Ask The Chaplain

Ask The Chaplain

Saturday, January 19, 2008

What is Wrong With Prosperity Preaching?

Some Prosperity teachers equate wealth with godliness and faith. The Bible says otherwise.

"This is what the wicked are like-- always carefree, they increase in wealth." (Psalm 73:12)

"No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money." (Matt. 6:24)

"He said to them, 'You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of men, but God knows your hearts. What is highly valued among men is detestable in God's sight." (Luke 16:15)

"Then Jesus said to his disciples, 'I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." (Matt.19:23-24) Note: It is impossible for a camel to go through the eye of a needle.

"Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming upon you. Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days." (James 5:1-3)

"But now we call the arrogant blessed. Certainly the evildoers prosper, and even those who challenge God escape." (Mal. 3:15)

"They will throw their silver into the streets, and their gold will be an unclean thing. Their silver and gold will not be able to save them in the day of the LORD's wrath. They will not satisfy their hunger or fill their stomachs with it, for it has made them stumble into sin." (Ezk. 7:19)

"But the one who is rich should take pride in his low position, because he will pass away like a wild flower. For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich man will fade away even while he goes about his business." (James 1:10-11)

"You say, `I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.' But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked." (Rev. 3:17)

Most Prosperity teachers boast about their wealth saying that God has blessed them. Their wealth usually comes from donations.

"For everything in the world--the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does--comes not from the Father but from the world." (1 John 2:16)

"As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil. Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins." (James 4:16-17)

Prosperity teachers will tell you that you can expect a BIG return on your "donation". They create greed and discontent by saying that God wants you to be wealthy and that you will become wealthy if you give to them and have faith. The Bible teaches the opposite.

"Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things." (Col. 3:2)

"Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things." (Phil. 3:19)

"But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs." (1 Tim. 6:6-10)

"Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." (Heb. 13:5)

"A stingy man is eager to get rich and is unaware that poverty awaits him." (Prov. 28:22)

"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal." (Matt. 6:19-20)

"Then some soldiers asked him, "And what should we do?" He replied, 'Don't extort money and don't accuse people falsely--be content with your pay." (Luke 3:14)

"Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread." (Prov. 30:8)

Giving to Get is Unbiblical and can result in the opposite happening.

"When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures." (James 4:3)

"So God said to him, "Since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself, nor have asked for the death of your enemies but for discernment in administering justice, I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be." (1 Kings 3:11-12)

The Prosperity doctrine teaches that God wants you to be wealthy and have big houses, cars, etc. They teach that if you lead a godly life, you will get these things. Again, the Bible teaches different.

"If anyone teaches false doctrines and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, he is conceited and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions and constant friction between men of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain." (1 Tim. 6:3-5)

Now the overseer must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money." 1 Tim. 3:2-3)

"Be shepherds of God's flock that is under your care, serving as overseers, not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve..." (1 Peter 5:2)

"You are always righteous, O LORD, when I bring a case before you. Yet I would speak with you about your justice: Why does the way of the wicked prosper? Why do all the faithless live at ease? You have planted them, and they have taken root; they grow and bear fruit. You are always on their lips but far from their hearts." (Jer. 12:1-2)

"Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful." (Mark 4:18-19)

NOTE: Read the parable of the Sower. (Mark 4:3-20)

Many Prosperity teachers will tell you that prosperity is a part of salvation.

Lazarus the beggar went to heaven. (Luke 16:22)

"Listen, my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him?" (James 2:5)

"Then he said to them, 'Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions." (Luke 12:15)

"For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers..." (1 Peter 1:18)

"Looking at his disciples, he said: 'Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are you who hunger now, for you will be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh." (Luke 6:20-21)

Prosperity teachers often wear expensive clothes, gold, and jewelry. Here's what the Bible says about this.

"Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight." (1 Peter 3:3-4)

"I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God." (1 Tim. 2:9-10)

"Everything they do is done for men to see: They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long...Woe to you..." (Matt. 23:5, 13)

The Prosperity Doctrine teaches that you will be rewarded now while you are living for your giving. It teaches that you will get a "100 fold" return on your donations. The Bible differs.

"For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father's glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done." (Matt. 16:27)

But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous." (Luke 14:13-14)

"Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven..." (Luke 6:23) (See also: Luke 12:33 Matt. 5:12 Matt. 6:20 Matt. 19:21 )

"Be careful not to do your ‘acts of righteousness' before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven." (Matt. 6:1)

"Jesus said to them, 'I tell you the truth, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life." (Matt. 19:28-29)

"Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done." (Rev. 22:12)

Here's some verses that Prosperity teachers use:

"Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart." (Psalm 37:4)

"You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God." (2 Cor. 9:11)

This verse is self-explanatory. The key words are: "so that you can be generous on every occasion". God gives so we can give. If we give because we think our own pocketbook will grow, that’s being greedy. As we found out (James 4:3), selfish motives will get you nowhere. Also the use of the word "rich" is only referring to needs, not wants. (See verses 8 and 12)

"For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich." (2 Cor. 8:9)

This verse is only referring to a spiritual or heavenly "rich" not an earthly rich. Jesus had a spiritual "rich" in heaven and became earthly poor so that we can become spiritually "rich" in heaven. You can find a good example of this spiritual "rich" in 2 Cor. 6:10. "...sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything." Notice also that the disciples didn't hoard, they gave everything away. (See 2 Cor. 8:3)

"But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." (Matt. 6:33)

The key words here are "these things". Prosperity teachers never tell you what "these things" are. Basic needs only, food, drink, clothing. Not wealth and riches. (See verse 31)

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Is Masturbation a Sin?

Although masturbation per se is not condemned in the Bible, many of the ac­tivities associated with it are. It is not an exaggeration to say that most masturbation is accompanied by ungodly thinking, and the pressure to mastur­bate can be reduced significantly if people were stricter about what they allowed themselves to be exposed to. It may be legal for a young adult to see “R” rated movies with nearly naked actors and actresses and steamy dialogue, but really, does it help them live godly lives or does it produce sexual longing and pressure that makes life more difficult?

Too often, in our society, we want the “freedom” but not the consequences freedom often brings. Men want the freedom “just to look” at the girls in Playboy, but it does not work that way. God designed men to be visually stimulated, and the person who looks will eventually feel more pressure for sexual release. Women want the freedom to read romance novels or watch soap operas, but the graphic portrayals of love placed in their minds can produce a pressure to mas­turbate that would not ordinarily be there. A lot of the desire to mastur­bate would disappear if both men and women took an aggressive stand about what they allowed themselves to be exposed to.

Masturbation can be a very selfish act, and it is possible to be sexually addicted to it. If you are aware that you are addicted to masturbation, you should seek help. Furthermore, masturbating while looking at pornography is wrong. The Bible is very clear that the Christian is to control his or her thoughts:

2 Corinthians 10:5
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

Since arousal is usually accompanied by erotic thoughts, the Christian who controls his or her mind will discover that he or she has much less “need” to masturbate. Also, it can be very harmful for a married person to masturbate. There are people in troubled marriages who regularly masturbate to avoid the dif­ficult task of rekindling love in their marriage. This is a shame, and wrong in the eyes of God. Couples in happy marriages testify that they have “rough times,” some that last for weeks or months, and it is in part the desire to be sexually fulfilled that causes them to reconcile. The sexual pressure that builds when a person has not had sexual intercourse for a while helps keep the marriage fresh and exciting. Sex represents perhaps the most powerful dependency of a man on a woman, and his intense desire for her and his excitement about her are dulled by masturbation. When a couple has not had sex for a while due to her period, sickness, or separation, there is a build up of sexual pressure. It is both passionate and powerful to release that pressure in the intimate grasp of your spouse. That pent-up sexual energy is released with a vigor and passion that speaks of your love for your spouse in ways that words could never express. Masturbation releases sexual pressure, and can thus harm marriages by robbing the spouse of being intensely desired and needed.

It is important for the health of a marriage that a couple not only love each other, but that they also need each other. Husbands and wives should need one another for sexual fulfillment. One reason that masturbation, adultery, and prosti­tutes all tend to destroy marriages is that they strike at the fundamental level of need in a marriage. We live in a society that stresses independence and an “I don’t need anybody” attitude. We have that attitude because we have been hurt in the past by people we needed, and we do not want to be hurt in the future. However, that strategy never works because God made us to need and be needed. Our “inde­pendence” is not working. [5] Divorce rates are at about 50% nationwide, and many couples that are not officially divorced are struggling and unhappy. We are so independent that when problems arise it is easier to let the marriage go than work and strive to keep it going. Two people who need each other do not run to get a divorce every time there is trouble. Yes, “needing” makes us vulnerable to being hurt, but isn’t marriage about vulnerability? Furthermore, the feeling of being needed is one of the most empowering feelings a human can have. When a spouse knows he or she is needed for sexual fulfillment, it strengthens and em­powers the marriage. Independence is lost, but the marriage wins.

In conclusion, masturbation, like any sexual activity, must be treated with great honesty before God. It is difficult to specifically condemn mastur­bation when the Bible does not. Nevertheless, we see that in our sexu­ally free society it has not been treated with the seriousness it deserves, es­pecially in marriage.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

What is Spiritual Warfare?


To understand this invisible war, you must first understand the natural and spiritual worlds. Man exists in two worlds: The natural world and the spiritual world. The natural world is that which can be seen, felt, touched, heard, or tasted. It is tangible and visible.

The country, nation, city or village in which you live is part of the natural world. You are a resident in a natural kingdom located on one of the visible continents of the world. You can see the people who are part of your environment. You can communicate with them. You can experience the sights, sounds, and smells around you.

But there is another world in which you live. That world is a spiritual world. You cannot see it with your physical eyes, but it is just as real as the natural world in which you live. In I Corinthians 15:40, Paul speaks of this division of natural and spiritual. He says there is a natural (terrestrial) body and there is a spiritual (celestial) body.

All men have a natural body which lives in the natural world, but man is also a spiritual being with an eternal soul and spirit. Man is body, soul, and spirit. Your spiritual being (soul and spirit) is part of a spiritual world just as your natural body is part of the natural world.


Because spiritual warfare is just that--spiritual--it must be understood with a spiritual mind. In our natural, sinful state we cannot understand spiritual things:

But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. (I Corinthians 2:14)

It is necessary to use spiritual discernment to understand spiritual things.

Perhaps one of the best examples of natural and spiritual discernment is recorded in II Kings chapter 6. It is the story of a natural battle in which troops of the enemy nation of Syria had surrounded a small town called Dothan where the prophet Elisha was staying.

When Elisha's servant, Gehazi, saw the great host of the enemy he became fearful. Elisha prayed that God would open Gehazi's spiritual eyes so he could see the angelic hosts surrounding and protecting them. On this occasion, God actually opened the natural eyes of Gehazi and allowed him to visibly see the superior forces of God aligned for battle.

The story of this battle at Dothan is similar to present spiritual conditions in the Church. There are some, like Elisha, who see clearly into the realm of the spirit. They know there is a conflict occurring, have identified the enemy, and recognize the greater forces of God that assure victory.

There are others like Gehazi who, with a little encouragement, will be able to open their spiritual eyes and no longer be fearful of and defeated by the enemy. But sadly, there are many people who, like those in the city of Dothan, are spiritually sleeping. They do not even know that the enemy has surrounded them and is poised for attack.


Within the natural and spiritual realms of which we are speaking there exists separate kingdoms which are ruled by natural and spiritual leaders.


All men live in a natural kingdom of this world. They live in a city or village which is part of a nation. That nation is a kingdom of the world. A natural kingdom is a territory or people over which an actual king or political leader is the sovereign ruler. The Bible speaks of these natural kingdoms as "kingdoms of the world." The kingdoms of the world have come under the power and influence of Satan:

Again, the Devil taketh Him (Jesus) up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth Him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;

And saith unto Him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. (Matthew 4:8-9)

John 5:19 sadly reminds us that "the whole world is under the control of the evil one."


In addition to the natural kingdoms of this world there are two spiritual kingdoms: The Kingdom of Satan and the Kingdom Of God. Every person alive is a resident of one of these two kingdoms.

The Kingdom of Satan consists of Satan, spiritual beings called demons, and all men who live in sin and rebellion to God's Word. These, plus the world and the flesh, are the spiritual forces of evil at work in the world today.

The Kingdom of God consists of God the Father, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, spiritual beings called angels, and all men who live in righteous obedience to God's Word. These are the spiritual forces of good.

The Kingdom of God is not a denomination. Denominations are man-made organizations of groups of churches. They have been established for practical purposes of organization and administration. Denominations are major church organizations like Baptist, Assembly of God, Methodist, Lutheran, etc. The Bible speaks of the true Church which is not a denomination or religious organization. The true Church is composed of all those who have become residents of the Kingdom of God.

At the present time in the natural world, the Kingdom of God exists individually within every man, woman, boy or girl who has made Jesus King of their lives. It exists communally in the true church and wherever people make this world the kind of world God wants it to be. In the future, there will be an actual visible manifestation of God's Kingdom.


The invisible spiritual war is a battle which involves all men and women. Because the Kingdom of Satan is a spiritual kingdom . . .

. . . 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. (Ephesians 6:12)

Spiritual warfare is not a natural battle between flesh and blood. It is not a battle of man against man. It is not a visible battle. It is an invisible struggle in the spirit world. It is a battle within and around man. It is not a visible war because spirits are involved and we learn in Luke 24:39 that a spirit does not have flesh and bones.

Spiritual warfare is "multidimensional," which means it is fought in different dimensions. It is:

1. A social battle between the believer and the world: John 15:18-27
2. A personal battle between the flesh and the spirit: Galatians 5:16-26
3. A supernatural battle between the believer and evil supernatural powers: Ephesians 6:10-27
4. A physical battle, with Satan launching attacks of sickness against your body: Job 1-2.

Every person alive is engaged in this battle, whether he realizes it or not. There is no neutral ground. Unbelievers are in bondage to evil and have been taken captive by the enemy forces. They are victims of the war. Believers have been freed from the enemy through Jesus Christ and are victors, but they are still engaged as soldiers in the war.

Ephesians 6:12 indicates that we (all believers) wrestle against evil spiritual forces. Wrestling involves close personal contact. No one is exempt from this battle. No one can view it from a distance. You are in the midst of conflict whether you acknowledge it or not. If you believe it will get better, you are wrong. The Christian warfare never ceases.


This invisible war is being waged on earth:

The thief (Satan) cometh (on earth) not but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. (John 10:10)

Satan fights to maintain control of the kingdoms of the world. He does not want them to come under God's authority. The battle also rages within the hearts, minds, and souls of men and women.

Satan blinds the minds of unbelievers and attacks believers in the areas of worship, the Word, their daily walk, and their work for God. The battle also rages in your physical body which Satan attacks through sickness and disease.


The invisible war started in Heaven with an angel named Lucifer who was originally a beautiful angel created by God and part of the Kingdom of God. Lucifer decided he wanted to take over God's Kingdom. You can read about his rebellion in Isaiah 14:12-17 and Ezekiel 28:12-19.
A group of angels joined Lucifer (now called Satan) in this rebellion. Lucifer and the rebellious angels were cast out of Heaven by God. They formed their own kingdom on earth:

And there was war in Heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon (Satan); and the dragon fought and his angels. (Revelation 12:7)

And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. (Revelation 12:9)

Lucifer became known as Satan and the angels which followed him in rebellion as demons. Demon spirits can enter, torment, control, and use humans who belong to Satan's Kingdom. They motivate evil acts which are done by men and women. Satan directs his demons in their evil activities. He combines these powerful forces with the world and the flesh to war against all mankind.


Man was originally created in the image of God and for the glory of God (Genesis chapter 2). The invisible war against man started with the first temptation in the garden of Eden (Genesis chapter 3). Satan caused Adam and Eve to sin. This resulted in all men inheriting the basic sin nature and committing individual acts of sin due to this nature:

Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned. (Romans 5:12)

It also resulted in the invisible war between man and the forces of evil:

And I will put enmity between thee (Satan) and the woman (mankind), and between thy seed (the forces of evil) and her seed (the forces of good represented by the Lord Jesus Christ). . . (Genesis 3:15)

Because of sin, man was separated from God and condemned to death. This death was the spiritual death of separation from God. It was also physical death, for when man sinned Satan entered the genetic system with the curses of sickness and disease. But God loved man so much that He made a special plan to save him from sin:

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved. (John 3:16-17)

Through belief in Jesus, confession and repentance from sin, men and women can be released from the power of the enemy. The death and resurrection of Jesus not only resulted in salvation from sin, it also defeated the enemy, Satan:

. . . For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. (I John 3:8)

But if Satan is defeated, why does the war still rage? Why do we still see evil in the world around us? Why are we tempted by sin and attacked by sickness?

In the natural world, following any war there are always pockets of enemy resistance. These are rebellious troops that will not give up until forced to do so. Although Jesus defeated Satan, we are living in territory which is still occupied by enemy resistance forces. Understanding spiritual warfare strategies gives us the ability to deal with these evil powers.

Satan is trying to keep men captive in sin. Through deceptive methods he is enticing men and women to sinful living. He aims for the affections of the soul and spirit which rightfully belong to God. He also targets the body to destroy it with sickness and disease:

The thief (Satan) cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy; I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. (John 10:10)

Satan still wants to be the supreme ruler. He is waging an intense battle for the body, soul, and spirit of man. His strategies are directed at God, His plan, and His people.

What is a Man's Greatest Weakness?

When God created woman for man in the Garden of Eden she was everything man (Adam) needed or would ever want in a companion. Some of the language may be a little explicit in this chapter but it is very much biblical and needed for saints to read and understand. Many Christian thinkers and theologians have debated as to why the serpent (Satan) tempted the woman and not the man. The reason is VERY simple! A man's greatest temptation IS a woman.

A woman was made specifically and carefully, by the Lord God almighty! Man was alone and needed a companion, or as the scripture states “ A Helpmete”. In the Hebrew the word helpmete is EZER! Every time you see the word EZER in scripture it means HELP, for example the name EBEN-EZER means “The Lord is my HELP”. The woman is to be a man’s HELP! A man is not complete without a woman. This is why men that lose wives to death OR divorce USUALLY remarry. This is also why men have a capacity to be able to also love more than one woman. In many cultures it is acceptable for a men to have more than one wife. (I am not condoning this just pointing out a fact)

When the devil tempted eve he appealed to her intellect and emotions, men on the other hand are not that complex when it comes to what will get his attention. Men are visual creatures that sexually get aroused by what they see. This is why men don’t need a lot of stimuli to get sexually aroused. Candles and soft music make women happy, but a man can have sex anywhere and anytime as long as the women in question is sexually appealing in some way. The truth of the matter is the woman doesn’t have to be very beautiful. Women have an appeal to men that goes beyond beauty. The fact that she is a woman is often enough. God made women look very different for a reason, to appeal to men. A woman’s breast are large and soft, her legs are softer than a man’s are, her eyes are usually prettier and brighter, her voice softer, even her feet are pretty (some women) and her hair longer. The big DIFFERENCE is the clincher! A woman has a vagina!

This body part is what separates her from a man. Remember the woman is delicate and beautiful, even her vagina resembles a flower. Women have soft lips! I remember the first girl I ever kissed on the lips! I could not sleep that night! All I could remember was how soft her lips were. Now I need to stop because I am not trying to get YOU aroused, but I am trying to make a point! The reason Satan went after the woman was he knew that the man would give in to the woman. Satan always perverts God’s gifts. Women were created to help men have dominion in the earth. (Read Proverbs 31)

Pr 31:11 Her husband has full confidence in her

and lacks nothing of value. NIV

When a man has a woman in his life that loves God and loves him he has a great treasure. In the reverse if Satan manipulates a woman in anyway the man is in trouble. I was a Correction Officer and I met a preacher in jail that had fell in love with a woman that had a drug problem. He tried to rehabilitate her but in stead she caused him to fall back into his previous lifestyle which was filled with drug usage and bondage. How could such a thing happen? Well before I give you my thoughts just think about David.

David loved God probably more than any human that ever lived did, and he fell prey to sexual temptation. We often try and pick apart the scenario that led up to the fall of David. Yes there were many factors. 1. David should have been on the battlefield. 2. David was away from the Ark of the Covenant, which was the very presence of God. 3. David was alone, a lack of accountability since the priest and the prophets were also on the field of battle. 4. The reason we all overlook and we don’t want to deal with…BATHSHEBA WAS BEAUTIFUL! I am sure David had seen other women that looked beautiful, but the devil made sure that David would see one that would cause his libido to go into overload. All men have specifics when it comes to a woman. Some men like skinny women, some men like athletic women and some men (ahem) like voluptuous women. The devil knows your fleshly desires because the weapons of HIS warfare all deal with our FLESH (I Cor. 10:13). If you like a thick, light-skinned girl, with gray eyes and pretty legs then guess what, The devil will send her your way! If dark-skinned girls with wide hips, and large breast are your thing well the devil knows that too.

When I was a teenager I had a serious crush on Chaka Khan! I spent most of my adult live looking for a woman that looked like Chaka Khan, well if the devil was going to try and tempt me to stray sending a Chaka Khan look alike (or the real thing) would be a good place to start wearing me down. Now I have been humorous and light- hearted in this chapter, but I am a deadly serious brother, I want you to know that the devil knows just what you like on the menu.

Samson is another example of how the enemy KNOWS our flesh! Samson was called of God to kill Philistines, and he was very good at it! The anointing would come upon Samson and he would kill Philistines like Orkin kills roaches! Now we know the scripture say “No weapon formed against us shall prosper…” but Satan didn’t use a weapon in the normal sense, he used a woman. In spite of Samson’s failure he yet completed the task at hand (Rom. 8:28). God is omniscient and nothing takes Him by surprise, he created Samson! Of course he knew Samson had a weakness for Philistine women, in spite of that God still stacked the cards in Samson’s favor. I know it seems like a failure to see Samson blind and chained between two pillars, but God’s plans can NEVER be overthrown by the devil! Now I am not excusing Samson’s behavior, but I am trying to make you understand something. All men have the same weakness! Our Kryptonite is a woman. Be careful men when you choose a wife! Make sure she loves God AND that she loves you! I used to tell young men, “It doesn’t matter what she looks like”, I don’t say that anymore! Physical attraction is a part of the package, especially for men! Women look at more internal issues like “Is he kind”, “Is he a good provider”, and “Is he sensitive to my needs”! Men are not that complicated, I kid you not! Men could see a woman working in McDonalds flipping burgers, if she is fine he will pursue her! Women will often forgo looks if the brother has earning potential and a good head on his shoulders.

Some of you will accuse me of stereotyping men as being somewhat simple, but when it comes to sex and women most men are. Chris Rock the comedian once said, “A man is only as faithful as his options”. That of course was meant to be funny, but there is a thread of truth to this statement. If a man avoids temptation he won’t fall! The Bible says in Proverbs, “Can a man take fire unto his bosom and NOT be burned”, I know from personal experience that this is very true! Back in 1983 I was a young Christian about to go to Korea for the second time. I had a girlfriend that attended church BUT who was not a Christian. She wanted to have sex before I left for Korea, We necked and made out but hadn’t gone all the way. I avoided this because I knew it was wrong, but my resistance was way low! I agreed to getting a hotel room the night before I had to fly off to Korea. I had around $800.00 dollars in the bank, but I had to go to an ATM to get some money. I had decided to disobey God and fornicate, (by the way she looked a lot like Chaka Khan). I went to the ATM put the card in and it malfunctioned and kept my card! This was on a Saturday night so I couldn’t physically go to the bank until MONDAY! My flight was Sunday morning! God rescued me from sin! My anger turned to shame because I was willingly going to sin against God. I cried on the airplane because I realized how close I came to falling prey to the devil.

I share this story because this woman was EXACTLY what I desired physically! She had long thick hair, brown skin, full lips, pretty eyes, high cheekbones, and she was built like a woman in a Ruben painting. Yes I am describing a woman that looks like Chaka Khan! (By the way Chaka’s real last name is Stevens too!) Do you understand me now! I really believe the enemy can “give” us the desires of our flesh. I know the Bible say’s “delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desire of your heart…” in the reverse of this scripture, if you delight yourself in the things of this world, Satan will “give” you the desire of your flesh and emotions. We often fall prey to our emotions as well as our fleshly desires. I really liked this girl, but I knew it was wrong to fornicate! The enemy knew I was attracted to her, but he attacked me in the emotional realm (soul) as well. The young lady in question came from a troubled home. I tried to “minister” to her! Singles should NEVER try and minister to members of the opposite sex at all.

Married ministers should NEVER minister to the opposite sex without your spouse being present! She begged me to spend the night with her. I gave in for two reasons: 1. Sexual attraction 2. The need to comfort her. Both reasons would have caused me to fall, but God intervened! Praise Jesus! There is no telling where my life would have turned out if I fell that night! When I got to Korea 2 days later (it’s a long flight), That was where I accepted the call to preach and also where God filled me with the Holy Ghost. Fornicating that night would have probably caused me to get off of the airplane in Seoul ready to have a one-year tour of “sexcapades”. I praise God for the Holy Spirit and the divine providence of God! I really believe God sets up spiritual roadblocks to help us live holy. We are lying If we think we live holy because of our “will” power! When we admit our flesh is weak THEN we can experience the willingness of the Spirit to help us. (Read Psalms 32, 38, and 51)

The devil knows that we (Christians) won’t just go out on a whim and commit certain acts of disobedience. The devil will attempt to get you to start small so to speak.

In the 80’s I was big into weight lifting and bodybuilding. I even won a few power-lifting contests overseas. I was proud of how I sculpted my body through hard training. I was a Karate Instructor on base and I ran 5 miles a day. I used to read muscle magazines to see how the stars trained and ate. I would say about 1983 –84 there was a big change in the magazines. In the early seventies the magazines were just filled with pictures of men training, diets, and articles on various topics related to the sport. As the eighties came more and more there were sexually explicit pictures. Women’s bodybuilding was taking off…and so were their clothes! I remember chastising a brother about buying pornography, and the Holy Spirit immediately hit me with “Aren’t those muscle magazines pornography?” I had to confess to God, myself, and the brother I was scolding that I was guilty too! Pornography is all around us! When I go to the mall in the summer and rest on a bench, I see pornography!

The women wear shorts up to their butt cheeks! I don’t have to go on the Internet to see something that will make me howl like a wolf! I like what Job said, “I made a covenant with my eyes…” Men are visual creatures and we have to guard our eyes as well as our hearts. I don’t care how strong a brother is, if he views pornography he will end up hooked and in need of deliverance quick, fast, and in a hurry!

Internet pornographers target web sites and addresses that appear to be Christian. The enemy knows that porno is a HIGHLY addictive force in his arsenal of evil tricks. I had a bad experience with pornography myself, I am not proud to admit it, but if it will help another man get free from it Praise Jesus! When I was about 13 years old I found a trunk that belonged to my brother in the attic, it was filled with pornographic magazines and photos. I guess my brother realized I found it, because weeks later it vanished from the house. The damage was already done! Those pictures have haunted me for years. I know I have a weakness for the stuff, (all men do) so like the scriptures tell us “flee fornication…” The word fornication comes from the root Greek word PORNEA. God is saying FLEE (run in terror) from PORNOGRAPHY! When I was in the military I was surrounded by it! I had to request a change in roommates on 2 occasions because they were porno addicts. If I stayed their roommates I would have fallen back into the love of it. Even now I have to deal with images from years past. Even past relationships linger in our minds because of the power of the sexual union.

Sex was meant to give pleasure to a husband and wife, but also it is a covenant sealer. When you have sex with someone you are really marrying him or her! The act of sex is the deal sealer! That is why God never meant for you to have multiple partners. If you recall your first sexual experience, good or bad you NEVER forget it! It becomes a strong image in your soul (emotions, will, conscience). The Lord tried to warn Israel about multiple partners, Solomon is the most tragic case. Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines! The scriptures say he “loved them all”. The love for these women pulled him away from his first love, GOD!

What is the Major Theme of The Bible?

Some people think the Bible is a collection of 66 separate books on different subjects. They do not realize that the Bible is united by a major theme. From beginning to end, the Bible reveals God's special purpose which is summarized in the book of Ephesians:

Having made known unto us the mystery of His will, according His good pleasure which He hath purposed in Himself;

That in the dispensation of the fullness of times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in Him;

In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will. (Ephesians 1:9-11)

The Bible reveals the mystery of God’s plan which is the unifying theme of the Bible. It is the revelation of Jesus Christ as the Savior of sinful mankind. Jesus explained how the Old Testament centered on Him:

And He said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms concerning me.

(Luke 24:44)

With this introduction, Jesus continued and . . .

. . . opened He their understanding that they might understand the scriptures.

(Luke 24:45)

What was the key Jesus gave them to understanding the Scriptures? The fact that its major theme focused on Him:

. . . Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day;

And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And Ye are witnesses of these things. (Luke 24:46-4)

The Old and New Testaments both tell the story of Jesus. The Old Testament prepares us for its happening and the New Testament tells how it happened. This unites the Bible in one major theme. The people who looked forward to Jesus under the Old Testament were saved from their sins through faith in God's promise. Everyone who looks back to it as having been fulfilled in Jesus Christ is saved in the same way: Through faith that it happened just as God promised.


When we speak of the "diversity" of the Bible we mean that the Bible has variety. It records different ways in which God dealt with people and the different ways in which they responded to Him.

The Bible is written in different moods. Some portions express joy while others reflect sorrow. The Bible includes different types of writing. It contains history, poetry, prophecy, letters, adventure, parables, miracles, and love stories. Because of its variety, the Bible has been further divided into major groups of books.


The books of the Old Testament are divided into four major groups: Law, history, poetry and prophecy.


There are five books of law. The names of these books are:






These books record the creation of man and the world by God and the early history of man. They tell how God raised up the nation of Israel as a people through which He could reveal Himself to the nations of the world.

These books record the laws of God. The best known parts are the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:3-17), the greatest of all commandments (Deuteronomy 6:5), and the second greatest commandment (Leviticus 19:18).

Open your Bible and locate the books of Law in the Old Testament. Locate the three verses mentioned in the preceding paragraph and read them. These are an example of the laws of God recorded in these books.


There are 12 books of history in the Old Testament. The names of the books of history are:




I and II Samuel

I and II Kings

I and II Chronicles




Locate these books in your Bible. They are found right after the books of law. The books of history cover a thousand year history of God's people, Israel. Naturally they do not tell everything that happened, but they record the major events and show the results of both following and ignoring God's law.


There are five books of poetry. The names of the books of poetry are:





Song of Solomon

These books are the worship books of God's people, Israel. They still are used in worship by believers today. Turn to Psalm 23 and read it. This is an example of the beautiful worship poetry contained in these books.


The books of prophecy are the Old Testament are divided into two groups which are called Major and Minor prophetical books. This does not mean the Major Prophets are more important than the Minor Prophets. The title is simply used because the Major Prophets are longer books than the Minor Prophets. There are 17 books of prophecy in the Old Testament. The names of the books of prophecy are:

Major Prophets:






Minor Prophets:







These books are prophetic messages from God to His people about future events. Many of the prophecies have already been fulfilled, but some remain to be fulfilled in the future. Find these prophetic books in your Bible. They are the last books in the Old Testament.


The New Testament has also been divided into four groups: Gospels, History, Letters, and Prophecy.


There are four books in the Gospels. The names of these books are:

Matthew Mark Luke John

These books tell about the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Their purpose is to lead you to believe that He is the Christ, the Son of God. Find the Gospels in your Bible and then read John 20:31 which states this purpose.


There is one book of history in the New Testament, the book of Acts. This book tells how the church began and fulfilled Christ's commission to spread the Gospel throughout the world. Locate this book in your Bible.


There are 21 letters in the New Testament. The names of these letters are:


I and II CorinthiansPhilemon



PhilippiansI and II Peter

ColossiansI, II, and III John

I and II ThessaloniansJude

I and II Timothy

The letters are addressed to all believers. Their purpose is to guide them in living and help them do what Jesus commanded. Romans 12 is a good example of their teaching. Turn to this chapter in your Bible and read it. The letters are also sometimes called "epistles" which means letters.


Revelation is the only book of prophecy in the New Testament. It tells of the final victory of Jesus and His people. Its purpose is to encourage you to keep living as a Christian should live until the end of time. Its message is summarized in Revelation 2:10.

Do Men Grieve Differently Than Women?

One of the first things I came aware of as a Hospital Chaplain was that men and women grieve differently. Often we assume that every human being should respond the same way to grief. In the Christian community dealing with grief is especially difficult because of preconceived notions and dogma. We often teach people that grief is temporary and individuals should “get over it”. I have witnessed grief up close and personal since 1987 when I started volunteering as a hospital chaplain. Since 2005 I have been a professional chaplain at one of America’s busiest Trauma Centers and at a large state Psychiatric Hospital. I have sat with women that lost twins, Grandparents that lost grandchildren in fires, and victims of drive-by shootings families. Each situation was totally different. In most cases I can honestly say that men deal with grief very differently than woman. Women tend to be more demonstrative and vocal while men usually sit quietly and internalize their pain. The other factor that makes grief differ is culture. I don’t want to sound stereotypical or racist in my assessments, but people are different. I in no way declare one group or culture is superior to another, but some cultures are more demonstrative than others in the realm of grief, while some are more introspective. I am writing this to help a new chaplain or Pastoral Care volunteer better assess the situation he or she may be called to respond to.
I originally titled this book “Observing Grief” because in many cases the best things one can do is simply observe and be present when someone is grieving. People in grief do NOT need a sermon or a lecture. I changed the title because I feel just like David did Psalm 13 when I was going through severe depression. David asked God a question, “How long will you hide your face from me?”
Just concentrate on listening to the words that are being shared with you. Resist the urge to preach and educate the grieving person. Women will generally vent verbally more than men, allow her to vent! Even if she is screaming and wailing…LET HER! Yes it may make YOU uncomfortable, but YOU are there to COMFORT HER! I have sat with grieving people and said very little, sometimes I simply hold their hand or give them a hug and simple prayer. Our presence means so much because times of grief are lonely times. When a person has lost a love one it is like losing a part of themselves. A woman loses her husband to cancer, but if he was the sole breadwinner she is also looking at possibly losing more. A man on disability loses his wife; he not only lost a wife but a caretaker. No two cases are the same and no two people handle grief the same way. Some people will seem to bounce back from a death swiftly while some carry their grief to their grave. The truth be told grief is never easy as we think it is. Even Jesus grieved over the death of His cousin John the Baptist.
Friends, relatives, and neighbors are usually supportive at the time of a death and during the wake and funeral that follows. Food, flowers, and physical presence are among the thoughtful expressions. But after the funeral, many grieving people wonder where their friends are. In some ways they need support and caring from their friends even more when the reality hits and the long process of grief begins. Ways of helping grieving people are as limitless as your imagination. Some suggestions are:
• Try to understand the grief process rather than be annoyed by it.
• "I'm sorry" or "I care" is all that is necessary to say; a squeeze of the hand, a hug, a kiss can say the words.
• Don't say: "You will get over it in time." They will never stop missing the person who died. Time may soften the hurt, but it will not just go away. There will always be a scar.
• Listen, listen, listen. Talking about the pain slowly lessens its sting. Most bereaved persons need to talk. It is helpful for someone to listen. Try to become an effective listener.
• Don't tell people: "It's God's will." Explanations do not console.
• Encourage expressions of specific feelings: anger, guilt, frustration, confusion, depression, hate.
• Be patient. Mourning takes time. People need you. Stand by them for as long as possible. There is no timetable for grief. Do not give a pep talk or suggest a timetable.
• Talk about the good memories. They help the healing process.
• Suggest that grieving people take part in support groups. Sharing similar experiences helps healing.
• Be there caring, saying "I'm sorry" and helping in practical ways.
• Sincerely ask, "How are you doing?" Bereaved persons can tell if you want to hear "fine" or if you really want to know.
• Help bereaved to eliminate expectations as to how they should feel and when they will be healed.
• Be approachable, aware, and interested.
• Be accepting of the person, of his/her feelings, his/her confusion.
• Acts of thoughtfulness-a note, visit, plant, helpful book, plate of cookies, phone call, invitation to lunch or to go shopping, coffee.
• Be confidential with what is shared with you.
Grief is your emotional reaction to a significant loss. The words sorrow and heartache are often used to describe feelings of grief. Whether you lose a beloved person, animal, place, or object, or a valued way of life (such as your job, marriage, or good health), some level of grief will naturally follow.
Anticipatory grief is grief that strikes in advance of an impending loss.¹ you may feel anticipatory grief for a loved one who is sick and dying. Similarly, both children and adults often feel the pain of losses brought on by an upcoming move or divorce. This anticipatory grief helps us prepare for such losses. Grief is universal; it affects all races, cultures, and religions. We are also not exempt from grief because we love God, read our bibles, pay tithes, or go to a Spirit-Filled Church.
1. GRIEF is the normal and natural reaction to loss of any kind. Many assume grief come only after a death, but grief occurs anytime there is loss; Loss of life, relationships, income, career, or hope in general.
2. GRIEF is the pain and desperate longing you feel when you lose someone who has given meaning and purpose to your life. The loss of a parent, spouse, child, or close friend.
3. GRIEF is that silent, night life terror and sadness that comes a hundred times a day when you start to speak to someone who is no longer there.
4. GRIEF is the helpless wishing that things were different, when you know they are not and never will be the same again.
5. GRIEF is a whole cluster of adjustments, apprehensions, and uncertainties that strike life making it difficult to reorganize and redirect your energies.
6. GRIEF is like a long valley, a winding valley where any bend may reveal a totally new landscape.
7. GRIEF is the angry reaction of a man - so filled with shock, uncertainty, and confusion that he strikes out at the nearest person.
8. GRIEF is the aching your body feels when you long to hold your baby who died after such a brief life - and you just can’t anymore.
9. GRIEF is a normal and healthy sense of loss. The emotions involved are real, and they need to be recognized and expressed.
10. GRIEF is unique and unpredictable and each person will experience it in his or her own way.
11. GRIEF is a part of every life. Grief is no respecter of age or person.
12. GRIEF is an attempt to bring life back into focus after the lenses have gotten turned out of focus.
13. GRIEF is the entire range of naturally occurring human emotions that accompany loss.
14. GRIEF is pain. Grief begins with the first raw awareness of the change but then becomes a terrific struggle: a violent disputing of the facts, a striving for life again, a revising of terms by which we know ourselves, a surrender to despair, finally a conscious acceptance of the change. This is painful and difficult but when accomplished, it brings rebirth and growth.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Was The Twin Towers Destruction Prophesied?

Isaiah was the first of the "Latter Prophets," (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and the "Twelve Minor Prophets), and he had a public ministry of approximately 60 years.

Isaiah is considered the greatest of all Hebrew writers, and considered a man of refinement and culture, "a truly poetic soul," and a profound observer of creation and of human nature, a true statesman, and called by some, "the Evangelist of the Old Testament."

The Book of Isaiah is considered to be a bible within the bible. It consists of sixty-six chapters (66 books of the Bible). The first 39 chapters are likened to the 39 books of the Hebrew Scriptures with its judgments upon sinful humanity. And the last 27 chapters are likened to the 27 books of the Greek Scriptures which bring salvation through the Messiah. Isaiah’s prophecies cover thousands of years. Isaiah 30 covers thousands of years:

Isaiah 30:1-3, 6-7—"Woe to the rebellious children [Israel], says the Lord, that take counsel, but not of ME: and cover with a covering [Heb: ‘make an alliance’ or ‘ratify a covenant’], but not of MY spirit [Heb: ‘against My will’], that they may add sin to sin.

That walk to go down into Egypt, and have not asked of MY mouth [Heb: ‘asked My advice’], to strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh, and to trust in the shadow of EGYPT!

Therefore shall the strength of Pharaoh be your shame, and the trust in the shadow of Egypt your confusion [Heb: ‘humiliation’]."

…they will carry their riches upon the shoulders of young donkeys, and their treasures upon the humps of camels, to a people that shall not profit them."

For the Egyptians shall help in vain, and to no purpose: therefore have I cried concerning this, Their strength is to sit still [Heb: ‘therefore I have called her, Rahab {an epithet of Egypt} who sits still,’ or ‘Insolent they sit still,’ or ‘Dragon do nothing’]."

The beginning of Israel’s captivity (northern 10 tribes) was taking place near the beginning of Isaiah’s ministry. Israel had depended upon alliances with other nations to protect them from Assyria, but Assyria defeated Israel’s allies as well.

Now Judah is making overtures to Egypt for protection from Assyria’s advances. But before Judah is attacked, Assyria is defeated by Babylon and now Judah has a new foe to fear. Judah's attempt to buy an ally fails for them as it did for Israel:

I realize the following may sound a little complicated (hence my bracket comments), but it is necessary to see from experts on Biblical History, that Israel’s and Judah’s alliances on foreign powers had zero effect on saving both of their nations.

“When Israel [the northern ten tribes] confidently made its pact with Damascus [the capital city of Aram (Syria) north of Palestine and Israel], it found itself allied with Judah's enemy when Damascus attacked Judah in its own attempts for conquest. Three years after the pact Damascus itself was overrun by Assyria [northeast of Syria, in 739 BC], nullifying any value to Israel that the pact had promised.

Likewise, Judah made its alliance with Egypt [while Assyria was still in power]. When Babylon [who had now conquered Assyria] swept over Judah Egypt failed to honor its part of the alliance and had long before retreated from Nebuchadnezzar's advance, leaving Judah defenseless." (American Journal of Biblical Theology).

And so we have the historical fulfillment of this Isaiah 30. Or do we? It has been remarked many times that "prophecy is dual." Actually, I believe that many prophecies are multi-layered. That is, they are numerous fulfillment's usually beginning with the physical and literal, moving toward the figurative and spiritual. Example: In the very first book of the Bible, Genesis, we have mention of physical Sodom and Egypt (Genesis 13:10), but in the very last book of the Bible we have mentioned "spiritual" Sodom and Egypt (Rev. 11:8).

So, who is Egypt and Sodom TODAY? And who is Israel TODAY?

Is the Israel of all these major prophecies (foretold to happen before the coming of God’s government to this earth), the handful of racially mixed tenants of the State of Israel today? Give me a break.

Is the Jerusalem in prophecy inside today's Israel? Don’t take my word for it

"And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified" (Rev. 11:8).

And where was our Lord crucified? In literal Sodom? NO. In literal Egypt? NO. He was crucified in Jerusalem, which is now for prophetic purposes, "SODOM & EGYPT!"

And when does God’s word tell us "Jerusalem" (which symbolizes all Judah and all Israel) will be restored?

"When your sisters, Sodom and her daughters shall return to their former estate, then YOU [Jerusalem, Verse 2] and your daughters shall return to your former estate" (Ezek. 16:55).

This can only happen after "…the day of the great slaughter when the towers fall" as Sodom is still in the grave. They have not been restored since their original slaughter and destruction.

Should Christians Seek Higher Education

Harvard, Princeton, and other renowned colleges in America were originally founded by Christians who wanted to educate people in biblical principles. Princeton was founded as a seminary, for example. But history teaches us that educational institutions tend to drift away from what they were originally designed.
Many colleges in America have abandoned classical biblical education for pragmatism, utilitarianism, and a curriculum designed to indoctrinate its people with secular humanism. We have a vast educational void in America that is slowly growing. Home Schooling alternatives and private schools are increasing. The need is obvious. More and more, Christians do not want their children indoctrinated by unbelievers who actively teach beliefs contrary to biblical truth.

The Schools are the Battle Ground

What cannot be forced into the minds of adults, must be propagandized to the young. Therefore, today's schools are battlegrounds for culture and political correctness and the youth are those suffering. Reading, writing, and arithmetic have given way to humanism, anti-Christian indoctrination, and "values clarification." The Conservative Students for America conducted a survey of 13 colleges in the Southeast and found that of those surveyed, "56 percent said that right and wrong is a matter of personal opinion." That is truly a frightening statistic. Is this the kind of moral relativists our schools are producing? Would you want a lawyer to defend you if he thought morality was relative? What about politicians and those in power over us? Those who make our laws don't seem to give a second thought at exempting themselves from many of the laws and taxes they pass upon us. It is a scary thought. And things are getting worse.
Sure, the three "R's" are still taught in schools, but poorly. The educated in America are increasingly less knowledgeable and trustworthy. Since the 1960's, Americans have become less capable and are falling behind the rest of the world in educational ratings. What is being promoted as the solution? Money! In 1996 the total Federal funding of public education was over 17 billion dollars. State funding totaled over 113 billion dollars. It hasn't helped. In fact, the educational system seems to be getting worse.
In a national survey conducted by the International Communications Research group, in Pennsylvania, 58% of the parents polled strongly supported school choice as an option for parents. When asked if they thought that children were receiving the education they needed, 16% said yes and 79% said no. Clearly, people want a change.

What is the Christian's Responsibility Regarding Education?

As Christians our responsibilities are to make sure that we and our children are educated in the most godly manner possible. We should not let unbelievers teach our children ungodly philosophies. God has entrusted us with children and He will want an accounting of what we did with them.
As people of God who are under His Lordship, we have been given the command to multiply and to subdue the earth (Gen. 1:28). To do this, we need to learn about God's creation and seek to discover what God has hidden in His creation. By doing this, we learn more about God's majesty and grow in our ability to praise Him and glorify Him.
Electricity, radio waves, light, sound, physics, biology, medicine, etc., are all treasures God created and hid in creation. He gave us the ability to discover them, to become educated about them. All areas of knowledge, science, math, art, philosophy, medicine, etc, are merely categories of discovery made by people. Therefore, all education for the Christian is to be God-centered because it is disclosure of God's creative glory. The queen of the educational sciences should be biblical theology.
I recommend that Christian parents seriously look into home schooling as a preferable option over letting unbelievers teach in a manner contrary to biblical revelation. Nevertheless, some will say that it is difficult. I know. My wife home schools our children and we are financially strapped because of it. It is work and it is sacrifice. But, our children are given to us by God to care for, raise for Him, and nourish in the ways of the Lord. We parents will answer to the Lord for how we raised our children. Connect with a local Christian home schooling organization. The support there is great as well as encouraging. There are many viable options to public school. Do some research.
Another excellent alternative to public school is the Christian Day school. These are Christian schools that are dedicated to teaching biblical perspectives. The faculties are Christian, God-fearing people who know the great value of raising children for God. There are many great ones all over this nation.

What does the Bible Say?

Please consider the following verses (NASB):

2 Tim. 3:16-17, "All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work."
Rom. 1:20, "For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made. . ."
Psalm 78:1, "Listen, O my people, to my instruction; Incline your ears to the words of my mouth."
Eph. 6:4, "Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger; but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord."
2 Chr. 17:9, "And they taught in Judah, having the book of the law of the Lord with them; and they went throughout all the cities of Judah and taught among the people."
John 1:17, "For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ."

Christians should pray for the educational system in America and get involved in improving it. They should be very active in governing the education that their children are receiving, especially in the home.

Education of the young, and ourselves, is a responsibility given to us by God.

Who Can Cst Out a Demon?

It's true that every believer has authority to cast out evil spirits, but it's also necessary to understand the importance of using the name of Jesus when driving out unclean spirits. I heard of one evangelist who was preaching in an area where their predominate god was Mohammad, and he did a demonstration up on stage... he took a woman who clearly had an evil spirit and a man who clearly had a need for physical healing. He said to them that he's going to first try to use the name of Mohammad to cast out the spirit and heal the man, then he'll use the name of Jesus and see which one works. He tried it with the name of Mohammad, and as you can guess, nothing happened. But when he used the name of Jesus, the evil spirit departed and the man was healed!

Mark 16:17, "And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues."

Notice how Jesus makes it clear that we are to cast out the spirits using His name. Now if we look into the early church, we see Paul using Jesus' name to drive an evil spirit out of a woman:

Acts 16:18, "And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour."

Not only did the early church drive out evil spirits with Jesus' name, but many were also healed using the name of Jesus:

Acts 4:30, "By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus."

The disciples even found somebody who was not a disciple, that was using Jesus' name to cast out evil spirits:

Mark 9:38-39, "And John answered him, saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth not us: and we forbade him, because he followeth not us. But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me."

Can a House be Haunted?

The Bible tells us that just as individuals can become spiritually defiled, homes and property can also be defiled:

Leviticus 18:24,25, "Defile not ye yourselves in any of these things: for in all these the nations are defiled which I cast out before you: And the land is defiled: therefore I do visit the iniquity thereof upon it, and the land itself vomiteth out her inhabitants."

There are some people with the gift of spiritual discernment who when traveling to certain countries today, can not get off the plane and take a breath of air without picking up on the demonic bondage in that country. In the book of Revelations, the Bible speaks of how a country or land can become inhabited with unclean spirits:

Revelations 18:2, "And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird."

Likewise, land, homes and even buildings can become habitations of demonic spirits. In this area of the state, there is an old mental hospital that is loaded with unclean spirits. From what I hear, even a group of those involved with the demonic won't go near this place on devils' night, because it is so haunted. If you look online for pictures of this place, I'm pretty sure you'll find real photos of ghosts appearing in the building. This is not a joke... my great grandparents were spiritualists, and took many photos like this that would show heads of people that have been dead for years!

One person who lived in an old funeral home said that place was possessed, which was evident by strange happenings, opening and slamming doors, and so forth. My father was friends with a deliverance minister who would have a lot of fun driving out spirits from homes, and he would have demons screaming at him as he drove them out!

What are some of the symptoms of a haunted house?
There are many signs we can look for in a possessed home or building. Some of the things a person can look for are doors slamming when nobody is there, strange noises, reputation for calamities (people being pushed down stairs, finances always being drained, etc.), the air seems heavy (making it harder to breathe), animals acting fearful or weird (dogs barking like mad for no reason), and so forth. Often somebody with spiritual discernment will often pick up on a spiritual presence that doesn't feel right. It's not uncommon to visit a home and pick up on demonic presence before even finding out that there was demonic activity that's taken place there. I've picked up on something demonic before even entering a home before... just standing on the property is enough to sense out an unclean presence.

How do homes and land become haunted?
Sins of the inhabitants: One of the ways which a place can become defiled is through the deeds of its inhabitants. If things such as seances, voodoo, adultery, homosexuality, or incest have been practiced in a home, then demonic spirits may inhabit there. The Word of God tells us that the deeds of its inhabitants can defile even the land on which it is practiced:

Leviticus 18:24-25,27, "Defile not ye yourselves in any of these things: for in all these the nations are defiled which I cast out before you: And the land is defiled: therefore I do visit the iniquity thereof upon it, and the land itself vomiteth out her inhabitants... (For all these abominations have the men of the land done, which [were] before you, and the land is defiled;)"

Jeremiah 3:9, "And it came to pass through the lightness of her whoredom, that she defiled the land, and committed adultery with stones and with stocks."

Ezekiel 36:17, "Son of man, when the house of Israel dwelt in their own land, they defiled it by their own way and by their doings: their way was before me as the uncleanness of a removed woman."

Jeremiah 2:7, "And I brought you into a plentiful country, to eat the fruit thereof and the goodness thereof; but when ye entered, ye defiled my land, and made mine heritage an abomination."

Possession of cursed things: Another means by which a home can be defiled is through the possession of cursed items, such as idols, occult books, rings, satanic symbols, and so forth. The Word of God gives us a good indication that possessing idols can pollute the land and bring a curse upon it:

Ezekiel 36:18, "Wherefore I poured my fury upon them for the blood that they had shed upon the land, and for their idols wherewith they had polluted it."

Jeremiah 50:38, "A drought is upon her waters; and they shall be dried up: for it is the land of graven images, and they are mad upon their idols."

Demons can actually draw power (and legal right) from nearby cursed objects, such as idols, occult items, satanic rings, and even demonic photos. It is vital to rid a home or land from such items before dedicating it to the Lord and driving out the unclean spirits. The Bible lets us know clearly that physical items can indeed carry spiritual value:

Deuteronomy 7:26, "Neither shalt thou bring an abomination into thine house, lest thou be a cursed thing like it: but thou shalt utterly detest it, and thou shalt utterly abhor it; for it is a cursed thing."

How do you cleanse a home or land?
The first step to cleansing a home, building, church or property, is to get rid of any cursed items that it is possessing. If there are occult books, Ouija boards, crystal balls, new age drawings, dream catchers or other items used to glorify Satan hanging around, then they need to go. Just like we need to break up legal grounds in a person before casting out their demons, it is also vital to break up legal grounds in our homes, buildings, churches and land before driving out the demons. It is very helpful to pray and ask the Lord to reveal any unclean items that must be taken out. The Holy Spirit is great at revealing things that we would never think of! Here are a few examples of items that usually carry accursed value: occult books, pornography, satanic symbols, demonic/occult rings, skulls, frogs, owls, new age drawings, items used for divination, Ouija boards, etc.

The next step is to go through each room, and pray over it, dedicating it to the Lord. I would even pray over a glass of water, and ask the Lord that the water represent the Blood of Christ Jesus, then take the water around the house and sprinkle the water in each room and closet, etc.

Finally, it is time to begin taking authority over the spirits in that home, and command them to leave in Jesus' name. Go through each room, closet, nook and cranny, and command the unclean spirits residing there to come out in Jesus' name and to leave the property.

Just remember that you, as a believer in Christ, have the authority needed to drive those spirits out... don't let them walk all over you!

Is Casting Out Devils for Today?

It is not God's will for His people to be troubled by demons

A lot of Christians get demonic vexation (oppression, harassment, torment and troubling by evil spirits) and spiritual warfare confused. Many of God's children live their lives being troubled by evil spirits simply because they think it's normal and consider it spiritual warfare. I have news for you, I see people break free from what most people live their lives battling with, because they recognized the vital difference and sought the help they needed to break free!

Contrary to what many believe, oppression is not normal and to be expected in a believer's life. It is certainly possible for a believer to be troubled by demons, but as Acts 10:38 tells us, Jesus made it clear that God's will was not for His people to be oppressed, harassed or troubled by evil spirits:

"How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him."

The term healing here actually includes casting out demons according to the NT Greek. It means to be made whole. Luke 8:2 shows us that Mary Magdalene was one of those that were healed from demon spirits:

"And certain women, which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary called Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils."

Mary Magdalene was made whole because Jesus cast seven demonic spirits out of her.

Spiritual warfare is often blamed for many cases of oppression. Spiritual warfare includes three basic elements that we need to be on guard for and war against. The problem is, those three areas are very limited and does not begin to explain the harassment that many believers face with evil spirits. The three basic elements of spiritual warfare include:

- Temptation: This is where the enemy is known for tempting God's people, and trying to cause them to sin. The more we grow in our relationship with the Lord, the less this remains a problem in our lives.

- Accusations: This is where the devil will try to beat a person down through accusations that he throws at them. He tries to constantly beat them down because of their past. The way to overcome this is to learn that your sins, once repented of, we forgiven and no longer to be dwelt upon. They have been washed away by the blood of the Lamb, and continuing to think about our pasts is giving the devil the ability to beat you down spiritually, causing you to feel guilty and worthless before God. If you allow this to continue, eventually a stronghold will form in your mind that will need to be torn down later on if you want to experience freedom and feel clean again.

- Deception: This is where the enemy tries to deceive a person by planting thoughts in their minds. The enemy is known as the deceiver. If he can get you to believe his lies, you will feel the effects and be dragged down by those lies. I often see the enemy trying to deceive people into believing there is no hope for them, or that God is angry with them (even after they turned from their sin and repented of it). It is not uncommon for a person to have a hard time accepting the fact that they are forgiven, because the enemy has been constantly telling them that they messed up too much to be forgiven or that God doesn't love them anymore. If a person allows themselves to feed on the lies the devil feeds them, strongholds can form. Strongholds are incorrect thinking patterns, such as seeing God as a distant cold taskmaster, which makes it hard for a person to draw near to Him and have a close living relationship with Him as long as they see Him that way.

Physical warfare is when you are guarding yourself against the bullets of the enemy, and sending bullets against your opponent. Spiritual warfare resembles physical warfare in that you are guarding yourself against the fiery darts of the evil one, and tearing down his strongholds that have formed in your mind. In physical warfare there are prisoners of war (POW), where a person it captured and the enemy gains the ability to torment, harass or even kill the person. In the spiritual realm, if a person falls into temptations and takes the bait of Satan, he or she can fall into the enemy's hands in one or more areas of their lives. The enemy then has the ability to harass or torment the person. In Ephesians 4:26-27, Paul tells us not to give place to the devil through sin, and in 2 Corinthians 2:10-11, we are told not to hold unforgiveness in our hearts, lest Satan gain an advantage of us:

"Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices."

We can expect to be thrown temptations, deceptions and accusations, but if they find themselves being troubled, harassed or oppressed by the enemy, then it's time to step back and figure out what is going out and seek the help they need to break free.

It is true that spiritual warfare can bring a certain amount of torment if the person falls into the devil's trap and takes his bait, however, spiritual warfare by no means explains the things I often see God's people being tormented with by demonic spirits. There is no excuse for a believer to have to live with demonic oppression or harassment from evil spirits.

Can a Christian Be Demon Possessed?

"But light cannot dwell with darkness!"

This is perhaps the most common argument raised against the idea of a believer having a demon. This assumption is mostly based upon 2 Corinthians 6:14, which is actually lecturing the saints about believers marrying unbelievers:

"Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?"

It is important to point out that it is not telling us that a believer cannot marry a non-believer. It is merely pointing out that there would be no communion (partnership) between the two. How can they share the same spiritual goals if one is spiritually dead and the other alive? It's impossible. But does that mean a non-believer cannot marry a believer? Of course not!

Obviously the Holy Spirit (light) will not partner with the demonic spirits (darkness) in a person either, but that doesn't mean the two cannot coexist. Just as a believer (who is of the light) is quite capable of marrying a non-believer (who is in darkness).

Man is composed of a body, a soul (mind) and a spirit.

1 Thessalonians 5:23, "And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ."

Our spirits are reborn instantly the moment we call upon Jesus to be our Lord and Savior. 2 Corinthians 5:17 makes it clear that all who are in Christ are new creations.

"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."

When we accept Jesus, our spirits are united with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit dwells within our spirits. But there's another part of us that has not been instantly and wholly changed the moment we became children of God.

Your soul, which is your mind, was not instantly changed the moment you accepted Jesus. This is where the old fleshly nature can still be lingering in a believer's life. This is the part of us that Romans 12:2 is referring to as we are told to be renewed in our minds:

"And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."

This is why new converts often carry over so much darkness in their lives even after accepting Christ. When is the last time you met a believer who can confidently claim that they've never sinned since the moment he has accepted Christ? Unless you happen to catch them on their way back to their seats from an alter call, I doubt you'll find many.

We are given a new nature when we are born again, our old sinful nature is circumcised (cut) from us, and we are given a new nature in Christ Jesus. But in Colossians 3:10, we are also told to put on this man by growing in the knowledge of Him that created us:

"And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him."

The more we spend time and fellowship with the Lord and in His Word, the more we put on the new nature in Christ Jesus, and our minds are transformed. As Ephesians 5:26 tells us, we are cleansed by the washing of the Word:

Ephesians 5:26-27, "That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish."

Apparently, if light could not dwell with darkness, then it would be impossible for Paul to have the Holy Spirit or to even be a believer for that matter, at least according to Romans 7:17-18:

"Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not."

So if light cannot dwell with darkness, how would it be possible for Paul to have the Holy Spirit dwelling within Him, and still have darkness dwelling within him as well? Apparently, the two can coexist.

In Jeremiah 23:24, God tells us that the Holy Spirit covers the whole earth:

"Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the LORD. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the LORD."

If the Holy Spirit covers the earth, and darkness could not dwell in the light, then that would mean demons would be incapable of roaming this earth.

In Job 1:12, we are told that Satan himself, the king of darkness, has been known to approach even the presence of the Almighty God:

"...So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD."

Demons are known to operate in both the soul and the body.

There is no Biblical evidence that I am aware of where demons are known to specifically operate within a man's spirit. Every time we see a demonic spirit at work in the life of a person, it is either through the soul (mind) or the physical body. In Matthew 17:15,18, we find an example where a young boy was mentally ill because of a demonic spirit:

"Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatic, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water. And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour."

The term lunatic here in the NT Greek translates to the word seleniazomai, which means moonstruck or crazy. To be moonstruck literally means mentally unbalanced, or mentally ill. Clearly the boy was affected mentally by this evil spirit.

People are also known to be physically affected by demonic spirits. In Luke 13:11, we are shown of a perfectly sane woman who was physically bound by a spirit of infirmity:

"And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself."

It is not uncommon for people to be tormented and harassed with fear and other mental torment, such as the case 1 Samuel 16:14, where King Saul received an evil spirit:

"But the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD troubled him."

When we trace the word troubled here back to the OT Hebrew, it gives us the word baath, which means to terrify, trouble or overwhelm a person. It is not uncommon for people to be mentally harassed by evil spirits in this manner.

Why I Believe in The Trinity?

One God: explicit statements
OT: Deut. 4:35, 39: 32:39; 2 Sam. 22:32; Isa. 37:20; 43:10; 44:6-8; 45:5, 14, 21-22; 46:9
NT: John 5:44; Rom. 3:30; 16:27; 1 Cor. 8:4-6; Gal. 3:20; Eph. 4:6; 1 Tim. 1:17; 2:5; James 2:19; Jude 25
None like God (in His essence)
Explicit statements: Ex. 8:10; 9:14; 15:11; 2 Sam. 7:22; 1 Chr. 17:20; Psa 86:8; 1 Kgs. 8:23; Isa. 40:18, 25; 44:7; 46:5, 9; Jer. 10:6-7; Micah 7:18
Being like God a Satanic lie: Gen. 3:5; Isa. 14:14; John 8:44
Fallen man became "like God" only in that he took upon himself to know good and evil, not that he acquired godhood: Gen. 3:22
Only one true God: 2 Chr. 15:3; Jer. 10:10; John 17:3; 1 Thess. 1:9; 1 John 5:20-21
All other "gods" are therefore false gods (idols), not gods at all: Deut. 32:21; 1 Sam. 12:21; Psa. 96:5; Isa. 37:19; 41:23-24, 29; Jer. 2:11; 5:7; 16:20; 1 Cor. 8:4; 10:19-20
Demons, not gods, are the powers behind false worship: Deut. 32:17; Psa. 106:37; 1 Cor. 10:20; Gal. 4:8
How men are meant to be "like God"
The image of God indicates that man is to represent God and share His moral character, not that man can be metaphysically like God: Gen. 1:26-27; 5:1; 1 Cor. 11:7; Eph. 4:24; Col. 3:10
The goal of being like Christ has the following aspects only:
Sharing His moral character: 1 John 3:2; Rom. 8:29
Being raised with glorified, immortal bodies like His: Phil. 3:21; 1 Cor. 15:49
Becoming partakers of the divine nature refers again to moral nature ("having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust"), not metaphysical nature: 2 Pet. 1:4; see also Heb. 12:10; on the meaning of "partakers," see 1 Cor. 10:18, 20; 2 Cor. 1:17; 1 Pet. 5:1
Are mighty or exalted men gods?
No Scripture says explicitly that men are gods
Powerful, mighty men are explicitly said not to be gods: Ezek. 28:2, 9: Isa. 31:3; 2 Thess. 2:4
Men and God are opposite, exclusive categories: Num. 23:19; Isa. 31:3; Ezek. 28:2, 9; Hosea 11:9; Matt. 19:26; John 10:33; Acts 12:22; 1 Cor. 14:2
Moses was "as God," not really a god: Ex. 4:16; 7:1
Ezek. 32:21 speaks of warriors or soldiers as "mighty gods," but in context they are so regarded by their pagan nations, not by God or Israel; cf. Ezek. 28:2, 9
The elohim before whom accused stood in Exodus was God Himself, not judges, as many translations incorrectly render: Ex. 22:8-9, 28: compare Deut. 19:17
The use of elohim in Psalm 82, probably in reference to wicked judges, as cited by Jesus in John 10:34-36, does not mean that men really can be gods.
It is Asaph, not the Lord, who calls the judges elohim in Psa. 82:1, 6. This is important, even though we agree that Psa. 82 is inspired.
Asaph's meaning is not, "Although you are gods, you will die like men" (which is how Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, etc., read it), but rather, "I called you gods, but in fact you will all die like the men that you really are."
The Psalmist was no more saying that wicked judges were truly gods than he was saying that they were truly "sons of the Most High" (v. 6b).
Thus, Psa. 82:1 calls the judges elohim in irony. They had quite likely taken their role in judgment (cf. point 5. above) to mean they were elohim, or gods, and Asaph's message is that these so-called gods were mere men who would die under the judgment of the true elohim (vss. 1-2, 7-8).
Christ's use of this passage in John 10:34-36 does not negate the above interpretation of Psalm 82.
The words, "the Scripture cannot be broken," means "the Scripture cannot go without having some ultimate fulfillment" (cf. John 7:23; Matt. 5:17). Thus Jesus is saying that what the OT judges were called in irony, He is in reality; He does what they could not do, and is what they could never be (see the Adam-Christ contrasts in Rom. 5:12-21 and 1 Cor. 15:21-22, 45 for a similar use of OT Scripture).
The clause, "those against whom the word of God came" (John 10:35) shows that this "word" was a word of judgment against the so-called gods; which shows that they were false gods, not really gods at all.
Finally, these wicked men were certainly not "godlike" or "divine" by nature, so that in any case the use of elohim to refer to them must be seen as figurative, not literal.
Even if men were gods (which they are not), this would be irrelevant to Jesus, since He was God (or "a god," as the Jehovah's Witnesses translate) as a preexistent spirit before creation: John 1:1
Are angels gods?
No Scripture explicitly states that angels are gods
Demonic spirits are not gods, 1 Cor. 10:20; Gal. 4:8; thus, being "mighty spirits" does not make angels gods
Satan is therefore also a false god: 2 Cor. 4:4
Psalm 8:5 does not teach that angels are gods.
Psa. 8:5 is paraphrased in Heb. 2:7, not quoted literally (cf. Psa. 68:18 with Eph. 4:8). In Psa. 8:5, elohim certainly means God, not angels, since Psa. 8:3-8 parallels Gen. 1:1, 8, 16, 26-28. Note that the Psalmist is speaking the man's exalted place in creation, whereas Hebrews is speaking of the lower place taken by Christ in becoming a man. Thus, Heb. 2:7 may not mean to equate angels with gods at all.
Even if Heb. 2:7 does imply that angels are "gods," in the context of Hebrews 1-2 these angels would be those falsely exalted above Christ: Note Heb. 1:6 (which quotes Psa. 97:7, which definitely speaks of "gods" in the sense of false gods); and cf. Col. 2:16 on the problem of the worship of angels
Elsewhere in the Psalms angels, if spoken of as gods, are considered false gods: Psa. 29:1; 86:8-10; 89:6; 95:3; 96:4-5; 97:7-9; 135:5; 136:2; 138:1; cf. Ex. 15;11; 18:11; Deut. 10:17; 1 Chr. 16:25; 2 Chr. 2:5
Even if angels were gods (which the above shows they are not), that would be irrelevant to Jesus, since He is not an angelic being, but the Son who is worshipped by the angels as their Creator, Lord, and God: Heb. 1:1-13
Conclusion: If there is only one God, one true God, all other gods being false gods, neither men nor angels being gods, and none even like God by nature -- all of which the Bible says repeatedly and explicitly -- then we must conclude that there is indeed only one God.
Texts where Jehovah is said to be elohim or el: Deut. 4:35, 39: Psa. 100:3; etc.
Texts where the compound "Jehovah God" (Yahweh Elohim) is used: Gen. 2-3; 9:26; 24; Ex. 3:15-18; 4:5; 2 Sam. 7:22, 25; etc.
Conclusion: Jehovah is the only God, the only el/elohim
Only one God, thus unique: see I.A.
None even like God: see I.B.
God cannot be fully comprehended: 1 Cor. 8:2-3
God can only be known insofar as the Son reveals Him: Matt. 11:25-27; John 1:18
Analogical language needed to describe God: Ezek. 1:26-28 Rev. 1:13-16
God is transcendent, entirely distinct from and different than the universe, as the carpenter is distinct from the bench
Separate from the world: Isa. 40:22; Acts 17:24
Contrasted with the world: Psa. 102:25-27; 1 John 2:15-17
Created the world: Gen. 1:1; Psa. 33:6; 102:25; Isa. 42:5; 44:24; John 1:3; Rom. 11:36; Heb. 1:2; 11:3
Explicit statements: John 17:3; 1 Cor. 8:6; etc.
The expression, "the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ": 2 Cor. 1:3; Eph. 1:3; 1 Pet. 1:3
Explicit statements:
Isa. 9:6; note 10:21. Trans. which render "mighty hero," etc., are inconsistent in their rendering of 10:21. Also note that Ezek. 32:21 is (a) not in the same context, as is Isa. 10:21, and (b) speaking of false gods, cf. I.G.5. above.
John 1:1. Even if Jesus here is called "a god" (NWT), since there is only one God, Jesus is that God. However, the NWT rendering is a mistranslation. Other passages using the Greek word for God (theos) in the same construction are always rendered "God": Mark 12:27; Luke 20:38; John 8:54; Phil. 2:13; Heb. 11:16. Passages in which a shift occurs from ho theos ("the God") to theos ("God") never imply a shift in meaning: Mark 12:27; Luke 20:37-38; John 3:2; 13:3; Rom. 1;21; 1 Thess. 1:9; Heb. 9:14; 1 Pet. 4:10-11.
John 1:18. The best manuscripts have "the unique God" (monogenes, frequently rendered "only-begotten," actually means "one of a kind," "unique," though in the NT always in context of a son or daughter). Even if one translates "only-begotten," the idea is not of a "begotten god" as opposed to an "unbegotten god."
John 20:28. Compare Rev. 4:11, where the same construction is used in the plural ("our") instead of the singular ("my"). See also Psa. 35:23. Note that Christ's response indicates that Thomas's acclamation was not wrong. Also note that John 20:17 does show that the Father was Jesus' "God" (due to Jesus becoming a man), but the words "my God" as spoken by Thomas later in the same chapter must mean no less than in v. 17. Thus, what the Father is to Jesus in His humanity, Jesus is to Thomas (and therefore to us as well).
Acts 20:28: "the church of God which He purchased with His own blood." The variant readings (e.g., "the church of the Lord") show that the original was understood to mean "His own blood," not "the blood of His own [Son]" (since otherwise no one would have thought to change it). Thus, all other renderings are attempts to evade the startling clarity and meaning of this passage.
Rom. 9:5. While grammatically this is not the only possible interpretation, the consistent form of doxologies in Scripture, as well as the smoothest reading of the text, supports the identification of Christ as "God" in this verse.
Titus 2:13. Grammatically and contextually, this is one of the strongest proof-texts for the deity of Christ. Sharp's first rule, properly understood, proves that the text should be translated "our great God and Savior" (cf. same construction in Luke 20:37; Rev. 1:6; and many other passages). Note also that Paul always uses the word "manifestation" ("appearing") of Christ: 2 Thess. 2:8; 1 Tim. 6:14; 2 Tim. 1:10; 4:1, 8.
Heb. 1:8. The rendering, "God is your throne," is nonsense -- God is not a throne, He is the one who sits on the throne! Also "God is your throne," if taken to mean God is the source of one's rule, could be said about any angelic ruler -- but Hebrews 1 is arguing that Jesus is superior to the angels.
2 Pet. 1:1. The same construction is used here as in Titus 2:13; see the parallel passage in 2 Pet. 1:11; 2:20; 3:2, 18.
1 John 5:20. Note that the most obvious antecedent for "this" is Jesus Christ. Also note that the "eternal life" is Christ, as can be seen from 1:2.
Jesus is Jehovah/Yahweh:
Rom. 10:9-13. Note the repeated "for," which links these verses closely together. The "Lord" of 10:13 must be the "Lord" of 10:9, 12.
Phil. 2:9-11. In context, the "name that is above every name" is "Lord" (vs. 11), i.e., Jehovah.
Heb. 1:10. Here God the Father addresses the Son as "Lord," in a quotation of Psa. 102:25 (cf. 102:24, where the person addressed is called "God"). Since here the Father addresses the Son as "Lord," this cannot be explained away as a text in which a creature addresses Christ as God/Lord in a merely representational sense.
1 Pet. 2:3. This verse is nearly an exact quotation of Psa. 34:8a, where "Lord" is Jehovah. From 1 Pet. 2:4-8 it is also clear that "the Lord" in v. 3 is Jesus.
1 Pet. 3:14-15. These verses are a clear reference to Isa. 8:12-13, where the one who is to be regarded as holy is Jehovah.
Jesus has the titles of God
Titles belonging only to God
The first and the last: Rev. 1:17; 22:13; cf. Isa. 44:6
King of kings and Lord of lords: 1 Tim. 6:15; Rev. 17:14; 19:16
Titles belonging in the ultimate sense only to God
Savior: Luke 2:11; John 4:42; 1 John 4:14; Tit. 2:13, cf. v. 10; etc.; cf. Isa. 43:11; 45:21-22; 1 Tim. 4:10; on Jesus becoming the source of salvation, Heb. 5:9, cf. Ex. 15:2; Psa. 118:14, 21
Shepherd: John 10:11; Heb. 13:20; cf. Psa. 23:1; Isa. 40:11
Rock: 1 Cor. 10:4; cf. Isa. 44:8
Jesus receives the honors due to God alone
Honor: John 5:23
Love: Matt. 10:37
Prayer: John 14:14 (text debated, but in any case it is Jesus who answers the prayer); Acts 7:59-60 (cf. Luke 23:34, 46); Rom. 10:12-13; 1 Cor. 1:2; etc.
Worship (proskuneo): Matt. 28:17; Heb. 1:6 (cf. Psa. 97:7); cf. Matt. 4:10
Religious or sacred service (latreuo): Rev. 22:13
Faith: John 3:16; 14:1; etc.
Jesus does the works of God
Creation: John 1:3; 1 Cor. 8:6; Col. 1:16-17; Heb. 1:2; Rev. 3:14 (cf. 21:6 on "beginning"); on "through" and "in" cf. Rom. 11:36; Heb. 2:10; Acts 17:28; cf. also Isa. 44:24
Sustains the universe: Col. 1:17; Heb. 1:3
Salvation: See C.2.a. above.
All of them: John 5:17-29
Jesus has all of the incommunicable attributes of God
All of them: John 1:1; Col. 1:15; 2:9; Heb. 1:3
Self-existent: John 5:26
Unchangeable: Heb. 1:10-12; 13:8
Eternal: John 1:1; 8:58; 17:5; Col. 1:17; Heb. 1:2
Omnipresent: Matt. 18:20; 28:20; John 3:13; Eph. 1:23; 4:10; Col. 3:11
Omniscient: John 16:30
Incomprehensible: Matt. 11:25-27
Jesus is the Son of God
"Son" in Scripture can mean simply one possessing the nature of something, whether literal or figurative (e.g., "Son of man," "sons of thunder," "sons of disobedience," cf. Mark 3:17; Eph. 2:1)
Whenever "son of" is used in relation to a person (son of man, son of Abraham, son of David, etc.), the son possesses the nature of his father
Jesus is clearly not the literal Son of God, i.e., He was not physically procreated by God
On the other hand, Jesus is clearly the Son of God in a unique sense (cf. "only-begotten Son," John 1:14; 3:16, 18; 1 John 4:9) and in a preeminent sense (i.e., the term is more fitting for Him than for anyone else)
Scripture is explicit that the Son possesses God's essence or nature (cf. F. above)
Jesus' repeated claim to be the Son of God was consistently understood by the Jewish leaders as a blasphemous claim to equality with God, an understanding Jesus never denied: John 5:17-23; 8:58-59; 10:30-39; 19:7; Matt. 26:63-65
Jesus is therefore God's Son, not God's creation, God's servant, God's agent, etc.; Jesus is God's Son who became a servant for our sake and for the Father's glory (John 13:13-15; 17:4; Phil. 2:6-11; Heb. 1:4-13; 3:1-6; 5:8; etc.)
Prov. 8:22: This text is not a literal description of Christ, but a poetic personification of wisdom (cf. all of Prov. 1-9, esp. 8:12-21; 9:1-6), poetically saying that God "got" His wisdom before He did anything -- i.e., that God has always had wisdom.
Col. 1:15: Does not mean that Christ is the first creature, since He is here presented as the Son and principal heir of the Father (cf. vv. 12-14); thus "firstborn" here means "heir" (cf. Gen. 43:33; 48:14-20; Ex. 4:22; 1 Chron. 5:1-3; Psa. 89:27; Jer. 31:9); note that v. 16 speaks of the Son as Creator, not creature (cf. E.1. above)
Rev. 3:14: "Beginning" (arche) in Rev. as a title means source or one who begins, i.e., Creator (cf. Rev. 1:8; 21:6; 22:13); elsewhere Christ is called the arche in the sense of "ruler," Col. 1:18, cf. plural archai "rulers" in Col. 1:16; 2:10, 15, also Luke 12:11; Rom. 8:38; Eph. 3:10; 6:12; Tit. 3:1; cf. Luke 20:20; Jude 6; 1 Cor. 15:24; Eph. 1:21
1 Cor. 11;3; 15:28. Jesus is still subordinate to God, but as the Son to the Father; i.e., they are equal in nature, but the Son is subordinate relationally to the Father
John 20:17; Rom. 15:6; 1 Cor. 15:24; 2 Cor. 1;3; Rev. 1:6; 3:12: Jesus calls the Father "My God" because He is still man as well as God; note the distinction between "My God" and "your God" in John 20:17 (i.e., Jesus never speaks of "our God" including Himself with the disciples)
Mark 13:32: Jesus' statement that He did not know the time of His return is to be explained by His voluntary acceptance of the humble form and likeness of a man (Phil. 2:7); in fact as God Jesus did know all things (John 16:30), and after His resurrection He does not include Himself as not knowing (Acts 1:6-7)
Mark 10:17-18: Jesus does not deny being God, but simply tells the man that he has no business calling anyone "good" in an unqualified sense except God
Heb. 5:14: Jesus was tempted, cf. James 1:13; but note that Jesus could not sin, John 5:19
John 1:18: No one has seen God, but men have seen Jesus, e.g., 1 John 1:1-2; but note that no man can see the glorified Jesus either, 1 Tim. 6:16, and that to see Jesus is to see the Father, John 14:9
1 Tim. 1:17: God cannot die, but Jesus did, e.g., Phil. 2:8; but note that no one could take Jesus' life from Him, He could not remain dead, and He raised Himself: John 10:18; Acts 2:24; John 2:19-22
1 Cor. 8:6: Father called God, Jesus called Lord: but here "God" and "Lord" are synonymous (cf. v. 5); moreover, this text no more denies that Jesus is God than it does that the Father is Lord (Matt. 11:25); cf. Jude 4, where Jesus is the only Lord
1 Tim. 2:5: Jesus here supposedly distinct from God; but Jesus is also distinct from (fallen) men, yet is Himself a man; likewise Jesus is distinct from God (the Father), but is also God
Deut. 4:12, 15-25: God did not appear in a human form to Israel, lest they fall into idolatry; but this does not rule out His appearing in human form later after they had learned to abhor idolatry
Equated with God: Acts 5:3-4; 2 Cor. 3:17-18
Has the incommunicable attributes of God
Eternal: Heb. 9:14
Omnipresent: Psa. 139:7
Omniscient: 1 Cor. 2:10-11
Involved in all of the works of God
Creation: Gen. 1:2; Psa. 104:30
Incarnation: Matt. 1:18, 20; Luke 1:35
Resurrection: Rom. 1:4; 8:11
Salvation: Rom. 8:1-27
Is a person
Has a name: Matt. 28:19; note that even though "name" might be used of a nonperson, here, in conjunction with the Father and the Son, it must be used of a person
Is the "Helper"
Is another Helper: John 14:16, cf. 1 John 2;1; note also that "Helper" (parakletos) was used in Greek always or almost always of persons
Is sent in Jesus' name, to teach: John 14:26
Will arrive, and then bear witness: John 15:26-27
Is sent by Christ to convict of sin, will speak not on his own but on behalf of Christ, will glorify Christ, thus exhibiting humility: John 16:7-14
Is the Holy Spirit, in contrast to unholy spirits: Mark 3:22-30, cf. Matt. 12:32; 1 Tim. 4:1; 1 John 3:24-4:6
"Impersonal" language used of the Spirit paralleled by language used of other persons
The Holy Spirit as fire: Matt. 3;11; Luke 3:16; cf. Ex. 3:2-4; Deut. 4;24; 9:3; Heb. 12:29
The Holy Spirit poured out: Acts 2:17, 33; cf. Isa. 53:12; Phil. 2:17; 2 Tim. 4:6
Being filled with the Holy Spirit: Eph. 5:18, etc.; cf. Eph. 3:17, 19; 4:10
Matt. 28:19
"the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit": use of definite article before each personal noun indicates distinct persons unless explicitly stated otherwise; compare Rev. 1:17; 2:8, 26.
Jehovah's Witnesses, Armstrongites, etc., argue that "Father" and "Son" are distinct persons but Holy Spirit is not a person at all; Oneness Pentecostals argue that all three are different offices or roles of one person. Both views are impossible in view of the grammar.
Does singular "name" prove that the three are one person? No; compare Gen. 5:2; 11:4; 48:6; and especially 48:16!
"Name" need not be personal name, may be title: Isa. 9:6; Matt. 1:23. If a single personal name is sought, the name shared by all three persons is "Yahweh" or "Jehovah."
Acts 2:38 and Matt. 28:19
Neither passage specifies that certain words are to be spoken during baptism; nor does the Bible ever record someone saying, "I baptize you in the name of...."
Those said to be baptized in the name of Jesus (whether or not the formula "in the name of Jesus" was used) were people already familiar with the God of the OT:
Jews: Acts 2:5, 38; 22:16
Samaritans: Acts 8:5, 12, 16
God-fearing Gentiles: Acts 10:1-2, 22,48
Disciples of John the Baptist: Acts 19:1-5
The first Christians in Corinth were Jews and God-fearing Gentiles: Acts 18:1-8; 1 Cor. 1:13
Trinitarian formula for baptism (if that is what Matt. 28:19 is) was given in context of commissioning apostles to take the gospel to "all the nations," including people who did not know of the biblical God.
Father and Son are two persons
The saluations: Rom. 1:7; 1 Cor. 1:3; 2 Cor. 1:2; Gal. 1:3; Eph. 1:2; 6:23; Phil. 1:2; 1 Thess. 1:1; 2 Thess. 1:1, 2; 1 Tim. 1:1, 2; 2 Tim. 1:2; Tit. 1:4; Phm. 3; James 1:1; 2 Peter 1:2; 2 John 3.
Two witnesses; John 5:31-32; 8:16-18; compare Num. 35:30; Deut. 17:6; 19:15.
The Father sent the Son: John 3:17; Gal. 4:4; 1 John 4:10; etc.; compare John 1:6; 17:18; 20:21.
The Father and the Son love each other: John 3:35; 14:31; 17:23-26.
The Father speaks to the Son, and the Son speaks to the Father: John 11:41-42; 12:28; 17:1-26; etc.
Jesus is not God the Father
Isa. 9:6. "Father of eternity" means eternal; compare other names formed with word "father":
Abialbon, "father of strength" = strong (2 Sam. 23:31)
Abiasaph, "father of gathering" = gatherer (Ex. 6:24)
John 10:30
Jesus did not say, "I am the Father," nor did He say, "the Son and the Father are one person."
The first person plural esmen ("are") implies "we," thus two persons.
The neuter word for "one" (hen) is used, implying essential unity but not personal unity (compare John 17:21-23).
John 5:43
Oneness interpretation: Jesus' coming in His Father's name means He was the Father because He had the Father's name.
Actual meaning: Others come in their own name (or their own authority), but Jesus does not; Jesus comes in His Father’s name (on His Father's authority).
John 14:6-11
Jesus and the Father are one being, not one person.
Jesus said, "I am in the Father," not, "I am the Father."
The statement, "the Father is in Me," does not mean Jesus is the Father; compare John 14:20; 17:21-23.
Colossians 2:9
Oneness argument: The Godhead, which is the entire being of God, is in Jesus; Jesus is not the Godhead.
Trinitarian interpretation; "Godhead" means Deity, the state of being God, the nature of God; thus Jesus is fully God, but not the only person who is God. Since Onesess makes "the Godhead" = the Father, they cannot say that Jesus is "not in the Godhead," since Jesus is in the Father (John 10:38; 14:10, 11;17:21).
The Son existed before His incarnation, even before creation.
Prov. 30:4. This is not a predictive prophecy; "prophecy" in 30:1 translates massa, which is rendered elsewhere as "burden."
The Son created all things: see V.E.1.
Jesus was "with" (pros or para) God the Father before creation: John 1:1; 17:5; pros in John 1:1 does not mean "pertaining to," although it does in Hebrews 2:17; 5:1.
These statements cannot be dismissed as true in God's foreknowledge.
We are all in God's mind before creation; yet such passages as John 1:1 and John 17:5 clearly mean to say something unusual about Christ.
To say that all things were created through Christ means He must have existed at creation.
No one else in Scripture is ever said to have been with God before creation.
Jesus is not the Holy Spirit
1. The Holy Spirit is "another Conforter" (John 14:16; compare 1 John 2:1).
Jesus sent the Holy Spirit (John 15:26; 16:7).
The Holy Spirit exhibits humility (John 16:13) and seek to glorify Jesus (John 16:14).
The Son and the Holy Spirit are distinguished as two persons in Matt. 28:19.
The Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus (Luke 3:22).
Texts commonly used to prove that Jesus is the Holy Spirit
2 Cor. 3:17 -- the Spirit is here called "Lord" in the sense of being Yahweh or God, not Jesus; note Acts 28:25-27 cf. Isa.6:8-10.
1 Cor. 15:45 -- Jesus is "a life-giving Spirit," not in the sense that He is the Holy Spirit whom He sent at Pentecost, but in the sense that He is the glorified God-man; and as God He is Spirit by nature. All three persons of the Trinity are Spirit, though there are not three divine Spirits; and only one person is designated "the Holy Spirit."
Rom. 8:27,34 -- the fact that two persons intercede for us is consistent with the fact that we have two Advocates (John 14:16; 1 John 2:1).
John 14:18 -- Jesus here refers to His appearances to the disciples after the resurrection (compare 14:19), not to the coming of the Spirit.
The Father is not the Holy Spirit
The Father sent the Holy Spirit (John 14:15; 15:26).
The Holy Spirit intercedes with the Father for us (Rom. 8:26-27).
The Father and the Holy Spirit are distinguished as two persons in Matt. 28:19).
Arguments commonly used to prove that the Father is the Holy Spirit.
Matt. 1:18; Luke 1:35 -- it is argued that the Holy Spirit is the Father of the incarnate Son of God; this argument ignores the fact that the "conception" is not a product of physical union between a man and a woman!
The Father and the Holy Spirit are both said to be active in various activities; the resurrection of Jesus (Gal. 1:1; Rom. 8:11), comforting Christians (2 Cor. 1:3-4; John 14:26), sanctifying Christians (Jude 1; 1 Peter 1L2), etc. The most these facts prove is that the two work together; they do not prove the two are one person.
Conclusion: The Bible teaches the Trinity
All the elements of the doctrine are taught in Scripture
One God
The Father is God
The Son is God
The Holy Spirit is God
The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are three persons
The Bible does not forbid using extrabiblical language to define and describe biblical truth. The Bible teaches that "the faith" (which would include the nature of the object of faith, namely God) was "delivered once for all to the saints" (Jude 3). Therefore any religious movement that claims to have restored the true doctrine of God through any kind of revelation is unbiblical.