Posts

May 31, 2021

Ep.1180: Am I My Own Worst Enemy?

Unlocking the solutions to seven truth-distorting reactions

If you do not have a password, please subscribe to our FREE Premium Content for the Full Edition version of CQ Rewind. The welcome message will contain your password, and a reminder will be sent each week when the CQ Rewind is available online for you to read, print, or download.

CHAPTERS

[00:13:42]
How do I keep from making bad things even worse?


[00:31:09]
How do we manage self-defeating thoughts when it comes to comparing ourselves to others?


[00:46:32]
How do we stop blaming others for what goes on in our life?


Theme Scripture: Romans 7:15

Life can be difficult. We are surrounded with issues, events, opinions, politics and posts that continuously bring us stress and strain. As if this isn’t enough, we add to the frenzy by putting up self-designed roadblocks to block our own way! Why would we do that? Why would we make things harder for ourselves? Turns out that this is a common thing.  The imperfect human mind can create all kinds of coping mechanisms that keep us from dealing with perceived trouble. While this sounds good, the problem is that our avoidance of perceived trouble often leads us directly into the path of real trouble. Essentially, we can at times become our own worst enemy. The bad news is we easily and often sabotage ourselves. The good news is, because we do this to ourselves we can also learn how to change that behavior.

Continue Reading

Automatic Thoughts and Distortions

In a book entitled The Self-Esteem Workbook, by Glen R. Schiraldi, PhD, we found the self-damaging thought processes we often cling to are called “Automatic Thoughts and Distortions.” “Making Feelings Facts," “Rejecting the Positive” and “Catastrophizing” are examples of the several thoughts and distortions we can face each day without even realizing it. Why are these things so insidious? First, it is because they are thoughts. Our everactive minds produce thoughts at an unfathomable rate. We are in a constant state of determining which of these numerous thoughts are worthy of our attention. Automatic thoughts – those that occur without conscious effort - usually are most powerful.

Being continually influenced by automatic thoughts is one thing, but when you add distortion to those thoughts the frustration party begins. How can we expect to cope with the hard realities of life when our mind is automatically feeding us seriously distorted interpretations of the truth? What’s worse is these automated distortions come in all shapes and sizes!

The answers!

Fortunately, answers are available if we look for them. To help us understand how “Rejecting the Positive” works, we look at the Apostle Peter in his dramatic experience with Jesus and walking on the water. The moment he took his eyes off of Jesus, off of the source of his stability, he began to sink. What Peter focused on determined what his outcome would be! There is much we can learn here, not only form Peter’s fears but also from the stability of Jesus as well. The bottom line is that most of us have choices regarding the automatic thoughts we struggle with. We end up being our own worst enemy.

Check out our May 31, 2021 podcast, “Am I My Own Worst Enemy?” for more. We address seven of these automatic thoughts and distortions one at a time with Bible in hand. As each of these distorted views of our lives has its own unique challenge, so each answer has its own unique suggestion. This conversation can be a real eye-opener. It can help us to see what is driving our reactions and responses and compare that answer with the facts of our Christian walk. Please join us on the pathway to more clearly understanding our personal thoughts.

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August 18, 2021

Ep.: Is Satan real?

Is Satan just our own sins or an actual angel “gone bad?” Because Satan means “adversary” can anyone be Satan?

The word “Satan” (Hebrew) means accuser or adversary, the archenemy of good. Satan is mentioned many times in both the Old and New Testaments. 

We believe that Satan was once a very beautiful high-ranking angel (morning star, son of dawn) who was cast down from heaven because he wanted to be like God. (See Isaiah 14:12-15.) Jesus, during his prehuman existence in heaven, knew Satan very well. After Jesus was baptized at Jordan and had fasted forty days in the desert, God permitted Satan to test Jesus three times. (See Matthew 4:1-11.) Satan’s efforts to tempt our Lord were of no avail and at the end of the encounter, Jesus said, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord, your God, and serve him only.’ Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.” (Matthew 4:10-11) Years later, when Jesus told his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem to suffer many things and be killed, Peter said, “Never, Lord!” (Matthew 16:22) “Jesus turned and said to Peter, ‘Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.’” (Matthew 16:23) Peter had become the unintentional servant of Satan by opposing the death of Jesus, which was at the very center of God’s plan of redemption for the human race. The great enemy of God had sought to use Peter as a channel of temptation. 

Not only did Satan fall from heaven, but other spirit beings (demons) left with him. They, like Satan, know that they will be judged at the appointed time. Speaking to Jesus, they shouted, “What do you want with us, Son of God? Have you come here to destroy us before the appointed time?” (Matthew 8:29) Furthermore, the Apostle Paul, alluding to a future time, said to the Church at Rome,

“The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.” (Romans 16:20)

James adds, “You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that — and shudder.” (James 2:19)

Because Satan knows his time is short, he is filled with fury. (See Revelation 12:12.) In these last days he and his servants are using every means at their disposal, especially through the media of TV, movies and the Internet, to deceive those who would follow after the Lord. We know Satan is wily. But we also know that his powers are limited. This knowledge, our faith, and our full submission to God, give us the strength we need to resist him. Be on guard because “the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith.” (1 Peter 5:8-9) “Therefore, put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand.” (Ephesians 6:13) “Submit yourselves, then to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7) 

We are told the good news in Revelation 20:2 that Satan, the devil, will be bound for a thousand years so that he will not be able to deceive the nations. After the thousand years are over, he will be released from his prison to deceive for a short time (Revelation 20:7). Then he and those who still wish to follow him will be destroyed, never to return (Revelation 20:7-10).

To learn more about who Satan is listen to, “Who is Satan?”

(6)

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August 02, 2021

Ep.1189: What Is My Battle Plan to Defend Against Satan’s Attacks?

Preparing for Satan’s onslaught’s as we live everyday life

If you do not have a password, please subscribe to our FREE Premium Content for the Full Edition version of CQ Rewind. The welcome message will contain your password, and a reminder will be sent each week when the CQ Rewind is available online for you to read, print, or download.

CHAPTERS

[00:15:33]
What can we learn from the brutal sieges of ancient warfare?


[00:30:25]
How did one unnamed woman disarm a monstrous siege?


[00:45:12]
How do we protect against Satan laying siege to our own minds and breaking through our godly defenses?


Theme Scripture: 2 Samuel 20:15

As Christians, we are constantly faced with the challenge of doing the right thing in a sinful world. We are bombarded with input and suggestions that can easily cloud the simplicity of what the right thing is. Once we get the right thing in focus, the next challenge is to do that right thing the right way. Often, the right way is NOT our natural or preferred approach. The problem? Our handling of what is right in God’s eyes is ALWAYS subject to Satan’s attacks. These attacks can come from external forces, but often his most destructive attacks come from our own fallen thinking and desires. Essentially, Satan can effectively lay siege to our spiritual lives by opening doors to try and accomplish spiritually right things in a humanly sinful way. We need a battle plan to defend against Satan!

Continue Reading

Beware the siege!

In the ancient days of Scripture, laying siege to a city was a long-term conquering strategy against those who lived inside the city walls. This was a loathsome way to be attacked, as it induced isolation and fear. Starvation and loss of life were also expected outcomes from a siege, and not just for those inside the walls. Add in the ramps, tunnels and catapults and you have the makings of what could be a years-long military entanglement. None of this was good.

In an obscure Old Testament account, the peaceful and faithful Jewish city of Abel was besieged by Joab, commander of King David’s own army. The king commanded him to chase down a treasonous man who ended up hiding in the city of Abel. This ill-advised siege was set to produce untold damage destruction and death upon countless innocent people. Had it not been for an unnamed and wise woman stepping in, this story would have ended in tragedy. So, what does all of this have to do with defending against Satan’s attacks? Plenty!

Check out our August 2, 2021 podcast, “What’s My Battle Plan to Defend Against Satan’s Attacks?” for details. We look at this amazing true story and put its profound lessons into an allegory format. What if the main characters and the city in this account could represent our own personal struggles to be faithful to our Christian calling? What if there was a message here for us regarding the quiet yet potent power of God’s spirit in our lives?

Beware attacks from  Satan!

As Christians, we are always striving to be on the side of righteousness in God’s service. While the desire to serve and protect our spiritual calling is vital, it is even more vital to observe how we do this. We often talk about the importance of doing the right things. Unfortunately, we less often focus on doing those right things the right way. Satan is a formidable foe and he WILL use our own self-will and ego to undermine our focus on living a sacrificial Christian life. Join us for this unique story and learn to defend against pursuing God’s will our own way.

 

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May 31, 2021

Ep.1180: Am I My Own Worst Enemy?

Unlocking the solutions to seven truth-distorting reactions

If you do not have a password, please subscribe to our FREE Premium Content for the Full Edition version of CQ Rewind. The welcome message will contain your password, and a reminder will be sent each week when the CQ Rewind is available online for you to read, print, or download.

CHAPTERS

[00:13:42]
How do I keep from making bad things even worse?


[00:31:09]
How do we manage self-defeating thoughts when it comes to comparing ourselves to others?


[00:46:32]
How do we stop blaming others for what goes on in our life?


Theme Scripture: Romans 7:15

Life can be difficult. We are surrounded with issues, events, opinions, politics and posts that continuously bring us stress and strain. As if this isn’t enough, we add to the frenzy by putting up self-designed roadblocks to block our own way! Why would we do that? Why would we make things harder for ourselves? Turns out that this is a common thing.  The imperfect human mind can create all kinds of coping mechanisms that keep us from dealing with perceived trouble. While this sounds good, the problem is that our avoidance of perceived trouble often leads us directly into the path of real trouble. Essentially, we can at times become our own worst enemy. The bad news is we easily and often sabotage ourselves. The good news is, because we do this to ourselves we can also learn how to change that behavior.

Continue Reading

Automatic Thoughts and Distortions

In a book entitled The Self-Esteem Workbook, by Glen R. Schiraldi, PhD, we found the self-damaging thought processes we often cling to are called “Automatic Thoughts and Distortions.” “Making Feelings Facts," “Rejecting the Positive” and “Catastrophizing” are examples of the several thoughts and distortions we can face each day without even realizing it. Why are these things so insidious? First, it is because they are thoughts. Our everactive minds produce thoughts at an unfathomable rate. We are in a constant state of determining which of these numerous thoughts are worthy of our attention. Automatic thoughts – those that occur without conscious effort - usually are most powerful.

Being continually influenced by automatic thoughts is one thing, but when you add distortion to those thoughts the frustration party begins. How can we expect to cope with the hard realities of life when our mind is automatically feeding us seriously distorted interpretations of the truth? What’s worse is these automated distortions come in all shapes and sizes!

The answers!

Fortunately, answers are available if we look for them. To help us understand how “Rejecting the Positive” works, we look at the Apostle Peter in his dramatic experience with Jesus and walking on the water. The moment he took his eyes off of Jesus, off of the source of his stability, he began to sink. What Peter focused on determined what his outcome would be! There is much we can learn here, not only form Peter’s fears but also from the stability of Jesus as well. The bottom line is that most of us have choices regarding the automatic thoughts we struggle with. We end up being our own worst enemy.

Check out our May 31, 2021 podcast, “Am I My Own Worst Enemy?” for more. We address seven of these automatic thoughts and distortions one at a time with Bible in hand. As each of these distorted views of our lives has its own unique challenge, so each answer has its own unique suggestion. This conversation can be a real eye-opener. It can help us to see what is driving our reactions and responses and compare that answer with the facts of our Christian walk. Please join us on the pathway to more clearly understanding our personal thoughts.

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December 28, 2020

VIDEO: Has My Christianity Been Compromised?

When it comes to compromising there are two fundamental questions.  Watch this short vlog then listen to the full podcast of the same name for more details.

(1)

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December 28, 2020

Ep.1158: Has My Christianity Been Compromised?

Where and when compromises should be avoided or accepted

If you do not have a password, please subscribe to our FREE Premium Content for the Full Edition version of CQ Rewind. The welcome message will contain your password, and a reminder will be sent each week when the CQ Rewind is available online for you to read, print, or download.

CHAPTERS

[00:11:00]
What do the plagues of Egypt teach us about accepting compromises?


[00:29:36]
What kind of compromises might Satan present us with?


[00:47:28]
When is it required for us to compromise?


Theme Scripture: Joshua 24:15

Compromise can be so misunderstood. On one hand, we as Christians should be standing for and living a compromise-free life. Nothing should ever water down our life principles of sacrifice. Walking steadfastly in Jesus’ footsteps must always be our immovable goal. On the other hand, there are times and places when compromise is not only an option but a necessary and spiritually-based choice of righteousness. Because we are all imperfect we will inevitably come across circumstances where it is not a lowering of our standards, but a raising of them. How then do we tell the difference? What makes some compromises good and others just plain wrong?

Continue Reading

To differentiate good and bad compromise, we need to understand two fundamental questions:

  1. What are we compromising about? This is a broad area, and we need to be alert. The general bottom line is our compromises can include a myriad of subjects but must never go down one particular road. That road is the compromise of godly principles. These are NEVER up for grabs! This might sound like am easy issue, but we need to be careful. It is far too easy to confuse those things that are solid godly principles with those things that are personal preferences. Sometimes we want something to rise to the level of principle that simply does not belong there. Fortunately, there are many Scriptures that help us see the difference.
  2. Who are we compromising with? Let’s be clear, this is not going to be a clear night and day answer, except for one detail. As Christians, we should be reasonable and willing to engage in give and take with people from all walks of life.  The one exception is making a deal with the devil.  While this sounds like an obvious thing to avoid, it is far more subtle that we might think.

Moses is a great example of how to manage this. When he was preparing to lead the Hebrew slaves out of Egypt he was following God’s direction. He took his specific instructions and appeared before the mighty Pharaoh of Egypt several times. When we observe what took place in those interchanges, we learn several profound lessons regarding appropriate compromise. This may have looked like a classic power struggle. It was really a process that revealed the mighty Pharaoh’s lying, deceit and weakness. It also revealed the importance of NOT compromising when godly principles are at stake.

Check out our December 28, 2020 podcast, “Has My Christianity Been Compromised?” for more. We examine how to avoid the entrapment of making deals with the devil. We describe the danger of falling into four specific traps, the fist of which is being an Incognito Christian. Just as important, we list many compromises that are not only acceptable, but spiritually healthy to make. Don’t miss this opportunity to lay out the whole concept of compromise and understand when to proceed and when to run!

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February 24, 2020

Ep.1114: Did the Apostle Paul Contradict Jesus?, Contradiction Series

Decoding Jesus' treatment of the Law through the words of Paul

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View Series

CHAPTERS

[00:12:30]
Did Jesus and Paul disagree on how long the Law would be applicable?


[00:31:24]
How did Jesus replace parts of the Law? What parts are left for us to obey today?


[00:47:30]
Did new Gentile converts have to participate in the ceremonies of the Law?


[01:00:52]
Did Jesus' death mean the judicial part of the Law was no longer applicable?


Theme Scripture: Matthew 5:17

There is no denying the New Testament - and actually the entire Bible - is all about Jesus. His sacrifice for humanity is proclaimed from Genesis to Revelation. He IS the key to the gospel. Having said this, the life and writings of the Apostle Paul dominate much of the New Testament. His experiences and teachings are pronounced, and in the eyes of many, go too far. Critics see the Apostle Paul as a combatant against the gospel of the kingdom Jesus taught. The basis for their criticism is the way Jesus reflected the role of the Jewish Law and the way that Paul essentially wrote it off. How do we manage this? Was Paul at odds with the core values and teaching of Jesus?

Continue Reading

Jesus vs. Paul?

One of the big debates in the early church raging on even today is whether or not Paul threw out the Jewish Law that Jesus not only followed but confirmed in Luke 16:17: "But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one stroke of a letter of the Law to fail." Critics argue that Jesus never said Christians DON'T have to fall in line under the Law's many requirements. On the other hand, Paul was clear that the new Gentile converts would NOT be subject to all the Law's requirements like circumcision and food restrictions. Who was right? Aren't we all taught that at least the 10 Commandments are valid in their admonitions to love God, love our neighbor and so forth?

Moral - Ceremonial - Judicial

The key to cracking this case is understanding that the Jewish Law was divided into three parts:  moral, ceremonial and judicial. The moral law of love, as expressed in the 10 Commandments, will never be replaced. It remained in play for both Jew and Gentile. In God’s future kingdom, it will stand as a beautiful requirement for all of mankind.

Shadow vs. Reality

Not only did the ceremonial parts have to do with cleanliness of people and food, but also how the Israelites atoned for their sins with sacrifices. Special sacrifices were required year after year in order to temporarily “cleanse” them of sins. This allowed a relationship with the heavenly Father to continue as long as the people remained in that clean state. These are recorded in great detail in the Old Testament. In hindsight, we see these foreshadowed the monumental sacrifice of Jesus that allowed the early Christians to have a relationship with God. This applies to Christians throughout the age - right down to you and me. The comparison between the “shadow” of the literal ceremonial events with how Jesus fulfilled them as the reality of the shadow is striking and faith-inspiring. Paul explains in many texts how Jesus replaced this part of the Law.

After Jesus’ sacrifice and resurrection, the ceremonial parts of the Law were no longer necessary to have a relationship with God. (And they were completely obsolete after the Temple burned down in 70 A.D.!) What about the judicial parts of the Law? These had to do with pronouncing and administering the consequences to breaking the Law. But with the ceremonial parts obsolete, the judicial part would necessarily shift to personal responsibility of how we are judged and how we judge others. On this point, it is easy to show how Jesus and Paul agreed.

Christianity was not to be a sect of Judaism. Jesus’ death and resurrection changed everything – except the fundamental law of LOVE. Listen to our podcast from February 24, 2020 called, “Did the Apostle Paul Contradict Jesus?” It is the last of our four-part series on the Apostle Paul and really brings the details of the controversy front and center. Paul lived, breathed and taught Jesus and the gospel 24/7. He devoted his life to being a faithful steward. What an example for all of us!

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October 28, 2019

Ep.1097: What is Satanism?

Understanding Satanism and its subtle and devious allure

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CHAPTERS

[00:13:35]
What is Satanism?


[00:29:37]
What does human rational thought have to do with temptation?


[00:43:51]
How can subtle satanic thinking permeate the true church?


[00:59:03]
Can Satan and his influence get inside our heads?


Theme Scripture: 2 Corinthians 11:3

The world is scary in a lot of ways.  There is an “anything goes” mentality surrounding us. This gives us the feeling there is no buffer between us and the dark, worldly or spiritual influences that exist.  One of these dark influences is reflected in the rising popularity of satanism.  When we hear that word – satanism – we may form a frightening, even hideous image in our minds of dark occult and bloody sacrifice-based rituals.  This image is most likely a serious distortion of the truth.  Does this mean we are defending satanism as a wholesome practice?  Absolutely not!  It does mean we want to know exactly what we are dealing with so we can understand how to keep ourselves and others from being manipulated by ungodly influences.  Satanism is something to stay away from, but not for the reasons you may think!

Continue Reading

Do satanists worship Satan?

Generally, satanists don’t worship Satan, or for that matter, even believe he exists.  At the outset this can easily sound like a contradiction of terms.  How do you build a belief system around that which you freely acknowledge is not even real?  The answer to this is quite simple. Anton LaVey created “satanism” and brought it into the public eye in 1966 when he established “The Church of Satan.”  His premise was not to promote the worship of Satan but instead to promote the personal human application of what Satan (a mythical symbol in his mind) stands for.

As Christians, when we look at what Satan stands for our conclusions will inevitably differ from those who want to emulate his principles.  We see his multiple names described in Scripture and get a sense of his character.  The name “Satan” means adversary – one who opposes another.  “Adversary” does not have to be inherently bad, as opposing that which is evil is both necessary and good.  In Satan’s case, the Bible tells us he is standing in opposition to God, the benevolent Creator of all things.

Another description used for Satan is “the devil,” which literally means “one who exposes to shame or blame by means of falsehood and misrepresentation.”  If we are honest, this description cannot be twisted into describing a valuable characteristic that is worth following.  It has no redeeming value either personally or socially.  By just reviewing these two descriptions, our conclusion is obvious: Satan is opposed to the light of God.

Contrary to these conclusions, a satanist sees Satan as a pioneer, inventor and a counterbalance that creates change.  Satan is seen as setting the social climate for modification.  The satanist view elevates individualism and rational human thinking above all else.  It sees Satan as exampling these things in his own story.  What are we supposed to do with all of this?  Check out our October 28, 2019 podcast, “What is Satanism?” for answers.  We examine satanism and its principles. Then we measure it against what we believe are principles of true light.  This reveals the subtleties and pitfalls to which we are all susceptible.  Know what you stand for and against...and why!

 

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October 28, 2019

VIDEO: What is Satanism?

Generally, Satanists don’t worship Satan or even believe he exists. So, how do you build a belief system around what is not real? In a recent podcast we talked about Anton LaVey creating “Satanism” in 1966 by establishing “The Church of Satan”. He was not promoting the worship of Satan but instead promoted the personal application of what he saw Satan stands for.  Watch this short vlog then listen to the full podcast of the same name for more details.

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The Bible warns us to stay away from witchcraft, fortune tellers, and anything associated with such things, like ouija boards, tarot cards, and horoscopes. These are known as “occult” practices, and they are evil in the sight of God.  For more, watch this short animated video for kids.

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Ep.1044: How Do Demons Influence Our World?

Tracing how demonic influence works so we can guard against it

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CHAPTERS

[00:18:07]
What does God do with rebellious angels?


[00:36:14]
How do demons influence humanity?


[00:54:02]
Why do demons want to possess human beings?


[01:12:19]
How do we make sure we don't get caught up in demonic influences?


Theme Scripture: Luke 4:33-34

We really are messed up. Just look around and observe the kinds of things we call "entertainment," and it quickly becomes obvious that human minds have an unhealthy fascination with the powers of darkness. How many movies, TV shows and online series and stories focus on dark spiritual power? How many depictions of Satan and his demons do we see and shudder at? What’s worse, computer-generated imagery can absolutely bring these things to life. Once we begin going down the imaginary road of what the demonic world might look like and feel like, it is just one more small step before we accept this imagery as a reality that is kinda cool! News flash – there is NOTHING cool about evil!

Continue Reading

Where do demons come from?

The Bible gives a pretty thorough explanation of their origin.  To begin with, Satan was the first to rebel against God.  Because of his mighty power and high rank, his rebellion not only affected the course of human history, but it changed the heavenly order as well.  Satan drew many of the heavenly host to follow after him.  They took their allegiance away from God Almighty and gave it to Satan.  The results were devastating.  Because he had the “keys” to earth and the human race (God had originally granted him great authority over this world) he was able to “let them in.”  Though originally angels of God, many of them in their new loyalty thoroughly abused the privilege of human access.  God then intervened and limited their power over the human race.

The limited power of these demons does not mean they cannot do damage or harm to humanity.  On the contrary - they can and they do.  Their influence has permeated many cultures and religions in countless ways, and they are also capable of possessing individuals.  While demon possession is not a common thing, it certainly is a heartbreaking and damaging occurrence.  Why would they do this?  What do they gain from possessing and manipulating some poor soul?  Power.  Demons want to be in control just as Satan wants to be in control.  Remember, they are restrained by God, and this means they no longer have access to the full spiritual might they once wielded.

Demons restrained?

We have referred to these demons as being "restrained" several times now.  What exactly does that mean?  How does it affect their knowledge, their living conditions and even their desires?  More importantly, what does it mean for humanity?  Check out our October 22, 2018 podcast, “How Do Demons Influence Our World?” for the details.  The Bible gives us a surprisingly candid picture of this whole demon dilemma, and we take it apart and see what it all means.

This is not merely a fascinating review of supernatural power, it is a stern warning as well.  Demonic power never has been something to trifle with.  Many of us, because of the curiosity factor, walk further down the road of demon discovery than we ever should.  Please don’t be that person.  Learn what the Bible has to teach us so you can have a healthy fear and respect for the dark powers of this world. Learn so you know how to stay away!

 

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