Doubts, Frustrations, God, & The Church – JP Moreland and Mike Errie

Doubts, Frustrations, God, & The Church – JP Moreland and Mike Errie

Has the Church Replaced Israel? + Evangelical Attitudes towards Israel

Has the Church Replaced Israel?- Part 1

In this episode, Dr. Darrell Bock, David Brickner and Dr. Mitch Glaser discuss Israel and anti-Semitism, focusing on the question, ?Has the Church replaced Israel??…

00:14 Dr. Bock discusses passages in scripture that point to Israel?s reintroduction into God?s kingdom program
02:12 Dr. Glaser and Brickner discuss Jewish evangelism and the importance of understanding the role of the Jewish people in the second coming
06:11 Answering the objection that Israel, because of her rejection of the Messiah, has been replaced by the Church
12:20 Christ?s role as faithful covenant keeper and redeemer
14:54 The tragedy of ignoring Jewish evangelism because of skewed theology…

Evangelical Attitudes towards Israel – Part 2

Read in pdf format here –

In this episode, Dr. Darrell Bock, David Brickner and Dr. Mitch Glaser discuss Israel and anti-Semitism, focusing on evangelical attitudes and perspectives.…

00:14 Brickner explains the ministry of Jews for Jesus
02:00 Dr. Glaser explains the ministry of Chosen People
04:38 The shift in Evangelical attitudes towards Israel
11:29 The Abrahamic Covenant and Israel?s place in God?s program
17:52 Perspectives on Israel and the doctrine of election
19:56 The Passover Seder, Jesus, and the New Covenant
28:52 Israel, the church, and Replacement Theology…

The Church – The Body of Christ – an illustration – Biserica – Trupul lui Hristos

1 Corinteni 12:12-31

12 Căci, după cum trupul este unul şi are multe mădulare, şi după cum toate mădularele trupului, măcar că sînt mai multe, sînt un singur trup, -tot aşa este şi Hristos.
13 Noi toţi, în adevăr, am fost botezaţi de un singur Duh, ca să alcătuim un singur trup, fie Iudei, fie Greci, fie robi, fie slobozi; şi toţi am fost adăpaţi dintr’un singur Duh.
14 Astfel, trupul nu este un singur mădular, ci mai multe.
15 Dacă piciorul ar zice: ,,Fiindcă nu sînt mînă, nu sînt din trup„, -nu este pentru aceasta din trup?
16 Şi dacă urechea ar zice: ,,Fiindcă nu sînt ochi, nu sînt din trup„ -nu este pentru aceasta din trup?
17 Dacă tot trupul ar fi ochi, unde ar fi auzul? Dacă totul ar fi auz, unde ar fi mirosul?
18 Acum dar Dumnezeu a pus mădularele în trup, pe fiecare aşa cum a voit El.
19 Dacă toate ar fi un singur mădular, unde ar fi trupul?
20 Fapt este că sînt mai multe mădulare, dar un singur trup.
21 Ochiul nu poate zice mînii: ,,N’am trebuinţă de tine„; nici capul nu poate zice picioarelor: ,,N’am trebuinţă de voi.„
22 Ba mai mult, mădularele trupului, cari par mai slabe, sînt de neapărată trebuinţă.
23 Şi părţile trupului, cari par vrednice de mai puţină cinste, le îmbrăcăm cu mai multă podoabă. Aşa că părţile mai puţin frumoase ale trupului nostru capătă mai multă frumuseţă,
24 pe cînd cele frumoase n’au nevoie să fie împodobite. Dumnezeu a întocmit trupul în aşa fel ca să dea mai multă cinste mădularelor lipsite de cinste:
25 pentru ca să nu fie nici o desbinare în trup: ci mădularele să îngrijească deopotrivă unele de altele.
26 Şi dacă sufere un mădular, toate mădularele sufăr împreună cu el; dacă este preţuit un mădular, toate mădularele se bucură împreună cu el.
27 Voi sînteţi trupul lui Hristos, şi fiecare, în parte, mădularele lui.
28 Şi Dumnezeu a rînduit în Biserică, întîi, apostoli; al doilea, prooroci; al treilea, învăţători; apoi, pe ceice au darul minunilor; apoi pe cei ce au darul tămăduirilor, ajutorărilor, cîrmuirilor, şi vorbirii în felurite limbi.
29 Oare toţi sînt apostoli? Toţi sînt prooroci? Toţi sînt învăţători? Toţi sînt făcători de minuni?
30 Toţi au darul tămăduirilor? Toţi vorbesc în alte limbi? Toţi tălmăcesc?
31 Umblaţi dar după darurile cele mai bune. Şi vă voi arăta o cale nespus mai bună.

Lumea nu vede capul (pe Hristos), dar vede trupul (Biserica lui Hristos)

1 Corinthians 12:12-31

One Body with Many Members

12 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves[a] or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.

14 For the body does not consist of one member but of many. 15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? 18 But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. 19 If all were a single member, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.

21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty,24 which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, 25 that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26 If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.

27 Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. 28 And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30 Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? 31 But earnestly desire the higher gifts.

And I will show you a still more excellent way.

Leonard Ravenhill – Today’s Sleeping Giant: The Church

Church For Sale

Solemnly and slowly, with his index finger extended, Napoleon Bonaparte outlined a great stretch of country on a map of the world. „There,” he growled, „is a sleeping giant. Let him sleep! If he wakes, he will shake the world.” That sleeping giant was China. Today, Bonaparte’s prophecy of some one hundred and fifty years ago makes sense.

Today Lucifer is probably surveying the church just as Bonaparte did China. One can almost behold the fear in his eyes as he thinks of the Church’s unmeasured potential and growls, „Let the Church sleep! If she wakes, she will shake the world.” Is not the Church the sleeping giant of today?

Some years ago the newspaper headlines carried the story of a young Chinese student who „flunked” his exams here in America. So humiliated was he and so withered by anticipated scorn that for three years the youth hid in the belfry of a church and became skin and bones. Because of his shame, he froze in winter and blistered in summer under that church’s thin roof. As today’s Church of Jesus Christ thinks about the day of reckoning that is surely coming, oh that a holy fear would come upon her (even if it drives her to extremes) in order to arouse her from her present paralysis!

james-tissot-samson-pulls-down-the-pillarsPhoto credit James Tissot’s Samson (wikipedia)

Consider Samson’s fall. He didn’t get drunk; he didn’t commit murder; he didn’t steal. Samson fell simply because he succumbed to the natural, and fell asleep.

That one small act put him into captivity,
made a false god popular,
and scattered the forces of the true and living God.

If even yet you feel a hangover of the old interpretation that the Samson of the Bible is a distant relative of Hercules or Atlas (famed in mythology for carrying the world on his back), then think again. Samson was no human monstrosity. He was no super-edition of a Goliath. If Samson had been a colossus, then why did Delilah ask the question, „Wherein lieth thy great strength?”

Let the final word be from the Word of God itself, for in telling the story of men mighty in faith, the writer to the Hebrews says: Time would fail me to tell of Gideon, and of Barak, and of Samson,… who through faith … stopped the mouths of lions” (Heb. 11:32-33). Only two men in Scripture stopped the mouths of lions–Daniel and Samson. But no giant could single-handedly, as Samson, „put to flight the armies of the aliens,” or toy with opposing armies.

Here, Samson slays a thousand men with the jawbone of an ass;
there, he kills another thirty men.
Here, he takes the gates of Gaza for a ride;
there, he tears a lion like paper.

To add insult to injury, the Spirit’s comment is „he had nothing in his hand.”

Note well, yea, read for yourself the whole story of the secret of this mighty exploiter, this more-than-conquering believer: „The Spirit of the Lord rested mightily upon him. ” Everything in the story adds up to this staggering fact:Supernatural power was upon Samson.

Now turn back ten chapters in this wonder book of Judges and have a little peep into the life of Gideon. Surely as a boy, Gideon had heard from his father the hair-raising stories of a mighty Deity. In Judges 6, Gideon is older, and while threshing corn, is fearing an attack of the Midianites. For seven years, the once liberated slaves of Pharaoh had again become captives. Dens and caves were their homes. No longer were they able to sing the Lord’s song.

It must have sounded like a fairy tale when that angel appeared to Gideon and informed him, „God is with thee, thou mighty man of valor.” Yet he shot back the answer, „If God be with us, where be all his miracles which our fathers told us of?” This answer makes clear that Gideon was expecting some supernatural evidence. To him, the seal of the Lord’s presence would be something that could not be rationalized.

leonard ravenhillAlas that today there is more evidence of religious sensation before our eyes than evidence of spiritual regeneration and supernatural phenomenon! Not many Christians today can forget the fact that the devil goeth about as a roaring lion, but we seem to have lost sight of the fact that the Lion of the tribe of Judah has defeated the roaring lion of hell, and therefore every anointed Samson or Gideon or church can also slay the lion of hell. Though wicked men are doing wickedly, God’s promise to us is that „the people that do know their God shall be strong and do exploits” (Daniel 11:32).

This much is sure:

  • If we could merit revival by fasting, there would be many martyred by starving.
  • If we could organize revival, we would pool our thinking to outwit the powers of darkness.
  • If we could buy this elusive revival with the mammon of unrighteousness, we could get a score of what we call Christian millionaires to underwrite the thing for us.
  • If we could blast the devil from this present world, we would pledge the politicians for an atom bomb.

God pity us that after years of writing, using mountains of paper and rivers of ink, exhausting flashy terminology about the biggest revival meetings in history, we are still faced with gross corruption in every nation, as well as with the most prayerless church age since Pentecost.

This is a plea for the return of the supernatural; but I must also give this a word of explanation. For a decade, all over this land there has been a ministry of the miraculous (more or less), and thank God for all who honor Him and remain faithful. But having said that, here is a plea for sane thinking and a spiritual evaluation of the evangelistic field. To a large degree, have we not substituted seeing for hearing? In Acts, Philip the evangelist could have transferred the Ethiopian eunuch to a city seething with revival fever where the eunuch could have seen „the lame leap like an hart and the tongue of the dumb sing.” Instead, he pitched right into the Word of the living God, and beginning at the same Scripture preached unto him Jesus. We need the miraculous but we also need Christ-centered teaching. Our crucified, exalted Christ must have preeminence over all other slants of truth, for while the Church is languishing, the world is perishing. „Awake, awake, put on strength, 0 arm of the Lord…” (Isaiah 51:9)

Again let me say, Samson’s size was not the secret of his strength. The fact that he was the same size after he backslid negates the idea that he was a giant. His only external peculiarity was his long locks, uncut because he was a Nazarite. Nor had his long hair in itself any abnormal power. Samson’s secret was obedience. As long as Samson trod the straight and narrow path of obedience, he was invincible.

Let us remember, too, that Samson, who began in the Spirit, fell into the flesh, and so had a prison term to bring him to his senses. Finally, by one last mighty miracle, he finished in the Spirit. Backslider, this is a word for your recovery, for God can restore the years that the cankerworm and the caterpillar have eaten. He who is able delights in mercy.

Samson’s final act of power was the crowning achievement of a spectacular lifes work. After he had slipped out from under the harness of obedience, he was forced into separation from the world in a prison. Once an army trembled at his very sight; later a single boy came to lead the blinded Samson into the temple of Dragon, the fish-god. How the mighty had fallen! Yet now, God took this „weak thing” into a temple full of lords of the Philistines and set him between the pillars. „Samson took hold of the pillars … the one with his right hand and the other with his left … and he bowed himself with all His might” (judges 16:29-30) Holy jealousy gripped him. Mighty as he had been in other things, Samson now proved mightiest in prayer: „Lord, strengthen me … this once!’ (vs. 28) Would to God that every professed believer in the whole of Christendom would borrow this prayer and mean it. Then with dramatic conclusion, Samson sealed the doom of many more of the enemies of God in his dying than in his living.

Is this the dying hour of this dispensation? Many say it is. Some Christians have already hung their harps on the willows, and yet others seem to delight in speaking of the Church’s present lapse as a proof of divine inspiration. But I myself believe that if the Church will only obey the conditions, she can have a revival any time she wants it. The problem of the Church is the problem in the garden of Gethsemane-sleep! For while men sleep, the enemy, sows his seed through his cults. Lest men sleep the sleep of eternal death, 0h arm of the Lord, 0h Church of the living God, awake!

If the church is going to attain to her potential in this last hour, it is apparent that we are going to have to dust off an old word that many of us have forgotten is in the English language – DISCIPLINE! To some, this word discipline will have a monastic flavor, for it smells of the Middle Ages or throws onto the screen of the mind a picture of an unwashed hermit or a hollow-eyed anchorite. Be not deceived. Every smart „top brass military expert has arrived therebecause he wore the harness of discipline. Leonard Bernstein in his music-talks holds his baton like a magic wand over mesmerized million because of discipline. This brings to mind the words of the poet:

The heights by great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight,

But they, while their companions slept, were toiling upward through the night!

If any man wants to write a bestseller, let him attempt a book on How to be a Saint in Six Easy Lessons. Such a writer would be fishing with bait that this generation of believers wants; but I, for one, would not swallow it.

In a brilliant sermon called „Discipleship,” G. Campbell Morgan says, „Jesus Christ could speak to the sorrow-burdened heart of humanity words so full of mother-love and father-love as to make men crowd and press round Him. On the other hand, He could suddenly speak words that flashed and scorched and burned until men drew back in astonishment.” Bracketed in the last group would be these two commands: „Take my yoke upon you” and „My disciple, take up your cross and follow me.” Both of these words imply discipline.

When we sing in a sunlit church „Oh to be like Thee; Oh to be like Thee,” we get weepy and feel an emotional lift. But permit this simple challenge:

  • Do we really mean ‘Oh to be like Thee’ – like the Christ of God, who was a man of discipline?
  • Do we really mean ‘Oh to be like Thee’ – fasting alone in the desert?
  • Do we mean Oh to be like Thee’ to touch the depths of prayer that make us cry, ‘All Thy billows are gone over me.’
  • Do we mean ‘Oh to be like Thee’ – to become habituates of the fastness of the prayer chamber?
  • Do we mean ‘Oh to be like Thee’ – in a will like His, for He said,

„I always do the will of my Father.” Is that not discipline?

The religious sentimentalist who sings „Just a closer walk with Thee” but walks close to the ungodly and sits with the blasphemers, is not taken seriously in either heaven or hell. Be very sure, friend, that this vile world is not „a friend to grace to help on to God.” We need to pray the Father to put some blood into this „water” that runs through our veins. Our Simon-like natures need the Upper Room fire to clean us out and the discipline of the Spirit to shape us into soldiers.

Twenty-five years of discipline in a crows nest of an office up behind his church in Chicago brought about a Dr. A. W. Tozer, who produced a book, The Pursuit of God. This in turn produced on the ocean of spiritual teaching waves that lap their way to the ends of the earth.

After I spoke at a session in the Bible School of Wales, Mrs. Rees Howells called me for a private talk. We stood on the veranda of her home overlooking beautiful Swansea Bay I can see her finger upheld as she said, „Many talk of my husband’s buying this place with a shilling (fourteen cents) in his pocket. What they forget is that he prayed twelve hours a day for eleven months to know the mind of God.” Brethren, that’s discipline!

Today, immediately when one gets out of step with a nearby Christian, he is considered a legalist. Just remember, in „that great day of Judgment” when we must an stand before His throne, no man will be ashamed he was dubbed over-spiritual, though many will weep, groan, and „suffer loss” because of lack of discipline. Discipline is a harness by which we enable the Spirit to get the best out of our frail humanity. The Apostle Paul was a disciplinarian like his Master:

  • He disciplined his body: „I keep my body under.”He disciplined himself to loneliness: „All men forsook me.”
  • He disciplined himself to scorn: „We are fools for Christ’s sake.”
  • He disciplined himself to poverty: „We suffered need.”
  • He disciplined himself to rejection: „We are despised.”
  • He disciplined himself to death: „I die daily.”
  • He disciplined himself to suffering: „Persecuted, but not forsaken.”

May this be our prayer, „Oh Lord, I bow my neck to Thy yoke!”

Since the hour Adam first rose to his feet, man has not stood, as today, between such potential and such peril. America is still the richest nation in the world. It is a mighty crucible into which refugees of almost all modern nations are poured. It has far more Bible schools than any other nation. In these Bible schools is dedicated manpower. Here, too, is wealth to get this manpower to the ends of the earth, and here is linguistic ability unmatched in the annals of time.

Even the gathering at Pentecost had not the potential, humanly speaking, that this vast nation has. Do you wonder, then, that from every angle, hell has America under cross fire? This mighty land is cursed with blessings . I fear that unless she awakens, repents, and puts on the whole armor, of God, she will be blessed with cursings. Already other nations are in the slavery of oppression. Can America and Britain long remain free? Unless we are to have the war of wars that will usher us into the night Of nights and the judgment of judgments, we must have the revival of revivals. Pale, pathetic, palliating preaching must be driven from the church like the idols it promotes. It is time for the church to cry again, „Where is the God of Elijah?”

Ambrose Fleming called the resurrection of Jesus Christ „the best attested fact in history” Yet at Easter time, vain effort is made to rationalize the stupendous event of the Resurrection in order to try to save face before pseudo-intellectualism, which boggles at the fact that the Lord of glory died and rose again, triumphant over death, over hell, and over the grave. Who, then, can dispute the following biting statements of Murdo MacDonald in his book, The Vitality of Faith: „Ever since the Renaissance, men have been trying to water down the Christian creed. Give us a religion purged of everything that defies logic, a religion stripped of the supernatural and emptied of miracle, a religion that is smooth and palatable and rationally acceptable-this has been the popular cry” Surely the church, weak in heart and courage, has gone out of the way to oblige.

The doom of this decaying civilization is spelled out in our crowded divorce courts, our all-time high of alcoholics and drug addicts, the number of illegitimate births or the number of abortions. A Gallup poll shows that these days most people accept lying as part of everyday business. Virtue is scorned.

Truth lies fallen in the street!

Somewhere in the archives of the British Admiralty at Whitehall, London, they have the record of a fine piece of maritime strategy. Ships of five nations were anchored in a bay in the South Pacific. A fierce storm was gathering offshore. The British captain decided to run, not away from the storm but into it. Everything available was battened down. Out crashed the ship into the boiling seas-pitching, tossing, rolling, and shuddering. Indeed, she did everything but go down. A couple of days later, buffeted but not broken, she returned to the port to find the ships of the other nations piled up on the beach.

The storm of the ages is about to break. Let the church call its crew to a new dedication. Remembering that Christ is at the helm, and with Christ’s Crest as our ensign, let us run into the storm. After the storm, we, too, shall return-to see upon the shores of time the battered, piled, wrecked, hell-inspired ideologies of the hour.

Copyright (C) 1996 by Leonard Ravenhill, Lindale Texas –

Moral Purity in Marriage

Dr. Russell Moore – You will encounter sexual temptation in your marriage. It is not a question of whether you will encounter sexual temptation, you will encounter sexual temptation when the satanic powers see two who become one flesh, what they see is a living, breathing,  organic display of what they hate the most, which is the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Whatever sexual temptation will come into your marriage is not about you, it is about something that has been going on for millennia and something that was purposed and planned in the mind of God before the cosmos ever was. Your struggle and your battle is precisely what the serpent offers in the garden when he says to the woman, simultaneously, „See yourself as an animal”. She’s been given dominion, the Bible says, over all the beasts of the fields and now she is taking direction from a beast of the field. And also, „See yourself as a god. You can decide what is good and evil”. You will face this throughout your marriage because this is exactly what the apostle Paul is talking about when he says the issue with sexual purity is not simply about self control, although it is about self control. It is about a kind of self control that is doing warfare against the temptation of Satan.

Paul has been going through this entire letter, talking to them about the dangers out there, in the spiritual world. He talks about sexual morality, he talks about sexual fidelity and he says, „Don’t you understand that there is something spiritual happening here?

ADULTERY – Almost anybody in this room can look around and see the kind of carnage that takes place in the lives of even the people that you know. Some of you have pastors who preached the Gospel to you , or baptized you and were later destroyed because of an adulterous affair. Sexual immorality is not something that suddenly happens to you, sexual immorality is part of a conspiracy and a plot to work with you in your sin in order to, as the book of proverbs says, trap you like an animal who is caught.  Paul says, „Flee from sexual immorality. Be warned about joining yourself in adultery”. And why is that the case?  It’s because this warning applies to all of the people of God. We typically think that sexual temptation and sexual opportunity happen to sexy people. That is not the way that it happens. And I have seen so many men who have left beautiful, godly wives for women that you would not even notice if you passed them in the hallway. This is not a matter of how sexy someone is. The Satanic powers are noticing you. They are watching you. Especially those of you who have stood up and said, „I am pursuing God’s call upon my life, to stand and to speak for Christ, in proclaiming the oracles of God.” They will do anything to see to it that the Gospel is discredited by your animalistic impulses. Most people who find themselves drawn into adultery, are not drawn into adultery because they are so oversexed. Most of them, instead find them selves in that place because marriage is a mission, it’s an economy. It’s an order that has been put together and it is hard labor together to bring forth the bread from the earth and to be fruitful and multiply, and to raise up the next generation and to get along with one another through all of these sufferings and all of this strife.  Notice what the apostle Paul says here, it is shockingly radical „You belong to each other”. He does not simply say, „Flee adultery”. He says something significant here. He says, „Husbands, your body belongs to your wife. And wives, your body belongs to your husband”. Do you realize what a shocking statement that is?

(2) FORNICATION – When you change the biblical name ‘fornication’ which is something that is evil, to ‘premarital sex’ you are changing it to something that signifies it is just a matter of timing. There are some ways that fornication mimics the conjugal union of sex. When you have two that are joining themselves together, outside of that life long covenant, you are picturing something other than the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The fornication is not simply something that is timed badly. The fornication is a spiritual act that is joining you and attaching you in some mystical way to another person, in a way that communicates a ‘Christ who is not faithful to His bride’. That is not just immoral, that is blasphemy. One of the significant issues that we face in our churches is that we have an entire generation of young people who are able to cover over and to callous their consciences by being technical virgins, by justifying to themselves acts of rebellion against God as somehow being acceptable and somehow being justifiable in a way that not only stores up sin, but also devastates the functioning christian conscience. And often, even those teenagers and young single adults in our churches, who are remaining faithful in sexual purity are doing so more out of risk avoidance than out of a commitment to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. God has revealed that fornicators will not enter the kingdom of God. One of the things we have in our church and possibly in your marriage is that we don’t really believe that. And we really do not see the spiritual war that is going on at this point, because we assume it’s premarital sex, so once the marriage takes place, the issue is now resolved. Some of you in your marriages right now are experiencing deadness and mistrust, and conflict because you, husband led that woman into fornication and you have never gotten to the point of repentance before God for evil. Everything that you said to her, to convince her that this was justifiable, every act of hiddenness that you took to manage your own hiddenness and to cover over your sin, yo will be able to do just as easily, again with some other woman. „She’s the love of my life!” You’ll feel that way about some other woman some day. „We were just so carried away”. You’ll be carried away again, like that. „The timing was so wrong, we were so young”. „My wife just doesn’t understand me and I’m at a time in my life when I really need this relationship”. Until you get to the point, specifically men, where you, as a former fornicator get on your knees with your wife and say, „I am guilty of not protecting you, of not exercising Godly headship over you, of not loving you as Christ loved the church, and I repent before God and I repent before you”. You will never understand what the scripture is talking about when it says, „you were washed, you were freed”. The problem is that we assume that because the problem is in the past, that the issue is over, but, nothing drives 2 people further apart than sinning together. Your wife, men, may not trust you right now because she knows her parents couldn’t trust you then. Until that is dealt with, with the kind of heart that cries out, „Lord have mercy and free me and wash me”, you will never find the kind of spiritual power and freedom in your marriage that  you so desperately need.

(3) PORNOGRAPHY. The apostle Paul doesn’t speak to pornography directly here, but he speaks to porneia, to sexual immorality. And this issue has become almost ubiquitous to such a degree that pornography in terms of spiritual warfare has been weaponized, including in our churches. Now, when a couple comes into my church and says, „We don’t know what’s wrong in our marriage, we just don’t have any intimacy, we don’t have sex with each other anymore, we just feel cold, I immediately say, „How long has the porn been going on? ” Husband usually looks at me like I’m an Old Testament prophet or a new age psychic. It is because it happens so often and with such regularity and it always has the same satanic results. PORNOGRAPHY IS UNIQUELY SATANIC BECAUSE IT DRIVES YOU TOWARDS INSATIABILITY. Nobody in the history of the world has said, „Ok Ive seen my porn”. Porn, by definition drives you further and further and further towards intimacy . WHy? Because it is an occultic pull upon you that is driving you towards the kind of mystery  and the kind of intimacy  that you are designed to find in the one flesh union and it severs that away from real life, covenant, flesh and blood love in such a way that you become numbed over to the joy of sexual intimacy itself. PORNOGRAPHY LURES YOU IN WITH SEXINESS, and then TOTALLY EVISCERATES YOUR CAPACITY  FOR SEXUAL INTIMACY. So much so, that there may even be men in this room  who are so captured by pornography that you are not even able to have sex with your wife without retrieving for yourself images that you have archived from porn. If you do not see how desperate and how sad and how pathetic and how pitiful that situation is, you will never find freedom. When you put yourself in the orbit of pornography, you are not just viewing material, you are joining yourself with a digital prostitute. Someone who is paid to create a sexual arousal in you, you are doing exactly what the apostle Paul is warning about in Corinth, when he says, „Don’t go up there to the temple prostitutes. What will happen when you get there, no matter how you cover over it, no matter how you keep it hidden, something spiritual has happened in the most wicked sort of way. Pornography will move in and destroy you because it will start to create you into the kind of person for whom intimacy is simply body parts rubbing together, not one flesh. And you will ultimately find yourself, when you have seen every image you want to see, when you have read every word you want to have read, like Esau, vomiting up the red stuff that he craved so badly. Pornography has some of you enslaved, precisely because the satanic powers love to work by helping you to hide your sin.

The power that Satan has over you is only two fold. Satan’s power is to take those things the God has created for good in your life, including the impulse towards intimacy and to twist it slightly away from its intended object, so that you become more and more entrapped and enslaved in your own deception. That you are exactly in the situation the apostle Paul speaks of as unbelievers, „Following after the prince of the power of the air, through the passions of the body and of the mind”. The only other power he has is Revelation 12- to accuse the brothers. Some of you are staying in hiding right now when you are at the place in your life where if there is enough of the sense of the urgency of the situation, you can save your life. , you can save your marriage, but you are hiding in the bushes back there where our prehistoric parents are. But, there is a voice through the word of God speaking as it does in every generation that asks the question, „Adam, where are you?”

The only way that you will break yourself free from the pull toward immorality is to come out of hiding. „Lord have mercy upon me, the sinner”.  And the only way that the power of Satan can be defeated is first of all, by recognizing that the goodness that God has given you in that one flesh union in your marriage is to point you to something that is even better news than that. So that the very act of holding that husband, holding that wife, crying and weeping in repentance together, that very act is a physical picture of what the apostle Paul says to the church at Colossae, when he says, „All of that legal record of our condemnation, that list of thoughts and intents, and archived internet histories has been nailed to His cross, disarming the principalities and powers by making a public display  of them.

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