Thursday, August 29, 2013

SPIRITUAL BLINDNESS, THE DESTROYER OF THE CHURCH!


On August 28th, 2013, I spent the day writing this essay (and on January 19th, 2014, I further added to it) because the Spirit of God was weighing it heavily upon me then and now, and willing me to write it. This is due to the heavy Spiritual Blindness that I have witnessed in many professing believers online, coupled with a strong revelation that I received from God that salvation does NOT just come from a claim to “believe” in Yahshua or Jesus as a wise man and historical figure, but from a belief in or knowledge of Who Yahshua really was AND IS, and what He came to accomplish with His Blood and by His Spirit in order to save us from sin and death.

The problem of Spiritual Blindness in the Church comes from the improper interpretation of several widely preached Scriptural statements about the nature of our salvation in Christ. These are found in Romans 10:9-13, which quotes Joel 2:32, as well as Yahshua’s claim in John 3:16, which is better understood if seen in context with the verses directly before and after it. These important Scriptures are quoted below. Please pray and ask God’s Spirit to reveal what they mean to God before reading them:
Romans 10:9-13 ~ “...if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. 13 For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”” 
John 3:14-18 ~ “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”
These Scriptures plainly say or imply that anyone who believes in Yahshua or Jesus and calls on His Name will be saved. However, the Scriptures don’t tell us exactly what they mean by “belief” or “saved”, and we need to figure this out before we can properly interpret what is being said. In order to do this, we need to study the Scriptures to determine exactly what disciples of Christ are supposed to believe, and what it means to be saved. Furthermore, we need to figure out if being saved is the same thing as being in the Kingdom, and if there is a difference between being “saved” as opposed to being “born again”.

For a long time, I assumed that anyone familiar with the true Gospel of Salvation knows that - in order to enter the Kingdom of God - we are called to flee from sin, and to live a godly life in Yahshua BY HIS SPIRIT, and that we were bought at a price on Calvary. We are no longer our own, but are purchased bond-servants of the living God and His Son by His shed Blood. This means that we are no longer our own, but need to die to the world, and live for Yahshua by following the call of His Holy Spirit within us:
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 - “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” 
1 Corinthians 7:22-23 - “For he who is called in the Lord while a slave is the Lord’s freedman. Likewise he who is called while free is Christ’s slave. 23 You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men.”
The trouble is that many believers do not understand the freeing action of the Holy Spirit in our salvation, which frees us from our bondage to sin. This is why many calls to live a godly life today are totally legalistic. Since they focus on the letter of the Law and not the Spirit of the Law, they leave out any mention of the Holy Spirit. But without the Spirit of God working in us, we are all doomed to fail, and to die in our sins. We need the indwelling presence of God’s Holy Spirit to be transformed from a carnal sinner into a redeemed follower of Yahshua:
John 3:4-7 ~ “Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” 5 Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’” 
John 14:25-26 - “He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me. These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.”

 John 15:26 - “But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.”
Yahshua told His disciples about the Holy Spirit, and about being born again spiritually because He wanted them to anticipate the Spirit’s coming and its action within us. He knew that when we try to resist sin by our own power, we will fail. This is why we need the Spirit of God dwelling within and communicating His Will to us in an active relationship full of prayer and words of knowledge! Only then can we ever hope to consistently be able to flee from sin and resist temptation. As the Apostle Paul said:
Romans 8:5-11 - “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. 8 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. 9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. 10 And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.”
In the above Scripture, the Apostle Paul said: “Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he (or she) is not His” (Romans 8:9). This means that those who are not born-again - meaning they do not have the baptism of the Holy Spirit - are NOT Yahshua’s, meaning that they are NOT SAVED! So how do you know that you or that someone else has the baptism of the Holy Spirit or not? You can tell by their fruit! When we receive the Spirit of God within us, we are born again of the Spirit, and we begin to leave our sinfulness behind as we manifest spiritual gifts in accordance with our degree of devotion to God in Christ. Regarding this, the Apostle Paul also said:
Galatians 5:19-25 - “Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”
To learn more about the Spiritual gifts and fruits that the Holy Spirit gives to believers after they are saved and born again,  please read the following article after reading this one:

DO YOU MANIFEST THE FRUITS AND 
GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT?
To receive spiritual gifts, we must be born again by the Spirit of God, which helps us to manifest spiritual gifts and to live righteously. But in order to receive the Spirit of God, we must truly believe in our need for Yahshua, which means we first have to realize that we are filthy in our sins, and we have a desperate need for a Messiah or Savior. This is where the Ten Commandments come in! These Laws of God convict us of our sins, although it is powerless to save us from them! Then, once we are convicted of our sinfulness, we will realize our need for a Savior. The Apostle Paul also taught about this, saying:
Romans 3:19-22 - “Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. 20 Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin. 21 But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22 even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe.” 
Romans 8:2-4 - “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, 4 that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.”
This is where Yahshua and His redeeming Blood, Grace and Spirit come in! Chapter 3 of the Gospel of John clearly tells us that we must believe in Yahshua (meaning WE MUST REALIZE OUR DESPERATE NEED FOR YAHSHUA AS THE PERFECT, SINLESS SAVIOR!) in order to be born again by receiving Yahshua’s Spirit: 
John 3:5-8 - “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

John 3:16-21 - “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. 18 He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. 21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.” 
Unfortunately, though the above Scriptures tell us exactly how we can become born again, very few read past the statement that Yahshua made in John 3:16, or attempt to understand the rest of the passage that clarifies its meaning, especially verse 18, which says: “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” Millions of professing Christians therefore believe that all they need to do to be saved is to believe in the historical Jesus without really understanding that Yahshua is the ONLY begotten Son of God, and that His Name, which means “Yah Saves!”, describes His Divine Character and our need for Him as our Messiah.

They do not fully understand that Yahshua was God born in the flesh, Who died for our sins and rose from the dead, and only Yahshua was, and is and always will be the Son of God that can SAVE US FROM OUR SINS! They also do not believe what it says in verses 19 through 21, which explains that all of us are in complete spiritual darkness unless we allow the light of Yahshua to shine in our hearts and root out the dark shadows of evil within us all. But without this understanding, we cannot be saved by His Spirit, or delivered from the clutches of the Evil One!

For this reason, many professing believers who say that they believe in Yahshua don’t show any of the seven spiritual fruits listed in Galatians 5:22-23 to any great degree. This is because they do not understand the Gospel of the Kingdom of God fully, and they are not truly born again so that they can enter God’s Kingdom within. They are therefore missing the internal relationship with God that we all need to be guided by in order to please God rather than man. Sadly, though many professing believers say that they want to hear from God and please Him, they also say that He doesn’t speak to them, and they only hear silence when they try to inquire of Him.

Sometimes, even when professing believers have been taught how to recognize God’s voice, they still cannot hear Him. For example, I carefully taught my daughter how to recognize God’s call in our lives when she was young, but even though she truly believes in Yahshua and the Gospel of the Kingdom, she still has not heard His call yet at the age of 19.

This is baffling to me - perhaps because I still catch myself assuming that everyone has an active conscience, which I would describe as an inner voice that warns us when we are tempted to sin, and tries to steer us away from doing so. I also assumed that most people understand that this inner dialogue is not purely within our own imaginations. But my own experiences with my family and friends has proven that this assumption is incorrect, and most people do NOT understand that the Holy Spirit tries to reach each of us from a very early age until we refuse to listen any longer out of fear, hatred, or disbelief.

Ominously, the only people I know of who have made the claim that they have never heard that inner voice within are either already totally depraved, or hardened criminals, and I believe that these poor souls are under a veil of demonic oppression so heavy that the Spirit of God can’t get through at all. Many criminals that never express real remorse or guilt for any crimes they have committed are definitely under demonic bondage, and unless they are eventually saved by accepting the Gospel of Salvation through Yahshua, and are supernaturally baptized with God’s Spirit, they will never experience true remorse or repentance.

You can choose not to believe me, but I have seen this type of heavy oppression in people I knew. In fact, it was so severe that they physically shut down whenever I tried to preach the Gospel to them, and they literally could not hear or see me! They entered a nearly catatonic state for a brief period that they DID NOT REMEMBER afterwards. These people were no longer present spiritually, and I could see this because their physical eyes were closed and they did not respond to my questions, even though their bodies were present!

In this way, God showed me that some people are most definitely under heavy demonic influence and control, and may even be demon-possessed and therefore UNABLE TO HEAR the Gospel of Redemption in Christ. This can happen to people either due to their own rejection of God, or due to generational curses that operate within their own family lines.

As another example, 30 years passed in my own life before I could actually read any portion of the Bible for longer than 10 minutes without falling totally asleep! This is another form of spiritual bondage, and the only cure for it is to ask God to remove and lift any hindrance within us to understanding and appreciating His Word. We need to apply the Blood of Yahshua over our physical senses, our minds, and our hearts and bodies if we truly want to follow Him, and the very first step to following Him is being able to understand His Word! We therefore frequently need to ask God to show us how to understand His Word, and to show us when we don’t!

Whether we recognize it or not, each one of us has a spirit of good and a spirit of evil operating inside of us from birth. This is what the KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL means, and it is our sorry legacy from the Devil to have both the voices of good and evil battling within us every day of our lives, with evil trying desperately to enslave and destroy us before we can choose to do good. Sadly, evil often wins out because only those of us who truly want God to boot out the spirit of evil within us will receive the Holy Spirit, which occupies the space left by the demonic voices within us when we ask God to kick them out. But since the reality of the unseen spiritual realm where demons and angels operate is not seriously taught in most Christian churches today, most professing believers don’t have a clue about the unseen spiritual principalities and powers that effect their decisions and choices every single day, or their need to get God to boot them out!

It’s a nightmarish situation - one that I am caught up in within my own family as I struggle with a husband, daughter, relatives and friends that say they believe in God, but act as though they are living for the Devil! Sadly, they are all deaf, dumb and blind to the raging unseen spiritual battle going on within and outside of themselves every single day. It’s absolutely terrifying to me to know that most of the people in this world that I have to deal with are operating without a clear understanding of the spirit world that is so much a part of their lives, or of the real power we have been given in Yahshua to fight against the evil powers always working to destroy us!!!

This is by far the greatest tragedy of Christianity and Messianic Judaism today, and by far the hardest thing to fight against. For example, I have been praying constantly over the years for the spiritual eyes of those I love to be opened so that that they will no longer suffer from spiritual blindness. But this has been largely ineffective, and their spiritual vision remains closed. For this reason, I believe that true salvation is based on desire. If someone doesn’t have any real desire within to pursue the things of God or to know Who God really is, they will eventually become totally caught up in the things of the world, totally deaf spiritually, and virtually unable to hear God’s voice clearly at all.

Without this understanding, I would be at a loss to know why God has been so active in my life ever since I was a youth, and why this hasn’t been the case in the lives of the people I am closest to. I believe that God reaches out to all of us, but we often don’t remember the times that God was doing so, even though some like me can recall these times as if they happened yesterday. This is why Scripture says that “many are called, but few are chosen” (Matthew 22:14). God reaches out to all of us in the same way, but many are under such heavy spiritual oppression that they forget, and do not recognize God’s promptings in their lives because they LACK THE DESIRE TO! In truth, Yahshua is what all the nations truly desire, because only through Him can they find everlasting peace, love, harmony and joy. As it says in Scripture: 
Haggai 2:7 - “‘I will shake all nations, and they shall come to the Desire of All Nations, and I will fill this temple with glory,’ says the Lord of hosts.” 
The Desire of All Nations is another Title for Yahshua, because He is the Desire of our Hearts! As an example of having that desire for Him, I can point to the fact that I have had a real hunger to know God, a real belief that He existed in some form or another, and a real belief in and fear of the unseen spirit world even when I was young, and even though this was not taught to me. I think that this is what being chosen is all about. We are all called to choose to believe in God, AND in His power over the spirit world that He exists in, but few are chosen because they do not choose to believe that the spirit world exists, or that it is governed by sentient, purposeful spiritual beings with a definite agenda. Also, whether we choose to believe it or not, a large segment of that spirit world desires to destroy us, and these spirits are well equipped to do so unless we understand where our only real help comes from, and that is Yahshua.

To receive help from God, we are all called to get to know God, so that - in exchange for His help - we will be able to follow Him and do His Will. But this is where many of us stumble. Instead of talking to God directly, we rely on human wisdom and human teachers to try to get to know Him. But no amount of listening to preachers, reading the Bible, praying by rote, or studying the theological works of others can give us a relationship with Yahweh God or His Son Yahshua. Only talking directly to our heavenly Father, His Son and His Spirit by NAME, and asking them to speak to our hearts and give us the ability to HEAR them, to take away our ignorance, to show us how to live and how to understand them, and to remove our sinful desires with their power can give us a real relationship with the Triune God we profess to worship!

Sadly, however, many believers have never been taught this, and so they do not know how to follow God effectively, or fight against the wiles of the Devil. They have no spiritual armor or authority, and so they are wide open to being deceived and hurt by the wiles of the Devil and his henchmen here on Earth. But if we are to be fully equipped to serve God, it is essential for us to know who and what we are fighting against, and what weapons are at our disposal to fight God’s battles here on Earth: 
Ephesians 6:10-18 - “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints...” 
THE REAL TRAGEDY OF THIS AGE OF REASON is that too many have reasoned the God of the Bible - and the spirit realm in which He operates - out of existence. Generations have been raised without any real knowledge of the unseen spiritual world, or its power over us unless we utilize the redeeming Blood of Yahshua, and the power of God’s Spirit to drive away all the carnal, fleshly, lustful urges and demonic influences in our lives. Most tragically of all, many professing believers now act as if it were some dark sorcery to call on the Name of Yahshua and His shed Blood on the Cross to fight against the dark spiritual forces that are trying to destroy us daily!

Based on what God has shown me as relayed in this article, I think that salvation is not just through believe in Yahshua as the ONLY Son of God made flesh (as He is portrayed throughout the New Testament), but through our belief in the Spirit Realm that He has complete power over. Therefore, in order to tell if someone is saved or not, we ought to not just ask them whether or not they believe in Yahshua, but if they believe in angels and demons, and in Yahshua’s power over them both. If they do not believe in the Spirit Realm, and in our complete powerlessness over it unless we have Yahshua and His Spirit to fight on our behalf, they are NOT SAVED!

If this sounds harsh or untrue, you need to ask yourself: “What does belief in Yahshua mean?” If our definition of belief is faulty, then we will not know how to believe in Yahshua correctly. Believing in Him is believing in WHY He was sent, and that was not only to free us from sin and death, but to free us from sin caused by demonic lies and satanic deceit, and from disease fueled by demonic power. This means that Yahshua was sent to protect us from demonic spiritual attack and oppression. When we truly believe in Yahshua, He gives us His loving care and protection via His indwelling Spirit, and the power of His shed Blood to purify and heal us from the satanic onslaught we all experience until we are saved and born again. Believing all this is therefore what it means to truly believe in Yahshua!

In fact, our salvation is based not only on our faith in Yahshua, but on what we believe about Him. We need to believe in Yahshua correctly before we can be saved. If we do not understand why He was sent, then we cannot understand what we are supposed to believe about Him in order to be saved. If we believe that He was resurrected, but we do not know what this means for us beyond salvation from physical death, we are NOT saved because we are believing in a different Messiah, and a different Gospel. As the Apostle Paul wisely said:
2 Corinthians 11:2-4 - “For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. 3 But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. 4 For if he who comes preaches another Jesus (or Yahshua) whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted - you may well put up with it!”
Do not put up with a different Gospel or a different Yahshua other than the one presented here that centers on Yahshua as the perfect, sinless Son of God. He was crucified for your sins (1 Corinthians 2:2) so that you could be saved and born-again with Christ’s indwelling Spirit, which is the ONLY WAY to enter into the Kingdom of God! Do not believe otherwise, because if you do, you could pay a heavy price in this life, and the next! In fact, hardened sinners who do NOT seek the repentance and forgiveness that is required from the Gospel message will NOT enter the Kingdom of God as Paul taught in 1 Corinthians 6:8-10 and Galatians 5:19-21.

Paul is clear about this in the above passage, and Christ taught His disciples that - if they do not forgive others - then their heavenly Father will not forgive them (See Matthew 6:14-15). This is a Kingdom principle, and those who do not understand our need to forgive in order to be forgiven cannot and will not enter the Kingdom of God. Instead, they will be left behind in the Rapture to be refined in the fire of the Tribulation, where they will likely learn the Kingdom principles they need to know from the 144,000 Witnesses. They will be saved, but as through the fire (See 1 Corinthians 3:11-17).

God forbid that anyone lose their salvation, but it may never have been yours in the first place if you refuse to believe in the whole Gospel, which actually has three distinct divisions that open one’s spiritual awareness when understood! I explain the three Gospel Steps that need to be understood by every disciple before they can enter the Kingdom of God in the first article linked to below. The second article is also very important to read because it explains exactly what the Gospel of Repentance and Salvation is, as found in the Book of Galatians. If you haven't, you should make an effort to read these articles, as your salvation may depend on it:

ENTERING THE KINGDOM OF GOD -
THE THREE GOSPEL STEPS
With Love From
Your Sister in Yahshua,
Helena Lehman of the
Pillar of Enoch Ministry (POEM)
Bible Scholar and the Author of
comprehensive Biblical reference work
containing over 2800 pages in 4 volumes.
To learn more, visit the POEM Web Site

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