Monthly Archives: December 2014

Misconception of Religion

While watching Jimmy Swaggart’s Message of The Cross this morning, he posed an interesting question.  He asked in today’s church, would the Apostle Paul be accepted or kicked out?  Good question.  I wonder which denomination he would join?  Which religion would the Apostle Paul choose?  As far as that goes, which religion would any of the Apostles choose?

I began to search the Bible for what it said about religion.  In Acts 25:19 I came across the Romans having certain questions about Jesus in regards to their own religion.  In Acts 26:5, Paul refers to the “strictest sect of our religion” while testifying of how well he knew the Pharisees and how well they knew him.  The Apostle James says in James 1:26 if we think we are religious and unable to bridle our tongue, we are deceived and our religion is useless.

The other day I read a comment asking why 9 out of 10 Christians are so judgemental.  Unfortunately this is the perception of many due to man made religion.   Some have the same view of us (Christians) as we have of the Pharisees.  Man made religion and traditions have tarnished our foundational religion of the Gospel of Jesus.  The judgement between denominations  and of denominations has put the Blood of Jesus on trial.  The fact of the matter is the Gospel of Jesus is not up for debate, nor is It a matter of diplomacy.  The Gospel of Jesus is, to put it bluntly, an ultimatum; a choice between life or death.  The enemy is not afraid of our man made religions, he is afraid of The Gospel of Jesus.  Satan will in fact encourage us to get carried away into man made doctrines, he knows they will fail.

“Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith,” 1 Timothy 1:5.   A pure heart is only acheivable through Jesus.  It is only through faith in His finished work that our religion is undefiled.  When we add “our” traditions and rules to religion, we are adding to Jesus’ finished work.  We are negating His Cross.

There are many churches today who are earnestly trying to correct man made religions and traditions.  They understand how this has driven people away from the church.  When we plant the seed of the Gospel of Jesus to someone and the Holy Spirit convicts them, it is still up to them to choose.  Regardless of their choice, we still don’t judge.  Sometimes we may feel like shaking them and say “don’t you see” but we can’t.  This is not our job.  We continue on our path, doing the job we are assigned and pray for God to send more of His laborers to cross their path again.

The Lord’s mercy is in His patience with us.   He is faithful and patient, wanting all to come to salvation.  So we must trust that, even though our patience may wear thin sometimes, it is because of His patience we, as a Christian, are now saved.  Even though we want to shake them, our shaking will do no good.  It is only the Lord’s shaking, His conviction that turns a heart to Him.  We are reminded by Paul in his epistle to Titus “…to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men.” Titus 3:2.

Would the Apostles be welcome in our church (as a whole) today?  “Of course!”, we say.  What would they be fed if they were sitting in the congregation Sunday morning?   What gospel would they hear?  Who would be convicting them?

There are still Spirit filled churches who are preaching the Gospel of Jesus.  Stay close to them, pray for their pastors and support God’s church.  They are the ones whose religion the Apostles preached.  They are the ones whose religion glorifies Jesus.

“But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, …” Galatians 6:14.

Donna Warren

Warfare of Spiritual Warfare

This is another one of those posts that I don’t like to write.  However, being consumed by a feeling which causes you to seek further into the Word of God must be from God.  However, my discomfort comes from going against what I feel are some of the misconceptions of spiritual warfare and where our authority lies.  So I ask you, as you read to prayerfully consider and allow the Holy Spirit to guide you.

My heart has always been burdened for those who don’t know the love of Jesus.  Once our eyes are unveiled we see and recognize the works of the enemy.  We see the devils work in our lives and in others.  We realize our power through Jesus over the enemy’s works in our lives and take authority.  However, the lost don’t realize this.  In all actuality, until they accept Jesus as their Saviour they don’t have authority because it is only through Jesus that our authority comes.  My point is, without getting too sidetracked, I really felt lead to take authority in Jesus name over the enemy that was oppressing them.  I WANTED them to know their authority through Jesus.

Then as my walk with the Lord continued, I began to delve deeper into spiritual warfare.  I wanted to understand this authority.  I remember hearing people pray and bind spirits of the enemy over districts, cities, etc. and I would get an uneasy feeling.  I can’t quite explain that uneasy feeling but I do know from where it came – the Holy Spirit.  As for me personally, I have been a lot of things but I have always respected authority.  I may not have always liked it, but I did respect authority.

A couple of weeks ago my husband and I came across this teaching by John Paul Jackson.  He was talking about a dream he had of preachers throwing hatchets to the moon.  The video is 30 minutes long so I won’t go in to all of the detail.  After praying for understanding, he felt the Lord was telling him that we, as Christians, were overstepping our authority.  Keep in mind I am summarizing but this teaching witnessed to me regarding authority.  What he discovered after this dream and speaking with other preachers is as they were binding spirits of abortion over their city, ladies in their congregation were having miscarriages.   Another preacher was binding the spirit of rebellion over their city and his own son then ran away.  What was happening is they were engaging in warfare over principalities where they had no authority and in essence inviting these evil spirits into their personal lives.

Not wanting to be led astray, I went where we are suppose to go for guidance – the Word of God.  I was led to our great commission, ” And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.   And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues;  they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” Mark 16:15-18.   But what does this have to do with our authority?   According to Matthew 10:1 “…He (the Lord) gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease. ” 

We have been given authority through Jesus to cast out demons and heal the sick.  We have been given authority over all the powers of darkness.  We have not been given authority over principalities and the heavenlies, that is God’s territory.   Yes, the Bible says “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12.  However, we must also read the verse prior in Ephesians 6:11, “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”

The Lord has given us all of the tools we need to prosper in this world; authority in His name to heal the sick and cast out demons and His armor to stand in the face of the enemy and in no way be defeated.  Our armor for spiritual warfare is both offensive and defensive against the tactics of the devil with the main offensive weapon, the Word of God – the Sword.  Some, but not all, of the enemy’s tactics include deception, temptation and accusation.  All of which are absolutely defeated with our full armor of God.

There are evil forces in the heavenlies who are trying to keep us from reaching God, from hearing God.  We do not have control over these forces but make no mistake who does – the Lord.  There is no evil force that can keep us from the love of God.  However, we are not given sufficient wisdom, knowledge or power to rule a realm for everyone else’s good.  God allowed satan to sift Peter like wheat (Luke 22:31) which ultimately led to Peter’s ministry.  We don’t know God’s ways but we have His Word that He wants to give us all good things and the Lord wants us to prosper and be in good health.  We cannot overstep our authority and bind evil spirits in the heavenlies and principalities in which God is in control…and make no doubt about it, He is in control.  We can bind the evil spirits that have oppressed us or our brother/sister in Christ, we can put on our full armor of God to fight against the principalities of darkness, we can pray for God’s protection, mercy and grace over our cities, states, nations, etc.  and we can pray for God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven, for we know His will for His children is to prosper us and not arm us.

When we begin trying to take authority over principalities we are stepping into God’s territory in which we do not have His wisdom to understand.  I am praying for God’s continued mercy on our nation.  I am praying for God’s children to arm themselves with His armor and take up the great commission of preaching the Gospel of Jesus, casting out demons and healing the sick.  These are the laborers of God He wants to send into His harvest.  The Lord has His laborers in the heavenlies who battle for us, He wants His laborers here to pick up our tools here and battle for the harvest that is among us.                 – Donna Warren

State of Chaos

Confusion is the lack of understanding or uncertainty.  Chaos is a state of confusion.  God is not a God of confusion but of peace and truth.  As a Christian, we recognize this for what it is – the work of the enemy.  We seek God for guidance, turn to His Word and allow the Holy Spirit to witness to us.  Do we sometimes “miss it”? Absolutely.  Is God still there trying to help us? Absolutely.  That is another way we recognize His faithfulness and patience with us.  When we do “miss it”, He is not condemning but ready to get up and go again until we finally understand; until we are no longer confused.  The key is going back to the Lord for guidance when we do “miss it” and not allow the enemy to condemn us of missing it.

What about the unbeliever who is confused?  Who do they turn to?  Do they turn to their own understanding?  Usually.  Discernment is the ability to distinguish between truth and error.  Without the Spirit of Truth, the Holy Spirit, we are left to our own devices to distinguish.  The Holy Spirit witnesses to the unbelievers spirit but until they accept Jesus as their Saviour, the Holy Spirit does not dwell in them to guide them to the real Truth.

This may sound complicated but it’s not.  It is really quite simple.  Accepting and believing The Gospel of Jesus and His finished work on the Cross is THE  most powerful, yet the simplest step one can take to victory over evil.  When we cast “..down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” 2 Cor. 10:5, we are no longer confused.

The other day I was writing about all of the different “options”, if you will, for people today regarding religion.  We have buddahism, islam, hindu and many others to choose from.  What makes them different?  How do we know they aren’t real?  Is Christianity  just another form of religion in the long list?  Confusion among religions is a reality in this world.  Satan’s goal is to keep us confused.  He knows as long as we are confused we will never know The Truth of The Gospel of Jesus.  Until we pray for God to unveil our eyes, we stay in a state of confusion; a state of chaos as our lives continue on a downward spiral.

This state of confusion, or chaos, is the reason for God’s patience with us.  “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9.  You see, the Lord came to this earth and paid for our sins.  We have been bought with a price because we would never be able to pay that debt on our own.  The Lord did this out of His love for us.  He did not want to see us perish.  The Lord has plans for each of us to prosper (Jeremiah 29:11).  Because He was willingly sacrificed to bear our burdens, He wants us to have victory.  The Lord is on our side.  However, until we willingly concede to God’s plan of salvation through believing Jesus is “…the way, the truth and the light…” John 14:6, we will remain confused.  The Lord’s patience with our weakness is for our sake, not His.

Even as our once broad path of destruction which began at the threshold of confusion begins to restrict us into loneliness and darkness, every sin and evil deed that this confusion caused,  every bad choice we have ever made has all been covered by the Blood of Jesus.  We don’t have to “work” our way back to the light, we just have to accept the fact that we have been deceived all of these years and now we are humbled.  Then humbly we go to the foot of The Cross of Jesus and ask for His forgiveness.  When we accept His forgiveness we are then freely given the Spirt of Truth.  We no longer have to hide under shame or guilt.  We don’t have to work for this liberty, we just have to accept from where this liberty came – Jesus Christ.

The Gospel of Jesus is not confusing.  The Gospel of Jesus is life to the lost.  We can’t dilute it to fit a certain lifestyle.  We can’t sugar coat it to motivate others.  The Gospel is not psycholigical but spiritual.  When we feel the convicting power of the Holy Spirit deep down in our soul, we know Jesus is calling us.  We know He wants to use us, to prosper us, to give us strength and power over the enemy but it is up to us to respond.  Do you hear Him?  Do you hear that still small voice?  He’s calling you.  – Donna Warren

The Fight for Our Life

I watched a video the other day of a church drama that I thought summed up the fight we were all once battling in some shape, form or fashion.  In the video there was a young, 20 something year old girl in white who was peacefully walking along with Jesus.  Then a friend of hers, dressed in black depicting evil, begins to tempt her.  Seeing how much “fun” her friend was having, she decided to partake.  Then another friend comes along with another invitation and she again decides to join in the festivities.  On the stage you see Jesus standing at the far left calling for her to come back but she doesn’t hear Him over all the fun and festivities.  Finally, the once peaceful girl is at the far right of the stage partying with the devil himself.  However, there is something different about her now.  She is being tossed to and fro, confused.  She is no longer happy but in deep despair.  It seems as though the bottomless pit of finding the happiness she once had while walking with Jesus is a never ending pit of confusion.  She can’t find the peace that use to accompany the happiness…she can’t hear Jesus calling her.

Finally, when she no longer has anywhere to turn but death she starts running back toward Jesus.  As she begins her run across the stage to Jesus, the devil and his minions do everything they can to keep her from finding Him.  They know, once she finds the Lord this time, they have lost her forever.  The enemy knows once you’ve been through hell on earth and find Jesus you will find what your soul has been seeking.  That emptiness in the pit of your gut becomes a river of living waters.

So she begins to run back toward Jesus and the enemy is fighting her.  She is almost there and they have her pinned down.  She feels like she is not going to escape when Jesus comes to her rescue.  As she is knelt down in despair, Jesus is standing behind her holding back the enemy.  The Lord is giving her room to breathe; to breathe the breath of life.  The Lord saved her over 2000 years ago and she finally accepted Him.  When she needed Him most, even after betraying Him, He lovingly came to her rescue.  The Lord came and clothed her in a robe of righteousness.  The Lord came a gave her peace that can only come from on high.  He was calling her all along but she wouldn’t listen.

I believe this short video struck me because I remember that fight myself.  Although at the time I didn’t realize it was the fight for my life.  I thought it was me fighting the world when in actuality it was the Lord fighting for me.  In reality I was being deceived; hook, line and sinker, by the devil.  I had know idea that Jesus was what I was missing in my life.  My life had become not one of victory but of survival.

The enemy had so distorted the simple yet powerful Gospel of Jesus Christ, I wasn’t sure what to believe.  I knew I could never be “as good” as all of those Christians I saw at lunch on Sunday afternoons.  Seeing them and their families all nice and happy, I would think to myself “join the real world folks, look around you – times are tough”.  The problem was not them but me.  I was judging them, they weren’t judging me.  Fact of the matter is, I was one of the very ones they were praying for and reaching out to.

While wanting the happiness these “Christians” had but not being able to “live up to the standards” I rejected going to church.  Nope, not me.  I thought to myself, “I’m a lot of things but a hypocrite I will not be.” – another great deceit.  There is not one Christian who ever walked into church perfect.  It is only through the Lord that we now have our robes of righteousness.  As Christians, none of us are perfect but we are “…pressing toward the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:14.  The Gospel is written in our heart once we accept Jesus.  Our sin nature no longer has dominion over us.

The simple yet powerful Gospel of Jesus is only realized once we accept Him as our Saviour.  Until then our eyes are veiled by the devil.  All of the questions we once had about “religion” are then answered through His guidance and His revelation not through man’s knowledge.  This is why it is called taking a step of faith.  Just taking that first step of faith becomes the stepping stone to victory.

Today, I may be one of the “Christians” with my family at lunch on Sunday afternoons.   It may seem that I don’t have a care in the world.  You may think I don’t see the storms raging in both my personal life and on the news.  Make no mistake, I do see and I do hear what’s happening in the world.  The difference is I now understand from whom my salvation came and on Him I will stay focused.  The difference is I too, now have victory through Jesus’ work on the Cross.  The difference is I too am one of the ones praying for others to realize the victory they can have through Jesus.  The difference is Jesus.   – Donna Warren