Author Archives: Just Pray NO!

Addiction Is Costly

Addiction is costly. It may cost you your job, your friends, your family, your health and even your life.

economics-of-addiction-

 

The Last Days Calendar: Understanding God’s Appointed Times

Last Days Calendar book cover

The average person has scant knowledge of biblical terms and events. There are even those who attend church regularly who haven’t read the Bible in its entirety. The Last Days Calendar is written to reach people with little or no Bible knowledge as well as to bring new insight concerning end time events to seasoned Bible students.

The key that The Last Days Calendar utilizes to unlock an understanding of Bible prophecy, is the fact that all Old Testament Scripture proclaim Jesus Christ as the true Messiah sent to redeem the world. The author, a Jewish believer in Christ, examines New Testament prophecy through his understanding of the feasts, fasts, and festivals in the Old Testament. 

Just as the first coming of Jesus Christ to earth was promised in numerous places in the Old Testament, there are clear passages and allusions to the Second Coming of Christ. An understanding of the festivals found in the Old Testament with their frequent descriptions of the nature of Jesus Christ in His person, is therefore most valuable in comprehending Bible prophecy For example, the traditional Jewish wedding ceremony is an illustration of Gods relationship to the church. Therefore, knowledge of Jewish betrothal and marriage customs is necessary to interpret the meaning of Christ’s wedding illustrations in its proper context.

 Jesus Christ fulfilled the spring cycle of biblical festivals in His First Advent by instituting the New Covenant at the Passover; being entombed during the Feast of Unleavened Bread: resurrecting on the Festival of Firstfruits; and sending the promised Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Find out what the Bible reveals concerning Israel’s fall feasts and the Messiah’s Second Coming.

Author Steven L. Sherman, is a Jewish believer in Jesus Christ who is a gifted teacher and lecturer on biblical prophecy. Steven is also the founder of “Just Pray NO! Ltd. Since 1991, “Just Pray NO!” has sought to unite Christians from around the world in intercessory prayer on behalf of the addicted and their families by sponsoring the annual “Just Pray NO!” Worldwide Weekend of Prayer and Fasting.

All royalties go directly to the ministry of “Just Pray NO!” Not only will you get to read a great book but you will be supporting a great cause – fighting drug and alcohol addiction.

To order THE LAST DAYS CALENDAR: Understanding God’s Appointed Times, go to:  Redemption Press

To arrange for a personal interview with “Just Pray NO!” Founder and Author Steven L. Sherman call: (727) 647-6467
or email: justprayno@aol.com

Millions of Christians Will Be Praying … Will You?

Your Prayers

PLEASE JOIN WITH US  DURING THE WEEKEND OF APRIL 11 – APRIL 12, 2015

For The

25th ANNUAL “Just Pray NO!” to Drugs  WORLDWIDE WEEKEND of PRAYER and FASTING

TO LEARN MORE CLICK HERE

Since April 7th, 1991 “Just Pray NO!” Ltd. has united millions of  Christians  from 150 nations and territories around the world in intercessory prayer on behalf of the addicted and their families.

 United States    Canada  Great Britain (UK)   South Africa  India    Australia  Philippines  Ireland  Malaysia  Kenya  Germany   Singapore   Netherlands  Nigeria   New Zealand   France   Norway  Brazil  Mexico  Egypt  Uganda  Trinidad and Tobago   Bahamas  Taiwan  Italy  Israel  Switzerland    Poland  Turkey  Japan  Czech Republic  Hong Kong  Peru  Pakistan. Jamaica  Russian Federation  Barbados  Austria United Kingdom  Sweden    Finland  Korea (South)  Indonesia  Belgium United Arab Emirates  Ghana  Romania  Saudi Arabia  Cote D\’Ivoire (Ivory Coast)  Colombia  Spain  Puerto Rico  Saint Lucia  Tanzania  Zambia  Argentina  Thailand  Swaziland Botswana  Malta  Portugal  Vietnam  Denmark  Bulgaria  Zimbabwe  Hungary   Malawi  Yugoslavia  Cameroon  Bahrain  Ecuador  Kuwait  El Salvador  Solomon Islands  Iran  Qatar  Namibia  Bermuda  Lebanon  Sri Lanka  Ethiopia    Rwanda  Bangladesh  Iceland  Ukraine  Uruguay  Virgin Islands (U.S.)  Greece  Armenia  Netherlands Antilles  Costa Rica  Honduras  Lithuania  Mauritius   Chile  Venezuela  Morocco  Aruba  Syria  Estonia  Antigua and Barbuda  Saint Kitts and Nevis  Latvia  Slovak Republic  Oman.  Saint Vincent and the Grenadines  Papua New Guinea  Jordan  Panama  Libya  Virgin Islands (British)  Moldova  Guatemala  Senegal  Dominican Republic  China  Iraq  Fiji    Bosnia and Herzegovina  Suriname  Dominica  Turks and Caicos Islands  Belize  Anguilla  Cayman Islands  Grenada  Guam  Macedonia. Guyana  Faroe Islands  Slovenia. Gibraltar  Nepal  Sierra Leone Togo  Eritrea. Gambia  French Polynesia  Algeria  Sudan  Cook Islands. Croatia   Mongolia  Cape Verde  Myanmar  Paraguay  Georgia  Bhut   Liberia

“Freedom from Addictions” Video

 “Freedom from Addictions”

Sermon given by the Holy Spirit and preached by David Valchine
David Valchine is an anointed and faithful servant of God. He has had years of experience ministering at assisted living facilities and nursing homes, in jails and serving as a chaplain in hospitals. David is a mature Christian and prayer warrior who has a heart for the lost and a desire to see those bound by addiction set free. His sermon, “Freedom from Addictions” is based on sound biblical principles designed to set the captives free. In this video presentation, David first addresses the need for those seeking freedom from life-controlling substances to be born-again in order to receive deliverance. He then offers insight and understanding concerning five essential spiritual disciplines. These are necessary to put into practice in order to grow and mature in the Christian faith and remain victorious over addictive behaviors. Finally, David addresses the two most common addictions found in American churches. Viewing pornography and drinking wine in excess are debilitating and sinful practices that will destroy a Christian’s witness and break his or her communion with God. David Valchine exhorts the body of Christ to seek repentance, be empowered by the Holy Spirit and walk in obedience to the Word of God so that we can be freed from addiction and live lives worthy of our calling.
To view this video, click on FREEDOM FROM ADDICTION:
FREEDOM FROM ADDICTION

If you are abusing alcohol or other drugs and want to lead a victorious life and be set free from addiction you need to have a relationship with the LORD God, Creator of the heavens and the earth. To find forgiveness and freedom,  pray the following prayer or a similar prayer in your own words -

“Lord Jesus Christ,

I know that I am a sinner and there is nothing that I can do to earn my way to heaven. Although I deserve God’s wrath, by God’s mercy, I accept your free gift of eternal life by faith. I believe that You were born of a virgin and died on the cross to pay the price of my sins. I believe you were buried, rose again on the third day, have ascended into heaven, and will soon come again.

Lord, please forgive me of my sins, come into my heart and take control of my life.” AMEN

If you sincerely prayed this prayer, then you have just made a decision by faith, to accept the free gift (God’s grace) of the substitutionary sacrifice of the Messiah (the Christ), whose suffering and death paid the price of your sins. You have been born again. As a new born, you need to be nourished.

Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:38

In order to grow and mature spiritually you need to:

•Be baptized into Messiah Yeshua (Jesus Christ)

•Speak to God each day through prayer. (Pray each day in the name of Yeshua/Jesus).

•Read your Bible every day. When you read the Bible, God speaks to you through His Word. (If you don’t own a Bible, then we will help you get one.)

•Find a Bible believing church and attend regularly – both worship services and a Bible study.

•Share with someone what God has done for you.

We have a variety of resources for you on our website such as:

Biblical Insights into Combating Addiction, Teachings on Prayer and Fasting, links to Christian resources for the addicted: Find Help, Healing Scriptures and information on our Annual Weekend of Prayer event.

 

The Roots of Alcoholics Anonymous 12 Steps are Bible Based

Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has strife? Who has complaints? Who has needless bruises? Who has bloodshot eyes? Those who linger over wine, who go to sample bowls of mixed wine. Do not gaze at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it goes down smoothly! In the end it bites like a snake and poisons like a viper. Your eyes will see strange sights and your mind imagine confusing things. You will be like one sleeping on the high seas, lying on top of the rigging. “They hit me,” you will say, “but I’m not hurt! They beat me, but I don’t feel it! When will I wake up so I can find another drink?” Proverbs 23:29-35

Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. Ephesians 5:18

Alcoholism

According to the National Institute on Alcohol and Alcoholism, drinking too much – on a single occasion or over time – can take a serious toll on your health.  Here’s how alcohol can affect your body:

Brain: Alcohol interferes with the brain’s communication pathways, and can affect the way the brain looks and works. These disruptions can change mood and behavior, and make it harder to think clearly and move with coordination.

Heart: Drinking a lot over a long time or too much on a single occasion can damage the heart, causing problems including:

  • Cardiomyopathy – Stretching and drooping of heart muscle
  • Arrhythmias – Irregular heart beat
  • Stroke
  • High blood pressure

Research also shows that drinking moderate amounts of alcohol may protect healthy adults from developing coronary heart disease.

Liver: Heavy drinking takes a toll on the liver, and can lead to a variety of problems and liver inflammations including:

  • Steatosis, or fatty liver
  • Alcoholic hepatitis
  • Fibrosis
  • Cirrhosis

Pancreas: Alcohol causes the pancreas to produce toxic substances that can eventually lead to pancreatitis, a dangerous inflammation and swelling of the blood vessels in the pancreas that prevents proper digestion.

Cancer: Drinking too much alcohol can increase your risk of developing certain cancers, including cancers of the:

  • Mouth
  • Esophagus
  • Throat
  • Liver
  • Breast

Immune System: Drinking too much can weaken your immune system, making your body a much easier target for disease.  Chronic drinkers are more liable to contract diseases like pneumonia and tuberculosis than people who do not drink too much.  Drinking a lot on a single occasion slows your body’s ability to ward off infections – even up to 24 hours after getting drunk.

Based on the analyses of 100 individual country profiles, The World Health Organization (WHO) has released The Global Status Report on Alcohol and Health focused on analyzing available evidence on alcohol consumption, consequences and policy interventions at global, regional and national levels.

The harmful use of alcohol is a global problem which compromises both individual and social development. It causes harm far beyond the physical and psychological health of the drinker, including the harm to the well-being and health of people around the drinker. Alcohol is associated with many serious social and developmental issues, including violence, child neglect and abuse, and absenteeism in the workplace.

The harmful use of alcohol (defined as excessive use to the point that it causes damage to health) has many implications on public health.

• Harmful use of alcohol results in the death of 2.5 million people annually, causes illness and injury to millions more, and increasingly affects younger generations and drinkers in developing countries.

• Alcohol is the world’s third largest risk factor for disease burden; it is the leading risk factor in the Western Pacific and the Americas and the second largest in Europe.

The harmful use of alcohol is also associated with several infectious diseases like HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). This is because alcohol consumption weakens the immune system, reduces inhibitions, effects judgment and has a negative effect on patients’ adherence to antiretroviral treatment.

In the United States:

  • Each year, more than 600,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are assaulted by another student who has been drinking.
  • 95% of all violent crime on college campuses involves the use of alcohol by the assailant, victim or both.
  • 90% of acquaintance rape and sexual assault on college campuses involves the use of alcohol by the assailant, victim or both.
  • Every day, 36 people die, and approximately 700 are injured, in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver.  Drinking and drugged driving is the number one cause of death, injury and disability of young people under the age of 21.

The origins of Alcoholics Anonymous can be traced to the Oxford Group, a religious movement popular in the United States and Europe in the early 20th century. Members of the Oxford Group practiced a formula of self-improvement by performing self-inventory, admitting wrongs, making amends, using prayer and meditation, and carrying the message to others.

In the early 1930s, a well-to-do Rhode Islander, Rowland H., visited the noted Swiss psychoanalyst Carl Jung for help with his alcoholism. Jung determined that Rowland’s case was medically hopeless, and that he could only find relief through a vital spiritual experience. Jung directed him to the Oxford Group.

Rowland later introduced fellow Vermonter Edwin (“Ebby”) T. to the group, and the two men along with several others were finally able to keep from drinking by practicing the Oxford Group principles.

One of Ebby’s schoolmate friends from Vermont, and a drinking buddy, was Bill W. Ebby sought out his old friend at his home at 182 Clinton Street in Brooklyn, New York, to carry the message of hope.

Bill W. had been a golden boy on Wall Street, enjoying success and power as a stockbroker, but his promising career had been ruined by continuous and chronic alcoholism. Now, approaching 39 years of age, he was learning that his problem was hopeless, progressive, and irreversible. He had sought medical treatment at Towns Hospital in Manhattan, but he was still drinking.

Bill was, at first, unconvinced by Ebby’s story of transformation and the claims of the Oxford Group. But in December 1934, after again landing in Towns hospital for treatment, Bill underwent a powerful spiritual experience unlike any he had ever known. His depression and despair were lifted, and he felt free and at peace. Bill stopped drinking, and worked the rest of his life to bring that freedom and peace to other alcoholics. The roots of Alcoholics Anonymous were planted.

An alcoholic from New York has a vision of the way to sobriety and is introduced to a like-minded doctor from Akron. Their first meeting will lead to the creation of a Twelve Step recovery program and a book that will change the lives of millions.

Following Bill W.’s spiritual awakening at Towns Hospital (late 1934), he and wife Lois join the Oxford Group — a nondenominational movement whose tenets are based on the “Four Absolutes” of honesty, purity, unselfishness, and love — and begin to attend meetings at Calvary House, behind Manhattan’s Calvary Episcopal Church there. Bill is inspired by the charismatic rector Rev. Dr. Samuel Shoemaker, who emphasizes one-on-one sharing and guidance.

A short-term job opportunity takes Bill to Akron, Ohio. In the lobby of his hotel, he finds himself fighting the urge to join the conviviality in the bar. He consults a church directory posted on the wall with the aim of finding someone who might lead him to an alcoholic with whom he could talk. A phone call to Episcopal minister Rev. Walter Tunks results in a referral to Henrietta Seiberling, a committed Oxford Group adherent who has tried for two years to bring a fellow group member, a prominent Akron surgeon, to sobriety.

Bill is asked to speak at a large Oxford Group meeting at Calvary House. His subject is alcoholism, and after the meeting Bill is approached by a man who says he desperately wants to get sober. Bill invites the man to join him and a small group of alcoholics who meet at nearby Stewart’s cafeteria after the meetings. Bill is unsuccessful in his efforts to reach these alcoholics. Eventually his ability to help alcoholics grows, after he seeks counsel from Dr. William Silkworth of Towns Hospital. Dr. Silkworth suggests he do less preaching and speak more about alcoholism as an illness.

Henrietta Seiberling, daughter-in-law of the founder of the Goodyear Rubber Company, invites Bill to the Seiberling estate, where she lives in the gatehouse. She tells him of the struggle of Dr. Robert S., and the meeting of the two men takes place the next day — Mother’s Day, May 12, 1935. In the privacy of the library, Bill spills out his story, inspiring “Dr. Bob” to share his own. As the meeting ends hours later, Dr. Bob realizes how much spiritual support can come as the result of one alcoholic talking to another alcoholic.

Bill joins the Smiths at the weekly Oxford Group meetings held in the home of T. Henry Williams and his wife Clarace, both particularly sympathetic to the plight of alcoholics. Soon, at the suggestion of Dr. Bob’s wife Anne, Bill moves to their home at 855 Ardmore Avenue.

Dr. Bob lapses into drinking again but quickly recovers. The day widely known as the date of Dr. Bob’s last drink, June 10, 1935, is celebrated as the founding date of Alcoholics Anonymous. Dr. Bob and Bill spend hours working out the best approach to alcoholics, a group known to be averse to taking directions. Realizing that thinking of sobriety for a day at a time makes it seem more achievable than facing a lifetime of struggle, they hit on the twenty-four hour concept.

Dick B. is considered the world’s leading Alcoholics Anonymous historian and has written several books about the Biblical roots of A.A. Some of the following information is taken from his book, “Cured: Proven Help for Alcoholics and Addicts.”

…But we [Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob] were convinced that the answer to our problems was in the Good Book [the Bible]. To some of us older ones, the parts that we found absolutely essential were the Sermon on the Mount, the thirteenth chapter of First Corinthians, and the Book of James”

The Basic ideals and principles found in A.A. were originated by Christian believers, who used Christian-based practices to cure an unbelievably high percentage of early alcoholics, commonly referred to as the “Pioneer Program of Recovery,” or, “Pioneer AAs.”

“Bill Wilson frequently declared that AAs did not ‘invent’ their program; nor did anyone invent it, he said. The AAs borrowed it. And they correctly called their ‘spirituality’ reliance on the Creator.”

The Pioneer Program of Recovery which acknowledged our Creator and was based on practices rooted in the Bible had an amazingly high success rate of curing alcoholics.
The success rate of A.A. today has plummeted since the days of early A.A. as members now use terms like, “Higher Power,” instead of applying and adhering to its true Christian roots. In the pioneer days members would proclaim, “They had been cured by Almighty God! They had merely to look in their Good Book. What’s to fear!”
Today, from the moment a newcomer enters the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous, they are told that they have the “incurable disease” of alcoholism.

The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe. Proverbs 29:25

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7

The simple fact that there is a cure makes it wrong to tell the newcomer that there is no cure. The newcomer would feel extremely better and more confident knowing that there is a cure through belief in God and His Son, Jesus Christ.

Here are Dick B’s comments on this issue, “What a prescription for life-long bondage-bondage to illness, bondage to treatment, bondage to therapy, bondage to negatives, and bondage to endless sick ideas within and outside of A.A.” Furthermore, “The Creator, God Almighty-whose name is Yahweh, not ‘Higher Power’-can cure, has cured, and has healed alcoholics”

The original 12 Steps of A.A.

One: We admitted we were licked. Alcohol was our master. We prayed: “O, God, manage me because I can’t manage myself.”

Two: We became “willing to believe” that God could cure us; to “act as if” He would; and to take the action that proves God really can and does cure.

Three: We “made a decision” to “rely on the Creator” for help and to “do His will.”

Four: We gave ourselves a written, moral test, checking our life by the “four absolutes”-the standards of God’s will taught by His Son Jesus-honesty, purity, unselfishness, and love.

Five: We admitted our moral failures to God, to ourselves, and to another believer.

Six: We became “convicted” of sin against God; were “willing” to “hate and forsake” the sins uncovered, and to ask that God “remove those sins” from our lives.

Seven: We “humbled ourselves, submitting ourselves to God;” were “born again” of His spirit and therefore became a “new creature in Christ;”could thereafter be renewed in the spirit of our mind; and could put on the new man which is created in righteousness.

Eight: We became “willing” to “agree with our adversaries,” obey God’s command to “love you neighbor as yourself;” and to set things right with others.

Nine: We took action to (1) reconcile ourselves with any brother that had anything against us; (2) restore to him anything wrongfully taken from him; and (3) forgive him for any of his trespasses against us.

Ten: We continued to watch for, and pray for the removal of, those “major” sins blocking us from fellowship with God-namely resentment, selfishness, dishonesty, and fear. When they cropped up, we applied the same corrective steps involved in our initial housecleaning; we tried to adhere to a new code of love and tolerance; and we began reaching out to others.

Eleven: Before retiring, we checked our behavior against Christ’s moral standards, asking forgiveness where we had failed to observe them and guidance toward doing better in the future. We sought daily fellowship with God and other believers through Bible study, prayer, seeking His guidance, reading Christian literature, and often through church attendance. We turned to God for peace, and our reliance on Him provided relief from anxiety and fear.

Twelve: Having received the power of God through accepting Christ, and having the ability to bring into manifestation that power of the Holy Spirit, we passed on to others the Steps we had taken, and tried to do God’s will in all our affairs-particularly emphasizing the principles spelled out in 1 Corinthians 13.

Deliverance from alcoholism comes from repentance and submission to God by receiving Christ as both Savior and Lord of your life.

 

Hearing from God – The Bible, Dreams & His Still Small Voice

There are several ways that we can hear the voice of God. He may speak to us by means of Scripture, dreams, visions, nature or through His still small voice. Although there are several ways that God speaks to mankind we first must listen, not just with our ears, we must also be ready to receive His words in our heart.

Moreover he said to me, Son of man, all my words that I shall speak to you receive in your heart, and hear with your ears. Ezekiel 3:10

Accept instruction from his mouth and lay up his words in your heart. Job 22:22

It is not simply enough to hear the Word of God; His instructions must be received whole-heartedly and obeyed.

To whom can I speak and give warning? Who will listen to me? Their ears are closed so they cannot hear. The word of the Lord is offensive to them; they find no pleasure in it. Jeremiah 6:10

The great prophet Jeremiah lived during the most crucial period of Judah’s existence as a kingdom. He had incessantly warned his people to turn from their sins before it was too late. Although the LORD spoke to the people of the Southern Kingdom through His prophet, their hearts were hardened so that they did not heed the warnings. Because they failed to listen to the LORD, Jerusalem and the holy Temple were destroyed and the survivors were taken captive into Babylon.

“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” Revelation 3:22

The primary way that a born-again believer hears God is through the Bible – God’s Holy Word. Through Scripture, God speaks both to the individual and to the body of Christ. But again, it is not enough to be exposed to the divinely inspired written word; a person must receive the message in his heart (a person must have a listening ear).                                                                                                                                                                                 

“Indeed God speaks once, or twice, yet no one notices it. In a dream, a vision of the night, when sound sleep falls on men, while they slumber in their beds…” Job 33:15-16

There are several biblical accounts that record that God has spoken to mankind through dreams or visions. A dream is a succession of images, thoughts, or emotions passing through the mind during sleep. On the other hand, a vision portrays scenery or dramatic circumstances to the human recipient while the human is awake.

“In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.” Acts 2:17

The “last days” began at Pentecost when the Holy Spirit was poured out in power. The “last days” continue until the return of the Lord. Today, God still speaks through dreams and visions.

Then He said, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.

So it was, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. Suddenly a voice came to him, and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”1 Kings 19:11-13

In Exodus 20:18-19, the people of Israel trembled with fear when they saw the thunder and lightning and heard the trumpet and saw Mount Sinai in smoke. They cried out to Moses, “Do not have God speak to us or we will die”

Although the voice of the Almighty is like the noise of many waters (Ezekiel 1:24), He often chooses to speak to us with a still small voice. Again, we must be attentive and listen for His still small voice as we receive it in our hearts. 

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. Psalm 19:1-4

God also speaks to us through His creation, and He does so without using audible words. When we look up into the sky in the daytime and see the beauty of a sunrise, or on a clear evening when we contemplate the vastness of outer space, God speaks to us of His glory and power.

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Romans 1:20-21

The heavens and the earth speak of God’s glory. He has given all people a revelation of His eternal power and nature, but those who are not ready to receive His message with a humble heart cannot hear His voice.  

Hearing God's Voice

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. “To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open.” Revelation 3:6-8

If you are willing not only to hear, but to listen and receive, the Spirit tells God’s people that we can hear the voice of God through the circumstances of life. There will be times that we may discern God’s will because of an opened or a closed door. The will of God will never contradict the word of God or His character. An opened or a closed door must be evaluated in the light of God’s character and according to the “plumb line” of Scripture. We usually desire an opened door because it often means opportunity, progress and/or promotion. But is it God’s will? What appears to be an “opened door” needs to be confirmed according to God’s word and character. We need to seek God in prayer and have an inner peace to help us confirm the circumstance as God’s will for us. We are often frustrated or disappointed when we encounter a “closed door.” A closed door is for our good. The door may be closed so that we must wait upon the Lord in order to develop patience and build our faith. A door may be closed because God wants to take us in a different and better direction or a closed door may result in more fervent prayer and closer communion with God.

Whether God is speaking to you through His Word, a dream or vision, with a still small voice, through natural revelation or circumstances, you must be prepared to listen with a heart ready to receive and obey His voice.

Drug Addiction and Long Term Rehab Statistics

Drug addiction is a social menace that affects millions of Americans. The effects of drug abuse can be felt on the individual, family and friends, and the society, but the constant need for a drug often overcomes any logical thinking. Recognizing that they have a problem is the first step to recovery.

We have a variety of resources for you on our website such as:

Biblical Insights into Combating Addiction, Teachings on Prayer and Fasting, links to Christian resources for the addicted: Find Help, Healing Scriptures and information on our Annual Weekend of Prayer event.

“Glee” Actor Cory Monteith’s Death Recalls the Lives of Heath Ledger, Corey Haim and River Phoenix

The Joker in The Dark Knight is portrayed by H...

Wikipedia – Heath Ledger as the Joker

Cory Monteith’s passing recalls the lives of Heath Ledger, Corey Haim and River Phoenix — actors who battled substance abuse and died in their 20s and 30s. Monteith talked bluntly about struggling with addiction since he was a teenager, calling it a serious problem and telling Parade magazine in 2011 he was “lucky to be alive.”

(Source: http://www.startribune.com/entertainment/celebrities/215474861.html)

Cory Monteith died from a lethal combination of heroin and alcohol … this according to Canadian authorities.

The British Columbia Coroners Service says an autopsy and toxicological analysis show that the 31-year-old “Glee” star died on from a “mixed drug toxicity, involving heroin and alcohol.”

Read more: http://www.tmz.com/2013/07/16/cory-monteith-cause-of-death-heroin-and-alcohol/#ixzz2ZFQz5MIG

The list of celebrities who have died from prescription drug related deaths includes:

  • Whitney Houston at the age of 48, although she died from drowning, her blood contained a combination of Xanax and other prescription drugs mixed with alcohol.
  • Marilyn Monroe, a famous actress and a 1950s & 1960s sex symbol died from an overdose of sleeping pills at the age of 36.
  • Brian Epstein, the manager of the Beatles died on August 27, 1967 from an overdose of sleeping pills and alcohol at the age of 32.
  • Judy Garland who was a triple threat – actress, singer and dancer, and is remembered for her role as “Dorothy” In “The Wizard of Oz” died from an overdose of sleeping pills while on tour in London, England at the age of 47.
  • Guitar legend, Jimi Hendrix choked on own vomit after taking too many barbiturates at the age of 27.
  • Superstar and showbiz legend, Elvis Presley, died of cardiac arrhythmia caused by large prescription drug intake at the age of 42.
  • While completing his role as the darkly disturbed Joker in the Batman movie, “The Dark Knight,” Heath Ledger complained about his inability to sleep, so he was given several prescriptions. The much beloved, 28-year-old actor and father was found naked and dead on the floor of his apartment. The official cause of death in his accidental overdose was “acute intoxication” by the combined effects of six drugs he was supposed to be taking. For whatever reason, he simply took too much of them all at once.
  • Michael Jackson died with multiple pharmaceutical drugs in his blood stream. The Los Angeles County coroner’s office determined the cause of Michael Jackson’s death was “acute propofol intoxication.” Lorazepam, another sedative sold under the brand name Ativan, contributed to the death. Additional drugs detected in Jackson’s system were the sedatives midazolam and diazepam, the painkiller lidocaine and the stimulant ephedrine.

    Medication

    Medication (Photo credit: Drowning Sky)

Over the past 50 years the devastation of alcoholism and other drug abuse has only escalated. It is not only the rich and famous that are drinking and drugging themselves to death. Everyone is susceptible regardless of age or station in life.

BREAKING THE BONDAGE

Drug addiction is not just a biological and chemical dysfunction, it is a spiritual bondage. Pharmakeia is a word found three times in the Greek manuscripts of the New Testament. It is the root word from which we get our English word pharmacy or pharmacist. Pharmakeia is translated as witchcraft or sorcery. It speaks of the occult magical arts which are often found in connection with idolatry. Drug and alcohol abuse including nicotine and caffeine addictions, like witchcraft, are powerful, demonic strongholds that need to be fought with spiritual weapons. We need to pray for the addicted!

We have a variety of resources for you on our website such as:

Biblical Insights into Combating Addiction, Teachings on Prayer and Fasting, links to Christian resources for the addicted: Find Help, Healing Scriptures and information on our Annual Weekend of Prayer event.

The Power of Prayer is Unleashed in Unity

Jesus said in Matthew 18:20, “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” Why is it when “two or three” are gathered to pray and not just “one” person alone? Because there is power in unity!

Jesus said in Matthew 18:19, “Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven.” God the Father said in the Torah although, one can chase a thousand, two can put ten thousand to flight. (Deuteronomy 32:30a). Simply put, there is more power in unified and combined faith than there is in solitary faith because “in unity” the power of God is multiplied exponentially.

Let’s look at what God said at the Tower of Babel in Genesis 11:5 – But the LORD came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built. And the LORD said, “Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them.

Watchman Nee wrote a book entitled, “The Latent Power of the Soul.” In it he states that man has a power in his soul (given by God at the time of Adam), enabling him to subdue the earth and all on it! It’s not physical might that enables mankind to rule over every creature as some creatures are mightier than man. Nee also asserts that mankind does not exercise this godly use of “soul power” today. On the other hand, Satan and his demonic forces manipulate mankind into utilizing their soul power for evil purposes. In Revelation chapter 18 which concerns the “Fall of Babylon,” verse 13 lists the “souls of men” among the merchandise traded in Babylon.

I believe that this soul power of mankind can be used for God’s purposes when we are led by the Spirit of God and come to understand how our soul power works in conjunction with the divine power of the Holy Spirit.

An important biblical principle that we need to understand is the power unleashed in unity. It was whenever the people of God were in “one accord” that we see the mighty movement of God recorded throughout the Bible. From the time of Moses, the Israelites were victorious through the power of God whenever they were all in one accord and purpose, and were aligned with the will of God. But whenever divisions came between them and they no longer stood in one accord in accordance to God’s will, defeat overcame them.

In Acts 2:1 we see the disciples were all in “one accord,” when on the day of Pentecost, they were baptized in the Holy Spirit with power. In Acts 2:46 we see the believers in “one accord” and the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved. In Acts 4:24-31 all the companions of Peter and John were in “one accord” when they prayed to the Lord for boldness to speak His word with signs and wonders and they were filled with the Holy Spirit. In Acts 5:12 the believers were in “one accord” and through the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were done among the people.

Pentecost

Jesus said in Matthew 5:14a, “You are the light of the world.” Think of that light as single flashlight illuminating an object in the darkness. Then consider how much more illuminated that object would be with many flashlights shining on it at the same time. That is the essence of unity and being in one accord.

King Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes 4:9 – Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. Strength, whether physical or spiritual, is multiplied by numbers.

When Jesus prayed to the Father in John 17:21, He summed it all up when He said, that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. Jesus was praying that all of His followers (later called Christians), would be united in spirit and purpose and be in “one accord,” just like Jesus and the Father. This unity would both serve as a witness to the world and assure that believers would be one in the Father and the Son as well.

As Paul wrote to the Philippians in chapter 2 verses 1-5, unity is all about humility:

Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.

When we follow the example of Christ and believers are like-minded, serving one another in humility, there is great power that will be unleashed in our unity.

Article by Mike Minton, Editor of “The Inside Ministers’ Journal”

We have a variety of resources for you on our website such as:

Biblical Insights into Combating Addiction, Teachings on Prayer and Fasting, links to Christian resources for the addicted: Find Help, Healing Scriptures and information on our Annual Weekend of Prayer event.

The Pinnacle Privilege of Prayer

The Most Holy Place located in the Tabernacle and then later in the Temple in Jerusalem, was the focus of worship in Israel.  The inner room was known as the “Most Holy Place” or “Holy of Holies.” This room contained the Ark of the Covenant.  The lid of the ark was called, “The Mercy Seat” or “The Atonement Cover,” which had two cherubim of gold over it. There was a thick curtain or veil to separate the Holy Place which had the lamp stand, the altar of incense, and the table of showbread from the Most Holy Place.

Ark of the Covenant 

“You shall put the Altar of Incense in front of the curtain that is near the ark of the testimony, in front of the Mercy Seat that is over the ark of the testimony, where I will meet with you. Aaron shall burn fragrant incense on it; he shall burn it every morning when he trims the lamps. When Aaron trims the lamps at twilight, he shall burn incense. There shall be perpetual incense before the Lord throughout your generations.Exodus 30:6-8

In Revelation chapter four, the Apostle John is translated to the throne room of God which is an incredible scene. In Revelation chapter five God has a scroll that no one could open.  John wept and wept because no one was found who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside.  One of the elders told John, “Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals” (Rev 5:5b).

Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing at the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. The Lamb had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. He went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who sat on the throne. Revelation 5:6-7

After the Lamb that was slain took the scroll from God the Father on the throne, verse 8 declares that the angels fell down and worshipped Jesus.  In the hands of the angels were bowls of incense which are the prayers of the saints!

The prayers of God’s people rise in the face of the Risen Lord and the Father Himself!

Also in Revelation 8:4 it says that the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, went up before God out of the angel’s hand.

King David said in Psalm 141:1-2: O Lord, I call upon You; hasten to me!  Give ear to my voice when I call to You!  May my prayer be counted as incense before You.”

Why would God want to have incense in His throne room?  To enjoy the sweet fragrance of it!!!  The incense of our prayers continuously rises before the very face of God and they are a pleasing aroma to Him.

Wouldn’t it be marvelous to be a part of this heavenly scene?  Well, our prayers are! With this in mind, the question arises, what could be more important than prayer? When we compare all of the events of our daily life, what compares to this?

Do you hear the Spirit of God calling you to the pinnacle privilege of prayer?

Article submitted by Pastor Eric Young of Shepherds Heart Ministries

We have a variety of resources for you on our website such as:

Biblical Insights into Combating Addiction, Teachings on Prayer and Fasting, links to Christian resources for the addicted: Find Help, Healing Scriptures and information on our Annual Weekend of Prayer event.

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