Glad Tidings Church
Lubbock, TX
by Pastor Jared on October 18th, 2019

Demons are personalities, they have a voice -- they speak and work in the realm of the spirit. The Bible teaches us that we are not wrestling with flesh and blood, but with demonic entities that possess and oppress man.  Even many Christians deal with demonic oppression. It’s not the person you are really dealing with, it is demonic forces manifesting through the flesh of the individual, even though they are a Christian! This does not give an excuse for Christians to be angry, live in a rage, walk in lust and sin.  But instead, it gives an answer to the struggles that many Christians deal with. If I find the answer, then I need to live in the answer! It’s like someone knowing 2+2=4, but they still live life telling everyone that 2+2=5. They know the answer, but they live in a lie! Why? The Bible calls these things strongholds.

Strongholds are demonically inspired, but mentally and emotionally received and acted upon. (2 Cor. 10:3-5) A stronghold can be wrong ways of thinking, destructive emotions, addictive behaviors, etc. that have built up over time. Strongholds can create deep “ruts” in your thinking processes and in the places of your deepest emotions. They can be generational in nature. The Bible speaks to us about familiar spirits. One way to understand this terminology is “family spirits”! The same spiritual forces that grandpa dealt with, many times, are the same ones you will deal with! The Bible also speaks to us about “generational curses”. As a Christian you need to break the power of these spiritually dark forces and walk in freedom! Use the authority of Jesus’ mighty name and the power of the blood! Break these powers in your life and in your family. Then do not open a door of the flesh through anger, lust, pride and rebellion that would allow these things back in your life and family!

It is important to understand exactly what "demonic oppression" is.  The 3 objectives of demons is torment and torture, keeping people from knowing Christ and for the Christian, to keep them from serving the Lord effectively. There are also 8 characteristics of demons that will help you recognize their attempted activity in your life.  #1 They tempt and entice.  #2 They harass and condemn.  #3 They torment (physically, emotionally, etc.). #4 They compel (demons will compel you to do things that are not natural and normal for you, if you allow them to) #5 They enslave (an example would be someone enslaved to alcohol or drugs) The word “addiction” comes from the two words compel and enslave! #6 They defile (As A Christian, we have been made holy in Christ! Demons want to defile what is pure and holy!)  #7 They deceive (1 Tim. 4:1)  #8 They make people weak, sick and tired (a spirit of slumber, you can sit up until 2AM watching trash on TV, but read your Bible and you’ll be asleep in 10 minutes).

What are some ways that your flesh may respond to demonic temptation and oppression ? Here are a few things to recognize and overcome! #1 Pride #2 Rebellion #3 Witchcraft and Occult (many Christians dabble in witchcraft and the occult on a regular basis, but don’t recognize the danger because they see it as innocent entertainment)  #4 Fear #5 Rejection (a sense of feeling unworthy and unwanted). This last stronghold can result from the breakup of the family. The Bible is very clear that the father brings a sense of security and purpose in a child’s life. The breakdown of the family unit in our nation has been completely demonically inspired!

How do we overcome demonic oppression and subdue the flesh? What about dealing with demons? If it is a demonic problem, why can’t I just “cast out” the demon of addiction and be done? Why can’t I just “cast out” the demon of anger and be done? Because overcoming demons also involves subduing our flesh.  As a Christian, we are to take authority over any demonic stronghold in our life but then we must keep the “door of the flesh” shut! What do we think on and dwell on? (Phil. 4:8) Are we living a sexually pure life? (1 Cor. 6:18) What do we “entertain” ourselves with in media, TV, movies, and music? (Eph. 5:1-12)

#1 You are a spiritual being. (1 Thess.5:23)  Many times people will say, well, “I’m only human”. No, you are also human. First of all, you are an eternal spirit being created in the image of God! As a Christian, you are born again and re-connected with your Creator through the power of the blood of Christ and the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. Paul the Apostle said your bodies are the dwelling places of the Holy Spirit of God (1 Cor. 6:19). He also said “But the person who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him,” I Cor. 6:17.  As a Christian, we quickly realize that the real battle is not with our neighbor, our spouse, the government, or the boss -- our real battle is a spiritual battle. In these battles, demons will use, manipulate and control other people, circumstances, feelings, and attitudes, to torment Christians and keep them from being effective in God’s kingdom. Jesus said in John 10:10, “the thief comes to steal, kill and destroy, but I have come to bring life and life more abundantly!” So  Jesus is not my problem, He is my answer! If my problem is demons, then Jesus said I can cast them out! (Mark 16:17)

#2 You have a “flesh”. (Romans 8:1-14)  It is very important to understand the difference between the flesh and demons when dealing with things in life. The Bible says to “crucify” the flesh (Rom. 6:6). We are told to “mortify” the deeds of the body through the power of the Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:13-14). The word “mortify” only appears here and in Col. 3:5. It can be understood as “to put to death, render useless, to put down”. The idea is not that the flesh or body ceases to exist, but instead that it is, through the power of the Holy Spirit, made powerless. When you go to the dentist and get a shot in your jaw to “deaden” the pain before the dentist begins to drill, your jaw doesn’t cease to exist, it is just numbed and rendered powerless for a time! The power of the Holy Spirit will “deaden” your flesh so that it does not control, lead and dictate your life and the decisions that you make! Romans 8:14 tells us we are to be led by the Holy Spirit! The Bible does not teach that a born-again Christian can be fully demon possessed. To “possess” is to take complete control. A truly “possessed” person is possessed in their spirit, soul and body. A demon cannot have possession of a spiritually re-born individual! This is not to say, however, that a Christian cannot and does not deal with demonic oppression in the areas of the flesh!

#3 The old fleshly nature or demons?  It is very important to understand the difference between the two when you are dealing with an issue in life. The Bible says we are to crucify, put to death or mortify the deeds of the flesh. You can’t crucify a demon, you cast it out! You can’t cast out the flesh, you crucify it. Though we are in a supernatural battle, this battle continually manifests in the realm of the flesh. An example would be anger. Is a Christian that is filled with anger and rage demon possessed? Not in their spirit, but they can be demonically oppressed in their soul and body. A demon of anger can easily stir the flesh, controlling and manipulating that person, even though they are a believer in Christ! Does the person need deliverance? Yes, from demonic oppression but they also need to “crucify” the flesh! Cast out the demons, kill the flesh!

If we put down our flesh and recognize the demonic oppression in our lives, we can live a victorious life! Christians, we have authority over all the powers of darkness through the mighty name of Jesus! (Luke 10:19) We do not live in fear of demons – demons live in fear of us! Demons fear Christians that understand their authority In Christ! (Acts 19:15)

Our modern culture may be fascinated by the supernatural, occult and demons, but you don’t have to allow these influences in your life or your family! Take authority! Stand up for light, life, holiness, peace, truth and freedom In Christ! Guard your children’s lives and hearts. Pray over your household daily. Plead the Blood of Christ over the affairs of your life. Drive out lies, depression, darkness, fear, lust, suicide and torment in the name of Jesus. Demons have no right in the life of the believer! Do not give them any place or position of opportunity! (Eph. 4:27) WE ARE VICTORIOUS IN CHRIST!

by Pastor Jared on October 17th, 2019

Don't you realize who you are? This is what the Apostle Paul asks believers over and over in his letters. In I Corinthians 6, he asks them why they are suing one another instead of allowing disagreements to be handled within the church.  He says that we will judge the world one day and then even judge angels! (vv. 2-3)   Don't you realize who you are? He then corrects them for allowing sexual sin to be a part of the church and reminds them that their bodies are the dwelling places of the Holy Spirit! (vv. 18-20)  Don't you realize who you are? The Apostle Paul was having to remind the church at Corinth just who they were because they had lost sight of their true identity.  They had begun to identify once again with their lives before Christ. That old man of sin, that should be dead was now leading. He reminds them that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God and then tells them, “And such were some of you, but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God!”  In other words, “YOU HAVE A NEW IDENTITY!”  

Did you ever stop and think about how awesome it is that our Creator, the One who designed our vast universe, places such a high value on mankind?  Psalm 8:4-5 says, “What are mere mortals that you should think about them, human beings that you should care for them? Yet you made them only a little lower than God and crowned them with glory and honor.”   Who are we anyway?  Psalm 139 tells us that in Him we were fearfully and wonderfully made.  We were His crowning achievement!  Think about it: The God of the universe has given you value and given you worth.  He thought so much of you, that He sent His only Son to die on the cross for you and redeem you! (John 3:16)

Your value and worth comes from understanding your identity in Christ.  Don’t allow the past to dictate the future.  Don’t allow past failures to determine the outcome of your life.  Don’t allow the past to control your destiny.  When God changed your identity, He changed your destiny!  “There is therefore no condemnation in Christ Jesus, “ Romans 8:1.  Incrimination is one of the weapons the enemy uses against us to keep us in a place of condemnation. The enemy wants to keep you in that place of bondage to sin, in that place of guilt and shame! But  2 Corinthians 5:17 tells us “therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation.  Old things are passed away, behold all things have become new!  Don't you realize who you are?

The spirit of the world wants to tell you that your value and identity is about your possessions, the color of your skin, and your talents and abilities. The world and your flesh will tell you that you need to have something or look like something or identify with a certain group of people in order to gain an identity of any value!  God reminds us over and over in His Word that our value and our identity comes from our Creator, not from the created! Don't you realize who you are?

by Pastor Jessica Baker on September 3rd, 2019

There’s a story in your Bible about a king named Jehoshaphat. He did righteously in the eyes of God and received the blessing of the Lord upon him all of the days of his reign. But there is one part of his story, where he displeased the Lord.   Even after seeing the Lord perform such mighty miracles on his behalf and on behalf of the people of Judah in 2 Chronicles 20,  he made an “alliance” or “joined himself” with the king of Israel.  You might think “why was that so bad?”  Well at that time, the kings of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord.  Jehoshaphat was well aware that King Ahaziah of Israel was an ungodly, evil king.

“Later, Jehoshaphat king of Judah made an alliance with Ahaziah king of Israel, whose ways were wicked.  He agreed with him to construct a fleet of trading ships.  After these were built at Ezion Geber, Eliezer son of Dodavahu of Mareshah prophesied against Jehoshaphat, saying, “Because you have made an alliance with Ahaziah, the Lord will destroy what you have made. The ships were wrecked and were not able to set sail to trade.” 2 Chronincles 20:35-37, NIV

Jehoshaphat joined himself in an ungodly business alliance. This obviously displeased the Lord. We don’t see that it discredited Jehoshaphat‘s name before God, but we do see God take action against him. The Bible tells us that his fleet of trading ships were broken up by God — utterly and completely destroyed.

Christians, God obviously does not like evil alliances even in the name of “good business”.   The church as an institution as well as the individual who believes in Christ,  must be careful who they join themselves to in financial endeavors. You see, God doesn’t bless just ANYTHING we set our hands to do. He blesses RIGHTEOUS endeavors and GODLY alliances. Obviously, God takes these alliances very seriously-- Jehoshaphat’s trading ships never sailed-- but yours can.  Simply listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit and follow God's righteous, perfect plan!  

by Pastor Jessica on May 13th, 2019

There has been nothing more beautiful in my life outside of my salvation,  than the birth of my five children.  Morning sickness and all, I would not change a thing.  Each one so beautiful and precious to my heart and precious in the eyes of God.  I had the privilege of being blessed with five children in four pregnancies (twins).  You would think that after the first 3 pregnancies,  I would have learned a thing or two about going into labor. With each of the previous pregnancies, I had been under great stress at the time of labor.   Whether it was job related or simply working hard the day before, I had related the stress to the labor.  So, the fourth pregnancy rolled around and it was 39 weeks and no sign of baby coming any time soon. 

I decided I would exercise a little more, climb the stairs at work a few more times and go on long walks, ultimately only wearing myself out!  When I finally decided to ask my doctor why I was not even dilated yet, he said, “Your body does not go into labor because of stress.  Your body will go into labor when your body is completely relaxed.  The baby will come when you are at peace.” What I had simply not recognized with the other births was that after each time of great activity and stress I had gone into complete relaxation mode.  All those years I had given credit to the stress, not recognizing that all the credit for the baby coming goes to peace!

Many of you are seeking God for answers so desperately and fervently and He WILL come through for you.  But the answer is going to be birthed in peace.  As we pray with thanksgiving, we are to be anxious for nothing.  He simply wants us to trust and believe that He is who He says He is and He will do what He says He will do.  Then, we must rest in the peace of God that only comes by faith in Him.  "Don't worry about anything;  instead, pray about everything.  Tell God what you  need, and thank him for all He has done.  Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand.  His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus."  Philippians 4:6-7, NLT  

I obeyed the doctor’s orders on a Thursday afternoon.  I went home and turned off my phone and put my feet up.  I rested, slept, laughed, relaxed, prayed, worshiped, watched my four children play,  (And in between, watched a John Wayne marathon – it happened to be the only thing on television decent to watch at the time).  By the middle of the day on Saturday, I began to have contractions.  It had not even been 48 hours and because of peace, my body went into labor.  Abigail Grace was born on Sunday evening at 6:30 PM.  Her birth was so peaceful and beautiful, that the nurses did not want to leave even though their shift changed at 6:00 PM.  The Lord even arranged the precious nursing staff who would help deliver her.  I will always remember her peaceful birth.  With tears in their eyes, the old shift nurses and the new shift nurses tended to my baby and me. 

This is just like the Lord.  He will surround you with His peace and will send all of the help you need if you will allow Him to rule.  His peace is irreplaceable.  The world cannot offer it to you.  You will never find it in a bottle.  You will never find it in another relationship.  There is no medicine, drug, or drink that can bring this kind of peace.  This peace that passes our ability to comprehend only comes from Heaven.  His peace is Divine.

by Pastor Jared on February 6th, 2019

Have you ever been in a car wreck?  Whether it was just a fender bender or not, it probably left your vehicle damaged.  It would be foolish for you to call the car company and complain about the dents when it originally came off the assembly line perfect.  The damage isn't any more their fault than mankind's imperfection would be God's fault. You see, God created man in perfection after His own image.  Everything was great, until man got into a wreck.  Sin, death and the curse entered the realm of man's authority -- this world. The condition that Adam received (not the condition he was created in) was passed down to each succeeding generation. We are born into a world that is cursed, that is dying and that is in a state of rebellion.  We inherited a separated condition from the perfect and righteous ways of God!  Man was the one who had a problem, and God in His mercy provided an answer.

God began His dealings with sinful, fallen man, through "the law" first given to Moses. This law could not fully fill the requirements of righteousness, but instead showed God's people that they could not measure up to God's standard and therefore needed a Savior!  Mankind needed an outsider that could repair what they could not.

God was the only one that could fix our problem. The broken cannot fix the broken.  Along came Jesus, bringing us Grace and saying things like..."under the law you cannot commit adultery, but I say if you even look at another woman to lust after her you have already committed adultery in your heart!"   He said, "under the law you cannot murder, but I say if you have hatred in your heart toward someone you have already committed murder!"  Then Jesus really went straight to the heart by saying, "be perfect even as your Father in heaven is perfect!"  Huh?  What?  Is He kidding?  How is that even possible?  I don't need a little repair work, I need to be completely re-made!

Jesus said you must be BORN AGAIN!  My first birth brought me into sin, failure, guilt and death. My second birth IN CHRIST is a spiritual birth that re-connects me with real life, a new life, eternal life!  Now there is a new nature that resides in me, a right nature, a righteous nature from the One who is righteous. 

My first birth was in the flesh, and my second birth is in the Spirit. The New Testament writers spent a lot of time explaining the fact that believers have two natures. The flesh is at war with the spirit, but the spirit is at rest in the finished work of Jesus Christ! The Apostle Paul said in Romans 8:14, that those that are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God! He says in verse 9 that we are "not in the flesh", but in the Spirit.

Grace is a popular subject today in much of the church, and it should be!  Over the years I have heard some very confusing teaching on the subject. In Romans 6,  Paul asks a question:  "Should we continue in and be satisfied with living in sin? No," he says, "don't you understand that the sinful nature is dead and it should no longer control you?"  In other words,  Paul agreed with Jesus! 

Jesus came along and told us that we don't need more laws, but a heart change. Jesus spoke directly to the heart. When we are born again, grace changes our heart and this changes everything. You and I were so "messed up" that our only answer was a DEATH!  In Romans 6:3-7, Paul tells us that the old man and the old nature of sin is "dead" in Christ and should be buried in Christ and our new life is in the likeness of His resurrection! The best thing to do with something that is dead is to bury it!  Leave the dead past, the dead sins, the dead fears, the dead failures, the old man buried -- dead -- gone -- in the past! 

Paul said in Philippians 3:13-14, that the one thing he consistently did was forget the past and continually press forward in the Grace, Mercy, Strength and Power of God in Christ Jesus! It's time to rise up, shake off the grave clothes and get moving in the things of God!  God's Grace is sufficient!