The Power of Praise in Deliverance from Affliction
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Revised Facebook Post, 26 July 2019
I cannot emphasize this enough. We consume destructive church dogmas and allow them to harm us because we do not understand the most basic principle of the Bible. Jesus said in Luke 8:11-18, “The seed [in the parable of the Sower] is the Word of God… When anyone… does not understand it, the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart…” (Mt. 13:19.) Thus, it is important to know that the Bible is divided into Two Testaments for a good reason. The old nation of Israel lived during the ousted Old Testament covenant before the cross, which pertained to them as a physical nation in a literal land, (Heb. 8:13; chapters 7-9.) Yet, they also knew that their enemies had absolutely no hold on them, for “God has [past tense] called them OUT of the [physical] house of bondage [in Egypt]” to serve Him ‘in spirit and in truth’ above all else in this world, (Ex. 20:1-6; Jn. 4:21-24.)
This is an analogy of Jesus’ New Testament believers, because everything under Jesus’ New Covenant is spiritual, (Kingdom, temple, High Priest, priesthood, wars, heavenly homeland, etcetera.) 1 Peter 2:9-10 declares that all New Covenant disciples of Jesus “were called OUT of [the spiritual kingdom of] darkness INTO His marvelous Light,” (Col. 1:13-14.) Redemption, salvation, and blessing, which Jesus paid for on Golgotha by fulfilling the Old Testament Law in totality, is therefore a spiritual place inside Jesus’ New Testament/Covenant Kingdom that all true believers in Christ, (being born again through personal faith in Him,) must constantly occupy, (Mt. 5:17; Jn. 1:12-13; 3:3-5; 1 Jn. 2:27.)
However, to keep their sinful hold on the blood-bought souls of Jesus, the entire church system violates this vital truth. They deliberately confuse and blend the very different Testaments or Covenants of the Bible to diminish the completed work of Jesus at the cross, and to bind people to their religious system instead of setting them free through the Truth of the New Covenant: God’s Living Word or Jesus Christ Himself, (Col. 2:9-15; Jn. 1:1-14; 8:12; 31-32.)
This is why believers, who are so oppressed by affliction and church chaos, (which just "do not work" when they need a miraculous intervention from the Lord Jesus Christ,) never stop asking about deliverance from their problems. By blending what is literal in the Bible with the spiritual principles of Jesus and the apostles, caused most of the false doctrines that oppressed believers through the ages. Among those deceptions tower the Kingdom-Now theology, which, in essence, teaches that God will turn this fallen world into a good Christian world, (2 Pt. 3:10-14.) The truth is that Jesus did not come to change the world but to spiritually and emotionally redeem or deliver those who would believe in Him, (Jn. 3:16.) He declared to Pontius Pilate, “[I do not covet the throne of Caesar, because] My Kingdom is not of the world…” (Jn. 18:36.) Thus, He commanded His disciples, “Do not heap up treasures on earth… but in heaven,” (Jn. 6:19-20.)
By mixing Bible truth with false dogma and violating Jesus’ commandments, we shift our priorities and our entire lives from the foundation of God’s Kingdom: righteousness and justice, which cause inner peace, (Ps. 89:14.) That causes us to not merely ‘observe’ the religious/political world to be aware of it’s dangers; we concentrate on it and so we become a fearful, confused part of it. That is why Paul commanded in Romans 12:1-2, “Do not be conformed to this [religious/political] world, but be transformed [or totally renewed] in your minds, [thoughts and beliefs,] to know… the perfect will of God.” If we nourish our minds or “souls” with religion and politics instead of Bible Truth, we will never be able to concentrate on heaven. This is not to say we must bury our heads in the sand, but we must keep our priorities focused on heaven because Jesus warned, “For where your treasures, (priorities,) are, there your hearts will be also,” (Mt. 6:19-21.)
Concerning deliverance from everything that can oppress us on this side of the grave, we find Psalm 107 in plain sight, which, looking forward to Jesus' cross and the outpouring of the indwelling Holy Spirit at Pentecost, said it all. Completely uncomplicated thanksgiving and praise, (in combination with Scriptural, New Covenant obedience to Jesus,) cure a myriad of maladies. It is easy to praise God when all is well. But praise is actually personal sacrifice to Him. Sacrifice calls for offering to Jesus even that which is dear and difficult, (Lu. 14:27.) So, it is especially acceptable to God to praise Him in affliction. (Not for the affliction, but because He is in control of all hardship.) Psalm 107 teaches that we must praise Him when in trouble, uncertainty, distress, danger, and everything else that can befall us.
Let us forget the prosperity lie that believers must be happy, healthy and superrich all the time! One can actually say that the whole Book of Psalms spells “praise and thanksgiving in affliction!” Biblical truth and reality are as follows.
There is great spiritual power in willing, honest prayer and praise. We do not have to feel like praying or praising God. As everything else, it is a decision to live a lifestyle of prayer, thanksgiving, and praise, and then ‘feelings’ will follow. We praise Jesus despite the trouble, for in His time, God delivers us from it all! As a result, when Paul and the other apostles were incarcerated, tortured, etcetera, they did not call for ‘supermen deliverers’ but obeyed Scripture to start praising God. (And I am not underestimating the powerful, true gifts and callings of the Holy Spirit in the body of Christ.) The result was that God mightily delivered them even from physical death. Acts 16:25-34, “At midnight Paul and Silas prayed and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken, and immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone's bands were loosed."
Psalm 107 begins with the assurance that it is never God’s will for His people to remain in spiritual bondage without Him or emotional bondage through affliction in this world, although we still live in this fallen world until Jesus comes to take us home, and are, therefore, still subject to physical and emotional stress and disasters. However, those who were personally and sincerely born again through faith in and acceptance of Jesus, are spiritually “complete” in Him, (Col. 2:9-15.) For years, I also bought into the church deception that believers must ‘grow spiritually,’ not emotionally and intellectually! But the context of Scripture and Paul’s explanation in Romans 12:1-2 obliterate that dogma. All spirits, human spirits included, are ever-living and cannot grow, (1 Ths. 5:23; Jn. 1:12-13; 3:3-5.) The “unregenerate” human spirits of unbelievers are said to be “dead in them,” while they are actually in a comatosed state while cut off from the Living God. Unregenerate or not, just as the supernatural, mighty angels of God, human spirits live for all eternity. Jesus said in Mark 12:25, “[Human spirits are not angels. So, after death,] they do not marry [as on earth…] but they are LIKE angels [meaning pure spirit…]” That is why unbelievers and unrepentant believers will suffer for eternity in hell and true believers will forever worship Jesus in heaven, (2 Ths. 1:6-12; Luke 16:19-31.)
As Jesus fully won the war for humanity’s souls at the cross, the battles that true believers face are on a physical and “mind” level, (2 Cor. 10:3-5.) This is where evil constantly ooze upon them from the dark side of the spirit world where Satan is worshipped, (Rom. 12:1-2.) Because our will, intellect, and emotions are seated in our “minds,” the psalmist wrote, “[Let us willingly] give thanks to the Lord, [the highest God of all that is worshipped,] for His great works of deliverance.” We were already fully delivered by Jesus’ atonement on the cross, (Isa. 53:3-5.) Our personal deliverance was already done when we sincerely accepted Jesus to be spiritually born again “into His Kingdom of Light,” (Jn. 1:12-13; 1 Pt. 2:9-10.) Hence, where God speaks of “deliverance” in the lives of His children, this does not mean He casts demons out of real believers. Trouble comes from the outside upon them — unless they are sinning unrepentantly, (1 Jn. 2:1-6.)
So, where ‘deliverance’ is concerned, the psalmist, as all the other Bible writers, referred to God’s almighty deliverance from hardship and demon possessed thieves, murderers, oppressors, and destroyers in this world. The psalmist continued, “[Let us therefore merely thank and praise Him] for His mercy endures forever. Let the redeemed [present tense] of the Lord say so, whom He has delivered [past tense] from the hand of the enemy…”
Ephesians 1:7 and Col. 1:13-14 declare, “In Jesus we have [present tense,] redemption through His blood, [which is only by] the forgiveness of our sins by His grace [and not by church acts, so-called deliverance ministers, or our own goodness… although we must strive to obey His Moral Law as far as possible, James 3:2.] He has delivered [past tense] us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into [His] Kingdom through His Son, in Whom we have [present tense] redemption through His blood; the forgiveness of sins.”
Psalm 107 prophetically proclaimed this New Covenant work of Jesus by stating, “When the Israelites, [our Old Testament examples of how God deals with all his children through the ages on a Moral level, 1 Corinthians 10:11 KJV,] were hungry and thirsty, and their souls fainted in them, they cried to the Lord and He delivered them out of their distress and He led them forth by the right way. Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness and for His wonderful works to the children of men! [And through the ages, when believers were] in darkness and the shadow of death… they cried out to the Lord and He broke their chains in pieces. Oh, that men would give thanks [and praise] to the Lord... And when they drew near to the gates of death, [they cried to the Lord and praised Him IN their affliction,] and He sent them His WORD and healed them… [In all afflictions,] let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving and declare His works with rejoicing… When souls melt because of trouble… and are at wits end… He calms the storm and guides them to His safe haven… Whoever is wise will observe these things. And they will understand the loving kindness of the Lord.”
As a result, there is no such thing as a ‘deliverance ministry.’ They operate in utter violation of God’s New Covenant Truth and teach Jesus’ blood-bought believers lies about so-called ‘bondage and curses,’ instead of giving them God’s Scriptural Truth, (Jesus Himself,) Who stated, “You will know the Truth – and the Truth will set you free!”
First, we were fully delivered from the enemy and his kingdom of darkness at the moment we sincerely accepted Jesus and was born again INTO His Kingdom of light, (1 Pt. 2:9-10; Col. 1:13-14; Eph. 1:7; 12-14.) Second, we must constantly “transform” or renew our minds or thoughts and beliefs by studying and obeying the Real Truth of Scripture, (Rom. 12:1-3.) The Truth of Scripture is God’s Word or Jesus Christ Himself. Anyone who teaches false doctrines, robs us of Jesus, The Truth, and our redemption, salvation, and blessing in Him.
Hence, Scripture demands that we must flee from false teachers to Jesus and His real Truth; the entire context of His Holy Word, interpreted from His New Testament perspective, (1 Cor. 10:11.) Now let us prise our almighty Father in heaven and bring Him thanksgiving and worship for everything He has done for us — no matter the circumstances we find ourselves in, because “greater is He Who is in us, than he that is in the world!”