble and sincere, despite how we act at times.  The Bible, in Jeremiah 17:9, warns us about trusting our ‘heart’ on these matters, when it tells us, “The heart is more deceitful than all else, and is desperately sick. Who can understand it?”

1 John 1:8, tells us that, “If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us.”

In order to find relief from this satanic trap, this disorder, we must admit that we are imperfect beings, created with flaws, who are prone to fail.

1 John 1:9, says that, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

We must learn to look at our own shortcomings and recognize that every one of us is prone to wrongdoing.  The Bible tells us that we all fall short of God’s Glory and that none of us are righteous, no not anyone!

The person suffering from hypocrisy has a strong desire to be loved and accepted. The fear of personal failure, humility and judgment is so powerful, that we use “double-mindedness” and cognitive dissonance to avoid facing ourselves.

Also, at the root of hypocrisy is a desire to be loved and accepted without judgment.   Only God can give that kind of love.  It takes time and work by way of spiritual discipline to come to know and trust God, Who, alone, is trustworthy.

Remember, people have difficulty trusting or having compassion for hypocrites. Others are likely to forgive you when you admit making a mistake, and take responsibility for your actions, seek forgiveness and make amends, if that is necessary and appropriate.   But they have a harder time forgiving someone who refuses to admit they have made a mistake or behaved as a hypocrite.

When you start to show humility and become more authentic toward others, you will get exactly that in return.

Let these verses from Psalm 103:8-14 be an encouragement to you:

The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
Slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness.

He will not always strive with us,
Nor will He keep His anger forever.

He has not dealt with us according to our sins,
Nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.

For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
So great is His lovingkindness toward those who [a] fear Him.

As far as the east is from the west,
So far has He removed our transgressions from us.

Just as a father has compassion on his children,
So the Lord has compassion on those who [b] fear Him.

For He Himself knows [c] our frame;
He is mindful that we are but dust.

NOW IT IS YOUR TURN

How can you do this?__________________________

How can you show others?_____________________

Your Brother and Friend,

Mike Young