Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Chapter 10 Study Notes: Sandie Freed's Crushing the Spirits of Greed and Poverty

The last chapter explains Elijah and his faith to be steadfast against drought, persecution and the evil Jezebel and Ahab. The entire book could be summarized into one question, one sentence, one verse from God's word: 1 Kings 18:21, "How long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal is God, follow Him."

Being unsure of God's provision and living in confusion is entering into a Babylonian influence where confusion and seduction by satan will reign.

As we close out on this book, let's take a cue from Elijah. Does my belief system totally align with God's word? Does yours? Is there doubt? As Sandie shares, as a man thinks in his heart, he will become.

Elijah dug trenches of water to hold seed. We need our Living Water. God is our Seed.

We need like Elijah to lay down our burdens.

We need with our new altar and foundation to be ready for holy fire to consume everything.  This fire must burn away mistrust, doubt, unbelief.  Be completely consumed with Him.

In the end, Elijah asked that everyone would turn their hearts back to Him. When the fire of the Lord came down it burned the sacrifice, wood, stones, and water in the trench.  God's holy passion consumed the altar, a white hot fire.

Will you choose Jesus, our white hot fire of love and provision?

My heart is restless to jump into this fire and renounce any association I've had with Babylon, Mammon, divination, the occult, Jezebel or Ahab. I can't think of a better way to end 2010 and start 2011!

Monday, December 27, 2010

My Study Notes: Chapter 9 Sandie Freed's Crushing the Spirits of Greed and Poverty

We're almost to the end of Sandie Freed's life changing book. Here are my study notes for Chapter 9. Previous notes are in the archives.
Naaman was a military leader with leprosy. He knew people made fun of him and avoided him, and he dreaded returning home.  When he finally did, his wife received him and told him about Elisha the prophet. It took awhile to convince Naaman to travel, but Naaman did. Elisha told him to dip in the Jordan 7 times. Naaman wasn't sure about that, dipping in unclean water to heal an unclean disease. But he obeyed and came out healed. Naaman left healed and ready to serve Elisha's God. Before leaving he tried to pay Elisha and Elisha refused. Elisha made a point to serve God in full and not think of it as a job.

Gehazi was Elisha's servant and he heard everything. He thought it would be ok to accept an offering from Naaman for the great work Elisha did, so he took the offering and brought it to Naaman under a cloak of deceit. Elisha knew this wasn't the way Gehazi was trying to present it as a lie and called him on living through Mammon rather than God. Gehazi instantly became a leper.

Both men had flaws. Naaman was proud, not wanting to ask Elisha for help. Naaman was a respected  military leader. Seeking help meant he had to admit he needed help, and he had to be public about it. Naaman was a proud man. Gehazi fell to greed and temptation. Both generations ended up cursed.

Ananias and Sapphira
Mammon got a hold of this couple during a time the Holy Spirit was on the move in the early church. The two sold things  and gathered a profit. Instead of giving it to the disciples as promised they kept some for themselves. More than that, they lied about it. Mammon and a Babylonian structure literally erected a death structure for both of them. 

The chapter ends with a prayer to tear down the altars of the enemy. Again, I just take short notes on what I'm learning.  There is so much here. You should purchase the book. Learn more here.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Chapter 8 Study Notes: Sandie Freed's Crushing the Spirits of Poverty and Greed

We're on Chapter 8: It is Written

-Cast down, shachach, means to sink or depress. It's connected to bow down. Bowing down is homage or serving. Satan tempted Jesus in hopes that Jesus would bow down and serve him.

-Satan used the spirit of Mammon to tempt Jesus to claim satan as provider. The daily bread Jesus told his disciples to pray was really provision. We can model Jesus by trusting God as our provider.

-Satan kept using Mammon to tempt Jesus. Satan even twisted God's word, but Jesus knew His Provider, His Father and the true purpose of His life. Jesus responded by telling satan not to test God. Sandie confesses she often tests God and fails satan's tests, falling for Mammon. Don't we all? Satan even asked Jesus to bow down and acknowledge him as ruler.  Had Jesus obeyed, he would have put a Babylonian structure in authority, not God's Kingdom. I'm so glad Jesus obeyed!

Now it's our turn. We too can stand up to satan under the authority of Jesus Christ. If we don't, we're serving Mammon. We must not bow down to any master but God.

Once the temptation ceased Jesus exploded with power and authority. His passion ignited to share His love of the Father and this passion gave Him power to fight Mammon. Mammon and the Babylonian structure was the influence with the moneychangers in the Temple. Jesus was angry because He was jealous for God's reputation.

Jesus responded with the same words He did in the wilderness: It is written. He used God's word to destroy evil structures meant to block our purposes in Christ. We need to do the same.

Delusion is linked to witchcraft and occult. We will see an increase in people proclaiming false things and performing fake acts, and we will be tempted to believe they are acts of God. We must seek God's wisdom and discernment through our personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Failure to embrace God will result in our delusion, then confusion, and usually, a journey into the occult and witchcraft. We must act simple and simply believe God and speak His word. This is the key to make the devil leave.

Death structure: when the enemy comes with a temptation, we agree with his lies, he is committed to a takeover. He plans on building a house within our hearts and lives to he will have all of us. He is out to seek, kill and destroy.

Seven Deadly Sins:
Lust-unlawful sexual desire
Gluttony-wastefulness, consuming too much, misplaced desire
Greed-desiring more things than we need
Wrath-Wrong feelings of hatred, wanting revenge
Envy-Hating others for what they have
Pride-Desire to be important or attractive to others.

Mammon is connected to these sins. To combat, again, we need God's word and His power through Christ.

Sin of unbelief is when we're tempted not to trust God in any way. We have to see God as the provider for all our needs.  If we don't believe in His provision we don't have confidence in Him. We don't trust Him.

Character of God:
El Elyon-God Almighty
Adonai-Our Lord and Master
Jehovah-Self-Existent God
Jehovah Jireh-Our Provider
Jehovah Shalom-Our Peace
Jehovah Nissi-God Our Banner of Victory
Jehovah Tsidkenu-God Our Righteousness
El Shaddai-All Sufficient One
El Roi-God who Sees
Jehovah Raah-Lord our Shepherd
Jehovah Mekoddishkem-God is our Sanctification
Jehovah Shammah-The Lord is present with us
Jehovah Baal Perez-Lord of Breakthrough
Jehovah Sabaoth-Lord of Hosts
Jehovah Rapha-Lord our Healer
Abba Father-Lover and Protector, Daddy who Loves Us

Instead of worrying we need to focus on who God is.

The chapter ends with a prayer of repentance. I can't emphasize enough on how wise it would be to purchase this book.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Chapter 7 Sandie Freed's Crushing the Spirits of Greed and Poverty: My Study Notes

Here are the notes I took while reading Chapter 7 of Sandie Freed's Crushing the Spirits of Greed and Poverty. To read previous notes please check the October/November/December archives.

Chapter 7 is called Anointed to Defeat Mammon, Babylon and Divination.

The chapter begins by recounting the conversion of Saul, a great persecutor of Christians who literally became blinded by light. While blind Jesus spoke to Him, changing Saul forever.  In fact, even his name changed. You may know him as Paul, one of the greatest messengers of the Christian faith the world will ever know.

-Damascus was where Saul encountered the blinding light. This was a fertile place about 30 miles in diameter which ironically was surrounded by a desert with nothing living. Saul was in a desert land looking for lush land just like his forefathers did when they traveled to the Promised Land. The symbolism for life and transformation didn't escape Saul when he became blind in Damascus.

Damascus was also the most ancient city in Syria where the people worshiped Mammon. It was connected to trade and Tyre.  Do the math. Mammon. Babylon. King of Tyre. Damascus. Saul.  In time, God would use Saul's conversion to expose evil spirits.

Straight Street---Even a blind man couldn't miss the symbolism of being blinded on Straight Street.  I pray we don't need a literal blindness to do the same, to find the straight way in Christ.

The Spirit of Divination-Acts 16:16 shows us the girl who was a false prophet that Paul exposed. She made a good living for her boss so here we go again, Mammon at work. Satan was using the fortune teller to distract Paul, again, the motive behind Mammon and Babylon---to distract us from our mission in Christ.

Day after day this girl kept making a scene, coming across as flattering but truly trying to wear Paul down. Sandie shares that she believes Paul knew something was up, but asked for discernment. He recognized exhaustion, confusion, physical infirmity, lack of self control and anger. This is divination.

Divination---opposes us and we know something isn't right but when we try to discern, we doubt the discernment. It's a vicious cycle of confusion.

I've seen churches frown if not outright ban what might or might not be Holy Spirit manifestations because they've been burned. That burn is divination---someone drawing attention to themself even though it looks like an act of worship. If a person is shaking, jerking, falling in a trance, yelling, screaming or having prophetic words that are so loud the focus is on them it very well could be divination at work. The key is where is the focus. If it's all about the person, it's probably not God.  Ask Him for discernment.  Sandie has an excellent point.

God doesn't compete with Himself.

The spirit of divination has a co worker, the occult. Divination distracts us from Christ's mission and the occult hides comprehension from the truth so we can't live free.  If truth is hidden, it's the occult. Jesus is the key to freedom.

Paul was hounded constantly by divination and the occult. He was trying to discern what was going on and was blocked by warfare. As soon as God gave revelation Paul was able to address not the girl, but the spirit with confidence. He knew His authority came from Christ and Paul spoke out and the spirit left the girl.

As soon as the spirit left the girl, her bosses lost their moneymaker. Sandie likens the scene to the mafia as her employer was under a Mammon and Babylonian influence. They weren't going to let this girl go without a fight. They beat Paul and Silas and threw them in prison.

Those who fight the occult MUST do it under God's discernment and revelation through the blood of Jesus.  Acting in His authority will result in taking back what satan has stolen. One great idea Sandie has is when driving by tarot readers, fortune tellers and the like, proclaim in Jesus' name that the money made be given to God's kingdom more than praying the building be used. Declaring the property for Jesus just gives the occult a new place to find. Declaring the money be made for God's Kingdom will shut the occult down once and for all.

It's not just about praying for money, it's about praying Kingdom money, money for the promotion of God's kingdom.

Paul faced persecution for exposing evil and we will, too. Whether we physically see angels release us as Paul and Silas did, angels under God's command will shake the demonic structures that try to shut us down.

Symptoms of an Occult Stronghold
1.Divination. The Greek word for divination is linked to python. Pythons squeeze life out of their victims and suffocate them. This is divination. Satan wants to shut down the message of the Gospel and he'll try through squeezing victims and suffocation.  Sandie shares a python story so chilling I can't even type it. I shudder every time I read it but it is a real warning for us to seek God and see if divination is ruling our lives at all. We don't have time to waste worrying about the past or future. We must trust God and not Mammon.

2. Jezebel. Jezebel with Mammon seeks to control through flattery. If you receive a compliment followed by a request for money, Jezebel and Mammon are behind this. Command those spirits to leave in Jesus' name.

3. Not discerning truth. There are so many organizations and even so called ministries asking for donations that it's easy to be confused. Sandie explains discernment takes time, but ask God to help you know who is really for God and who is not.

4. Money motivated ministry. It's so easy to start off for all the right reasons, to share the Gospel. Some have fallen for the trap of large offerings and great gains, responding in turn to only serve when the money is big. Teaching and preaching should always be about Godly obedience, not financial motivation.  When that happens it's not God, it's Mammon.

It sounds so simple but the chapter ends with a call to surrender. We can't take it with us. One of my favorite sayings is no one has ever seen a funeral with a U-Haul attached. Sandie admitted her move to a new home caused her issue when she had to give up several boxes of things to Goodwill. It wasn't an easy choice for her, but it was the right choice. She leaves the chapter with a call to ask God what we need to surrender.

Friday, December 17, 2010

My Study Notes on Chapter 6: Crushing the Spirits of Greed and Poverty by Sandie Freed

It's been awhile but Christmas is actually a great time to continue studying greed and poverty as it relates to God and His children.  We're up to Chapter 6 so if you need to catch up, please do.  Look in our October/November archives for previous posts.

Chapter 6: Is There an Ammonite in Your Treasury?
This chapter recounts the story of Nehemiah. He was a godly prophet who is best known for rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem. In the midst of this is another story about Tobiah. He was an evil, unholy, "demonically inspired enemy of Israel, to move into God's treasury room and possess it."

The chapter begins with a history on Nehemiah and the palace where the king lived in the winter. Turns out the area is rich with Biblical history including what was to come: Esther and her commitment to her people.

But Nehemiah was focused on His people and how although they were able to practice their religion in Babylon, they were still captives. He longed for home, Israel. Deep in thought, he had no idea he had a visitor. When he meets with Hanani, Nehemiah learns Hanani recently returned from Jerusalem. The report? The walls are down, gates burned. The news is so devastating Nehemiah is even more grief stricken.

The grief didn't end. Nehemiah is so troubled that his boss even asked what was going on. Nehemiah's job was to taste all the king's drinks to make sure they weren't poisoned. The king trusted Nehemiah and so they two talked. The king heard all about Jerusalem and what Hanani saw.
Nehemiah used wisdom with his words and not only had the king asking what could he do, but Nehemiah was on his way to Jerusalem with letters from the king granting Nehemiah permission to cross foreign lands. The king also provided a caravan of goods and resources for Nehemiah. It was clear God gave favor to Nehemiah.

With God's favor comes the defeated one and his desperate plans. Satan went to work with evil rulers Sanballat the Horonite, Tobiah the Ammonite governmental official and Geshem, an Arab.  Sanballat and Tobiah are best remembered in Nehemiah for trying to discourage Nehemiah's plans. Although not as well known, Geshem was also out to destroy Nehemiah's plan and together the three make up a three fold demonic cord (another book Sandie Freed wrote) that deserve our attention.

Sanballat: the name means hate in disguise. Evil is always like this. Satan is like a terrorist. He doesn't want to be exposed or seen, his evil plans are devised in hiding. 

Tobiah: means the Lord is good but in this case, Tobiah rejected the potential in his name. It's easy to judge but the author asks a challenging question, how many times have we mocked the potential and plans God has for us?  Sandy shares her own challenges where she judged church building plans and spending money.  Guess what?  When we oppose God's building plans it's Tobiah's voice at work. The Tobiah voice is against God's building plans. (My note: I understand some Christians tackle building plans or ministries not called by God.  This definition is NOT those circumstances).

Geshem: means to cause rain. Ever hear the phrase, rain on your parade?  That's a Geshem voice working, trying to discourage God's plan.

These three went after Nehemiah for a few reasons. He was Jewish returning home to rebuild the ruins. That couldn't have sat well with forces who hated Jews. Nehemiah also had favor in everything he did. We've seen people jealous of people with wealth and resources, and that's an open door for Mammon to step in and stir up some envy and strife.  It's a slippery slope and often we fall into those feelings without even knowing. As Sandy explains, once we realize how we're falling into the trap, we're like deer in headlights.

Nehemiah not only finishes the rebuilding process, he's breaking speed records getting the job done. This makes Sanballat, Tobiah and Geshem even angrier. They're set on destroying him and they keep sending messages to meet with him on the Plain of Ono.  Nehemiah, using Godly wisdom and discernment knows these guys are up to no good and refuses to meet with them, and pretty much calls them and Satan on the plan. They keep asking, as many as five times. Each time Nehemiah stays firm in God's plan and refusal to enter their death structure.

Sandy writes that "Mammon seeks to cause us to become double minded, which means a person is not in unity with God and His purpose for his or her life."  I've fallen for that for much less than rebuilding ruins in Israel!

Nehemiah finishes the rebuilding in not years, but less than 2 months.  Talk about favor!  Over 42 thousand people return to the area giving gifts. Not long after the priest, Ezra, reads a scroll and everyone praises God all day, repenting for their sins. People continued to move back. Praise and worship continued. Then they realize the Ammonites and Moabites aren't supposed to 
worship at the temple because they worshiped Baal and were under the influence of Mammon. The foreigners were told to leave right then.

Most foreigners left, but one priest had a friend, Tobiah, yea, that guy, and the priest let Tobiah stay. More than that, the priest changed the room where the treasury was kept and made it into a room for Tobiah.  Nehemiah found out and threw Tobiah and all his things out. Nehemiah made sure the room was cleaned and restored to its original place as treasury.

Ammon is a derititive of Mammon, so the influence of Mammon was in Tobiah the Ammonite. Remember, Mammon is out to steal our treasure and joy and harden our hearts. Ammonites are also behind the seduction of Solomon into idolatry and the Ammonite Molech was an idolater who used children for sacrifices. This is the spiritual background behind abortion, which also has a connection to Jezebel. If you have a heart to pray against abortion, pray for the elimination of Jezebel and Mammon.  According to Zephaniah 1:5, AMP, Molech is also the spiritual condition behind serving God only with words and not deeds.
This is such an informative chapter. I know Nehemiah's story but now I feel like I KNOW it. My heart is to understand the spiritual voices behind demonic things so I know what to pray against. Again, evil hides. Jesus is greater than fear and evil. I'd rather pray and proclaim God's authority into the atmosphere.  Wouldn't you?

If you, like the author, and I definitely can relate, there is a prayer of repentance at the end of the chapter. Read Nehemiah 9 and see how the Israelites praised Him. Worship Him. If you feel like you've been barren, read Isaiah 54 and sing.  You've been robbed, your treasury taken, now you've repented. It's time to sing!

You need to get this book. To learn more, purchase here