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Shield Reigning Over Temptation  

Bob worked for the family business. It had been difficult for the last eight weeks. He had not sleep well. He had lost weight due to not eating right. The business was at a crossroads. He felt the weight of the future on his shoulders. Decisions had to be made. Decisions that would affect his family for ages to come. Then it happened. The subtle suggestion to take the easy way out. "Go ahead, you deserve it. Cut some corners, it won't matter. Take what you can get. Your daddy will not let anything happen to you. Besides, there is always that generous offer from the competitor that would make your life so much easier. Why put yourself through all this for people that don't really care?"

Jesus faced similar issues. He was led into the wilderness by the Spirit to be tempted by the devil. He was hungry. Satans first temptation was directed at Jesus' physical needs."Command that these stones be made bread." Then, Satan's second temptation was spiritual in that it attacked Jesus' faith in God the Father. Finally, the devil offered Him the "kingdoms of the world," if He would compromise the plan of God and worship him. Satan met defeat each time he tempted Jesus because he was met with "It is written." Jesus relied on nothing but the Word of God to stop and silence the devil. No praise and worship service or counsel of recognized ministers was needed. Now to be clear, there is a time for praise and worship and counsels can serve a purpose. However, when facing the adversary of your soul, it is the Word that brings the victory.

Ever notice that temptation always seems to appeal to your reasoning? Rotherham's Emphasized Bible translates James 1: 22 as "Become ye doers of the word and not hearers only--Reasoning yourself astray." Yes, it is our reasoning and cerebral pride that can lead to falling to temptation. That's how Satan has been working for thousands of years and it began in the Garden of Eden. Satan has been repeating the line, "Yea, hath God said...," ever since Genesis 3:1. He appealed to Eve's logic and reasoning concerning the forbidden fruit. He repeats the same temptation today. Can you blame him? It worked then and the same old line ensnares men and women today. Something malfunctions when we begin to battle Satan with our mental faculties instead of the Word of God. We need to replace our logical thinking with the Word of God. The guaranteed way to defeat Satan every time is to counter his "hath God said," with "It is written." The Word of God contains a power that we are only beginning to understand. The spoken Word of God was the method He used to create the world we live in. Those same Words of power are available to every child of God, whether newborn or mature man and woman of faith to defeat the most deceptive attack of the enemy.

The Temptation of Jesus

In Matthew 4: 16-17, Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist. When He came out of the water, the Spirit of God descended upon Him like a dove and a voice from heaven said, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." What a baptism service! Jesus has been anointed by the Spirit of God to begin His ministry. The first thing that occurs is not an invitation to preach in the largest synagogue in Jerusalem or a book deal, instead He is led immediately into a battle with Satan that He must win. Jesus is the second Adam according to I Corinthians 15:45-49. The temptation is real. The stakes are very high. All of our futures depend on the outcome. If Jesus falls into sin as a result of the temptation, God's plan for the salvation of our souls is lost. We will be doomed. Jesus must remain sinless or His blood could not be the perfect sacrifice for our sins.

Some think that it was impossible for Jesus to sin. If Jesus could not have fallen to the temptation, then the temptation was not real. Let me give you an example. If I asked you to steal the trade secrets from your employer's business and in exchange I would give you the Tower of London, you would not be tempted because I do not have the right to give you the Tower of London. There is no temptation to you because I have offered you nothing. Luke 4 verse 6 says in describing the temptation by Satan to give Jesus the kingdoms of the world:

"And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will give it."

Satan had the right to give the kingdoms of the world because the dominion and authority that God gave to Adam in Genesis 1:26 was transferred to Satan by Adam's sin in the garden. Satan had become the god of this world. Satan had something to tempt Jesus with. It was real and it was the best Satan had to offer. Praise God for the faithfulness of Jesus who knew the Word and soundly defeated Satan in the wilderness and grants to us the same authority to reign today over temptation. Whereas the first Adam fell into sin, the second Adam, Jesus was victorious. He won because He used the Word and the Word alone.

First Temptation

The first temptation was physical. Jesus was all God and all man. This fact is difficult for our finite minds to wrap around and understand. It is good that we don't have to understand it, only accept it by faith. Jesus had the same physical needs that we have. When he was tired, He needed to sleep. When He was hungry, He needed to eat. When He was sorrowful, He wept. It is at this point of physical need, His humanity, that Satan brought the first temptation. There was actually nothing wrong in turning stones into bread for needed food. The wrong would have been in obeying Satan. It was Satan that said:

"If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread."

We seem to want to put our physical desires and needs above everything. Actually, they deserve the least consideration. The believer needs to focus on feeding his spirit the Word and having his mind renewed by meditating on the Word. Joshua 1:8 says:

"This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success."

Rotherham's Emphasized Bible translates the passage this way:

"This scroll of the law must not cease out of thy mouth but thou must talk to thyself therein day and night, that thou mayest take heed to do according to all that is written therein--for then shalt thou make thy way prosperous, and then shalt thou have good success."

The word "meditate" means to mutter. We need to talk to ourselves with the Word of God. The Word needs to be on our lips throughout the day as we are able to do so. Obviously, common sense needs to be applied but we waste so much time on things that do not feed our spirit and our soul. How much wasted time do we have in a day? The time to prepare for temptation is before the tempter has arrived. Jesus taught us to pray to be delivered from evil as preventive medicine not as the last words before defeat. If you postpone prayer until the temptation is before you, you increase the risk of falling. Jesus was ready because He knew the Word. Jesus was ready because He brought His physical body into subjection to the Word. He saw the temptation and quickly dispatched the devil by saying, "It is written." The key to defeating physical temptations is to have the Word of God on your lips and your body in submission to that Word.

Second Temptation

The second temptation was spiritual. It challenged Jesus' faith in the Father to protect Him according to the Word. Notice what Satan said to Jesus:

"If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone."

Compare this with the actual text of Scripture in Psalm 91:11-12:

"For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone."

Satan left out a very important phrase: "in all thy ways." Jesus knew and understood that if He stepped out of the divine will of God, He could no longer expect to receive God's divine care. Jesus unleashed the power of the Word when He said, "It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God." As we walk in obedience to the Word of God, we also will receive divine care.

Just as Satan suggested doubt to Jesus that the Father might not protect Him, Satan has been doing his best to convince the church that God is angry at them. He tells Christians that God is sending sickness, poverty and evil upon them to increase their faith and perfect them. The problem is that many in the church today believe it. The Word says in Romans 10:17:

"So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."

Faith does not come by adversity; it comes by hearing the Word. Faith certainly is tested by trials but that is not the Bible method for it to come. I remember during a healing service during a revival I preached, a man came to me in all sincerity and said, "You had better be careful, those miracles of healing may be of the devil. God may be sending that sickness to perfect them. You had better slow down and stop all the praying for the sick as you might be interfering with the work of God." I looked at him in amazement and said, "That is interesting. During Bible days Satan made people sick and oppressed them and Jesus healed them. You are now saying that Jesus makes people sick and Satan heals them. What about Hebrews 13: 8 'Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.'" Guess what! The Word silenced the critic on the spot because he had no answer to the Word! Now please understand that this fellow meant no harm. He was sincere. He was also sincerely wrong. He was the product of a religious tradition that has attempted to shift the problem of unanswered prayer from the faithless to God. "It's God's fault that brother or sister so and so have not been healed. We have done all we are to do. The problem is it may not be God's will to heal." This is falling for the second temptation.

The key to defeating this type of temptation is to know the Word and speak it. Our God is a good God and has prosperous plans for each of our lives. In the King James Bible, the word translated "prosperous" is oftentimes the Hebrew word "shalom," which according to Strong's Concordance means "peace, safety, prosperity, well-being, intactness, wholeness and contentment."Jeremiah 29:11 says:

"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not evil, to give you an expected end."

God has thoughts of peace, safety, prosperity, well-being, intactness, wholeness and contentment toward you. Sometimes, it is preached that God is angry at you and you had better watch out or He will send a castrophe on you and your family to teach you a lesson. These Scriptures plainly show the fallacy of such teaching.

Psalm 139: 17-18 provides more revelation on God's thoughts about you:

"How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee."

Should Satan tempt you into believing that God will not take care of you, rely on the Word to defeat the lie. Our God has so many good thoughts about you that they exceed the grains of sand. I live by a beach and have seen the sands. They are impossible to count. So it is with God's precious thoughts about you.

Third Temptation

The third temptation was Satan's best offer. He wanted Jesus' worship. He offered to Jesus the entire world without having to go to the cross to get it. All Jesus had to do was compromise and give in. Satan loves the word compromise. That word contains so much deception. One believes that they are still on the right track, yet they have wandered far from the narrow way. The narrow way is the way of faith. No matter how great the works of man are, they will never replace the God ordained method of the cross to bring salvation. It is by the way of faith in Jesus' blood shed on the cross that we come to salvation. Jesus remained true to the redemptive plan of God. There could be no compromise.

Satan was offering to Jesus the glory of a world that Jesus could have taken by a Word should He have desired to do so. What Satan offered Jesus was nothing compared to the splendor of heaven that Jesus had come from. The enemy's best offer was simply to avoid the cross. As Jesus did not shrink from the cross neither should we. Matthew 16:24 says:

"Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me."

To take up the cross is to put the interests of the kingdom of God first. We are to put aside our priorities and interests in exchange of those for the Kingdom. That is carrying your cross. Matthew 6:33 says:

"But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."

This is not suggesting a self-punishing lifestyle with no joy or happiness. To the contrary, the joy of placing the Kingdom of God first guarantees all the things in life for our lives to be full and blessed. I was familiar with a religious group that viewed the fear of compromise so centrally to all they did that it drove them into all sorts of things that made them fearful and joyless. The women had to wear long sleeves, long skirts with no slits and panty hose regardless of the temperature. It would be 100 degrees in the summertime and you would see how miserable they were but they would be too afraid to let anyone know because they would sound worldly and compromising. The women could not cut their hair, even the dead ends, regardless of how long it grew. The television was prohibited as well as all movies and the Internet in the home. These people were trying their best not to compromise. However, in the process, they got their eyes off the Kingdom and on to each other and their manner of dress and lifestyle. Our commitment to the Kingdom of God should be the desire of our heart. We are to be about our Master's business of making disciples and reaching the lost. When this is our focus, indeed we are taking up our cross. As Jesus took His cross to save mankind, we are to take up our cross and reach out to others with the message that Christ Jesus came to seek and save the lost, to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, to restore sight to the blind and to set at liberty those that are oppressed.

Again, Jesus defeated Satan with the Word:

"Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. Then the devil leaveth him, and behold, angels came and ministered unto him." Matthew 4:10-11

When we use the Word, the devil will eventually leave you, but he will leave you. The temptation will end. Angels are about you during the temptation. They are standing by as you quote the Word to defeat the enemy and waiting to minister to you at the conclusion. Strong's Concordance tells us that "minister" means "to serve, help, attend to." It is a comforting thought that God in His love for you has dispatched some of heaven's best to be near you during this battle. You have the Word to defeat the enemy and the angels of God just waiting for the victory to serve and help you.

Case Study

I met Jim at a revival I preached in the Midwest. He was in his late twenties and had been raised in a very strict Christian home. He had lots of rules to obey. For example, he could not read a newspaper on Sunday, could not go to the movies, or wear shorts. He had done his best to live up to his parents' rules even though he no longer lived at home, but he was empty inside. He was addicted to tobacco, alcohol and pornography. Of course, his parents were unaware of his addictions. The revival was for ten days. I was staying in a small apartment by the church. The revival was in its seventh day when I heard a knock on the door about 10:00PM. The services had been over for about an hour so I was surprised to see Jim at my door. He asked could he meet with me. I invited him in to talk. He told me he was concerned because he had felt no stirring in his heart during the revival even though he had attended every night. He explained his addictions to me and wanted my opinion on his situation. Jim really wanted to get right with God, but he couldn't seem to find the rest that the Bible talked about.

I asked Jim would he like to pray. I was in my pajamas when he came over and I decided we could just go over to the church and pray. I had a key so we went in and he fell over the altar and commenced repenting. For about thirty minutes he told God how sorry he was for everything. He "bawled and squalled." I simply sat there next to him by the altar. About 11:00PM, the host pastor evidently saw the lights on in the church and he came over in his suit. There we were my self in my pajamas, the pastor in his suit, and Jim "bawling" and "squalling." I stopped Jim and asked him was he forgiven and he said, "No." He said he just could not overcome the temptations of alcohol, tobacco and lust. I then said something that almost knocked the pastor off the altar. I said, "Jim, if you want to smoke and drink and serve Jesus it's OK with me." He said, "Really!" I said all he had to do was confess with his mouth Jesus as Lord and believe in his heart that God had raised Him from the dead and he would be saved in accordance with Romans 10:9-10. He looked at me with such surprise and prayed simply as I had suggested. He sat back with such a relief as he had finally found the rest in Jesus. He had left the law of works and had entered the law of faith and was a child of God. I told him he was now the "righteousness of God in Christ." I advised him that whatever the devil tried to tempt him with, just keep saying that "he was the righteousness of God in Christ." No matter if he fell to temptation or not, he was to quote the Word that he was "the righteousness of God in Christ." I was convinced that the power of the Word would strengthen his inner man and would defeat Satan when he attacked him.

The next night Jim came to revival and wanted to testify. He told the congregation what had happened and that Jesus was his Lord and Savior. He said that as he left the church parking lot, he reached for his cigarettes as was his usual habit. He said he felt Jesus speak to him, "You don't need those anymore." Jim rolled down his window and crumpled the pack and threw them out the window. He also testified that the devil tried to get him to drink. Jim quoted the Word that he was "the righteousness of God in Christ" and that he didn't do that anymore. He did the same when he was tempted to lust. Jim had discovered the secret of using the Word to defeat the enemy. He had finally found the rest of faith.


You can reign over temptation every time. You don't have to give in; you just need to know how to fight. You don't reign by trying harder or "squalling and bawling." You reign by using the Word the way Jesus did. How do I know that you can prevail every time? I Corinthians 10: 13 says:

"There hath no temptation taken you but is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may able to bear it."

You can reign! The Word is always present to provide you an escape from temptation if you use it like Jesus did. The next time temptation comes knocking at the door of your heart, answer with your mouth, "IT IS WRITTEN!"

Ruling Principles

1. When facing temptation, it is the Word of God that brings the victory.

2. We need to replace our logical thinking with the Word of God in dealing with temptation.

3. The Word needs to be on our lips throughout the day building up our faith and resistance to temptation.

4. The key to defeating physical temptations is to have the Word of God on your lips and your body in submission to that Word.

5. Faith does not come by adversity; it comes by hearing the Word of God.

6. The key to defeating spiritual temptations is to know the Word of God and speak it.

7. Our God has so many good thoughts about you that they exceed the grains of sand.

8. To take up your cross is to put the interests of the kingdom of God first and your interests last.

9. When we use the Word of God when tempted, the devil will eventually leave you, but he will leave you.

10. We are to worship God and God alone, no matter what the circumstances.

11. You can reign over temptation every time.

Confession of the Word

Jesus is my Lord and Savior. I believe with all my heart that God has raised Him from the dead. Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world. Temptation does not defeat me. I defeat temptation because of the Word of God. I do not live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceeds from the mouth of God. I do not tempt the Lord my God and it is God alone that I worship. I seek the Kingdom of God first and everything I need or desire is added to me. God loves me and has more precious thoughts toward me than there are grains of sand. I am more than a conqueror in Christ Jesus. I overcome because of the blood of Jesus Christ and the word of my testimony. Temptation get behind me! Satan get behind me! I belong to the most High God and I am His child. I have the victory! I reign over temptation! Jesus is Lord!

Shield Reigning Over Your Thoughts  

Sarah was obsessed with thoughts of something happening to her children. If she read about a new disease on the Internet, she thought her children would get it. During the summer she would force her children to wear winter coats to protect them from the sun because she thought that they might get skin cancer. She developed a fear that her husband would lose his job at the plant and they would lose their home. Since Sarah was getting older, she began to wonder if her husband would leave her for a younger woman. She began to become distrustful of him when he left for work. She would call him several times a day and if he did not answer, she would interrogate him upon his return home. Sarah was constantly allowing her thoughts of fear and worry to control her.

Thoughts can drive us to extremes if we allow them to. John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist Church, said that you could not stop a bird from flying above your head, but you could stop it from building a nest in your hair. If we allow them to, thoughts can wear us down and affect our health. Hebrews 12:3 says:

"For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds."

The Amplified Version translates the passage as follows:

"Just think of Him Who endured from sinners such grievous opposition and bitter hostility against Himself [reckon up and consider it all in comparison with your trials], so that you may not grow weary or exhausted, losing heart and relaxing and fainting in your minds."

When we consider our Lord Jesus Christ and how He in His humanity faced thoughts that attempted to make Him faint, we have a perfect example to follow. We must not allow ourselves to dwell on suggestions of fear and worry that will wear us down and cause us to faint or give up. The battle for our minds can be won if we will follow the model established by Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane.

In the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus was facing an intense mental struggle. He knew what lied ahead: the pain, the torture and the death. He felt loneliness. He wanted Peter and the two sons of Zebedee to watch with Him. The Word says that: "My soul (mind and emotions) is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me." (Matthew 26:38) Luke 22:44 states: "And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground." An article entitled "Sweating Blood" by Dr. Kelly Hollowell says in part: "There is a very rare phenomenon, a medical condition, in which an individual can, indeed, sweat blood. It is called hematidrosis, and it is associated with a high degree of psychological stress." Jesus was facing a battle of the mind like none other in history either before or since. The Son of God sinless and perfect was facing death for the sins of mankind. Nothing in our lives can ever come close to this type of stress. It must be remembered that Jesus was all man as well as all God. It was His humanity that would face death on the cross. He felt every attack dealing with His mind as well as His body.

How did Jesus Handle His Thoughts?

Jesus said: "Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation." In a previous chapter the issue of dealing with temptation was discussed. In this chapter, we deal specifically with our thought life, our mind. It is the seat of our emotions and wills. It is a powerful force when it is renewed by the Word of God, but if it allows suggestions of fear and doubt to rule it, one's life will be one of severe distress. Jesus was telling us to "watch and pray" as the method of dealing with our thought life.

The first step in dealing with thoughts of fear and despair is to "watch."

The word "watch" means to give attention to, to be mindful of, to be ready for, and to consider an event that is soon to occur. We all know that as we live our lives our minds will receive a suggestion from our own self, or others or Satan himself, to be tempted to worry or doubt. We are to be ready for we know it will occur. How are we to be ready? We are to meditate on the Word of God. In Joshua 1:8, the Word says:

"This scroll of the law must not cease out of thy mouth but thou must talk to thyself therein day and night, that thou mayest take heed to do according to all that is written therein--for then shalt thou make thy way prosperous, and then shalt thou have good success." -Rotherham's Emphasized Bible

Meditation in the Word is not a silent activity. It is a time of speaking the Word with our mouths so that we can hear the words being spoken. We know that faith will come as we hear the Word of God (Romans 10:17), because faith is contained in the Word itself. As we hear ourselves saying that God has not given us a spirit of fear (II Timothy 1:7), we will be able to overcome thoughts of fear. When we hear ourselves saying that we are anxious about nothing and have the peace of God (Philippians 4:6-7), thoughts of worry begin to fade. When we hear ourselves confess that Jesus will never leave us or forsake us (Matthew 28:20), we can overcome thoughts of loneliness. When we can truly believe that the Bible is God speaking directly to us, we are making ourselves ready, that is "watching," for any thoughts that would contradict the Word. Any thought that is in disagreement with the Word will be recognized and rejected immediately and brought into subjection. Paul wrote:

"Casting down imaginations (reasoning of the mind), and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God (that is His Word), and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ...." -II Corinthians 10:5

We are to be ready to detect and reject all thoughts that are contrary to the Word. This was one of the messages that Christ was telling us in the Garden of Gethsemane. Be ready; be watchful, because thoughts of fear, worry and doubt are going to come. However, you can defeat them with the Word. Jesus defeated these thoughts and He empowers us to do the same through His Word.

The second step in dealing with thoughts of fear and despair is to pray.

In addition to watching, Jesus told the disciples to pray. The problem is that many do not know how to pray. They complain and call it prayer. They spend much of their prayer time telling God all the success the devil has had in their lives. They then beg God to do something about it. However, we can defeat thoughts of fear and despair when we pray the Word.

Notice that Jesus always prayed the solution not the problem. When praying for Lazarus to be raised from the dead, Jesus said:

"Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me.... Lazarus, come forth." -John 11:41-43

Jesus told us to speak to the mountain and command it to be removed (Mark 11:22-24). He was not referring to a physical mountain range; He was talking about the mountain of problems in your life, which includes thoughts of fear and worry. Jesus said:

"Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them." -Mark 11:24

We are to speak to the thoughts that besiege us and command them to be removed and cast into then sea. They must go. They must obey you because the Word says they must. It is not about your ability or strength; it's about His ability and His strength. His Word makes His ability and His strength available to you though praying His Word. If that sounds simple, guess what, it is! We can defeat the negative thoughts that come to nest in our minds by speaking to them according to the Word and having faith in that Word.

If this is new to you and you struggle with believing, continue to pray and confess the Word and hold fast to your words as they agree with God's Words. Hebrews 4:14 says:

"Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession (that is confession)."

We are to continue to meditate and pray the Word regardless of what our senses tell us about our situation. If thoughts of worry and fear come to your mind, we are to watch and pray and hold fast to His Word. You will prevail because His Word will not fail as long as we have faith in the Words He spoke. Never fear negative thoughts again, you have the victory through His Word as you "watch and pray."

Case Study

Kevin was born into an abusive home. Neither his father nor mother demonstrated natural love and affection toward him. He grew up feeling abandoned and lonely. He joined the military at eighteen and was discharged early because of a mental condition that made him unfit for duty. He worked at several menial jobs but was always fired because he could not get along with fellow employees. Kevin developed into an extremely angry person. He would get into fights frequently and was arrested several times. He spent some time in the local jail for his crimes. Kevin reached a point of mental collapse that landed him in a state mental hospital. He was given a diagnosis that included several mental disorders.

A friend invited Kevin to church and he went. He had never been to church in his entire life. The knowledge of a Savior just for him brought comfort to Kevin. He gave his heart and life to Jesus Christ and was born again. He knew love for the first time in his life. As he began to grow in his new faith, Kevin developed an intense love for God's Word. Although it was difficult for him, he committed as many verses as he could to memory. His mind was being transformed day by day. At the time of his conversion, Kevin was taking ten medications a day to control his behavior. Within months of Kevin's committing God's Word to memory, the doctors began to slowly reduce his medication. Pill by pill was being eliminated from Kevin's life as his thought life was being changed by the Word.

Today, Kevin takes no medication. If you would talk to him you would never suspect that this is the same man that used to be in a padded room to protect him. The Word of God truly transformed Kevin into a new person. One of Kevin's greatest fears was going to school. He had never done well in school and in fact had dropped out of high school. Kevin went back to school and received his GED. Next, he decided to go to college to pursue his dream of getting a college degree. At the time of this writing, Kevin is within a semester of graduating from college. A life that was once tormented by thoughts of anger and hatred was now a life dedicated to serving God in love. Only the power of the Word could accomplish such a miraculous result.


God's Word is established in heaven (Psalm 119: 89) and it is up to us to establish His Word on earth by speaking it. Our minds are subject to thoughts of fear and worry, but these can be controlled by meditating and praying the Word of God. God wants our minds to be transformed by His Word and when we do, thoughts of fear and worry will disappear. Jesus' example in the Garden of Gethsemane directs us to "watch and pray" when facing times of extreme emotional conflict. The great news is that we can reign over our thoughts when we follow the Word of God everyday. The Scriptures tell us that we are to think about things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of a good report and those things that have virtue. When we follow this directive, worry and fear will have no opening to enter or to remain.

Ruling Principles

1. When we consider our Lord Jesus Christ and how He in His humanity faced thoughts that attempted to make Him faint, we have a perfect example to follow in dealing with our thought life.

2. Jesus told us to "watch and pray" as the method of dealing with our thought life.

3. The first step in dealing with thoughts of fear and despair is to "watch."

4. We watch by meditating, that is speaking, on God's Word.

5. We are to be ready to detect and to reject all thoughts that are contrary to the Word.

6. The second step in dealing with thoughts of fear and despair is to pray.

7. We are to pray the Word and not complain in prayer.

8. We are to speak to the thoughts that besiege us and command them to be removed according to the Word of God.

9. We are to continue to meditate and pray the Word regardless of what our senses tell us about our situation.

Confession of the Word

I have not been given a spirit of fear. I reject all thoughts of fear, worry and doubt as being contrary to the Word of God. Thoughts opposing the Word of God, I command you to depart from me in Jesus' name. I have a sound mind and I think on those things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of a good report and those things that have virtue. My mind is transformed daily by the Word of God. The Word of God is my reality and not what I see, hear or touch. God's Word is established in heaven and I establish God's Word here on earth by my speaking it in faith. God's Word will not return void and it will accomplish what it is intended to accomplish. God's Word creates in me a sound mind that is free from fear, worry and doubt. This I confess in the name of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior.

Shield Reigning Over Poverty  

Susan and I have been through some very difficult financial times. We had closed down a business because we felt God's leading to do so. However, even though the business had closed, we still had obligations that had to be paid. After figuring and refiguring our income and expenses, it seemed that we fell short every month by at least two thousand dollars ($2000.00). Most people were happy to see the end of the month; however, we weren't because a new month meant a new deficit! I became employed managing a business making a good salary and Susan had started selling or at least trying to sell real estate. Every month for at least six months, something got turned off. Either the water, the electricity or the phone was disconnected. We decided that the phone would be paid last because at least that way, no one could call us and demand a promise that we could not keep. We learned how to turn the water on ourselves (only after we had dropped the payment in the overnight deposit box) so we could at least have running water.

In looking back, the really interesting aspect to our problem was the fact that we somehow accepted the situation as God's will. Our religious training had instilled in us that poverty would keep us humble and that we should want to walk in humility. We were told that it would be selfish to pray for money and that we should be satisfied with the lot God had given us. It would make us more "holy." We were warned to stay away from those people that taught that God wanted to prosper you. There was no hope in what we were being taught and we struggled along month to month acting holy and being broke!

One night I had had enough. I was willing to accept our lack, if it was God's will, but in reading the Word I saw that the devil was the one who had come to "kill, steal and destroy." Jesus had come to give "life and life more abundantly." I don't care what anyone says, it is not the abundant life to be sitting in the dark, with no water, no phone, no money and driving a fifteen year old car full of rust that makes odd noises with 150000 miles on it with a huge dent in it. I screamed so loud in our kitchen that Susan came downstairs to see what was going on. I yelled: "Satan, I command you to take your hands off our money NOW, in Jesus' name!" I believed for the first time that God had a better plan for our lives than the sorrow and lack that Susan and I had been living with. What follows is what we learned from the Word and the Spirit of God that turned our situation around in less than three years. For those that might still think that God does not want you blessed, please read Appendix 3 on "Scriptures on Prosperity" before proceeding. Your faith level will not rise any higher than the known will of God. If you believe that God wants you to prosper, the following steps will be the tools to live the abundant life. If you doubt His will to prosper you, the tools won't work. As always, God honors faith, not formula.

Steps to Abundance

The four steps Susan and I followed to obtain Biblical prosperity are set forth below and are summarized as claim, command, conditions and commission.

Step One is to claim God's prosperity for you.

There were three passages of Scripture that God used to show me His will concerning our financial prosperity. First, Romans 5:17 in the Amplified Bible says:

"For if because of one man's trespass (lapse, offense) death reigned through that one, much more surely will those who receive [God's] overflowing grace (unmerited favor) and the free gift of righteousness [putting them into right standing with Himself] reign as kings in life through the one Man Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One)."

The Word said that I was to reign in this life and I knew that what I was experiencing was not "reigning as a king." I began to search the Scriptures and was amazed to find out that God wanted me to prosper. Psalm 35: 27 says:

"Let them shout for joy, and be glad, that favor my righteous cause: yea, let them say continually, Let the Lord be magnified, which hath pleasure in the prosperity of his servant."

I began to say with my mouth, "The Lord takes pleasure in the prosperity of Barry Jenkins." I began to confess the Word of God morning and night. I didn't have any more money in the bank, but somehow, I knew something was different. There was an image in my inner man that was beginning to have hope. My mind was beginning to believe the Word of God concerning our finances.

The second Scripture was Deuteronomy 8:18:

"But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day."

I saw that getting wealth was acceptable if I did it God's way. In fact, He would direct me how to do it. God wanted to establish His covenant by giving me the power to obtain wealth. The power to get wealth He wanted to establish with me was the same power He had given to Abraham:

"And I will bless thee, and make thy name great: and thou shalt be a blessing. And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed." -Genesis 12:2-3

Galatians 3:13-14 told me that the blessing of Abraham was to come to the Gentile believers. Verse 29 of that chapter said:

"And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise."

I said, "I am in Christ and therefore Abraham's blessing belongs to me!" God had promised to bless me to such a point that I might be able to bless others. Up to this point, I couldn't begin to pay all my bills, much less help someone else. However, the Word told me that God's will was to bring these things about. My hope began to build as I depended only on the Word to bring these changes about. I could not to look to those in our church or friends who would have most likely dismissed my new found beliefs as part of the "Name It Claim It" crowd.

The third Scripture was Ephesians 4:28:

"Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labor, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth."

I remember preaching a revival and being in the home of the host pastor. He told me how difficult it was to make it on his small salary and that his prayer was that somehow, God would just meet his needs. I looked him in the eye and said, "That is the most selfish thing I have ever heard." He looked like he had been hit with a day old fish. I told him to pray for an excess that he might help someone else.

I began to see that the reason God wanted to bless His people with prosperity was so they could help spread the Gospel (establish His covenant) and give to those in need. This was God's method and purpose in providing us the "power to get wealth." The Amplified Bible says in Philippians 4:19:

"And my God will liberally supply (fill to the full) your every need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus."

God wasn't going to just get Susan and me by with the bare essentials; He was going to fill it to the full! This was shouting ground for a man trying to keep his lights on and his creditors away from the doorstep. Remember, we still had no more money and the bills were still two thousand dollars in the hole every month, but we believed God to perform His Word.

I was convinced that God was going to do a work, I just didn't know how. The book of James tells us to do the Word and not to reason yourself astray. My mind could think of a number of solutions that involved our working harder, taking second jobs, and quitting the ministry (at the time I was the senior pastor of a new church that paid no salary). However, all those reasoning’s were carnal and not Word based. They were based on fear. Fear and faith do not exist at the same time. It will be one or the other. We chose faith.

I remember going to Susan and telling her that I felt that God wanted me to quit my employment and go into the ministry full time. My salary was the majority of our monthly income as her real estate business had not produced much revenue. I thank God for a godly wife who believes in the Word. She stood with me not knowing how we were going to make it, but we knew that the Word of God was true and obedience to it would be the difference between abundance and bankruptcy. We stood in agreement and claimed that it was God's will for us to prosper. That was the first step.

Step Two is to command Satan to take his hands off your money.

That night that I commanded Satan to take his hands off our money, something happened in the spiritual realm. We have the authority through the name of Jesus Christ to command Satan to leave us alone and he must obey. After His resurrection, Jesus said in Matthew 28:18:

"And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and earth."

The word "power" actually means permission, authority, right, and liberty. Jesus was declaring His total defeat of Satan and that any authority Satan had previously had was now vested in Jesus. This was a complete destruction of Satan's authority received from the treason of Adam and Eve. Satan was no longer the "god of this world" to those that received salvation through the blood of Jesus Christ. Satan is no more the "god of this world" to a Christian than he was to Jesus when He walked the earth. The reason is that Jesus didn't ascend to heaven until after he made a transfer of His authority to the disciples. Immediately in verse 19, Jesus said: "Go ye therefore...." This was the transfer of Jesus' complete authority to us, the church. We now have the right and authority to command Satan just as Jesus did. Mark 16:15-18 says:

"And he (Jesus) said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover."

Demons are subject to the authority of the name "Jesus." We, the true believer, have the authority to use that name to go forth and take the gospel message to the world. Susan and I were being prevented from taking the gospel message because of all the money problems. Financial issues have a tendency to consume you. It is the last thing you think about before you close your eyes in sleep and the first thing you think about when you wake. Jesus wants to occupy those moments, not the curse of Satan in destroying the abundant life that Jesus came to give you. Susan and I begin to bind Satan and his demons from our finances. Just as Satan came to tempt Jesus in the wilderness, he may tempt you to doubt God. You must remain steadfast and bind, rebuke and resist Satan. Eventually, he will leave you. Eventually, he was defeated in our finances and the circumstances began to change.

Step Three is to meet the conditions for receiving from God.

Just as there are natural laws of physics (the law of gravity), there are spiritual laws that must be obeyed to receive God's best in your life. You don't have to believe in the law of gravity to jump off a twenty story building and fall to your death. Your belief in the law of gravity is a nonfactor in your falling. In the same way, if you fail to adhere to God's law concerning finances, you will not be blessed. The Word is very clear in Malachi 3:8-10:

"Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse...."

A tithe is a tenth. The first tenth of all you earn belongs to the Lord. It is His money. If you refuse to return it to Him, it is the same as going to the local gas station and robbing them at gunpoint. The main difference is that you might get away with robbing the gas station, but God sees all and there is no way that you will escape the curse of robbing God. You are to bring the tithe to your local storehouse, the place that you receive your spiritual food. It should be your local church.

The Scripture also tells us not to rob God in the giving of offerings. An offering is a gift above the tithe to a particular cause such as missions or a particular evangelistic ministry. It is important that you understand another spiritual law that goes with Malachi 3. It is the law of sowing and reaping.

Galatians 6:7 says:

"Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap."

You have to give to receive. This applies to all areas of life. If you want to receive love, love others. If you want a friend, be a friend. If you need money, give some away. If you have no money, find something to sell and give the money away, no matter how small the gift. It is in the principle of sowing and reaping that you are to operate. Someone might criticize you and say, "I know why you are giving. You are giving to get." Your response is, "I know why you are going to work. You are going to work just because they are going to pay you. I guess if they didn't pay you, you wouldn't work there." The answer is, of course I am sowing so that I can reap! It is a spiritual law that God has instructed us to do so in the Bible. In fact, He promises the results through the writing of Paul the Apostle:

"But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver." - 2 Corinthians 9:6-7

What may be sowing bountifully to you might not be what is sowing bountifully to a millionaire. It is the condition of the heart that is the most important. It is an issue of obedience. The Word says that we are to give tithes and offerings and that God wants us cheerful when we do so. Susan and I began to give the best we could and knew that the seeds were going to produce a harvest. You can give cheerfully when you know what the Word says. It was a matter of trust. Did we trust the Lord enough to believe that what He said He would do, He would in fact do? God is faithful and does not lie. What happened to us can happen to anybody that will in simple childlike faith believe the Word.

Step Four is to commission the angels of God.

God is not going to rain money down from heaven for you. I don't believe that He has American dollars in heaven and He can't print them because that would make Him a counterfeiter. However, when you give, the Word says that men shall give to you with "good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over" (Luke 6:38). Angels are here to help us and to assist us. They are ministering spirits for us the heirs of salvation (Hebrews 1:14). Angels are all about us and they are waiting for our words. Will our words be in agreement with God's Words or will they be in agreement with Satan's words? Psalm 103:20 says:

"Bless the Lord, ye his angels that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word."

We are to ask God to commission the angels to cause the return on our seed sowing. We are to speak God's Word concerning our finances and when we do, the angels who are listening, will cause that Word to be fulfilled on earth. The Word is already settled in heaven (Psalm 119:89), however, we need to speak that Word here to have it settled on earth. His Word will not return to Him void:

"So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it." -Isaiah 55:11

We have an assurance, a guarantee that God's Word will not fail. We must confess God's Word as a confirmation of our faith and to provide the angels the Words of God for them to "hearken" to. Susan and I began to speak: "My God meets all our needs according to His riches and glory by Christ Jesus. He fills to the full and we have no lack. We sow bountifully and we reap bountifully. We tithe and give offerings and God opens the windows of heaven and pours out a blessing for us. The angels are now working on our behalf to cause men to give to us."

The first month that I had ceased my management position we had no guarantee of any money coming to our household. However, Susan sold some property and it closed within 30 days. Several other business opportunities fell into place and at the end of the month all our bills were paid with a thousand dollars left over! The next month the same thing happened except that we had two thousand dollars left over. The third month we had four thousand dollars left over. Susan made sure that the tithe was paid first and we began to give offerings to different ministries. As we continued to be blessed, we blessed others. The blessings of God truly did overtake us. We began to purchase property and fix it up and sell it. God has never failed us. No business transaction that we have been involved in has lost money. All the glory and praise goes to Him and His Word! Now I sometimes smile when I see Susan get into her new Lexus and drive off. God has brought us a long way from the old rust bucket. Also, all our utilities are paid on time!

It took about three years for the complete reversal to take place. Although we would have liked it to have occurred overnight, it took time for us to be ready to receive. God doesn't mind it if you have nice things, He just doesn't want the nice things to have you. The three years were a time of growth for us spiritually. We had to learn to be blessed without allowing the blessings to change us. During the last few years we have given paid for cars to people in need, paid rent for some, allowed people to live in our properties for free, paid others’ medical bills, bought food for strangers, etc. It has been fun to say, "Lord, you have blessed us with an abundance, what would you have us to do WITH YOUR MONEY?"

Case Study

Our church created a monthly fund to assist people with rent, utilities or food. It didn't take long for people to start calling for help. Calls came in from all over the city. I was allocated a certain sum per month to give away and when it was exhausted; people would have to wait until the next month for help. One month after the funds ran out, I received a call from Bob and Ruth. They were being removed from the hotel they were staying in with their two teenage children. They needed money, but the church fund was out. I explained the circumstances and they understood. They asked could I give them a ride to Social Services to see if they could help. I picked them up and all their worldly possessions fit into three green garbage bags that they were using for luggage. They explained that they had moved from another state and were having a difficult time getting work. They had no money or food. As I was transporting them to Social Services, I felt the leading of the Lord to take them to a hotel. I rented a room for them (this took place after God had begun to bless Susan and me) and told them that I would contact them in the morning. The Lord provided finances for them to have housing for 30 days to give them a chance to make a fresh start.

Ruth had had a business and was trying to start it again but it had been slow going. They were Christians but were struggling financially. Susan began to share with Ruth about God's will to prosper them and about their need to confess the Word. We gave them some reading material on confession of God's Word and they began to believe in the power of God to change their circumstances.

Within 30 days, Bob secured employment and Ruth's business began to make a profit. They understood tithing and offering. They started giving about 30% of their gross income and they were enjoying giving. Within another 30 days, they were renting a $200,000 condo and had it completely furnished with nice furniture. They purchased one car and rented another one. They bought pets for the children and their life was blessed. The more they gave the more of a harvest they received. Within 60 days, they had gone from living in hotels with their clothes in trash bags to condo living in downtown Virginia Beach with two cars. Both Bob and Ruth continued to confess the Word and their lives bore fruit for the Kingdom of God.

Then it happened. Bob began to see a former girlfriend, as a friend. It didn't last long as a friendship. He was in sin. God won't bless sin. Ruth was heartbroken and began to walk in unforgiveness toward Bob. They both ceased giving and confessing the Word. Within a few months, the condo was gone. Ruth's business began to fail and creditors were suing her. Employees were not being paid and everything collapsed. The last we heard, they were getting a divorce and were back to hotel living.

As tragic as Bob's and Ruth's story is, we must heed its lesson. God wants His people to live holy lives. We are to walk in obedience to His Word, all of His Word, not just the parts about money and blessings. He wants to bless us, but He will not when people walk in disobedience. In fact, that is another law. Deuteronomy 28:15 says:

"But it shall come to pass, if thou will not hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee...."

Bob's and Ruth's disobedience had caused the curses to overtake them.


God is no respecter of persons. What He has promised in the Word concerning financial prosperity is for all His children. The spiritual laws that govern money include tithing and offering as well as sowing and reaping. We need to walk in obedience to all the Word, not just the parts we like. If we will follow the Bible method, we will receive Bible blessings. Begin today to sow more than you ever have and expect the harvest to overtake you. You have the promises of God as a sure foundation. Be blessed!

Ruling Principles

1. Jesus came to give you an abundant life.

2. There are four steps to obtain Biblical prosperity.

3. Step one is to claim God's prosperity for you.

4. Step two is to command Satan to take his hands off your money.

5. Step three is to meet the conditions for receiving from God.

6. Step four is to commission the angels of God to cause His Word to come about.

7. Demons are subject to the authority of the name of Jesus.

8. You are to give the first tenth of your income to God.

9. You are to give offerings above your tithe to the work of the Lord.

10. What you sow you reap.

11. Don't allow the blessings to take your eyes off the Lord.

Confession of the Word

Jesus came to give me life and life more abundantly. My prosperity is the will of God and I claim this promise for myself and for all of my family. God takes pleasure in my prosperity. Satan, I command you in the name of Jesus to take your hands off my money, NOW! You are powerless to stop the spiritual laws that God has placed in His Word to guarantee my abundant life. I meet the conditions as set forth in God's Word to be blessed. I give tithes and offerings to the work of God. I do not rob God and I am not cursed with a curse. I sow bountifully and I reap bountifully. My God has commissioned His angels to cause His Word to come about and they are at this moment working on my behalf. My God liberally and with abundance meets all my needs according to His riches and glory by Christ Jesus. I thank you Father for your incredible love for me and I know these things are done in Jesus' name.

Shield Reigning Over Sickness  

Dottie was eighteen years old when her parents brought her to our church that believed in divine healing. She was autistic and had been so since an infant. Dottie would not speak to anyone and did not look at anyone in the eyes. She would stay in the back of the church during services appearing to be very afraid. On a Wednesday night, I felt the leading of God to pray for Dottie. I called her forward and anointed her with oil. The elders prayed and spoke to the autism and commanded it to flee. I asked her did she love Jesus and she began to weep uncontrollably saying "Yes!" As Dottie began to cry both of her parents began to weep. They explained that she had never cried before. God had truly touched her and healed her. The next Sunday, Dottie marched into the church shaking people's hands and greeting them looking directly into their eyes. The battle over sickness and disease had been won through speaking to the problem and the prayer of faith.

Most Christians have no difficulty believing that God can heal us from our sicknesses, but they doubt whether it is His will to do so. They say something like, "God's ways are higher than our ways and you never know what God will do." They are paraphrasing Isaiah 55: 8-9:

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts."

This sounds good and religious except when you read verse 7, and you find that this statement was directed to the wicked and the unrighteous:

"Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts..."

Christians are the righteousness of God in Christ and are not identified in the Scriptures as "the wicked". We must not follow the doctrines of men that make the Word of God of no effect. We must have the integrity to teach what the Bible teaches and not what we want the Bible to teach. It is to the Word of God that we should pledge our allegiance and not to the creeds of a denomination or sect.

Rotherham's Emphasized Bible translates Isaiah 53:4 as follows:

"Yet surely our sicknesses he carried, And as for our pains he bare the burden of them--But we accounted him stricken Smitten of God, and humbled."

According to this Scripture, Jesus has already paid the price for our sicknesses and pains. That is great news! That means that we don't have to carry sickness and pain around because He has already done so for us. Just as we don't pay the price for our sins, we don't pay the price for our sicknesses. Sadly, this does not appear to be the testimony of many professing Christians today. A sampling of prayer requests at a typical church will demonstrate how prevalent sickness is in the body of Christ today. If God wants us to live in divine health and if He has paid for our sicknesses and diseases, then do we not have an obligation to live up to the standard that the Word of God says we are to have? We have a duty to live the abundant life that has been provided for us by the blood of Jesus Christ. We are to be what the Word says we are and to have what the Word says we have, regardless of our feelings. If the Bible decrees that it is always God's will to heal, then we should not be satisfied with anything less. This chapter teaches you how to reign over sickness and disease through confession of the Word. If you are unsure that it is God's will to heal you, please go to Appendix 1 entitled "God's Will to Heal" before you proceed to the remainder of this section. If you are unsure of His will, it will be difficult to implement these "Steps to Divine Healing."

Steps to Divine Healing

There was a woman that had suffered for years with an internal illness. She had sought the care of the best physicians she could afford. She had spent all she had with no results, in fact she became worse. Somehow, she knew the steps to receiving healing and her story is recorded in Mark 5:25-34:

"And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years, And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse, When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment. For she said, If I may touch his clothes, I shall be whole. And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague. And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes? And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing. But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth. And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague."

The following four steps to Divine healing are separated for teaching purposes only. In practice, they all work together and are meant to be seen as one continuous action of faith not four. Don't allow the teaching model to fragment God's Divine plan that your healing has been paid for by the stripes of Jesus once and for all. Our receiving Jesus as our healer is a matter of faith and not of works. Let the principles of each step be the focus.

Step One is to say what you desire.

This woman wanted healing and verse 28 tells us what she did: "For she said, If I may touch his clothes."

The Amplified Bible says, "For she kept saying," showing the importance of confessing the Word continually. If we want to see Divine healing in our lives, we need to get our mouths speaking what God says and not what the latest television or sports special says. We waste too much time on things that just don't matter. We need to place a guard over our mouths (Psalm 141:3 "Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth") to make sure that our words do not contradict God's Words.

The Book of Proverbs has much to say about our speaking:

"Thou art snared with the words of thy mouth." Pro. 6:2

"And the froward (perverse and confusing) mouth, do I (God) hate." Pro. 8:13

"The mouth of a righteous man is a well of life." Pro. 10:11

"The mouth of the just bringeth forth wisdom." Pro. 10:31

"(B)ut the mouth upright shall deliver them." Pro. 12:6

"(B)ut the lips of the wise shall preserve them." Pro. 14:3

"A wholesome (healthy) tongue is a tree of life." Pro. 15:4

"A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth." Pro. 15:23

"Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof." Pro. 18:21

"Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles." Pro. 21:23

What does God's Word say about Divine healing? I Peter 2:24 says: "Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed." The Word tells us that we were healed, that is, past tense. Our healing was paid for almost 2000 years ago. We need to begin to say what we want. If you need healing, begin to speak that you believe God's Word and by His stripes you are healed now!

Several years ago I was preaching a revival and announced early in the week that on Saturday, I was going to have a healing service. One lady had a severe medical condition that required her to take large dosages of medicine. I don't tell people to throw away their medicine as I didn't give it to them. I advise them to go back to the doctor, just like in the Old Testament they would go back to the priest to verify the healing, and have the doctor take them off the medicine. This lady spoke all week that God was going to heal her Saturday night. She told everyone that would listen. On Saturday night, I barely touched her and she exclaimed, "Praise God, I'm healed!" She had been confessing the Word all week and I was not surprised that she was instantly healed.

If you know you want healing for yourself or someone else, take the first step and begin to speak your desire. Remember, Jesus said that you shall have whatsoever you say. Mark 11:23

Step Two is to do the Word.

The woman in Mark 5 had to press through the crowd to get to Jesus. She had determination to put actions with her faith. However, it was not done without great risk. She was ceremonially unclean because she had an issue of blood (Leviticus 13:25). When she had accomplished her goal of reaching Jesus, she also reached Jairus a ruler of the synagogue who probably could have had her stoned for pressing through and touching the crowd. She had a faith that worked. One translation of James 2:27 is that faith without corresponding action is dead. Faith that works requires you to step out on it. For example, Abraham staggered not at the promises of God but was "strong in faith" (Romans 4:20). This is the type of committed action you need to believe for your healing in the face of doctors, medical reports, "friends," or religious people who believe God wants you to suffer.

This is the same type of faith that David had as he faced Goliath. I Samuel 17:45-48 tells us:

"Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied. This day will the Lord deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcasses of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. And all this assembly shall know that the Lord saveth not with a sword and spear: for the battle is the Lord's, and he will give you into our hands. And it came to pass, when the Philistine arose, and came and drew nigh to meet David, that David hasted, and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine."

First notice the confession of faith David made. He let all within listening range know that he was going to win! There was no doubt about the outcome in his heart. Then he put actions to his words, he hastened and ran right at the entire Philistine army. If he had not had to stop to defeat Goliath, he would have probably taken on the entire army himself. He had said the word and now he was doing the word! The results were decisive. Goliath was defeated and the entire Philistine army fled (I Samuel 17:51).

This is the way sickness and disease will flee from you when you make a bold statement of the Word and run right at it. How do you "run at" sickness and disease? You do like the woman in Mark 5 did and David did. You speak the word: "Sickness and disease you have no right to me. I break your power in Jesus' name. I come against you sickness, I destroy you by the power of the Word and the blood of Jesus. I am a child of God and by the stripes of Jesus I was healed. I resist you and I refuse to act sick. I will no longer listen to the lies that contradict the Word of God. My healing is complete and I pronounce myself well in Jesus' name!" You use the Word of God, the sword of the Spirit, and say it and do it and attack the sickness. No matter what the physical senses look like to you, you stay with the Word and don't back down. The woman didn't back down and David didn't back down, so don't you back down either.

Step Three is to stand on the Word.

Before the woman began to press through the crowd to touch the hem of Jesus' garment, Jairus had fallen at Jesus' feet and said:

"My little daughter lieth at the point of death: I pray thee, come and lay thy hands on her, that she may be healed; and she shall live." Mark 5:23

Jairus made a faith confession when he said that his daughter would be healed when Jesus laid His hands on her. After the confession, Jesus and Jairus headed toward his house. The crowd was pressing trying to get to Jesus when the woman with the issue of blood broke through. Jesus then stopped and asked, "Who touched my clothes?" A dialogue began with the disciples and Jesus was intent on finding the one who received virtue from Him. Finally, the woman admitted she was the one He was looking for and told her story. Jairus said not a word. Then someone from Jairus' house came and said that his daughter was dead so leave the Master alone. What Jairus does is the key to the third step of standing on the Word. Jairus relies on his previous faith statement that his daughter would live even though things had gotten worse. Jairus said nothing! There was nothing more to say. He was standing on his previous confession of faith and would not be moved off of it. This is the lesson we are to learn, that sometimes standing on the Word means doing nothing but resting on your previous words of faith.

Jesus gave him these words of comfort in v.36:

"Be not afraid, only believe."

Jesus came to Jairus' house only to be mocked and laughed at. Jesus did exactly what Jairus confessed in v.23. He laid his hands on her and she was healed. This is the lesson to learn when dealing with the delay between the confession of faith and the manifestation of the healing. The healing may be immediate, but oftentimes there is some delay before you see the results. Jairus teaches us what to do in the meantime. We are to do nothing but stand on our previous confession. Notice Jairus didn't argue with them or say the confession again. The reason most likely was that it would have been very difficult to speak with the same faith as he did earlier. Things had gotten worse as his daughter went from the point of death to death. Too often when things get worse after the faith words have been spoken, people try to force a new confession. It could be a confession of the right words but from fear. It is better to learn from Jairus and just stand on what you have previously said in faith. You have what you say when you say it, when your heart is in agreement with your words.

If you find yourself with Jairus in Mark's 5th chapter between verses 22 and 42 waiting for a healing, remember two things:

1. Stand on your confession of faith previously made and

2. Know that healing is guaranteed.

Step Four is to confess the Word.

Romans 10:9-10 states:

"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."

The word "saved" is the Greek word "sozo" and it means to save, rescue, and deliver; to heal. Now let us read verse 9 again with the expanded definition of "saved:"

"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved, rescued, delivered and healed. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."

Our confession of healing is an expression of faith in the Lord Jesus and a belief in our heart that God has raised Him from the dead. Jesus could not have been raised from the dead if He had not died first. He would not have died unless He first received the stripes upon His back and crucified according to Scripture. The fact that God has raised Him from the dead means that Jesus is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. When I confess Him as my Lord and Savior, I am affirming my belief in Jesus' physical resurrection. Jesus has defeated sickness and death because He conquered them. This is not the only verse to confess for healing, but it is a great place to start.

In Matthew 28:18 the Word says:

"And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and earth."

In the very next verse Jesus told His disciples: "Go ye therefore...." Jesus is pronouncing total victory for Himself and the Kingdom of God. If He has all authority, how much was left for the devil? None! He then transfers that authority to us the church to go and preach the Gospel, to cast out devils, speak with new tongues, and lay hands on the sick (Mark 16:15-18). Confession of the Word for healing is getting your words to agree with God's Words. Appendix 2 has a list of healing Scriptures that you can confess on a daily basis. Don't wait until you feel sick; begin to confess the Word when you feel healthy and keep saying the Word to remain well.

The question is sometimes asked about confessing the Word for others. Remember, this chapter has dealt with the issue of having victory over sickness and disease through seeking healing based on the Word alone. This in no way hinders God from giving the gift of healing to someone or from the elders of the church praying the prayer of faith. God will not be boxed in by man. He will operate according to His Word but within His Word there are several ways to be healed.

Husbands and wives are in a unique situation. In Matthew 19:5, Jesus tells us that a husband and wife are one flesh. Since they are one flesh, it would seem Biblical that a spouse could confess the Word over the other spouse's body for healing with the same results that they could have for themselves. This in no way interferes with the free will of the one spouse since the confession is over the body only and does not speak to their spirit or soul. Remember, that it is the sickness or disease that the authority is being exerted over, not the inner person himself.

What right does a parent have to confess the Word over their child for healing? The key to this question is found in parental authority. Parental duties include: to bless your children (Genesis 48:15); to provide for them (2 Corinthians 12:14); to rule them (1 Timothy 3:4,12) and to pray for them. For example, in Mark 5:23 and John 4:46, 49, a parent sought healing for their child from Jesus and in both cases Jesus granted their request. Jesus didn't question the right of a parent to seek healing on behalf of their child, so neither should we. Whatever Jesus did while He walked the earth, His authority having been transferred to us, we should now do on earth. Now, we are His body. In fact, He said that we would do greater works than He did because He was going to the Father. In John 4:50, the Word says:

"Go thy way; thy son liveth. And the man believed the word that Jesus had spoken unto him, and he went his way. And as he was now going down, his servants met him, and told him, saying, Thy son liveth."

We have the authority, if we believe in our hearts the Word, to speak the Word of healing over our children. As Jesus could speak healing to the children, so may we. Again, this must be a word of faith based on the Word of faith. There are no formulas that will work. It is when the Word is real on the inside of us and flows out from a believing heart and a confessing mouth that healing will come.

Case Study

Bob was in his mid-thirties and suffered from extremely flat feet. His feet were a constant source of discomfort. He could not stand for long periods of time which made work very difficult for him. Finally, he sought medical assistance. The doctor's diagnosis confirmed what Bob knew, his feet would need surgery. The surgery was not that difficult but the recovery was long and inconvenient. First, he would have a metal looking boot with pins in his foot and be required to use a wheelchair for mobility. Second, as he improved, he would use crutches. Finally, he would use a cane until he could walk unaided. The entire healing process would take an average of eight months.

Bob was to have the surgery on one foot at a time. His first operation went well and he began the healing process. It went about as expected and in about nine months he was released. The plan was to give him several months rest before the second operation would be scheduled. Before the second surgery was scheduled, I preached a sermon on how God uses His power working through us to accomplish His perfect will. I had previously preached to the church that it was always God's will to heal, so most had taken hold of this Bible truth. However, on the day Bob heard the sermon on the power of God, I used an illustration. I picked a man from the congregation who had never prayed for someone to be healed. I selected three other men to play the role of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. In the demonstration, the "Trinity" placed their hands on top of the man's hand that would be doing the praying, showing that when we pray for people to be healed, we bring the power of the Trinity with us to do the work. I asked for a volunteer to come forward to be prayed for. Bob came forward and the man who had never prayed for anyone to be healed laid his hand on Bob's head. Of course, the "Trinity" kept their hands on top of his hand to demonstrate the point. I said a prayer for healing that was repeated by all. At the conclusion, I asked Bob how he felt. He made a faith confession that he was better and in faith he stomped his foot that needed surgery a couple of times and sat down.

The next Sunday, Bob asked if he could testify. He reminded everyone of the demonstration the week before and told us that he had seen his doctor on Friday, five days after the prayer. The doctor took x-rays of his foot and told Bob that something incredible had happened. The doctor told Bob that he couldn't explain it but that his foot had grown an arch. The surgery was cancelled and has never been rescheduled. Bob remains in good health to this day. Bob had learned the Bible truth that it was God's will to heal him. The prayer of faith, even by a person with no experience, was the opening God was looking for to demonstrate His compassion for Bob.


You can reign over sickness and disease. However, your faith will never rise higher than your confession. If you believe that God might not want to heal you, then you will not have the faith to believe for healing. God's Word is His will. Our faith in God to heal us every time is founded on His compassion which He demonstrated by receiving the stripes upon His back to pay for our healing.

The steps to receive healing are as follows:

1. Say the desire of your heart concerning healing basing it on the promises of His Word.

2. Do the Word of God and put action with your faith.

3. Stand fast on the Word of God and do not waiver in your confession of healing regardless of what you hear or see.

4. Confess that by the stripes of Jesus Christ you were healed and are healed now. If you have a spouse, confess the Word over them. If you have children, confess the Word over them. Remember that Noah built the ark before it started to rain. Joshua blew the horns and shouted before the walls fell. Your confession will usually come before the healing is manifested.

Ruling Principles

1. We must not follow the doctrines of men that make the Word of God of no effect.

2. According to Scripture, Jesus has already paid the price for our sicknesses and pains.

3. We are to be what the Word says we are and to have what the Word says we have, regardless of our feelings.

4. The following four steps to Divine healing are separated for teaching purposes only and are meant to work together.

5. Step one to Divine healing is to say what you desire.

6. Step two to Divine healing is to put actions with your words.

7. Step three to Divine healing is to stand on the Word and not waiver.

8. Step four to Divine healing is to confess the Word of healing.

9. A spouse can confess the Word over the other spouse's body for healing with the same results that they could have for themselves.

10. We have the authority, if we believe in our hearts the Word, to speak the Word of healing over our children. As Jesus could speak healing to the children, so may we.

Confession of the Word

I am the body of Christ and Jesus wants His body whole and healthy. I walk in Divine health. I prosper and am in health according to the Word of God. Jesus paid for my healing. I confess that by His stripes I am made whole. It is God's will to heal me. Satan has no right to my body, to oppress or cause me sickness. I bind Satan and his angels of hell from bringing any sickness or disease to me. I reject sickness and disease in the mighty name of Jesus. Sickness and disease must flee from me. Any disease germ that touches my body dies instantly in the name of Jesus. I am redeemed from the curse of the law because Jesus has redeemed me. His redemption is perfect and lacks nothing. I have the victory over sickness and disease today and every day hereafter. I will never be sick another day in my life. My spouse and children walk in Divine health. Any sickness or disease germ that touches their bodies dies instantly in the name of Jesus. My spouse and children are healed by the stripes of Jesus. All glory to His name: Jesus Christ, my Savior and my Healer!

Shield Reigning Over Addiction  

Carl was an addict. His life consisted of giving into his addiction, followed by sorrow, shame, and feelings of tremendous guilt. He would imagine that God was so angry with him that it would be a waste of time to try to repent. Satan would try to convince him that he had gone too far and God would not forgive him anymore. The thoughts came that he was doomed to hell so he might as well just give up his Christian testimony. Satan always used condemnation and fear as two punches to send Carl further and further into depression. Carl was addicted to drugs and frequenting gay bars where he would participate in unprotected sex. At the same time, he was married and feared that his addictions would be discovered and his life ruined. He seemed powerless to stop this cycle of destruction.

Carl's situation is described in Romans 7:15:

"For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I."

Carl was doing what he didn't want to do and what he wanted to do he found himself unable to do. The question is, "Does the Bible have a practical answer to reigning against addictions?" The good news is that the answer is YES!

The struggle between the spirit and flesh can be an ongoing battle until the light of the Word of God gains entrance. Hosea 4:6 says:" My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge...." Too many Christians live in the nightmare of Romans chapter 7, when there is a glorious deliverance available to all God's children. This chapter will instruct how you or someone you care about can be set free from any addiction, whether it is physical or emotional. It can be tobacco, alcohol, drugs, pornography, overeating or even gossip. The Word has the power to break the addiction regardless of its type. The Word works! It should be noted, however, that this chapter does not deal with the issue of demonic control. That issue will be covered in a separate chapter.

Understanding Addiction

To begin with, we need to have a basic understanding about where addictions come from. When the believer is born again, the Spirit of God dwells inside him. Old things pass away and a new inner person exists. The Christian has a new nature. He has passed from spiritual death to spiritual life. That new nature is formed in the image of Jesus Christ and is perfect. However, the old nature of sin still remains. This old nature manifests itself in the flesh, that is, in the things the body does. However, the physical body is not the sinful nature. The sinful nature can best be described as a "bent toward sin." It is that corrupt "old man" that wants to be disobedient to the law of God. Now the battle is between who will control: the new spirit man or the old nature of sin. Prior to salvation, the old man of sin was in control without restraint. One of the ways that you know that you have passed from spiritual death to spiritual life is that now there is a battle. Paul described the struggle as:

"This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would." Galatians 5:16-17

The word "flesh" here refers to the sinful nature and not the physical body. It is easy to fall into a ditch on either side of the road concerning this struggle in the believer. Some have the excuse, "Well, it is just my flesh." These folks like to excuse what they are doing as if they somehow can't help it and it doesn't matter. Others believe that everything is the result of demons they still have after becoming a Christian. Now understand that the problem may be the result of demonic influence, but much of what passes today in "deliverance ministries" have little Scriptural support for how they operate. The truth is, generally we can control what our bodies do, if we choose to follow the Word and are obedient. God has chosen to give us a free will to obey Him or disobey Him. While He gives us the freedom of choice, He sets the consequences for those choices.

Process of Addiction

Addictions begin with thoughts. Since this chapter does not deal with demonic influences, the thoughts we are discussing come from our old corrupt nature. Paul said in Romans 8:6-8:

"For to be carnally minded (that is the old way of thinking according to the sinful nature) is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity (hatred) against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can it be. So then they that are in the flesh (that is following the old nature of sin) cannot please God."

Notice that the mind has a direct influence on the behavior of the physical body. The "old man" will implant thoughts in the mind that are contrary to the Word of God. It wants these thoughts to dominant your thinking process. The carnal mind will suggest that your old way of thinking should continue and that you should ignore the inner voice from the Holy Spirit that is now operating to change you. However, the Word tells us that the way you think has very important ramifications. What you think will evolve into determining who you are and what you do. Proverbs 23:7 says:

"For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he...."

Your thoughts will determine your belief structure. Ever known someone that believed a lie so long that they actually began to believe it was true? They thought about the lie so long that it became their reality. Their thoughts became their truth. Perhaps this principle is one of the reasons that the Holy Spirit inspired Paul to write in Philippians 4:8:

"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of a good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."

The old nature of sin will attempt to have you think on just the opposite: things that are false, dishonest, and ugly, a bad report, immoral or critical. We can determine where a thought is coming from by asking the question, "On which list do I find this particular thought?" If it is from Philippians 4:8, we should meditate on it. If it is from the old corrupt nature, we should arrest it and bring it into captivity as Paul wrote in II Corinthians 10:5:

"...and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ...."

Any thought that enters your mind that is not represented in Philippians 4:8, should be stopped, mentally handcuffed and sent to jail without bail and left to die. Those corrupt thoughts have no right to exist in your mind. They don't get a lawyer or a trial. They are sentenced to death. Never give birth to a corrupt thought by speaking it out your mouth because once it comes out, there is no way to return it.

Your belief structure is very important because it will dictate your actions. Jesus said in Matthew 12:33-34:

"Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit. O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh."

What is inside a man will eventually come out, usually during times of stress. What you have hidden in your heart will come out of your mouth. It is a Biblical law. What you believe, you speak (II Corinthians 4:13). Therefore, it is of vital importance to control your beliefs by your thought life. The fruit coming from your life will be revealed by your actions. Your fruit will be either corrupt or good. Jesus gave us no other options. There is no neutral fruit. To have good fruit, your thoughts, beliefs and actions must be based on the Word of God. The book of James explains the process of thoughts, beliefs and actions:

"But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust (desire from the sinful nature) , and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death." James 1:14-15

James is telling us that our old sinful nature will be the source of sin and will lead us to death. That is the pattern of addiction. It begins with thoughts from the old corrupt self and continues until those thoughts become a belief. The beliefs control actions which in turn, become addictions.

To summarize, an addiction begins in the mind with a thought, which becomes a belief that leads to an action that ends as an addiction. Since we can understand the process, we can use the Word of God to reverse the habit and defeat the addiction. Freedom is available to all who will follow the Word.

Steps to Break an Addiction

The Word of God provides clear direction how to break an addiction. They can be remembered as the four "Rs:" repent, renew, release and remember.

Step One is to repent.

"Repent" means to turn away from sin and to turn to God. It involves more than just a change of behavior and includes a change in the mind concerning the behavior to be turned away from. No addict will break his addiction unless he truly desires a change. It is when the person sees the wrong being perpetrated against a holy God and also against others that repentance can occur. This is a complete turnaround in one's thoughts about a behavior and that leads to a change in the behavior itself. The body will follow the mind. God gives ample opportunity to repent. His mercy is from everlasting to everlasting. God does not want any to perish. II Peter 3:9 says:

"The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance ."

Too many try to pray for a while until they feel like that they have repented and are forgiven. This is a dangerous error. Their repentance is based on feeling and not the Word. When the feelings depart, the enemy will try to convince them that since the feeling are gone, so is the forgiveness. When repentance is based on the Word, there is a confidence and assurance that forgiveness has been extended by a merciful God. Jesus said in John 6:37:

"All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out."

Jesus never turns any away. When the addict makes a choice that he wants to change his ways and seek forgiveness, he has taken the first step in breaking the addiction even though the behavior may not have completely changed yet. The desire for change will lead to a change in behavior eventually. Jesus told Peter to forgive his brother for sinning against him 490 times (Matthew 18:22). Do you think that God would place a higher standard of forgiveness on Peter than He places on Himself? Of course not! Jesus is giving us a glimpse into the desire of God to extend mercy to every addict. The Word says to come and desire change and you will not be turned away. The change begins with a choice to change.

Step Two is to renew the mind.

Romans 12:1-2 says:

"I beseech you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind , that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."

As previously discussed, your thoughts will lead to beliefs and actions. Now the addict must begin to say about himself what God says about him. It is time for him to agree with God by the words of his mouth. He is to hold fast to his confession. The believer is the righteousness of God in Christ. One might argue that the addict is not righteous if he is continuing his destructive behavior. While that would be true in fact, the addict is to begin to confess the Word and call forth those things that be not (his addiction broken) as through they were (Romans 4:17). In this step, the addict confesses what God has done for him through Jesus Christ. "The blood of Jesus Christ has cleansed me from all sin. Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world. Christ Jesus has set me free from the law of sin and death. Jesus is my Lord and Savior and I believe that He died for me. He has given me freedom and liberty over my addiction. I have not received the spirit of fear but God has given me power, love and a sound mind."

When these confessions are made, the mind is being renewed. This renewed mind will lead to new beliefs which will in turn change the actions of the addict.

Step Three is to release the Word.

The Word is released when you speak it from your lips from a believing heart. Jesus said in Mark 11:23:

"For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith ."

Imagine Jesus walking down the isle of your church and stopping by your seat and placing His hand on your shoulder and saying, "Whatever you say you will have." That would change your life. That is exactly what Jesus has done. His Word is as true today as it was when He spoke it on earth. His Word has not loss any of its power. His Word lies dormant until it is spoken by us. When His Words are repeated by us, there is an explosion in the spiritual realm. God is watching over His Word to perform it (Jeremiah 1:12) and the angels are standing by to spring into action listening for His Word (Psalm 103:20).

In this third step, the addict is to confess who he is in Christ Jesus. He speaks to his mountain that is his addiction, and releases the power of the Word by commanding it to depart. "I am more than a conqueror in Christ Jesus. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Mountain of addiction be removed from me. Jesus said I could have what I say and I say you are removed!" The addict must hold fast to his confession regardless of any failure on his part. The Word will prevail. The enemy will do all he can to try and persuade the addict to give up because he is failing again. This is where the addict must continue to release the Word of faith through his mouth continuously and without regard to the addiction. He is to give no place to the addiction. The Word is the dominating force in his life now. True persistence with the Word will remove the mountain. Guaranteed!

Step Four is to remember the power of the Word.

Since the addict knows that the battle is in his mind, he must be ever guarding what comes before his eye gates and ear gates. What we see and hear will affect our thoughts. Think about the person who sits in front of a television for six hours watching the news or mindless comedies. Their thoughts will be on what they saw. Their conversation will be on what they heard. This will weaken one spiritually and make one vulnerable to an attack. Instead, we are to guard what we see and hear. Further, we are to set a watch over our mouths and guard our speech. We must stay in the Word and continue to renew our mind. You are constantly renewing your mind with something. Will it be the Word or waste?

The enemy will attempt to convince you that the Word will not protect you. Remember, he is a liar. A review of the chapter on defeating temptation will remind you that it is the Word that defeats Satan. There is no greater force in the world today than the power of the Word of God through the Holy Spirit to bring change in a person's life. If only God's people could recognize the power contained in the Word and then act on it. God has magnified His Word even above His name (Psalm 138:2). What a place God has given His Word! We should likewise give His Word first place in our lives.

Case Study

Jason was a very successful medical professional having received his education at some of the finest colleges in Europe . A business opportunity brought him to America in the 1980's. He had made a tremendous amount of money having developed a breakthrough vaccine. He was now retired while still in his late-40s. Jason seemed to have reached a pinnacle and intended to simply enjoy the fruits of his labor for the rest of his life. However, he met some new “friends” that introduced him to cocaine. He had always struggled with alcoholism due to the incredible pressure in his profession. Now, the addition of cocaine would prove to be most dangerous. From the first time he used cocaine, he was an addict. In addition, he was using prescription medication to help him sleep and wake up. Jason was developing an addiction to cocaine, alcohol and prescription drugs.

Jason lived approximately six years in this condition. While at one time he would practice running for a marathon, he now struggled to get out of his bed in the afternoon. He would sleep most of the day and party all night. He no longer had to work so he never had an early morning appointment. However, he was slowly killing himself.

I received a phone call from an acquaintance that expressed real concern for Jason. I agreed to meet with him if he was willing. Jason knew he was near death and he was very willing. He had been attempting to receive help from a professional counselor for five years with no results. Since Jason had had a “conversion” experience years ago he understood about his need to repent. We talked for a while and I read the Word to him. Jason wanted to make things right and we knelt and prayed. Jason realized his wrongdoing and repented before God. He asked Jesus Christ to come into his heart and clean him up and make him free from the bondage he was in.

As he rose, Jason knew that his body would still crave the drugs and he asked, “What do I do?” I gave him certain Scriptures that he was to personalize and repeat three times a day like a medicine. For example, he would say, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. Greater is He who is within me than he that is in the world. I have world overcoming faith. I overcome by the Blood of Jesus Christ and the word of my testimony.”

Although at the beginning Jason felt like he was just repeating words, the Word of God was strengthening his new inner man. An image of who he was in Christ Jesus was beginning to take shape. For several days all went well. Then after five days, Jason refused my calls and would not see me. After three more days elapsed, I went to see him. He didn't want to answer the door, but if you keep knocking the door will open to you. He opened the door and he didn't need to say a word. It was clear that there had been a relapse. We prayed and he sought forgiveness and we read the Scriptural confessions together. Please note that as we were repeating the Word again that he was still an addict. However, we were attacking the stronghold with the Word. We did this every day for a week. The Word took hold and his new inner man became strong. The stronghold of the enemy was broken and the Word of God prevailed. In a matter of days, God's Word brought forth results that conventional efforts for years failed to produce. A year has passed and Jason is still free today all to the glory of God and His Word.


This chapter is only an introduction to battling addictions. However, the principles expressed are based on the Word and have proven themselves over and over to bring the same results. No addiction can stand before the presence of God's Holy Word. If the addiction has a name, then that name must bow to the name of Jesus Christ (Philippians 2:10). Whether you are seeking freedom for yourself or someone else, remember the four R's: Repent, Renew, Release and Remember and you will win the battle against addiction!

Ruling Principles

  • The Word has the power to break the addiction regardless of its type.
  • When the believer is born again, the Spirit of God dwells inside him. Old things pass away and a new inner person exists.
  • God has chosen to give us a free will to obey Him or disobey Him.
  • Addictions begin with thoughts so we must guard our thoughts. All our thoughts should be in obedience to the Word of God. See Philippians 4:8
  • Any thought that enters your mind that is not represented in Philippians 4:8, should be stopped, mentally handcuffed and sent to jail without bail and left to die.
  • Therefore, it is of vital importance to control your beliefs by your thought life.
  • To summarize, an addiction begins in the mind with a thought, which becomes a belief that leads to an action that ends as an addiction.
  • The steps to freedom from addiction are: repent (change your mind to not want the addiction) from the addiction, renew your mind by reading and meditating on the Word of God, release the Word from your renewed mind, and remember the power of the Word.
  • No addiction can stand before the presence of God's Holy Word. If the addiction has a name, then that name must bow to the name of Jesus Christ. Philippians 2:10

Confession of the Word

I believe that God has raised Jesus Christ from the dead and I now confess Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. I am born again. I have a new nature. Old things have passed away and I am a new person. Jesus Christ has set me free and I am free. I am free from addiction because the Word says that Jesus Christ has set me free. An addiction is just a name and the Word tells me that all names on earth must bow to the name of Jesus Christ! Addiction you must bow to the name of my Savior Jesus Christ and I now command you to flee! Satan you are defeated in my life. I now break the strongholds that have been in my life (name them specifically one by one). You are defeated by the blood of Jesus Christ and by the word of my testimony. I testify against you addictions and strongholds; I testify that you are broken and defeated in my life. I testify that I am free and I remain free by the power of the blood of Jesus Christ and my testimony to the power of His blood. I make this declaration of freedom on this the ____ day of _________________, 20__ before the presence of God and His holy angels.

Shield Reigning Over Your Flesh  

Chuck was in his mid-40s and worked in construction. His wife had divorced him because of his cocaine addiction. Chuck was a daily user and he had been so for over ten years. What made the situation unique was that Chuck was a professing mature Christian. He would quote the Scriptures, raise his hands in restaurants to pray over every one's food, pass out tracts to all he met and would dance in worship services. He came to me because he was concerned that if he didn't take some corrective action, that God was going to take him home to heaven. At first, I thought the problem was demonic and attempted to cast out the demons. However, Chuck continued to use cocaine. At one point I asked him did he want to be set free. His response floored me: “Well, I'm not sure. I like the way the stuff makes me feel. Besides, it is just my flesh. It doesn't really matter.”

Chuck's attitude toward his flesh expresses an opinion that many hold today in the Christian church. If it is just the flesh and my flesh is going back to the dust someday, what does it matter what I do? The Bible has a lot to say about our flesh and how it should behave.

What is the flesh?

By the word “flesh” I am not referring to the physical body alone. I am referring to the “bent toward sin” or “unholy attitudes” that existed in us before we were born again. We are born with this bent. All children have it, even if they are too young to allow it to manifest. It is a result of the fall of Adam and Eve that all are born with a sinful nature. This sinful nature remains after we are born again. The difference is that now it is no longer in control. Ephesians 2:3 describes our pre-salvation life:

“Among these we as well as you once lived and conducted ourselves in the passions of our flesh [our behavior governed by our corrupt and sensual nature], obeying the impulses of the flesh and the thoughts of the mind [our cravings dictated by our senses and our dark imaginings]. We were then by nature children of [God's] wrath and heirs of [His] indignation, like the rest of mankind.” (The Amplified Bible Ephesians 2:3)

My definition of “flesh” is that carnal, selfish, unholy desire that seeks to gratify the physical body. The flesh wants the body to sin and enjoy it. Its purpose is to make self a god. Whatever the body wants, it should have and nothing else matters. Consequences are irrelevant to the flesh. Its satisfaction is its only concern. A review of Paul's list of the works of the flesh in Galatians 5:19-21 confirm this truth:

“Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these: Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness (indecency) , idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance (quarrelling) , emulations (jealousy), wrath, strife, seditions (party divisions), heresies, envying, murders, drunkenness, revellings (drunken obscenity) , and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”

These desires remain in the believer in some form. If they are allowed to control, the Christian will not fulfill his divine destiny and risks apostasy. They must be dealt with and controlled. The question is how?

How are we to control the flesh?

Paul had a lot to say about how to control the flesh:

“And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.” Galatians 5:24

“Mortify (kill) therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection (sensual cravings), evil concupiscence (unholy desires), and covetousness (greed and lust for things), which is idolatry ….” Colossians 3:5

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice , holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:1-2

There is a lot of morbid death talk in these verses. In a day when Christianity is supposed to be about blessings and love, do we still have to “kill the flesh,” and by this I mean deny the desires of the flesh. If you have read this far in this book, then you know that I believe in prosperity. Appendix 3 contains a number of Scriptures proving God's desire to prosper His children. I believe in healing and Appendix 2 contains a number of Scriptures establishing God's will to heal. However, along with all the blessings comes some responsibility on our part to grow up and to become men and women of God. He is looking for some mature saints so He can really demonstrate His signs and wonders. And it is not going to happen by someone just laying hands on you or casting out some demons. It is going to happen when we decide that Paul was not kidding when he said we were to crucify our flesh. The Holy Spirit does not want us to physically hurt ourselves, but He does want us to bring our bodies and wills into submission to our new inner nature and act like children of God.

It is a matter of our free will choice to present ourselves as a “living sacrifice.” We are to present our bodies to God and commit ourselves to His will regardless of the consequences. We are to surrender our past, our present and our future to His desires and to His desires alone. It is time to trust Him supremely, even if it means a call to a mission field or giving more than the tithe as He directs. It is time to sell out completely to Him with no reservations. No one can do this for you. It is in your power to be a sacrifice for Him. Don't delay; He is waiting with open arms to receive your best sacrifice. One of the lies from the devil is that to live a consecrated life for Jesus will cost you everything and you will be poor, miserable and sad. Remember that Satan is a liar. The truth is that when you seek God's kingdom first, he will add, not subtract, all the things that you need to make your life truly happy.

In times past, this surrender of all was referred to as entire sanctification. The Christian seeking a deeper walk with God would present himself as a living sacrifice. Just as in Old Testament times, the sacrifice was to be perfect and without blemish. In the same way, our sacrifice is to be perfect in that it is made without any reservation or condition. We ourselves are not perfect but our abandonment to Him is complete and therefore perfect. God will receive the perfect sacrifice and will sanctify, that is separate for His holy use. Paul recognized that it was God that sanctified when he wrote:

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

Sanctification is a major theme in the New Testament. Jesus said that we were sanctified by the Word (John 17:17); Paul said that it was God's will that we be sanctified (I Thessalonians 4:3); the writer of Hebrews said that without holiness (or sanctification) no man would see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14); and Peter said that we were to be holy because our God is holy (I Peter 1:15). There is no way to escape the Biblical truth that God wants His children to live pure undefiled lives in our bodies and it all starts when we decide to surrender them to Him. What we do in our bodies does matter. We are to “kill” our flesh by submitting it to God and to our new inner person created in the image of Jesus Christ. The list of “works of the flesh” in Galatians can all be eliminated as we choose to allow God to sanctify us when we present ourselves to Him as “living sacrifices.”

The key to sanctification from a human perspective is obedience. As you study God's Word and you see something that needs adjustment in your life, just do it. The obedient life is a sanctified life. Some try to create manmade rules such as those involving dress and the elimination of certain entertainments like television and movies. However, true sanctification is about more than dress and entertainment. The best list of rules I have found is contained in Colossians 3:8-9, 12-14:

“But now ye also put off these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not to one another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds.

Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity (love), which is the bond of perfectness.”

The above passages represent the best list of holy requirements and certainly far exceed any rules that are created by man. We are to walk in sanctification by putting off what should be put off and by putting on what should be put on. Let the Scriptures be our guide and not the traditions of men.

Sanctification has three levels. First, we are positionally sanctified when we are born again. Hebrews 10: 10 states: “ By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” Jesus Christ through His death on the cross secured our eternal redemption by which we are set apart as a child of God. Second, we are being sanctified by the Holy Spirit as we surrender ourselves to Him in total abandonment to His will. Even though this surrender is complete and total, as we grow in the Lord there very well may be new areas that come to light that need to be given to Him. One should never think that they have arrived in a place of perfection in experience. We are perfect in Christ because of what He did, but never perfect in what we do in this life. We are to day by day keep our bodies presented to the Lord as living sacrifices. Third, our ultimate sanctification awaits the coming of the Lord (Ephesians 5:27). There will come a time when we shall truly be “a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle….” Until then, we are to surrender our bodies, keep the flesh under control and be a living sacrifice for Jesus.

Case Study

Ben had just graduated from college with a degree in business, He was President of a new company that had just been created and he was doing very well financially. He had lots of friends and dated several young ladies but nothing too serious. He was the life of every party and everything seemed to be going his way. However, deep down Ben wasn't happy and he knew his life was empty of real meaning. After being invited he began to attend a church and heard the Gospel for the first time. After some searching, Ben gave his heart to Jesus Christ and was born again.

Initially, his new found faith had little impact on his life. He had the same friends and he still went to the same parties. He continued in his business which was doing well. As Ben continued to read the Word, he became aware that he was not surrendering his all to God. He loved Jesus and wanted to please Him in every area of his life. As the Word sanctified Ben, changes had to be made. First, Ben quit going to the parties that contained drugs and alcohol. Second, his dating relationships ended as Ben wanted to keep himself pure. Third, Ben decided that he wanted his business to be about more than making money he wanted it to serve God. Ben decided to close his successful business down and seek the Lord.

Ben began to abandon every area of his life to Jesus Christ. He became a living sacrifice. At times it was very difficult. On the weekends that used to contain so much fun, now were filled with loneliness. His savings were being depleted but he knew that he was doing the right thing. His “flesh” wanted to revolt and go back to the way things used to be. However, Ben kept his life as a “living sacrifice.”

Then the breakthrough came. Ben met a lovely Christian lady and they fell instantly in love. They soon married and have a blessed Christian home. Soon they were blessed with children, all living their lives for Jesus Christ. Ben was blessed with a new business opportunity that allowed him the freedom to witness for Jesus and at the same time make more money than what he had previously made. Finally, Ben felt the call to preach and attended Bible School. He completed his education and was ordained into the ministry and now serves as a pastor to a growing church. Ben allowed the Word of God to sanctify him as he surrendered each and every aspect of his life to God.


We are not to allow our “flesh” to rule and dominate us. We are to crucify our flesh by surrendering every aspect of our lives to God. We are to be a living sacrifice. And when we do, we will enjoy a life that is pleasing to God with no regrets. It is God's plan for our lives to be holy and to live pure lives for Him. It all begins with our complete abandonment to Him. He will receive the offering of our bodies and set us apart for His use.

Ruling Principles

  • “Flesh” refers to the “bent toward sin” or “unholy attitudes” that existed in us before we were born again.
  • In addition to all the blessings from God, there comes some responsibility on our part to grow up and become men and women of God.
  • God wants us to bring our bodies and wills into submission to our new inner nature and act like children of God and be a “living sacrifice.”
  • It is a matter of our free will choice to present ourselves as a “living sacrifice.” We are to present our bodies to God and commit ourselves to His will regardless of the consequences.
  • Sanctification has three levels. First, we are positionally sanctified when we are born again.
  • Second, we are being sanctified by the Holy Spirit as we surrender ourselves to Him in total abandonment to His will.
  • Third, our ultimate sanctification awaits the coming of the Lord (Ephesians 5:27).
  • When we surrender our lives completely to God, we will enjoy a life that is pleasing to Him with no regrets.

Confession of the Word

I make this declaration this _____ day of ____________, 20__ before God and His holy angels. I hereby totally surrender and abandon myself to the will of God for my life. All my past, my present and my future I place in Your hands to do with me as You please. I am a “living sacrifice” and I present myself to you. All my time, talents and finances are Yours. The Word says that You will not turn any away who come to you, therefore I know that my offering to You is accepted. My flesh is under control. I am not ruled by my flesh. My flesh is submitted to God and to my recreated inner man made in the image of Jesus Christ. These things I declare now in Jesus' name! Amen.

Shield Reigning Over Unforgiveness  

Jane was furious. She called me screaming and crying at the same time. I could hardly understand her. She said, “You are not going to believe what he did to me. He got several of his friends to lie and say I hit him. The police are on the way and he is going to have me arrested again.” James had had Jane arrested ten times in the last two years. Their relationship had been very destructive and candidly needed to end. They were not married and no minor children would be affected by their termination of the relationship. Jane asked me what she should do. I said to forgive James. Her response almost shattered my cell phone.

“What, forgive him for what he has put me through? No way, I'm going to see to it that he gets what he deserves.”

Jane's response was typical of someone who has been hurt by someone else. There seems to be a moral fiber within the injured party to require from their abuser a “pound of flesh.” It seems that nothing else will satisfy the hurting heart. However, the truth is that revenge is the worst course of action for the injured party to pursue. Peter asked Jesus how often he should forgive his brother that sinned against him. You can almost sense the pride Peter felt when he suggested that seven times was a very generous answer. Then Jesus without hesitation said: “I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven (Matthew 18”22). Can you see Peter begin to scratch his head at the answer? “You are kidding, right? Lord, you can't be serious.” Jesus without any further explanation tells the following story:

“Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants. And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents. But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt. But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him away by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest. And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him saying, Have patience with me, I will pay thee all. And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt. So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done. Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee? And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors , till he should pay all that was due unto him. So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.”

The Danger of Un-forgiveness

The prefix “un” means to negate, that is to say “no.” So “un-forgiveness” is a refusal to forgive; a “no” to forgiveness. It is a conscious choice to negate forgiveness. When a Christian refuses to forgive someone who has wronged them, something occurs in the spiritual realm. When the Christian is walking a life of love and forgiveness, he is on a level where the enemy cannot touch him. He is fulfilling the commandment of Jesus Christ to walk in love. However, when the believer chooses to not forgive, he is removing himself from the protection afforded by the walk of love and placing himself in the “justice” realm. This is the place where every one gets what they deserve. If I want someone to get what they deserve because of what they did to me, then I am saying that I want to get what I deserve for what I have done to others. It can easily be seen what now is occurring. Satan now has a free reign to bring justice upon the unforgiving one because of the choice made not to forgive. This is not the place that the Christian wants to live his or her life. There is sorrow and pain at this address.

Just as there are spiritual laws of sowing and reaping, the effects of walking in un-forgiveness are also subject to a spiritual law. Jesus said that the unforgiving one would be “ delivered …to the tormentors …..” The word “tormentor” comes from the root word which means “to torture.” Those that refuse to forgive are placing themselves into the hands of those that will torture them. It is a spiritual law. Have you ever noticed that those that refuse to forgive and try to seek revenge are never happy? They are living a life that is miserable. The truly sad part is that they are only one step away from being set free. When the decision to forgive is made, then one is removed from the spiritual realm of justice and swept away to the level of walking in love and life becomes free from torment.

The Blessing of Forgiveness

Life is blessed when one does not seek revenge for harms done. Walking in forgiveness is a life of freedom that almost surpasses the ability to express it. When one forgives quickly any offense before there is opportunity to dwell on the hurt, several things occur.

First, there is a blessing for your family. Verse 25 tells us that the servant was going to have his wife and children sold to satisfy his debt. A family will suffer when there is a person walking in un-forgiveness. The atmosphere of a home changes as soon as people on the justice level enter the room. Anyone that has been present when two people angry with each other enter the room knows what I am writing about. Some say you can “cut the tension with a knife.” It is an unhappy existence. However, when the decision to walk in love is made and forgiveness flowing, the family is blessed.

Second, there is compassion from God. This is the place that every Christian wants to be. We want the compassion of a loving heavenly Father to be sensed every day and hour. His compassion is never ending to those that walk in love and forgiveness. His mercies are new every morning and it is a sweet place to reside with Him. Verse 27 speaks of the compassion of a Father toward those in spiritual debt to Him.

Third, verse 27 says that the king forgave the large debt. Much has been spoken of in recent years about “supernatural debt cancellation.” Without entering into the debate, suffice it to say that when you are walking in forgiveness there can be supernatural debt cancellation. In the story, because the man worshipped the king he received the cancellation of his debt. Today, if one found themselves in a place of need of supernatural debt removal, my advice would be to worship the Lord, walk in love and forgive all those that have offended them. If that is done, one is eligible to have their debts forgiven according to the king's decree.

Finally, walking in forgiveness will result in one being “loosed.” When you hold a grudge, you are bound by the one that you refuse to forgive. I have seen Christian people so consumed with the wrong against them that it is all they can think about. I watched two denominations that split from each other so consume their thoughts and speech with what the other was doing that they forgot to reach out to the lost. They were bound by each other in un-forgiveness. However, when you forgive you are set free. I am convinced this is why Jesus hanging on the cross said, “Father, forgive them.” Jesus was giving us an example of forgiving quickly. Here He was still hanging on the cross and was asking for them to be forgiven. This is the example we are to follow. I am quite sure that whatever harm that may be done to us will fall well below being crucified.

Forgiveness is a choice.

Forgiveness is a choice not necessarily a feeling. You may feel like forgiving or you may not feel like forgiving. Your feelings are irrelevant to your duty to forgive. The word “forgive” means to leave one place and go somewhere else. That is exactly how the choice to forgive works. You must choose to leave the place of revenge and un-forgiveness and go to the walk of love and forgiveness. You may not feel like forgiving, it may be like swallowing a large pill, but it is a choice from your own free will. You can choose not to forgive and live on the justice realm with Satan or you may choose to forgive and place yourself on a plane that Satan can't reach. Satan cannot reach the walk of love. He can't go there because he is full of hate. The love walk is a place he can only call out for you to leave. We must resist his deception and stay walking in love. And love always forgives.

How do you begin to forgive when you have been harmed? You start by saying, “I forgive ____________ unconditionally and without reservation. They do not need to ask for my forgiveness. I offer it freely and they owe me nothing.” You continue to speak the words even if you don't feel like it. Make the choice and decision to today to walk the rest of your life in love forgiving quickly all those that hurt you in any way. You will never regret the love walk. It is the walk Jesus walked and the walk that he demands His body the church to walk today.

Case Study

Sondra was in her mid-thirties when she understood the importance of forgiving others. She had been molested as a preteen which proved to be very traumatic. She was forced to testify in a court of law concerning the attack. She did not know her abuser and the entire event was very frightening. Perhaps the worst part of the ordeal was the response her family gave her. They blamed her for the entire event and offered her no support. They called her names and belittled her. Her teen years were very painful. She had been made to feel very dirty. She grew up never thinking she was good enough for anybody or anything. In her late twenties she married but the problems from her youth would not leave her. She would break into tears for no apparent reason and was resistant to intimacy with her husband.

One night while watching Christian television, Sondra gave her heart to Jesus. The problems didn't disappear but for the first time in her life she had hope. Sondra reached a point that God began dealing with her about forgiving her parents. She made the choice to forgive them. She began to confess that she forgave them. She would confess the Word over and over. She never approached them, she just forgave them. She said it felt good to let go of the pain and suffering she had held onto.

Later, God began dealing with Sondra concerning her attacker. She made the conscious choice to forgive him. It wasn't easy but she wanted to walk in love. Again, she confessed her forgiveness to the one that had stolen so much from her. God began to bless Sondra in such an incredible way in every area of her life: emotionally, physically, financially and in her marriage. Sondra became a new person when she began to live a life walking and staying in the land of forgiveness.

Today, Sondra is a minister of the Gospel teaching and preaching the Word. She serves as a counselor in her church and her advice is always to forgive. She practices what she preaches on a daily basis. She is quick to forgive and very slow to take offense. She has found that this approach to life brings tremendous blessings and she will not allow any one or any thing to steal her walk of love.


The choice to forgive is a personal choice. It is a matter of your free will. It begins by confessing forgiveness to the one that has harmed you. Then, ask God to forgive them for what they did to you. Finally, ask God to forgive you for holding on to un-forgiveness. You may not feel like forgiving, but you need to. When you walk in forgiveness, you will dwell in a place that the wicked one can not touch you. You will be set free from the bondage that has held you captive. Don't delay, start walking the love walk today and forgive quickly all offenses.

Ruling Principles

  • When a Christian refuses to forgive someone who has wronged them, something occurs in the spiritual realm.
  • When the believer chooses to not forgive, he is removing himself from the protection afforded by the walk of love and placing himself in the “justice” realm.
  • Life is blessed when one does not seek revenge for harms done.
  • First, there is a blessing for your family.
  • Second, there is compassion from God.
  • Third, when you are walking in forgiveness there can be supernatural debt cancellation.
  • Finally, walking in forgiveness will result in one being “loosed.”
  • The word “forgive” means to leave one place and go somewhere else.
  • You start by saying, “I forgive ____________ unconditionally and without reservation. They do not need to ask for my forgiveness. I offer it freely and they owe me nothing.”
  • The choice to forgive is a personal choice. It is a matter of your free will.

Confession of the Word

Father, I come before you today in the name of Jesus Christ my Lord and Savior. I am making a choice of my free will to forgive ___________________. I now confess before You and the angels of heaven that I forgive them for all wrong they have done to me (name the wrongs). I forgive them unconditionally and without reservation. I forgive them even without their asking. They owe me nothing and I am set free from the bondage of un-forgiveness now in Jesus' name! I walk in love and the enemy can not touch me. Father, I ask that you forgive me for my un-forgiveness and forgive ______________ for what they did to me. I refuse to replay the events that hurt me and I renew my mind according to Philippians 4:8. I think on things that are of a good report, pure and holy. Thank you Lord for hearing this confession and setting me free! In Jesus' name. Amen.

Shield What is True Bible Salvation?  

This is the most important inquiry that an honest person can make. What does it mean to be saved according to the Bible and how can I know that I am in a state of salvation.

First, it might be best to tell what salvation is not. It is not joining a church, which is certainly a noble and worthwhile pursuit. It is not coming forward at the request of a preacher to make a “decision” for Jesus Christ. It is not signing a pledge card or the shaking of the pastor’s hand in response to an altar call. It is not an emotional outburst such as tears and crying, although such emotions could very well be displayed, but salvation is more than emotion. You might protest at this point since the majority of evangelism involves an altar invitation being given and people are instructed to come forward and “receive” Jesus as their Savior. A simple review of the Scriptures will reveal that no altar calls were given for people to receive Jesus in the New Testament. No one was instructed to “pray this prayer “or “make a decision” for Jesus. American evangelism has been hijacked by “wolves in sheep’s clothing” that are only concerned with selling more books and tapes or by building a large church with plenty of offerings or by following the traditions of men. These wolves will tell you anything to sell you“Christianity” without a personal cross or self-denial. When you are facing death or serious crisis, you want a faith that is real and based on God’s Word and not the flimsy feel-good words of a compromising merchant from hell.

True Bible salvation is a gift from God and paid for by the blood of Jesus Christ. If you are saved today, your salvation began before the foundation of the world when God chose you in Christ to be holy and blameless before Him in love (Ephesians 1:4). Your salvation was paid for almost 2000 years ago when Jesus Christ went to the cross of Calvary and personally paid for your sins. The wrath of God was satisfied when Jesus paid the ultimate price for you. You were dead in your sins and had no spiritual life (Ephesians 2:1). But God, who is rich in mercy, made you alive by His grace through faith and you were born from above (Ephesians 2:4-8). As a result of having this spiritual life, you repented of your sins and turned to God and have given Him your life. You now have a new heart, a spiritual heart that desires to love God and serve Him. You desire to be more like Jesus Christ every day and pursue holiness as a way of life. You could not have turned to God without His grace changing you. What a glorious salvation we have and we can take no credit for it. God receives the glory for our salvation and not us.

How do you know if you have this Bible salvation? Jesus said in John 6:37 that anyone who comes to Him, He will not cast out. Do you want to come to Jesus? Will you come to Jesus? If the answer is “yes,” you have Bible salvation because you would not come unless the Father is drawing you to Jesus (John 6:44). Repent of your sins and put your faith in the blood of Jesus Christ to save you and know that based upon the Word of God, you have Bible salvation!

Shield Are You a Victim of Spiritual Abuse?  

Why Do Abusive Churches Exist? The short answer to the inquiry is that abusive churches exist because the people that are in authority have due to the fall in the garden been robbed of their intimacy with God. Adam and Eve surrendered their close relationship with the Father for a lie that they thought would make them like gods and in control of their lives. This sin of desiring control manifests itself in abusive churches. If this is the cause, then the cure must be based on restoring intimacy with the Father.

We should look at Jesus' leadership style as a guide to our behavior. Jesus leadership style was not laid back and casual. To Jesus, obedience was necessary in response to His commands. However, and this is the key, "the basis for everything Jesus did was love." He desired obedience as a response to love. Jesus set the standard in His walk of obedience to the commands of the Father and thereby maintaining an intimate walk with Him. He desires for us to maintain a childlike intimacy with the Father by being obedient to His word in response to His love. Marc Dupont in his book Toxic Churches believes that this heart closeness to the Father will open the door to a powerful loving church:

"God wants to release power and authority to the church for the purpose of revival and a great harvest. The key to entering in is more than just faith and revelation. We need to come to the place that Peter had reached: to run to Christ not only to 'join the fun' but out of humility to seek His healing love. Often our prayers are 'more power, more anointing.' We need to come to the place of 'Oh God, search my heart, so I may be more like You and less myself!'"

Dupont points out that Jesus ministered with transparency. Those in authority need to come to a place where they can allow those they are leading to see them for what they are. The author describes transparency as follows:

"When I speak of transparency, I mean that we are seeking to be in a position of continually directing the eyes and ears of the flock to the person of Jesus and not to ourselves. A healthy leader is one who is overjoyed by God's love, not the accolades of man. When a leader can be vulnerable before his church and say, 'Yes God uses me, but it is totally His grace, because I am just like you,' that is a sign of wholeness. It is at that point that a leader can truly lead people into Christlike lifestyles." (84)

The above quote summarizes Dupont's desire for all those in authority to emulate. He believes this is possible if we will have the Father search our hearts and restore us to wholeness in love.

Legalism is very prevalent in toxic churches:

"By their very nature, toxic faith type churches lean toward legalism, which may take on various shades and hues. In some churches, despite preaching a Gospel of grace, the outward do's and don'ts, or the performance, take precedence over what Jesus accomplished on the cross."

Generally, when a group of people began to believe in their own performance as acquiring them grace, abuse is soon to follow. The reason would appear to be, that since one by his performance believes he has achieved some position of religious superiority, then all others may also if they will follow him. The problem is clear: the emphasis has been shifted from the work of Christ to the work of one in authority. This is Dupont's point: the leader's heart is not in a loving relationship with the Father since it wants to draw attention to itself and not God. We must guard against all legalism as it will generate spiritual abuse and toxic churches.

Dupont gives the classic warning signs of toxic churches: (1) Prevailing attitudes of elitism; (2) Leaders practicing "cursing" or judging ; (3) Denial of free will and invasion of privacy; (4) Leadership without accountability; (5) Hazy boundaries between serving God and serving leaders; (6) Legalism and condemnation; (7) Scapegoating and denial syndromes; (8) and a continuous turnover of leaders and staff. The purpose of providing these warning systems is to alert one to the possibility of abuse so that action may be taken before too much damage is done. The author provides an analogy of early detection to avoid serious physical illnesses as a warning not to ignore signs of spiritual abuse. In other words, we should not ignore symptoms of sickness, either in our bodies or in our churches. Dupont provides the symptoms so that a proper diagnosis may be made.

We must learn to walk in freedom and that journey begins with walking in forgiveness. Dupont helps the reader to forgive by examining the abuse from a different perspective:

"When we take the long view of abusive leaders, or parents, we can understand that in most cases they did the hurtful things they did because they wanted to but because they themselves are also victims. When we begin to see their hearts as God sees them, we can begin to see past the temporality of the pain. We can then authentically pray prayers for them with the motivation of God-love. And when we can begin to do that not only do we begin to reap what we sow, but, more importantly, we begin to reflect our heavenly Father." (188)

If you have been the victim of spiritual abuse, you are encouraged to use the contact form on this web site so that we may assist you to a life of wholeness. Do not allow the enemy to destroy your walk of love in Jesus Christ. We would like to partner with you in your walk with God.

Shield The Dangers of Arminianism  

In the church today, there is a decided preference for a belief framework that favors the teaching of James Arminius. Arminius lived from 1560 until 1609 and he developed a theology that was directly opposed to the teaching espoused by Martin Luther and the other leaders of the Protestant Reformation (hereinafter in this paper, the teachings of Luther and other Reformers is referred to as “Orthodoxy”). Most American churches teach that salvation is conditioned on man taking the first step toward God in faith and repentance. Once that step is taken, Arminianism says that God responds by saving the soul of the repentant sinner. The basic beliefs of Arminians can be summarized as follows: predestination is conditional on belief; that Christ did die for all; man is not totally depraved; the grace of God is resistible; and the possibility of falling from grace. A survey of most evangelical churches will clearly reveal that these teachings dominate the theology of the church in 2007. The question asked by this paper is whether there is a danger to holding to these teachings.

Does Arminianism have the same God as traditional Christian orthodoxy as taught by Martin Luther other reformers? Is the same Jesus dying on the cross? Does it really matter?

The god of Arminianism died for all; yet, that death accomplished no absolute salvation for anyone. The death of Jesus Christ served to actually save people from their sins (Matthew 1: 21). One death created the possibility of salvation for all (potential universalism, which means that all will be saved) and the other actually served to in fact redeem definite souls for the Father. Titus 2: 14 says: “who (Jesus) gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.” ESV The word “redeem” is the Greek word lutroo which means to bring forth a ransom. Jesus actually released His people because He paid the ransom. Redemption was a commercial term which included the payment of a price to release someone or something from bondage. It was a specific payment that brought forth a definite result. There were no conditions attached; once the price was paid the release was guaranteed. It would appear that there is no logical way to reconcile these two events; one death that did not effectively redeem versus one that did effectively redeem.

Arminianism believes that man has the ability to respond to the grace of God either in acceptance or rejection. At the heart of this belief is that man is the final determining factor in his salvation. Some men because they must be better than others or smarter than others will make the right choice and choose God; others who lack either sufficient intelligence or moral sufficiency will reject Christ and remain lost. Now I am certain that I can hear the Arminian cry that they think themselves no better than those who reject Christ; then they must explain why one man will say “yes” to Jesus and another will say “no.” If the final decision lies in the decision of man, you must be able to explain the choice of one to salvation and the other the choice to remain lost. If man is totally depraved as orthodoxy maintains, then it is only God that can effectively call him to salvation with a grace that can not be resisted. Some will confuse total depravity with utter depravity. Orthodoxy does not contend that man is so utterly depraved as to be incapable of some acts of goodness as defined by man, e.g., acts of charity or kindness; however, it does contend that absent a work of God in the inner spirit of a man, that person does not have the moral ability or desire to come to God. God must do a work by placing His Spirit within that one and so change his nature that he will desire to come to God in faith and repentance. How can these two different perspectives be reconciled? One places the final decision in the hands of man while the other gives all glory to God for salvation. One says the decision of the person, i.e., his flesh, is the difference between heaven and hell; the other says the flesh is not the final determining factor and plays no part in the decision to receive the Spirit. Jesus said that the flesh profits nothing (John 6: 63). One camp agrees with Jesus, i.e., Orthodoxy and the other camp, i.e., Arminian says the decision of the flesh profits everything by making the choice to be saved (there could be no greater profit to the person than the choice to be saved).

Arminians believes that one may fall from grace and be lost after being saved. Traditional orthodoxy as taught by Martin Luther believes that salvation will so bring about a change in the person that they will preserve to the end. Neither camp excuses sin. Arminians believe that if you continue in habitual sin you will lose your salvation; the other believes that if you are genuinely saved, you will not continue in habitual sin. Again, the issue focuses on what Jesus accomplished at Calvary. Did He make a down payment for your salvation and require you to make the monthly payments like a car loan or did He pay the price in full? If He paid the price in full, there is no further payment to be made. Since the full price has been paid, those who are redeemed will act like it to the end evidencing their salvation. The doctrine taught by some of “eternal security” that it does not matter what you do because you can not lose your salvation is not the position being advocated. It is impossible to ignore the plain teaching of Scripture that those in Christ will not habitually commit sin. The truly saved soul is being set free from the power of sin.

Is this just a harmless debate among theologians who have nothing else better to do? This paper suggests that much of the error in the church today, e.g., the exaltation of experience over the clear teachings in the Word of God come directly from man believing that he has the final say in the matter of salvation. His experience becomes the final determination of what is right and what is wrong. Once man begins to take credit for his salvation, as opposed to giving all the glory to God, it is a small step into believing that he has the right and power to dictate truth independently from the Scripture. There is much silliness in the church today that ignores the Word. There are entire movements that direct there energy toward pleasing the flesh. This is the natural outgrowth of the flesh being exalted as the Arminian theology by implication advocates.

We need to come to a place that we give God all the glory for what He has done. Jesus Christ came to this world as an infant; He was God incarnate. He suffered and died for our sins and actually served to save us. That salvation is eternal and it affects every aspect of our lives. We are saved now from the penalty of sin; we are being saved from the power of sin; and we shall be saved from the presence of sin. All this was, is and shall be accomplished through the redemption purchased by Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary. Jesus deserves all the praise that we can give Him and that includes not taking any credit to ourselves for our salvation. It is all Him. To God be the glory forevermore.

Soli Deo Gloria!

Shield The Danger of Church Relevancy  

According to Webster’s 1828 Dictionary, “relevancy” is defined as relieving; lending aid or support, pertinent; applicable. For something to be relevant there should be a connection between the two objects being referenced. One set of ethics is having an affect on the other. A question in the courtroom is considered relevant if it has something to do with the issue at trial. To the contrary, a question is irrelevant if it is not germane to the issue before the court. There are many today that believe that the church has to become relevant to the world to reach the world. This paper addresses the need of the church to be relevant in carrying out the Great Commission to reach the lost for Jesus Christ.

In many churches today, a worship style is adapted to make the unbeliever comfortable. Music is played that has the same rhythm, beat and sound of secular music. The idea is that we need to adapt the music to the present culture. We need to make the worship relevant to the visitor. If someone was to come to church and hear music from a different era, he might be “turned off” to God. The idea is to accommodate the sinner by making him comfortable in the worship experience. Worship becomes man centered. Have you heard someone speak of being lost in worship? Are they lost in worship or are they lost in the music? They are not the same. Worship is to be about God; it is not to be about man.

The Scriptures in 1 Chronicles 16:29, Psalm 29:2; 96:9 uniformly set a standard for worship. We are instructed to give glory to His name and worship in the beauty of holiness. “Holiness” means in part sacredness. We are to approach the act of worship remembering the sacredness of the God we are worshipping. This is not a time to “lose ourselves” into a type of mindless euphoria but instead to focus our spirit, soul and body on the Majesty of God. Our next breath is totally dependent on His good pleasure. The fact that our world does not spin out of control is due completely to His love toward us as a people. Worship is not about the unbeliever; it is about the believer and his God. Any effort to make worship relevant to the culture around us is to take the sacred and turn it into the profane or common.

Another area where some attempt to make the church relevant is in the preaching. Recently, I received a flyer inviting me to a set of church services that stated: “The real truth is too many churches are intolerant, judgmental, hypocritical, and money hungry. Oh, and did we mention they’re totally boring too…NOW THAT SUCKS!” An upcoming series of sermons were entitled: “Jesus vs. Intolerance,” “Jesus Judges the Judgmental,” Jesus Exposes the Hypocrite,” and: Jesus Confronts Organized Religion.” Recently in our area, a different “church” has begun conducting services in a bar. People are allowed to drink during the message and “worship” and then they receive communion. While the effort to reach the lost is to be commended, this approach of making the lost feel at ease and insulated from anything that might suggest that a change is needed, will do little more than increase numbers. One church offers first time visitors their choice of a $10 gas card, 2 movie tickets or a gift card to a national coffee shop. Jesus’ method was different; He never gave an altar call; He never asked anyone to make a decision for Him; He told people to deny themselves, pick up their cross and follow Him. In essence, Jesus said, “You have heard my Word, my teachings, now repent and turn from your sins and live out your new faith day by day.” The message of the cross is a message of self denial and personal holiness. The effort to make the message of the cross into a relevant non-offensive request is to preach another “gospel.” We must never forget that people are headed either to heaven or to hell. A relevant “soft” message that saves no one but makes sure that they are comfortable in their sins with their coffee and doughnuts is a tool of the devil and needs to be rebuked!

Recently, the center of the “seeker sensitive” movement (this is the approach that tries to get people saved before they realize what Jesus requires of them) at Willow Creek Church performed a survey about the spiritual quality of their attendees. Dr. Skip Moen has written an article addressing the results and at his web site he states the following:

“Willow Creek has released the results of a multi-year study on the effectiveness of their programs and philosophy of ministry. The study's findings are in a new book titled Reveal: Where Are You?, co-authored by Cally Parkinson and Greg Hawkins, executive pastor of Willow Creek Community Church. Hybels himself called the findings "earth shaking," "ground breaking" and "mind blowing." And no wonder: it seems that the "experts" were wrong.

The report reveals that most of what they have been doing for these many years and what they have taught millions of others to do is not producing solid disciples of Jesus Christ. Numbers yes, but not disciples. It gets worse. Hybels laments:

Some of the stuff that we have put millions of dollars into thinking it would really help our people grow and develop spiritually, when the data actually came back it wasn't helping people that much. Other things that we didn't put that much money into and didn't put much staff against is stuff our people are crying out for.

If you simply want a crowd, the "seeker sensitive" model produces results. If you want solid, sincere, mature followers of Christ, it's a bust. In a shocking confession, Hybels states:

We made a mistake. What we should have done when people crossed the line of faith and become Christians, we should have started telling people and teaching people that they have to take responsibility to become 'self feeders.' We should have gotten people, taught people, how to read their bible between services, how to do the spiritual practices much more aggressively on their own.

Incredibly, the guru of church growth now tells us that people need to be reading their bibles and taking responsibility for their spiritual growth.”

Efforts to make church relevant may increase your numbers; however, are you increasing the number of people receiving eternal life? Was relevancy an issue to Jesus? His mission was to save His people from their sins; His message was the Kingdom of God is within reach; He came to heal the broken hearted and to set the captives free. I see no interest in making the lost comfortable in their sin; to suggest to the contrary is to fall into the trap of relevancy. Let us take the message of the cross to a lost and dying world; let us worship our Holy God with the respect to which His sacredness demands.

Soli Deo Gloria!

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