Archive for the ‘Heart of Flesh’ Category

Illusion of Truth

by Julie Almanrode

The personal testimony of our family when we encountered deceiving spirits and things taught by demons through an Illusion of Truth.  This is an account of evil, demons and darkness, that tried to consume everyone involved and a few times almost won.    We learned through the trial that when we stand on the Word of God, His Spirit of Truth, and remain strong in our faith in Messiah Yeshua, the victory came from Elohim no matter how dark the darkness or how confusing the spirits.

May be purchased on amazon.com

Reviews:

“A must read for anyone wanting to learn about spiritual warfare and discernment,” (Meshele T.)

“This book is very well written and totally kept my interest.  Written from different viewpoints, it shows how people can sincerely want to please God, but be blind because of their own sin and rebellion, which can creep in without realizing it and affect not just their own lives and walk.   I am going to have my adult children read it, too.” (Darlene M.)

“I don’t generally read stories, but this one definitely kept my interest.  It has been so encouraging to me in my own gift of discerning of spirits.  My husband read over my shoulder and was intrigued.  With the subject matter being such serious spiritual warfare, I would not recommend it for young readers.”   (Vonnie B.)

“I started reading this book last night and it is very uplifting and honest. 5 stars READ IT!!!!” (Judi P.)

“What makes this book unique is that the experiences involve Messianic families. There are a lot of books written about evil spirits from a denominational Christian perspective. This book doesn’t offer anything all that different, the solutions and prayers also come from Scripture.
This is the first real-life story I have read that goes in-depth about the spirit of Jezebel. If you don’t understand how that spirit works before reading this book, you will after reading this book. It also goes a long way to offering possible motives for some church breakups.”
(J.L. Populist)

Journey With Jeremiah: Nourishment for the Wild Olive

by Julie Almanrode

Have you ever felt like you’ve ‘inherited lies’ in your faith? That something was missing and you needed more to grow in the grace as well as the knowledge of the Lord?  This is our family’s journey of how we ‘tore down’ those lies,  ‘replanted’ and built up a re-newed covenant walk of faith in the Messiah of Israel using scriptures in Jeremiah as our vision.  Journey With Jeremiah was written with reasoned and documented Biblical responses to questions we have been asked and challenged with over the past 30 years.  This book is a unique tool for those just learning about their Biblical heritage or needing a reference that explains to friends and family how you have not ‘fallen from grace’, but want to walk as Yeshua/Jesus taught and as the chosen, redeemed, holy nation of people of God should.

Part One explores many of the misunderstood doctrines in Christianity: the new covenant, the problem in Galatia, the law vs. the Law, Peter’s vision, and the timing of Jesus’ birth. Part Two brings the ancient shadows into the reality of Yeshua bringing prophetic insights into the unexplained ‘Jewish Festivals’ that leave holes in the pages of the New Testament. Part Three includes simple recipes, study guides, and crafts to incorporate into a walk of faith that celebrates the Biblical holy days.

We are not theologians, scholars or even affiliates with any ‘brand name’ ministry or teachers. We are  non-Jewish believers in Yeshua of Nazareth, the Messiah of Israel, who desired to know Him and our heavenly Father more deeply.  His Spirit was faithful to teach us.

May be purchased on amazon.com

Reviews:

“What a refreshing drink from a deep well! This book answers so many questions those who are coming out from the church and into a true walk with the Messiah seem to have. Written in a personal, gentle way but covering every topic with such clarity and depth. You will be forever changed by reading this wonderful book. Highly recommend!” (Truth Unveiled)

“An eye opening read! I find myself going back time and again for reference. It’s a perfect companion for bible study, and a great starting point for exploring the Jewish context of the Bible and our Messiah. My life and walk with God has changed so much for the better since first opening for this book!” (Bambobutler)


Yeshua in His Father’s Feasts

Yeshua in His Father’s Feasts is a personal or group in-depth study that reveals the shadows and realities of the Messiah in the prophetic visions in the Feasts of the LORD. It will fill in the holes of your Bible when reading the words ‘Jewish feast’ or ‘the feast of the Jews.’  This study will illuminate often-overlooked phrases and idioms that allude to the ‘appointed times’ of God.

Both the prophet Micah and King Solomon state that without prophetic vision and knowledge, God’s people perish. Studying the Biblical holy days will revive the searching soul and bring insight and understanding into the complete salvation found in Yeshua – his past, present and future work.

This study includes Scriptures from the Torah, Prophets, Psalmes, Gospels and Letters. It includes activities for families and children that will enhance celebrating the Biblical ‘appointed times’ as well as sgugestions for digging deeper into traditional and Biblical Jewish customs surrounding Yeshua In His Father’s Feasts.

May be purchased on amazon.com

Reviews:

“This is the best Bible study I have ever done. I can’t seem to put it down and I am learning more and more about my faith everyday. I have been a believer for 60 years and I am learning truths I was never taught in church. I even asked my pastor if he knew all of this and admitted, he did not.” (M. Graves)

“I have been growing in my faith from reading and studying the Feasts in this guide. Thank you for your faithfulness to Yeshua!” (S. Corben)

“Few Christians understand that the context for the Jewish Messiah of the New Testament of their Bibles is the culture and language and history of the nation of Israel. This book helps explain why that culture, language and history is necessary knowledge for understanding the identity of the Messiah and how knowing the Jewish Messiah enlarges the understanding of the Biblical feasts. Good, basic foundational information from which to launch further study. Very enjoyable and eye-opening.” (W. Lopez)

“Loved it. Will keep going back for future Wisdom that truly matters.” (J. Banta)

The Swallowing of Overwhelming Depression

“Now if someone has been a cause of pain, it is not I (Sha’ul) whom he has pained, but, in some measure – I don’t want to overstate it – all of you.  For such a person the punishment already imposed on him by the majority is sufficient, so that now you should do the opposite – forgive him, encourage him, comfort him.  Otherwise such a person might be swallowed up in overwhelming depression.  So I urge you to show that you really do love him” (2 Corinthians 2:5-7). 

Have you ever known someone who has struggled with ‘overwhelming depression?’  Have you ever considered it was caused by a state of pain where there was a lack of forgiveness, encouragement and comfort? from others, from themselves? 

Deeply-Rooted Pain

The person who lives with overwhelming depression has pain whether it is self-inflicted or from someone else.  Many try to mask that pain with alcohol, sex, and illegal drugs. For many who suffer they turn to the modern-day option of pharmeceuticals. They rely on medication because they are told their depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in their body.  Of course medical science can prove this is true, but from where did that chemical imbalance originate?  What is the root of the depression?

According to Scripture, the Body of Messiah imposes punishment on such people by their actions or inactions.  This can be done to unbelievers as well as believers causing a gigantic chasm between the healing power of our God and the lost and dying soul. According to Sha’ul the punishment (being ignored, judged, ostracized) of those in the congregation is sufficient, but he states more is needed – congregations are admonished to forgive, encourage and comfort the suffering individual. I would add this needs to be done outside the Body of Messiah as well as inside.

“Dear friend, I am praying that everything prosper with you and that you be in good health, as I know you are prospering spiritually” (3 John 2).

A book entitled “A More Excellent Way” written by Henry Wright delves into the spiritual roots of disease using the Scriptures along with his medical background.  

He suggests that in order to be healthy ‘mind, body, and soul,’ each of us needs to be in right relationship with God, with others, and with ourselves.

Forgiveness by God

First and foremost, forgiveness.  Forgiveness begins with the relationship we have with God.  By Yeshua’s blood forgiveness of sin and guilt is allotted to each of us as individuals.  Our relationship with God can be restored through forgiveness, but without Yeshua, our relationship with our Creator/Father remains broken.

“Bear with one another; if anyone has a complaint against someone else, forgive him.  Indeed just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you must forgive” (Colossians 3:13).

Forgiveness from those with whom we fellowship is also necessary.  Yeshua commanded that we forgive our brothers and sisters in order to receive personal forgiveness from the Father.  We can’t have one without the other.  He commands we forgive a brother or sister 7 times 70 or until forgiveness brings healing to the individuals involved (Matthew 18:22). 

Forgiveness of Oneself

Forgiveness of oneself is often the most difficult because in wounding another we wound ourselves.  This can become a never-ending cycle of blame and hurt.  Forgiving ourselves when another refuses to forgive us can also be an insurmountable wall.  Tucked away in the second part of the two greatest commandments includes loving others as we love ourselves.  Loving ourselves includes forgiving ourselves in spite of Satan reminding us of our fallen nature  and judging our hearts with words like, “You’re not good enough to be forgiven.  You have to flesh this out!”  

Because the Adversary is the father of lies, these words are blatant lies.  Yeshua ‘fleshed’  everything out by taking on our sins, our sickness, our diseases, our guilt issues, our depression on the cross. 

Knowing that our Father has forgiven us and Yeshua died so we could receive that forgiveness can set us free from “overwhelming depression” because standing on Truth refutes the accusations of the enemy.  

Recently I read a sad article about a young woman in the Netherlands who was euthanized because she could no longer ‘live with herself.’  She had been sexually abused as a child and then raped twice as a young adult.  By 17, she felt she could no longer live and that death was the only way out of her pain.  Doctors agreed with her decision because in the Netherlands it is legal for anyone over 12 to make the decision to commit legal suicide.  Her mother also felt that because her daughter struggled with anorexia and nearly died, she should be allowed to die.   

Because the Netherlands is now post-Christian, placing those who trust in the God of Israel and the Messiah Yeshua, behind glass like in a museum as something ‘cute’ and in the past, this woman died because of pain – pain that Yeshua took upon himself so she could be healed –  body, soul and spirit.  Instead, she allowed the ‘father of lies’ to speak into her mind and she is lost for all eternity.  

This is not an example of the pain inflicted by the Body of Messiah, but it is the result of the fields being white for the harvest and few workers.  Death is not the way out of pain and ‘overwhelming depression’; Yeshua is.  

“Instead be kind to each other, tenderhearted and forgive each other, just as in the Messiah God has also forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:32).

Encouragement from The Body

To encourage others in the relationships we have is the reflection of Yeshua’s life in us.  The journey to healing and restoration includes encouragement to continue walking through and eventually out of the pain one has suffered.   It is important for someone who struggles guilt and the ensuing depression must learn how to overcome and not revert into the same emotionally destructive patterns.   Encouragement from those in the Body of Messiah, the spiritual family of believers, becomes key to progressing the healing process. 

“Let the Word of the Messiah, in all its richness, live in you as you teach and counsel each other in all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your heart to God in your hearts” (Colossians 3:16).

In what is your identity?

Each of us can become consumed by the disease of depression that we need to be reminded to see ourselves as God sees us – whole and healed being transformed into the image of His son.  Our identity should never be in the pain, the depression or the disease, but in Yeshua who set us free from the spiritual roots of disease. 

I knew a woman who asked that God put the sins of her husband on her so he could be saved.  God answered this woman’s prayer and gave her a very rare cancer.  Consequently, she embraced her disease as part of carrying her husband’s sin!  When she told me what she had done, I told her to immediately repent because we, mere jars of clay, are incapable of taking on our own sin let alone those of someone else.  Her cancer did not go away, but she lived years longer than expected and only passed because of something that had nothing to do with the cancer.

Awhile back I was part of a group of people praying for someone who was ill.  Different supplicators asked God to put the person’s burden of the illness on them!  We can carry the burdens of the one who is ill by taking care of them, encouraging them, ministering to their spiritual needs, but we were not created to carry the illness or diseases of anyone.  That is the reason and purpose for Yeshua’s death and resurrection.

“In fact, it was our diseases he bore, our pains from which he suffered; yet we regarded him as punished, stricken and afflicted by God.  But he was wounded because of our crimes, crushed because of our sins; the disciplining that makes us whole fell on him, and in fellowship with him, we are healed” Isaiah 53:4-5). 

Job was afflicted with horrible sores from the soles of his feet to the crown of his head.  He scratched himself with a piece of pottery and sat in ashes.  He never blamed God for what was happening to him.  He never ‘cursed God and died’ as his wife suggested.  Though there was great discourse between Job and his friends, his righteousness before God had been tested because the Adversary challenged that righteousness.  In the end, Job learned about God’s Sovereignty and his life was restored with greater blessings.  In all of his struggles, he never embraced his afflictions as his identity and willfully consoled his pain by believing he suddenly has some inspiration as to how he was going to die!  

Though disease and working through the pain of disease may be allowed by God to transform us into the image of Messiah through suffering, God does not give us diseases to teach us a lesson or show us the way we are going to die.  One of the names or characteristics of God is the El Rafa or the Healer.  It confounds me as to why a Healer would inflict illness on His people and why people actually believe such nonsense.  Perhaps the only reason a person has a disease is because it’s the only way to send a faithful servant to a place where someone needs to hear the message of salvation in Yeshua.  

Praised be God, the Father of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah, compassionate Father, God of all encouragement and comfort; who encourages us in all our trials, so that we can encourage others in whatever trials they be undergoing with the encouragement we ourselves have received from God” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).

At the last Passover as Yeshua spoke of the new covenant instituted by his blood, he promised a Comforter when he ascended to the Father.  The Comforter gives us the power to overcome sin in our lives.  Many of the sins with which we find ourselves entangled are rooted in our weakness as a human being, but by  embracing the Ruach, the Spirit of God, we receive the power to stand against those sins and the Comforter  becomes the ‘medication’ that not just manages the disease, but heals our mind and soul and ultimately our bodies.  

“May the God of shalom make you completely holy – may your entire spirit, soul and body be kept blameless for the coming of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah” (1 Thessalonians 5:23).

The Conflict of Soul and Spirit

Henry Wright suggests that depression is a spiritual battle caused by a conflict between the spirit and the soul.  If that is the case, then what does that mean?

It means that when we are diagnosed with an illness like “overwhelming depression,” we need to stop and look at what is happening in our spiritual lives and how it’s affecting our souls.   The famous hymn says, “It Is Well With My Soul,” but is it?  Is there an emotional conflict between what you know is Truth in your spiritual man and what your soul (mind) is telling you? Have you embraced that you have a renewed mind (Romans 12:1-2)?

“For who has known the mind of Adonai?  Who will counsel him? But we have the mind of Messiah” (1 Corinthians 2:16).

Death from Suicide

I have known three people to take their lives.  The first was a man with whom I worked for several years.  I lost touch with him only to reconnect several months before he made that fateful decision.  Those who lived near him heard him fighting with ‘someone’ the night he died though he was alone!  He was not a believer, but very much into mysticism.  What battle was raging in his soul?

The second was a woman who claimed to follow Christ.  She never had any outward sign of depression though after she took her life, it was revealed she struggled with depression for many years.  Why, as a believer, did she succumb to the lies of the evil one?  Was there no one ministering to her the power of God over the enemy’s lies? What were her last moments like?  Did her spirit and soul battle? 

The third was a young man I had known since he was born.   As I tried to understand the reasons for his action,  I just could not fathom making the decision to ‘end it all.’  He had a wife and two very young sons.  Yet, he also believed the lies of the evil one who came to steal, kill and destroy his life and his family.  From the evidence surrounding his death, there was an obvious spiritual conflict going on between his spirit and his soul. 

The most famous Biblical suicide was Judas.  Once he betrayed Yeshua, he went to the authorities and said, “I sinned in betraying an innocent man to death.”  He, too, had a struggle between his soul and his spirit.  The leaders didn’t care that he had a conscience and he hurled the pieces of silver into the sanctuary of the Temple and hung himself (Matthew 27:1-10).

“We have God’s power for demolishing strongholds.  We demolish arguments and every arrogance that raises itself up against the knowledge of God; we take every thought captive and make it obey the Messiah” (2 Corinthians 10:5).  

Eternity and Self-Inflicted Murder

With each of those that I knew who took their own lives, much discussion ensues.  Some believe that the person loses eternal life; others believe they never have it.  Still others say, ‘once saved, always saved’ or believe that just because the person had loved one, they receive a special place with God.  Though each person has their reasons for their viewpoint, they never really dealt with the consequences of ‘murdering’ oneself. I had no real opinion so I put it in the same category of Pharaoh who’s heart was hardened by God because there was an eternal plan.  Only God knows the destiny of the one who commits suicide since it’s not definitively laid out in Scripture.

When I was in Israel I asked a man who claimed to be a cohen how Judaism viewed suicide. This man said the Scriptures clearly state that we will each stand before God and give an account of our lives.  In Judaism it is believed that the one who takes his life will also give an account of his death.  That was a new perspective for me to ponder.  Giving an account of our individual lives and every word spoken is quite overwhelming, but what a burden to carry to give an account of one’s death.  What would it be like to stand before my Creator and Father and explain why I didn’t want His breath of life any longer flowing through my body?  What would it be like to say, “I choose the day I’m going to die, not You?”

“It is the Spirit of God that made me, the breath of Shaddai that gives me life” (Job 33:4).  

After considering the words of Sha’ul to the Corinthians, I began to see another side of the ‘account of death.’  What if those who take their lives stand before God and say, “No one forgave me, no one encouraged me to walk in faith like Yeshua, no one comforted me with the comfort of the Spirit when I struggled?”  What if the Body of Messiah will ultimately accountable for the death of one of those who was struggling with “overwhelming depression?”  What if the Body of Messiah has lost the command to forgive, encourage, and comfort? What if the Body of Messiah has lost its connection with the Father, Yeshua (who has the Words of eternal life) and the Spirit that gives us that life? 

Sha’ul sayas in 1 Corinthians 11 that those who ‘eat the body and drink the wine’ in an unworthy manner, who don’t recognize the Body of Messiah,  drink judgment upon themselves.  He explains that is why there are many who are weak and sick within the congregation.  Could the same be said for those who don’t forgive, encourage and comfort those with “overwhelming depression,” suffering a debilitating conflict between spirit and soul?

Ultimately the answers to these questions will be answered by the Father in the world to come.  Until then, as another man, considered a believer, succumbs to suicide, I wonder what his resurrection moment will be like when he stands before God and gives an account of his death.  Will it be about a battle between his soul and spirit that he had no power to overcome – he lacked the power of the Spirit of God and walked a life of defeat?  Will it be that he just didn’t know and understand that his identity wasn’t in the pain he suffered, it was in Messiah Yeshua who took on the pain so he could be free from his suffering?   Or, will it be that he never had truly accepted the forgiveness offered by God through Messiah’s blood and, though he was a good man had a broken, unrestored relationship that will keep him from an eternal Paradise?  Whatever brought him to be ‘swallowed by overwhelming depression’ will be given an account. Whatever condition his/her soul, believer or non-believer, whose burden will it be?

©2019 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing. 

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