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Casting Down Reasonings (Kenneth E Hagin)

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Casting Down Reasonings

By Rev. Kenneth E. Hagin

Casting down imaginations [reasonings], and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. (2 Cor. 10:5)

Many people’s minds have never been renewed with the Word of God. They may be saved, filled with the Holy Ghost, and members of a Full Gospel church, but their minds still need to be renewed with the Word of God.

Second Corinthians 10:4 and 5 says, “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.”

Many people are in a battle between their head and their heart. This is spiritual warfare, and these verses say that our weapons are not carnal, or natural. They’re not guns, swords, or even fists. But our weapons are mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds (2 Cor. 10:4).

Paul is referring to “casting down imaginations.” Imaginations can also be translated reasonings, which involve people’s minds.

As long as Satan can hold you in the arena of reason, he’ll defeat you in every battle. But if you hold Satan in the arena of faith, you’ll defeat him in every battle. How do you do that? The Scripture says to “cast down imaginations (reasonings).”

Confession: I cast down imaginations and reasonings. I bring every thought captive to the obedience of Jesus Christ. If the thought doesn’t line up with the Word of God, I reject it. I believe and think on only what God’s Word says.

(Taken by permission from RHEMA Bible Church , aka Kenneth Hagin Ministries , Tulsa , OK , USA. www.rhema.org )

Word of Encouragement for Healing

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Morning all,

I want whoever is reading this to know: you don’t have to twist God’s arm into healing you. God loves you more than you love yourself and love means love. God is good – He is better than you, and good means good.

I read a comic strip in a newspaper once, with three panels. In the first panel Dennis the Menace was walking down the road with a plate loaded with cookies. His friend is looking at the triumphant Dennis quizzically and says “I don’t get it Dennis, what good thing did we do that Mrs Wilson baked us all these cookies?”

In the second panel, Dennis looks at his friend and says “You don’t get it at all.”

In the third panel Dennis says “Mrs Wilson doesn’t bake us cookies because we’re good, she bakes us cookies because she’s good.”

Do you realize that this comic strip contains one of the deepest theological truths you will ever learn: God is not about to heal you because you’re good – He is going to heal you because He is good.

In fact, He has already paid the most awesome price for your healing: the stripes of Jesus. Every time the whip ripped into the flesh of Jesus and blood splatted everywhere, healing power was released into the planet. That power is received now by faith. Believe in His goodness, Believe in His love for you, and receive it right now.

God is good, His love endures forever.

The War is Over (Andrew Wommack)

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Did you know that most Christians still believe their relationship with God is dependent on their performance? They believe answered prayers and God’s blessing in their lives are in direct proportion to their holiness and ability to overcome sin. If they attend church, pay their tithes, read their Bibles, and control their flesh, they have somehow earned the blessing of God.

That may sound reasonable at first, but that line of thinking will destroy your confidence in God and couldn’t be further from the truth. The truth is, sin isn’t even an issue with God. That may seem like a radical statement, but it is exactly what the Word teaches. Romans 3:4 says,

“Yea, let God be true, but every man a liar.”

When Jesus came on the scene, one of the first things He had to do was counter all the religious traditions and doctrines of His day. Paul recognized the same problem. He said in Romans 10:2-3,

“For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.”

Just because people are zealous or religious does not mean what they believe is correct. One of the most misunderstood doctrines in the Bible is what really happened when Jesus came to earth, fulfilled the Law, and was sacrificed for our sins. When He said in John 19:30 “It is finished,” everything changed.

Jesus forever changed the way God relates to mankind. Sure, there are scriptural examples of God’s catastrophic judgment on sin. But God’s greatest act of judgment was when He placed His entire wrath upon Jesus for our sins. This forever satisfied God’s wrath. Since that time, God hasn’t been judging our sins (2 Cor. 5:19). God’s not angry with us; He’s not even in a bad mood.

Look at the angels’ joy at the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem. Luke 2:13-14 says,

“And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”

This scripture is very familiar to many, yet there is a lot of misunderstanding about what it’s saying. Some translations say they were proclaiming “good will among men” or “peace to men of good will.” Basically, this passage has been interpreted that Jesus was bringing peace on earth among people. But that’s not why these angels were praising God. If that interpretation were true, then Jesus’ own words in Matthew 10:34-36 would contradict this. He said,

“Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.”

Jesus Himself said He was not sent to bring peace on the earth among people. The peace that the angels were praising God for (Luke 2:13-14) was peace BETWEEN God and man. They were announcing the end of God’s war on sin. Peace now reigns between God and man.

Prior to Jesus’ coming, God’s wrath was against man for his sins. It wasn’t total wrath. Even in the Old Testament, we see God’s mercy and grace. Yet the Old Testament Law was a ministry of wrath (Rom. 4:15; 2 Cor. 3:7, and 9), and man’s sins were held against him. But when Jesus came, God quit holding man’s sins against him. This is exactly what 2 Corinthians 5:19 and 21 say,

“To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation…For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”

The word “reconciliation” is talking about making peace. God was no longer holding us accountable. Instead, He imputed our sins to Jesus, making Jesus accountable for our sins. Jesus became what we were so we could become what He was—the righteousness of God.

Jesus was like a lightning rod that drew all the judgment of God unto Himself. He not only bore our sins; He actually became sin (2 Cor. 5:21). Jesus said in John 12:27-32:

“Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour. Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again. The people therefore, that stood by, and heard it, said that it thundered: others said, An angel spake to him. Jesus answered and said, This voice came not because of me, but for your sakes. Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.”

Many have thought John 12:32 means that if God is properly glorified in our preaching, then He will draw all people to Himself. But that is not what this scripture is saying.

If you look in the King James Version, notice that the word “men” in verse 32 is italicized. That means it wasn’t in the original language. The translators put this word in italics to let people know this was their addition, but it wasn’t a part of the text. If you take this verse in context, I believe the Lord was saying that He would draw all JUDGMENT to Himself. Jesus, like a lightning rod, attracted all of God’s judgment for all of mankind’s sins for all time unto Himself.

All the murder, all the perversion, every vile and rotten sin imaginable, all sickness, and all disease ever known to mankind actually entered into His physical human body. Isaiah 52:14 talks about the crucifixion of Jesus and says that He was marred more than any man, to the point that He was unrecognizable as a human being.

That could not have happened just from physical beatings, especially since the Word says that not a single bone was broken in His body (Ps. 34:20 with John 19:36). I believe His body was completely disfigured from cancers, tumors, diseases, deformities, and anything else that human beings have ever suffered.

Jesus didn’t ask for the cup to be taken from Him just because of the physical pain He would suffer, but because He did not want to become sin. He hated becoming what He came to redeem us from. And the worst of all Jesus’ sufferings was total rejection from His Father. Matthew 27:46 says,

“And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”

God the Father forsook Jesus so that you and I would never be forsaken. All that we would have suffered through billions of years in eternity—the grief, the pain, and worst of all, the complete separation from the presence of God—Jesus experienced. And He experienced all of this for us. The judgment was made and the sentence carried out. The price was paid in full, once for all.

When we say God is still judging us for our sins as individuals or corporately as a nation, we are saying that the price Jesus paid wasn’t enough. Therefore, a judgment must again be made and a sentence passed. That would be “double jeopardy,” and that is not what the Bible teaches.

Some of you may not like this, but it’s true. Sin isn’t a problem with God anymore. It’s the church that has made it a major deal. Neither past, present, nor future sins can separate us from God. The only people who will go to hell are those who have spurned and rejected the greatest sacrifice that has ever been made. In heaven, we won’t answer for our individual sins; Jesus already has. We will answer for our acceptance or rejection of Jesus.

You might now be thinking, You’re just giving people a license to sin. Well, it seems to me that people are doing a pretty good job of that without a license. What I’m saying will not free you to sin; it will free you from the condemnation and the guilt that comes when you do sin.

To continue in sin is just stupid. You’ll be opening the door for Satan to have an inroad into your life (Rom. 6:16). If you sin, you will suffer the natural consequences of it, but it will not be because of the judgment of God.

The Sovereignity of God (Andrew Wommack)

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My heart was really stirred this last month. I attended a meeting where an old friend of mine was ministering. He had been through some terrible things that nearly destroyed his faith. He became bitter and angry at God for the things that had happened. When I heard him, he had humbled himself and was again loving the Lord and excited about the future. Praise the Lord! However, in the process, he had come to believe that it was the Lord that caused all his problems. He had resigned himself to the “sovereignty of God.”

I believe this is the worst doctrine in the church today. I know that this is a shocking statement and is near blasphemy to some people, but the way sovereignty” is taught today is a real faith killer. The belief that God controls everything that happens to us is one of the devil’s biggest inroads into our lives. If this belief is true, then our actions are irrelevant, and our efforts are meaningless. What will be will be.

If we believe that God wills everything, good or bad, to happen to us, it gives us some temporary relief from confusion and condemnation, but in the long-term, it slanders God, hinders our trust in God, and leads to passiveness.

THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD

The word “sovereign” is not used in the King James Version of the Bible. It is used 303 times in the Old Testament of the New International Version, but it is always used in association with the word “LORD” and is the equivalent of the King James Version’s “LORD God.” Not a single one of those times is the word “sovereign” used in the manner that it has come to be used in religion in our day and time.

Religion has resulted in the invention of a new meaning for the word “sovereign,” which basically means God controls everything. Nothing can happen but what He wills or allows. However, there is nothing in the actual definition that states that. The dictionary defines “sovereign” as, “1. Paramount; supreme. 2. Having supreme rank or power. 3. Independent: a sovereign state. 4. Excellent.” None of these definitions means that God controls everything.

It is assumed that since God is paramount or supreme that nothing can happen without His approval. That is not what the Scriptures teach. In 2 Peter 3:9, Peter said, “The Lord is…not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” This clearly states that it is not the Lord’s will for anyone to perish, but people are perishing. Jesus said, “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” (Matt. 7:13). Relatively few people are saved compared to the number that are lost. God’s will for people concerning salvation is not being accomplished.

This is because the Lord gave us the freedom to choose. He doesn’t will anyone into hell. He paid for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2; 1 Tim. 4:10), but we must choose to put our faith in Christ and receive His salvation. People are the ones choosing hell by not choosing Jesus as their Savior. It is the free will of man that damns them, not God.

People virtually have to climb over the roadblocks that God puts in their way to continue on their course to hell. The cross of Christ and the drawing power of the Holy Spirit are obstacles that every sinner encounters. No one will ever stand before God and be able to fault Him for withholding the opportunity to be saved. The Lord woos every person to Him, but we have to cooperate. Ultimately, the Lord simply enforces the consequences of people’s own choices.

God has a perfect plan for every person’s life (Jer. 29:11), but He doesn’t make us walk that path. We are free moral agents with the ability to choose. He has told us what the right choices are (Deut. 30:19), but He doesn’t make those choices for us. God gave us the power to control our destinies.

Typical teaching on the sovereignty of God puts Jesus in the driver’s seat with us as passengers. On the surface that looks good. All of us have encountered the disastrous results of doing our own thing. We desire to be led of the Lord, and teaching that nothing happens but what God wills fits that nicely. However, the Scriptures paint a picture of each of us being behind the wheel of our own lives. We are the one doing the driving. We are supposed to take directions from the Lord, but He doesn’t do the driving for us.

Man has been given the authority over his own life, but he must have the Lord’s direction to succeed. Jeremiah 10:23 says, “O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.” God created us to be dependent upon Him and our independence is at the root of all our problems. As if it wasn’t bad enough for man to try to run his affairs independently of God and His standards, it has been made even worse by religion teaching us that all our problems are actually blessings from God. That is a faith killer. It makes people totally passive.

James 4:7 says, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” This verse makes it clear that some things are from God, and some from the devil. We must submit to the things that are of God and resist the things that are from the devil. The word “resist” means, “Actively fight against.” Saying “Whatever will be will be” is not actively fighting against the devil.

If a person really believed that God is the one who put sickness on them because He is trying to work something for good in their life, then they should not go to the doctor or take any medicine. That would be resisting God’s plans. They should let the sickness run its course and thereby get the full benefit of God’s correction. Of course, no one advocates that. That is absurd. It is even more absurd to believe that God is the one behind the tragedy.

Acts 10:38 says that Jesus healed all those who were oppressed OF THE DEVIL. It was not God who oppressed them with sickness. It was the devil. It’s the same today. Sickness is from the devil, not from God. We need to resist sickness and, by faith, submit ourselves to healing, which is from God through the atonement of Christ.

I know someone is thinking, What about the Old Testament instances where God smote people with sickness and plagues? There is a lot I could say about that if I had the space, but a simplified answer to that question is that none of those instances were blessings. They were curses. God did use sickness in the Old Testament as punishment, but in the New Testament, Jesus bore our curse for us (Gal. 3:13). The Lord would no more put sickness on a New Testament believer than He would make us commit a sin. Both forgiveness of sin and healing are a part of the atonement Jesus provided for us.

Deuteronomy, chapter 28, should forever settle this question for all who believe the Word of God. The first 14 verses of Deuteronomy 28 list the blessings of God and the last 53 verses list the curses of God. Healing is listed as a blessing (Deut. 28:4). Sickness is listed as a curse (Deut. 28:22, 27-28, 35, 59-61). God called sickness a curse. We should not call it a blessing.

Knowing that God is not the author of my problems is one of the most important revelations the Lord has ever given me. If I thought it was God who killed my father when I was twelve, and some of my best friends before I was 20, if it was God who had people kidnap me, slander me, threaten to kill me, and turn loved ones against me, then I would have a hard time trusting God, if He was like that.

On the contrary, it is very comforting to know that God only has good things in store for me. Any problems in my life are from the devil, of my own making, or just the results of life on a fallen planet. My heavenly Father has never done me any harm and never will. I KNOW that.

I am not saying that there is nothing to learn from hardships. Most of you reading this article have come to the Lord because of something in your life that overwhelmed you and caused you to turn to the Lord for help. That situation was not from God regardless of the results. It was you turning to the Lord and the faith you placed in Him that turned your life around, not the hardship.

If hardships and problems made us better, then everyone who has had problems would be better for them. Those who have the most trouble would be the best. That simply is not so.

Let me illustrate this with a story about my son, Joshua. When he was only a year old, I was loading lumber on a large truck in the heat of a Texas summer. I had Joshua with me, and he was having a big time playing in the lumber yard. By mid-afternoon, he was tired and sleepy and started to lie down in the dirt for a nap. I knew his mother wouldn’t like that, so I put him in the cab of the truck to lie down and take his nap.

He had been wanting to get into that truck all day, and when I put him in there, he revived. I had to roll the windows down because it was hot, and Joshua was leaning out the windows and waving at me in the side view mirrors. I told him to lie down and even gave him a spanking, but he didn’t take heed. He leaned out the window too far, fell out of the cab, hit his eye on the running board and landed on his head.

I ran up to him, prayed over him, and held him until he quit crying. Then I told him that was why I told him to lie down and go to sleep and not lean out the window. I used that situation which caused him pain, to teach him, but if Joshua would have been like the sovereignty teachers of today, he would have gone out and told all his friends that his father made him fall out of that truck to teach him to obey. That’s not so. I did what I could to restrain him. I would be very hurt if that’s the way Joshua thought I was.

Likewise, I don’t believe it blesses our heavenly Father for us to blame Him for all the problems that come into our lives. Sure, He will comfort us when we turn to Him in the midst of our problems, but He doesn’t create the negative circumstances that hurt our lives.

God is sovereign in the sense that He is paramount and supreme. There is no one higher in authority or power, but that does not mean He exercises His power by controlling everything in our lives. God has given us the freedom to choose. He has a plan for us. He seeks to reveal that plan to us and urge us in that direction, but we choose. He doesn’t make our choices for us.

In many instances, it is our wrong choices that bring disaster upon us. In other cases, our problems are nothing but an attack from the devil. In some cases, natural forces of an imperfect world cause us pain. Our tragedies are never the judgment or correction of God. Jesus came to give us abundant life. The devil came to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10). Don’t ever get that confused. If it’s good, it’s God. If it’s bad, it’s the devil.

This is a fundamental doctrine of Christianity that must be understood properly if you want victory in your life. Believing that God controls everything renders a person passive. Why pray and believe for something better? Whatever God wants will come to pass. That simply is not true.

The Lord is the answer to all our problems. He is not the problem.

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