Thursday, June 30, 2016

A word about "deliverance"

Lately, the subject of “deliverance” keeps cropping up, with people asking if it’s really necessary for “deliverance preachers” to bop people in the head or punch them in the gut with a Bible to “rid of them of demons.”  Well, here’s my answer.  POPPYCOCK!  That kind of “deliverance” is demonic!  It’s NOT biblical!   

Y’shua was able to rid people of demons because of His divine Nature and the fact that in his unity with the Father he is the “Word of ADONAI” (John 1:1. 14).  He simply spoke to the demons and they obeyed because they knew who he was.  Mere men, such as “deliverance preachers” aren’t doing anything except making fools of themselves with their silly Bible-thumping antics.  How SAD that there are preachers and teachers “out there” trying to make a buck” off the Word using this sick and unbiblical “church tradition.”

Perhaps it’s true that “unbelievers” can be inhabited by demons, but anyone with the Ruach inside doesn’t become inhabited by demons (the Ruach is HOLY and is not about to share a vessel with evil!) – and “demons” aren’t causing their behavior.  Their bad” behavior is perpetuated by old habits and mental “tapes” and poor knowledge of Scripture.  What must be done for those people does not involve beating them with Bibles; rather, they must be led to SCRIPTURE so they can know what God expects of them and what it means to be holy/set apart.

And honestly, unbelievers aren’t going to magically become “delivered” by someone conking them on the head with a Bible, or pressing Bibles into their guts!  They have to willingly accept the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and His Messiah “into their hearts” and thus become “new creatures in Messiah” (2 Corinthians 5:17).   Nobody can force that on them.  Not even YAH Himself forces us to “believe in Him!”  He “draws” us, but He certainly does not force us!  (See John 6:44, 65; Jeremiah 17:9 and Ephesians 1:18.) 

Truth be told, there's no such a thing as a "deliverance ministry.”  While Scripture does mention deliverance, there is NOT ONE passage that shows us “how” to deliver someone - and it certainly is NOT done by employing paganism, voodoo tactics and other weird methods!   The spiritual gifts outlined in Ephesians 4:7-13, 1 Corinthians 12:8-10 and Romans 12:3-8 do NOT include “deliverance”.  

YES, there is a “spiritual battle” going on behind he scenes (Daniel 10, Job 38:7, Job 1:6; Ezekiel 28:14; Jude 9; Isaiah 14:12-15; Ezekiel 28:16-19; Luke 10:18, etc.), but we ALL have the power to overcome “demons” by simply invoking the Name of Y’shua!  2 Peter 1:3 says, "His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness." (See also this Christian article concerning deliverance.)

Being “delivered” or “ridding ourselves of any "demons" (behaviors/actions/weird ideas that hold us hostage to our "carnal self) does NOT involve any weird rituals that include shoving a Bible into anyone's gut!  Our belief in, and actions toward, YWH/Yeshua/Torah and the rest of the Bible is THE key for protecting our souls from evil of any kind.

Monday, June 27, 2016

“Going above and beyond”

“Going above and beyond.” This is a phrase we hear frequently…that someone went “above and beyond the call of duty.” Not many people actually do that. Most people just do their job, at most. Nurse Charlie who diagnosed my heart problem which resulted in the pacemaker surgery that saved my life - he definitely went “above and beyond.” 

He could have done like everyone else in the ER (and in doctor’s offices over the years while I was complaining of heart problems), and only looked at the blood tests, X-Rays and CT scans and decided “since these tests reveal nothing, then there’s nothing wrong and we’ll send her home.” But he didn’t. He devised and performed several out-of-the-ordinary tests because he “had a hunch” and actually CARED to dig deeper and find out what was causing my erratic heartbeats….

Another person who went “above and beyond” the call of duty was a Vietnamese gentleman by the name of Pai who worked in the hospital’s housekeeping department. Pai didn’t just clean up my room and take out the trash like the other housekeeping personnel; he actually asked about my comfort, got me fresh water and a warm, wet washcloth for my face and hands as I lay there trying to recuperate from surgery. 

While it wasn’t on the same level as what Nurse Charlie did, it was definitely, “going that extra mile” for a total stranger, and it helped to restore my faith in humanity. (I put both of these gentlemen in for a commendation and I pray the hospital actually gives them some kind of reward.)

Anyway, all this got me thinking about how many (if not most) people treat ADONAI and His Word the same way. They claim to “believe” and they pass around memes and Facebooks posts and “talk the talk,” but they don’t seem to make that extra effort to actually “walk the walk.” When push comes to shove in the face of a crisis, they’re gone; they’re outta here, using any excuse possible to keep from becoming involved. 

Among the immediate examples that come to mind are the abortion and “gay pride” issues from which many shrink away, making the excuse that they don’t want to be guilty of “judging.” Even the Pope said concerning the “gay” topic, “Who am I to judge?” – which makes one wonder why a “man of God” would dare say such a thing:…/who-am-i-judge-popes-most-powerful…. Scripture commands YHWH’s people to open their mouths whenever they witness sin in progress:

Ephesians 5:11 - “Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.” (ESV) 

James 4:17 So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin. (ESV)

Ezekiel 3:18 If I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, in order to save his life, that wicked person shall die for his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand. (ESV)

2 Timothy 4:2-4 Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. (ESV)

1 Timothy 5:20 - As for those who persist in sin, rebuke them in the presence of all, so that the rest may stand in fear. (ESV)

2 Timothy 4:2 - Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. (ESV)

SIN has become the norm in our world BECAUSE many refuse to speak up and proclaim the Word. If we love YHWH/Yeshua/Torah we MUST speak out whenever we see sin in action! Remaining mum is to agree with “the world” and its sinful ways. Remember that James 2:14-26 tells us that “faith without works is dead”….

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Another note about "gay pride" - since their celebrations seem to have no end....

Suddenly there seems to be a renewed surge of  "gay pride" arising, thanks to the horrific terrorist act in Orlando.  "Gay pride" parades have sprung up everywhere since then - and there seems to be no end to them.  It's truly sad that a group of people who are going straight into the Face of God and who have won their battle to be "accepted" in our lost and fallen world as "normal" continue to not only push their agenda, but it seems they are all raving megalomaniacs who have seized the spotlight and wish to use it to destroy whatever is left of the world that ADONAI envisioned. 

The bottom line is, Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed, in part, because of the rampant homosexuality (Genesis 13:13, Genesis 18:20, Genesis 19:1-17) - and while ADONAI promised to never destroy the world by flood again, we ARE told it would be destroyed by fire (2 Peter 3:10).  Judging by everything that is going on around the world, we can know that this "fire" isn't far off.  

The thing is, Scripture warns us that homosexuality/lesbianism is an abomination to our HOLY CREATOR! We were all born with the tendency to sin, yet most of us do not boast or call attention to our transgressions. None of us claim "pride" while calling attention to our respective sins, such as abortions, stealing, domestic violence, murder, adultery, etc. But, homosexuals and lesbians are flaunting their evil behavior unabashedly. They are SHAMELESS! Their sin is not worse than any other but their pride is utterly revolting to our HOLY CREATOR! Shame on them and everyone who sits around condoning this horrific sin against our Creator!

The Books of Daniel and Revelation are literally unfolding before our eyes, and come Judgment Day, the "gay pride" celebrations will come to a screeching halt and these sinners whose perversions served as the proverbial "straw that broke the camel's back" will KNOW, beyond a shadow of a doubt, the huge mistake they made. 

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Are you dealing with gluttony?

I recently saw a wonderful post about controlling our appetites, which prompted me to write my own message.  I truly feel that part of the problem (if not the biggest problem!) is that most seem to have no self-control when it comes to their appetites (whatever they might be).  Exercising control is NOT easy, especially when it comes to our carnal desires for food, drink, drugs or sex and other pleasures (such as buying whatever we want on credit, and/or “trying to keep up with the Joneses”).  People want what they want without ever realizing that Scripture tells us "gluttony" is a sin.... 

Proverbs 23:20-21 warns us, “Do not join those who drink too much wine or gorge themselves on meat, for drunkards and gluttons become poor, and drowsiness clothes them in rags.”

Proverbs 28:7 declares, “He who keeps the law is a discerning son, but a companion of gluttons disgraces his father.” Proverbs 23:2 proclaims, “Put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony.”

While I’m certainly no expert on “gluttony” (I have the opposite problem where I don’t think I deserve ANYTHING!), I’ve noticed over the course of my life that some who are unable to control their eating habits, are often also unable to control other habits, such as those of the mind (lust, covetousness, anger) and/or they’re unable to keep their mouths from gossip or strife.  (You don’t have to have an “eating” problem to have a problem with those last two!)

Scripture is clear, however, that we are not to let our appetites control us; rather, we are to have control over our appetites. (See Deuteronomy 21:20, Proverbs 23:2, 2 Peter 1:5-7, 2 Timothy 3:1-9, and 2 Corinthians 10:5.) The ability to say “no” to anything in excess—self-control—is one of the fruits of the Spirit common to all believers (Galatians 5:22). 

We ALL suffer from something that is displeasing to YHWH in some way, and AWARENESS is key to stopping the offense.  Some things we cannot do alone, and for those I recommend finding a biblical counselor who will be able to not only provide scriptural guidance, but help you to discover the root of the behavior that you know deep down is displeasing to YHWH – who will definitely be with you, every step of the way. 

Shalom and blessings, and may He guide and keep you as you continue to become as Refined Silver, ready to kick old habits out the door.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

"Gay" flag flying with national flag is an outrage

As a US soldier for 22 years, I personally find this to be an atrocity - the “gay” flag flying with the American flag…even in Israel, YHWH’s Land! The Orlando terrorist incident, it seems, cannot be just about PEOPLE who were killed by yet another MUSLIM terrorist; no…the media constantly plays up the “gay” slant. Why can't the world simply fly FLORIDA's flag?

Gays are not a “nation” (or perhaps they are now – who knows, since nobody dares to speak out against homosexuality anymore....), and their flag represents a group of people who are spitting directly in the face of YHWH, committing what He several times called an ABOMINATION (Leviticus 18:22; 20:13 and Deuteronomy 22:5).

While my heart goes out to all the PEOPLE who were killed in that nightclub, I find it devastating to see that even YHWH’s “chosen” – the Jews – are supporting the idea of a “gay” flag beneath a national flag; thus continuing the myth that homosexuality is perfectly okay. That shows me how much they really care about “G-d”…. It’s just another sign of these end times, I guess.

Romans 1: 22 Claiming to be wise, they have become fools! 23 In fact, they have exchanged the glory of the immortal God for mere images, like a mortal human being, or like birds, animals or reptiles! 24 This is why God has given them up to the vileness of their hearts' lusts, to the shameful misuse of each other's bodies. 25 They have exchanged the truth of God for falsehood, by worshiping and serving created things, rather than the Creator - praised be he for ever. Amen.

26 This is why God has given them up to degrading passions; so that their women exchange natural sexual relations for unnatural; 27 and likewise the men, giving up natural relations with the opposite sex, burn with passion for one another, men committing shameful acts with other men and receiving in their own persons the penalty appropriate to their perversion. 28 In other words, since they have not considered God worth knowing, God has given them up to worthless ways of thinking; so that they do improper things.

29 They are filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and vice; stuffed with jealousy, murder, quarreling, dishonesty and ill-will; they are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God; they are insolent, arrogant and boastful; they plan evil schemes; they disobey their parents; 31 they are brainless, faithless, heartless and ruthless. 32 They know well enough God's righteous decree that people who do such things deserve to die; yet not only do they keep doing them, but they applaud others who do the same.

Leviticus 18:25 The land has become unclean, and this is why I am punishing it - the land itself will vomit out its inhabitants. 26 But you are to keep my laws and rulings and not engage in any of these disgusting practices, neither the citizen nor the foreigner living with you; 27 for the people of the land have committed all these abominations, and the land is now defiled. 28 If you make the land unclean, it will vomit you out too, just as it is vomiting out the nation that was there before you.

29 For those who engage in any of these disgusting practices, whoever they may be, will be cut off from their people. 30 So keep my charge not to follow any of these abominable customs that others before you have followed and thus defile yourselves by doing them. I am ADONAI your God.'"

(And before anyone accuses me of judging, speaking YHWH's Truth is NOT judging! "Judging" is when you add your own judgments to those already established in the Torah of YHWH, which means you have judged TORAH as insufficient, and are not allowing Torah to be your judge. (For more, see our article:…/01/lets-discuss-judging.h…) Unlike many, we at The Refiner’s Fire are not afraid to speak HIS Word!)

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Count your blessings and recognize miracles!

Over the last few days during my health crisis I posted several Facebook "threads" about YHWH’s miracles.  He truly has given me more than my fair share, and I am so appreciative!  He has saved my life more than once, including that time I had a misdiagnosed ruptured appendix, and once when I was involved in a high-speed accident on an 8-lane freeway in Houston – and nobody got hurt.  The cars were totaled, and I was all black and blue on the left side, but there was no blood nor broken bones.

Across the years I’ve had friends who, whenever I shared that “God gave me a miracle” would become angry, depressed or sad because God supposedly never gave them a miracle.  One such friend was “J” whom I met back when I first “got saved” in a little Baptist country church in Missouri.  “J” was a wonderful lady, but typical of many “religious” folk – she was a fence straddler, with one foot in the carnal and one in the spiritual. 

She was the kind who liked to talk about God and the Bible, but “put Him in a box.” He was very convenient when she wanted something – and then, when she didn’t get her wish, she would – instead of realizing she was in need of some attitude adjustments  – become angry with Him.  While acting very spiritual on one hand, she also didn’t mind sharing with me about the adultery she was committing on her husband. 

(I knew THAT was a sin before I ever even became a believer, and I often wondered how a good Christian person who supposedly knew Scripture, would dare to sin on purpose!  It wasn’t until I found my way to Torah that I realized that many "have found the insurance policy, but they’ve never bothered to read the fine print”….)   

Anyway, I remember once when I shared some miracle YHWH gave me, “J” became very indignant and said, “Carmen, I don’t understand that.  I’ve been a Christian for 35 years, and He’s NEVER given ME a miracle!”

Back then, I didn’t know how to answer.  But if someone were to say that to me today, my response would be:  “Perhaps you never recognized the miracles when they happened.  Perhaps you were late to work one morning because, if you had left at your regular time, you might have gotten into an accident.  That was a miracle!  Perhaps you were sick with the flu that time you were supposed to attend an important meeting at a hotel in another state, and then discovered that everyone who attended came down with Legionnaires Disease.  THAT was a miracle, too.  

Perhaps you had a doctor’s appointment for swollen tonsils, but while there, your doctor noticed you had the beginning of skin cancer.  That was a miracle.  Or, perhaps you were despondent over the fact that you had a miscarriage, losing the baby you were desperately wanting…and then you discovered the baby would have been born with horrific birth defects that would have rendered him or her incapable of ever leading a normal life…That meant YHWH spared this child a life of misery, and he or she went straight to heaven where you will one day be reunited!  

Our life is fleeting, and we must learn to recognize even the smallest of miracles because they ARE there.

If you’re alive, you experience miracles of one kind or another every day!  If you can see, hear, speak and think, and you have a roof over your head and food on your table, and you’re able-bodied and willing to serve YHWH/Yeshua with whatever spiritual gifts you’ve been given – THOSE are ALL miracles!

YHWH has performed countless miracles for this fallen world!  I don’t need to list them; you already know what He’s done – including the biggest miracle of all:  Using a young virgin to give birth to His Divine Son, who offered himself as our Final SIN Sacrifice so that we could have eternal life simply by “believing” in him (John 3:15, John 17:3).  Halleluyah!  And that Son healed the sick, raised the dead, walked on water and turned water into wine…to mention only a few of HIS miracles.  You all know those stories….

Miracles can come in many forms.  We just have to be in tune with YHWH 24/7 to recognize and give thanks for them when they do happen.
Related scriptures: Psalm 7:17, 72:18, 77:14, 86:10, 95:2-3, 100:4, 106:1 & 8; 2 Cor. 4:15-16, 1 Tim 4:4-5.