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Sree
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Joined: 2011/8/20
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 Re:

Very encouraging post brother. I felt like someone who watched my life and thought battles have written it down. Makes me believe more in 1 Peter 5:8:-

Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world.

Such writing prove to me that there are brothers who are in the world who have experienced similar sufferings.


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Sreeram

 2013/2/1 18:22Profile
brothagary
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 Re:

amasing post paul west ,,verry encouraging as sree said

 2013/2/1 18:35Profile
Sree
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Joined: 2011/8/20
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 Re:

Quote:

Sometimes a believer will fail a test of God and enter into a season of darkness. Perhaps he was living a life of victory, walking with a clean conscience before God and enjoying the resources of Christ’s Life, when a temptation hit and suddenly took away their peace and snuffed their light. They thought they were strong; they thought they could stand up to it and resist as they had many times in the past. They had been walking in the Spirit that morning - by the evening, however, they find themselves cast down and once again in the dregs of a besetting sin.



I have been in this place that you describe here. The problem I found is - 'They thought they were strong'. That is why they fell. Apostle Paul says that 'anyone who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall'. The reason for the fall is we think we are standing and hence we are strong. The glory should always go to God, no matter how much resistance we have to flesh. God resists the proud and gives his grace to humble. The moment we think we became strong and stop giving the glory to God that he deserves, he takes his grace away from us. Without his grace my flesh will have me for a feast!

It is like a father who guides his son to ride bicycle. The son is able to ride because his father is holding the bicycle and balancing it in his hands. The moment the son thinks that he got the balance and now he does not needs his fathers hands, the hands are taken away. The son ends up falling.

Only thing I experienced different compared to your post is how I have fallen. The fall does not come suddenly, it is always gradual, it starts with self glory and ends in condemnation. The son riding this bicycle will start shaking and losing balance before he finally falls. Same way I start shaking the moment I am out of God's grace. There is always a warning that comes before we fall. This is my personal experience brother, I don't have a scriptural proof for this.

Quote:

When we fail a test, it is because we took the test ourselves and did not allow Christ to take it for us.



It took me close to 2 years to understand this truth.


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Sreeram

 2013/2/1 18:51Profile
lovejt
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 Re: Designs of Darkness: Advanced Tactics of Spiritual Warfare

Hello brother Paul: I really appreciate this subject being focused on and your compilation of everything. In December, the Lord put it in my heart to focus on this very thing as well. I have been going about it slow and gradually. Started with War On the Saints and Defeated Enemy from Sister Jesse Penn Lewis. Assume you have gone thru those. Have also listened to various messages on the subject. I believe the Lord is putting this on many of our hearts to prepare us for things to come and with where we are in our walk.


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james thorpe

 2013/2/1 19:22Profile
PaulWest
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Joined: 2006/6/28
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 Re:

Quote:
Only thing I experienced different compared to your post is how I have fallen. The fall does not come suddenly, it is always gradual, it starts with self glory and ends in condemnation. The son riding this bicycle will start shaking and losing balance before he finally falls. Same way I start shaking the moment I am out of God's grace. There is always a warning that comes before we fall. This is my personal experience brother, I don't have a scriptural proof for this.


What you have described here is indeed how it occurs. It's a slow ungirding of the loins of the mind until one has become too weak to withstand a sudden onslaught. Like I mentioned before, the powers of darkness are opportunistic. They make observations and calculations and are very intelligent. They beat you down little by little by getting you to compromise in your thought life. Their advertisements targeted at the flesh are untiring.

A fall is an outward projection of a reality that has already taken place in the inward parts. Pride is so elusive. It infiltrates the mind and spreads like poison. It's like carbon monoxide - you can't smell it or see it or even sense it unless you have a special detector. The Holy Spirit is like a Co2 sensor for pride. As long as we maintain humility and always see others as more important than ourselves, we can hear His faithful alarm. But when we begin to grow proud in our thoughts and fail to heed His initial alarm, the signal will fade. Eventually we will grow intoxicated with increasing impure thoughts and selfishness. When we're finally weakened enough by the "fumes" of pride, along comes a flaming dart that levels us. This is where a brother crumbles and clicks on an internet porn site; this is where you lose your patience and shout at your spouse or kids. Fill in the blank.

The important thing is to remember the relationship between pride and grace. I imagine a seesaw with grace on one end and pride on the other. One goes up, the other down. This is why to keep the grace end up and the pride side down, Paul exhorts us to keep our minds in lowliness of self and to always esteem others better than ourselves (Phil. 2:3).

Brother Paul


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Paul Frederick West

 2013/2/3 19:09Profile
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 Re: 4. Worldly Entertainment and Distractions

4. Worldly Entertainment and Distractions

The object of worldly entertainment is in the usurpation of our spiritual joy. It is a cheap decoy, a fake diamond, a nugget of fool’s gold in exchange for the true currency of joy in Christ. The enemy of the soul waits for the joy of the Lord to abate in believers before presenting them with the sham of entertainment. The powers of darkness are opportunistic in this respect. They bide their time in the shadows while God’s children bask in the joy of their Lord; they daily watch for signs of diminishment in the pursuit of spiritual rejuvenation; they observe the efforts spent in devotion and spy on their quiet time. When the occasion is ripe to offer the golden apple of entertainment, they do so, and, like Ehud, slip the dagger quietly into the fat of the soul.

As the poison of entertainment begins its spread, the joy of the Lord is replaced by visceral delight. As the child of God flounders here, the powers of darkness strike him a second time. Here they strike with a delusional acceptance that entertainment might be successfully married to God’s joy. Like Naaman, they find themselves meandering between two temples: the shrine of a false god and the temple of the true God. A profane altar is erected within the temple of the Holy Spirit, the altar of the heart is commandeered, and the incense of fleshly enjoyment is burned in lieu of the Holy Spirit’s fire.

The power of soul entertainment and the influence it has over the flesh has an electrifying draw, and, in the end, detrimental consequences to the “new man” created in us by God in the image of Jesus Christ if not trumped by spiritual joy. The two cannot co-exist for long, and entertainment will always win the fight over joy for dominion in the human heart when the mind is set on carnal endeavors. The powers of darkness know this truth very well, which is why the world has been designed to be a lair of entertainment, a colossal web to entrap men and women for the purpose of euthanizing their minds from the realities of God and the impending doom of hell.

To effectively counter the dagger of entertainment, the mind’s loins must be girded and trained upon the glory of Jesus Christ above. The believer must pray for the grace of a new mindset adaptation, for a shift to take place within wherein the gaze of his faith is diverted from earth below to heaven above. We as children of God must learn to recognize when the shadows are drawing longer and our inner men are beginning to hunger. And upon this recognition, we must learn to instantly fly to the blood of Jesus Christ where God has provided light, food and shelter for our beleaguered spirits. Any hesitation to fly to Christ in these moments puts our spirit men in jeopardy of being out-matched by the fake glitter and false gold of worldly entertainment.

Because our minds are naturally poised toward earth-bound objects and passions, an effective strategy employed by spiritual wickedness is to constantly provide diversions and distractions to keep the follower of Christ from heavenly pursuits. The world in which we live is replete with such a myriad of alluring vanities, fruitless enticements and empty attractions as to make each inch of our sojourning here a potential bog to gratify our insatiable intellect and electrify the flesh. To effectively circumnavigate these bogs, a certain measure of determination and diligence is required on behalf of the Christian in obtaining God’s grace to withstand these pitfalls and maintain an unmolested mind on our stalwart path to heaven.

These distractions present themselves at first in small increments. Initially they are but the polyps that forewarn of cancer if not excised upon detection. Though they may at first appear benign - that is, some harmless divergence from the narrow path of holiness - they are, in fact, strategically-designed weapons used by the enemy to infiltrate our minds and set down destructive roots. The purpose for this invasion is to create a mental fortress which seeks to strangle the life of one’s inner devotion to God. The reason it is so difficult to pray, to read God's Word, and to engage our minds in deep spiritual meditation for a prolonged period of time is because unseen powers and principalities are always surrounding us and warring against these efforts. Their mission is to keep our inner men from making contact with God and gaining strength by the power of His Spirit. All who live for righteousness will be persecuted by these evil forces, for the child of God wrestles not against flesh and blood insurgents.


Song of Solomon 2:15; Matthew 6:24-34; 13:19; Luke 18:15-17; I Corinthians 7:35; Philippians 4:8; I Peter 1:13; Judges 3:21-22; II Kings 5:17-19; Matthew 14:6; Luke 12:19, 21:34; Galatians 5:17, 6-7; Ephesians 3:16, 6:12; II Timothy 2:4


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Paul Frederick West

 2013/2/11 20:28Profile
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 4. Worldly Entertainment and Distractions (continued)

4. Worldly Entertainment and Distractions (continued)

Satan conditions believers over a period of time with minuscule doses of compromise and loose thinking to where the inner man slowly starves while the flesh builds. The ultimate design of spiritual darkness is to desensitize the Christian through small measures, to where at last he or she will crumble under a flaming arrow of temptation and yield to sin.

When the arrow strikes the mind of the believer in this condition, it sticks and infects. The poison defiles the believer’s conscience and immediately establishes a root in the heart. The bow from which the arrow is propelled is most commonly strung by the lure of entertainment and other worldly concerns, and the strength by which the bow is drawn found in the lusts of the flesh and the pride of life. When these twin powers are awakened and given preeminence over the influence of the spirit, the the poised arrow is launched.

Satan has arrows poised at the hearts and minds of God’s unhealthy children. Believers become spiritually sick at the initial slacking of their fervent devotion to God, for when we cease to occupy ourselves with Him, we cease to be healthy. The Lord uses the designs of darkness to bring forth the symptoms to show the child that he is sick. Satan's x-rays never miss the target; his arrows always hit the unhealthy areas of our inner life and cause them to flare up. The Holy Spirit quickly brings conviction to the area. Like Peter sinking into a dark sea, the child in this moment must cry out to his Lord in horror and agonizing confession: “I am perishing! Lord, I am sinking down to my death in an ocean of sin! Save me!”

Upon confession and repentance, the Lord saves and restores His arrow-stricken children instantly through the blood of Jesus Christ. Their consciences are once again sprinkled and cleansed; they brought back safely into the boat. But here the designs of darkness will attempt a new strategy upon seeing he is once again secure in the Arc of the New Covenant: the siren of false condemnation.

False-condemnation comes about from having an improper understanding of two things: our central positions of adopted sonship in Jesus Christ, and the cleansing power of His blood during times of our failure and sin. A defiled conscience and weak understanding of grace is a dangerous combination - it is a man in a raging sea without a life jacket. In these situations it can be difficult to bring ourselves back into God's presence through faith in blood of Christ when our souls are downcast. The longer we hesitate to be restored heavier the guilt becomes. The sirens of Satan broadcast that the blood alone is not sufficient, that we must "do" something additional to make an effective reconciliation. A hopeless sense of condemnation then sets in - while instant justification and restoration are only a faithful confession away.

The heart can become so weighted-down with the pangs of condemnation that placing faith in the restorative efficacy of Christ's blood can seem an impossible task. May we therefore remain humble and attentive to the leading of the Spirit in always keeping our hearts with all diligence.

II Peter 3:18 Hebrews 4:16; I John 1:5, 7, 9; II Corinthians 2:14; Galatians 2:19


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Paul Frederick West

 2013/2/12 8:04Profile
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 Re: 5. Darkness Defeated through Humility

Far too many believers seem to have only grasped the message of forgiveness of sin, when the gospel of Jesus Christ is essentially a message of deliverance from Satan’s power. As a result they go up and down in cycles of excitement and depression, happiness and anxiety, victory and defeat. They know they can experience God’s forgiveness of sin through Christ, but on how to overcome these same acts of sin they are completely powerless. Most Christians think that memorizing scripture verses or fasting or prolonged prayer will somehow equip them with this power. The devil would have them remain ignorant to the secret of salvation from sin's enslavement, and see Christ instead as only their Great Forgiver. But we need to see that Jesus is not just our Forgiver - which the blood of a goat could grant - He is also our Great Deliverer and Savior from the power of sin! His death on Calvary disarmed the devil and took away sin's dominion from the soul of redeemed man.

Most Christians allow themselves to come under the influence of preachers and teachers who are themselves defeated inwardly and have not come into the New Covenant - and therefore they can only preach the forgiveness of sin. The principalities and powers which govern this world’s system do all they can to blind believers from the message of deliverance from sin’s power. Majoring almost exclusively on the forgiveness of sin, they make it easy to believe in the hopelessness of deliverance. This, along with the heresy of sinless perfection makes for a very persuasive argument for evangelical Christians to avoid the topic of deliverance altogether.

Sexual lust, fear, discouragement, the love of money, anxiety, jealousy, pride of life, greed, hypocrisy, laziness, gluttony, anger, impatience, disbelief, self-acclaim, malice - the child of God faces these inward giants with his shield raised, sword-in-fist and teeth clenched as they wreak havoc in his devotion life, family life and daily affairs. Has God simply left him alone on the battlefield to be vanquished again and again by these sins with nothing but forgiveness, or is the grace of God available for the Christian soldier to overcome them all and step on their necks in victory? If you have resigned your soul to an endless cycle of defeat and forgiveness, then I believe you’ve missed the most wonderful aspect of your birthright in Christ. Like Esau, a Jacob has used the carnal to cheat you out of the spiritual.

Do not let Satan rob you anymore. Salvation from sin’s power is your birthright: Jesus Christ is your Deliverer by faith. If you are yet expecting to be delivered from sin through the efforts of self-determination and religious willpower, a thousand years will go by and you will still be defeated. You will go to your grave having never tasted of the glorious triumph over sin offered to you though the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Many believers never enter into this experience simply out of ignorance of this one truth: The grace of God is the power which enables us to overcome sin’s dominion, and this power is wholly appropriated through faith, and not through any type of human effort or fleshly reformation. Indeed, they who seek to slay Goliath using the sword and armor of Saul undertake a mission of suicidal lunacy! We can never in a million years win a spiritual battle by the arm of flesh. We wrestle not against flesh and blood – and therefore we cannot use flesh as a weapon. Those who combat the designs of darkness must do so lawfully – that is, with the spiritual weaponry of God – or face defeat again and again. Our battles are altogether spiritual; they are the Lord’s, and as such they are won only through His power of grace. Any other method turns a believer into a defeated legalist.

The lawful way to fight the designs of darkness is to call upon the power of the Lord’s grace when we are tempted, in our time of need. We must learn to summon His power when we hear the Philistines’ trumpets sounding in the distance, to trust Him when the war drums begin beating, and come boldly to the throne of His grace at the first rumbling of their iron chariots. If we prepare our spirits to face the enemy in the resistance of the Lord, the overcoming life of Jesus Christ will be ours. We must then make it a habit to call on Jesus in the very moment of temptation – not one minute before or after. The Lord is a “present” source of refuge. As we presently call upon Him for victory, the waters will open and swallow the foe and leave us rejoicing once again upon the seashore of our sojourning. We will triumph every time if only we learn to humble ourselves before the battle and confess the fight is the Lord’s.

The way to defeat the designs of darkness is through the humility of our own confessed insufficiency. If you would know the secret of God’s strength in battle, you must first know the truth of your own weakness. The true Christian life is one of victory by the Strong living though the weak.

...to be continued


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Paul Frederick West

 2013/2/14 7:38Profile
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 Preventing the Invasion of Darkness

It is a daily duty to keep the heart with all diligence. It is both an obligation for holiness and a necessity for spiritual health to keep careful watch over the heart’s breathings, because the new heart is susceptible to spiritual attack. A good illustration of an unkept heart is a moon suspended in space without an atmosphere of protection. Without an atmosphere, trajectories can impact its surface and cause craters of depression. The unprotected heart is like a moon which has fallen prey to all the flying garbage of spiritual space. Without a buffer zone of grace, lustful temptations can strike the surface and cause all sorts of spiritual depressions.

Through the designs of darkness, hostile thoughts and impulses target our minds and hearts daily. These spiritual trajectories seek to make impact and cause explosive damage to our walks with God. They aim to wound our consciences with the remembrance of sin and create a frustration between us and God’s grace. God’s grace is given to “keep” the heart from becoming overpowered by these attacks. It is given to preserve the conscience from defilement. Therefore, if you are in Christ, let Him answer the door to your heart if a stranger knocks from the outside. You have been ransomed from hell by His blood; find your rest in His protective grace.

Before our rebirth, when we lived in the flesh to the fulfilling of our lusts, we were like orphaned moons without an atmosphere, empty and void without God in dark space. But Jesus rose from the dead and sent down the Holy Spirit to encompass our quickened spirits with grace. We are no longer orphans; we are now the sons and daughters of God and heirs to a Heavenly Kingdom of eternal glory. As the earnest for this promise, the Father has given us a foretaste of perfection here on earth through the instruction and protection of the Holy Spirit. He abides to strengthen our inner men and shield us from the fiery trajectories of Satan: from the comets of lust, the meteors of pride and discouragement – and of whatever else the designs of darkness can conjure up to hurl at our atmosphere in the attempt to cause depression through the conception of sin.

Our spirits are not in a fixed state of strength. As our physical bodies weaken if they do not eat and sleep so our spiritual bodies also wane in strength when not rejuvenated through the Holy Spirit. We are constantly winding down with fatigue as we confront the evil of each day. As we weaken in spirit, the world begins to gain momentum and influence over our rebellious flesh. It is for this reason we are exhorted to be renewed and transformed in the spirit of our minds each day in God’s Word.

Our flesh is hostile to the health of our inner men, and therefore it must be put down to prevent a war. The powers of darkness control the world’s system to deliberately spur the flesh to rise in battle. But God shows Christians how to stay strong in spirit by remaining connected to the grace of His Spirit. The moment we separate from His power, we become like fish pulled from the sea. We must remain humble to stay in the sea of His grace, for it is in this sea where we receive restorative life and new power. Our remaining humble and full of grace is the only way to protect our hearts and minds from the invasions of darkness.

...to be continued


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Paul Frederick West

 2013/2/23 13:40Profile
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 Re: A Correct Understanding of Christian Victory (continued)

A Scottish biologist inadvertently discovered penicillin in 1928 when he noticed a radius of destroyed bacteria surrounding a piece of mold in a plate culture. Since that time, antibiotics have been mass produced and used to treat millions of people with infections. This great epiphany in science parallels a deep truth in spiritual warfare: the arming of the mind of Christ to the inhibition of fleshly lusts. In the same way bacterial colonies cannot proliferate within the proximity of the power of penicillin, so the lusts of the flesh cannot colonize when a child of God walks in the Spirit and is armed with the mind of Christ (Galatians 5:16-18).

The “armament” of the mind in the Bible is based upon a Greek term for weapon. It denotes an ancient warrior holding a shield and javelin. In this context, the Christian does battle against the lusts of the flesh which war against the soul (I Peter 2:11). The soldier who is not armed for this conflict will be overrun and infected by the advancing troops which seek to draw out the lusts of the flesh. To guard the mind against the bacteria of sin, it must be daily renewed and armed in Christ. But how is this accomplished in terms of experiential victory in Christ?

A death must occur to the principle of self to where the overcoming life of Another Power is activated. This death is reckoned through the believer’s own identification in Christ’s death. The result is an internal submission to the mortifying influence of the Holy Spirit’s power over the will of the flesh. Every Christian must be daily occupied in the overcoming of spiritual contaminates seeking to enter his mind and heart through the designs of darkness. To ensure victory, we must allow the Word of God to dwell in us and rule our hearts through the peace of death. If we would be more than conquerors, we must attune our hearts to obey the Spirit’s soft dealings of death. As lone pieces of mold amidst perverse colonies of bacteria, we must see ourselves as dead on the plate but alive to the Master who infuses our dead bodies with the grace and faith and power and overcoming life of the Lord Jesus. O hallelujah! This is the reality of the New Covenant victory, and the way through which God brings triumph to His children. “…as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God” (I Peter 4:1-2).


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Paul Frederick West

 2013/2/25 7:58Profile





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