"We see, in many a land, the proudest dynasties and tyrannies still crushing, with their mountain weight, every free motion of the Consciences and hearts of men. We see, on the other hand, the truest heroism for the right and the greatest devotion to the Truth in hearts that God has touched. We have a work to do, as great as our forefathers and, perhaps, far greater. The enemies of Truth are more numerous and subtle than ever and the needs of the Church are greater than at any preceding time. If we are not debtors to the present, then men were never debtors to their age and their time. Brethren, we are debtors to the hour in which we live. Oh, that we might stamp it with Truth and that God might help us to impress upon its wings some proof that it has not flown by neglected and unheeded." -- C.H. Spurgeon . . . "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:31, 32



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Sunday, January 23, 2011

SPIRITUAL WARFARE: The Armor of God, Conduct in the Campaign & Implementing the Victory of Christ in our Lives - Part 3

~~By James Fire

The ARMOR of GOD – What It Is and Its Functions:

Eph 6:11
Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

Taking a Stand

Remember that rallying cry by Aragorn, Captain of the Armies of the West and what he commanded of his men? “. . . STAND, men of the West!”
What about Wallace’ declaration of “FREEDOM”?

We likewise receive our own CAPTAIN of Salvation’s command here via Paul the apostle, to STAND FAST and we acknowledge our FREEDOM or LIBERTY in Christ, being made free from the Law, from the works of the flesh, from the destructive power of sin:

Gal 5:1
Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

Therefore, we must “put on” the armor of God; but first we must ask, what is this armor precisely? Are they actual spiritual pieces of armor that fit onto our spirits? Are they mere philosophical abstractions and allegories? Or are they representations of spiritual truths that we obtain and employ spiritually in our warfare against the enemy?

I find it interesting that the phrase “put on” in reference to the armor is likewise used elsewhere in this epistle (and in the scriptures) in the expression of putting on Christ, or putting on the new man (in conjunction with putting off the old man – thus there is a connection to the passage in Isaiah of ‘renewing’ or changing our strength, trading off the old man with his weaknesses and corruptions for the new man created in Christ Jesus; being so empowered, we are able to conduct spiritual living, spiritual warfare and spiritual victory).

Rom 13:14
But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.
Eph 4:24
And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
Col 3:10
And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:
Eph 4:22
That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;
Col 3:9
Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;

If I were to stand in opposition to Satan in battle, he would devastate me thoroughly; so much so, there wouldn’t be enough left of me to fill a thimble! I have neither the strength nor the power, being a mere mortal of human frailty and sin, to withstand him at all. I would be as vulnerable to his weapons of attack as a naked soldier would be to the lethally sharp blade of an enemy on the battle front! Yet, let that vulnerable soldier “put on” his armor, and he can indeed withstand the blows of his enemy’s sword, and engage him with a sword of his own, and thereby have the credible chance for victory.

Likewise in this spiritual war, we must put on this armor, which we can equate with putting on the Lord Jesus Christ, and putting on the new man (in Christ) created by God in righteousness and true holiness. Also to shun the old man with his human frailties and repent of all his deeds and deceitful lusts for sin and transgression he is wont to partake of.

No one can engage in this warfare relying on the strength of human ability, for such is cursed before God; only as we are relying upon and trusting in the life and strength that the LORD provides will we be blessed in our engagements against the enemy:

Jer 17:5-8
Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD.

For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited.

Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is.

For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.
(See also Psalm 1, particularly vs. 2-3)

Thus if one considers that this armor is an allegory of the veritable and actual nature and attributes of Christ Jesus our LORD, “putting on the LORD Jesus Christ” and “put[ting] on the new man” makes perfect sense. Consider how each piece of this armor is named, and you have Jesus Christ and His spiritual integrity, nature and blessings classified in precise terms.

The helmet of SALVATION, the breast plate of RIGHTEOUSNESS; the loins gird about with TRUTH, the preparation of the Gospel of PEACE, the shield of FAITH, the Sword of the SPIRIT are all intertwined in the Person of the LORD Jesus Christ!

John 14:30
Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.
In both Matthew and Luke, in their fourth chapters we see Jesus led of the Spirit into the wilderness, and there He was tempted of the devil, yet He did not succumb to his temptations, but remained pure of heart, free of any spiritual defect or sin, and well pleasing to the Father. Later the writer of Hebrews (whom I believe was Paul) confirms in his own epistle this truth, and Peter as well in his:

Hebrews 4:15
For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
1 Peter 1:19
But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

Not for lack of trying, Satan could not find any weaknesses in Jesus Christ; there was nothing to entice Him with, nothing with which he could lure Him into sin and away from the Father’s will. Jesus declared that He always did the Father’s will (John 8:29) and never varied from it; the Father likewise said of the Son, that He is well pleased with Him (see Matt. 3:17; 17:5).

In the reference to John 14:30 the phrase “hath (nothing)” is scheo in the Greek, and can refer to “to hold, directly or remotely, possession, ability, relation or condition”, also its interesting to note that in some applications this word can imply “to reign”. This is in the negative sense, thus Satan has no possession of Jesus Christ, or any relation; he does not reign over Him as he does over sinful mankind as the “god of this world”.

It’s this brand of impregnable, spiritual integrity that Christ Jesus bequeaths to us in the form of this spiritual armor, the armor OF GOD, which alone avails in protecting us from the enemy, his attacks, and enables us to venture forth into his territory of the spiritual kingdom of darkness and rescue souls from that devilish domain.

Therefore we are well “able to stand against the wiles of the devil”. Three times the word “stand (against)” is used in this portion of scripture (“withstand” is of even greater emphasis in vs. 13; we’ll look at that later), and it’s the same Greek word each time: histemi which means, “stand, establish, stand still, abide, appoint, continue, covenant”.

The word “able” is also used three times in this passage: dunamai- “can, to be able, possible, be of power” and is related to the Greek word dunamis. By God’s empowering grace we are indeed ABLE TO STAND AGAINST THE DEVIL, and this reminds me of Caleb in Canaan when he spoke of conquering the land and defeating the enemy that resided there:

Num 13:30
And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it.
If one does a study of warfare campaigns in the conquest of Canaan as recorded in the Old Testament, particularly in the Pentateuch (first Five Books of Moses) and the book of Joshua, you have models (or examples, Rom. 15:4) of spiritual warfare done in the physical domain. Some old hymns refer to crossing the Jordan as leaving this life and entering into heaven; I don’t believe that is the case, not quite. Its more like leaving the old life, and entering into the new: for the Christian this is especially relevant as the new life very much entails struggles and battles in spiritual warfare. We have our giants to slay, just as they had theirs!

Speaking of giants, this might be an opportune time to look at an article FROM the MIND of FIRE about such things:


Note that this armor in order to be effective must be entire and complete, that is “the whole armor” and not merely several parts! The LORD’s furnishings for us are entire, and not wanting in any regard. His provisions from His eternal storehouses are generous and ample in supply so that no soldier of the Cross can claim inadequacy in Christ or to say that “the enemy is too strong”. If we suffer defeat it is ourselves to blame, and not God. Yet even in defeat, we are not robbed of the opportunity to regain the victory by God’s grace! Our God isn’t a God of second chances, but rather multiple chances for those of a contrite, meek and repentant heart!

So, what is it that we must stand against? In this Divine appointment by God (and understand that all of us soldiers are appointed by orders from our Captain to so engage in war at the station of His choosing), all of us saints in this world, which dwell behind ‘enemy lines’ are certainly ‘marked targets.’ What covenant are we agreed to and must abide by? That we STAND, resolutely and aggressively against “the wiles of the devil” and ‘wiles’ is a very telling word!

Methodeia – “method, travesty, trickery, wile, to lie in wait. It denotes craft or deceit, a cunning device (plan)”. Note that in this verse, this word is in the plural form. Satan has not merely a single plan to destroy us, but many. If one or a dozen should fail, he has other tactics in his repertoire he may employ for our ruin. Remember that this creature is probably yet the most intelligent and powerful being, second only to God Himself, for this is the one that Ezekiel states was the highest ranking cherub (a super-class of angelic being) in heaven, and appointed (prior to his fall) as perhaps the overseer of all the hosts (armies) of heaven. See Ez. 28:14; for detailed history of Lucifer prior to and during his fall see Isaiah ch. 14 and Ezekiel ch. 28.

This is the great enemy we must be protected from and upon whose kingdom we are ordered to assault; scripture is replete in illustrative examples of the saint being surrounded by God, or protected by God, and secured in Him; just a few examples are –

Job had his hedge of protection by God from the attacks of Satan (Job 1:10)

Noah’s ark, which protected its eight passengers from vile humanity which no doubt would crave entrance (though there is no mention of this, its reasonable that faced with drowning, the victims of the Flood would desperately seek refuge there) once they realized judgment had finally come (Gen. 7: 13-17). Obviously the ark protected its passengers from the judgment of God’s Flood as well.

Abraham had his shield, the LORD God Himself (Gen. 15:1)

Moses had a cleft in the Rock which protected him from being destroyed by the glorious presence of God Himself (Ex. 33:18-23).

God is the Strong Tower for those who trust in Him and a refuge for those whose hearts belong to the LORD:

Psalm 9:9; 46: 1-2, 7, 11; 59: 16; 61: 3; 62: 7; 91:1-16; 142: 5-7.

There are a few different Hebrew words used for “refuge” particularly in the Psalms, and they are as follows: misgab, machaceh, manowc, and chacah.

Misgab – used in Ps. 9:9; 46:7, 11; 48:3, and means, “a cliff, altitude, high tower, refuge, defense, high fort.”

Machaceh or machceh – used in Ps. 14:6; 46:1; 62:7 and means, “shelter, hope, (place of) refuge, trust.”

Manowc – used in Ps. 59:16; 142:4, and it means “a retreat, fleeing, apace, escape, flight, refuge.”

Chacah – used exclusively in the O.T. here as “refuge” and it means, “to flee for protection, to confide, to trust, to make a refuge, have hope; it is often used where God is compared to a rock or a shield or One with protective wings.”

And then we have the armor of God which the Christian warrior is to abide in; just as one inhabits a strong tower, a refuge, or dwells within a hedge, so also must we ‘inhabit’ this armor and the nature of its parts must be apprehended into the Christian’s life. We are about to get into all of this, starting with verse 14, however there is still vs. 12 and 13 to ponder.


Eph 6:12
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Were we to wrestle with flesh and blood, physical enemies that could be seen with our natural eyes, we would be far more aware of them and on a more urgent alert whenever they came around. However, this is obviously not the case. Our enemies are spiritual in nature, thus invisible to the natural eye, and when they attack, we are inclined to not acknowledge them as the source, but rather natural sources, usually in the form of other people (which could indeed be used as agencies of evil, inspired by these invisible enemies) or even natural causes, such as weather, or sicknesses of various kinds, or accidents, etc.

As Chuck Missler has stated: “This is not only a matter of contending against godless philosophers, crafty gurus, Christ-denying cultists and neo-pagan rulers, but a highly organized army of demonic forces and battalions of fallen angels:
"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood . . .” Ephesians 6:12

We cannot afford to become abnormally fixated on spiritual darkness, and attribute every misfortune or sorrow to them (some of these are orchestrated by God, for His own purposes), but we must also be keenly aware and discerning that these angelic agencies of the fallen sort are truly all around us, are working against us, and as long as our attention is focused upon the natural realm, they can find an advantage over us in such a vulnerable state of ignorance.

These evil forces of Satan’s kingdom are militant, and organized in rank and file as the above verse demonstrates: the first ones mentioned are of higher order than the last ones. You will note that the first in rank are “principalities”

The Greek word is “arche” meaning, “chief in rank, order, time or place. A variant of this word, archon refers specifically to a ruler, in this case a ‘chief ruler’ as well as ‘prince’ or ‘magistrate’

According to Webster’s 1828 American Dictionary:

“The archons in Greece were chief magistrates chosen, after the death of Codrus, from the most illustrious families, to superintend civil and religious concerns. They were nine in number; the first was properly the archon; the second was called king; the third, polemarch, or general of the forces. The other six were called thesmothetae, or legislators…”

I find it fascinating that these magistrates were nine in number, because since Paul used this word “arche” being the general term, or “archon” specifically referring to these rulers of Athens – in reference to these “principalities” found here in Ephesians ch. 6:12, these likewise would then presumably be nine in number, that is nine chief angelic rulers in the kingdom of darkness.

In occult and New Age literature there is often mention of “the Nine” or “the Nine Unknowns [or Unknown Men]” and the Theosophical Society often makes mention of these “Ascended Masters”:
“One definition of an ascended master is an individual who has undergone the process of ascension. Throughout history, there have been stories of these individuals who have reached a higher state of spiritual awareness and placed themselves in service to humanity. One concept of an ascended master derives from the teachings of Theosophy.
“In Theosophy, and various [derivatives] and offshoots of theosophy, ascended masters are a group of spiritually enlightened beings, once mere mortals, who have undergone a process of spiritual transformation. According to these teachings, they remain attentive to the spiritual needs of humanity, and act as superintendents of its spiritual growth. In this, they can be compared to the Great White Brotherhood or Secret Chiefs who are posited by various magical organizations; and more remotely, to the bodhisattvas of Buddhism, or the saints of Catholic and Orthodox Christianity.
“The term may actually have originated with Edward Bulwer-Lytton, who in his satirical book The Coming Race posited the existence of "Nine Unknown Men" who secretly run things in the world.” (Taken from - RUMORS OF THE NINE and WHO THEY ARE).

On a peripheral note I conjecture that these Nine Angelic Overlords directly under Lucifer embody, probably temporarily, these nine ‘unknown’ men who are used as conduits to express the will of Lucifer, the god of this world, but that is only my opinion that perhaps warrants some merit.

These are the paramount of evil with which we contend (excluding Satan himself) and wrestle. The word, “wrestle” or pallo in the Greek, in vs. 12 refers to “wrestling, to sway, to vibrate” connected with “esti” which typically refers to a third person singular, present tense, most commonly used with the word “wrestle”. This is a great struggle that requires concerted effort; a contest not easily won, for our adversary is tenacious and proud, and shall refuse to relent willingly.

“. . . against principalities, against powers . . .”. Exousia in the Greek, means, “force, magistrate, superhuman, potentate, delegated authority, jurisdiction; the power of rule or government,” it’s the same word used in Eph. 1:21 and 2: 2 where there as well it refers to spiritual powers but in 2:2 specifies satanic power, that is, “the prince of the power of the air”.

As part of the definitive rendering of this word involves jurisdiction, there may be some justification that these powers have jurisdictional territories over which they preside (see Dan. 10:13 – 20)*. However as is often the case with certain churches, extra-biblical beliefs are taught that these jurisdictional powers all have names and by knowing the names of these powers, the Christian can effectively ‘bind’ them, then lay claim to the souls in that jurisdiction for Christ. In order to arrive at such conclusions one must take various scriptures out of context, misconstrue their meaning, and resort to other non-biblical texts in order to learn the supposed names of these powers (Matt. 12:29 and Mark 3:27 are used, but no where are territories or names required in order to ‘bind’ and in no instance are cities, or areas taken back, but in this case, a single demoniac).These practices are not taught by the LORD Jesus Christ (on one occasion only He demanded the name of the demon (Legion) as found in Luke 8:30), nor are there any doctrinal teachings found anywhere in the epistles on this and must therefore be rejected as legitimate material for learning about spiritual warfare.

* See the following article by Dr. Chuck Missler –


“. . . the rulers of the darkness of this world . . .”
“Rulers” is Kosmoskrator in the Greek and refers to “a world-ruler; an epithet of Satan. It is used in the plural form as well, and refers to non-physical rulers, spirit powers under the permissive will of God, and in consequence to human sin, exercise satanic and therefore antagonistic authority over the world in its present condition of spiritual darkness and alienation from God.”

“Darkness” in this passage of Ephesians has the same Greek word as used almost everywhere else in the New Testament, and other passages use similar, related Greek words, except in two places; once in 2 Peter 2:4 and once in Jude 6. In both instances it refers to the “[everlasting] chains of darkness” in which certain fallen angels are held captive for desperately wicked acts (many scholars believe those to be documented in Genesis ch. 6 in regards to fallen angels “the sons of God [or ‘bene ha Eloheim’] cohabitating with human females, resulting in a hybrid species known as ‘the fallen ones’ or nephilim.).

Here in Eph. 6:12 the word ‘darkness’ is skotos, meaning, “obscurity, shadiness, and mostly, darkness; the exact opposite of light (phos); physical darkness, intellectual darkness, blindness, the place of punishment, moral and spiritual darkness, evil works, of evil powers that dominate the world”, and this last definition best suits the passage in question.

“. . . against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

Pneumatikos is used for “spiritual” here (and in the vast majority of the NT, excluding the Gospels only); its predominant usage is found post-Pentecost. It’s the very opposite of physical or gross, and means “ethereal, a spirit, supernatural, and regenerate (in regards to man’s spiritual state once faith is placed in Christ). It connotes the ideas both of invisibility and power, and involves spiritual wisdom and understanding.”

Poneria is here employed for “wickedness” and it means, “the active exercise of a vicious disposition.” The Greek word, kakia is defined as having “a vicious disposition” only, but poneria has the added dimension of active exercise, that is, being involved in wickedness in a vicious manner.

In the book of Colossians the Word of God brings supplementation to our understanding of the spiritual realm of the angelic powers, all of which is created by Jesus Christ:

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

“Thrones” or thronos refers to “a stately seat, power, authority, potentate” in connection with earthly thrones as well as heavenly; to the throne of grace, and those places of powers for angelic beings.”

“Dominions” or kuriotes meaning, “mastery, rulers, dominion, and prominently, government; lordship either human or angelic; both here in this passage as well as in Ephesians 1:21, it indicates a grade in the angelic orders, in which it stands second.”

“. . . against spiritual wickedness in high places . . .” The word for ‘high’ here is translated as “heavenly” elsewhere in the New Testament, and in the epistle to the Ephesians as well (1:2, 20; 2:6; 3:10) – epouranios, meaning “above the sky, celestial, spiritual as opposed to physical; heavenly opposed to earthly.”

There is the idea of a first, second and third heaven in scripture, as can be attested to by Paul’s vision/visitation of heaven as documented in scripture:

2 Cor 12:2
I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.

The first heaven would be the atmospheric realm that encompasses our planet; the second would be the celestial realm of outer space, and the third heaven that region of spiritual reality in which angels both holy and evil traffic and its uppermost regions being that place of the abode of the Most High and Holy God (see Is. 57: 15; 63: 15; Ps. 33: 13-14; 61:4; 65:4)!

So we see that we have an invisible enemy, highly organized and dominating every area of this world, with abilities that go well beyond the physical dimensions we reside in, and have the intent of our total spiritual ruin or at the least, our spiritual nullification. By their sheer numbers they can incorporate a nearly flawless imitation of omniscience (all knowing) and omnipresence (all present; acting in concert with one another) and have such power and ability that would render any sinner entirely helpless and unable to resist.

For us who are the saints, should we rely upon our own understanding and senses, we would quickly and easily become despondent if we were ever exposed to the full brunt of Satan’s power utilizing all of his angelic agencies. However in the face of such adversarial opponents, we can remain steadfast in both courage and bravery, knowing that this battle is not ours, but rather, as David said to Goliath the Philistine:

1 Sam 17:47
And all this assembly shall know that the LORD saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the LORD'S, and he will give you into our hands.

And remember the words of Elisha the Prophet to his servant that was dismayed at the sight of the enemies of Israel’s mighty military hosts:

2 Kings 6:16
And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.
Note precisely what the prophet said to his servant; not: “they that be with us are more then they” but rather, “they that be with us (God’s mighty angelic hosts) are more than they that be with them (the Syrian army). So who are the “they” that were with the Syrian army? I believe it was the counterpart to God’s heavenly army, that is, the satanic forces behind the pagan powers of Syria.

Still, those that are with us are MORE than they that are with the worldly systems of evil!

On that gladsome note, this concludes the third segment of this article; may the LORD bless us as we seek His face and by holy endeavor lay hold of the Word of Truth, both in understanding and in obedience!
Read more!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

THE TRANSLATION OF THE TRUTH: An Examination of Bible Translations from the two Primary Sources –

~~by Anne Kisly and James Fire

At T.T.U.F. we have previously examined the textual issue regarding Textus Receptus and the Critical Text*, yet we decided that a closer and more thorough examination would have significant merit, especially in light of the fact that more and more churches seem to be compromised/compromising their convictions on remaining upon the Word of God as their sole source for authoritative truth and doctrine (case in point, Anne Kisly’s most recent article “Will the Old Book Stand?”

Will the Old Book Stand?).

*How Near Eastern Religion Invaded the West

To accomplish this, we are using some reference material in book form, as well as information gleaned from the Internet. Our desire is not to stir up controversy for controversy’s sake, but for the sake of the truth. Anne Kisly and I are alarmed and dismayed at the spiritually degenerating nature of the church, and of its leaders, many of which have previously been perceived as strong and valiant for the truth. Likewise the history of Israel has been blemished by such apathy towards the truth of God’s Word, and this brought heartache and sorrow to the heart of God, as represented by His spokesman, the prophet Jeremiah (Jere. 9:1-6); it also eventually, reluctantly brought God’s anger and judgment!

Jer 9:3
And they bend their tongues like their bow for lies: but they are not valiant for the truth upon the earth; for they proceed from evil to evil, and they know not me, saith the LORD.
(Read the entire portion of scripture!)

It is the Truth of God’s Word that provides us with discernment, direction, protection and encouragement in the face of deception and spiritual seduction, both of which are rampant in today’s world (see Ps. 119:105; 91:4; Col. 2:7; Heb. 4:12; 5:14 [“meat” here meaning the deeper things as found in God’s Word])!

It is the heart’s desire of any believer who truly knows and loves the LORD Jesus Christ (and any who are truly known and loved by the LORD!) to learn God’s Word, and obey it in all things; obviously since the majority of us don’t understand Hebrew or Greek, we read the English (or other language) translations, but which are the most accurate? Or does it make a difference which English translation you read? Some are easier to understand than others; certainly many are turned off by the King James Version for its archaic words and phrases and they avoid it.

There are answers, and by God’s grace and the Spirit of Truth, we pray that we may provide some of them, and encourage the saints to examine this issue carefully (the purchasing of the books we are using for these articles would prove beneficial! We shall include links at the end of this series where you may purchase them), prayerfully for themselves and seek God to reveal the truth and to please God in making the best choices.

Two books that we were led to that treated this subject are written by a Dr. David H. Sorenson and this first series of articles will be based on his first book “Touch Not the Unclean Thing” (based on the verse found in 2 Cor. 6:17).

We will provide summaries of the chapters in this book, make our own comments, and supply further reference materials (Internet links in the main); I agreed to start the series and write articles based on the odd number chapters, while Anne Kisly will write articles based on the even number chapters.


Dr. Sorenson grew up as a third generation Fundamentalist (Fundamentalism being a “relatively modern derivation [that] came into being as a modern movement having its roots in the independent Bible conferences of the latter part of the nineteenth century.”)

Being a fundamentalist, Dr. Sorenson states, simply means “adhering to the fundamentals of the Christian faith” and that there are three characteristics involved in it: 1) Being orthodox (or ‘sound’) in doctrine: supporting the foundational, cardinal, essential truths of historic New Testament Christianity (as opposed to Liberalism or Modernism which questions or outright denies the fundamentals of the faith like the inerrancy of scripture, the deity of Christ and His bodily resurrection, etc.); 2) Separation from apostasy: Theological Liberalism slowly took over the main line denominations in America, those who considered themselves Fundamentalists separated themselves from the apostasy of these denominations; 3) Separation from the world: and its underlying societal system: its philosophies, its values, its entertainments. “. . . suffice it to say that all true Fundamentalists to one degree or another certainly advocated separation from the world on a personal level.”

Dr. Sorenson’s journey into examining the issue of translations of the Bible began when a pastor friend of his gave him a book by David Otis Fuller entitled Which Bible? While it went against everything he’d been taught in seminary on the issue, he discovered that there were two primary Greek texts of the New Testament: the Critical Text (of relatively modern construction) and the Textus Receptus (Received Text, which has been used since antiquity). His seminary training and practice of fifteen years taught him that,

“The critical text and its concomitant use of various modern translations of the Bible (NASB in particular) . . . were acceptable (in theory) as long as it was a ‘good’ translation. Hence by training, I was indoctrinated in the critical text position and taught to be extremely wary of anything which approached using only the King James Version of the Bible as one’s biblical basis. I think,” says Dr. Sorenson, “that I can honestly say that I have sat where many presently sit on this controversial issue.”


“This book will attempt to document the historic lineage of the two primary textual bases. On the one hand, the history of the Received Text and particularly one strain thereof, will be found to be associated with our persecuted, martyred brethren in separatist churches across the face of history. On the other hand, the lineage of the Critical text will be shown to be linked to apostasy at virtually every step of its history.”

Dr. Sorenson affirms that through the history of ‘the Bible’ there have been two textual bases, two philosophies regarding the Bible, two types of criticism, and as a result: two different types of Bibles. Due to the fact that one of these is associated with apostasy, and the other with true believers, the doctrine of the Bible becomes of vital and central importance.


Bibliology is the study of doctrines of the Scriptures and is the core issue, according to Dr. Sorenson. All Fundamentalists believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God. Orthodoxy states that the verbal and plenary inspiration of the Scriptures is the truth and upon the Truth of God’s inspired Word we place our faith.
“Verbal” in this sense means that the Holy Spirit of God inspired every word in the Bible. He also inspired it in its entirety as a whole, which is what “plenary” means.

Inspiration in this biblical sense means “God-breathed” as found in 2 Tim. 3:16.

Sorenson states: “God through His Holy Spirit breathed out His very words to the various scriptural penmen as they wrote the various books of the Bible. Verbal plenary inspiration of the Bible is truly one of the foundational tenets of historic Fundamentalism. In 2 Peter 1:21, the Apostle wrote, ‘For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.’
The word “moved” (phero) has the sense of being ‘led along’, ‘carried’ or ‘moved’. The thought is how the Holy Spirit so led or moved the minds of the inspired writers that what they wrote were in fact the very words of God.”

Often in conversation with non-saved people, they tell me that “the Bible was written by men” to which I reply, “Well you’re half right.” This usually prompts a questioning look, and I explain with an illustration. I ask them to get out a pen and paper, and to sign their name on the paper. Then I ask them, “Who wrote that name on that paper?”
”I did,” they respond.
“Are you sure?” I ask, and they nod in affirmation. “Now did you write your name or did the pen?”
“I wrote my name using the pen to do it.”
”God used holy men of God as His instruments to convey His thoughts, His Word, His Truth onto the parchment (or vellum); so while men physically did the writing, God did the directing and inspiring, and the Bible in itself by its internal proofs, demonstrates this!”

So, as Sorenson says, “Bibliology therefore is the foundation of all faith and practice. If the Bible ha flaws or is in error, the very foundation of faith is at risk.”

The very foundations of all that the Christian believes, and practices has as its sole basis the Holy Bible, and if this foundation were ever to be prove faulty, our faith would be undone (Psalm 11:3).

Dr. Sorenson contends that because “the critical text and its resultant translations have altered the Word of God which was received and used by Bible-believing churches throughout the ages”, while they have “not eliminated any major doctrines, they have in fact eroded them in numerous places. Ominously, the doctrine which is most eroded is that which pertains to the Person of our LORD. Bibliology is a core issue indeed. But is not Christology a crucial issue as well?”

Unnecessarily Divisive? –

There are those that oppose even the presentation of this issue as being unnecessarily divisive to the body of Christ and in their view is in fact “a non-issue”. Dr. Sorenson readily admits that this is of course divisive and that it ought to be!
“Crucial doctrinal issues are at stake and they go to the heart of all Bible doctrine”. Doctrine indeed is divisive as it “divides truth from error”.

Verbal vs. Thought Inspiration –

As believers in God’s Holy Word, we must adhere to what the scripture says, and where inspiration is concerned, it’s quite clear:

Matt 4:4
But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God

Those adhering to the critical text, and its accompanying views believe in a thought for thought inspiration which means that the “concept of the very words being inspired seems to fade. The impression left is that only the thought is important, not the words.

Prov 30:5
Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.
Luke 21:33
Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.
1Thess 4:18
Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

Its vital that we as followers of Christ JESUS and of His Word, we allow no deletions from the Scriptures, particularly where the Person of our LORD is concerned, yet, as we shall see, the critical text and its resultant modern translations make not a few deletions but thousands (be they only one word, an entire verse, or an entire section)!
“Contrary to the claims that the differences between these two texts of Textus Receptus and the Critical Text (and their resulting translations) are insignificant, there are vast differences between the two Greek texts (and translations). There are approximately 8,000 word differences between the Textus Receptus and the modern critical text. More than 2,800 of the words in the Textus Receptus are omitted in the modern critical text. This is approximately the number of words found in 1st and 2nd Peter; [that is, that] the critical text has deleted the verbal equivalent of [Peter’s two epistles]. How can this be considered an inconsequential issue? If we believe in verbal inspiration, we had best be concerned about the thousands of words missing from the text of the New Testament received and used by God’s people for 1,800 years.”

The NIV, the NASB and most other modern English translations make deletions or seriously question verses as compared to the King James Version. The NIV questioned 45 entire verses and there are 147 other verses with significant portions missing from this version.

“This is not a non-issue. If it is divisive, then so be it. The integrity of the Word of God is at stake,” says Dr. Sorenson, and to that may I add a hearty and heartfelt AMEN!

Because of the fact that the Critical Text has watered down, diluted and deleted the integrity of the very Truth as represented by the Bible, the resultant fruit has spawned in these modern times “an apostasy and major problems connected to the critical text” which is summarily ignored by most biblical scholars today.

Confusion –

In 1998 there were 293 English translations of the complete New Testament plus twenty three more abridged New Testaments. 135 English translations of the complete Bible with an additional ninety-nine abridged Bibles not included.
“There undoubtedly have been more translations added since then. Among the more popular versions like the King James Version, the New American Standard, the New International Version and New King James, not all of them are from the same Greek text. Modern Bible companies often gloss over the fact that there is more than one Greek text. Others use creative advertising to ‘market’ their Bibles . . . their particular version is based upon the ‘earliest and best’ Greek manuscripts’ or ‘scholar’s recommendation’”

Of the popular versions available (including the above mentioned) there are two texts only upon which these are based; the Textus Receptus and the Critical Text; there are no others. King James and New King James are based on Textus Receptus along with only a handful of other obscure versions; all the rest are based on the Critical Text!
Dr. Sorenson contends that “one [of these] reflects the providential preservation of God and the other a human effort. Moreover, as this volume will unfold, it will become evident that the men involved in the development of the Critical Text for the most part have been apostate.”


Dr. Sorenson readily admits that there is contention and controversy regarding this issue, and that good brethren disagree. Since he has seen both sides of this controversy he believes he has insight as to why there is such disagreement.
There are some who hold to the Critical Text, and this fact does not necessarily imply that these men are apostate or “connected with that apostasy”, neither are Fundamentalist institutions of higher learning necessarily apostate. Though, states Sorenson, their leadership ought to know better.
“Many on the side of the Critical Text position have never carefully studied the entire issue. When I was in seminary,” says Sorenson, “both sides . . . were never presented. Moreover, it seemed evident that my seminary professors had never studied the opposing view. With all due respect, in the mid-twentieth century, there had not been a great deal of material written . . .”

Today however there are ample supplies of books defending the Received Text position but those who hold to the Critical text for the most part ignore these sources. A case in point is one book entitled From the Mind of God to the Mind of Man is a compilation of articles written by eleven authors, reviewed by eight academicians from several Fundamentalist institutions of higher learning; it purports to be neutral and yet the position indicated in its pages is clearly supportive of the Critical Text (its bibliography contains scores of books supportive of the Critical Text, and virtually none that hold to the Received Text position, though these are readily available in large supply.

Dr. Sorenson concludes this introductory chapter by saying “. . . that the Word of God is inerrant in its original inspiration and that God has providentially preserved an infallible transmission of it to this very hour. Jesus said,

Matt 5:18
For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
Exd 20:1
And God spake all these words, saying,

“If we believe in verbal inspiration and the inerrancy of the Word of God, we must be concerned about every word in the Bible . . . God certainly can and will overcome human folly [but] it ought to be our duty to stand for the truth even if it is controversial or divisive. The issue at hand is the Word of God: its integrity, accuracy and trustworthiness.”

WEB SITES of INTEREST related to this Chapter:



Dr. DAVID OTIS FULLER’s books available here!


This concludes the introductory segment of this article; the next article based on chapter 2 of Dr. David Sorenson's book, Touch Not the Unclean Thing will be coming soon from Anne M. Kisly!
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Monday, January 10, 2011

SPIRITUAL WARFARE: The Armor of God, Conduct in the Campaign & Implementing the Victory of Christ in our Lives- Part 2

~~ By James Fire
In review from Part 1:
We are as the church positionally seated, where now? What does it say in vs. 6?

Eph 2:6
And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

Each of us who are in Christ Jesus, exist (positionally) in a very real spiritual sense, “seated together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus”. We have no right nor place to that seat in heaven but by the grace and empowering authority of God that brought us into the Kingdom in the first place as His children (See John 1:12).

I believe that we share in the authority of Christ Jesus and in His Name as His bride (Rev. 21:9, 22:17), as ambassadors who speak in the Name and authority of the LORD (2 Cor. 5:20) and as overcomers who will one day sit with Christ on His own Throne, rather than the Father’s Throne where He sits now (see this list in scripture referring to overcomers):

Rev 3:21
To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.

1 John 4:4; 5:4-5; Rev. 2: 7, 11, 17, 26; 3: 5, 12, (21), and 21:7.

It would seem that the portrayal of the overcomer is the lot of the regenerated believer, for we are born of God by faith, and shall partake of the Tree of Life, receive the hidden manna and a new name engraved in a white stone (is there any true believer that won’t?), nor shall we suffer harm from the second death, we shall be clothed upon in His righteousness and will not have our names blotted out of the Book of Life and shall witness our LORD confessing us before the Father and His angels (see also Luke 12:8) and shall inherit all things. ~*~
Abiding in the Word, the Authority of Christ:

Being so placed in that position of authority, seated with Christ Jesus and thus classified as overcomers, having all spiritual power and authority under the LORD’s feet, thus His body as well, which we are, we likewise share in the spiritual victory over the enemy:

1 John 2:13-14
I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father.

I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.

I notice that in vs. 14 it refers to these young men who are strong and that “the word of God abideth” in them, and to this relates the verse that declares:

John 15:5, 7
I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

Denotatively speaking, I believe “what we will” refers to fruit bearing, but in a broader application, anything that is within the will of God as quoted earlier in 1 John 5:14-15.

This abiding in God’s Word doesn’t merely mean continually reading (although that is of course part of it) but would by necessity require “walking in the Spirit” which is a result of applying God’s Word to our every day living in a way that produces the character, nature, and life of Jesus and therefore honors Him.

No saint can do this unless we partake of God’s Holy Word, sowing the seed of the Word that we may produce fruit as His children, and by His Spirit (not by our own power or strength) obey its commands to die to self, that is, “the flesh” and live according to “the Spirit” (please read this paragraph again and let it really sink in) –

Gal 5:16-17, 22-25
This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.

For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

Show me an overcomer, I will show you someone who is walking (not merely alive by God’s Spirit, but one active in manifesting Christs’ power, fruit, and good works) in the Spirit, a fruit bearer, one who lives a crucified life that denies carnality and the sinful impulses we are all prone to whether sinner or saint. I believe all true believers will manifest these things, whether in minute or magnificent proportions, and so we shall all receive (or be denied) varying degrees of reward on that Day of Judgment (the Bema Seat judgment of rewards for the saint).

To reiterate a point, to “abide in Him (and His Word in us)” and to “walk in the Spirit” is to hear (read and understand) the Word of God and to obey it. Such as do these things shall never fall no matter what storms, slings, arrows and every other weapon that the enemy contrives against us, for we shall stand upon the firm foundation that is Christ, the solid Rock:

See: Matthew 7: 24-27; 2 Peter 1:4-8; Isaiah 28:16; Eph. 2:20.

A spiritually alive Christian (is there any other kind, truly?) who has a vital relationship with the LORD Jesus Christ, and one who recognizes their spiritual authority in His Name is able to examine the portion of scripture which is the subject of this treatment with a ready mind, and by God’s Spirit of grace, able to implement these valuable lessons on battling the enemy and conducting successful campaigns in spiritual warfare.


As I was looking over the first few verses of Ephesians chapter 6:10-18, the word “rally” came to mind. When I looked up the word, I concluded that these words are indeed a sort of “rallying cry” by the Spirit of the LORD, through these scriptures.

The American Heritage Dictionary defines “rally” as such:

“To call together for a common purpose, assemble; to reassemble and restore to order; to rouse or revive from inactivity or decline; to recover abruptly from a setback or disadvantage, to show sudden improvement in health or spirits, a gathering especially one intended to inspire enthusiasm.”

We have seen films such as Brave Heart and The LORD of the RINGS in which the captain of the army presents himself before his men, prior to engagement in battle, in order to provide some words of encouragement.

Here is Aragorn (Viggo Mortenson), Captain of the Armies of the West, giving his rallying cry to his men:

Aragorn's Rallying Cry

And here is William Wallace (Mel Gibson) from the film, Brave Heart in his rallying speech:

Wallace's Rallying Cry

Just as Aragorn bid his men to STAND, Wallace admonishes his men to fight in conviction of FREEDOM.

In these words penned by Paul, the LORD is seeking to bring His body together for the common purpose of this spiritual campaign against the forces of darkness. Even in the midst of past spiritual defeats, among the wounded soldiers of the Cross on the battlefield where the enemy in his wrath has wrought such ruin and destruction, the LORD calls for reassembly and restoration; to rouse and revive the weary warrior whose strength has come to an end, and perhaps whose heart is despairing of terrible loss so far suffered.

Even among such disadvantaged and ill-prepared saints who in a state of bewilderment wander the smoking devastation of this martial landscape, the LORD is well able by His empowering grace, to provide for such setbacks and bring about in us a sudden improvement and righteous revitalization in our spiritual health and heart!

May the Word and this study of it bring encouragement and enthusiasm based not on some emotionalism or human motivational contrivance, but upon the very Inspired and Holy Scriptures that provide for all things pertaining to life and godliness!

2 Ptr 1:3
According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:

For the call to the glory of God’s kingdom and the virtue of those who will inherit it, all by His Divine power!

So let us heed this rallying cry and take heart; fear not, be of good cheer and courage for these are the words that our LORD (via Paul), the Captain of the Hosts of Heaven declares unto us!

Satan’s Final War Plan Exposed – by David Wilkerson

The following youtube clip from Sermonindex is 55 minutes long, but quite worth the time; please set aside time to view this vital message.

Satan's Final War Plan Exposed

The Right Stuff:

Eph 6:10

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

“Finally my brethren” – Paul is addressing the brethren, born of God’s Spirit and alive in Christ Jesus. If the believer does not engage in this spiritual battle, no one else can; no matter how moral, nor matter how ethical or religious or wealthy or intelligent unregenerate man may be! Only those members of the church are equipped with ‘the right stuff’ – the Spirit of God, the Word of God, the Armor of God and the Cross of Christ which alone can diminish those things that have proven deficient in man and unavailing in this war against Satan and his kingdom of darkness.

I refer to all such things that pertain to the flesh, the carnal nature and mind (see Eph. 2:1-6, esp. vs. 2, 3), the very fallen ‘Adamic’ nature that has brought us into bondage to sin and has made us slaves of the enemy of Christ Jesus. By the Cross, we are able to identify with Christ and allow our sinful nature to ‘die the death’.

God told Adam in the Garden of Eden,

Gen 2:17
But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

Or literally in the Hebrew “dying, you shall die”. An instantaneous severance from the Author of Life as a result of sin occurred in the spirit of man, but along with this, the deteriorating, dilapidated and desperately slow anguish of death working corruption and depravity in the soul of mankind began its evil work.

Yet at the Cross of Christ we crucify this sinful self of ours, the very depravity and corruption that make us easy prey for the enemy; thereby we deny him the ‘ammunition’ of our human weaknesses and propensity toward sin, which he is eager to use against us! Thus, in “dying, you shall live . . . and experience victory!”

Gal 2:20
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Dying to self and sin (Romans 8:13, 1 Peter 2:24); dying to the world and all its allurements and enticements (Col. 2:20); dying to the god of this world and being alleviated from all of his vile influences (Eph. 5:8), dying to the Law and being wed to Christ (Rom. 7:2-8; Gal. 2:19), we find victory in the instrument of our death, the Cross; which by the grace of God and the resurrection of Christ Jesus becomes the glorious Way of Life! “Christ liveth in me!”

Now this earthly life I live by faith in God’s Son brings resurrection power to me so as Christ walked in this world, so too now can I (See Phil. 3:10; 1 John 2:5-6 and 1 Thess. 4:1-3)!

“Be strong in the LORD” – This is no mere exhortation from Paul, this is a command given to us from the LORD, and this is not an option! He commands us to be strong in HIM and also:

“. . . in the power of His might”. How patient the LORD must be in teaching us how to rely on His strength and might, rather than resorting to our own; these are the lessons of the disciple, who must become disciplined in these spiritual truths, under the tutelage of our LORD. Yet just as any child must first crawl, then walk, and then run, we too learn these lessons progressively, and the LORD in His astounding wisdom knows how best to teach us so that we may understand Him and His ways!

The word ‘strong’ in the Greek is endunamoo, meaning to strengthen; to be strong or to be inwardly strengthened [of soul or purpose], (as used here in Eph. 6: 10 and 2 Tim. 2:1.

Similar commands have been issued before by God (directly or by a prophet) to others:

Deut. 31:6-7, 23; Josh. 1:6, 9, 18; 1 Chron. 22:13; 28:10; 2 Chron. 32:7; Dan. 10:19.

We saints can rest assured that if God issues a command for us to obey, He will have made provision for us, the ability to obey (see Phil. 2: 13), even if in the natural realm, it seems unlikely or altogether hopeless.

Consider the man with the withered hand, whom the LORD commanded to “stretch forth [his] hand”. In his own natural ability, the man had no strength whatever to obey the LORD’s command, however with his will to obey, God then furnished him with the means to obey and by such received his healing (Luke 6:10).

Eph 3:16
That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;
Col 1:11
Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;

These other words, “power” and “might” respectively in the Greek have particular meaning:

Power is kratos in the Greek and it means, “vigor [great], dominion, might, power, strength; force, strength, might; most especially manifested power, derived from a root meaning, “to perfect, to complete” and its used elsewhere in scripture in the same sense as is here in Eph. 6:10 – Eph. 1:19 (latter half of vs.); Col. 1:11; 1 Tim. 6:16; Heb. 2:14 and Rev. 5:13".

In regards to this word, “power” we find these passages to be quite encouraging!

2 Sam 22:31-33
As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all them that trust in him.

For who is God, save the LORD? and who is a rock, save our God?

God is my strength and power: and he maketh my way perfect.

The Hebrew word for “power” is chayil and means, “a force, whether of men, means or other resources; an army, wealth, virtue, valor, strength; it refers to ability, influence, faculty, power; specifically such ability and power derives from the LORD”, for in this passage, King David remarks that by the LORD, that is, His power, he was able to run through a troop, to leap over a wall (vs.30); to run with extreme proficiency on high places, not taking a single misstep (vs. 34, 37); he was also able to break a bow of steel (vs. 35; more likely bronze, but still!).

1 Chr 29:11-12
Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all.

Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all.

In verse 11, the Hebrew word employed is, g’buwrah and it refers to “force, valor, victory, might, mastery; the primary meaning is power and strength”. David’s powerful regime is a kingship of gebuwrah (vs. 30). As both physical strength and wisdom were necessary for leadership these two qualities are joined together. In wisdom (Prov. 8:14), in the Spirit-filled Micah (Micah 3:8); The Messiah’s special role will be a demonstration of might and counsel (Is. 11:2).

In verse 12 however, a different Hebrew word is used: kowach, which means, “to be firm, of vigor, to produce, strength, ability and power; used in a poetic sense, its employed often in scriptural poetry as well as in prophetic literature. This word is used in reference to Daniel and his three friends who were skilled in all wisdom, cunning in knowledge and understanding science and had ability to stand in the king’s palace.

See also 2 Chron. 25:8; Psalm 147:5; as well as Romans 16:25-27.

Also consider the following:

Psa 62:11
God hath spoken once; twice have I heard this; that power belongeth unto God.

“Power” or owz in the Hebrew is here used in the sense of “strength, force, security, majesty, praise, boldness, loud, mighty.”

And also –

Matt 28:18-19
And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

In the Greek the word here for “power” is exousia, meaning, “privilege, force, capacity, competency, freedom, mastery, superhuman, potentate (spiritual or political), token of control, delegated influence, power, authority.

The Privilege of Power: Its Allocations and Abuses

It is interesting to note that all power, as mentioned above, ultimately belongs to God and exists for the sole purpose of magnifying and glorifying God for His Almighty nature and unrivaled authority.

He also delegates powers, abilities, and mastery to various beings, people, animals and things as it pleases Him. Such powers have inherent purposes that are intended by God Himself, and when such purposes are abrogated (particularly by the angelic and human races) this is nothing less than transgression itself before the God of all power.

Any ambitious reach for power beyond that which is divinely allocated is a breach of protocol as established by the Supreme Potentate, and no acquisition of such power can be attained without a deadly price (The old expression “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely” applies aptly to us creatures, but not to our Creator). “The wages of sin (harmartiah, falling short of the mark, an archery term) is death…” see Romans 6:23a.

Lucifer sought for greater power and authority than was his due, even though he was probably the supreme regent of all angelic authority; likewise Adam and Eve were the supreme authority on Earth as the Stewards over it and all creation by the proclamation of God Himself and yet Eve likewise sought for greater power than was her due.

Mankind ever since our Fall has sought by his ambitious lusts for the acquisition of power, and control over others. This has and still does lead to greater abuses of said power, and corruption. This is keenly evident in practically every government on the Earth today, especially our own American government of the past eighty years! Yet such lust and ambition for the acquisition of power is nothing new; such encouragements are found in the works and writings of Nietzsche, particularly his notion of “the will to power” –

(see:Nietzsche's "The Will to Power").

We likewise see the abuse of power in the church, among those that teach that our spiritual authority granted to us by Christ Jesus our LORD is a manifest truth of our own godhood; such teachings from Kenneth Copeland, Earl Paulk, and countless others has yielded the corrupt fruit of presumption, arrogance, and deception.

Only by submitting to the God of all power, and complying with that allocation of power so designated and granted to each of us by the LORD can we be assured of wielding said power properly, but only in so much as we do so in the wisdom afforded to us by His Word and Spirit.

For us the church, such allocation of power granted to us by our LORD Jesus Christ has been granted and ratified by the scriptures themselves, as duly noted in the passage above of Matt. 28:18, 19. On the basis of this power (authority, privilege, competency, freedom, mastery and delegated influence) we are “therefore” to go and teach all nations, and baptize them.

"Might" in Greek is, Ischus, meaning “force, forcefulness, power; might, ability”. In Eph. 1:19 and 6:10 it’s said to be the strength of God bestowed upon the believers, the phrase “the power of His might” indicating strength afforded by power.

This might is not our own, is not dependent on our own resilience, or attitude and estimation of our own abilities (or more significantly, our lack of abilities), but based solely on our faith in God’s own might as presented here in Ephesians.

Isaiah 40:31
But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

In the Hebrew, to “wait” in this sense comes from the word, qavah: “to bind together, (twisting, collect) to expect, wait, look, wait for, look for, gathered. The word stresses the straining of the mind in a certain direction with an expectant attitude, a forward looking with assurance.”

The picture that comes to mind for me is a child with a baseball, tossing it up in the air. He looks upward with expectation, assured that (as its done thousands of times before) the ball will come back down so he can catch it, toss it up, and catch it again. His eyes and attention are focused in a certain (upward) direction.

Likewise in our hour of need, we must wait in this manner for the LORD Who Himself shall renew our strength. Often we grow weary in prayer or in trials, and we must look to the LORD, and wait upon Him to renew our strength that we might persevere in prayer and endure the fiery trial. Just as the child throws up that baseball, we send up our prayer for renewed strength; likewise just as that ball comes back down, we must rest assured and expectantly confident that the LORD will send down His Spirit and power, delivering to us that renewing of vigor, strength, perseverance and determination, borne not of ourselves, but of the Holy Spirit Himself! “Renew” likewise is a very pertinent word in this passage:

Chalaph – “…to change, also to abolish or cut off, to sprout again” In utilizing these various shades of meaning together, the person who waits upon the LORD shall abolish their own strength, cut off, to forsake, or to leave off their own human strength, which is truly frail and untrustworthy (“putting off the old man”), and in exchange take on the strength of the LORD (“putting on the new man”). The passage in Isaiah goes on further that “they shall mount up with wings as eagles”. These birds of prey, like others of their kind, are sensitive to the wind currents and know when and where such currents are going to rise up, and at the opportune time, launch out and ‘catch the wind’ in their wings and soar effortlessly over miles of terrain at tremendous heights, never tiring; for it is not their own power, but the power of the wind, that carries them.

Likewise not by our own effort or strength, we must be sensitively, expectantly waiting upon the Spirit of the LORD. In His time, we launch out as the Spirit moves us and operate in the spiritual power that God has provided. We work effortlessly in fields of His Kingdom (see Matt. 11: 29-30). By waiting, expecting, focusing on the LORD we seek His grace and power and His Spirit to enable us to “mount up as eagles” and soar through whatever trials, or battles that face us; we “shall run (1 Cor. 9:24) and not be weary”, and we “shall walk (Gal. 5:25) and not faint”.

The Hebrew word for “strength” in this passage of Isaiah is kowach, and has already been defined and treated before (ref. 1 Chr. 29:12).

This concludes part 2 of this series; please patiently await the 3rd segment as I busily study, research and pray on its development. In the meanwhile, stand fast in the LORD Jesus Christ, our Solid ROCK upon Whom no saint shall fail, though the fiercest, most powerful storms which loom ahead of us may assail them!
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Saturday, January 8, 2011

SPIRITUAL WARFARE: The Armor of God, Conduct in the Campaign & Implementing the Victory of Christ in our Lives

~~ by James J. Fire


Having completed the study in the book of Ephesians on the blog FROM the MIND of FIRE, I thought it would be more profitable if I left out chapter 6, verses 10 through 18 and treated this portion of scripture in a more detailed study on our spiritual warfare, here on The TRUTH Under FIRE.

In today’s world, churches in error seem to be polarizing, to a large degree, between these two groups of fellowships: the one group hardly recognizes, or not at all, the existence of Satan, the kingdom of darkness, spiritual warfare and are involved in this world merely as social agencies, self-help institutions, and a platform from which to address entirely earthly, non-spiritual, political and social issues. Rick Warren is a prime example of this.

The other group seems fixated on nothing but spiritual warfare, the kingdom of darkness, and Satan; their battle strategies and objectives seem centered around “reclaiming this world/nation/city for God” which is something the LORD Jesus Christ never did, nor did any of His apostles. The church received no such command to “reclaim” (A review of John ch. 17 where the LORD Jesus Christ prays to the Father is most revealing in this regard). They get into unbiblical practices which in themselves can lead a Christian astray from the Truth just as effectively as the Emerging Church Movement and its proponents (like Rick Warren as mentioned above); included among these would be such teachers as C. Peter Wagner and the late Derek Prince (strangely enough Wagner has been a spiritual mentor of R. Warren’s for a long time).

Those are the extreme positions (of course not all churches can be accounted for in these two groups), and as usual the Truth resides somewhere in-between; precisely that is, in an accurate appraisal of the Word of God, the Holy Scriptures. An exhaustive treatment of this subject would be worthy of an entire book (and there are some, though not many that have been already published which prove useful; I have a list of such books at the end of this completed article)! Obviously this study will not be exhaustive, but I do pray that the LORD will enable me to construct at least, a very thorough, exact and balanced treatment of this very necessary and biblical subject!~*~
Never before has the church found herself in such dire straits as today’s world falls into greater and deeper darkness than at any other time in her short history; and the Light of the (generically speaking) church seems to grow ever more dimly! I believe that the only other time in which her needs to conduct a campaign of spiritual warfare was as paramount as today was during the Dark Ages. It was then that those who would stand fast on the Word of God as sola scriptura, that is “scripture alone” as the ultimate authority for the church and the saint were confronted by oppressive religion that sought to persecute and destroy any that would not submit to its own authority (rather than God’s)!

It is therefore with a sense of urgency and importance that I will engage in this study and hope that by God’s empowering grace He will enable me to produce a work here that will yield fruit both beneficial to the church as well as glorifying to and of the LORD!

Please view this song by Steve Camp, and be encouraged regarding this vital necessity in the church of Jesus Christ today:


While various sources, commentaries, online resources will be utilized in this study, the primary focus will be (and must be) on the scriptures themselves.

The DIVISIONS of ARTICLES for This Series -
There are seven instruments included in our spiritual arsenal which we are to employ in the warfare in the spiritual realm, and this study will examine each of these. In addition to these, other articles will pre- and proceed them.

These seven instruments are (1) the belt of Truth, (2) the breastplate of Righteousness, (3) ‘shoes’ (technically greaves) shod with the preparation of the Gospel of Peace, (4) the shield of Faith, (5) the helmet of Salvation, (6) the sword of the Spirit, and (7) prayer which itself has no parallel in martial devices, but its been suggested that a spear or a catapult or some other missile-type of device could be used for prayer in an allegorical sense.

The other articles will include such topics (not necessarily treated individually) as:

Our spiritual strength, the power/might of the LORD, our stand and resistance against the enemy, the supreme struggle against the enemy and his tactics, the hierarchy of the kingdom of darkness, diligent perseverance as watchmen and prayer warriors in and for the church, and possibly other topics as the LORD leads.

After the entire length of this Pauline epistle, we read the word at vs. 10 of the sixth chapter of Ephesians, “Finally” which in the Greek refers to “something yet remaining, or unfulfilled which requires addressing”. It may refer to something unrelated to subjects prior, as well as the transition of subject matter (In this case, Paul transitioned from relationships in the marriage, and between parents and children, employers and employees, etc. to the subject at hand, spiritual warfare and the armor of God).
Of particular note is the relationship between the LORD Jesus Christ and His bride, the church (5:24-32) and before anything further can be said about spiritual warfare, we must firstly, have a clear understanding of our relationship with the LORD and secondly, the relational authority we have IN Christ.

Spiritual Rebirth:

To be in Christ, that is, to belong to Him as a disciple, to be a Christian, a follower of the LORD, one must be born again; one must have indwelling them the very Spirit of Christ Jesus (far from a mere New Testament spiritual truth, this was anticipated in Ezekiel 32:26-27) and become a new creation spiritually speaking:

2 Cor 6:16b
. . . as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
John 3:3
Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. (read through to vs.7)
Rom 8:9
But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
2 Cor 5:17
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

It is vital to understand that without this spiritual dynamic of salvation taking place, the soul is eternally lost, remaining severed from the only source of life (be it spiritual or physical) that is, the God of all creation.

No one is able to conduct any form of spiritual warfare until one becomes a member of the Kingdom of God (entrance according to Jesus requires being born again or born spiritually. Paul refers to this as “regeneration” in Titus 3:5).

Upon entrance into the Kingdom of God however, the saint is a marked target by the enemy who is opposed to all things of Christ and His Kingdom.
As children of God and of Light, who once were children of disobedience and darkness, we have transitioned from Satan’s kingdom into God’s!

Col 1:13
Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:

Whether we Christians would wish it or not, we are a part of this spiritual warfare. The choice remains with each individual Christian as to what role they will play in this war: as a ‘paladin’* of sorts or a P.O.W.!

* (a knightly high official in the King’s court sworn to valor and strong duty in martial defense of the kingdom and the cause of the King)

The Body of Christ, the Temple of God, Our Source of Life:

As one born of God’s Spirit and indwelt by the same, the individual becomes a temple of God, and as well as this a member of the corporate temple of believers or “the body of Christ” –

1 Cor 6:19
What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
Eph 2:19-22
Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;
In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:
In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

Eph 4:12
For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

1Cor 12:27
Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.

Eph 5:23
For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
Now, read this carefully: Without a head, you’re dead!
Profound, I know, but in a spiritual sense its important to understand that our life, our inspiration, our instruction, direction; our wisdom, and knowledge and of course the mercy and grace, peace and love we receive, we receive from the LORD Jesus Christ Himself (Acts 2:36), the True Vine (John 15:1), the Head of the church, or the body (‘the church’ and ‘the body’ are synonyms; see – Eph. 5:23; and Col. 1:18, 24). Jesus Christ is literally the well spring, the bread, water, milk and meat, the very spiritual sustenance for the church (see John 6:35, 53-63; 7:37; Heb. 5:13; 1 Ptr. 2:2; 1 Cor. 3:2; Heb. 5:12 – you will note that in these preceding verses there is an equating between the Word Incarnate, and the Word Inspired and this is intentional as God Himself is the Inspirer of the written Word).

In spiritual warfare this communion and life between Christ and the Christian is paramount, and must be sustained between LORD and servant if any sort of spiritual enterprise is to meet with success; and for victory in this martial engagement hoped for and attained practically through Christ Jesus. Essentially, we must abide in His Word, we must abide in the true Vine!

Concerning the extreme value and necessity of God’s Holy Word, Charles Spurgeon had much to say:

“If the revelation of God were not enough for our faith, what could we add to it? Who can answer this question? What would any man propose to add to the sacred Word? A moment's thought would lead us to scout with derision the most attractive words of men, if it were proposed to add them to the Word of God. The fabric would not be of a piece.
"Would you add rags to a royal vestment? Would you pile the filth of the streets in a king's treasury? Would you join the pebbles of the sea-shore to the diamonds of Golconda? Anything more than the Word of God sets before us, for us to believe and to preach as the life of men, seems utterly absurd to us; yet we confront a generation of men who are always wanting to discover a new motive power, and a new gospel for their churches.
"The coverlet of their bed does not seem to be long enough, and they would fain borrow a yard or two of linsey-woolsey from the Unitarian, the Agnostic, or even the Atheist. Well; if there be any spiritual force or heavenward power to be found beyond that reported of in this Book, I think we can do without it: indeed, it must be such a sham that we are better without it.
"The Scriptures in their own sphere are like God in the universe—All-sufficient. In them is revealed all the light and power the mind of man can need in spiritual things. We hear of other motive power beyond that which lies in the Scriptures, but we believe such a force to be a pretentious nothing.”

(Taken from: The SPURGEON ARCHIVE - The Greatest Fight in the World

Adopted Children, Overcomers and Our Inherited Authority/Power from the Holy Spirit:
Tracing the threads of our spiritual position to the beginning of the epistle to the Ephesians we read in vs. 5 of chapter One:

Eph 1:5
Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
Adoption here is from the Greek word: huiothesia, and it refers not so much to our spiritual regeneration in the inception into the family of God, but our placement in the position and authority as children (thus heirs) of God, deriving from Him said power and authority.

The LORD Jesus bequeathed spiritual authority kindred to this upon (epi) His disciples even before they were born again/indwelt by the Holy Spirit (which didn’t occur until John 20:22), during His earthly ministry (see - Matt. 28: 18-20; Mark 6:7; Luke 10:1-12, 16-24). Yet until that time, the Spirit of God (was with them but) had not yet indwelt them (see John 7:39). We see this Divine interaction continuing even after our LORD’s ascension into heaven (see Mark 16:19-20).

The LORD Jesus in referring to the Holy Spirit said that He is with us (prior to salvation) and shall be in us (upon the moment of salvation) in John 14:17. Yet there is a third interaction with the Holy Spirit as described in Acts 1:8, that is, “power from on high” or “epi”. This “upon” power was present with the disciples (temporarily, as it was with the prophets of the Old Testament) when so authorized by the LORD Who commissioned them with evangelism, healing the sick, casting out demons, raising the dead, etc.

Here is a quote from an article published at the following web site:


There are three key Greek prepositions, which help us to better understand this work of the Spirit. The words with, in, and upon are para, en and epi in Greek. He is with (para) us even before we receive Him as our Lord and Savior, for it is the Holy Spirit who draws us to Jesus, and convinces us of our need for a Savior. The very moment we say "yes" to Him and invite Him in (en) He gives us new birth or regeneration. We are now His child, part of the family of God. We have the Holy Spirit residing in (en) us.

“According to Ephesians 1:13, we are now sealed with the Holy Spirit. Yet, there is a third work of the Spirit given to us, which imparts power upon (epi) us enabling us to be dynamic witnesses. In Acts 1:8 we find this third preposition, the word upon, which is epi in the Greek. "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you." This word indicates that the Holy Spirit desires to be continually overflowing us.

“In Luke 3:21-22, Jesus came to John at the Jordan River to be baptized in water. As He came up from the water, the Holy Spirit descended upon (epi) Him and a voice from heaven said, "You are My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased." In Luke chapter 4, we find Jesus being filled, or overflowed with the Spirit [In fulfillment of Isaiah 61:1-2a]. Returning from the Jordan River, He was led by the Spirit into the wilderness where He was tempted by Satan and then having overcome every temptation, He returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit.

“After He was baptized in the Jordan River and the Spirit descended upon Him, we see Him beginning the ministry His Father had sent Him to do. In Luke 4:18, Jesus spoke of His anointing by the Father "to preach the gospel to the poor, to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captive, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, and to preach the acceptable year of the Lord." This upon (epi) experience empowers the believer for service. It is an out-flowing of the Spirit, a flowing forth from my life of the dunamis. It is the power of the Spirit working through my life and touching the lives of those around me…”

The spiritual life we have inherited is one of enormous spiritual power, and as children of God in this lofty position, this power is tempered by our knowledge of the will of God (we know we have the petitions we ask for if they are indeed in accordance with the will of God, 1 John 5:14-15). The birthright of the believer in this authority does not make us little gods, proclaiming edicts and setting forth our will by Divine power, as some would have us believe (such as in the Word-Faith Movement) but to conduct authoritative action in compliance with, not in contradiction to God’s own will, which we recognize in the Holy Bible.

We have inherited His Spirit, and been given the spirit of understanding, true enlightenment, riches of the glory of God and this exceeding power that raised Christ Jesus up from the dead and placed our LORD at the right hand of the Father, above all spiritual powers in the entire heavenly and angelic (both good and evil) realms. All things are placed under the feet of the LORD Jesus Christ Who is the Head of the church which is His body (Eph. 1:13-22).

Note: We are His body, and all things are placed under His feet (His feet likewise being ‘of the body’) and so all these things are, positionally speaking, beneath us. This is important to understand and believe if spiritual warfare is to be successful. As we understand and affirm that this is so, we are no longer threatened by any attack of the enemy, nor intimidated by his assaults!!

We the church, “quickened” or brought to life who were once spiritually dead because of sins and trespasses, once under the domination of the Prince of the power of the air and considered with the rest of humanity as “children of disobedience” are now raised up by God’s mercy and grace (Eph. 2:1-5).

We are as the church positionally seated, where now? What does it say in vs. 6?

Eph 2:6
And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
This sounds like a rather bizarre notion when you think about it; that each of us who are in Christ Jesus, while we live and walk among the people of this world, existing here physically, we also exist (positionally) in a very real spiritual sense, “seated together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus”. We have no right nor place to that seat in heaven but by the grace and empowering authority of God that brought us into the Kingdom in the first place as His children (See John 1:12). I believe that we share in the authority of Christ Jesus and in His Name as His bride (Rev. 21:9, 22:17), as ambassadors who speak in the Name and authority of the LORD (2 Cor. 5:20) and as overcomers who will one day sit with Christ on His own Throne, rather than the Father’s Throne where He sits now (see this list in scripture referring to overcomers):

Rev 3:21
To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.

1 John 4:4; 5:4-5; Rev. 2: 7, 11, 17, 26; 3: 5, 12, (21),
and 21:7.

It would seem that the portrayal of the overcomer is the lot of the regenerated believer, for we are born of God by faith, and shall partake of the Tree of Life, receive the hidden manna and a new name engraved in a white stone (is there any true believer that won’t?), nor shall we suffer harm from the second death, we shall be clothed upon in His righteousness and will not have our names blotted out of the Book of Life and shall witness our LORD confessing us before the Father and His angels (see also Luke 12:8) and shall inherit all things.

Thus ends this segment in this ongoing series on spiritual warfare; this article will continue with a second segment soon to come! In the meanwhile stand fast in the LORD Jesus Christ and in the power of HIS Might!
Read more!


by A.M. Kisly


Will the Old Book stand, when the "higher critics" state

That grave errors are discovered on its page?
Will it save the sinful soul? Will it make the wounded whole?
Will its glorious truth abide from age to age?

Will its message still abide, when the scientists decide

That its record of Creation is untrue?
Tell us the ascent of man is by evolution's plan;
Will its principles the sinful heart renew?

When in language wondrous fair, "Christian Scientists" declare

That there is no evil, only mortal mind.
When mental treatment fails, and seeming death prevails,
May we in the Bible consolation find?

When infidels parade the mistakes which Moses made,

When the truth of Revelation they deny,
Will the Ten Commandments still the demands of justice fill?
Will its word support us when we come to die?

Yes, the Word of God shall stand, though assailed on every hand,

Its foundations are eternally secure;
It will bear the critic's test, and the idle scoffer's jest,
Its saving truth forever shall endure.

Is it me, or does it seem as though there are very few faithful stewards of God’s WORD today? The world’s scorn of the Bible, though unbearable, is not at all surprising. What is surprising is the scorn that’s coming from Christian leadership. Pastors and theologians, who have supposedly dedicated their lives to the study of the Bible, are now criticizing its complete authority in the spiritual lives of the Christian believer. Many of these leaders are embracing outside sources of knowledge and experience and placing them on equal ground with the authority that God alone has placed upon His word. I’ll just say this, when we disagree with the Bible, we are making God a liar!

Romans 3:4 says this:

“Let God be true, and every man a liar.” It does not say, let every man be true and God a liar. This is one scripture that every child of God should commit to memory. It will keep them safe from every deception, and every wile of the devil.

In an article published by Christianity Today, some stunning comments by J.P. Moreland were made at a meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society. I realize that this is an old article dating back to 2007, but I have a good reason for bringing it to our attention. His comments are very telling of just what happens when we start building faulty truths upon the foundation that has already be laid. I will also add that these faulty truths have great impact upon a believer’s understanding of truth and a grave influence upon the Church.

1 Corinthians 3:10-11 warns us about this very thing. It says, “According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. 11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”

In other words, no true church can be established without embracing the doctrinal truths as it is in Jesus Christ -- those which pertain to his incarnation, his Divine nature, his instructions, his example, his atonement, his resurrection, and his ascension. Why, because it was laid by Him. He has established it…it cannot be changed. The fundamental doctrines of the Christian religion must be embraced, or a church cannot exist; and where those doctrines are denied, the church can no longer be recognized as the Church of God. Nor can the foundation be modified or shaped to suit the wishes of men. It must be laid as it is in the Scriptures; and the superstructure must be reared on that alone.

This brings us to where we find ourselves today. We are drowning in a pool of “new spirituality” because they have denied, or modified the foundational truths of the Bible. The “new” paradigm is really a conglomerate of New Age thought, Kingdom Dominionism, Pagan and Eastern Religions and Catholicism all wrapped up in one big ugly and confusing package. This Spiritual Evolution; or Evolutionary Christianity is also known as the Emergent Church.

With regard to the Emergent Church, there seems to be a lot of confusion in defining exactly what this is. The simple definition is this, the Emergent Church is really a belief that goodness will emerge through people of understanding; or a higher spirituality; or “Christ Consciousness.” Many believe that this emerging goodness will allow for a “new creation” or “new society” in which we will become co-creators spiritually. It could be described as a “heaven on earth” scenario, one that doesn’t include the Gospel or really Jesus Christ (though they claim that it does). Its roots run deep into the New Age ideology and the combining of all the worlds religions “creating this heaven on earth”…as we all wait for the appearing of the “Christ”. Let me just note here and clarify that this “Christ” is not the Jesus Christ of the Bible. Too many “believers” are buying into this grand deception because pastors and leaders of the church are leading them there, and because they believe it means one thing, when in fact it does not. This “Christ” will be the false Christ, the Anti-Christ described in Revelation 13.

It reminds me of the New Age/satanic teachings of Alice Bailey. To this end, the Lucis Trust, under the leadership of Foster and Alice Bailey, started a group called 'World Goodwill' - an official non-governmental organization within the United Nations. The stated aim of this group is "to cooperate in the world of preparation for the reappearance of the Christ" [One Earth, the magazine of the Findhorn Foundation, October/November 1986, Vol. 6, Issue 6, p.24.] This Christ would indeed be the Anti-Christ, and his world religion.

Just how does one attain this higher spirituality? Methods of contemplative prayer and spiritual formation are the supposed path in which this “Christ consciousness” will come….and folks it is sweeping the church! Those who hold “high positions” in Evangelical circles, are not only responsible, but have put the Church and orthodox Christianity in GRAVE DANGER.

J.P. Moreland’s list of credentials is as long as my driveway…although very impressive, I must ask myself this one question, just whose word am I to place my faith and trust in? Highly esteemed individuals, such as J.P. Moreland would like us to believe that they have the word of authority over the Scriptures. Yet, if what they are saying is contrary to scripture, it is the listener’s responsibility to weigh it against the Word of Truth. For this is exactly what is in question today.

In this meeting, J.P. Moreland spoke about the Bible and the Christian. The title of his message, “How Evangelicals Became Over-Committed to the Bible and What Can Be Done About It.” My first thought was, “WHAT?” I was outraged and hope that you are too. You see, J.P. Moreland is a Professor of Theology and an Apologist…he is also a contributor to the Christian Worldview Curriculum which is being taught and distributed to Adults, Students and Homeschoolers…this is the very reason for my post.

In his address, Mr. Moreland stated the following:
“In the actual practices of the Evangelical community in North America, there is an over-commitment to Scripture in a way that is false, irrational, and harmful to the cause of Christ," he said. "And it has produced a mean-spiritedness among the over-committed that is a grotesque and often ignorant distortion of discipleship unto the Lord Jesus."

“The problem,” he said, is "the idea that the Bible is the sole source of knowledge of God, morality, and a host of related important items. Accordingly, the Bible is taken to be the sole authority for faith and practice."

In a “let’s suppose” scenario…Suppose an archaeologist discovered a portion of the ancient city of Jerusalem that was specifically described in the Old Testament, Moreland said:

"Could the archaeologist have discovered the site without the use of the Old Testament? Once discovered, could the archaeologist learn things about the site that went beyond what was in the Old Testament? Clearly the answer is yes to both questions. Why? Because the site actually exists in the real world. It does not exist in the Bible. It is only described in the Bible and the biblical description in partial."

Likewise, Moreland argued, "because the human soul/spirit and demons/angels are real, it is possible, and, in fact, actual that extra-biblical knowledge can be gained about these spiritual entities. Demons do not exist in the Bible. They exist in reality."

Moreland continued, "By not researching how demons work, how to fight them, and other such issues by, for example, working with exorcists, Christian scholars are harming the church."

Is there one place in the Bible that instructs the believer to research the way demons work so that we can learn how to fight them? Do we seek out Exorcists as the authority over such matters in order to gain a better understanding rather than what God has already instructed us in His Word? If Mr. Moreland placed his confidence in Scripture, he would know the schemes of the devil and the Lord’s instruction on how to resist.

James 4:7 “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

Ephesians 6:10-18 “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: 18Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

1 Peter 5:8 “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.”

There is much more to this address but I wanted to focus on the key issue here, as well as give you a couple of examples of the mindset behind some of these false teachings.
At the end of his address, Mr. Moreland states two suggestions for correcting the problem, as follows:

“First, that in dispatching our pastoral and teaching duties, we must teach people how to avail themselves appropriately of the extra-biblical knowledge available in these areas.”

After claiming that great harm has been done to the cause of Jesus Christ by “over-commitment” to the Bible, Mr. Moreland’s suggestions are to instruct the believer with ideas found in places other than the Word of God.

He says, “To correct this problem, we must instruct those under our care about the availability of this knowledge and helpful ways to use it."

To what is he referring? Well, he wrote a book about it. J.P. Moreland authored a book titled, “Kingdom Triangle” published in 2007, in which he claims that there are three components or elements needed in Christianity, both collectively and individually. These three “essential ingredients” are for the “maturation of the Evangelical community” (p. 13).

It shouldn’t surprise you that one of the elements Mr. Moreland is referring to is “Spiritual Formation” which he accredits John Coe (the director for Biola’s Institute for Spiritual Formation) in guiding him.

[Mr. Coe has many publications which include: Intentional Spiritual Formation in the Classroom, Musings on the Dark Night of the Soul: Insights from St. John of the Cross on a Developmental Spirituality, Beyond Relationality to Union: A Pneumadynamic Approach to Personality and Psychopathology, and Redeeming Psychology: A Spiritual Formation Approach to Christianity and Psychology (IVP). He is also editor of the Institute's Journal for Spiritual Formation and Soul Care.]

For those who are not yet educated on the topic, a few definitions are in order.

Contemplative Spirituality: A belief system that uses ancient mystical practices to induce altered states of consciousness (the silence) and is rooted in mysticism and the occult but often wrapped in Christian terminology. The premise of contemplative spirituality is pantheistic (God is all) and panentheistic (God is in all). Common terms used for this movement are "spiritual formation," "the silence," "the stillness," "ancient-wisdom," "spiritual disciplines," and many others.

Spiritual Formation: A movement that has provided a platform and a channel through which contemplative prayer is entering the church. Find spiritual formation being used, and in nearly every case you will find contemplative spirituality. In fact, contemplative spirituality is the heartbeat of the spiritual formation movement.


Lighthouse Trails Research Ministry
wrote the following book review of J. P. Moreland’s ‘Kingdom Triangle’ which is published on their website and viewed at the following link: Kingdom Triangle by J.P. Moreland

“In chapter 6 of 'Kingdom Triangle', Moreland plunges into discussion about the "true self" and the "false self." He echoes Thomas Merton and Martin Buber, both who had strong mystical propensities, and who believed we could attain to our true self (a perfect self) through mystical practices. Moreland encourages the writings (and practices) of St. Ignatius Loyola, (p. 156), saying such practices will help us to "cultivate the ability to discern the divine components" within us. This follows the course of thinking that Thomas Merton had - that divinity is already within, and mystical practices help us to realize what is already there. That is why Merton said,

"It is a glorious destiny to be a member of the human race… now I realize what we all are ... If only they [people] could all see themselves as they really are. I suppose the big problem would be that we would bow down and worship each other.... At the center of our being is a point of nothingness which is untouched by sin and by illusion, a point of pure truth....This little point ... is the pure glory of God in us. It is in everybody." (Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander, pp. 157-158)

** I’ll interject here **
“At the center of our being is nothingness which is untouched by sin…a pure point of truth” WRONG! The Bible plainly does not say this at all. The Bible clearly teaches that we are all born of sin, and we are all given a conscience (guilt and condemnation). Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” The glory of God in any of us would be the work of atonement through the blood of Jesus Christ…not some little point of sinless truth.

Romans 3:10 “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one.”

Isaiah 64:6 “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.”

James (co-writer for T.T.U.F.) made the following observation with regards to this scripture:

[Hey Anne, what I find interesting is that “righteousness” is in the plural form “righteousnessES” which to me suggests that there are many forms of attainment to righteousness, but all of them prove false and unable to meet the Divine standard of holiness – whether one is talking about contemplative prayer, or karma, or the Five Pillars of Islam, or the Seven Sacraments, or the keeping of the Ten Commandments by one’s own effort, Transcendental Meditation, social justice, etc.]

1 Corinthians 1:30-31 “But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: 331That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.”

Moreland tells the readers that a "treasure of deep, rich knowledge of the soul" can be found in the writings of the Desert Fathers, Henri Nouwen, and Richard Foster, (p. 153).

He is blatantly promoting the teaching of the New Age Movement. All three of these guys promote the meditation practices of the Hindus, Buddhists and the occult.

"The Desert Fathers believed as long as the desire for God was sincere--anything could be utilized to reach God. If a method worked for the Hindus to reach their gods, then Christian mantras could be used to reach Jesus." ATOD , p. 43, 2nd ed. [Sheer lunacy!]

Quote from Henri Nouwen: "Today I personally believe that while Jesus came to open the door to God's house, all human beings can walk through that door, whether they know about Jesus or not. Today I see it as my call to help every person claim his or her own way to God."
—From Sabbatical Journey, Henri Nouwen's last book page 51, 1998 Hardcover Edition

Nouwen’s endorsement of a book by Hindu spiritual teacher Eknath Easwaran, teaching mantra meditation, further illustrates his universalistic sympathies. On the back cover, Nouwen stated, "This book has helped me a great deal."

A Richard Foster Bible called the Renovare Study Bible, to be released by Harper SF in 2004. The Renovare "Bible" will focus on Foster's six disciplines (from his book Streams of Living Waters), one of which is the contemplative practice. Thomas Kelly is quoted in that book as saying: "Deep within us all [all human beings] there is an amazing inner sanctuary of the soul, a holy place, a Divine Center"

Further, Moreland suggests to his readers that “Catholic retreat centers are usually ideal for solitude retreats."

-- Here is proof positive of a coming together of world religions to form this one religion…a “Christ Consciousness”. Again, this is not the Lord Jesus Christ, but those that exalts ‘self’, working together as they wait for the appearing of the false Christ, the Anti-Christ.

As we continue with the Lighthouse Trails book review, we have to wonder just what Mr. Moreland’s goal really is. We will see that here, found in his third element.

Moreland states that this is the time in history where evangelicals can "show our culture the way forward" and that prior to now, Christians were not ready to "lead our culture to higher ground" (p. 12). He continues: "Signs indicate we are gaining momentum and may well be ready to manifest our Lord's true character [through spiritual formation] in a way appropriate to the crisis of our age... Tools for spiritual formation are available as never before in my lifetime."

In my opinion, he is promoting the goals of the last day’s apostate church.

Moreland says that the Kingdom of God or "gospel of the Kingdom" (p. 172) can only come about on the earth through signs, wonders, and miracles - thus his title: "Restoration of the Kingdom's Miraculous Power."

Signs, wonders and miracles? Matthew 24:24 tells us, “For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.”

Is the power of Jesus Christ that brings us new birth something that is now old, dead or in need of restoration? Where does it say that? God's design in sending his Son into the world was that the world through him might be saved.

Sin must be pardoned, and the impurity of the heart washed away, before any soul can possibly enter into the kingdom of God. It is the new birth that Christ spoke to Nicodemus about. This new birth implies the renewing of the whole soul in righteousness and true holiness. God is a holy God and nothing can stand in His presence which is unclean.

Romans 1:16 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.”

John 1:12-13 “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”

John 3:3 “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

Is he now implying that we are to somehow restore the Kingdom of God on earth? What about the coming judgment? God will restore His own Kingdom…when Satan and his minions, and those sinful souls who have rejected Him are judged and tossed into the eternal lake of fire (Revelation 20:9-14; 21).

Moreland wraps up his book by stating that many believers (whom he refers to as "sojourner[s] in the Way of Jesus]" are bored and do not sense God's presence in their lives. He says the answer to this is to have the 'Kingdom Triangle' "at the very heart of the new revolutionary movement gaining momentum day by day" (p. 196).

Moreland concludes: “As you enter more and more deeply into progress in the way of Jesus, the Kingdom Triangle must be at the core of your life and (your church's) strategy. The first leg provides a thoughtful sense of truth, knowledge, and direction to this approach to life; the second leg gives passion to the journey and allows one to lay aside baggage that gets in the way; the third leg provides the faith and confidence to risk more and more for God and expect him to actually be a coworker in the only sensible life plan available. This is what our culture needs... Don't waste your life being preoccupied with things that don't really matter. Join me in the revolution. This is your opportunity. Seize it and rejoice in it (p. 199).” The whole message can be found online in a pdf: How Evangelicals Became Over-committed to the Bible and What Can Be Done About It

-- The Kingdom Triangle must be the core of your life???? Your church’s strategy???? What about the BIBLE?! Folks, these are some of the doctrines of demons that Jesus warned us about before his second coming would take place.

Paul wrote, “I have laid the foundation, and another builds thereon. But let every man take heed how he builds thereupon. For no other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” (1 Cor.3:10-11). The governing factor for the church has already been poured as the foundation and we have built on it for nearly 2,000 years.

John 14:6, “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”


I like what Dr. Ian Richard Kyle Paisley had to say about the Bible; he said, “THE BIBLE IS the Grand Charter of Christianity. To undermine, discredit and reject the Bible is to undermine, discredit and reject Christianity. Christianity is rooted and grounded upon the Bible and if the foundations be destroyed what will Christians do?”

He goes on to say, “The Bible claims to be the Word of God and by staking this claim the Bible simply but plainly declares its divine authority, complete infallibility and absolute sufficiency.

Its Divine Authority. Its authority is grounded upon God Himself. 1 Thessalonians 2:13-- "Ye received the Word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the Word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe."

The Bible's authority is not derived from reason. The Bible does not appeal to reason and demand obedience because our reason sanctions its teachings. Its authority is not rational in that sense, although we believe the Bible to be reasonable ultimately, because it is the Word of Him Who is the source of all reason. Our reason needs to be approved by the Bible and not the Bible by our reason.

The Bible's authority is not derived from the emotions. The Bible does not appeal to our feelings and demand obedience because our feelings acquiesce in its teachings. Its authority is not emotional, and our feelings need to be approved by the Bible and not the Bible by our feelings.

The Bible's authority is not derived from the Church. The Bible does not appeal to the Church and demand obedience because the Church decrees its teachings. Its authority is not ecclesiastical and the Church needs to be approved by the Bible, and not the Bible by the Church.

The Bible claims that its authority is derived from the God Who breathed it. Its authority is divine.”

Mr. Moreland should heed the warning in Revelation 22:18: "If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book."

1 Timothy 4:1 "Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;"

There is one last observation that I wanted to point to in the Lighthouse Trails review of this book as I believe it to be profoundly important. They offer this point:

"Knowing that Moreland's 2nd leg in his three-legged triangle is encapsulated with contemplative spirituality, which would empower these signs and wonders, the Kingdom he describes is more than alarming. If indeed the realm that contemplative meditators enter is one filled with familiar (demonic) spirits, then signs and wonders that follow these excursions, would be on the same plane."

Mr. Moreland is indeed leading his readers to lying signs and wonders and to doctrines of demons for one reason alone, because he does not highly esteem God’s Word, nor His authority in the life of the believer. Mr. Moreland simply believes that at the core of every human is some purity, a point of real truth and a higher spirituality which can be obtained from the ability of men finding their own path through ‘Spiritual Formation’.

In closing, there is one scripture that every Christian should commit to memory and that is II Timothy 3:16-17, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”

These verses tell us what is inspired, why it is inspired, and how inspiration impacts our lives. God did not reveal His Word to us just set it aside as some secondary source of knowledge of Him. The Scriptures are God's dynamic that transform lives. The Bible is the instruction manual to Christian living. What greater source can there possibly be into the heart of God?

Joshua 1:8 says, “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. 9Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.”

We know that God is the author of the Bible. We know that all scripture was given by His inspiration. Revelation is God’s disclosure of himself and His will. Inspiration is the means God used to communicate special revelation. It is the work of the Holy Spirit.

There is a wonderful article written by Dr. Ian Richard Kyle Paisley, called Seven Reasons Why I Believe THE BIBLE IS THE WORD OF GOD in which I have included the following excerpts:

Inspiration is not a high level of human achievement by the genius of man. In fact, no man, especially a genius, would write a book that condemns himself.
Inspiration of God isn’t limited to the thoughts of the writer. The Bible is 100% inspired by God…in thought and in word…no errors!

1 Corinthians 2:13--Paul said, "We speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Spirit teacheth." Paul claimed it was the words, not just the thoughts that are inspired.

John 17:8--Jesus said to the Father, "I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me." In the Old Testament phrases such as "thus saith the Lord," "the word of the Lord came," and "God said" are repeated over 3800 times. Clearly God communicates by words.

Galatians 1:11-12--Paul said, "I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ." Paul got the gospel from God, not men.

Exodus 4:12--God said to Moses, "I will be with thy mouth and teach thee what thou shalt say." Forty years later Moses said to Israel, "Ye shall not add unto the word which I commanded you, neither shall ye diminish anything from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you" (Deut. 4:2). Words spoken by God are not to be taken away from or added to.

1 Peter 1:10-11--Peter wrote that "the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you, searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ who was in them did signify." This verse is a powerful argument against ‘thought inspiration’. The Holy Spirit gave the prophets a message about the Messiah, which they recorded. Then they sought to understand the meaning of their own proclamations. So there were times when the prophets received and recorded words that they did not fully understand. So it was words, not thoughts that they pondered on, which again is evidence that inspiration is verbal.

Matthew 24:35--Jesus said, "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away." It is the words in the Bible that God has given. Pronouns, prepositions, and conjunctions are important.

1 Corinthians 14:37--Paul said, "If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord." A spiritual man will recognize that Paul's writings are the very words of God.


The greatest fact of all time is the Bible. How a book which has been so universally attacked could survive and attain to such a place of eminence is a miracle eloquently testifying to its supernatural origin.

Because the Bible forthrightly condemns sin, the hatred of sinners has been hurled against it. Because the Bible in plain and unmistakable language debases the pride of man, proud man has set himself the task to discredit it. Because the Bible uncovers the satanic underworld it is the object of the diabolical attacks of hell. Because the Bible declares that salvation is by grace alone all false religions have sought to extinguish it.

The Bible condemns every man and condones no man; it accuses every man and excuses no man; it abases human reason and exalts revelation; it repudiates the natural and rejoices in the spiritual, glorying not in flesh but in faith.

Attacked from all quarters and giving no quarter, the Bible has an Ishmaelite experience, its hand is against every man and every man's hand is against it, but wonder of wonders, it continues to dwell in the midst of the brethren.

Princes, philosophers, prelates, politicians and poets have all conspired against it. It has been insulted by the scorn of fools. It has become the jest of infidels and the joke of skeptics. It has been assailed consistently and persistently by professed scholars and has been made the butt of the critic. Assaulted by every known plan of hell, it has come forth unscathed from the inferno. Like the three Hebrew children it has been in the fire and like them it has been wonderfully preserved and there is not a smell of burning upon it.

The fire has yet to be lit that can destroy it. The steel has yet to be forged that can scar it. The weapon has yet to be devised that can overthrow it. The scholarship has yet to be developed that can discredit it. The science has yet to be created that can demolish it. The plan has yet to be devised that can annihilate it.

The cunning of hell and the craft of earth have combined against the Bible but it stands unmoved, for it is as W. E. Gladstone, one of England's greatest Premiers has described it, the impregnable rock of Holy Scripture.

As the Bible has stood the hottest broadsides of hell it will not be affected by the popguns of modernism.

In the past century Voltaire thought he had demolished it and boasted that in one hundred years Christianity would be a museum piece. As a result, infidelity ran riot in France. Voltaire, however, passed screaming into eternity, but the Bible has not passed away. Moreover, Voltaire's printing press was used to print the very Scriptures which he boasted he had demolished and his house became a depot for the Geneva Bible Society.
So I believe the Bible is the Word of God because it remains with the passing and injuries of time, a temple unprofaned by the foot of the enemy, a building of God, amidst the crumbling ruins of the centuries.

Let us then let the Bible rule our hearts and homes and refuse to support those who dare to trifle with it in the pulpit. Above all things, let us seize the unfailing promises of the Book and never rest night nor day from prayer until the God of the Bible visits us with a gracious revival.

"Go, search the Scriptures," saith our Lord,
"They testify of Me";
"Tis truth's eternal, great record,
From every error free.

There my eternal Godhead shines
With bright, refulgent rays;
There beam Jehovah"s great designs,
From everlasting days.

There the great gospel scheme behold,
Chief of the works of God,
Replete with grace and love untold,
And pardon, bought with blood.

There's armour for the trying day,
Both shield and helmet too;
And grace, the fainting soul to stay,
And always something new.

There's balm to heal the wounds of sin,
On life's fair tree it grows;
And blood to wash your garments in,
From Jesus' side it flows."

O may the Spirit's influence sweet
Shine on the glorious whole,
Its precepts guide my roving feet,
And promise feast my soul.

Let Revelation's glories shine,
And spread from sea to sea;
Till reason stoops to faith divine,
And owns her sovereign sway.
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