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Archive for the ‘ABC – Armor All Boot Camp’ Category

Present Yourself Before the LORD

Rom 6:13 ...present yourselves...as instruments of righteousness to God

Rom 6:13 …present yourselves…as instruments of righteousness to God

Steve WittmannFor those of you who follow this category or perhaps have joined one of our Hot Topic nights in ICM’s virtual classroom, you may already be familiar with the dangers of yoga. Without taking too much time to repeat what we’ve already taught, yoga is form of worship to the Hindu gods. On the surface, that sounds pretty straight forward, and yet, I still hear believers tell me, “Oh, I don’t believe in it (ie; yoga)…I only do it for the exercise.”

The lie that a Christian can practice yoga apart from its spiritual significance is the grand deception Satan has successfully launched against the church. In fact, this deception is so successful; there are now churches in the Body of Christ that teach Christian yoga which is a contradiction of terms and can’t exist any easier than Christian-Islam.

Recently, God crossed my path with Laurette Willis of PraiseMoves, a fitness ministry with a call to kick yoga out of the churches. Before God called Laurette to the ministry, she was a yoga instructor and as such, is quick to point out that yoga is religion and cannot be practiced solely as a physical exercise. (See the Laurette’s presentation The Truth About Yoga at www.bigmarker.com)

Why is it that believers are so reluctant to see yoga for what it is? There’s something very significant about yoga that Satan tries to keep hidden from believers, but what is it? Knowing that Satan imitates, corrupts, or makes forgeries of everything God creates, I asked God to show me what the evil one was corrupting that made yoga poses so dangerous.

In this case, God was very quick to answer my prayers and nearly told me the answer right on the spot.

When God gives me understanding, He allows me to “see.” This seeing is like hundreds of jigsaw puzzle pieces falling from above and all landing in their correct orientation to suddenly produce a complete picture that I see with complete understanding. It really is quite remarkable.

My yoga pose question was answered in this way – many parts fell seamlessly into place.

Allow me to share with you now, the jigsaw puzzle picture God sent me when I asked Him what it was that Satan counterfeits though yoga poses that keeps believers blinded from the truth.

Yoga poses are a counterfeit of a holy form of worship practiced by heaven’s angels before God the Father, even back when Satan was still Lucifer – the cherub that covers. (See Eze 28:14)

As Lucifer, the covering cherub, Satan was present on God’s holy mountain when the sons of God, or heaven’s angels, came to present themselves before the LORD. The word “present” comes from the Greek word יצב yâtsab and means to offer or is an offering. In context with “present themselves,” heavens angels made themselves an offering to God in worship to Him.

Seeing this, with a heart filled with pride, Lucifer (ie: Satan) declared he would raise his throne above the stars. (See Isa 14:13) Lucifer was saying that instead of covering the mercy seat as the covering cherub, he, himself, would sit upon the mercy seat and be worshiped by the “stars” or heavens angels. Satan desired to be worshiped by the angels, and later by man, by having them present themselves before him just like heaven’s angels presented themselves to God the Father.

God’s word provides us with several references concerning this act of worship called presenting.

We see heavens angels present themselves before the LORD in Job 1:6 and 2:1.

Job 1:6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD,

Job 2:1 Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD

Second Timothy 2:15 instructs us to be diligent and …to present yourself… to God.

2Ti 2:15  Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.

When God called Moses to come before Him on Mount Sinai, God said, “present yourself there to Me…”

Exo 34:2  “So be ready by morning, and come up in the morning to Mount Sinai, and present yourself there to Me on the top of the mountain.

Romans 6:12 warns us against presenting or worshiping sin with our bodies.

Rom 6:12  Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts,

Rom 6:13  and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.

Finally, Romans 12:1 summarizes a full understanding of worship by presenting.

Rom 12:1 And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all He has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind He will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship Him. (NLT)

Give your bodies to God as a living and holy sacrifice – this is what presenting means. Presenting is a holy form of worship to the LORD in which the body is offered as a living offering. Satan copied and corrupted this practice so he and his fallen angels would be worshiped in their dark kingdom.

A yoga pose is an offering that presents oneself to the god the pose represents. When one twists one’s body into the cobra pose, one is worshiping the serpent god. When one lays flat on their back for the corpse pose, one is worshiping the god of death.

How can you as a believer in Christ, with an understanding of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, worship the god of death that Jesus gave His life to conquer?

God tells us to put no other gods before Him, and yet yoga does just that, through poses that worship a multitude of Hindu gods. Is it any wonder Satan tries to keep this knowledge concealed?

I urge you, do not present your body in worship to false gods through yoga, instead fill your mind on God’s word and present yourself before Him holy and righteous, cleansed by the blood of the Lamb of God.

The Most Dangerous Prayer

Prayer_with_BibleSteve WittmannThis year, instead of vowing another New Year’s resolution that you’ll only break, why not see if you have the courage to pray the most dangerous prayer?

 

Prayers come in all shapes and sizes but most of them go unanswered because they are prayed out of pride and greed.

 

Why do people see God as some kind of cosmic Santa Claus? Instead of making a list of toys for Christmas, they begin listing all the desires of their flesh in prayer expecting God to deliver. People pray for success and power. They pray for money and worldly possessions. They even pray for harm to come to others. Seriously, you would not want to see God’s naughty and nice list – it wouldn’t be very pretty.

 

There are prayers however that God is faithful to answer and sometimes, even quick to answer. Included in that list is the most dangerous prayer.

 

I learned about the most dangerous prayer several years ago at a time in my life that I was feeling particularly invincible. Somewhere I heard someone talking about praying and asking God to reveal what He saw when He looked into your heart.

 

I considered this and thought, “Sure, why not?” and so I began to pray something like, “Father, show me what you see when you look into my heart.”

 

It wasn’t a fancy prayer and it certainly wasn’t very long, but oh…had I known what was hiding in the deep dark crevices of my heart, I never would have had the courage to pray that prayer.

 

It was only a matter of weeks before God began revealing things to me – vile, nasty, and ugly things I had no idea were in there.

 

I considered myself a Christian. I went to church every Sunday. I didn’t drink or gamble or stay out late carousing. I made a point of forgiving people. I was good and it hurt to look at the things God was showing me.

 

God showed me rebellion. There was lots of it. He showed me unforgiveness that ran so deep I couldn’t even see it. He showed me suspicion and mistrust that prevented me from receiving His truth. He showed me a spirit of control that wouldn’t yield to His will. He showed me pride that prevented Him from working restoration in my life.

 

These things that God showed me looked like a black oily virus on my heart that destroyed everything it touched.

 

At first I felt devastated, but God quickly filled me with peace and hope, and little-by-little He began walking me though healing.

 

I’d be lying if I said my healing was quick. It wasn’t – it took several years, but there did come a time when I could look up to our heavenly Father in prayer and ask, “Father, what do you see when you look in my heart?”  and I could hear Him answer, “No darkness – You are full of light.”

 

This one prayer is far more powerful than any New Year’s resolution. It can literally turn your Christian walk on its head.

 

The question is, do you have the courage to pray the most dangerous prayer?

Orlando Area Pastors are Latest Victims of Attack

Eph 6:13  Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.

“There is no reason – no reason at all, that leader after leader in the body of Christ must fall to evil.”

Steve Wittmann

 

Warning! – This article contains commentary some may find insensitive. If you prefer your truth watered down by euphemisms, then please…do not read this.

 

Recently, a friend directed my attention to a tragedy – Pastor David Loveless of Discovery Church resigned his position as head pastor because of an affair.

Yes, I called it a tragedy. I also called the Boston bombing a tragedy. I call the shootouts at Columbine High School, Virginia Tech, and Sandy Hook Elementary tragedies. I call the loss of American life fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan a tragedy, as I call all loss of life at the hands of Islamic terrorists a tragedy. I tend to call death and destruction at the hand of evil tragedies, and while you may be inclined to look at this new tragedy at Discovery Church as weakness in a church leader, what you are actually seeing is collateral damage – destruction and division targeted against the body of Christ.

Collateral damage is a term most commonly used when referencing civilian damage in the wake of a military engagement and so my use of this phrase begs the question, “How can this be collateral damage? This is about an unfaithful man not an act of war.”

Wrong!

Jesus warned us in Mat 10:10 that the thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy and God’s word tell us very clearly in Rev 12:17 that Satan as the Great Dragon, has declared “war”  on all who follow Jesus. This is God’s word, not mine – whether you choose to be a Sunday-morning-only church goer or a believer who fully embraces God’s word, the fact is the church is in a state of war with the kingdom of darkness and leadership members in the church are primary targets for attack. That is why the loss of another pastor is collateral damage.

Discovery Church is not the first tragedy. In fact, blogs across the Internet sport enticing titles like Orlando Mega Churches Love the Ladies and Men of the Cloth prefer Lingerie. As a matter of record, three church leaders in the Central Florida area have resigned due to affairs and one pastor is in jail on child pornography charges – and all of this in the past six months.

Late last year, Pastor Isaac Hunter of Summit Church resigned after admitting to an affair. A statement published on the Summit Church blog by John Parker, the newly appointed lead pastor, reads “Monday morning, Isaac Hunter offered his immediate resignation, citing as his reason an affair with someone previously on staff at Summit,”

Another tragedy came when pastor and author Sam Hinn, bother of Benny Hinn, resigned over an affair. In a statement he said, “I take full responsibility for the place we now find ourselves. As painful as this is to confess, I have allowed myself to be drawn into a relationship that has caused much hurt and pain to my wife and family. I have repented and asked for and received their forgiveness. Scripture states that I must bring forth the fruit of repentance if I expect to be restored…”

Third and most recent is a statement offered on behalf of Discovery Church which reads, “While David indicates that the relationship [with another woman] was ended approximately three years ago, we were only made aware of it when he informed us in recent days,” the statement said. “David offered his resignation and the elders prayerfully and unanimously accepted it.”

For me, the tragedy at Discovery Church hits home because I attended Discovery Church – in fact, what I am writing and sharing with you today, began at Discovery Church.

Between 2007 and 2010, I considered Discovery Church my spiritual family. I knew Pastor Loveless as much as any member of a 4,000 member church is able.

At the time I was attending Discovery, the Holy Spirit burdened me with a hunger for knowledge of spiritual warfare, and most specifically the Holy Armor of God that Paul writes about in Ephesians 6:12.

I attended bible studies and connection groups at Discovery Church, and I frequently turned to Discovery’s pastors, assistant pastors, and spiritual leaders for counsel. Unfortunately, there was very little knowledge of spiritual warfare or the armor of God available from those leaders.

In retrospect, I am moved by the accuracy of God’s word that warns us in Hosea 4:6 that His people perish for lack of knowledge. Does this imply that Discovery’s tragedy was avoidable? Of course it does! God has provided for our spiritual protection but failing to use in faith what God has provided leaves us exposed to evil.

Now, let’s get back to my story. One Sunday morning back in ‘09, Pastor Loveless announced he was starting a new series. Each Sunday morning for the following six weeks, he would teach on the book of Ephesians.

I was ecstatic! Finally, the burning hunger in me would be satisfied. I couldn’t wait but also knew it would be six weeks before Pastor Loveless got to chapter six of Ephesians.

Week after week, I sat on the edge of my seat, absorbing every word like a dry sponge to water while trying my best to be patient for the teaching on the Armor of God.

Finally, week six arrived. I entered the sanctuary early that morning for Sunday service. I had a great view as I waited for the worship to begin. In due time, Pastor Loveless began delivering his message. I held my breath not wanting even the soft sound of my own breathing to interfere with understanding a single word.

Pastor Loveless said, “The sword of the Spirit is the word of God.” I’m thinking, “Yeah, yeah, go on, go on…” Pastor Loveless briefly mentioned the shield of faith and then an hour goes by and I’m still waiting for his teaching on the armor of God. Then the service ended and people began standing up and heading home. I continued to sit there like a victim in shock – seeing but not fully comprehending the events going on all around me.

I was devastated. I felt like a hot air balloon whose top was ripped off – deflated and crashing to the ground. The hunger in me for God’s truth burned – I depended upon my spiritual leaders for nourishment in God’s word, but there I sat, empty and hungry with an insatiable burning for knowledge of the armor of God. I was so troubled by my experience – I tracked down one of the assistant pastors for answers.

After patiently listening to my diatribe, the assistant pastor told me in a round-about way that Discovery Church doesn’t teach spiritual warfare or the armor of God. The assistant pastor offered me a handful of reasons to justify the church’s decision to refrain from teaching that aspect of God’s word.

I didn’t know what to say. I was a member of this church. The Holy Spirit had given me a burden and a hunger for understanding spiritual warfare and spiritual protection, and then my spiritual leaders tell me they won’t teach spiritual warfare or the Armor of God. Looking back, I cannot dismiss the similarities between this most recent tragedy at Discovery Church and 1Sa 6:14. Like Saul, was Discovery Church exposing itself to torment by evil spirits of the LORD? By rejecting God’s warning to be ready and alert against a prowling enemy seeking to devour, did Discovery Church leave its leadership exposed to attack?

God’s word includes knowledge on spiritual warfare and the armor of God because God determined that we, believers in the body of Christ, have a valid need to know, understand, and practice spiritual protection over the church. Churches that reject or choose not to use the spiritual authority and spiritual protection given to the Church by God the Father through Jesus, leave themselves vulnerable to attack by the kingdom of darkness.

It’s time believers in the church stop being victims of spiritual attacks. The world tells the church, “Don’t fight back. Turn the other cheek. That’s what Jesus would do,” but that’s a lie! Jesus does not let evil run rampant over the church. Consider what He did with the moneychangers in the temple. There was no cheek-turning there! Jesus made a whip, used His authority and drove evil out of the temple. The idea that Christians are supposed to be doormats and offer no resistance to evil is propaganda from the kingdom of darkness.

Brothers and sisters in Christ – Wake up! Stand up! Fight back! We are joint heirs with Jesus. We are royal priests representing the Kingdom of God. There is no reason – no reason at all, that leader after leader in the body of Christ must fall to evil.

My experience at Discovery Church showed me how unprepared the church is to fulfill her role in the battle between good and evil – between light and darkness – between truth and deception, and to that end, the Holy Spirit keeps urging me to teach all who will listen how to stand up and fight back – how to take the battle to the enemy and how to proclaim victory in the name of Jesus.

I urge you to keep these fallen men of God in your prayers. Also pray for healing and restoration of the churches that have been wounded, but don’t stop at prayer. Draw a line in the sand and say, “This far and no farther! Greater is He who is in us and we will not be victims of evil!”

As a place to start, I offer you the full and complete lesson two of our most recent ICM course in spiritual warfare titled Unchained & Under Cover. In this lesson, you will learn about the chain of authority from God the Father down to each family member. You will see how the government structure of the church functions in the flow of God’s Spirit to each member. You will also see how leaders in the church are targeted for attack by evil desiring to starve and divide the church. If after watching this video lesson, you hear the Holy Spirit urging you to dig deeper, then consider the full six-lesson course available through ICM College.

But don’t stop there! We also have our boot camp course Foundations in Spiritual Warfare that will guide you from the very basics of spiritual warfare and train you to be a fully empowered warrior for the Kingdom of God!

Then go on and complete your training with a degree from the International College of Ministry so when you testify about Jesus and the Kingdom of God, people will receive your words as credible testimony.

We hope you enjoy this free lesson from ICM College. May the Spirit of Truth speak to your heart that you may return to your own church empowered with God’s Spirit to stand firm against an enemy who comes to kill, destroy, divide, and take down the spiritual leaders of God’s people.

Free Full 1-Hour ICM Spiritual Warfare Lesson

Unchained & Under Cover Lesson 2

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Embrace Your Identity

Your identity in Christ defeats the spirit of illegitimacy.

Your identity in Christ defeats the spirit of illegitimacy.

Steve WittmannA few weeks ago, ICM’s home church, Freedom Fellowship Church, hosted the annual convention for the Network of Related Pastors or as its better known, the NRP. For three days, attendees heard messages from pastoral leaders from across the Eastern and Central US.

Sometime during the second day, I began to notice a common underlying theme across many of those messages. Time and again, pastor after pastor spoke of identity.

Knowing your identity in Christ is very powerful. It emboldens you with God’s Spirit as you become aware of who you are and what purpose God created you to fulfill, however there is an unclean spirit that rebels and denies your identity. This spirit is the spirit of illegitimacy.

Our head pastor, Joe Warner, has spent a lifetime guiding people through personal ministry and freeing them from the spirit of illegitimacy, but what exactly is illegitimacy?

When we hear the term illegitimacy, we often think of the phrase “illegitimate child” meaning a child born out of wedlock. This implies that an illegitimate child is not a rightful heir of its parents. In essence, this is what the spirit of illegitimacy does – it denies our inheritance through the blood of Christ and denies us as new creations.

As Lucifer, Satan once knew the riches of heaven, for he was made perfect in beauty and full of wisdom. He was awarded great honor in heaven as the keeper of God’s temple but all that was lost when sin was discovered in his heart and he was thrown out of heaven. (Please see the ICM course Foundations in Spiritual Warfare for a full study on this topic)

Satan still believes that he is due all that he lost. When those same riches, glories, honors, and adoption were given to man by way of Jesus’ blood, Satan developed an intense hatred for man – seeing man as a wrongful and illegitimate heir to what he still considers as his own.

Satan continues to deny who we are in Christ, our identity, and he does this through the voice of the accuser and the spirit of illegitimacy. The spirit of illegitimacy denies you as a new creation in Christ. It denies your purpose, your identity and all your inheritance as an adopted child of God – as a member of God’s royal family.

I recently came across a wonderful list of identity verses published by Crossing Church in Louisville, KY that is phrased as a proclamation of God’s word – meaning that you may speak these over yourself and proclaim the truth of God’s word against the spirit of illegitimacy.

Try speaking these words of proclamation every day and watch what happens as you begin activating God’s spoken word into your life.

 

The Word of God Says in Jesus Christ…

I am faithful (Ephesians 1:1)

I am God’s child (John 1:12)

I have been justified (Romans 5:1)

I am Christ’s friend (John 15:15)

I belong to God (1 Corinthians 6:20)

I am a member of Christ’s Body (1 Corinthians 12:27)

I am assured all things work together for good (Romans 8:28)

I have been established, anointed and sealed by God (2 Corinthians 1:21-22)

I am confident that God will perfect the work He has begun in me (Philippians 1:6)

I am a citizen of heaven (Philippians 3:20)

I am hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3)

I have not been given a spirit of fear, but of power, love and self-discipline (2 Timothy 1:7)

I am born of God and the evil one cannot touch me (1 John 5:18)

I am blessed in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing (Ephesians 1:3)

I am chosen before the creation of the world (Ephesians 1:4, 11)

I am holy and blameless (Ephesians 1:4)

I am adopted as his child (Ephesians 1:5)

I am given God’s glorious grace lavishly and without restriction (Ephesians 1:5,8)

I am in Him (Ephesians 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:30)

I have redemption (Ephesians 1:8)

I am forgiven (Ephesians 1:8; Colossians 1:14)

I have purpose (Ephesians 1:9 & 3:11)

I have hope (Ephesians 1:12)

I am included (Ephesians 1:13)

I am sealed with the promised Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13)

I am a saint (Ephesians 1:18)

I am salt and light of the earth (Matfthew 5:13-14)

I have been chosen and God desires me to bear fruit (John 15:1,5)

I am a personal witness of Jesus Christ (Acts 1:8)

I am God’s coworker (2 Corinthians 6:1)

I am a minister of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:17-20)

I am alive with Christ (Ephesians 2:5)

I am raised up with Christ (Ephesians 2:6; Colossians 2:12)

I am seated with Christ in the heavenly realms (Ephesians 2:6)

I have been shown the incomparable riches of God’s grace (Ephesians 2:7)

God has expressed His kindness to me (Ephesians 2:7)

I am God’s workmanship (Ephesians 2:10)

I have been brought near to God through Christ’s blood (Ephesians 2:13)

I have peace (Ephesians 2:14)

I have access to the Father (Ephesians 2:18)

I am a member of God’s household (Ephesians 2:19)

I am secure (Ephesians 2:20)

I am a holy temple (Ephesians 2:21; 1 Corinthians 6:19)

I am a dwelling for the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 2:22)

I share in the promise of Christ Jesus (Ephesians 3:6)

God’s power works through me (Ephesians 3:7)

I can approach God with freedom and confidence (Ephesians 3:12)

I know there is a purpose for my sufferings (Ephesians 3:13)

I can grasp how wide, long, high and deep Christ’s love is (Ephesians 3:18)

I am completed by God (Ephesians 3:19)

I can bring glory to God (Ephesians 3:21)

I have been called (Ephesians 4:1; 2 Timothy 1:9)

I can be humble, gentle, patient and lovingly tolerant of others (Ephesians 4:2)

I can mature spiritually (Ephesians 4:15)

I can be certain of God’s truths and the lifestyle which He has called me to (Ephesians 4:17)

I can have a new attitude and a new lifestyle (Ephesians 4:21-32)

I can be kind and compassionate to others (Ephesians 4:32)

I can forgive others (Ephesians 4:32)

I am a light to others, and can exhibit goodness, righteousness and truth (Ephesians 5:8-9)

I can understand what God’s will is (Ephesians 5:17)

I can give thanks for everything (Ephesians 5:20)

I don’t have to always have my own agenda (Ephesians 5:21)

I can honor God through marriage (Ephesians 5:22-33)

I can parent my children with composure (Ephesians 6:4)

I can be strong (Ephesians 6:10)

I have God’s power (Ephesians 6:10)

I can stand firm in the day of evil (Ephesians 6:13)

I am dead to sin (Romans 1:12)

I am not alone (Hebrews 13:5)

I am growing (Colossians 2:7)

I am His disciple (John 13:15)

I am prayed for by Jesus Christ (John 17:20-23)

I am united with other believers (John 17:20-23)

I am not in want (Philippians 4:19)

I possess the mind of Christ (I Corinthians 2:16)

I am promised eternal life (John 6:47)

I am promised a full life (John 10:10)

I am victorious (I John 5:4)

My heart and mind is protected with God’s peace (Philippians 4:7)

I am chosen and dearly loved (Colossians 3:12)

I am blameless (I Corinthians 1:8)

I am set free (Romans 8:2; John 8:32)

I am crucified with Christ (Galatians 2:20)

I am a light in the world (Matthew 5:14)

I am more than a conqueror (Romans 8:37)

I am the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21)

I am safe (I John 5:18)

I am part of God’s kingdom (Revelation 1:6)

I am healed from sin (I Peter 2:24)

I am no longer condemned (Romans 8:1, 2)

I am not helpless (Philippians 4:13)

I am overcoming (I John 4:4)

I am persevering (Philippians 3:14)

I am protected (John 10:28)

I am born again (I Peter 1:23)

I am a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17)

I am delivered (Colossians 1:13)

I am redeemed from the curse of the Law (Galatians 3:13)

I am qualified to share in His inheritance (Colossians 1:12)

I am victorious (1 Corinthians 15:57)

Royal Family Launches Rescue Mission to Save Kidnapped Bride

Star_Of_Bethlehem_01December 24, 2012

 

According to sources at the Good News Service, the Royal Family is set to launch a rescue mission to free the groom’s kidnapped bride.

 

As previously reported, the kidnapper, a well known underworld kingpin who’s known by several names including The Great Dragon, The Serpent, and The Accuser of the Brethren, tricked the Royal Family’s bride through a clever ruse involving immortality and knowledge of good and evil.

 

Says lead investigator, “We have not received a ransom demand – we believe ransom is not this perpetrator’s objective. This perpetrator is evil. It appears his objective is to kill and destroy.”

 

The investigation team has been working around the clock since the abduction, but so far has yielded no results. No attempt at fulfilling the law has helped free the bride.

 

Now in a desperate move, but one that shows great promise, the groom Himself is leaving on a mission to rescue His bride from the clutches of The Great Dragon.

 

According to sources, the Groom will fulfill the law and redeem His bride from bondage by sacrificing Himself in her place.

 

The groom is expected to arrive later tonight in the small desert town of Bethlehem, on Israel’s West Bank.

 

Stay tuned for updates as this story unfolds.

 

Foundations in Spiritual Warfare

Warning - This is the Course the Devil Does Not Want You to See!Steve WittmannAfter a year and a half in development, this eight-lesson video course is now available to all ICM students. This course was built upon the ICM principle of equipping the saints through knowledge of God’s word, and from lesson one through the concluding virtual simulation, this course arms God’s people to fight in His war against the dark kingdom.

Foundations in Spiritual Warfare guides each student though a training program for Kingdom warriors. This course begins by laying its foundation with a lesson called Blueprint of the Heavens. Building upon that foundation, the course goes on to explore the rise and fall of Lucifer, the character of God’s enemy, the creation of Man, the character of God’s warriors, the five different battlefields of spiritual warfare, and the weapons, strategies, and techniques available to the Kingdom warrior.

This course concludes with a virtual simulation of spiritual warfare to give students the feeling of a “hands-on” experience.

This course is for every born-again believer and every church in the body of Christ. This course will empower you to answer your God given mandate to expose evil deeds of darkness in the light of God’s truth and continue in the works of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Lesson Topics Include:

  • Blueprint of the Heavens – An Overview of the Spiritual Realms
  • The Cherub that Covers – The Rise & Fall of Lucifer the Morning Star
  • Adamah – Apple of the Father’s Eye – An Earthy Race Destined to Rule
  • The Christian Warrior – The Character of a Kingdom Warrior
  • The Five Theaters of Spiritual Warfare – There’s More than One Battlefield
  • Techniques & Strategies – Using Spiritual Weapons
  • Additional Spiritual Weapons – More Weapons for the Kingdom Warrior
  • Spiritual Warfare Simulation – Training through a Virtual Simulation

 

ICM Enrolled Students may open this course from ICM’s Theology & Ministry Catalog.
Foundations in Spiritual Warfare is available to everyone in ICM’s Media Store.
For more details on Foundations in Spiritual Warfare, watch this video trailer:
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The Essence of Covenant

The essence of covenant is "a binding agreement effective upon death."

Steve WittmannI was riding back from church a few days ago with a friend when somehow we got to talking about the divorce rate in the church. He said that he thought the biggest contributor to divorce was failure of communication. I replied that I thought the biggest cause of divorce was a misunderstanding of the essence of covenant. My friend asked me what I meant, and I said that people don’t understand that covenant is a binding agreement upon death and that each person dies to their own self upon entering into covenant. To that he replied, “Well sure, I think vows are important…”

Suddenly, I realized that my friend did not understand the essence of covenant and sadly, I think that can be said for many Christians today.

The first thing to understand about covenant is that it was created by God to be holy. It is not to be taken lightly and should only be entered into with the full understanding of its sacred requirements.

God holds the sanctity of covenant above nearly all other things. It is covenant that is at the center of our salvation through Christ. It is covenant that defines Christ’s death on the cross. It is it the fulfillment of covenant that has redeemed mankind and brought him back to his creator.

The English language fails us in many ways when we use it to understand scriptures. Our understanding of covenant is a good example. In Hebrew, the word for covenant means both covenant and testament. This means for us, that we may freely exchange those two English words. For example, the Old Testament and the New Testament are the old covenant and the new covenant and vice-versa.

If we are to understand the essence of covenant, we need an English phrase to encompass its true meaning. The phrase binding-agreement-upon-death comes fairly close.

In English, we separate the words covenant and testament with two separate meanings. The English definition for a covenant is an agreement. The English definition for testament is a document or a statement which commonly comes into effect upon death.

This is how we come to the phrase, last will and testament. At the reading of a will, the final wishes of a deceased person is read aloud and carried out. The testament therefore becomes effective only after the person’s death. This is the critical component of a covenant – to enter into covenant, a death is required! There is no way around this. If you do not have a death, you cannot enter into covenant.

When we combine these two English definitions, we come close to the essence of God’s covenant – a binding agreement that becomes effective upon death.

The first time we see covenant in scripture is when God enters into covenant with Abram in Genesis Chapter 15.

Gen 15:9  And he said unto him, Take me an heifer of three years old, and a she goat of three years old, and a ram of three years old, and a turtledove, and a young pigeon.
Gen 15:10  And he took unto him all these, and divided them in the midst, and laid each piece one against another: but the birds divided he not.

In verse nine, God tells Abram to gather together a heifer, a goat, and a ram. He then has Abram sacrifice the animals and cut their carcasses into two halves by dividing them.

Later in verses 17-18 we see the Spirit of God pass between the animal carcass halves and enter into a covenant with Abram.

Gen 15:17 And it came to pass, that, when the sun went down, and it was dark, behold a smoking furnace, and a burning lamp that passed between those pieces.
Gen 15:18  In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates:

What we’re seeing in these verses is the creation of covenant. By passing between the halves of the sacrificed animals, God has “sealed” His agreement with Abram with death. That is the essence of covenant – a binding agreement upon death.

We see this act of covenant again when God asks Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac. Though God stays Abraham’s hand at the last second, in his heart Abraham fulfilled his responsibility to God by sacrificing his son. Upon this act, Abraham entered into a new covenant with God.

God fulfills His responsibility to this new covenant with Abraham by sacrificing His son Jesus on the cross. Upon Jesus’ death, the new covenant or New Testament goes into effect. Again, we see that a covenant is a binding agreement upon death.

The application of a covenant is a solemn and holy act in which God places great importance. Throughout the history of the nation of Israel, God holds the sanctity of covenant above all other agreements and considers the breaking of covenant one of the greatest sins. When did God unleash His wrath upon Israel? When she broke her covenant with God and worshiped false gods and idols.

The covenant between God and Israel was like a spiritual marriage. The new covenant is like a marriage too with Jesus as the bride groom and the church as the bride. A marriage between a man and woman is a mirror image of God’s covenant and so, marriage is much more than just vows. It is a holy commitment that binds two people in a covenant that becomes effective upon death, but what death? – the death of self.

The essence of covenant in marriage is to give up your life, or to die to yourself, so that your life becomes your spouses’. From the moment you enter into a covenant of marriage, your life is no longer yours but now belongs to your spouse for you have died to yourself. This is the death that seals a marriage in covenant.

While I agree with my friend that communication is important to a marriage, I believe a failure to understand the essence of covenant is at the heart of divorce.

A Counterfeit Forgiveness

A Counterfeit Forgiveness - A New ICM Blog in ABC Armor All Boot Camp

Steve WittmannI was talking with my friend Bob the other day, when I nonchalantly suggested that telling someone “I forgive you,” could be exercising power over another person, which constitutes a manifestation of witchcraft. Bob reminded me that God’s word tells us to forgive one another and he’s right about that, for God’s word definitely tells us to forgive, but I wasn’t talking about a pure forgiveness – I was talking a counterfeit forgiveness – about how, through pride, power, and control, forgiveness is corrupted.

To begin with, let me say that in my opinion, anything God says twice has got to be doubly important, and when Jesus repeats Himself both forward and backward, well, you’d do well to pay close attention.

In Matthew 6:14-15 Jesus teaches us about forgiveness. He not only tells us to forgive others, but He warns us to forgive others before seeking forgiveness for ourselves.

Mat 6:14  “For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
Mat 6:15  “But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.

What I’ve discovered about unforgiveness is that if you have it, you own it. It’s as simple as that. The only place it exists is in your heart, and if you have it, beware…for it’s like an acid that corrodes from the inside out.

If you own it, that is, if you’re holding onto some kind of ill will, contempt, animosity, revenge, or just plain old everyday unforgiveness, you don’t need the other person around to get rid of it. The fact is, you can get rid of it all by yourself by simply saying something like, “Harold, I choose to forgive you.”

Harold doesn’t have to be around to hear this because he’s got nothing to do with it. You own it and it’s all about your heart.

Now sometimes, you won’t feel like forgiving someone. That’s okay, because forgiveness is not about a feeling – it’s about a choice. The fact is, you probably won’t feel like forgiving, but do it anyway.

Now, let’s talk about how forgiveness gets corrupted.

Let’s say I walk up to Harold and say, “Harold, I forgive you.” Consider this carefully. Why could that be corrupted forgiveness? What could make that a manifestation of witchcraft?

Remember, you don’t need Harold to deal with unforgiveness in your own heart, so what happens when you proclaim your forgiveness over Harold? In your attitude, you are saying that you recognize that Harold has done something wrong and in your eyes, he is guilty. Your attitude is pronouncing a judgment over Harold, even if that judgment is grace in the form of your forgiveness. You have placed yourself in a position of superiority over Harold and exercised power over Harold – and that is witchcraft.

It’s almost as if you said something like, “Harold, I know that you’re guilty and I know you can’t help it because you are a sinner but because I am faithful, and righteous, and forgiving, I will have mercy on you and forgive you.”

In this example, you can see how this person’s attitude is all about self-righteousness and superiority over Harold. That is how power and intimidation come into play.

Witchcraft has three main divisions, Power, Sorcery, and Divination. The power leg uses domination, control, and intimidation to force one’s will over another.

There is a healthy way to exchange forgiveness with another person without corrupting it and that is through invitation. If Harold came to me and said, “Brother, forgive me for what I’ve done,” and I replied, “I forgive you, Harold,” then power and intimidation never come into play and therefore neither does witchcraft or the corruption of forgiveness.

 

The Kundalini Serpent Spirit and the Church

Caryl Matrisciana

Steve WittmannWhile researching the practice of Yoga in contemporary Christian churches, I came across several books, documentaries, and teachings by Caryl Matrisciana.

Caryl is a well-known expert on ancient and modern world religions, contemporary cults, paganism and the occult
including Hinduism, Eastern Mysticism, Yoga, and the New Age Movement. She currently teaches on topics such as The Emergent Church Movement, the Emerging New Christianity, and even exposing the occult roots of Halloween and the Harry Potter phenomenon.

About a month ago, on Feb 19th, 2012, Caryl was a guest speaker on Firefall Talk Radio where she spoke on the Kundalini serpent spirit and its false teachings in the church.

For those not already familiar with the name, Kundalini literally means “coiled” and it is the serpent spirit at the heart of yoga.

In the months ahead, this Armor All blog will take a closer look at Caryl’s book Out of India and her DVD documentary, Yoga Uncoiled, but for now, click the play button in the player below, then sit back and listen to Caryl Matrisciana talk about the Kundalini serpent spirit and the emergent church movement in this streamed re-broadcast from Firefall Talk Radio.

 

Reflections In The Dark – the Emergent Church Movement
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/firefall-talk-radio/2012/02/20/reflections-in-the-dark–the-emergent-church-movement

Listen to internet radio
with FirefallTalkRadio
on Blog Talk Radio

 

 

Proclamation – A Spiritual Weapon

Eph 6:13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.

Steve Wittmann


Proclamation is a powerful weapon used in spiritual warfare.

In his book, War in Heaven, Derek Prince writes, “Making proclamation is a form of spiritual warfare that is unfortunately, very little understood in most Christian circles today. Its effect is to release the authority of God’s Word into a situation”

According to the dictionary, a proclamation is a message that is stated or declared; a communication (oral or written) setting forth particulars or facts; or a formal or authoritative proclamation.

The most common form of proclamation is speaking a condition over someone or something. God’s word directs us to proclaim from day to day. Psa 96:2 says “Sing to the LORD, bless His name; Proclaim good tidings of His salvation from day to day.”

Scripture also tells us of the good and evil nature of proclamations. Pro 18:21 warns us that “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.”

Proclamation is a two-edged sword that can be used for both good and evil.

 

Unintentional Proclamations:

Have you ever wished someone “Good Luck?” or perhaps said, “I haven’t had much luck…”

Wishing someone “good luck” is proclaiming the authority of the spirits of luck and fate over someone.

Isa 65:11-12 tells us, “But it will be different for you that forsake me, who ignore Zion, my sacred hill, and worship Gad and Meni, the gods of luck and fate. It will be your fate to die a violent death, because you did not answer when I called you to listen when I spoke. You chose to disobey me and do evil.” (GNB)

 

Religions Around the World Use Proclamations:

The Jewish say “shalom” as a greeting which translates to “peace be with you,” as a proclamation of peace over an other. (Note: If you dig deeper into the roots of this phrase, you find it means “A price must be paid for peace.” I find it ironic that while Jesus, the Prince of Peace, paid the price for peace, the Jewish nation, God’s chosen people, who do not recognize Jesus as the Messiah, remind each other in daily comings and goings that a price must be paid for peace.)

Muslims proclaim “Allahu Akbar” which literally means, “Allah is Greater” with the comparative mode, and “In shaa’Allah” which means “God willing” or “If it is God’s will” – to invoke God’s blessing.

Around the outside of the Muslim temple, Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, there is an inscription written in Arabic that reads, “God has no need of a son.” This is a proclamation by the spirit of anti-Christ.

Muslims pray five times a day and in those prayers are proclamations. If you ran the numbers you’d find there are about 2.1 billion Muslims in the world and if each were praying their five prayers per day, it would total 10.5 billion proclamations per day – and what is the proclamation? “There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is his prophet.”

This is one of the reasons the spirit of anti-Christ is so strong in Muslim nations.

 

God’s Word Directs us to Proclaim Liberty:

Isa 61:1 says, “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, Because the LORD has anointed me To bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to captives And freedom to prisoners;”

 

There are Different Kinds of Proclamations for Different Uses:

In keeping with the two-edged sword metaphor, the sword of proclamation may be handled in several different ways depending on the desired outcome or need.

When Jesus was tempted in the desert, He used a proclamation called the Sword of the Spirit by quoting scripture back at Satan.

When I think of sword fighting, I always imagine a scene from the motion picture Pirates of the Caribbean in which Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow and Orlando Bloom as Will Turner fight each other in the blacksmith’s shop. Sometimes on the ground and sometimes in the rafters, they execute a variety of swordsmanship techniques.

  • They knock the sword from the other’s hand to disarm.
  • They jab at their opponent in an attacking move.
  • Swing at their opponent in an attacking move.
  • They block their opponent’s swing in a defensive move.
  • They try and knock opponent off balance to loose their foundation

There are many different ways to use the same weapon.

Proclamation works the same way, both offensively and defensively. Here are some practical examples of how proclamation can be used.

 

Proclaim a Condition:

You have the heart of a warrior. You will know victory over your enemy.

Be at peace throughout the day.

May God’s Spirit give you strength.

You will ace that test.

 

Proclaim God’s Word:

You are made righteous and holy by the blood of the Lamb.

You are a blessed child of God.

You will face your enemies with boldness, for God has not given you a spirit of fear.

You can do all things through Christ.

 

Proclamation as Defense:

It is written that no weapon formed against you shall prosper.

It is written that by the blood of Christ, the enemy is disarmed.

It is written, resist the devil and he will flee.

 

Proclamation as an Attack:

By the blood of Christ, I proclaim poverty has no authority over you.

By the blood of Christ, I proclaim the assignment of sickness is broken.

 

Proclaim an Exchange – I proclaim health and healing over you for it is written, by His stripes we are healed.

 

Proclaim a Blessing – Regardless of this troubled economy, your business will prosper for by the blood of Jesus, the blessings of abundance are yours.

 

Avoid Proclamations that Conflict with God’s Word:

Recently, I heard someone proclaim “We are all sinners.” Is this a good or bad proclamation?

God’s word clearly tells us that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (Rom 3:23) so it’s easy to understand why someone would say this, but the question is, is that a good proclamation?

2Co 5:17 tell us, “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.”

Rom 6:18 says, “And having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.”

So, according to scripture, we were sinners in the past, but now we are free from sin as new creatures in Christ and so proclaiming “We are all sinners” in the present tense is in conflict with the word of God making for a bad proclamation.

 

Proclaim from Day to Day:

As we saw at the beginning of this article, Psa 96:2 tell us to “Sing to the LORD, bless His name; Proclaim good tidings of His salvation from day to day.”

Practice working proclamations of God’s word into your everyday speech – it’s actually not hard to do. Your proclamations do not have to sound practiced or recited, in fact it’s better if they don’t. Just speak from your heart and you will do fine. Soon your life and the lives of those around you will see the power of proclamation working in their lives and you will be a blessing to all who know you.

You see? It’s not so hard.