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CAMPBELLTON, New Brunswick, May 14, 2023 – I thank God when I hear that unbelievers who were my friends before I was born again are barely scraping by. I celebrate their poverty, because I know it means they haven’t made any deals with the devil and so are still spiritually salvageable while there’s still time. Some of these people came into sizeable wealth through inheritance or lottery wins, but then quickly dissipated it and have since been living modestly. This is a good sign. Poverty and living modestly usually indicate a soul uncompromised.
On the other hand, I have some relatives and acquaintances who took the devil’s bait and became “rich” and “successful”. They zoomed to the top of their respective fields and have remained there, regardless of their ability or performance. Recessions have no effect on their jobs or their earnings. Even run-ins with law enforcement can’t keep them down, as the charges are dismissed and then expunged from the record.
When you make a deal with the devil, you not only get the promised wealth and whatever else you bargained for (fame, power, etc.), but you’re above the law. You’re untouchable. If you mess up, you get warned by your mentor or other ‘brethren’ and are then disciplined back into compliance. But the devil’s protection continues even throughout your disciplining, such that if you’re hastily removed from one position, another will quickly and quietly be offered you.
There is no reason to celebrate the alleged success of these people. I have profound pity for them, but most are beyond our prayers. Most have definitively sealed the deal, and there’s no going back. These are the children of the devil that Jesus spoke about. They were in positions of authority during the time of his ministry, and they’re in positions of authority today. They’ve always been in positions of authority, ever since the devil got the go-ahead from God thousands of years ago to start offering his deals. The higher up the position in an organization, the greater the likelihood that the person occupying that position has made the deal.
However, I also know people who made it to the top of their profession solely through hard work and dedication. Not everyone who succeeds in their chosen field has made a deal with the devil. But you’ll know who these people are, the authentic successes, because they’re often unceremoniously dumped from their hard-earned position to make way for a dealmaker. I have seen this time and time again. But God still looks after these people and gives them their earned reward, one way or another.
When a dealmaker goes so far off-script or runs so far afoul of the law that the charges cannot simply be dismissed or reduced to a minimum, they are often “disappeared” or “suicided”. I know of such a man who went off-script and ran afoul of the law one too many times. His passing was recently announced in the local papers with only a vague reason given for his death. And although he was at the top of his field when he died, no commemorative ceremony was arranged, no fawning obituaries were penned, as they had been for his much lesser colleagues. Building wings and scholarships that had been named after him were hastily and quietly renamed. His publications were removed from the teaching syllabus. The dealmaking brethren left behind dare not utter his name, lest they, too, suffer the same fate.
It’s brutal, what happens to disgraced dealmakers and their families. The threatened brutality is what keeps the dealmakers in line.
But here comes the whole point of this article. I’ve tucked it way down here in the middle as a reward for those who’ve soldiered through this far. Of the dealmakers who naively entered the deal for fame, fortune, power, etc., and not for worship of the devil – these dealmakers can still turn back to God. These dealmakers are not beyond redemption. They are, as it were, foster children of the devil rather than his very flesh and blood. They can still break their bonds and turn back to God.
Dealmakers are all around us. They may be our teacher, our lawyer, our accountant, our minister (yes, you read that right, our minister), or our local politician. Anyone we know in a position of authority could be a dealmaker. They’ve been trained, these people, to be kind and generous to the unwashed masses. But their kindness and generosity is arm’s length and superficial, like a smile that just stops short of reaching the eyes. That’s one way you’ll know them, by their superficial kindness that comes from a directive from their superiors, not from the heart.
There are other ways, too, to identify them, such as by distinctive rings or handshakes or words they addend to their messages. I know of some of these identifiers, but frankly it’s all too tiresome to list them here. Having been an atheist and a former dabbler in the occult myself, I find the whole capitulation to Satan thing tiresome and cannot for the life of me understand why anyone would do it. Is money really that important? Fame? Power? Social standing? Legacy? As Jesus reminds us, what can you give in exchange for your soul, once you’ve given it away? The combined wealth of the entire world is still not enough to give in exchange for even one soul.
Let me repeat that in bold in case you missed it – the combined wealth of the entire world is still not enough to give in exchange for even one soul. That’s how valuable a soul is, and yet here are all these people, millions upon millions of them throughout the ages, signing away their soul for trinkets and baubles and a front-row seat to the tragic farce that their life becomes after they sign on with Satan.
It’s no wonder most of them become alcoholics and drug abusers and addicted to all manner of porn. They grasp at anything to escape the knowledge of what they’ve done, even as more and more demonic spirits pour into them and goad them on to increasingly extreme levels of excess and abuse. For most of these dealmakers, there’s no escape. They knew what they were doing going into the deal and accepted it. These people are beyond our prayers.
But for the ones who signed on not really knowing what they were getting themselves into – these people are salvageable. These people we can still reach with our prayers. They can still turn back to God, though it would mean giving up everything Satan has given them. It would also likely mean their immediate death upon repentance.
This might be a bit of a hard sell, getting them to give everything up and then die to boot, but even so, it would be good if someone had a ministry specifically for these people.
I think such a ministry would be extraordinarily blessed by God.
“There is more joy in Heaven over one sinner who repents, than over 99 righteous people who don’t need repentance.”
FLEEING THE CITIES: SPENDING TIME ALONE WITH GOD
CAMPBELLTON, New Brunswick, May 14, 2023 – When Jesus wanted to spend some alone-time with God, he’d go into the wilderness or up a mountain. He wouldn’t go into a city. Cities tend to attract the worst of the worst and be openly hostile to God-fearing people. That is less a judgement than a statement of fact. Before I was born-again, I wanted only to live in big cities, the bigger the better. The dark frenetic energy in me was drawn to the dark frenetic energy in them. But after I was born-again, I felt alienated and out of place in cities, even in those where I’d previously lived for years. That’s when I made my shift first to the suburbs (slightly better than cities, but not by much) and then to rural areas and small towns and villages.
Today, cities repulse me, and I have no intention to live in one again.
Everywhere we go as born-again believers, God and Jesus are with us through God’s Holy Spirit, but cities are so full of evil now, they’re best avoided. It’s almost as if you’re tempting God if you live in a city, he has to erect such a massive bulwark around you to keep you spiritually and physically safe. That’s not to say you don’t also need God’s protection in small towns and rural areas, but not as much, not in most small places.
I spent the winter in relative isolation in a house in the woods in northern New Brunswick. God and Jesus had me all to themselves for three whole months. It was the best winter I ever had! When I left, I visited Niagara Falls for a week, which was to me like a spiritual culture shock. I couldn’t wait to get out of there. The evil was palpable and all around me all the time. God was adamant that I not stay there, so he whisked me away to a little village out in the boonies.
Cities have always been a magnet for tormented souls and their attendant demons, but the sheer volume of dark souls and entities crowding into cities these days is rapidly changing the urban spiritual landscape dramatically for the worse. Even urban churches are so heavily compromised now as to be Christian in name only. When I was forcibly removed from a chapel last fall in Toronto, God revealed to me that these former holy sites are no longer consecrated and therefore no longer his jurisdiction. Sure, he owns and controls everything in creation, but he’s given the administration of the world into the hands of Satan and to whomever Satan seduces into serving him. Which means that Satan, not God, is now in charge of most churches.
Making things even worse, the recent influx of newcomers to former Christian lands is introducing new fallen entities into the mix. Many of these demons have not been in these places before, or at least not in sufficient numbers to be a force to contend with. They’re wasting no time expanding their spiritual turf by winning over new converts to Satanism.
When you’re physically isolated from unbelievers, you’re physically isolated from the demons that attend on them. God’s Holy Spirit is with you regardless of whether you’re in a crowd or all alone, but it’s better to be as far away from people’s attendant demons as possible.
I’m not saying to avoid people who aren’t God-fearing; Jesus didn’t teach us to do that. All I’m saying is that cities have become (as scripture warns us they would) “the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit.” These places aren’t meant for born-again believers to live in.
Spiritual Babylon reigns in the cities of former Christendom. Unbelievers want to live in a world without God and his Commandments, and this is what a world without God and his Commandments looks like: crowded, expensive, violent, lawless, corrupt, mistrustful, fragmented, and dirty, not to mention slowly but surely turning locals into despised and displaced strangers in their own land. Moses warned it would be like this for those who turn their backs on God, and so it is.
There’s no happy ending on this planet for us born-again believers, just a series of temporary reprieves in quiet out-of-the-way places until it’s time to go Home. But thank God for his sanctuaries! He will continue to carve them out and place us in them as long as we choose to remain his people.
Like Jesus showed us, out in the boonies is where we should be anyway, as there we’re closest to God.
A REMINDER TO HONOR YOUR MOTHER
CAMPBELLTON, New Brunswick, May 14, 2023 – Honoring their mother doesn’t come easily to some people, which is why God made it a Commandment.
Commandments are non-negotiable. If you submit to them, you’ll be blessed; if you rebel against them, you’ll suffer.
Many Christians habitually break the Commandment to honor their mother and then suffer for it, not knowing the cause of their suffering. They don’t see their unkind words about their mother as breaking the Commandment, they don’t see their continued blaming and shaming of their mother as breaking the Commandment, but anything unkind you say about your mother is breaking the Commandment. Even if you complain about your mother to your spouse or your best friend or your counsellor, you’re breaking the Commandment. No matter what your mother’s done to you in the past, there is no cause that justifies breaking the Commandment.
To honor your mother means to speak kindly of her. It doesn’t matter if she was a mass murderer who made it her life’s sole purpose to destroy you and everything and everyone you love – you still honor your mother by speaking kindly of her. And not only speaking kindly of her but thinking kindly of her. This may seem like an impossible task for some Christians, but it needs to be done. The Commandment needs to be kept, no exceptions.
If you find it difficult to speak and think kindly of your mother and need to talk to someone about it, talk to God. Talk to Jesus. Go to them in prayer and talk to them through the power of God’s Holy Spirit, which is your very great privilege if you’re a Christian. Ask them to help you to think and speak kindly of your mother because you want to keep the Commandment but you’re having a hard time doing it. Keeping the Commandment should be more important to you, as a Christian, than pointing a finger of blame at your mother, no matter what she’s done.
I constantly hear Christians, including professional preachers, say nasty things about their mother and complain that she was abusive. Other Christians, hearing these complaints, chime in with their own horror stories about their mother. This kind of behavior normalizes breaking the Commandment so that people don’t even realize they’re doing it. They put their hurt feelings and bad memory confessions ahead of submission to God.
As Christians, we can’t do this. Submission to God and his Commandments is more important than nursing grievances. If you’ve trash-talked, complained about, or otherwise dishonored your mother in the past, you need to stop. If you haven’t made the decision to choose to forgive your mother for whatever she’s done to you, you need to do it. The decision is only yours to make. Choosing to forgive and honoring your mother go hand-in-hand.
I hope that you take this reminder about honoring your mother to heart. God’s Commandments are not meant to make our lives miserable but to prevent us from having a miserable life. Honoring your mother is as important a Commandment as all the others, with just as grievous consequences if you choose not to obey it.
Note that the Commandment is not to love your mother, but to honor her. God is not asking something of you that you’re not able to do. If you need his help to honor your mother, ask for it. He’ll give it to you willingly and generously. Again, please take this reminder about honoring your mother to heart. Knowingly, willfully, and unrepentantly breaking one of God’s Commandments will keep you out of Heaven.
HOW TO GET HAPPY
CAMPBELLTON, New Brunswick, May 14, 2023 – We own nothing but our free will.
Our body isn’t ours. Our soul isn’t ours. None of our material belongings are ours.
Everything belongs to God EXCEPT our free will. He’s made our will entirely ours.
It’s our one and only possession.
When the truth of that statement sinks in, when you understand that the device that you’re reading this blog on doesn’t belong to you (even if you bought it), life is simplified. Whether you have this or that thing doesn’t really matter because even if you do have this or that thing in your possession, it doesn’t belong to you. It’s on loan from God.
God owns all of creation. He made it, he owns it, and he decides who gets to use it. That seat your sitting on? God’s. That bed you slept in last night? God’s. The food you ate yesterday? God’s. All God’s. God owns everything and everyone, except for their free will.
I’m grateful to God for what he lends to me for my use during my time on Earth. It’s important that we be grateful for what God gives us rather than to complain about what we don’t have or to whine for something better. I used to complain and whine. It was almost my default. I’d look around me and be dissatisfied because I would look through the eyes of dissatisfaction rather than through the eyes of gratitude. God can’t work through dissatisfaction. God can’t work through complaints and whining. He works through gratitude. I had to learn that the hard way, but it was a lesson well worth learning, and I thank God for that.
So now I’m grateful by default. That’s how I get happy. No matter what my circumstances, I thank God. That simple gesture of thanking God brings me such profound joy that I can’t stop thanking God – I thank him for my circumstances, whether good or bad, and when he floods me with joy for my gratitude, I thank him for the joy, which then further increases my joy. The more grateful we are, the more God’s Spirit flows through us, and the more joy we feel.
Our feeling of joy is the presence of God’s Spirit.
So take a moment to look around you right now. Look at what you have and look at what other people have and realize that everything, whether yours or theirs, belongs to God. Why waste your time and energy trying to accumulate more of what ultimately belongs to God? Better to be grateful for what God’s blessed you with and be satisfied with that.
Better to spend your time and energy storing up treasures in Heaven. Because even though our one and only possession here on Earth is our free will, in Heaven we’ll have as many treasures as we want, and for all eternity.
Better to work toward that.
A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT: SOWING SEEDS WITH GOD
CAMPBELLTON, New Brunswick, May 8, 2023 – The strangest thing is, I don’t remember saying it. I mean, I must have said it, otherwise this person wouldn’t have told me how much it meant to her and how it made her look at her situation differently. I must have said it; I just don’t remember saying it.
This is how it is sometimes when you minister to people. You have no idea what will stick and what won’t, what will sprout and what won’t, what will mean something to someone and what won’t. The funny thing is that when you think you’ve said something that will resonate, you find that no-one paid any attention.
But God did. God hears everything you say and he sees everything you do. So everything you say and everything you do he can work with to your credit. He can use your unwitting labour to tend his fields, and then reward you with the fruit.
Sometimes you’re just throwing seeds to the wind, not knowing if even one of them will eventually sprout. But you have to do it; you have to sow your seeds into the cold dark silent earth, praying for rain, praying for heat and sunlight, praying that something eventually will grow. You have to do it because it’s your job description as a born-again believer. And strangely, the more you do it, the more you find you can’t not do it.
It’s a great mystery, sowing into God’s Kingdom. Jesus told us to go out into all the world and preach the Good News, so here we are, going out into all the world (mostly via the Internet) and preaching the Good News. But who knows who’ll hear us, who’ll read us, and most of all, who knows what will stick, what will sprout, and what will grow roots deep enough to endure to the end?
Sometimes I think about my labours thus far in the Kingdom – 24 years’ worth – and all I see is someone dropping seeds hither, thither, and yon. Dropping seeds and hoping and praying. But that’s our job. God only expects us to do our job, nothing more. If we do our job (dropping seeds hither, thither, and yon), God can take it from there. He can take our most bizarre and unlikely seed-sowing effort and turn it into a conversion, like a mustard seed turns into a bush as big as a tree. We just never know what will sprout. That’s the wonderful part about it – never knowing the impact our words and deeds have on others, because it’s not our efforts doing the impacting, it’s God moving through them in his mysterious way.
I’m not a fan of the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life” (horrible depiction of a holy angel!), but I like the part where Jimmy Stewart’s character finds out how much he’s positively impacted people’s lives. He’d just stumbled through his days like most of us do, trying his best to do his best under whatever circumstance, never realizing (until he does) how important his humble contributions have been to the lives of his family, his friends, his colleagues, his community, and beyond.
If he hadn’t had the spiritual crisis that formed the fulcrum of the movie, he may never have found out how big his mustard bush was.
So we need to keep on keepin’ on with our ministering, whatever form it takes, knowing that as long as we do our part (sow the seeds), God will do the rest (water them, germinate them, sprout them, tend them, etc.). We need to have faith and keep going, even if we see no discernible fruit from our efforts.
Because at some point, someone’s going to come up to you and thank you for what you said to them, and you won’t have a clue what they’re talking about, even as you nod and smile. And when that happens, you’ll know that God did his mysterious ways thing again but is giving you all the credit, and that of all the seeds that you sowed over all the years, at least one sprouted.
And that has made all the difference.
PERSECUTION, TORTURE AND MARTYRDOM
CAMPBELLTON, New Brunswick, May 7, 2023 – I’ve been reading the Bible now for nearly 24 years, since the day I was reborn. For the first three years, I read only the New Testament; after that, I read the Old Testament as well. I’ve worn through three Bibles so far, having to retire them when the pages started falling out. I guess they don’t make Bibles like they used to.
God’s gotten on my case a few times about making the Bible an idol. He tells me it’s an instruction manual and a history of my people, not something to be held aloft and worshiped. (There are no Bibles in Heaven.) Even so, I don’t eat or drink when I’m reading the Bible, like I do when I read magazines or newspapers. I take the Bible to bed with me every night. I pack it carefully into my luggage when I travel. I kiss it on occasion, like I’d kiss God if I could.
And I read it every day. I cannot not read the Bible. It feeds me and brings me new revelations. God himself reads it to me, through his Spirit, highlighting what I need to learn.
Today, he highlighted this verse in one of Paul’s letters:
“All that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.”
Note that Paul wrote “all that will live godly”, not “some that will live godly”. That means all of us who genuinely follow Jesus will be persecuted, no exceptions. That was Paul’s lived experience 2000 years ago, and nothing has changed since then. Born-again believers who remain true to God and Jesus can expect to be persecuted.
So I asked God if he could flesh out a bit what Paul meant by persecution.
The Christian martyrs list.
Jesus was crucified. Stephen was stoned. John the Baptist was beheaded. Paul was beheaded. Peter was crucified upside down. James (Jesus’ brother) was stoned. And that’s just the start of the list. Millions of others since then have been martyred for no other reason than they’d repented and believed the Gospel. Living godly in Christ Jesus put them on the wrong side of the worldly powers-that-be.
The persecution, torture, and martyrdom of Jesus’ followers has been ongoing for 2000 years, but by far the worst of it was in the 20th century. In the various revolutions and regime changes, such as in Armenia, Russia, Spain, Germany, and China, somewhere between 20 million to 65 million Christians were slaughtered. This is on top of the untold numbers of believers, starting with John the Baptist, who were tortured and killed, including during the 800 years of the Inquisition that mostly targeted Bible-believing Christians. The aim in torturing these poor souls was to break them so that they’d finally agree to serve the papacy. In 2022, the same office of the Vatican that has administered the Inquisition throughout the centuries was renamed the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith. In other words, the persecution, torture and martyrdom of Bible-believing Christians is unapologetically ongoing.
Jesus himself warned us about our sure prospect of persecution, including martyrdom, telling us that those who killed us would believe they were doing God’s will.
Which brings us to the likely prospect of our own martyrdom. When Paul wrote “persecution”, he meant a broad range of ill treatment, from taunting to beating to bankrupting to exiling, but he also meant martyrdom. He meant we’d likely be killed for our beliefs. We wouldn’t be killed for murder, mind you. Nor for rape. Nor for plotting against the powers-that-be – no, we’d be killed solely for what we believe, for what we read about and write about every day: God’s Truth. We’d be killed for believing and teaching God’s Word.
Are you ready to die like Jesus or Paul or Stephen or Peter, or like all the other believers who were tortured to death by agents of the worldly powers-that-be? If you’re not ready to be martyred, you’d better start getting ready, because your martyrdom could come any day, and who knows what form it will take. I hope this knowledge gives you pause. As born-again believers, we live and move in God’s Kingdom, but the Kingdom is smack dab in the middle of Satan’s realm, and Satan hates us and wants us dead and gone. As long as we’re here and witnessing the Good News, we’re a thorn in his eye and a spanner in his works, not to mention a living breathing reminder of everything he lost.
Scripture says that God’s people will suffer all manner of persecution, ending, for some, with martyrdom. If you count yourself among God’s people, you have to accept that you’ll be persecuted, which might also include being martyred.
The Bible, as God reminds me every now and then, is an instruction manual as well as a history of our people. We need to read it because we need to learn how to deal successfully with the rest of our time on Earth. Today, God taught me about persecution in the form of martyrdom. I’d read about martyrdom before, but I’d never really taken it to heart as applying to me. I guess it potentially does apply to me – it potentially applies to everyone who, as Paul puts it, lives godly in Christ Jesus. I’m not going to be scared away from being a born-again follower of Jesus, even if it does put me on the Christian martyrs list. I’ll just draw closer to God and Jesus, keep reading the Bible, and get ready for whatever comes.
HEALING THROUGH EXORCISM
CAMPBELLTON, New Brunswick, May 4, 2023 – We are allegedly in the midst of a mental health crisis. This is how the mainstream media is labeling it – a “mental health crisis”. Having collectively turned their backs on God, most people living in former Christendom have no concept of demons or what spiritual oppression looks like. So those in positions of authority call it a mental health crisis and try to shock, counsel, incarcerate, or drug the demon-oppressed person into some semblance of health. Of course, these approaches don’t work, because the more you try to suppress a demon, the more it will call for back-up, which means the oppressed person will get worse and worse until finally succumbing to full possession or suicide.
The book of Revelation tells us of the time when Hell will empty out and every disembodied fallen spirit ever created will roam the earth, looking for a body to possess. It also says that no matter how bad things get at that time, people will still refuse to repent and will continue with the same sinful behavior that got them into their spiritual mess and vulnerability to demons in the first place.
We’re not at that point in Revelation yet (thank God), but we’re getting closer every day. Demons are gaining an upper hand in the lives of more and more people. Yet these same people, these demon-oppressed and occasionally possessed people, are our neighbours, our family members, or even our friends, and they need our help. They don’t know the kind of help they need – some don’t know they need help at all – but spiritual help is the only thing that can heal them.
How do you get people to ask for the kind of help that they don’t even know they need?
Jesus, during his ministry years, spent most of his time healing sick people, and the majority of those who were sick were demon-oppressed or possessed. There was an understanding among the general public at that time that demons were at the root of most health problems, so people actively sought out Jesus and his disciples, begging to be healed.
Spiritual rebirth is an exorcism. During the rebirth process, the spirits of the world (that is, demons) are expelled and God’s Holy Spirit enters in. No demon can share a soul with God’s Spirit; a soul can house only holy or unholy, not both types of spirit simultaneously. This process of exorcism happened to me and was confirmed by God to have happened, when later that same day, after reading the verse about seven devils being driven out of Mary Magdalene, I was told by God that he’d done the same to me, only there were a lot more than seven.
Exorcism nowadays has devolved into the stuff of horror movies or the confessions of renegade priests on YouTube looking for attention (and donations). But Jesus cast out demons as a matter of course, all in a day’s work AND WITHOUT PAY, and so did his disciples. Exorcism was part of their job description. People came to them specifically requesting that type of healing.
Fast-forward to today, and we see in Canada that it’s now illegal (as of 2022) to perform an exorcism under what the federal government calls “conversion therapy”. This should not be surprising, considering that Canada has become a posterchild for how fast a former Christian nation can devolve into godlessness. Canada is now officially a secular (atheist) nation, with more unbelievers than believers. Back when I was seven years old and started calling myself an atheist, I was in a very very tiny minority in Canada.
How fast we’ve fallen as a nation.
Exorcism heals. I know that, because it healed me at my rebirth 24 years ago. All the pain I’d accumulated since I was a child disappeared in an instant and has not come back. Exorcism is a casting out of demons from a soul, to be replaced by God’s Holy Spirit. God himself had to perform the exorcism on me, since no-one else offered to do it. In my pain, I cried out for help from the depths of my soul, but God was the only one who heard.
We, as born-again believers, who ourselves have been exorcised of the spirits of the world (or else wouldn’t be born-again), need to hear the cries of the demon-oppressed calling out for help. We need to hear them, and we need to help them. These people are everywhere, all around us. And like Jesus, we need to let them know we’re here and that we can help them. People traveled vast distances to get to Jesus for healing because they’d heard he could help them. They had faith in him that he could help them. We need to build that same faith in people today that they can come to us for healing. And we need to be ready and able to help them when they do.
I believe that demons are at the root of most people’s problems. We’re not in a mental health crisis, we’re in a spiritual health crisis. Sin opens the door to demons, and they let themselves in and make themselves at home. Once in a soul, the only way that demons will leave is either through the death of the host or exorcism.
Most people didn’t initially come to Jesus to hear the Gospel: They came to be healed. Then, after they were healed, they were open to receiving the Gospel. This is not surprising to me, since the first thing I did after God exorcised me was to reach for a Bible and read the four gospels for the first time in my life. I read them all in one sitting, and I haven’t stop reading them since.
If your notion of exorcism is still based on Hollywood’s version, you need to read and reread the gospels. And then you need to ask God to help you heal the spiritually sick the way that Jesus and his first disciples did.
For us born-again believers, exorcism is part of our job description.
HOW’S YOUR HEART?
CAMPBELLTON, New Brunswick, May 2, 2023 – The state of your soul at the instant of your death determines your eternity, determines where you’ll spend your eternity, and there are only two places you can go: Heaven or not Heaven.
I don’t know about you, but that is a very sobering thought to me.
I remember hearing it first from a professor years ago, when I was an atheist. I recall very little about my time at university, but I remember my professor saying that the state of your soul at the instant of your death determines your eternity. In hindsight, it was a strange thing for an atheist to tuck away in her mind for safekeeping. I never thought about death in those days, other than for romanticizing suicide. Years later, a few months before I was reborn, I had a revelation about pain and death, that pain doesn’t end at death; that death doesn’t end the pain, it just keeps on going. After that revelation, I never thought about committing suicide again.
We don’t know when our death will come, unless God chooses to reveal it to us. I think that’s a good thing, if God does that for us (you can ask him to do it), because then we can take care of any loose ends that need to be taken care of. We can clean out the dust of any lingering grudges or hurts that might have accumulated in the nooks and crannies of our heart. Lingering grudges have no place in Heaven. We can make our peace, as they say, if God lets us know that our time is near. We can prepare to meet our Maker.
If, instead, death comes when we least expect it, without prior warning, that means we’d better be prepared to go at any time. That means we need to clean out any lingering grudges or hurts as soon as they come to mind, not put them off until later. We may not have later to deal with them.
There are many Christians who don’t believe that the state of your soul at death determines your eternity. They instead believe that Jesus did the work for them and all they have to do is state their belief in Jesus and claim his blood as a cover for their sins. They plan to stand before God on Judgement Day and plead the blood of Jesus over them. Certainly, Jesus did the hard slogging of paying the sin debt that we’d carried since Adam, but we still need to pull our own spiritual weight in the Kingdom. None of us gets a free ride.
So you’ve died and you’re standing before God pleading the blood of Jesus, and God asks you about your hard heart and all the grudges you carried around with you for years. And you know, you can’t lie to God at the Judgement. You also can’t change the state of your soul at the Judgement. There are no last-minute reprieves at that point. There’s just the books being opened and read, and your name indelibly written in either one or the other. You’re either a sheep or a goat. You’re either in the Book of Life or you’re not. You either know God as your Dad or you don’t. You’re either reborn or you’re not. There’s just the one or the other at Judgement, and no-one with any hardness of heart whatsoever gets into Heaven, no matter how much they plead the blood of Jesus.
That is a spiritual fact. You may not believe it, but that doesn’t make it any less true. Scripture tells us all the things that will keep us out of Heaven, and a hard heart is at the top of the list. But most self-professing Christians I know have the hardest of hearts, holding grudges against close relatives or former friends or colleagues, or former priests or ministers, or former spouses. Did you know that even holding grudges against authority figures will harden your heart? Paul says we should strive to live at peace with everyone, and Jesus says to love our enemies. That’s the stuff that softens your heart to a nice putty-like state, which is the kind of consistency that God’s looking for in a heart and the kind that will get you into Heaven.
We all have old hurts that the devil likes to tempt us with every now and then. The only way to deal with those old hurts when they pop up is to say what Jesus said on the cross: “Forgive them, Father, they don’t know what they’re doing.” I find it works every time. As soon as I say it (and God knows exactly who I mean when I say it to him), the hurt melts away and all that’s left in my newly soft-as-putty heart is love and compassion for the person or persons who hurt me. It works every time, that phrase. Every single time.
I don’t know what you’re nursing in your heart right now or what you think is unforgiveable on the part of someone who hurt you, but please consider what you’ve read here today. No hardness of heart gets into Heaven. No grudges, no matter how justified you think they may be, will be allowed in the hearts of those who get to go Home. The blood of Jesus will not cover a hard heart in someone who’s been warned to repent (this is your warning) and chose not to.
Again, I don’t know what’s in your heart and who it might be hardened against, but I do know from personal experience that the devil will try to harden your heart at every chance he gets, because he knows that’s one of the main stumbling blocks for people on the Way, and he knows that hard hearts do not make it Home.
Please search your heart right now, and if there’s any hardness in it, remember what Jesus said on the cross and say it yourself over that person or persons. Just say: “Forgive them, Father, they don’t know what they’re doing.” Say it as many times as you have to, night or day, every time the devil tries to tempt you back into hardness of heart. God will know who you mean when you say it, and then he’ll soften your heart.
The owner of a hard heart will not get into Heaven, and the state of your soul (which is the state of your heart) at the instant of your death determines where you spend eternity.
HOW TO BE HOLY
CAMPBELLTON, New Brunswick, May 2, 2023 – Many Christians try their best to be holy. They do what they think are “holy things”, like attending church services, reading the Bible, and praying to God. They do these things on their own volition, thinking it’s required of them. But the truth is, you can’t do anything to make yourself holy, no matter how often you attend church or how many Bible verses you read every day or how hard you pray.
Only God can make you holy, because only God is the source of holiness.
You can’t make yourself holy, but you can become holy by the grace of God. It’s the presence of God’s Holy Spirit in you that makes you holy. You’re not the source of your holiness; God’s Holy Spirit is.
As born-again believers, we all have a measure of God’s Holy Spirit in us. That is God’s grace, which he gives to his adoptive children at rebirth. God’s Holy Spirit is part of the rebirth deal. If you’re genuinely reborn, God’s Holy Spirit is with you all the time, which means you’re automatically holy.
So what then does it mean to be holy?
When you’re holy (that is, when you’re genuinely reborn and God’s Holy Spirit is in you), you’re drawn to godly things and have an aversion to ungodly ones. This aversion is particularly acute when you’re newly reborn, when, for instance, hearing or seeing curse words is almost like a physical attack on you. Thankfully, God takes the edge off that experience over time, so that you can at least tolerate being around people who curse. If he hadn’t done that, you wouldn’t be able to be around unregenerated people at all, since my experience has been that people tend to curse and use the Lord’s name in vain much more frequently when they’re around me than otherwise (or so they confess).
God’s children are holy by virtue of being God’s children, through the presence of God’s Holy Spirit in them. They don’t have to work at being holy; they simply are holy. But that doesn’t mean they can’t lose their holiness, like the formerly holy angels who fell from God’s grace.
So even though God has made you holy, you still have to make the right choices (righteous choices) to remain holy. That part is up to you. I don’t mean there’s a to-do list that you have to check off every day to remain holy. There’s no such thing. There’s only living your life by making righteous choices, like Jesus did.
And you don’t have to go out looking for choices to make; God will bring them to you. Every day, he’ll lay before you countless options to choose from, such as what to mull over in your mind, what to talk about, what to read and write, what to watch, how to interact with people, how to make a living, etc. Jesus didn’t go looking for ways to be holy; he simply was holy by virtue of the full measure of God’s Holy Spirit that was in him. Throughout his time on Earth, Jesus retained the full measure of the Spirit by making righteous choices in everything he did. This is why God was “pleased” with him.
We don’t have the full measure of God’s Holy Spirit, but we do have a measure, if we’re genuinely born again. How big a measure we have depends on the kind of choices we make and what we do with the talents God gives us.
Many people like to parade around thinking they’re holy, as Jesus pointed out. They make a big show of praying in public or wearing ‘holy garb’, like priests wearing special robes. (I actually wore a long black priest’s robe as a coat when I was a rebel teen atheist. I paired it with leopard-skin high heels and black tights held together with safety pins. From first-hand experience, I can tell you that wearing that priest’s robe did not make me holy!) Fake holy people are all over the worldly church, draping themselves with crosses and other paraphernalia and intoning God’s Word rather than speaking it. They also like to think of themselves as “holier than thou” and are perfectly captured in the parable of the Pharisee who stands at the front of the temple, congratulating himself on a presumed holiness that comes from fasting, praying, giving alms, tithing, etc. He also congratulates himself on not being like the poor wretch at the back of the temple who can’t even bring himself to lift his head before God. But Jesus informs us that it’s the poor wretch whose simple humble confession justifies him, while the presumptuous pompous Pharisee falls ever deeper into his sins.
We cannot make ourselves holy (only God can do that, through his Spirit), but we are responsible for making sure that we retain our God-given holiness. We do this by making righteous choices with our free will as long as we’re still here on Earth.
As for who is holy and who isn’t – people can be fooled, but God knows who’s holy, and so do the demons.