A Voice in the
Wilderness

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" Positive Changes "
    "...and He died for all, that those who live SHOULD no longer LIVE unto themselves, but UNTO HIM WHO DIED FOR THEM AND ROSE AGAIN.... Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a NEW CREATION; the old things have passed away; behold, ALL THINGS HAVE BECOME NEW. Now all things are from God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation.... Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ. As God is exhorting through us, we beseech you on Christís behalf, BE RECONCILED TO GOD. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that WE MIGHT -BECOME- THE -RIGHTEOUSNESS- OF GOD IN HIM." (2Co5:15-21)
Now, when the TV commercials run they say, "Positive Changes" ...uh... "hypnosis". Usually the ads leave out the word "hypnosis". Are they 'ashamed' of what they do? Are they trying to 'sneek' it in without the 'customer' knowing exactly 'what' it is they are doing? Whatever the case, they are typically promoting "weight loss". You use their services and you will never again need to use a dieting program, and you will never need to re-do the procedure.

You will never again need to 'think' -about- "weight loss". It will just be a 'part of' you. The person will just 'naturally' eat healthy. This mentality will be with the person for a 'lifetime'. The person doesn't need to 'work' to remember 'healthy' habits. The procedure just gives a certain "mind-set". It becomes PART OF their subconsciousness. It's as if it was now part of their 'essence'.

What is "hypnosis"? A 'sleeplike' state -induced- by a second party. In this state the person can be made to bring to the forefront 'repressed' memories, or be given new 'suggestions'. It is my understanding that the person "yields" control of their mind, soul and spirit to another party. They relinquish self-control. And if it was the purpose of this article to talk -about- 'hypnosis', we would also delve into the demonic aspects, how a person who yields themself to it is in danger of demon-possession.

One of the things Christians are exhorted is to maintain "Self-control" (Ga5:23, 1Ti2:15, 2Ti3:3, 2Pt1:6) Thus, by deductive reasoning, would it not be safe to assume that a Biblical Christian should NOT engage in hypnosis.

What they do in hypnosis is related to how the Christian life works... ONLY... to a 'different' -MASTER-.

    "Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that oneís slaves whom you obey, whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered to you. And having been set free from sin, you became slaves to righteousness. I speak in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves to uncleanness, and to iniquity unto iniquity, so NOW PRESENT YOUR MEMBERS AS SLAVES TO RIGHTEOUSNESS UNTO SANCTIFICATION. For when you were slaves to sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves to God, you have your fruit unto sanctification, and the end, eternal life. (Rom6:16-22)
The word "PRESENT" in this passage in the KJV is "YIELD", which after my younger lifetime is how I remember this passage, and somehow feels like a good way to say it.

To "present" something is an act of 'giving'. It was in -my- 'power' of possession, but is now yours. To "yield" is like sitting at a round-a-bout; two vehicles could equally go at the same time; but one 'yields' to the other, allowing them to go first. And once that person is now 'going', and you are behind them, you can no longer rush in there and regain a lead position. You have 'yielded' to them, and can't take it back. Whereas, to 'present' something, that thing -can- be taken back...such as an old expression: "indian-giver". (In these days of PC sensitivity, I hope that expression doesn't cause offense; but I can't think of a better expression, because such a deed was deemed offensive)

But you see, the Christian life includes two aspects: Nature and Will. Nature can exist without will; but Will cannot exist without the nature. Well...sort of.

    "For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God." (1Co2:11)
When we are born "from above" (Jn3:3) we are born of the Spirit (Jn3:5-8) And thus we -understand- the things of the Spirit. (1Co2:12-13) If we are an eagle or a sparrow, we understand what and how it is to 'fly'.

But if we have not been "transformed by the renewing of [our] mind" (Rom12:2), we are still in the old 'dog' bodies. We cannot sing or fly. All we can do is 'bark'. And no matter how much we may try, the best we can do is jump and strain at getting over the fence.

(Well...dogs can 'sing'...sort-of. Since I've been retired I go for walks regularly, and go through different areas around my neighborhood, so I don't get bored going the same route over and over. For some time over the past year I've occasionally heard dogs perhaps 3-4 blocks away making a racket, almost as though they were in collective 'pain'. Well, the other day in my walking I happened to go past where these dogs live, and they were making their racket. Perhaps four dogs? And the "racket" they were making was "howling". Being behind this tall fence I couldn't see them. They each had their own individual sound quality, pitch and timing. But they were "singing". And in spite of its crudeness, it was rather a 'delight' to listen to as I stopped a few minutes and listened to them)

Across one of my fences is a dog who 'likes' the birds. During certain seasons the berries on the bushes entice them, and they get 'drunk' on the berries. I haven't seen it, but the neighbor tells how the dog will see them wobbling around on the ground in their drunken state, and he will pick them up in his mouth and 'fling' them into the air. Birds are supposed to fly: C'mon, FLY!!! And the drunken birds soar through the air as far as he flung them, and 'plop'. Back on the ground.

What does it require to be a Biblical Christian? The -desire- to be a Christian? To -love- Jesus? To -want- to be saved? To -go- to church and sing the songs? To sit in the pews and nod in agreement with the preacher's sermon? To walk around and at "fellowship" time shake people's hands and hug them? To hear the testimony of how somebody repented, in Faith Received Jesus; and to -rejoice- in 'their' salvation? If somebody asked you 'how' to be saved, could you spell it out succinctly, and you can go door-to-door with tracts and invitations? And you can -plead- with them emotionally to "get saved"? And sure: the dog with great gusto tosses those birds into the air: Fly! Fly! Fly!!! But he's a dog. He has great desire, but it is not his 'nature' to fly. And this person, also, is only a "natural" man. He does not have the "seed".

    "Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and it is not his nature to sin, because he has been born of God." (1Jn3:9)
The road to hell is "paved with good intentions"; and great emotional desires.

Many today have been told to "give your life to Jesus". Thing is, in the unsaved state a person has NO LIFE -TO- GIVE. We are all

    "...DEAD in trespasses and sins" (Eph2:1)
How does a -dead- person do anything? But we must (and here's where the subtleties of the word "yield" have meaning, because in the act of "giving" is the ability to hold back) yield to Jesus. If we claim to "give", then we are not dead. But if we are dead, then
    "...even when we were dead in trespasses, -MADE- US ALIVE together with Christ (by grace you are saved)" (Eph2:5)
The act of making alive is "together with Christ". And here's where translations that say God sent His Son that we may have "everlasting" life are in error. (Jn3:16) We do not get life (any ol' life) and now we continue to live...forever and ever and ever and ever. But what God gives us is the life that characterizes Jesus. The life that Jesus has is "Eternal Life". The Life that was there before creation, and extends beyond. "From everlasting to everlasting, You are the Mighty God" (Ps90:2) That is the Life He -GIVES- us! We are -TRANSFORMED- into His image, even to His Eternity.

How do we get this Eternal Life? Do we grunt and strain REAL HARD, try REAL HARD to BE GOOD? Do we go the hypnosis route? Many do that: They go the "spirituality" route, repeat mantras, sing/hum songs, empty their minds, and ask to be "spirit-filled". And the spirit/s oblige. Perhaps they will feel this "great power" coming over them. Perhaps they will be surrounded by a haze or fog, and when it has past there will be "gold dust" all over. Perhaps, like in hypnosis, they will be (as though) passed out, and then 'come to' with new 'powers'?

These experiences are -REAL-. Do not pass this off as somebody's imagination. The evil demonic forces in the world are real. Satan offered rulership to Jesus, and Jesus did not deny that satan had the authority. (Lk4:6) The forces that Christians are fighting against are -REAL-; they are the "rulers of the darkness of this age" the "spiritual wickedness in the heavenlies" (Eph6:12) If they function in the dark, they also have the ability to make themselves visible. They can appear in dreams. As I read the writings of certain people and combine it with things I already know, I have to wonder about some things like women who choose to be single and independent; if perhaps they are not 'single' at all, but in some weird way are mating with fallen angels. It happened "in the days of Noah" (Ge6:2), and mythological records are filled with women being 'taken' by demon creatures. Is it the case that if women did not abandon their "natural use" of the man (Ro1:26), that their "sanctification" (1Co7:14) in marriage would protect and guard her from these demonic beings?

Years ago I was having dreams, the origins of which I was not sure; but then one night there was a 'prophetic' dream, which I questioned. It -seemed- true. It even had the "bright light" that people talk about. But the 'message' of the dream did not come to pass 'as' told to me. If it was God's dream, God's prophets are 100%. If they are not 100%, they are not of God. (De18:22) And furthermore when God exhibits 'brightness', the -entity-, itself, is bright. It is not some light in the 'background', and the entity itself is dark; like was the case in my dream.

If you have experienced some OVERPOWERING PRESENCE. Perhaps, ladies, you had a dream that "jesus" was appearing to you at your bed, offering to have sex with you. (Yes, demons are doing this) Remember Jesus said, "Behold, I have told you beforehand. Therefore if they say...Behold, He is in the inner rooms, do not believe it" (Mt24:25-26)

All these wham-bam, thank you ma'am; or you are shaking yourself to wake up from having been bowled over to the floor....these are -NOT- how a person is saved. Some great 'presence' does not come over you and give you "peace" and "tranquility".

Naaman was upset because Elisha didn't perform a BIG SHOW for him by waving his hands over the leprosy, lift up his voice loudly with big words of 'prayer', and perhaps 'bonking' him on the forehead with his Bible. (2Ki5:11)

Jesus finds the blind man He had healed: the temple rulers had evicted him from the temple because he had confessed Jesus. I can imagine he might have been a bit 'down'; feeling a bit 'low'. Jesus finds him in the throng and asks, "Do you believe into the Son of God? Who is He, Lord, that I may believe. It is He who is talking with you. Lord, I believe!" (Jn9:35-38) Jesus had promised elsewhere "By no means will I ever leave you nor ever forsake you." (Heb13:5)

When a person is saved do not be fooled by the surroundings of a huge statium filled with people, people filing up to the platform, and perhaps some people shedding tears and sobbing, and perhaps some 'counselor' reading a rote prayer for you to "repeat after me". That is not how you get saved. The blind man, even, was not saved when Jesus asked him, "Do you believe?" By his testimony to the temple rules he was showing he was -already- saved, in his heart, when they kicked him out. If you -truly- are saved at a crusade invitation, it doesn't happen while 'praying' with the counselor. It -already- happened when the Holy Spirit moved your heart, clear back where you were sitting. (That counselor might not even be -truly- saved!!!)

Where God had communication with Elijah was NOT at the great big things of the wind, earthquake and fire, but the "whisper of the small voice". (1Ki19:12)

Certainly God demonstrates His -GREATNESS-. But His invitation is...

    "BE STILL, AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD! I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!" (Ps46:10)
If you had gold dust all over the place after you prayed -to- "god", it doesn't mean it's from the Most High, Creator of Heaven and earth. There are -many- that are -called- 'gods': Ra (the sun god) in Egypt, Allah (the moon god) of the Muslim world, the various stars and constellations of the occult, Queen of heaven of catholicism, god of protestantism. These last two often share the same cross-and-ball on top of their steeples indicating their -true- allegiance to the Queen of heaven and the sun. As part of the deception they will utter the name "Jesus" and speak of His crucifixion; but they are not talking the same language.
    "For even if there are so-called gods, whether in the heavens or on earth (as there are many gods and many lords), yet for us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and we through Him." (1Co8:5-6)
The Positive Changes of Salvation come, not through an unconscious experience of hypnosis, some special razzle dazzle spiritual 'anointing' (from the demons), but through the Work of the Holy Spirit as we become like Jesus Christ. "As He is, so are we in this world" ... as we become "like Him" (1Jn4:17, 3:2) -Being- 'righeous' is now part of our essence.
    "...not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that being justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life." (Tit3:5-7)
And finally, we can learn something from those birds. If our new nature is compared to birds (that fly and sing), not dogs (that don't); in the same way a bird can become compromised by getting drunk, the same with the Christian. If we can't -get- saved through drunkenness, neither can we become "spirit-filled" by getting "drunk in the spirit". Those that look for the wham-bam slap-happiness of their experiences often brag that they are "drunk in the spirit". They've got a "holy ghost high", as they raise a ruckus up to the roof. Remember? Self-control! Like the dog that was trying to get the drunk birds to "Fly!", if you're a Christian do you want to be humbled by having a non-Christian chide you for the sinful way you are living? That dog -could- just as easily have "chomp", -gulp-...oh what a tasty treat was that bird!
    "And do not be drunk with wine, in which is debauchery; but be filled by the Spirit speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ" (Eph5:18-20)

    "...and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus." (Php4:7)

Amen!

Falling on His Face


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