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suffice it to say….

I am going back to my old blogger account. Maybe I will be able to do an extreme blog makeover soon.  I just like Blogger better. 😉 http://jennyhope-jennyhope.blogspot.com/

another good one from gotquestions.org

How do we distinguish a psychological disorder from demon possession?

 


 psychological disorder demon possession
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Question: “How do we distinguish a psychological disorder from demon possession?”

Answer: The short answer to this question is that the Bible does not speak to distinguishing between demon possession and a psychological disorder. Because God chose not to equip Christians for this task, we should probably assume this is not something we are called to do. However, there are two things we know for sure from Scripture.

First, we know from the Bible that demons can and do possess those who do not belong to Christ, and Scripture gives some examples of people being possessed by demons. From these descriptions, we can find some symptoms of demonic influence as well as gain insights as to how a demon possesses someone. In some of these passages, the demon possession causes physical ailments (inability to speak, epileptic symptoms, blindness, etc. [Matthew 9:32-33, Mark 9:17-18]); in other cases the demon causes the individual to do evil (Judas is the main example); in Acts 16:16-18, the spirit apparently gave a slave girl some ability to know things beyond her own learning (a spirit of divination); in the case of the demoniac of the Gadarenes who was possessed by a multitude of demons, he had superhuman strength, cut himself, went around naked, and lived among the tombstones (Mark 5:1-17). King Saul, after rebelling against the LORD, was troubled by an evil spirit (1 Samuel 16:14-15; 18:10-11; 19:9-10) with the apparent effect of a melancholy mood and an increased desire and readiness to kill David (God’s next anointed king of Israel).

Second, we should be greatly encouraged to know that it is impossible for a Christian to be possessed by a demon. The believer is indwelt by the Holy Spirit of God who comes to reside in our hearts when we give our lives to Christ (2 Corinthians 1:22). The description of a possessing demon as “evil” means “unclean” in the Greek (Mark 5:2), therefore making it impossible for the Holy Spirit to share His dwelling place with such a creature. For those who do not have the Holy Spirit, however, no amount of “cleaning up their lives” will prevent a demon from possessing or influencing them. The parable Jesus told in Matthew 12:43 makes this clear:

“When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. Then he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order. Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first.” Jesus is teaching here that we are incapable of sweeping and putting “in order” our own hearts because our hearts are “deceitful above all things and desperately wicked” (Jeremiah 17:9 KJV). Only God can regenerate us and create in us a new heart (Ezekiel 36:26) and make us new creatures in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17).

However, while Christians cannot be possessed by a demon, this is not to be confused with being influenced by one. The apostle Peter is an illustration of a believer who was influenced by the devil (Matthew 16:23). This can occur especially when we are not mature in the faith and not sufficiently involved in the spiritual disciplines of regular study of Scripture and prayer.

Lastly, a word to the wise: some people develop an unhealthy fascination with the occult and demonic activity. This is ill advised to say the least. If we pursue God with our lives and we are clothing ourselves with His armor and relying upon His strength (not our own) (Ephesians 6:10-18), we have nothing to fear from the evil ones, for God rules over all! When we are in Christ, and He in us, we have nothing to fear from the evil one because “He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4).

Recommended Resource: The Handbook for Spiritual Warfare (Revised & Updated) by Ed Murphy.

I was talking with someone tonight about this subject.  I hold to the belief that since we are sealed to the day of redemption that we can not be “possessed” by a demon and have the Holy Spirit dwelling in our mortal flesh.  Ephesians 4:30 says: 

30And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

And here: 

2 Corinthians 1:21-23 

21Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, 22set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.

And Ephesians 1:13:  And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit,

I know that a believer can go through great sickness, suffer depression, and a whole host of things but I believe that if you are in Christ you may be oppressed but not possessed. 

I am super tired so I just cut and paste this article from www.GotQuestions.org .  I really love their site!

 Question: “Can a Christian be demon possessed?”

Answer: The Bible does not explicitly state whether a Christian can be possessed by a demon. However, since a Christian is indwelt by the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:9-11; 1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19), it would seem unlikely that the Holy Spirit would allow a demon to possess the same person He is indwelling. This is sometimes a controversial issue; however, we strongly hold to the belief that a Christian cannot be possessed by a demon. We believe there is a distinct difference between being possessed by a demon and being oppressed or influenced by a demon. Demon possession involves a demon having direct control over the thoughts and/or actions of a person (Luke 4:33-35; 8:27-33; Matthew 17:14-18). Demon oppression or influence involves a demon or demons attacking a person spiritually and/or encouraging him/her into sinful behavior (1 Peter 5:8-9; James 4:7). Notice that in all the New Testament passages dealing with spiritual warfare, we are never told to cast a demon out of a believer (Ephesians 6:10-18). Believers are told to resist the devil (1 Peter 5:8-9; James 4:7), not to cast him out.

It is unthinkable that God would allow one of His children, whom He purchased with the blood of Christ (1 Peter 1:18-19) and made into a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17), to be possessed and controlled by a demon. Yes, as believers, we wage war with Satan and his demons, but not from within ourselves. The apostle John declares, “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world” (1 John 4:4). Who is the One in us? The Holy Spirit. Who is the one in the world? Satan and his demons. Therefore, the believer has overcome the world of demons, and the case for demon possession of a believer cannot be made scripturally.

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

can anyone enlighten me on how to get that stinking flicker thing off  of my sidebar?

I had mentioned a while back that I really wanted to share something that I learned about the Jewishness of Christ.  I am telling you what, I have absolutely been blown away by some of my faulty Western thinking.  Let me give you an example.  A long time ago I pondered and pondered what in the world made 12 men, of all walks of life, just pick up and follow Christ. Was there some mysterious glow about Him?  Did they know off the bat that He was the Christ?   Then, I read about the culture then and how Jesus was indeed a Jewish Rabbi.  Rabbi’s literally had disciples or maybe a better word would be apprentices.  They would literally follow the Rabbi (teacher) and go where he went, do what he did, and soak in what he said.  Here is a quote that I loved from Yose ben Yoezer from the second century B.C. : “Let your house be a meeting place for the rabbis, and cover yourself in the dust of their feet, and drink in their words thirstily.”

*Edited to add:  The covering yourself in the dust of the Rabbis feet was a saying regarding how much the Rabbis would walk and teach along the dusty roads.  I just loved that.  As He led, they followed and literally covered themselves in the dust of the Rabboni’s feet! 

So of course He would have come to His chosen people and been Jewish like they were.  I am no scholar but I love that it wasn’t some weird freakish thing for him to have the disciples.  He was the fullness of the Godhead bodily but He was also a Jewish man.  You did not become a Rabbi until the age of thirty so it just excites me to know that as tradition went Jesus would start His earthly ministry at the age of thirty!  I am just wild about Him! 

Dig this.  Forgiveness.  A BIG DEAL.  A huge undertaking when we have been wronged.  Also, sometimes we really struggle with forgiving our own self.  Yet some of us have been wronged BIG TIME.  I am about to burst with excitement as I type this.  I pray I don’t bang the keys off of my keyboard.  Get this scene with me.  Peter comes and poses a question that I think we have all asked before, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?” (I have included the verses at the bottom)  How many sermons have you heard on this reply that are incorrect?  Western thinking looks at that verse without digging any deeper and reasons that we need to forgive 70 times 7.  Then, we reason oh 490 times!  That is not what Jesus is saying and all of the disciples would have known exactly what Jesus was saying by what He didn’t say.  Seven is symbolic of completeness in the Word.  So, Jesus is referring to the following in Genesis 4:23-24:

 23 Lamech said to his wives,
       “Adah and Zillah, listen to me;
       wives of Lamech, hear my words.
       I have killed a man for wounding me,
       a young man for injuring me.

 24 If Cain is avenged seven times,
       then Lamech seventy-seven times.”

Lamech was a descendent of Cain.  Cain was murderous and evil and killed his brother Abel.  So, Lamech in these verses is wanting what is beyond complete vengeance.  Jesus blew Peter’s question out of the water by saying, without saying, to the extent that Lamech wanted what was beyond complete vengeance is the extent to which I want you to forgive.  A forgiveness that is absolutely other.  Absolutely radical and only possible through the Holy Spirit.  No small task but this was Jesus’ answer and obviously it is not beyond the power of the Holy Spirit which resides in each believer.  With the LORD is forgiveness.  We are not capable of true forgiveness apart from Him.  Psalm 130 my anthem  3 If you, O LORD, kept a record of sins,
       O Lord, who could stand?

 4 But with you there is forgiveness;
       therefore you are feared.

Forgiveness sets US free.  It releases us from being in bondage to our bitterness and unforgiveness.  Let me give you a quick application that may help you.  It will require work but it is worth it.  Whenever I have really struggled with forgiving someone I have taken out some scriptures of blessing and etc and inserted the person’s name in the verses and prayed for them.  I would start out and say, “God, I no more want _______ to be the apple of your eye but I just pray that you would bless ____ and guard them as the apple of your eye.”  I would go on with scriptures praying this way until God changed my heart toward that person.  I am telling you it works!  Gods word works.  It is not a formula but the only thing I know to tell you.  I would end up really wanting Gods mercy and blessing to fall on that person.  Often times the person that has hurt me the most has been the one that I have allowed closest access to my heart.  It is also humbling to think of how much I have been forgiven.  This life is hard but we need to take it day by day and fight this good fight until He calls us home.  Unforgiveness will cause bitterness and spread like gangrene it will hurt us and cause the waters around us to become bitter.  It will literally eat us alive.  Another way that helps me is I journal and just tell God all that is on my heart right or wrong.  That is just part of casting my burdens on Him.  He cares for you and me.  Any thoughts?

Matthew 18:22-35

 22Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.

The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant

 21Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?”

 22Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.

 23“Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him. 25Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.

 26“The servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ 27The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.

 28“But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii. He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded.

 29“His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.’

 30“But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. 31When the other servants saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed and went and told their master everything that had happened.

 32“Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. 33Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ 34In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.

 35“This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart.”

just checking in

So I need the following verse to be literal for me right now.  

Psalm 32:6 (New International Version)

psalm 32: 6 Therefore let everyone who is godly pray to you
       while you may be found;
       surely when the mighty waters rise,
       they will not reach him.  

 I have been in over my head lately and here is what we get to clean up today.  Hoping to see how all things work for the good in this situation.  ;) 

 

Out of Touch

Matthew 5:13 (New International Version)

Salt and Light

 13“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.  

So, yesterday morning I dropped Morgan off at school and began to try to work with my gps to get to the destination I needed to go to teach bible study.  This was my first time to teach there so I was not sure what to expect.  I get really nervous before teaching whether it is 100 people or just 2.  I always have that nausea’s feeling no matter what.  With the loss of our friend this past week I had almost forgotten about teaching.  My poor class on Sunday probably suffered through my teaching, bless their hearts.  So, my gps would not find the location AT ALL. I began to panic and as I was sitting in our church parking lot.  I got Rod on the phone and he kept telling me, “Jenny, you need to calm down! You just don’t know how to use the gps!”  I almost burst into tears imagining how lost I was going to be.  It occurred to me…what good is a gps if you don’t know how to use it?  I even yelled out, “you stupid GPS!!”  I am one of the most directionally challenged people you will ever meet.  Still, I ended up very lost! VERY LOST!  Then, to top it off, I had to parallel park of all things once I made it there.  Whew!  So many of us are the same in our walk with Christ and we wonder why we don’t have the victory when we are not even attempting to wield our sword of the Spirit.  We can’t just put our bible under our pillow at night and expect to get it by some sort of “biblical osmosis” so to speak.  We are going to have to crack our bibles, memorize scripture and use it in the unseen battle here on earth.   God has given the believer everything he/she needs for life and godliness yet we will not participate in the divine nature nor escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires without putting on the armor and allowing God to transform us or metamorphosis us from caterpillars into butterflies.  A caterpillar never makes it off of the ground, yet a butterfly is rich in color and glory as it flies freely.   

2 Peter 1:3-4  

 3His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.  

So how do we be in this world but not of it and still be in touch with peoples deep needs?  Well, Jesus is a perfect example in His holy writ.  You see replete examples of him healing others and the Pharisees becoming indignant that He would do such a thing on the Sabbath…yet these people were desperate for a Saviour.  Jesus met people where they were and they would be forever changed because of it.  When we encounter Jesus through His word and daily walking things out with Him, we can’t stay the same without being miserable in our complacency.  

So, yesterday I met Tiana for lunch at the mall.  She had to leave and Morgan and I went into Forever21.  I saw the cutest lace tank top that needed to go home with me, or so I thought.  Mind you I have worked in retail for years before I tell you this.  I asked one of the associates where the top was.  She looked and looked and then told me it was the last one on the mannequin. Well, of course I asked her if I could have it.  I kid you not she says, “We are not allowed to take the shirt off of the mannequin.”  This is not the first time I have heard this.  Seriously.  So, I cracked up thinking, OK this is a retail store that makes money by selling clothes, yet a customer wants to buy something and they are not allowed to take it off of the mannequin.  It is one of the dumbest things I have ever heard.  Yet I can’t tell you the times working in retail that I have had to follow through on the craziest decisions from people in the corporate world, that did not work in a store, who were sitting at a desk (out of touch from people) making decisions. I would always crack up and say, “Ah ha corporate…someone sitting at a desk not actually in touch with people!”   Yet that is how we can get as believers.  So busy in the salt shaker, shaking around that we lose our saltiness.  We become out of touch with people.  People who are desperate for the salt to spill out on them…the meat of this cosmos, and preserve that meat as salt used to do in the 1st century.  

We have got to ask God to open our eyes, our ears, and our hearts to be burdened for those around us and offer hope to the lost.  What good are we if we lose our saltiness.  Salt used to be mixed with gypsum and used as sort of a tar to put roofing on the tops of the houses back in biblical times.   People also spent a lot of time on their roof…trampling so to speak on top of that salt!  The enemy should be under our feet.  We should not allow him or this world or our flesh to get us to the point where we are the ones being tossed out, not useful.  People are hurting.  We are the means that God can so readily use to offer the message of hope, healing and full redemption.