Ask The Chaplain

Ask The Chaplain

Saturday, May 17, 2008

"Why is Loving Money So Bad?"

Mat 6:19-21 (TEB) "Do not save riches for yourselves here on earth, where moths and rust destroy, and robbers break in and steal. Instead, save riches for yourselves in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and robbers cannot break in and steal. For your heart will always be where your riches are."

It is easy enough to "explain away" one or two verses to come to the conclusion we want. But what you are about to read is more than one or two verses: Scriptural teaching about money is clear, consistent, and radical. It is plain and clear that our focus as believers should be on The Lord and His work and not becoming rich. If the Lord blesses you to be rich, then it is His will for you to be rich. Too often preachers have lied and misrepresented the Bible and the Lord by teaching ALL should be rich.
Be Content with Your Needs Being Met…. Beware Of Materialism!
Heb 13:5 (RSV) "Keep your life free from the love of money, and be content with what you have."

Contentment is very rarely preached now days, the primary message today is centered on receiving a blessing. Giving is preached with the purpose of receiving! We are taught to treat God like a Cosmic ATM machine that is at our beck and call. Kenneth Hagin had a book titled, “How to Write Your Ticket with God”. We are so busy trying to BE GOD; we forget that God is in control! The Bible says that God will supply ALL of our NEEDS according to HIS RICHES in Glory! Key word is NEEDS, we don’t call the shots in this life HE DOES! God is a personal God that wants to KNOW us, we need to seek His face and NOT His hands.

Ps 37:7,16 (NAS) Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way... Better is the little of the righteous than the abundance of many wicked.

One of the lies of Prosperity Preaching is that ABUNDANCE means monetary wealth. The favor of God is not measured by the size of ones bank account. If this were true then Donald Trump and Bill Gates have more favor than anyone. This doesn’t mean a Christian cannot attain wealth, but wealth is NOT the indicator of an abundant or blessed life.

Prov 23:4-5 (NIV) Do not wear yourself out to get rich; have the wisdom to show restraint. Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle.

Wealth as transitory and can leave faster than it was acquired. Notice the scripture says “Cast a glance at riches…” The message of Prosperity is consumed with the concept of attaining riches. The preachers often convince the hearers that IF you give to THEM God will give to YOU! That is the essence of Prosperity preaching. Back in the 60’s there was a preacher named “Rev. Ike”, he was the Godfather of this preaching and teaching. He used to promise people that they would have “Good Luck” if they gave money to him. Rev. Ike was very obvious and wasn’t very scriptural in his delivery.

As time moved on the Prosperity Preachers became much craftier at using scripture to justify their larceny. Oral Roberts coined the phrase, Sowing Seed, He suggested that money is seed to be sown into ministries (his in particular) in order to REAP a harvest. The scripture is very clear when it speaks of SEED and HARVEST, Jesus was speaking of the WORD as the seed, and the harvest is LOST SOULS! The devil has taken the emphasis off of souls and placed it on MONEY! I have seen offerings in churches last longer than altar calls.

The 70’s introduced the PTL Club and the ministry of Jim and Tammy Bakker. They bilked millions of dollars out of people with the “name it and claim it” message. Jim Bakker has since repented of his larceny, and NOW preaches against Prosperity Preaching. Jim Bakker realized the error of his teaching while in prison, and had time to actually read the Bible. I praise God for his courage to refute the garbage he spewed earlier in his life.

Materialism is a sin and the Prosperity Message has clouded it and made it acceptable. If you see the typical Prosperity Prophet of today they all have more bling than a Gangsta Rapper! The loud suits and alligator shoes make them seem like ministry is the path to wealth, and if you SOW into THEIR ministry some how GOD will make you a partaker of their BLING! No where do you see or hear this way of life in the walk of Jesus our Lord and Savior.
Luke 14:33 (Phi) "Only the man who says goodbye to all his possessions can be my disciple."

Luke 14:33 (TEB) Concluded Jesus, "none of you can be my disciple unless he gives up everything he has."

Luke 14:33 (RSV) "Whoever of you does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple."

Luke 3:11 (NIV) John answered, "The man with two tunics should share with him who has none, and the one who has food should do the same."

Luke 6:30 (Jer) "Give to everyone who asks you, and do not ask for your property back from the man who robs you."

Now don’t get mad with me just read what Jesus said! Does our savior seem to agree with the preachers of greed that infest our TV’s and radio waves? This simply doesn’t line up with the “Name it Claim It” message of today. Wake up saints! Who are we going to agree with Jesus or the disciples of Properity?

Friday, May 16, 2008

Revolutionary Disciples Media

P. O. Box 32

Sylvania, GA 30467


* New Christian Media Company takes it to a Powerful New Level*

SYLVANIA, GA – May 12, 2008
Revolutionary Disciples Media is a new Christian Media Company
was established to help writers and artists promote their works. This
is a
Kingdom based entity and whether it is a romance novel, fiction,
action and suspense, poetry, children's or any other genre, we can help
writer reach their publishing goals. We offer writers and artists the
personal touch we would expect others to extend to us. Our
is "Promoting the Word, breaking strongholds, one Author at a time."
is more than just a motto for RDM, this is our ministry. We have heard
call and have received the message. There needs to be a place where
that are called to reach the masses can get their works out in a way
respects them as an individual and respects the Word of God, and that
Revolutionary Disciples Media. We are similar to other
publishing companies in the sense that we help authors publish their
but the next level is what sets us apart. We pride ourselves on our
responses and extending a personal touch to each author. We interview
authors to ascertain where their strengths and priorities lie, to
exactly what their unique message happens to be, and to find out the
way to assist them in reaching the next level. We will help all
achieve their desired goals—while maximizing their God given talents
producing/creating top quality products, grounded in His life changing
In August, RDM is set to release two prominent works. The
work is to help those who counsel others about the intricacies of the
grieving process and how to deal with it. The other is an
book of poetry and prose that will tease the senses, while it engulfs
thoughts and helps you on your spiritual journey. To learn
about Revolutionary Disciples Media, please visit: or contact us at 912-564-2427;
(telephone and fax) or by email at or . ###

The one concern of the devil is to keep Christians from praying. He
fears nothing from prayerless studies, prayerless work and prayerless
religion. He laughs at our toil, mocks at our wisdom, but trembles
when we pray....................Samuel Chadwick
...the poetic juices have other intentions.
they are flowing in a different direction
struggling to produce something that is even foreign to me

lemme relax and see where this ship goes...

(c) Dec 2004 Ayani_Meli

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Why is Theology Important?

Theology frightens the daylights out of most people. When they hear the word mentioned, their eyes glaze over: they have visions of white-haired old men with degrees spilling out of their ears, speaking in polysyllables and attempting to complicate simplicity. They imagine lists and categories and dry barren wastes without a drop of water. Not surprisingly, therefore, many will doubt the need for theology at all, asking the pertinent question: "Isn't it true that all we need to know is to love each other and preach the good news?"
However, it is a truism that everyone has a theology, even those millions who deny there is any need for it. Everyone who reads the Bible or even thinks about God has contrived a theology of some sort. So there is a question that everyone must face: "Is my theology a good one?" By good, I mean is it accurate, biblical, coherent, and consistent? This is not a subjective question; there are objective criteria to think about.
Jesus told the Samaritan woman that those who worship God must worship him in spirit and in truth (John 4:23). The prophet Hosea wrote:

My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge. "Because you have rejected knowledge, I also reject you as my priests; because you have ignored the law of your God, I also will ignore your children. (Hosea 4:6)
Why is Theology Important?

Besides keeping a lot of theologians off welfare and out of trouble, it brings clarification. Unlike the way teachers so often present it, theology is not a settled issue of firmly established facts. Theology is theory, and like theory in science, forever alive and developing. In the early Church questions arose now and then and theology - theory - to answer them had to be developed. For instance, in Acts, the church was faced with the problem of what to do with all the Gentiles who were coming to Christ. Did they have to become Jews first, before they could be saved? Or was entrance into Christianity by grace alone? And then, even if it was by grace, shouldn't they follow the laws of Judaism?
Later on, people began wondering who, precisely, was Jesus? Was he really God, or simply an emanation, or maybe a created being?
How are such questions answered? By studying the Bible - God's special revelation - and the universe - God's general revelation - and finding out what they say. This action, of looking to the Bible and the world for answers, raises a question of its own: if we are going to find out about God, if we are going to do a proper theology - formulate reasonable theories - what are the revelations of God, and how do we go about using them properly?

The Five Kinds of Theology

1. Natural Theology

Natural theology is restricted to the facts concerning God which are revealed in the universe around us. Thomas Aquinas, in a systematic fashion, outlined his belief that the existence of God may be proven from reason alone. Modern theologians such as Karl Barth, reflecting Immanuel Kant and David Hume, argued that there was essentially no validity to a natural theology, while Process theologians such as John B. Cobb, Jr., Schubert Ogden and David Griffen have argued the exact opposit. Within evangelical circles, there is a division on this question.

2. Biblical Theology

Biblical theology is restricted to the biblical revelation of God. Its sole source is the Bible, independent of any philosophical system (ideally). In reality, any approach to theology must inevitably carry certain philosophical presuppositions and perspectives.

3. Dogmatic Theology

Dogmatic theology refers to those elements of theological truth which are absolutely certain. It will avoid controversial fields of study and will concentrate on those points about which the church throughout history has held to unswervingly, such the virgin birth, the resurrection, the Trinity, and the like.

4. Practical Theology

Practical theology has to do with the actual function of the truth in the lives of people. Given beliefs and doctrines are considered true if they work in the lives of real people. In other words, if it works, then it is true. Otherwise, it is of no consequence.

5. Theology Proper

Theology proper concerns itself with the study of the person of God, apart from his works. It deals with the existence of God, the ability of people to know him, his various attributes, and the nature of the Trinity. In other words, Theology Proper is concerned with understanding and knowing God.

"Can People Be Domon Posssessed Today?"

"In the synagogue there was a man possessed by a demon, an evil spirit. He cried out at the top of his voice, ‘Ha! What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!’ ‘Be quiet!’ Jesus said sternly. ‘Come out of him!’ Then the demon threw the man down before them all and came out without injuring him." (Luke 4:33-35)
From time to time, I have received questions about demonic possession and even though I do not fully understand this subject, I thought I would share with you what I have learned. Hopefully, it will be helpful. I believe this topic warrants attention because I am convinced that demons are increasingly taking possession of people! Human beings need a Savior because we are no match for our supernatural adversary, the devil. His tremendous powers and energies are devoted to the ruin and destruction of every human being and he is determined to lead the whole world into open rebellion against the laws of God. Because the Prince of Darkness is steadily strengthening his grip on this planet, we need to understand how he works. Peter wrote, "Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." (1 Peter 5:8)
I find it very interesting that the term "demonic possession" is not directly mentioned in the Old Testament, but it is mentioned numerous times in the New Testament. Consider this one Old Testament text because some people think it indicates demonic torment: "Saul’s attendants said to him, ‘See, an evil spirit from God is tormenting you. Let our lord command his servants here to search for someone who can play the harp. He will play when the evil spirit from God comes upon you, and you will feel better.’ So Saul said to his attendants, ‘Find someone who plays well and bring him to me. . . .’ Whenever the spirit from God came upon Saul, David would take his harp and play. Then relief would come to Saul; he would feel better, and the evil spirit would leave him." (1 Samuel 16:15-17,23)
Years ago, this text puzzled me. How could the Lord send an "evil spirit" (that is, a demonic spirit)? Later, I discovered my perplexity was due to a problem with language. The Hebrew word "rah" translated "evil" in this passage has numerous meanings such as vexing, bad, miserable, heavy or troublesome – thus "rah" is translated evil in these verses. However, once I understood how the Hebrew word was used, it became clear to me that the troublesome spirit sent from the Lord was actually the Holy Spirit doing His best to bring King Saul to repentance. Even though David’s inspiring music would soften the king’s rebellious heart so he felt better, the efforts of the Holy Spirit and David’s music proved to be in vain. King Saul eventually committed the unpardonable sin and the Holy Spirit no longer spoke to him. (1 Samuel 28:6)

I believe the absence of any mention of demonic possession in the Old Testament could be due to two things. First, when the nation of Israel entered the Promised Land, they were a very healthy group of people. They had been eating angel food called manna (Psalm 78:25) for forty years and illness in Israel was rare. Second, prior to Israel’s exile in Babylon (605 B.C. - 536 B.C.), the Jews measured prosperity and misfortune with a very simple formula. If a person pleased God, then God blessed that person with health and prosperity. If a person sinned against God, then that person received a curse from God. (See Deuteronomy 28.) This simple formula was presented to Jesus one day. "As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, ‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?’ ‘Neither this man nor his parents sinned,’ said Jesus, ‘but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.’ " (John 9:1-3) The point is that prior to the Babylonian exile, the Jews regarded misfortune as a curse from God. They erroneously believed God sent Satan to hurt or harm those who displeased Him. Ironically, this faulty concept is discussed at great length in the book of Job, which many scholars believe was the first book of the Bible to be written. Scholars generally accept that Moses wrote the book of Job during his forty years of tending sheep. The irony is that Job’s three physician friends slandered God by insisting that Job deserved what he got. At the end of the book, God spoke to Job and told him that He was angry with his friends. (Job 42:8,9) Given the fact that Job was an early book in the Old Testament, it is baffling why the Jews ultimately adopted a "prosperity theology" anyway.
After the Babylonian captivity ended, the Jewish nation became corrupt, broke their part of the covenant with God and did not receive the prosperity which God had conditionally promised through Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel. Israel became physically and spiritually weak. The necessity and importance of physicians and medicine became more important and respected within Israel. In fact, the healing ministry of Jesus brought more attention to His presence, His mission and His message than anything else! I believe that illness and birth defects had become so prevalent during the time of Jesus, that some of the medical problems described in the New Testament are labeled "demonic possession" because the underlying medical problem was not understood. In other words, it is possible that some disorders, such as epileptic seizures, were probably mislabeled "demonic possession" because there was no understanding of the illness. (See Matthew 17:15-18) Since illness and physical defects were considered to be a curse, the Jews reasoned that demons must be responsible. We see this type of thinking in this passage: "While they were going out, a man who was demon-possessed and could not talk was brought to Jesus. And when the demon was driven out, the man who had been mute spoke. The crowd was amazed and said, ‘Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel.’ But the Pharisees said, ‘It is by the prince of demons that he drives out demons.’ " (Matthew 9:32-34)

Even though "demonic possession" may be a misnomer for certain illnesses, I do not want to diminish the fact that there were several genuine instances of demonic possession in the New Testament. Consider these two instances of demonic possession, and notice in both cases that the demon spoke: "Some Jews who went around driving out evil spirits tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who were demon-possessed. They would say, ‘In the name of Jesus, whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out.’ Seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this. One day the evil spirit answered them, ‘Jesus I know, and I know about Paul, but who are you?’ Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all. He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding. When this became known to the Jews and Greeks living in Ephesus, they were all seized with fear, and the name of the Lord Jesus was held in high honor." (Acts 19:13–17) In this passage, the demon challenged the seven sons of Sceva and then the demon empowered its host to attack these seven men and rip off their clothes! It’s interesting that demons are always after our clothing. Keep this thought in mind as you read this next text.
"When Jesus stepped ashore, he was met by a demon-possessed man from the town. For a long time this man had not worn clothes or lived in a house, but had lived in the tombs. When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell at his feet, shouting at the top of his voice, ‘What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, don’t torture me!’ For Jesus had commanded the evil spirit to come out of the man. Many times it had seized him, and though he was chained hand and foot and kept under guard, he had broken his chains and had been driven by the demon into solitary places. Jesus asked him, ‘What is your name?’ ‘Legion,’ he replied, because many demons had gone into him. And they begged him repeatedly not to order them to go into the Abyss." (Luke 8:27-31)
These two passages (and there are several other instances of demon possession in the New Testament) indicate that demons can and will take up residence within people. The all important question is how do they do it? I believe demon possession can occur several ways. Space limits me to three:
1. If a person repeatedly and willfully violates his conscience, his sense of right and wrong will fade. In a morally confused and darkened condition, the door for demonic possession opens. Over time, the victim will be manipulated and ultimately controlled by demonic impulses. The obvious indication of a possessed person occurs when there is no longer any concern for right and wrong and the person inflicts crimes of passion that are unimaginable.

2. If a person is sexually and/or emotionally abused during childhood, studies indicate a strong possibility that the victim will grow up with thoughts and behaviors that are harmful and self destructive. These behaviors can range from self-loathing to bursts of hostility and hatred toward anyone who may innocently hurt their already hurting heart. Whether the rage is directed inwardly or outwardly, rage and frustration left unchecked can open a door for demonic possession. The battlefield is often in the mind and the devil can wield a strong influence over our minds using fantasies and hateful desires that demand a horrible and depraved fulfillment.
3. There is a subtle form of demonic possession that is not easily discernable. We tend to think that demonic possession means that someone is out of control, irrational, out of their mind, or convulsing from a seizure. The devil is clever and highly sophisticated and he also has many very brilliant demons working with him. They know that we have been given the power of choice, and in order to possess us, all they need to do is gain control of that power. Demons have a wide range of tools to break down our power of choice and they prey upon our inherent rebellion against God’s laws. For example, demons have convinced a large number of young people that substance abuse is no big deal. Methamphetamines may offer an "ecstatic experience" for the moment, but the consequences of that first incident can (and often does) turn into addiction. Thus, substance abuse can be an entry point for demonic possession. Demons have also led millions of people to believe there is nothing wrong with sexual immorality. This too, can be a door to addiction and ultimately, demonic possession. But what about those of us who shun drugs and sexual immorality? Does the devil have a plan for us? Very few people understand the addiction that comes from materialism. When we are not able to say "no" to gratification, we have an addiction. This is a growing problem which leads many people into bankruptcy. To avoid bankruptcy, many people make their jobs more important than God, family and health. Sadly, some people are driving themselves beyond exhaustion to get more money so they can buy more things. In this materialistic era, the love of money is an open door for demonic possession. Anything that has power over us can be used to pry open the door of our heart to Satan’s demons.

We live in an age of overstimulation. We are constantly busy and our brains are constantly processing some kind of data. Consequently, our brains are imploding because of overstimulation. Billions of dollars are spent each year on psychotropic drugs because people are unable to deal with the demands of living. Harmful behaviors are causing us to lose control of ourselves. We cannot focus, we cannot tolerate silence and we cannot rest. If the devil is a formidable adversary when we are at our best, what does he become when we are at our weakest? Jesus said, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." (Matthew 11:28-30)

Question: "What does the Bible say about demon possession / demonic possession?"

Answer: The Bible gives some examples of people being possessed or influenced by demons. From these we can find some symptoms of demonic influence as well as gain insights as to how a demon possesses someone. Here are some of biblical passages: Matthew 9:32-33; 12:22; 17:18; Mark 5:1-20; 7:26-30; Luke 4:33-36; Luke 22:3; Acts 16:16-18. In some of these passages, the demon possession causes physical ailments, such as inability to speak, epileptic symptoms, blindness, etc. In other cases, it causes the individual to do evil, Judas being the main example. In Acts 16:16-18 the spirit apparently gives a slave girl some ability to know things beyond her own learning. In the case of the demoniac of the Gadarenes who was possessed by a multitude of demons, he had superhuman strength, went around naked, and lived among the tombstones. King Saul, after rebelling against the LORD, was allowed to be troubled by an evil spirit (1 Samuel 16:14-15; 18:10-11; 19:9-10) with the apparent effect of a depressed mood and an increased desire and readiness to kill David.

Thus, there is a wide variety of possible symptoms of demon possession, such as a physical impairment that cannot be attributed to an actual physiological problem, personality changes such as major depression or uncharacteristic aggression, supernatural strength, a disregard for modesty or “normal” social interaction, and perhaps the ability to share information that one has no natural way of knowing. It is important to note that nearly all, if not all, of these characteristics may have other explanations, so it is important not to label every depressed person or epileptic individual as demon possessed. On the other hand, I think that in our western culture, we probably don’t take Satanic involvement in people’s lives seriously enough.

In addition to these physical or emotional distinctions, one can also look at spiritual attributes as showing demonic influence. These may include a refusal to forgive (2 Corinthians 2:10-11) and the belief in and spread of false doctrine, especially concerning Jesus Christ and His atoning work (2 Corinthians 11:3-4,13-15; 1 Timothy 4:1-5; 1 John 4:1-3).

Concerning the involvement of demons in the lives of Christians, the apostle Peter is an illustration of the fact that a believer can be INFLUENCED by the devil (Matthew 16:23). Some refer to Christians who are under a STRONG demonic influence as being “demonized,” but never is there an example in Scripture of a believer in Christ being POSSESSED by a demon, and most theologians believe that a Christian CANNOT be possessed because he has the Holy Spirit abiding within (2 Corinthians 1:22; 5:5; 1 Corinthians 6:19).

We are not told exactly how one opens himself up for possession. If Judas’ case is representative, he opened his heart to evil (in his case by his greed - John 12:6). So it may be possible that if one allows his heart to be ruled by some habitual becomes an invitation for a demon to enter in. From missionary experiences, demon possession also seems to be related to the worship of heathen idols and the possession of occult materials. Scripture repeatedly relates idol worship with the actual worship of demons (Leviticus 17:7; Deuteronomy 32:17; Psalm 106:37; 1 Corinthians 10:20), so it should not be surprising that involvement with those religions and practices associated with those religions could lead to demon possession.

Thus, it is my belief based on the above Scriptural passages as well as some of the experiences of missionaries that many people open their lives up to demon involvement through the embracing of some sin or through cultic involvement (both knowingly and unknowingly). Examples may include immorality; drug/alcohol these alter one’s state of consciousness; rebellion; bitterness; transcendental meditation. In our western culture, we see an increase of eastern religious teachings under the guise of the new age movement.

There is something that must not be forgotten. Satan and his evil host cannot do anything the Lord does not allow them to do (Job 1,2). And this being the case, Satan, thinking he is accomplishing his own purposes, is actually accomplishing God’s good purposes...even as in the case of Judas’ betrayal. Some people develop an unhealthy fascination with the occult and demonic activity. This is unwise and unbiblical. If we pursue God with our lives and are clothing ourselves with His armor and relying upon His strength (not our own) (Ephesians 6:10-18), we have nothing to fear from the evil ones, for God rules over all!

Recommended Resource: Angels: Elect & Evil by C. Fred Dickason.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Continuing Education Opportunities

May 16th 2008
"Biblical Counseling 101"

Room 506
3 Cooper Plaza
Camden NJ
Room 506
The Month of May every Friday @ 6PM
In the month of May we will offer individual classes on a variety of topics such as Ministering to the Mentally Ill – Grief – Helping Sexual Assault Victims – Biblical Counseling these classes can enhance your ministry and ability to help those in need. The classes are ONLY $25.00 each and materials are included.
POC – Chaplain Mark H. Stevens, M.Min
P.O. Box 342
Camden, NJ 08101

June 6, 2008 – July 18, 2008 (Every Friday)@6 PM

In June NJITS will be sponsoring a 6 week class taught by
Attn: Tiffany M. Jenkins, CADC
$100.00 for 6 weeks of training
This workshop is an innovative exploration of addiction from a biblical perspective. Participants will not only discover the biblical truth about addiction, but will emerge from the series better equipped to bridge the critical gap between the street and the church.

Post Office Box 2032
Camden , New Jersey 08101
New Jersey Institute of Theological Studies
P.O. Box 342
Camden, NJ 08101


REPENTANCE - To fix our eyes on Jesus, to take in God's point of view
FELLOWSHIP - To plug into God's supply stream, His life in others
OBEDIENCE - To prepare ourselves for Messiah by the power of the Holy Spirit