May 28, 2017

RED ALERT_Day Eleven_ ‘Groundwork’

NOTE: I was just re-reading this blog that I’d posted back in 2011 about the need to cleanse our homes as I recalled how we had done it when we first came to faith. I think it’s worth noting.

 

June 21, 2011  by James C. Stephens

FORTY-DAY GATEKEEPERS INITATIVE FOR TURTLE ISLAND_June 10-July 20, 2011

O Elohim, You have rejected us; You have broken us; You have been displeased;

Turn back to us! Heal its breaches, for it is shaken.

You have let Your people see hardship; You have made us drink the wine of trembling,

You have given a banner to those who fear You, That it might be lifted up

Because of the truth. Selah.~ Tehillim (Psalms) 60:1-4

PRAYER FOR GROUNDWORK IN OUR LIVES

O Elohim clear the ground. Search our hearts. Break up the fallow and hardened ground of our hearts. Our sins are ever before Your face. Our disgrace. Purge our hearts with the fire from on high. Create in us a clean heart O Elohim as only You can. In You we seek refuge. On earth as it is in heaven is our prayer. Be exalted, O Elohim, above the heavens. Pour out Your Spirit of intercession on the saints of Turtle Island. We worship at Your footstool. We are alone without You. We are lost without You. You are our Good Shepard. Tune our ears to Your Voice. The streets do not ring Your praises, the children do not laugh. Cain builds, the people languish.

Put a new song in our heart for You alone have been our refuge, a strong tower in the face of the enemy.  Let us dwell in Your Tent forever, Let us take refuge in the shelter of Your wings. You are our inheritance. We wait expectantly for Your deliverance. We earnestly seek You.  You still the waters, quiet our anxious hearts. You topple nations. You are building Your kingdom. Adonai.  Help us keep our eyes fixed upon You the Author and Finisher of our faith. You hear all the groans of Your creation, Your people. Your judgments are righteous altogether. All are deserved and more. You are long suffering, waiting for Your sons and daughters to walk in understanding and obedience. Blessed are You who gave us Yeshua our High Priest, HOLY, HOLY, HOLY and TRUE, PURE, PERFECTLY RIGHTEOUS, JUST. Be merciful in Your judgments.

Chasten us as sons and daughters so that we don’t do ourselves and our families harm and so that we bring You honor. Help us so we will not be ashamed in the courts of heaven. Help us run the race with diligence and tenacity and honesty. Help us to be quick to forgive and quick to repent when we see the error of our ways. Help us see our sin as You see them. Reorder our interior temple to please You. Give us grace to say no to our secret and vain fantasies, be they pride, lust, greed, avarice, or revenge. Show us the foolishness, danger and vanity of our waywardness. Guide us and chasten us so that we may listen with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength. Help us to speak Your Word with authority, wisdom, and with courage in the gates when the enemy comes in with his idolatry and falsehoods.

Help us to be kind to the poor and underpriviledged, and unloved. Help us to be kind to our spouses, when we feel like we’ve been wronged, or mistreated. Give us understanding, compassionate hearts for them in their needs, physically, spiritually, emotionally, and financially. Help us support one another. Please provide work for those of us who need it. And for those of us who have resources help us to create jobs and steward what knowledge and resources we have for the edification of our family, neighbors and covenant community.

How have we fallen so far, Abba? Where did our fathers and mothers go wrong? Where are those who follow You in sincerity of heart? The humble will inherit the earth. What do we have to be proud of? You commanded us to seek the welfare of the city You called us into exile to. You said, “Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.”  We are weary. Your afflictions have taught us to value what we are losing. You Elohim make a home for the lonely. You brought Your people into a land of milk and honey. You went out before Your people, the earth shook and heavens dropped their manna for Your people. You gave Your people rest.

Today, we have forgotten Your commandments given to us for our good.  We have forgotten Your ways. Priests twist Your Words and make merchandise of your people. A confused generation knows not how to feed themselves.

CLEANSING YOUR HOME.

“Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not accomplish the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh. And these are opposed to each other, so that you do not do what you desire to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under Torah. And the works of the flesh are well-known, which are these: adultery, whoring, uncleanness, indecency, idolatry, drug sorcery, hatred, quarrels, jealousies, fits of rage, selfish ambitions, dissensions, factions, envy, murders, drunkenness, wild parties, and the like—of which I forewarn you, even as I also said before, that those who practice such as these shall not inherit the reign of Elohim.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, trust-worthiness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no Torah. And those who are of Messiah have impaled the flesh with its passions and the desires.

If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”

Galatians 5:16-25

“Therefore, having put off the false, speak truth, each one to his neighbor, for we are member of one another. Be wroth (angry), but do not sin. Do not let the sun go down on your rage, nor give place to the devil.” Ephesians 4:25-27.

After we had been walking with Master Yeshua (LORD Jesus) for one year, our eldest son who was about four at the time, saw a demon in our apartment in Santa Monica. He was not given to exaggeration, so we believed him. We had just come home from church one Sunday morning, when he saw a huge being with wings and ugly claws in the hallway. That night he called out from the room that it was speaking to him through the wall. We were totally unprepared for dealing with this type of supernatural experience.

So we called the church the next morning and it seemed that no one had had experience with this phenomenae. Finally, we were put in contact with Darrell Platt, a missionary who’d worked in Haiti and had first hand experience addressing demon possession and the supernatural phenomenae that surrounded those who had practiced vodooism and witchcraft. He knew what we were saying was real.

After Darrell had got a picture of our former spiritual background as practicing Buddhists, he began to ask us further questions.

1)      Do you have any of your former religious paraphanalia in your home?

2)      Did you take any vows? Make any covenants as Buddhists?

3)      Have you dedicated your children to the LORD Jesus?

He shared one particular experience with us about his work in Haiti. He said, ‘One Sunday morning while I was walking to church and passing a house of one of the new converts, the wife came running out in total fear. When she had calmed down enough to tell me what had happened, she told me that there was a “spiritual explosion in the corner of their living room.”

He asked, “What did you keep in that corner?”

She replied, “We keep our old voodoo dolls to show people what we used to be into.”

In his wry smile, he said, “No wonder! You’re supposed to cleanse your house.’

The fact is we’re new creatures in Christ. The old has passed away. Having old idols around gives room for demons to return. If someone leaves their wallet at your house, they’re certainly going to return for it.

As we thought about Darrell’s counsel, we began looking around the house for items that fit his description. By the time we were done, we’d collected enough from our combined thirty years practice of Buddhism to fill half the back of a pick-up truck. Initially upon our conversion, we’d gotten rid of our butsudon, our Buddhist altar and all the paraphernalia that we used, incense burner, candle sticks, bells, water and fruit offering dishes, etc. Our altar had been valued at $7500. It was about six feet tall, a three door model, and had intricately carved scenes of cherry blossoms, dragons, etc. made out of very exotic woods.. We immediately had carted that off to Morning Sun, the Buddhist altar store in Santa Monica the day after we had given our lives to the LORD Jesus Christ. Later Tina Turner, a Buddhist bought it from Archie Akazawa, the store owner whose family had been making Buddhist altars for three hundred years.

What we’d missed was an old altar table we’d repurposed as a stereo cabinet. As we looked further, I remembered a chest in the garage which we had scarves from the high priest, blessed chanting beads, and gofu, which was a special cloth that wiped the chief idol in Japan that was considered a very special medicine for miraculous healing. One other item was a tapa cloth from Hawaii, which I was given and told that it had occultic power and if you cut it there were curses upon it against your family. We also had many books that were occultic in nature. Some were kept around from our childhood days like Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill which openly taught occultic practices such as channeling the dead. We also had an extensive collection of Buddhist and New Age books and a special collection of pornography that we’d been taught to construct in a New Age workshop designed by Actualizations called Sexual Self-Expression. I also got rid of our astrological charts.

All tolled, we roughly had one-half a truck load of materials. The next thing we did was to list all of the vows we’d taken. We’d given our children through a ritual to the Buddha. Much like Baby dedication in Christian circles, with the glaring difference that it wasn’t to YHWH! We also had promised never to taiten, leave the faith. There were so many curses if we did, such as having your head split into seven pieces, etc. We both had special amomori Gohonzons given to pioneers in the Buddhist faith which we hung around our necks. As youth division we used to read the Toda’s Precepts for Youth which vowed to march over the bodies of our taitan members (those who’d defected from the faith). I guess you get the point. We’d done many things in that world.

During the two weeks we cleansed our home, we had demonic visitations and Darrell said we had to take authority over them. He suggested that we read out of Deuteronomy and Leviticus. Whenever my son would have night terrors and awake and hear the demons speaking out of the wall, we would stay up and pray and read out of the Holy Scriptures. Each time we did, he said the voices were quieted and he’d not be bothered. It was our first real taste of spiritual warfare.

Finally, one Sunday after church several elders, missionaries, fellow believers and a pastor came to our home. We then took all the  items outside of our home and put them into the pick-up truck. We then gathered around the dining room table, and Darrell lead us in prayer, and then we renounced and broke all of our previous vows, including those over our children, confessed these as sin and asked the LORD for forgiveness before the elders publically. We then took communion and dedicated our house to the LORD which we commemorated with a framed

“As for me and my house we will serve the LORD.” Joshua 24:15.

After singing hymns, the elders prayed over our family and over the house. Before the gathering, I’d received a call from one of my old Buddhist members who’d heard through the grapevine that we were burning my library. I witnessed to him extensively and talked about where in the Bible in Ephesus, magic practitioners that had come to faith in Jesus Christ, burned what amounted to $5,000,000 of magic books as they renounced their past wicked ways.

He said, “This Christian thing is just a phase. I’ll tell you what, I’ll keep them and when you come to your senses, I’ll give them back to you.”

I said, “I’m no longer a Buddhist, but a follower of Jesus Christ and have no intention of turning back.”

He ended the conversation by adamantly saying, “It’s one thing to say you’re a Christian, but quite another to burn these things!”

Twenty six years have passed since we’d seen each other face to face and in May he attended my sixtieth birthday celebration. And then n June, he invited me to attend a special showing of The Music Man at the Los Angeles Theater which is a grand old theater hall only opened once a year as it’s in need of restoration. When we were out for dinner before the show he told me how the Buddhist sect he still belonged to had gone through a major war wherein the layman’s organization the Soka Gakkai (Japanese Buddhist sect) had been excommunicated by the priests organization Nichiren Shoshu. All seventeen million members were excommunicated, and so the Soka Gakkai ordered  all their members turn in their Gohonzons (Buddhist object of worship) for an official Soka Gakkai replacement and burned them all. Also because of the division of their sect, they ordered all the books burned as they were rewriting their history. The priesthood then demolished the Sho-Hondo (a large Buddhist temple which seated 6,000 members) which had been built for $100,000,000 through the donations of the Soka Gakkai members. It cost $35,000,000 just to demolish. So Book burning is another subject for further discussion. I know it’s been quite controversial of late because of the Pastor burning the Koran. But think here. He had to buy them to burn them. He was doing it out of spite. For us it was out of personal spiritual conviction which is my spiritual right and duty. Look out the iconoclasm of Islam. This is a longer discussion for another time.

Just before leaving to go to the beach, one of my Christian brothers, who by the way was also at my sixtieth party, said, “Shouldn’t you just pray over the books and keep them for research for reaching Buddhists?”

I said, “No. I don’t feel that would be right. If I serve a God who can’t restore my library, then I am serving the wrong God.”

We then left and drove to a beach I’d previously scouted out that had pits you could have a fire in by Los Angeles International Airport. We then burned all our religious books and paraphernalia, prayed and sang some powerful hymns. After that we had no more demonic visitations in our home. That was until we were called into ministry to Buddhists.

By the way, I have had so many books given into my stewardship over the years, I could write a book on how YHWH has honored our simple act of obedience.

One of our dear Tibetan brothers, Stephen Hishey who is now home with the LORD stayed in our home many years later after we’d been involved in ministry for several years. We were under much spiritual attack in our home and he asked, “Have you anointed all your windows and doors?”

I replied, “No. How do you do it?”

He said it was a very simple act of sanctifying your home. All you do is take some anointing oil, like olive oil and prayerfully seal all your windows and doors in the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth pleading the protection of the blood of the Lamb over your family and household. He then anointed all the house with oil with crosses. We even did it over our vehicles and prayed over all four corners of our property salting the ground.  We also have placed a Mezuzah on our doorframe.

PRAYERS AND PETITIONS

Are there unclean items in your secret places in your home that you feel shame having?

Even in my own home and work, every book that is brought into my work is individually prayed over. I ask the LORD Jesus Christ, Yeshua to remove all curses from the book, and to bring every thought in the book captive to the Word of God. I also ask that no one would be lead astray by any of the false doctrines that may be in them. Because of my studies, like a doctor, we must be careful to make sure we are not infected by the diseases we study and aim to cure. I do not recommend that others study Buddhist doctrines in depth unless they are called to. I do think it is critical to understand other faiths in order to properly witness and disciple them. That is why we’ve created worldviews101.

Carefully look through your home for items that need to be deposed of. Over the years, items have surfaced that we originally missed and we have discarded them in appropriate ways. Sometimes they are just items that we feel are not supportive to making our home a sanctuary and may give them away or if it is something that would harm others we have destroyed it, such as a glass crack pipe we discovered that was left in our back house.

It is also very important to take authority over your house. If someone is living in sinful behavior, it is important to gently and wisely confront them as it affects your entire household. If they do not repent, then it is justified to ask them to leave.

Before we address other issues like Tibetan Buddhism, we must make sure our own house is in order. As gatekeepers, we must look at issues, including our own marriage bed, medicine cabinets, refrigerators, bedside reading materials, and our interior life. Do not go into detail about your sinful practices with others lest they and you sin, but openly confess them to Yeshua our High Priest. Yes confess your sins to one another, but don’t use it as an opportunity to gossip or become morose. Forgetting what lies behind, press on towards the upward call of Christ Jesus. We are in a battle. Keep short accounts. If someone calls you to account. Take heart and examine yourself. Repentance, Confession, Forgiveness, and Restitution when someone is wronged. I have a letter to write. Write letters, prayerfully.

“Become, then imitators of Elohim as beloved children. And walk in love, as Messiah also has loved us, and gave Himself for us, a gift and an offering to Elohim for a sweet smelling fragrance. But whoring and all uncleanness, or greed of gain, let it not even be named among you, as is proper among set-apart ones—neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather thanksgiving.

For this you know, that no one who whores, nor unclean one, nor one greedy of gain, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the reign of Messiah and Elohim.” Ephesians 5:1-5

“See then that you walk exactly, not as unwise, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are wicked.”  Ephesians 5:15-16