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Spirit Wars

Cindy Trimm 1

Anytime Born-again Christians engage in spiritual warfare, we must have great faith and belief in the Word of God. He is our Maker and we represent His image and likeness on Earth. He equipped every man with “the measure of faith” (Romans 12:3). So, it is up to us to use that faith to defend our rightful position and territory against that which comes “to steal, and to kill, and to destroy” (John 10:10).

Faith and belief in the Word of God mean victory whenever we fight in the spirit realm; no matter the duration. The Apostle Paul referred to faith-fighting as “the good fight of faith” (I Timothy 6:12). It is impossible for a Born-again Christian to win a faith-fight without faith in Christ because He is the Word of God! Christ is the One who dispenses victory and power to win the battles we must endure in this life. It is because “the battle is the Lord’s” (I Samuel 17:47), that we are able to defeat the enemy with constant prayer and faith wearing “the whole armour of God” (Ephesians 6:11).

Born-again Christians are entitled and authorized to WIN! I, for one, want to defeat the enemy, and I want to beat him really-really bad! I don’t want to defeat him just for myself and my family. I want to defeat the enemy for you, my friends, my community, my neighbors, my country and every unbelieving human being as well. I can’t be any more authentic or transparent than this, people!

In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, I declare and decree there shall be frequent victories won through unified prayer, and a multitude of souls won for Christ! I declare and decree that I am “strong in the LORD and in the power of His might,” and whatsoever I pray according to the will and word of God shall obliterate, annihilate, and destroy every evil plan, every evil scheme, and every demon in the enemy’s camp! Amen and Amen! 

Therefore, and before I write my in-depth review (because I’m entering the battle for all our sakes), I intend to learn the warfare strategies offered by Dr. Cindy Trimm in her book The Art of War for Spiritual Battle, I intend to wear the whole amour of God (using faith, prayer, and the Word of God), to put Dr. Trimm’s strategies to the test.

See Review and Critique page for update!

Works Cited

Holy Bible. Zondervan, 2011.

 

 

The Glorified Body Pt. 3

resurrection-2-1024x624 (2) Courtesy of Branches Catholic Ministries

The Bible is the most trusted record believers have of our Lord and Savior’s birth, His life’s ministry, His death on the Cross, and His Resurrection, the idea to begin part three of the Glorified Body with a demonstrative and compelling vision of what our resurrected bodies will look like and how we will function is fitting.

Picture this: You’re in church. The pastor recites Habakkuk 2:20, “the Lord is in His holy temple. Let all the earth hush and be silent before Him.” An obedient hush cascades across the congregation. Just as the pastor opens his mouth to utter his premeditated sermon, harmonic gasps and high-spirited praises resound from the congregation throughout the sanctuary. The pastor, following thousands of awestruck gazes, turns around. He shouts, “Savior!” and falls to his knees.

Hard to imagine? Reading John 20:26-28 might help you see accurate details. “Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” 28 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!”

Hard to imagine? Reading John 20:26-28 might help you see accurate details. “Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” 28 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!”

The same day Jesus left his burial clothes inside the tomb, he not only showed Himself to Mary, but he also appeared to two of His believing followers leaving Jerusalem. He, as Luke 24:15 states, “came up and began walking with them” but “their eyes were miraculously prevented from recognizing Him” (v. 16).

In the Amplified Bible, Luke 24:36-43 attests to a separate account of Jesus’s appearance this way: “While they were talking about this, Jesus Himself [suddenly] stood among them and said to them, “Peace be to you.” 37 But they were startled and terrified and thought that they were seeing a spirit. 38 And He said, “Why are you troubled, and why are doubts rising in your hearts? 39 Look at [the marks in] My hands and My feet, [and see] that it is I Myself. Touch Me and see; a spirit does not have flesh and bones, as you see that I have.” 40 After saying this, He showed them His hands and His feet. 41 While they still did not believe it because of their joy and amazement, He asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” 42 They gave Him a piece of broiled fish, 43 and He took it and ate it in front of them.”

To seal your hearts with the truth of Christ’s resurrected body I offer a few verses from the King James Version of the Gospel of John. In chapter 21. John reports a morning when Peter and the guys were out fishing. Jesus called from the shore, “Children, have ye any meat? They answered him, No” (v, 5). Hearing this Jesus commands a miracle catch. Jesus said, “Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find” (v, 6). As Peter and the guys brought their miracle to shore, “they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid thereon, and bread” (v, 9). After Jesus cooks a fire-roasted fish brunch for his beloved friends, He sits down and eats with them.

By now, the appearance and function of our resurrected bodies should be clear. The good news is that when Jesus calls us to Himself, our bodies will never die again, unlike Lazarus who eventually died again. Jesus is our glorified body template! As the Bible demonstrates, the altered electrons and protons that make up our flesh and spirit will give us the power to walk through solid matter; we will have the power to appear wherever and whenever we choose. We will have appetites and will retain our five senses, including the ability to think and to love.

However, not all Christian believers will receive a glorified body when Jesus returns. Carnal Christians, those who have heart idols, those who love sin more than they love God, those who are not born-again and fail to repent, shall suffer what Jesus declares four times in Matthew and once in Luke as “weeping and gnashing of teeth in outer darkness.”

Works Cited

Holy Bible. Zondervan, 2011.

“The Resurrection of the Body.” Branches Catholic Ministries, 4 Dec. 2015, go2branches.com/the-resurrection-of-the-body/.

The Glorified Body Pt. 2

Today’s good news is part two of the Glorified Body series. In this series, I will unfold an area of the supernatural that few church pastors are willing to preach because the Bible only reveals a small glimpse of its truth. In this segment, I offer you the science behind the powerful light of the glorified body.

A few years ago, I co-authored book chapters with Professor Giulio Fanti. Professor Fanti is an Italian author. Fanti invented the carbon dating process that authenticated the Holy Shroud of Turin as the burial sheet that covered Christ before He left it behind inside the tomb. If you’re a fan of taking selfies, you might find the scientific facts behind the powerful light of glory, the glorified body, and how they connect to the miraculous Holy Shroud of Turin fascinating.

To keep this teaching biblically sound, I ask you to remember that John and Peter saw Jesus’s shining transfiguration as He stood on the mountain talking with Moses and Elias in Matthew 17. As a point of contrast, I refer you to John 11:23, where Jesus called Lazarus to “come forth”. John’s Gospel is the only one that tells of this miracle. Not once did John mention a brilliant light emanating from the tomb after the stone was rolled away and Lazarus exited the tomb bound by his burial clothes. Here is an obvious difference between Christ raising Himself from the grave, and the resurrection of Lazarus.

Turning our focus to Matthew 28 we are given another image of the glory-light shining through an angel in verses two and three, which states, “And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow.” The passages I reference give us a glimpse of the brightness of heaven. Heavenly light is of God.

The glory-light of Heaven. The light that replaced the darkness when God said, “Let there be light” in Genesis 1:3. The light which is comparable to the brightness of the stars in outer space and shines brighter than the sun. The glory-light is Christ. It is the Resurrection power, His angles, the light of men, a light that will shine through the glorified bodies of His resurrected believers.

Matthew 27:59-60 informs us that Joseph of Arimathea “went to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be delivered. And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth.” Joseph of Arimathea chose well, for he did honor the body of the King of kings by wrapping it in the best fabric in the region.

According to Fanti, the Shroud of Turin became public in “1598,” however, the image of Christ was not seen until a photographer named, “Secondo Pia” photographed the Shroud in “1898.” After developing the film, the photographer noticed the full body of a tortured man on the negative. Professor Giulio Fanti’s research also reveals the fabric a “fine herringbone weave.” Power comparable to “the discharge of 300,000 volts” (Fanti 2018) burst from within Jesus. His glory-light made contact with the fabric. The fabric laying on His flesh captured His image turning the linen shroud into a photograph negative. The world’s first selfie!

Shroud of ChristFigure1. A face of Jesus Christ (left), the negative face on the Shroud with the blood stains in positive (center) and reconstruction of the tortured face from the Shroud by Giulio Ricci (right). 

To give you a clearer perspective, think of the brightness of a camera flashbulb. That brightness pales in comparison to the shining light of glory, If you remember the brilliance of camera flashbulbs, try magnifying the light to the 100th power. Are you able to comprehend the brightness of Jesus’s Resurrection? The Resurrection produced a light so intense, His full body image, except for the back of His knees because rigor mortis had set in after His death on the cross, was expended onto the surface fibers of His burial shroud. Professor Fanti and other Shroud research scientists are stumped that the material did not absorb the image but started and stopped on the surface. One might argue that the perfect weave of the linen fabric is the reason.

According to Professor Fanti’s research, science can not explain the phenomenon of the Resurrection. Scientists can merely make a hypothesis to simulate the miracle. Fanti, to accommodate the finite logic of men, compares Christ’s resurrection to a high powered electrical Corona charge. A corona charge, as defined by Wikipedia, is “an electrical discharge brought on by the ionization of a fluid such as air surrounding a conductor that is electrically charged. Spontaneous corona discharges occur naturally in high-voltage systems unless care is taken to limit the electric field strength.” Applying this definition to the dead body of Christ, it is not unreasonable to believe that His body had retained His healing and resurrection power? Will the same phenomenon happen for us born-again believers during our resurrection? Did the same phenomenon happen for those whose “graves opened up” on the morning Christ arose?

Come back for part three of the Glorified Body series.

Works Cited

“Corona Discharge.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 26 Jan. 2019,

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corona_discharge.

FANTI, GIULIO. SHROUD OF TURIN: First Century after Christ! PAN STANFORD PUB, 2018.

The Holy Bible. Zondervan, KJV 2005.

The Glorified Body Pt. 1

Today’s good news is a three-part series called the Glorified Body. In this series, I will unfold an area of the supernatural that few church pastors are willing to preach because the Bible reveals so little about this truth. To ensure you receive the depth of clarity, I will begin where the mystery of the glorified body began.

Believers in Christ reap tremendous supernatural benefits. We love our Lord and Savior, Jesus and because we keep his words, we are privileged to have the Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost making their abode with us. You can verify what I’m saying in the book of John 14:23.

The supernatural benefits of God are eternal. The benefits of God don’t wear out over time, unlike our natural bodies or clothes and shoes. God’s benefits may not seem apparent all the time, but they are forever, nonetheless. Take Adam, for example. God created him a glorified body; incorruptible, immortal, sinless, an eternal living soul. In Adam, we can see God’s plan for the man He created in His image and likeness. And while Adam obeyed God, he and his woman retained eternal life in the glory of God. The day Adam chose to disobey God, he abandoned his glorious covering, and God’s warning took effect. In Genesis 2:17 we find the first demonstration of “thou shalt surely die.” And because our God overflows with grace and mercy; corruption, aging, and eventually, death did not consume Adam’s mortal body until “930 years” after his spiritual death.

Since Adam’s fall, death is the way of mankind. The Earth, a paradise lost, has evolved into a proving ground. A global graveyard. A place where mortals are born to die and decay because of Adam’s disobedience. The death of Adam’s son, Abel, caused by the hand of his brother Cain, is the second and the third demonstration of “thou shalt surely die.” Adam’s sin initiated a perpetual generational death-inheritance for all people. And although the earth flooded with water, Noah, the righteous also had inherited the sin of death and corruption.

Death. An expected end. A natural way of life. I say death is the natural way of life because life for Adam’s seed isn’t eternal until the sole and spirit leaves the body upon death. In First Kings 2:2, King David referred to death this way, “I go the way of all the earth.” Joshua said, “And, behold, this day, I am going the way of all the earth.” Hence, my metaphor likening the Earth to a massive graveyard. Something else worth mentioning here is this: the “earth” referred to by King David and Joshua, the fate of mankind, is the dust of soil.

But God has an alternative plan. A loving, gracious, redeeming plan. His salvation plan and purpose for His image propels in full force, and He chose Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, King David, Christ Jesus and everyone in between, including you and me, to be about His business. As the planets orbit the sun, God’s plan for man is spherical. You will discover this if you read and study the Bible for yourself.

The Apostle Paul wrote, in First Corinthians 15:45 “And so it is written, the first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.” This quickening Spirit referred to by Paul is Jesus. His quickening Spirit is the power of the Resurrection. Jesus revealed this truth to Lazarus’s sister, Mary in John 11:25 saying, “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.” Jesus clarified Mary’s misconception of him by simply calling out, “Lazarus, come forth.” Not only did Jesus restore joy to Mary and Martha that day, but He also strengthened their faith in Him. Here, believers in Christ, is another of, as King David said of the Lord, “all His benefits.”

The quickening Spirit in Christ is the power that resurrected Him from the grave. According to Matthew 27:52, the actionable power of Christ’s quickening Spirit caused, “graves to open, and many bodies of the saints which slept arose.” This same Spirit of Christ will do the same for His church when He returns. Paul told the First Corinthians in chapter 15:51. “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed.”

A preview of the glorifying quickening spirit as it emanated through Moses’s face is found in Exodus 34:30 to 35. But the most revealing sighting of Jesus’s quickening Spirit emanating through His tabernacle is found in the Gospel of Matthew 17 which reads, “And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into a high mountain apart, And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him.”

We, as born-again believers in Christ, carry the light of Christ within us. A spark, if you will, that shines from within; a spark that will ignite and illuminate our glorified bodies when Christ returns.

Come back for part two. I’m sharing the science behind the glory-light of the Resurrection.

Works Cited

The Holy Bible. Zondervan, KJV 2005.

A Global Mirror

The Marriage Bed_1000  God knows, I sincerely enjoyed reading and reviewing Lakisha Johnson‘s book. The characters remind this reader of too many familiar others, albeit, her characters were difficult to imagine. Johnson is a good storyteller! Her tone and pace meld well with the tone she sets from one scene to the next.

On the first impression, I’m happy to find a Christian author/church pastor with more than a dozen books published under her belt. I’m thrilled she is one of the UBAWA’s top 100 authors. Her writing speaks to real life marital and family relationships in a down-to-earth-African-American style, using prayer and the word of God to anchor her forward driven character narratives. It is apparent (to this blogger/book reviewer) that Johnson’s target audiences consist of Bible-believing-church-going-carnal-minded Christians, and it’s clear to me that she writes for the pleasures of her readers.

Throughout her chapters, Johnson wields a global mirror before her audience that reveals a truth-telling reflection of the sprouting trend (new roots too) disguising itself as the Body of Christ. And while there were several reasons why I almost stopped reading her novel (See Book Reviews and Critiques), there were also several reasons why I kept on reading to the end. As it turns out, the story is captivating, thought-provoking, and tragic at the same time.

Analytically speaking, the Parable of the Seed Sower is the interpretation that, I believe, best describes the character, “Jerome Watson.” He portrays a “Deacon” of the church; one from whom the devil snatches the Word of God. In Luke 8:13, Jesus describes him this way, they [the seeds] on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.

In the non-fiction world, “Jerome” could be the poster child for male Christian churchgoers addicted to sex. The “time of temptation,” in context, indicates a fleeting moment; one that happens as quickly as a thought that enters the mind. According to John Kennedy, a writer for Christianity Today, “… there are men by the millions sitting comfortably in church pews every Sunday who haven’t told anyone about their sexual addiction.”

Johnson presents “Lynn Watson,” a semi-faithful and dutiful wife to “Jerome.” She has faults of her own that reflect Christian churchgoers. Her imperfections, also rooted in the flesh, draws hypocrisy, an age-old Christian flaw, to the surface. Angry and neglected, Lynn drunkenly succumbs to sexual frustration at a bar in the women’s restroom where she allows “Mattie,” a bi-sexual fellow parishioner, to rape her inside one of the stalls. In Luke 8:14 Jesus describes “Lynn” as a seed … that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection. In her case, the “fruit” was her marriage and her miscarried baby.

In my opinion, the author used spiritual warfare: the ongoing battle between good and evil and darkness versus light themes to develop an evil imp called, “Mattie.” It seems that Johnson used this character to symbolize the spirit of lust: a destroyer of the family unit. Through “Mattie,” I understood how homosexual and bi-sexual spirits enter the church doors as choir directors, musicians, praise leaders, preachers, bishops, and unconverted attendees to blend in with the holy, the righteous, and the straight half-converted Christians of the congregation. Half-converted Christians are they that come to church and praise God with world-clinging spirits. Half-converted Christians are they that have secret worldly addictions. Secret worldly addictions cling to half-converted Christians who say they love God but love gambling, fornication, open marriages, alcoholism, pornography, stealing, prostitution, buying and selling drugs, spousal abuse, and nightclubbing. BUT when Sunday comes … they return to a church somewhere occupying space with a silent amen, a half-hearted handclap and begrudging praise for God. These are they that hide under the cover of grace. This kind chooses unrighteous worldly addictions over God’s holiness; the kind whose spirit God has not entered and whose minds oppose the spirit of God.

Why? Because too many church pastors are faithful to preach the blessing and prosperity but fail to preach repentance, holiness, and hell.

The listless church pastor character represents clergymen who avoid preaching the truth of holiness and hell for the sake of retaining church members and the uninterrupted cash flow collected for entertainment services rendered.

The church deacon that impregnated “Mattie’s” girlfriend; he, his wife, and the pastor symbolize the welcoming acceptance of unrighteousness and its spreading due to pastors failing to preach repentance and the renunciation of unholiness in the church.

Aside from the light shining through the Watson children, Johnson briefly allowed the light of the newly hired Youth Pastor character to shine before diabolical “Mattie” extinguished that light. Untainted by the “Assembly,” the Youth Pastor symbolized purity, holiness, and righteousness.

Kudos, Author Lakisha Johnson! This reader appreciates your writing; a mirror that reveals today’s world addicted Christian churchgoers to themselves. Kudos for reminding Christians to strive to be perfect/holy for God! Jesus is coming back to collect an uncompromising Holy Spirit-filled church. “That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish”(Ephesians 5:27).

Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48).

Sanctify yourselves therefore and be ye holy: for I am the Lord your God” (Leviticus 20:7).

Let the true “Spirit and the bride” say, AMEN!!

 

Works Cited

Johnson, Lakisha. The Marriage Bed: Lies and Deception. Lakisha Johnson/Twins Write 2 Publishing, 2018.

Kennedy, John W. “Addicted to Sex.” Christian History | Learn the History of Christianity & the Church, Christianity Today, 18 Feb. 2014, http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2008/march/18.28.html.

A New Year of New Discoveries

This year, I decided to start reading Christian authors who mirror my affection for God and the Bible. Not searching for anyone, in particular, I stumbled across a sister named Lakisha Johnson here: https://authorlakishajohnson.com/,

A few hours ago, I thought, Who is she? I never heard of her before. Then, I realized I had never heard of the author before because I’m writing or reading my Bible when I’m not immersed in client manuscripts. Hello-oh! Cruising Johnson’s author page, reading blurbs and her devotional, I discover what I least expect: Lakisha Johnson is a church Pastor!

Still cruising, I find this, https://www.ubawa.org/news/congratulations-to-ubawas-top-100-authors-of-2018, and I’m impressed. Intrigued by the blurb on her landing page, I ordered the Kindle edition of The Marriage Bed Lies and Deception. A story of marital intimacy and a life-altering secret. Sounds juicy! Right? From what I’ve read so far, Johnson seems to leave the door to the bedroom in this book, wide open.

I’ll keep you posted.