MILLIONS AND MILLIONS OF AMERICANS USE AND ABUSE LIFE-CONTROLLING SUBSTANCES
In the United States of America, the statistics concerning the use and abuse of alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, illicit drugs and pharmaceutical drugs (medications) are overwhelming. The following “Infographic” provides facts and figures concerning drug types and classification including the annual costs:
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 REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST: Understanding the Apocalypse is a unique verse-by-verse account of the Book of Revelation viewed from a Hebraic Mind-set. The Book of Revelation first gives an overview of the apocalypse, followed by specific details which unveil the future of the nation of Israel, unbelievers and the body of Messiah. The 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 REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST: Understanding the Apocalypse, 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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?…” Isaiah 58:6
Fasting and prayer are powerful spiritual weapons that can set the oppressed free from every yoke and bondage of sin. Jesus himself fasted for 40 days.
Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside. He taught in their synagogues, and everyone praised him.
He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. And he stood up to read. The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him, and he began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”
Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit …
Jesus had been baptized by John. This was not for the remission of His sins because He was sinless, but to fulfill all righteousness. And afterwards, as he was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. Full of the Holy Spirit, He returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the desert, where for forty days he fasted and was tempted by the devil. Then Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit.
These significant, historical events occurred in accordance to the liturgical cycle of Scripture readings in the synagogues. From the times of the Babylonian captivity to this very day, each Sabbath weekly portions of the Sefer Torah or scroll containing the Five Books of Moses is read in every synagogue throughout the world. Not only are the books from Genesis through Deuteronomy read annually, but portions of the Scroll of the Prophets are read each Sabbath as well.
The reading of the Haftorah dates back to the era of the Greek empire. The enemies of God’s chosen people recognized the vitality of the Torah and banned the reading of the weekly Torah portion. In response, the Rabbis of those days substituted the reading of a segment from the Prophets, commonly known as the Haftorah. They carefully chose specific sections of the Prophets which correspond to the sedra (weekly portion) and intended through this to capture the lessons of the weekly Torah portion. Although the Torah reading has been restored, the Haftorah remains an integral part of Shabbos (Sabbath) and Yom Tov (holiday) experience.
As is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet:
“A voice of one calling in the desert, `Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him. Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill made low. The crooked roads shall become straight, the rough ways smooth. And all mankind will see God’s salvation.’ ”
John was preaching from Isaiah 40:3-5. Isaiah 40:1-26 is the passage of Scripture read from the scroll of the prophets on the first Sabbath after Tisha B’Av. Tisha B’Av, the Fast of the ninth day of the fifth month, is a day of mourning to commemorate the many tragedies that have befallen the Jewish people, especially the destruction of the First and Second Temples. There are seven readings from Isaiah between Tisha B’Av and Rosh HaShana. These passages span from Isaiah 40 through Isaiah 63.
After Jesus’ baptism, His forty days of fasting in the desert, and time spent preaching in the synagogues in the Galilee, His return to His hometown synagogue in Nazareth would have marked the end of seven week period between Tisha B’Av and the Sabbath before Rosh HaShana.
The destruction of Solomon’s Temple by the Babylonians was a judgment of God due to the sin of the nation of Judah. More than a century earlier, the Northern Tribes were taken into captivity by Assyria for their idolatries. John’s crying out in the wilderness was a call to repentance and spiritual preparation for the coming Messiah Jesus. It was initiated on a day of great mourning and fasting.
Seven weeks later, Yeshua – Jesus, whose name means salvation, read from Yeshayahu HaNovi – Isaiah the Prophet, whose name means -G-d is Salvation. Jesus read from Isaiah 61 verse one and the first half of verse two. He proclaimed the year of the LORD’s favor, but did not go on to pronounce the “day of God’s vengeance.”
Rosh HaShana commences the Ten Days of Awe. These ten days are the most solemn and introspective on the Hebrew Calendar. They mark the days between the New Year and the Day of Atonement. Yom Kippur is the most holy, most solemn day for the Jewish people. It is the last day of the High Holy Days which began on Rosh HaShanah. Many Jewish people spend the entire day in the synagogue, praying and fasting in the hope that their sins will be forgiven and that they will be written in the Lamb’s Book of Life for the coming year.
Tisha B’Av was the day that John the Baptist proclaimed that he was a voice crying out in the wilderness. It was a day of mourning and fasting. It was a call to turn from sin. Jesus proclaimed that He was the Messiah on the Sabbath before the Ten Days of Awe.
These days of repentance culminated on Yom Kippur. Yom Kippur is a day set aside to “afflict the soul,” to fast and pray.
Jesus is the Anointed On. He is the Messiah. He was anointed to preach the good news, the gospel. He was sent to set the captives free.
But first, in order to receive Him, the people’s hearts had to be readied through prayer, fasting and repentance.
Joel 1: 5, 14
Wake up, you drunkards, and weep!
Wail, all you drinkers of wine; wail because of the new wine, for it has been snatched from your lips.
Declare a holy fast; call a sacred assembly. Summon the elders and all who live in the land to the house of the LORD your God, and cry out to the LORD.
The first time in Scripture that we see the LORD ordaining a fast is when the nation had turned from their God and were drunk with wine.
2 Corinthians 10:4
The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.
Fasting and prayer are powerful spiritual weapons to demolish the strongholds of alcoholism and other drug addictions.
“Therefore, say to the Israelites: ‘I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. I will free you from being slaves to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment. I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the LORD your God, who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians.
I am the LORD and I will…
`I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. I will free you from being slaves to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment. I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God.’
I am the LORD and I will… Who is the LORD that He can boldly proclaim what will happen in the future?
The LORD is the way we represent in English the Hebrew term, YHWY. It is the covenant name of God and means the One who causes to be.
- I am the LORD, who has made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth by myself
- I am the LORD, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?
- I am the LORD, and there is no other; apart from me there is no God.
- I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior
I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me. Isaiah I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please. Isaiah 46:9-11.
The LORD is the Most High God. He is the only true God. He is the Creator of the heavens and the earth. He is the Eternal. The LORD is omnipotent – all powerful. He is omniscient – all knowing. He is holy, just and righteous. He can, and will, fulfill all that He has promised.
And what did He promise to the Hebrews who had been in bondage for four hundred years in Egypt?
`I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians.’
The LORD sanctified and set Israel apart from their Egyptian slave masters. The LORD smote the Egyptians and their gods with ten plagues. Although the Hebrews and their live stock lived and worked among the Egyptians, they did not suffer the diseases and death that came upon Egypt.
I will free you from being slaves to them,
The LORD freed the Hebrews from their bondage. They were no longer slaves, but free men and women. They were freed from their harsh taskmasters. They were free after 400 years of backbreaking servitude.
and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment.
The LORD redeemed a people unto himself by mighty acts of judgment. The greatest of those judgments was the plague that killed the firstborn of Egypt.
“On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn – both men and animals – and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the LORD. The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are; and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt.”
The firstborn of Israel were spared; they passed from death to life, because of the blood of the lamb that was applied to the tops and sides of the doorframes of their houses.
‘I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God.’
The Israelites groaned in their slavery and cried out; and their cry for help, because of their slavery, went up to God. The LORD said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey. I will be their God and they will be my people.”
When the people who were enslaved no longer could bear their bondage they cried out for help and their cry for help went up to God. God was and is concerned about suffering. Egypt is a symbol of the world. We live in a fallen world which has been corrupted by the stain of sin. Pharaoh typifies Satan who desires to inflict us with much suffering and enslave us in cruel bondage. The bondage of slavery is a picture of man’s bondage to sin.
Why were the Hebrews enslaved for so long? Because for many years, even though they suffered and died in their bondage, they loved the things of this world more than they loved the God of their fathers. Even after God answered their cries with a great deliverance, their hearts were fixed on the pleasures of Egypt. After the Israelites were set free, God fed them miraculously with manna. But what was their response to God’s provision?
They wailed, “If only we had meat to eat! We remember the fish we ate in Egypt at no cost – also the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic. But now we have lost our appetite; we never see anything but this manna!”
At no cost? They paid with their very lives! Cruel servitude and death was the price for the fleeting pleasures of Egypt.
The Hebrews suffered and died in Egypt until they came to a point of utter desperation – a place where they could no longer bear their bondage. Until they cried out for help to the LORD God, they remained enslaved. And even after God came down and rescued them, an entire generation perished in the wilderness because of ingratitude and loving the things of this world more than loving God the Creator and Sustainer of life. Yet God was faithful to fulfill His promises and bring their children into a land flowing with milk and honey.
Moses the Deliverer is a type of the Messiah – Christ the Savior. The blood of the Passover lamb foreshadowed the blood of the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.
God sees your misery, hears your crying and is concerned about your suffering. His desire is to free you from bondage. Whatever has enslaved you: drug addiction, cigarettes, pornography, food, or soap operas, the Son of God came down from heaven to free you from the bondage of sin. His desire is to set you apart and make you Holy. Jesus is able to redeem you because he has paid the price for your life with His own blood.
This same God who rescued a mixed multitude of 2 ½ to 3 million men, women, and children from the clutches of the most powerful nation on earth… This same God who smote the gods of Egypt with mighty plagues… This same God who parted the Red Sea so that the children of Israel walked on dry ground… is the LORD. Is He not able to free you from the sin and corruption of addiction?
“I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me.”
Who or what do you seek for comfort in times of stress, or to relieve emotional or psychological pain, or to escape reality? If you are turning to anything or anybody but the LORD; in your times of stress or pain, then that thing has become your god – your personal idol. The reason that you are unable to break your habit is that your addiction is not just a physical dependency – it is spiritual bondage.
The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. Only in His name, the mighty name of Jesus our Messiah, and by the power of God’s Holy Spirit, can you be set free. But you cannot serve two masters. Jesus must not only become your Savior by placing your trust in His finished work on the cross, but you must make Him the Lord of your life, forsaking all other gods. First accept God’s free gift of salvation and then allow the Holy Spirit to cleanse you of all unrighteousness.
That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.
There is great spiritual power in prayer and fasting. Addiction is a spiritual bondage that must be fought with spiritual weapons. Fasting and prayer will enable you to be empowered by the Holy Ghost and allow His anointing to break the yoke that binds you.
Then one of the crowd answered and said, “Teacher, I brought You my son, who has a mute spirit. And wherever it seizes him, it throws him down; he foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth, and becomes rigid. So I spoke to Your disciples, that they should cast it out, but they could not.”
He answered him and said, “O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him to Me.” Then they brought him to Him. And when he saw Him, immediately the spirit convulsed him, and he fell on the ground and wallowed, foaming at the mouth. So He asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?”
And he said, “From childhood. And often he has thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him…”
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;
The cost and consequences of alcoholism and drug dependence place an enormous burden on American society. According to the “National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence,” Addiction is the nation’s number one health problem. Addiction strains the health care system, the economy, harms family life and threatens public safety.
There are more deaths and disabilities each year in the U.S. from substance abuse than from any other cause.
- About 18 million Americans have alcohol problems; about 5 to 6 million Americans have drug problems.
- More than half of all adults have a family history of alcoholism or problem drinking.
- More than nine million children live with a parent dependent on alcohol and/or illicit drugs.
- Heavy drinking contributes to illness in each of the top three causes of death: heart disease, cancer and stroke.
- Almost half of all traffic fatalities are alcohol-related.
- Between 48% and 64% of people who die in fires have blood alcohol levels indicating intoxication.
- Fetal alcohol syndrome is the leading known cause of mental retardation.
- One-quarter of all emergency room admissions, one-third of all suicides, and more than half of all homicides and incidents of domestic violence are alcohol-related.
Alcoholism and drug dependence are not just social or medical issues, the outward manifestations of violent acts and lewdness associated with drunkenness and drug highs confirm that addiction is spiritual bondage that must be fought with spiritual weapons.
Do you not know that if you continually surrender yourselves to anyone to do his will, you are the slaves of him whom you obey, whether that be to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience which leads to righteousness.
Your mind is the battlefield of the spirit. Whether you’re bombed, blasted, whacked, wasted, drunk, stoned, or high, on alcohol or other drugs, you’ve given the thief the opportunity and the right to enter into your mind. Altered states of consciousness can also be accomplished through eastern mysticism, transcendental meditation and bio-feedback. Whether by means of distilled spirits or by occult practices that open the dark side of the spiritual realm, the result is still the same – spiritual bondage.
Satan comes disguised as an angel of light. Sin feels good for a season. By getting high on drugs or by the habitual drinking of beer or other alcoholic beverages many have surrendered themselves to the will of the evil one and have been enslaved by sin.
“How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. And often he has thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him…” Mark 9:21-22
Usually when we think about suicide, we imagine one act of desperation. Someone jumps off a bridge or takes a loaded gun to their head. This demon possessed young man often was thrown into the fire to burn alive or into the water to drown since childhood. Yet, this biblical account is not quite as uncommon as you would suppose. There are millions of Americans and even some reading this teaching who since childhood have been choosing to slowly kill themselves.
More Americans are killed by cigarettes than alcohol, car accidents, suicide, AIDS, homicide, and illegal drugs.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;
Cigarette smoking is a major cause of cancers of the lung, larynx, oral cavity, pharynx and esophagus and is a contributing cause in the development of cancers of the bladder, pancreas, uterine cervix, kidney, stomach, and some leukemias.
Smoking is a major cause of heart disease, bronchitis, emphysema, and stroke and contributes to the severity of colds and pneumonia. Tobacco has a damaging affect on women’s health and is associated with increased risk of miscarriage, pre-term delivery, stillbirth, and infant death, and is a cause of low birth weight in infants. Furthermore, the secondhand smoke from cigarettes has a harmful health effect on those around the smoke.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.
“… But if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.”
It was not only the son that needed help, relief and deliverance but the father as well. How often have we found comfort in times of trouble when a friend was compassionate enough to listen to our problems? The father grew hopeless, not only as he endured through years of agony seeing his own son suffer; but unable to even offer some measure of comfort to his son who was mute and unable to speak to his father of his fears and pain.
Today, how many fathers and mothers, sons and daughters, suffer when they see the ones that the love bound up by addiction? How many have grown hopeless after years of enduring the broken promises and lies?
“… But if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.”
Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”
The father, after many years of emotional pain and dwindling hope, again suffers the disappointment of finding the disciples of Jesus unable to help. Understandably, the father then questioned Jesus by saying, “If You can,” have compassion on us and help us. Jesus, the incarnate Son of God, is full of compassion and unlimited in power. Instead of rebuking the father for questioning the Master’s ability or desire to help, Jesus challenges the father to step out in faith. “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”
The father was not only subject to the pain of his child’s suffering but also to the stigma of a child who evidenced demonic possession. Had he failed as a father? Was it his fault that his son no longer was in control of his life? If Jesus was unable to deliver his son, wasn’t the father going to suffer public disgrace once again?
Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”
“Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” This short, but sincere and honest prayer was immediately answered. Both the father and his son were free after years of physical pain, emotional suffering and spiritual bondage.
When Jesus saw that the people came running together, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “Deaf and dumb spirit, I command you, come out of him and enter him no more!” Then the spirit cried out, convulsed him greatly, and came out of him. And he became as one dead, so that many said, “He is dead.” But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose. And when He had come into the house, His disciples asked Him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?” So He said to them, “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting.”
Addiction is not limited to alcoholism, drug dependence or smoking. There are blood-bought Christians who are struggling with pornography, eating disorders, lust, anger, or jealousy.
“This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting.”
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
1 John 3:8b
For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.
Jesus was anointed to proclaim release to the captives and to set free those who are oppressed…
1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
Before we can be made clean, we must first recognize our sinfulness.
Recently, I took a panhandler to breakfast and asked him his name. He called himself “Doc.” He had a PHD from Michigan State in English literature… He had been living on the streets since 1999. He had been a lecture in his church up north; meaning that he often read publicly from the Scriptures and assisted in serving communion. He even insisted that he had a relationship with Christ and was able to quote some verses. Why then, was he living in the streets pan-handling, filthy, diseased and undernourished? It wasn’t because he was a drug addict, he only had a couple of beers each day and he never got rip-roaring drunk.
I told him that he could not serve two masters, Christ and beer. His response was honest, although it brought me to tears. He said, “I guess I’ll have a couple of beers every day until I die.”
Many people seek Jesus as savior but they refuse to make Jesus Lord of their life.
Are you willing to make Jesus Lord of your life by submitting your will to His? Will you allow the Son of God to do a work in you so that you may be wholly sanctified spirit, soul and body? Will you cry out to Jesus, “I believe you can deliver me” “Help my unbelief!” Will you fast and pray in order to be empowered by the Holy Ghost and allow His anointing to break the yoke that binds you? Then pray this prayer:
“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
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.
Please contact us, we want to rejoice with you!
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.
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 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.