Archive for the ‘Spiritual Warfare’ Category
We who carry about our very soul, our very body, exposed in this world to injury from all, and exhibit patience under that injury; shall we be hurt at the loss of less important things? Far from a servant of Christ be such a defilement as that the patience which has been prepared for greater temptations should forsake him in frivolous ones. If one attempt to provoke you by manual violence, the monition of the Lord is at hand: “To him,” He saith, “Who smiteth thee on the face, turn the other cheek likewise.” Let outrageousness be wearied out by your patience. Whatever that blow may be, conjoined with pain and contumely, it shall receive a heavier one from the Lord. You wound that outrageous one more by enduring: for he will be beaten by Him for whose sake you endure. If the tongue’s bitterness break out in malediction or reproach, look back at the saying, “When they curse you, rejoice.” The Lord Himself was “cursed” in the eye of the law; and yet is He the only Blessed One. Let us servants, therefore, follow our Lord closely; and be cursed patiently, that we may be able to be blessed.
(From Tertullian’s work On Patience, written circa 202 A.D. Translation from Ante-Nicene Fathers volume 3, p. 712.)
 Contumely, n. Rudeness or reproach compounded of haughtiness and contempt; contemptuousness; insolence; contemptuous language. (Webster’s 1828 Dictionary).
On March 28, 2014, a debate was held in Boston, Massachusetts, on the topic “It’s Just War: Can Christians Fight?” Two men took a position of Biblical nonresistance and two took a Just War Theory position. Defending nonresistance were David Bercot, an attorney and scholar of early Christianity, and Dean Taylor, popular speaker, author, and an ex-Army soldier who left as a conscientious objector. Defending the Just War Theory were two theologians, philosophers, authors, and professors, Dr. J. Daryl Charles (an Evangelical Protestant) and Dr. Peter Kreeft (Roman Catholic). The debate lasted two hours and was held before a large audience.
A range of products related to the debate, including CD and .mp3 CD recordings, a partial transcript with commentary, and a complete transcript, are available from Sermon on the Mount Publishing. Click here for more information.
Peter Riedemann was a prominent early Hutterite leader. He spent years in prison, during which time he wrote many letters and two confessions of faith. He was also a prolific hymnwriter. This hymn is #470 in the Lieder der Hutterischen Brueder; translation by Peter Hoover. Used by permission.—AVS.
The Lord God is my strength and shield, the fortress of my trust. He never leaves me without the comfort of his Holy Ghost. Though tribulations try me to the limit and anguish fills my soul he gives me love and patience, willingly, to overcome.
I will trust and believe in the Lord. He will not break his promises. He purifies my heart, gives me a glad conscience, and the power to overcome my fleshly desires. With compelling temptations and naked lust the wicked one lures my soul. But the Lord gives me victory! He lets me overcome the devil and all things that hinder me. Though they burn me with fire and torture me to death I will testify for my Saviour with irresistible joy!
Look, the bridegroom is at hand! He stands by the cross and waits on his church, the bride. Great comfort he will give her in the land to which they will go. Pleasures unending that no one can describe await them there. So let us go willingly through the narrow door! Let us squeeze our way into it, leaving the sights and sounds of the tempting world behind us to gain Christ!
Even though we must suffer shame, persecution and death for Christ, it is worth it to live forever with him.
From the Gospel of Matthew, chapters 5-7
And seeing the multitudes, he [Jesus Christ] went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,
Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison. Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing.
Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.
It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.
Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths: But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne: Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King. Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.
Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.
Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.
And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him. After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly. Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek: ) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye. Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.
Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?
Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets. Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.
And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.
By Mike Atnip
You may not be familiar with the word “radiesthesia,” but you probably know what it is. “Water witching,” “dowsing,” and “divining” are all various forms of radiesthesia.
Radiesthesia is a compound word with both Latin and Greek origins. The first part, “radi” comes from the Latin “radiare” which means to “go out from a center,” like the spokes of a wheel or the rays from the sun. A radio in a car is called a radio because it picks up electromagnetic signals that radiate from a central transmitter somewhere. The second part of the word radiesthesia has Greek roots, from aesthesis, which means “to sense or perceive.” Thus we end up with radiesthesia, which means “the ability to perceive or sense a radiation.”
This is where a divining rod comes into play. The dowser, with the aid of his rod, claims to pick up signals that are emitting—radiating—from the water (or whatever he is trying to find) and is thus able to discern or sense where the water is. He is using radiesthesia. Some people might even call it a sixth sense.
But that is only the beginning. According to those who promote radiesthesia (sometimes referred to as radionics, as well), each unique object on the earth radiates—sends out—its own unique signal. And so all a person has to be able to do is to “tune” into that unique signal to find that particular object. Gold, diamonds, water, or even an animal or person can be located by its particular signal.
But it goes deeper yet … Some claim that since each person on earth radiates out a unique “aura” or “radiation,” they can manipulate that person’s health by tuning into that aura. By sending “return” signals on that person’s unique “channel,” they claim ability to heal that person, even from the other side of the earth! One well known maker of these “black boxes” was Albert Abrams (1863–1924), who was sometimes called “the dean of 20th-century charlatans.” Although modern “black boxes” may not be direct descendents of Abrams’ devices, the underlying principle of making a connection to a person by some sort of radiation signal is the same.
Before proceeding, we need to clarify that the “radiation” that dowsers find by their rods or by their pendulums is not the well known electromagnetic radiation that a car radio picks up. Nor are they X-rays or gamma rays, which are in fact only very short frequencies of electromagnetic waves. Nor is it a radiation of light, like the sun gives off. Nor is it the ionizing radiation such as is used in nuclear reactors and bombs. In fact, the “auras” of radiesthesia have never been able to be found by any modern scientific instruments.Fable, or fact?
So just what are these “radiations” that dowsers can pick up? It’s a good question. There are several possibilities:
1. Dowsers can pick up signals that, so far, modern science has not been able to discover. Many practitioners of radiesthesia make this claim.
2. Dowsing is bogus science, and no such thing as “auras” exists. Those who claim the ability to dowse are a bunch of phonies, junk scientists, and scam artists. Or, perhaps, innocent people who have been deceived into a lie.
3. Radiesthesia operates in the spirit world, into which natural science is incapable of measuring or seeing.
Now, let’s put the three options just mentioned into biblical terms:
1. Radiesthesia, in all its forms, is a God-created phenomenon that modern science has simply not discovered yet. As such it is harmless and, in fact, useful.
2. Radiesthesia is an “old wives’ fable.”
3. Radiesthesia is witchcraft or divination. The ability to dowse for water or oil, or determine health issues with a pendulum, is not listed as a gift of the Spirit, so it must be a gift from the evil spiritual forces.Using our discernment
It is solidly established that, as of the date of this writing, the “auras” or “radiations” that dowsers and black boxes claim to use have not been able to be found by any scientific equipment currently available. That does not mean that these “auras” do not exist; it simply means that if they do, science cannot find them with the equipment currently available. We all know that modern scientists do not have all the answers.
But let’s look at the matter from a slightly different aspect of science. In physics, there are laws. For example, the law of gravitation. Every human being obeys the law of gravitation, meaning (in simple terms) we all are pulled toward the earth. It works for every last human being … no one is exempt or can willfully renounce gravity and suddenly float off to the sky if he wishes.
Another example is electricity. The law of electricity can be simplified to say that if you touch a charged wire with your bare finger while standing barefoot on the ground, you will receive a shock. Again, there are no exceptions. Computers, for example, work for everyone, and they work the same for everyone, since they are built around the laws of physics.
In simple words, the laws of physics hold true for everyone. It doesn’t matter who you are, computers work the same for everyone, regardless of age, gender, race, height, weight, eye color, or religion.
But radiesthesia does not work for everyone.
I remember well someone who once was telling me about his new apparatus. This was a collar for his dog so that he could track it down when it got lost. But it wasn’t a GPS system. In a little box on the collar was a grasshopper or cricket!
The system worked this way: with another piece of the same grasshopper placed in or by the handheld tracker (which had an antenna very similar to a commercially-made dowsing rod), the tracker would pick up the unique signal that the grasshopper in the collar radiated, and the antenna on the tracking device would swing whenever the user’s shoulders were aligned with the dog collar. If a piece of gold was placed near the handle, the tracker would find gold. If copper, then it would find copper. And if a hair off of someone was placed there, you could track that person clear around the globe.
Red flags went off in my mind when I heard these things. The tracker, it seemed to me, was nothing but a souped-up version of an old-fashioned dowsing rod. Supposedly, there was some pretty sophisticated electronic equipment in the handle of the tracker. My doubts were deepened when the person told me, “Even the maker of this equipment acknowledges that it does not work for everybody.”
The laws of physics work consistently for everyone. Whatever does not work consistently for everyone is not based on natural law, but either uses supernatural power, or is a fable.If it isn’t based on physics …
Many in the modern scientific world deny the supernatural because their worldview is based solely on the physical. If something does not work by the presently known laws of physics, it is automatically written off as fable. And, there are plenty of fables out there. There are plenty of times that dowsing has not worked—it doesn’t work for everybody. I, as a young boy, tried to find a sewer line by dowsing with copper wires. I knew where the line was and walked several times over the line to see if it worked. But my copper wires never crossed. I also watched a backhoe operator dowse for a water line he was trying to uncover. It worked for him as long as the line ran straight, but when the line made a turn, his rod failed him.
There are plenty of examples and university tests to show that dowsing is not based on any known laws of physics. It is not in the particular type of rod used. Some use willow rods. Some use other types of wood. Some use copper rods. Some use a pendulum on a string. This is proof that the “auras” that are being “found” have no connection to the type of rod itself.
Some people even dowse for minerals from a map. This shows that the actual gold or substance sought is not emitting a signal that is picked up. Could a gold nugget emitting a signal in California be found on a map in New York?Why does it matter?
If radiesthesia works, therefore, it works within the spiritual realm. And that makes it a spiritual matter. Something is going on the spiritual realm, the realm that natural science cannot enter. And if something is going on in the spiritual realm, we as Christians had certainly better snap to attention!
If radiesthesia is simply a fable, we are told to reject it. All lying is to be forsaken, and if a black box trying to heal someone on the opposite side of the world is simply a huckster’s scheme, it would better be called a huckster’s lie, and denounced as a lie and abandoned. It is not an innocent game to be amused with; it is a lie, an untruth. Dare we as Christians promote lies?
Actually, many forms of “alternative medicine” may fall into this category. The particular form of “alternative medicine” may have begun as simply bad science. They may well have been invented by innocent, well-meaning people who really thought they were on to something scientific. But they are still a lie if they claim to be “scientific” and yet do not operate on the laws of physics. Homeopathy, muscle testing, iridology, and many herbal remedies are at best fables; at worst divination.
Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor. Ep 4:25
And if something works by a spirit? Well, it is either God’s Spirit or the demons of darkness that make it work. God has spelled out some of His supernatural gifts in His word. While we cannot say that God would never, ever, give someone the gift of finding gold by means of a willow stick, it certainly is not mentioned as a gift of the Spirit. In other words, if someone claims a supernatural gift that is not mentioned in the Bible, we need to be extremely cautious about that gift.The illustration at the beginning of this article shows various types of dowsing rod configurations. This shows that radiesthesia is not based on the physical properties of the rod. The photo below shows other possible divining rods.
Back to radiesthesia …
Radiesthesia has never been proven to operate on the laws of physics. That in itself is not sufficient proof that it is witchcraft. Modern science does not know everything—who knows what scientists have yet to discover? However, radiesthesia does not work for everyone, especially for those who have renounced it in the name of Jesus. Radiesthesia does not work by one certain medium (i.e. certain type of dowsing rod or pendulum, or certain type of black box). These are evidences that radiesthesia is either fable or witchcraft.
Does dowsing work sometimes? While I myself have not seen it work consistently enough to say that “it is real,” there are testimonies from honest men who have seen it work. Radiesthesia does not need to work 100% consistently to be proof of being a spiritual power; false prophets never prophesy 100% accurately either. But that does not mean they are not under the influence of an evil spirit who does the prophesying for them. And whatever spirit is not of God is of the devil.Conclusion
Many people are or have been innocently involved in radiesthesia. They may not have asked a spirit to help them find water or gold, but they dabble in trying to see if the willow branch has any science in it. This can be compared to the person who smokes some marijuana, just trying it out. It is still sin, even though the person may have been “just experimenting.” To those who have experimented with radiesthesia, you need to repent even though you may have never had any success. You also need to repent if you have asked someone to use radiesthesia for you, such as to find water before drilling a well, or to be healed by a “black box.”
If you have used a divining rod or a black box with any success, you have entered the spiritual realm—the supernatural. In this case, the spiritual power needs to be renounced in the name of Jesus and repented of. If you feel you have received the “gift of radiesthesia” as a gift from God, ask yourself these questions: Why do unbelievers also have that gift? Does God pour out the gifts of the Spirit on unbelievers also?
Dabbling in the powers of the evil spiritual realm brings a cloud of darkness and confusion over the user—body, soul, and spirit. Many people have testified to confusion, depression, and physical illnesses that were the result of dabbling in divination. Once they repented, they found themselves with more discernment (spirit), less depression (soul), and better health (body). By messing with dowsing rods, pendulums, and black boxes, you are essentially opening yourself up to the dark spiritual powers. Shut that door as fast as you can!
Thankfully, Jesus has conquered all the powers of darkness by His resurrection, and He invites us all to join Him in His conquest. By repentance and faith in Christ, we too can be “more than conquerors!”
 Electromagnetic radiation are pulses of “magnetic waves” that travel through the air. The human body is not capable of picking up these signals, at least by the five senses. In other words, the human body cannot consciously feel a magnetic pulse.
 The gifts of the Spirit do not work by natural means, and they thus defy the laws of physics. They are supernatural, which means “above the natural.” Satan also has power that is above natural law.
 An example is a friend who told me that a dowser once showed him his power. He told his dowsing rod to point to the yellow bulldozer, and the rod bent toward the yellow bulldozer with enough force to twist the bark on the rod. The man telling me this was an honest man as far as I know him.
Originally published in The Heartbeat of the Remnant (March/April 2012), 400 W. Main Street Ste. 1, Ephrata, PA 17522.