"Gay Pride Meets Christian
Humility -- NJ Church Offers Cold Water to Attendees of Pro-Homosexual Event, Demonstrating
God's Love with No Strings Attached"
June 9, 2005
CharismaNow reports on "Liquid," a ministry of Millington Baptist Church in Basking
Ridge, New Jersey, which recently became a practical demonstration of Jesus' command
to "Love your neighbor," by handing out free bottles of cold water on a hot day
at Jersey Pride's 14th annual Gay Pride Celebration in Asbury Park.
Ministry Associate pastor Tim Lucas told Liquid members before the event
that they weren't going to try to convert people or argue with them, but just to
be a servant. "These people have been marginalized and hurt, often by us. If they
say, 'What are you doing here?' keep it simple. Just say, 'We're here to show you
by Aimee Herd : Jun 9, 2005 : CharismaNow
Read full story . . .
June 9, 2005
GIANTS IN THE LAND"
by Todd Bentley
Fresh Fire Ministries
In Seven Giants in the Land, we'll learn how to embrace the promises of
God and walk in faith as we gain the Lord's perspective concerning the giants in
the land. We'll examine seven giants/strongholds such as oppression/condemnation,
compromise, materialism, fear, immorality, pride, and rebellion and we'll discover
how to overcome these giants.
want to ask you to join with me in prayer so that we can position ourselves in an
attitude of worship before the Lord as we begin this week's teaching.
God, today we ask for a breakthrough
in the heavenly realm in the area of prophetic destiny. Father, I'm asking in the
name of Jesus for a tearing down of the demonic strongholds and mindsets that are
in opposition to Your promises. We want to expose and then break the demonic opposition,
stronghold, and mindset of the enemy to keep us from inheriting the land of promise.
So I am asking You to come, Holy Spirit. Anoint us with revelation and the power
of God so that we can destroy every scheme and tactic of the devil that wants to
keep us from what You promised in Your Word and what You promised us out of the
mouths of the prophets. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.
WALKING INTO THE PROMISED LAND
The Promised Land is our inheritance, our prophetic destiny. It's what God has promised
us in His word and what He has spoken to us through the mouths of the prophets.
I believe that we are crossing the waters of the Jordan River (Joshua 3) and we
are saying in our hearts, "God, I want to take the land! I want the Promised Land."
The Bible is full of God's promises and we want to inherit the land of God's promise
-- the milk, the honey, the fruitfulness, and the abundance that God has for us.
Many believers have tapes of what God has promised them through the mouth of prophets,
as well as personal promises and rhema words that have come from God's mouth. I
know that many of you have visions, dreams, revelations, and prophetic words that
were given to you by the Holy Spirit. However, many of the words have not yet come
to pass. I believe that many believers have been waiting and asking, "Father, when
am I going to have that promise? When are You going to do what You promised our
Have you ever asked God, "How am I going to receive Your promises?" That's what
I want to "nail on the head" in this teaching. I believe that there is a demonic
strategy to keep us from entering the Promised Land and God wants to show us how
to overcome. There are schemes and tactics of the devil to oppose and hinder us
from entering into everything that God has for us. We need to take back the land
that the enemy has taken from us.
So what does the Promised Land look like? When the Lord wanted Moses and the nation
of Israel to enter the Promised Land (Canaan), He told Moses to make plans to send
a leader from each of the 12 tribes to spy out the land of Canaan (Numbers 13:2).
Listen: Many of us have been spying out the land! You know what the land looks like?
REVIVAL! I believe that we're crossing the waters of the Jordan River and in our
hearts there is a militancy that the Holy Spirit is releasing upon us. The kingdom
of heaven suffers violence and the violent take it by force (Matthew 11:12).
So let's take a look at what the twelve spies faced after they were commissioned
to spy out the land: "And they went up through the South
and came to Hebron; Ahiman, Sheshai, and Talmai, the descendants of Anak, were there.
(Now Hebron was built seven years before Zoan in Egypt.)" (Numbers 13:22).
They proceeded to Hebron and they saw that the whole area was overtaken by giants,
the descendants of Anak. These giants walked in such great darkness that they possessed
substantial demonic authority that strengthened the principalities and powers over
"DO NOT FEAR THE PEOPLE OF THE LAND, FOR THEY
ARE OUR BREAD"
Before we discuss these giants in more detail I want to say that there was a whole
spiritual dynamic operating over Hebron. Because of the giants' wicked influence,
this place was a stronghold for demonic oppression and, in fact, even today there
is intense spiritual warfare over this city and region. Hebron actually means the
city of four and "seat of association."
Now another interesting point about Hebron is this -- it's where the patriarchs
and the past history makers were buried -- Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah,
Jacob and Leah. That's where the past revivalists, the godly seed and the godly
inheritance were buried. In the very place where there was revival and the very
place in history where the Holy Spirit came and moved in revival, we have even today,
a stronghold in that city and region. At one time it was vibrant and alive with
the power and fire of the Holy Ghost. Now it's dead, it's in sin and it's darker
than it was 100 years ago. The devil wants to have a stronghold in the place where
God previously poured out his Spirit, and in the future will pour out his Spirit
So when the spies entered this area, instead of breaking through spiritually and
remembering that God promised them the land (of Canaan -- Numbers 13:2), they came
under the existing demonic strongholds. All but two of the spies, Joshua and Caleb,
became completely intimidated by the giants' huge stature. So when they returned
home, ten of the spies gave a very convincing bad report (Numbers 13:25-33). So
all the people rebelled and wanted to stone Joshua and Caleb (Numbers 14:1-10).
Woe! Unfortunately, ten of the spies forgot how big God is and so they became deceived
and believed that they could not overcome the enemy. WRONG! The enemy won that particular
battle without laying one finger on the emerging nation of Israel. Talk about a
battle for their minds!
The ten spies were judged by God and died immediately from a plague (Numbers 14:37).
And the whole generation that listened and believed the bad report ended up dying
in their unbelief as they wandered for 40 years in the wilderness. It's also interesting
to see that their children lived to inherit the Promised Land and did not get into
unbelief like their parents, but they suffered for their parents' unfaithfulness
Then Caleb, 85 years old and as strong
as an ox (Joshua 14:11), went to battle against the giants a generation later after
receiving Hebron as his inheritance (Joshua 14:12-14). Years later, David, a mere
lad, prevailed against the giant Goliath and literally cut off his head (I Samuel
17:49-51). Hebron was the place where David was anointed king over Israel (II Samuel
Here we are, hundreds of generations later, dealing with the same kind of strongholds,
the same demonic tactics and strategies. The giants are the same! But let's take
note of Joshua's counsel to the people: "Only do not rebel
against the Lord, nor fear the people of the land, for they are our bread; their
protection has departed from them, and the Lord is with us. Do not fear them"
Yes, the giants are there but they
are our bread! Bread is something we eat almost every single day! Listen: There
will be giants set up to oppose God's will for our lives, but they will be bread
for us, consumed by the power of God, if we trust in the Lord and do not fear the
enemy. Going forward in faith and believing what God has spoken into our hearts
will empower us to successfully walk into the promised land.
WITH THE RIGHT PERSPECTIVE WE CAN OVERCOME
We're ready now to take a look at the enemies of God's promise, Anak and his descendants
(Numbers 13:22). Anak means to choke and to strangle as if strangling someone
with a necklace. The devil wants to choke out, strangle, and suffocate the promise
of God; often by a slow process. King Solomon said, "Where
there is no vision [no redemptive revelation of God], the people perish . . . "
(Proverbs 29:18 AMP). The enemy wants to choke and strangle the vision. The
devil just doesn't do it overnight. He's been working slowly on our mindsets every
day since we were young children. Some believers carry mindsets into the kingdom
that are opposing and blocking them from God's promise and God wants to set them
Now I want to share with you three tactics/schemes that Anak's descendants (Ahiman,
Sheshai, and Talmai) planned to use against the children of Israel to choke and
strangle God's promise to them. The enemy of our souls continues to use these same
tactics in our lives.
Ahiman means to block or
hinder. This stronghold wants to block and hinder the Holy One's plan and the
Holy One's purpose.
Sheshai means to whiten
or white wash. This stronghold wants to make something look like more than what
it really is. Here's an example. A dirty, rusty, run down automobile has some paint
thrown on it to make it look new when it isn't new at all.
Talmai means to accumulate.
The devil wants us to be so busy accumulating material goods and getting so
involved in the cares of this work and into entertainment that we don't have time
for God's purposes and promise.
The enemy wants something on the outside to look good but, in reality, on the inside,
it's full of dead man's bones, white washed tombs (Matthew 23:27). It's hypocrisy.
These strongholds try to get us to settle for something that's not authentic. It's
that "settle for this" attitude; no real life or motivation. Also there's an apathetic
spirit operating that tries to color our thinking: "I guess this is what my lot
in life is so let's not 'push the envelope.'" "If the Lord delights in us then He'll
take us into the land." "If God wants to heal me, then He'll heal me." "God is sovereign
and He does whatever He pleases so I'm not going to do anything."
If these strongholds succeed in deceiving us into settling for something that's
not God's will, then ultimately we're abandoning God's real plan. And the
strongholds are trying to get us to accumulate, and they are working with other
giants to oppose and rob us from God's promise and to keep us from entering our
We can see historically that when the Israelites confronted their enemies in one
generation (when they went in to take the Promised Land), they had to deal with
them in another generation. And we're going to have to deal with these strongholds,
too, when we take the land. We're going to have to go to "Hebron" ourselves and
overcome not only the demonic strategies but also the mindsets that bring deception.
SEVEN GIANTS IN THE LAND
Also, God didn't say we have to fight these battles alone. When Moses told the children
of Israel about the Promised Land, he said that God would "cast out" their enemies:
Lord your God brings you into the land which you go to possess, and has cast
out many nations before you, the Hittites and the Girgashites and the Amorites
and the Canaanites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites, seven nations
greater and mightier than you . . . " Deuteronomy 7:1 (Emphasis mine)
So let's examine four more enemies
that the Israelites had to confront in order to enter into God's promises: the Jebusites,
the Girgashites, the Canaanites, and Hittites. (Next week in Part 2 we'll take a
look at three more strongholds -- the Perizzites, the Amorites, and the Hivites.)
Jebusite means trodden down.
This tribe represents those who are discouraged, overwhelmed and defeated. There
is guilt, condemnation, shame, the spirit of heaviness and depression. "I can't
get over my past. I am beaten down. I am tired, I am weak. I am trodden down. It's
like a heavy cloud on me." We need to overcome the power of condemnation, shame,
and the feeling of guilt over what we've done in the past. The devil wants to overwhelm
us, discourage us, and continually accuse us so that no matter how many times we
ask God for forgiveness, we still feel condemnation.
Remember, the spies gave a bad report based on their wrong perspective.
"There we saw the giants (the descendants of Anak came from
the giants); and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their
sight" (Numbers 13:33).
Yes, the giants were big, but God is bigger and they forgot this. So often we become
overwhelmed and defeated because we can't see how God is going to get us from point
A to point B and the vision is too big. "I don't understand how God is ever going
to fulfill what He promised me." "You don't understand where I am, God, what I've
been through, how much debt I have, God, and how much trauma I have in my life."
"You don't understand who I am right now in my circumstances. How am I ever going
to step into what the prophet said about me?" "The vision in the spiritual realm
is much bigger than I am in the natural. I don't know how God is going to get it
done so I might as well give up."
God knows that when we have no vision, we'll perish (Proverbs 29:18). So He wants
to impart vision. He wants to show us the Promised Land but, because of our mindset,
we can't envision God's promises being accomplished in our imagination and dreams.
The idea is too big. We're defeated because of perspective -- because we're like
"grasshoppers" in our own eyes. As a man thinks in his own heart, so he is (Proverbs
23:7). "I don't think I can ever prophesy or heal the sick. I'm not worthy. I want
the call and the ministry that God has promised me but . . . " But, but, but, but!
And we're defeated and trodden down. Hope deferred has made the heart sick (Proverbs
13:12). But we can do what God said we can do!
Maybe some of us know that there was a time that God wanted to use us, but now the
years have passed by and we didn't step up to the plate. So, now we think God is
finished with us and the devil is right there saying, "That's right. He's done with
you. He's passed you by. You're never going to be what He's promised. You can never
get there. Look at you. Look at your circumstances." He has some of us locked into
a defeated mindset because in the natural we can't grasp what God said in the spirit.
We're so overwhelmed with all the cards stacked against us.
Due to my past, everything was against me! I was the last man that you would pick
on your team! The last man you would ever have believed God would use to shake nations
and reach tens of thousands with the gospel would be me! Nothing in the natural
qualified me! Today pastors don't understand it! They love it, but they don't understand
it! I was 21 years old and saved not even four years when I came into the ministry.
That doesn't make sense to the natural mind. But I laid on my bed at night and I
saw myself preaching in stadiums and giving altar calls. I saw people coming to
Jesus and I did the miracles on my bed in my mind's eyes. In my imagination my perspective
changed. Our perspective is so important!
Prophets had called me out and prophesied over me saying that I would reach the
multitudes like Billy Graham did. "You are going to have an anointing like Benny
Hinn for miracles, signs, and wonders." In the natural it is impossible, but here
I am today preaching in many nations around the word. Within the next six months,
Lord willing, FFM will facilitate 10 crusades in six different nations! Today God
entrusts our ministry with millions of dollars for mission projects. Business men
have stepped in and helped to pay for whole crusades that cost $50,000 or more.
God has done it because he helped me not to let a "Jebusite perspective" of condemnation
(based on the man that I was before I was saved) keep me from what God wanted to
accomplish. I said, "Devil, I may not know how it's going to get done in the natural
realm, but I have God's sure word from heaven!"
Girgashite means the dwellers of
the clay, the dwellers of the marsh, compromise or living in the grey areas.
Revelation 3:15 speaks about compromise: "I know your works,
that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot."
Compromise in Webster's Dictionary means something midway. God said that
if we are neither hot nor cold then He would vomit us out of His mouth (v. 16).
We can't be in between; we must be either hot or cold. Compromise, discouragement,
and condemnation work together. If the devil can't draw you into condemnation, discouragement,
guilt or shame, then he'll try to trap you with compromise.
Here are some lies that involve compromise: "You don't need to be as radical and
fanatical and extreme as they are. Just kind of keep it steady between you and the
Lord. You don't want to offend anybody. Let's just kind of keep it quiet." If we
compromise just a little here and there, suddenly we'll find ourselves far removed
from what God intended for us. We need to be hot. It's either hot or nothing! If
we're not hot Christians then what are we? You know when a person is on fire!
The devil doesn't want you to have passion. The opposite of passion is apathy. So
he is going to do everything he can to get you to sin because sin robs our passion
for God. Here are some of the devil's schemes: "Have a little pleasure. Don't be
in complete sin." "Don't be so extreme and on fire." "Calm down a little bit and
don't be such a Jesus freak." "Keep the faith but keep the flame small. You don't
have to go out there and tell anyone about Jesus." "You can watch this." "It's a
whole lot easier to live as a Christian in the grey areas than to live as an extreme,
radical, sold out, totally abandoned, committed to Jesus Christ, burning and shining
When I was on the street preaching the gospel, sometimes Christians would come by
and say, "I'm already saved, thank you." Or, "Listen, I've been a Christian for
20 years, thank you very much. It's guys like you who give us a bad name, trying
to tell us about Jesus." "Come on now. If God wants to save somebody, He's big enough
to do it. He doesn't need us running out in the streets and embarrassing ourselves."
"Keep it down! You're talking too loud about Jesus in the restaurant! We don't want
to disturb the rest of the people. They're paying to eat here, too." "If they wanted
to hear about Jesus, they would come to church and if they wanted to hear about
Jesus, they would come and ask you. So keep it down. If you keep talking so loud
about God, I'm leaving the restaurant!"
Are you embarrassed because of God? Has compromise taken hold of your heart? Are
you as hot as you once were? Have you lost the lamp and the fire of your first love?
Have you lowered your standards and your convictions? If so, then how are you going
to enter the promised land? Listen! The Girgashites got you!
Canaanite means materialism.
This is one of the greatest enemies today, especially in the western church. The
spirit of covetousness will rob from us the promise of God. It says in Mathew
6:24, "No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate
the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the
other. You cannot serve God and mammon." We can't serve God and money.
If we compromise and give up in our heart, defeated, feeling unworthy, then the
Canaanite stronghold of materialism will come along and try to tempt us to accumulate
as much paraphernalia and stuff as we can! And to pay for everything, the devil
just gets us working seven days a week for 12 hours a day. Then there's no time
for Jesus or our family! Materialism is about bigger toys and how much money is
in the bank account.
Did you know that it doesn't take long before success in accumulating cash and possessions
makes it harder for us to be generous? We falsely think that with more cash and
possessions we'd be such big givers, but what do we do with the money that we accumulate?
What would you do with a million dollars? Would you walk into the church and say,
"Here's your hundred grand?" When the wealth and prestige increases (not that God
doesn't use that), it's so easy to be deceived and keep telling ourselves that it's
all for the kingdom. But in reality, most of the time, it isn't for the kingdom
of God at all. That spirit of materialism gets us focused on accumulating cash and
possessions, trying to work more to get ahead, but it's a trap.
Hittites means fear.
They were a fierce nation that brought terror and fear into the hearts of their
enemies. One of the ways that the spirit of fear works against our destiny is insecurity.
When Saul was chosen as the King of Israel and it was time for him to be presented
to the people, he was afraid and so he hid by the baggage (I Samuel 10:22). Many
of us can't step into the destiny that God has for us because of our baggage, insecurities,
rejection issues, feelings of unworthiness, and because of our fears. "How am I
ever going to get up in front of all those people and speak?" Maybe you have a fear
of flying and you can't even get on a plane to go to the nations. Or maybe you're
hiding in your past, you're hiding in your baggage, or you're hiding in your trauma.
In my life there was a time when I was fearful to be in the public eye in ministry
because I feared that someone would dig into my past and pull out all of my "skeletons."
So I didn't want to get too well known in the ministry and I said, "I don't want
to get too far out there, God, because then the news and the media will talk about
my past." (Politicians are just guys like you and me until they get into government,
and then all of a sudden it's a big deal because they smoked a joint when they were
a teenager.) As it turned out, national newspapers and television wrote and spoke
about me, both the good and the bad.
Your fear might be a stuttering problem and you think that it's impossible to ever
speak publicly into a microphone. Or fear could be holding you back from going into
the ministry because of anxiety over finances and quitting your secure job and living
by faith. "I don't know where the money is going to come from. It's so much easier
having a secure wage." Or, "God, I know that You've called me to the nations but
the real reason I'm not going is that I'm afraid of flying in an airplane and I'm
afraid of trusting You." That's what fear will do. It will always challenge our
trust in God. But we don't want to allow fear to be a barrier. God wants us to take
steps of faith. If we're stuck in a fear mode, then the exploits that God wants
to do through us to advance His Kingdom won't be accomplished. That's why God said
several times: "Be strong and courageous, for the Lord
your God is with you." (Joshua 1:6, 9; 11:6). He wanted to encourage
Joshua and the people not to slip into fear. So often we are afraid. "Look at the
people! Look at the fortified cities!" We tend to look at the bills and worry about
how we're going to pay them. Or we get stuck in our insecurities.
God is commanding us to be strong and courageous! He wants us to be risk takers
and get out of the boat and walk on the water! When God told me to quit my job because
He was calling me into the nations, my first thought was this: Who the heck knows
who Todd Bentley is? I don't have any invitations. I don't even know how to get
started. I don't have a ministry. I don't know how to go anywhere and where is my
next pay check going to come from? But I had to purpose within my heart and
count the cost. Do I want God's will more than my fear? So I said, "God, I'm going
to be a risk taker. I only live once. If this is really Your will for me then I
will risk falling flat on my face." Don't let fear keep you back from apostolic
Perizzite means opened and unwalled.
This tribe was a roaming tribe that never
bothered to secure their dwellings by building walls and cities. This open, unprotected
existence represents a type of "spirit of immorality." We also call this spirit
the "spirit of Babylon" which represents lust and immorality. Here's how the spirit
of Babylon works: It tries to seduce. If we are led away, tempted, or enticed away
from the call of God on our lives, our godly principles, or our conduct, then we've
been seduced by the spirit of Babylon. This unholy spirit wants to seduce all of
us, but especially our young men and women. It specializes in persuading us to forget
our purpose and destiny, the promises of God, and our commission. Also, it tries
to entice us with status, a name, reputation, wealth and materialism.
Let me give some examples. It really is true, "Pride comes before a fall" (Proverbs
16:18). It's all too easy for even an older, mature man in ministry to give in to
the lust for money and sexual immorality once he's been taken over and deceived
by pride. A ministry can be destroyed almost overnight because of the power of lust.
We hear sometimes of a pastor who slipped into sexual sin and the ministry he was
entrusted with is over, just like that. God is merciful and the pastor can be restored
eventually if the proper steps are taken, but everything that the ministry was coming
into in the future will come into jeopardy. Also, similar temptations are there
especially for young single men who travel by themselves in the ministry and don't
keep themselves protected and accountable. Pornography is trying to lure all of
us. This stronghold is after us on the internet, it's after us in the video store,
and it's after us in magazines, to name a few.
Another tactic that the enemy will use is in the area of fantasy. Sometimes women
fantasize about a relationship; they're waiting for that "prince." Kathryn Kuhlman
just about threw away her whole ministry for a man. The relationship seemed to offer
her everything that she needed in the natural, especially the emotional comfort.
The guy was even a Christian in the ministry himself. But something happened to
the anointing and God told her to cut off the relationship with this man. It wasn't
even that she was in sexual sin.
Ungodly soul ties go hand in hand with acts of immorality. Men and women can mess
up their lives by falling for the lie that they can date and dabble in a relationship
until their right marriage partner comes along. "Well, it seems so right, God."
But it's wrong and in the end it doesn't work out, and when you meet the one that
is meant for you, there is unnecessary baggage, emotional pain, and bondage because
of past relationships. I don't believe in dating in the kingdom of God! I believe
we can ask the Lord, "What man is meant for me?" Or, "God, what woman is meant for
me?" I believe that God has a marriage partner for you. And you don't need to "try
before you buy." That's a dangerous game. There is no trying and buying in the kingdom
of God -- let's see if I like this one or if I like that one. God has an Eve for
you. God has an Adam for you. I say, "Wait for your mate!" And don't mess around
with some other woman's husband and don't mess around with some other man's wife.
Don't let the devil destroy your promise because of temptation. "It's mutual, we're
just friends. We can hang out at night at 3 a.m." The next thing that happens is
that you're in sin, guilt, and condemnation. Then the devil rubs your face in it,
and he begins to accuse you and then you don't even feel worthy to be what God said
you should be. So you just give up and keep on sinning anyways because "I blew it
already so I might as well keep on going." See how the spirit of Babylon works?
If you fall down, don't let the devil keep kicking you! Get up!
"Do not rejoice over me, my enemy; when I fall, I will arise;
when I sit in darkness, the Lord will be a light to me" (Micah 7:8).
If you've blown it, make it right with the Lord and others. Then leave it behind,
go on, be wise, and be on guard. Because the second tactic is that the enemy wants
to keep us locked in guilt and condemnation for the damage we have done. But when
you've made it right, you've made it right.
Amorite means pride and rebellion,
proud, boasting, bitter and rebels.
The Amorites made their home in the thin air of the mountains. Amorite represents
also haughtiness, self-edification, unforgiveness, and self-righteous
attitudes. Now if the devil doesn't get us drawn into unforgiveness, bitterness,
and rebellion, he'll try to get us into being self-righteous. "Well, I'm doing pretty
well. I don't struggle with the same things that Bob or Sue struggle with. I don't
know why you just can't get free of that problem that you've been struggling with
for the past five years. I had no problem getting free." "How come you can't pray
an hour a day? I pray two hours a day. You can't even get your life together and
pray an hour a week? What's wrong with you?" And these self-righteous attitudes
come up. I've come into moments of self-righteousness. We begin to accuse, judge,
and criticize because we're feeling pretty good about how we're doing.
There are times when we feel pretty good when we've been doing all the right stuff!
And even in that, we're in sin because we're feeling pretty self-righteous about
how well we're doing! Before we know it, though, we find ourselves looking over
at brother or sister so-and-so down the nose, and we're thinking, What's your
problem? I've only been saved five years. How come you're not getting it together
by now? You've been walking with the Lord Jesus for 20 years!
Self-righteousness comes from pride. Rebellion, unforgiveness, bitterness, and holding
on to "issues" go hand in hand with pride, too. All of these areas just mentioned
can be summed up like this: "You don't understand how much they hurt me. I can't
let go of this." In the natural it seems right. There is injustice all over it in
the natural. I know people that are kept from their prophetic promise and destiny
and they will never come into what God has for them because they have a problem
with leaders. "Well, I don't need to go to that church over there. That pastor doesn't
even move in half the revelation that I move in so who does he think he is trying
to speak into my life! He doesn't even know what he is talking about. I'm healing
the sick. I'm out there doing the stuff. I'm casting out demons. God is using me
in power. I am moving in the gifts of the spirit and I don't need to be in that
church over there. I have way more than they have anyway. They are a dead church
and I don't need to be there if they aren't going to let me do the stuff that I
want to do, so I'm just going to do it over here. Who needs them anyway? I only
need God's endorsement. I only need God's ordination."
Yes, we need God's endorsement and His ordination, but that's only a half truth.
We need to be careful not to get into a spirit and attitude of rebellion with leaders
-- apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, and evangelists. If we do, we'll never
go anywhere in what God has for us. We need to be accountable to people in authority
and allow mature people and leaders to speak into our lives. As well, we need to
be plugged into a church where God wants us to be. Otherwise we'll just do our own
thing and get into pride and rebellion with an attitude that says, "Who do they
think they are?"
Hivites means lie openly.
This tribe represents a type of the
spirit of humanism. This spirit is represented as a serpent. Humanism is one
of the strongest, if not the strongest, of all evil spirits at work in the world
today. It is the exaltation of man (self-exaltation) to the place of God. This spirit
manifests an attitude that says: "Let's forget about God and do it ourselves." Or
"I'm getting tired of waiting for God to do what He said He was going to do. So
if God doesn't get it done by this deadline, I'm going to go out here and I'm going
to do it myself. I don't need God. I don't need anybody. I can just get it done
The spirit of humanism is at work in the feminist movement today. I believe that
women can take their position of authority and take their position in ministry and
government. But the "feminist spirit" is the spirit of humanism that says, "Just
forget about God and men! We're going to do this ourselves and if you get in our
way then we are just going to run you over." This spirit, this attitude, is getting
into the church. It's almost the spirit of Jezebel trying to exert itself into a
place of authority through the feminist spirit and calling it "independence."
The spirit of humanism says, "I don't need God. Oh, that's good that you found a
crutch, but I don't need something to lean on. I'm glad that you found something
that helped you get off drugs and alcohol and gave you a purpose, that's good for
you, but I don't need that. I'm doing fine myself. You're doing it that way and
I'm doing it this way. We're both getting to the same place in the end." That's
a bunch of baloney!
Remember, this spirit is shown in the form of a serpent and it's trying to keep
us from God's promise and from our destiny. So let's look at Genesis 3:1. Here's
how the spirit works: Now the serpent was more cunning
than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman,
"Has God indeed said, 'You shall not eat of every tree of the garden'?"
Listen: For every prophetic promise, every prophetic destiny, and every promise
from God's presence, the spirit of humanism is right there undermining God, saying,
"Has God said?" This spirit casts doubt and suspicion, challenging the faithfulness
of God and tries to brew mistrust. "Has God said? Was that really the word
from God that you've been looking forward to for ten years?" It takes the place
of God, exalting itself before God and coming alongside what God has promised saying
"Has God said? Well if God said, then . . . ? Is that really what He meant?"
Soon we're tired, we're discouraged, and the kingdoms of this world just look so
good. In this vulnerable condition, it's so much easier to compromise and live in
the grey areas than to be an extreme, on fire, radical Christian, every day. It's
so much easier just to slip on by and hope that one day we'll fly up into heaven.
And we don't want to rock the boat as we go or push any envelopes along the way!
Let's just make it as best as we can; just me and Jesus. Of course we know
that this mindset is wrong! Jesus told His disciples to be wise as a serpent and
harmless as doves (Matthew 10:16). The serpent may be cunning, but the Lord will
freely give us wisdom and discernment so that we can possess His promises and enter
the Promised Land.
BIG, BIG GOD!
Before closing I just sense that we
need to honor the Lord by believing what He has spoken to us. Choosing to believe
what God has promised is an act of faith. It means that we're taking steps forward
into the center of God's will and closer to the Promised Land. It would be so unfortunate
for anyone reading this teaching to shrink back into unbelief and fear. You know,
the apostle Paul spoke wisely when he said:
do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. For you have need of endurance,
so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise: 'For yet
a little while, and He who is coming will come and will not tarry. Now the just
shall live by faith; but if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him.'
But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to
the saving of the soul." Hebrews 10:35-39
Keeping in mind the points that we
have studied in this article, I want to invite you to examine your heart before
the Lord. Take a look at where the enemy has been blocking and hindering God's promises
from being fulfilled in your life. Are there areas of deception and white-washing?
Are you gaining the victory over materialism, compromise, and fear? Do you know
that the sins of your past are forgiven and forgotten by the Lord when they are
confessed? Can you forgive yourself, too? Condemnation is not the children's bread
-- the giants are our bread (Numbers 14:9)! So, I say, "LET'S EAT BREAD!"
With the right perspective, we can overcome the giants that are pitted against the
fulfillment of God's promises in our lives! Last week we discovered how important
it is to have the right mindset (the mind of Christ) or our perspective is wrong.
We took a look at how the 10 spies negatively influenced the nation of Israel because
their perception was off -- they forgot how powerful God is and, even worse, they
didn't really believe His promise that they would inherit the Promised Land (Numbers
13 and 14).
Sometimes we look at those 10 spies as though they were "out of it!" After all,
God recently parted the Red Sea and conquered the Egyptians on their nation's behalf.
How could they have forgotten God's powerful hand of protection and deliverance?
But you know, sometimes we need to point the finger at ourselves. We need to make
a point of remembering all the times that the Lord has come into our circumstances
with His powerful protection and deliverance. We actually honor the Lord when we
believe and remember what He promises us. His words are forever true and He will
help us overcome all obstacles in order to walk into those promises.
POSSESSING THE PROMISED LAND
To possess means to seize, to get, to lay hold of, to grasp, to dispossess
our enemies. It means to occupy by driving out the tenants with force. It means
casting out and destroying. God told the Israelites to go and spy out the land that
He was giving them. Afterwards, when most of the people chose not to believe the
good report of Joshua and Caleb, their unbelief cost them big time. Unbelief sucks
the life out of faith and without faith they didn't have what it takes to be possessors,
to be those who would dispossess the enemy. God couldn't bless their unbelief! Remember
Moses said that God was going to give them the land of Canaan and the Lord was going
to cast out their enemies before them (Deuteronomy 7:1). If they would have believed
God, they would have seen miracles happen. They were probably hoping that if God
delighted in them that He would take care of all the problems and they wouldn't
have to work with Him and go into battle mode (Numbers 14:8) in order to possess
the Promised Land.
God said to possess the land (Deuteronomy 7:1). In fact, it's quite a job
to try and count the number of times, just in the book of Deuteronomy alone, that
God told them to possess the land. Listen: If we want the promises of God to be
fulfilled in our lives, we have to start possessing. It's aggressive. It means to
lay hold of the promise. It means grasp the promise and occupy by driving out the
tenants. It means cast out, destroy, and fight. It means if God isn't moving, then
we'll move God because our actions are speaking louder than our words.
God will often ask, "How badly do
you want this? Show me!" We need to be so hungry for what God has for us that we
stir ourselves up to take hold of God's promises and then take action. We need to
make sure that we're saying to God, "Here I am. Send me. I'm not letting go of the
promise until you bless me. I am going to remind You of every word that I've received
through the mouth of every prophet. I'm going to believe what You said, O God. I'm
going to wait here, fast, pray, and press in as much as I have to until I receive
what you said because I am not going to let it go!"
Sometimes I see believers with an attitude like they're just going to wait for sovereign
"pie in the sky!" If a word is really from God, then one day it will fall out of
heaven and they won't have to do anything! God will just wake them up one day and
supernaturally zap them into a stadium and they'll start healing all the sick. If
we're not laying our hands on those who are sick in our families and neighborhoods,
we might as well forget about impacting thousands in stadiums in the nations! If
we're not a witness at work, if we're not anointed to touch the people we come into
contact with now, then we might as well forget about touching the thousands.
There has to be something in our hearts
that is aggressive that takes the land, that presses in, that "make it happen attitude"
that makes what God promised happen. My attitude is like this: I'm not just going
to sit here and wait. I'm going to rise up and begin to go out there. I'm going
to begin to let people know that I'm available. I want to do what I can in the natural
as well as the spiritual. For instance, our ministry has a web site and we have
a mailing list so that we can stay in touch with our partners every month. We carry
tapes and products so that people who can't come to our conferences can also receive
the revelation and teaching that we are receiving. Also, this part of the ministry
helps to support us financially so that we can keep going.
When God calls and anoints us, we need good administration, good marketing, and
good business skills to go hand in hand with the anointing that we have. One good
strategy is to pray that God will send believers into our lives that have the skills
that we don't have. But we need to be diligent to learn and develop any new skills
that God is addressing and also sharpen the ones that we have already.
"The soul of a lazy man desires, and has nothing; but the
soul of the diligent shall be made rich" (Proverbs 13:4). When the natural
and practical things are growing alongside our mature spiritual life, then we're
in the right position for God to send us fully equipped into the nations.
When we have big crusades we don't just expect God to sovereignly bring over 100,000
people to the event. We buy commercials about the crusade on television, and we
arrange for bulletins and mail outs. Yes, I'm making it happen and I'm not just
waiting for it all to sovereignly happen. But I'm not doing it alone because I am
co-laboring with God; we possess the land, every time we have a crusade.
When we dispossess the enemy and when we possess the Promised Land, we're actually
of a different spirit than those who say they are unable to do it. Let's go back
to the 12 spies! Caleb's perception was: "Let us go up
at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it"
(Numbers 13:30). The people's perception after they heard the bad report was:
"We are not able to go up against the people, for they
are stronger than we" (v. 31). The word "able" means that we have the
power, we have the capacity to prevail or succeed. Listen: We can, but the
decision is up to us. Do we want to? Are we going to possess? Are we going to dispossess?
Are we going to walk forward in faith because God said, "This is the land that I
am giving you. Now take it!"?
EXAMINING OUR HEART
If we're going to take the land, if we're going to possess the Promised Land, then
we need to know the condition of our heart and what we really believe in so that
we can deal with any areas that God puts His finger on.
So, I want to ask several important
questions: What do you do the most and where do you spend most of your time? What
do you read and watch the most? Your answers will reveal what you really believe
in. Is it presence or pleasure? Maybe you thought it was presence and maybe you
thought you were on fire. But now you realize that you're not on fire as much as
you thought and the enemy has you locked into some areas of compromise. Or maybe
your problem is fear and it's keeping you from stepping forward in faith into what
God has already said. Just ask the Holy Spirit right now to come and reveal any
area of your life that you need to let go. I want to invite you to join with me
in prayer before we close this teaching.
Father, we want to ask for Your forgiveness for our unbelief. We repent for every
way that our perspectives, mind sets, and beliefs have been out of Your will. We
repent for our backsliding and we want to make a new commitment to You, Lord Jesus.
Please cleanse us. We want to be restored to the lamp of Your first love.
Holy Spirit, please come and expose any of the tactics and schemes that the enemy
is using to keep us from possessing the Promised Land. Please reveal what could
be standing between us and the promise. What's keeping us from the fullness of our
destiny? What's keeping us from our inheritance, God?
We want to overcome the giants and to militantly take what you have promised us
and overcome every hindrance and obstacle. We want to be like Caleb and Joshua who
had the right perspective. They knew what a big, faithful God You are and that You
would help their nation to dispossess the giants and then take possession of the
Father, we thank You for writing Your promises to us upon our hearts. Today we are
saying we are about to take our promise and go to war and stand against the giants
in the land. God, please give us wisdom and divine strategy to fight them. With
your help we can overcome them! God we believe Your promises to us are true and
we know that You have a great plan, purpose, and destiny for us. Lord, we present
ourselves to You as living sacrifices. If You will send us, we will go into the
nations and tell whoever will listen, the gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
In the name of Jesus, we take authority today over every spiritual stronghold! We
stand against those giants! Every tactic of the devil! In the name of Jesus, every
giant that is trying to hinder and blocks us, we command to get out of the way of
the Holy One! In the name of Jesus, we will no longer settle for less than Your
perfect will! We will no longer be complacent! We are going to rise up and fight
the good fight of faith!
The weapons of our warfare are mighty through God for the pulling down of strongholds.
Father, let every giant stronghold in our belief system come down now! Be destroyed
now! In the name of Jesus! We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us!
We are more than conquerors, in the name of Jesus! Amen! Hallelujah!
by Todd Bentley
Fresh Fire Ministries
Unless otherwise stated, all Scripture quotations were taken from the NKJV.
Todd Bentley's Upcoming Itinerary:
June 15-18, 2005
Joel's Army (East Coast)
Christ Community Church
1201 Slate Hill Road, Camp Hill, Pennsylvania
June 22-25, 2005
Strategic Keys Breakthrough Conference
Glad Tidings Church
3456 Fraser St, Vancouver, British Columbia
July 6-9, 2005
Joel's Army (West Coast)
Abbotsford Pentecostal Assembly
3145 Gladwin Rd, Abbotsford, British Columbia