Supernatural: Good and Evil :: By Nathele Graham

Many Christians tend to see things with an “either/or” mindset. Either something is good or it’s bad. The distinction between good and bad is usually dictated by a particular denomination. Too often denominational teachings aren’t as Biblical as they should be. God’s word is the authority, and it hasn’t changed. Every Christian needs to look at all things through the lens of Scripture and act in a Biblical way.

For instance, Scripture says not to judge. On the other hand, it also says we are to discern. There’s a fine line between discernment and judgment, and God gave us Scripture to use as a guide for our own actions and to discern the actions of others. We cannot expect people who haven’t accepted Christ to act according to Scripture, and we cannot allow them to be members of a congregation.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of un-Scriptural ways entering into many congregations because Christians are so afraid of judging that they forget to discern. Even people who claim to be Christians embrace sin and must turn away from it or leave the congregation. Satan is trying hard to destroy the Christian faith.

Jesus related a series of parables regarding the Kingdom of God, and one warns of satanic forces entering congregations.

“Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way” (Matthew 13:24-25).

Jesus gives the interpretation of this parable. The One who sows the good seed is the Son of man (Jesus), the field is the world, the good seeds are the “children of the kingdom,” and the tares are the children of the wicked one (see Matthew 13:37-43).

This “infiltration” by the enemy is growing as God’s truth is being ignored by Christians. As Christians sleep, Satan grows strong. We can’t control the tares of the world, but we need to control ourselves and what is allowed into our congregations. Only Scripture will help you discern the difference between good and evil so as not to allow the tares to take over. If a non-believer wants to become a part of a Christian fellowship, they must first accept Christ and turn from their wicked ways.

The battle is real, but it’s a supernatural war we’re in.

The Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines supernatural as:

1) relating to an order of existence beyond the visible observable universe, especially of or relating to God or a god, demigod, spirit, or devil.

2) (a) departing from what is usual or normal, especially so as to appear to transcend the laws of nature. (b) attributed to an invisible agent (such as a ghost or spirit).

Scripture tells us to stay away from certain things such as drug use and witchcraft because both allow demonic, supernatural forces to influence our lives. There are many other things which need to be avoided in order to serve the Lord.

“Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:19-21).

This is a short list of satanic practices which are the tares infiltrating Christian congregations. If you look up these words in a good concordance, you’ll see that many of these practices (such as homosexuality and other sexual sin) have a stronghold in Christian congregations. The word “witchcraft” is from the Greek word “pharmakeia” which is using or administering drugs, poisoning, and magical arts. Be very careful when taking drugs that alter your mind and behavior…prescription or non-prescription.

When a person comes to Christ, there must be an attitude change as well as a heart change. Jesus forgives all sin, but there can be no forgiveness without repentance.

We need to be extremely cautious about the supernatural. There’s both good and evil in the supernatural world. Many Christians are so afraid of embracing the evil supernatural that we forget that God is supernatural. There are good spirits of God and evil spirits of Satan. We need to discern the difference. Most Christians just group all supernatural activity together and don’t allow the Holy Spirit to work through us. By denying the supernatural power of God, we allow evil to grow stronger.

Do we really believe what we read in Scripture? God has done many supernatural things throughout history, but do we believe it? For instance, during the Exodus from Egypt, God showed His supernatural protection over and over to the Israelites, but they kept disbelieving. If the plagues weren’t enough to convince them that God was working supernaturally to benefit them, the parting of the Red Sea should have convinced them that Almighty God was helping them supernaturally.

“And the LORD said unto Moses, Wherefore criest thou unto me? speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward: but lift thou up thy rod, and stretch out thine hand over the sea, and divide it: and the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea” (Exodus 14:15-16).

Many people have tried to give a natural explanation for this, but there is none. This was a supernatural act of God. Not only did He part the sea so the Israelites could pass through; He didn’t force them to walk through a muddy, swampy bog. They walked on dry ground. The Israelites passed through safely, but when the Egyptian army entered, they were all drowned. That’s the supernatural hand of God at work.

There are many more incidences just as miraculous as this. Water gushed from a rock, manna fell from heaven, a pillar of cloud led them by day and a pillar of fire by night, and so on. Instead of embracing the supernatural protection of God, they kept yearning to return to the supernatural demonic evil found in Egypt. Their disbelief stopped them from entering the Promised Land. God’s supernatural power is as real today as it was back then, and we still deny His power.

Scripture reveals many, many supernatural events that God made happen, such as Balaam’s donkey speaking to him, Elijah and his showdown with the prophets of Baal, Daniel in the den of lions, and so many, more that I can’t list them all.

God’s supernatural powers are also clearly seen in the New Testament. Beginning with the Virgin Birth, we see God’s power working through the Holy Spirit. Examples of the power of the Holy Spirit are seen when Jesus miraculously healed people and cast out demons, when He walked on water, when the Holy Spirit appeared as tongues of fire on the day of Pentecost, when the Apostles healed people, and so on. After His resurrection, Jesus supernaturally entered a locked room where His disciples were hiding.

“Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you” (John 20:19).

Jesus, who had been crucified and buried, entered a locked room. That’s supernatural. If the disciples hadn’t accepted the fact that Jesus was supernaturally there with them, they never would have been filled with the Holy Spirit nor established the Christian faith. They did great things because they understood that they served a supernatural Saviour and weren’t afraid to allow Him to work through them. Many people today claim that the power given by the Holy Spirit stopped with the Apostles. That’s a lie which Satan has spread so that Christians will deny the power we have through Christ.

Make no mistake. Satan and his demons are real and a powerful supernatural force. Christians need to resist him and fight against the evil he spews.

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12).

The entities mentioned here are evil satanic beings. Why don’t Christians believe God’s word? This fight, or wrestling, is with us every day; and if you’re not fighting against it, then you might ask yourself, ‘Which side am I on’?

Everyday there are news stories about one evil manifestation or another. Have you heard of Slender Man? He’s supposedly just an internet story made up to scare people. This “story” prompted two young girls to stab a friend multiple times and leave her for dead in order to go to Slender Man. He’s a demonic force and has caused many crimes.

Parents must be vigilant in what music their children listen to (so much is about demons), what movies they watch (so many have demonic storylines), what video games they play (yep, more demon infiltration), and what they look at on the internet (much content is demonic and aimed at children).

Demon possession is real. Jesus cast out many demons; but, today, medical “experts” just say it’s a mental disorder and dispense drugs to stop the bad behavior. Drugs open a portal in which demons can enter. Have you allowed your hyperactive child to take drugs to calm him? Ouija Boards are becoming popular, but they’re demonic and can lead to much evil. Christians must stand upon God’s word and eschew all forms of evil.

“Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand” (Ephesians 6:13).

Spiritual weapons from God are required to fight the supernatural enemy.

Christians have protection. We have the Lord. The problem is we deny His power because we believe all that is supernatural is evil. Scripture encourages us to test spirits to see if they are of God.

“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1).

Someone may claim to be of God but, in reality, is working for Satan. Be cautious and pray. Many false teachings are entering our congregations, and they are being accepted by wishy-washy Christians who deny God’s greater power.

“For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:13-14).

Demonic evil can look very good if you don’t stay close to God and test the spirits by using prayer and Scripture.

Too often, Christians divide life into categories – one category is what we do on Sunday, and one category is what happens the rest of the week. We live with one foot in the world, and that opens the way to being duped by satanic evil.

How do we avoid supernatural evil? By closely following the Supernatural God of all creation.

“Quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesyings. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil” (1 Thessalonians 5:19-22).

God bless you all,

Nathele Graham

twotug@embarqmail.com

www.straitandnarrowministry.com

ron@straitandnarrowministry.com

Ron and Nathele Graham’s previous commentaries archived at https://www.raptureready.com/featured/graham/graham.html

All original scripture is “theopneustos,” God breathed.

If you’d like to be on my mailing list to receive the commentaries, just drop me an email and let me know.

 

Mothers :: By Nathele Graham

“Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother (which is the first commandment with promise); that it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth” (Ephesians 6:1-3).

When God created the world and all that’s in it, He had a perfect plan for family. A man to protect and provide for his family and a woman to be his helper and nurture the family. God created Adam on the sixth day, then drew Eve from him. We know the history. Though God placed our first parents in a perfect place, they chose to rebel. Adam and Eve knew God’s one rule but disobeyed and ate the forbidden fruit. Because of that, they were expelled from the Garden of Eden.

“And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said I have gotten a man from the LORD” (Genesis 4:1).

Eve was the first mother and recognized that her child was a gift from God. Some erroneous teachings say that Cain was conceived inside the Garden of Eden and his father was Satan. Scripture doesn’t support that belief, but Cain had a sin nature and eventually killed his younger brother Abel. Eve must have been heartbroken. Her disobedience to God brought on Adam’s sin, and the result of that disobedience is the sin and death first seen in her sons.

Sin and death are still a part of our daily life. We all have a mother, and she isn’t perfect, but most of us have warm memories of childhood and how our mothers made things special.

Many mothers are singled out in Scripture, and women can learn from them. One of my favorites is Hannah. She was one of two wives of Elkanah. Polygamy was practiced at that time, though it didn’t follow the example of a one-man/one-woman marriage which God ordained in the Garden of Eden. Elkanah’s other wife was named Peninnah, and she wasn’t a very nice person. Hannah had no children and Peninnah, who did have children, treated Hannah awful. Though Hannah hurt inside, she didn’t allow bitterness to ruin her life. She yearned to have a child, so she prayed. What a blessing a woman of prayer is to her family.

“And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the LORD, and wept sore. And she vowed a vow and said, O LORD of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the LORD all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head” (1 Samuel 1:10-11).

Hannah’s desire for a son was strong, and her love of the Lord was stronger. She knew that God could allow her to have children and promised Him that if He gave her a son, she would be sure that he would know the Lord. The vow she made was a Nazirite vow. She promised that he would be set apart for God’s service. God answered her prayer, and Hannah gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel and was true to her promise to God. Hannah sent her son to live with Eli the priest, and Samuel did serve God his entire life.

“And the LORD visited Hannah, so that she conceived and bare three sons and two daughters. And the child Samuel grew before the LORD” (1 Samuel 2:21).

Scripture doesn’t tell us about her other children, but with a mother like Hannah they were loved and prayed over. Children who are born to a Godly woman are very blessed to have her as a mother.

There are special mothers in the New Testament too. None of them is more special than Mary. She had all the hopes and dreams of a young woman, and her future was clear. She would marry Joseph, raise a family, and live out a normal Jewish life. She must have been a special person because God chose her for a very unique and important task. She would give birth to the Messiah.

Mary was no different than any other young woman of that time, but God knew that she would be a good mother to His Son and chose her to fulfill prophecy. An angel made the announcement to Mary that she had been chosen. There was nothing supernatural about Mary, but she did love the Lord and was humble before Him. When the angel appeared to her, she was afraid, but he put her at ease.

“And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou has found favour with God. And behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS” (Luke 1:30-31).

Mary wasn’t married and only asked how she could become pregnant. When the angel explained that the Child would be the Son of God, Mary was humble and obedient.

“And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her” (Luke 1:38).

Like Hannah before her, Mary humbled herself and declared she was a “handmaid of the Lord.” Mary had no idea what heartache she would face, but submitted to God. Everybody knew she was pregnant but not married, and that was forbidden under the Law. She could have been stoned to death, but Joseph was also visited by an angel and understood that he needed to stand by her.

After Jesus was born, Joseph and Mary were married and had other children together. Mary knew that Jesus was the Son of God, but she was also a human mother and didn’t want Him to be mocked. There were times when she even tried to stop Him from fulfilling His purpose, but it was only because she loved Him. Jesus understood and He loved her. As He was dying on the cross, shedding His blood for the forgiveness of her sins, as well as the sins of all who will accept Him, He looked down and saw her there along with John. Before Jesus gave up the ghost, He gave the care of Mary over to John, who took care of her until she died. Yes, Mary was a very special mother.

Many times, mothers are a quiet influence upon their children. There’s one mother who is only mentioned by name in one verse, and we are better acquainted with her son. We first learn of her when Paul was on a missionary journey.

“Then came he to Derbe and Lystra: and, behold, a certain disciple was there named Timotheus, the son of a certain woman, which was a Jewess, and believed; but his father was a Greek: which was well reported of by the brethren that were at Lystra and Iconium” (Acts 16:1-2).

The first time Paul was in Lystra, he had quite a time convincing the people that he and Barnabas weren’t Greek gods. He preached the Gospel and established a congregation of believers. When he came back to check on the congregation, he found a young believer named Timotheus, whom we know better as Timothy. Timothy’s mother was Jewish but had accepted Christ. His father was Greek and apparently not a Christian. This quiet mother had a strong influence upon her son.

Paul became close to Timothy and established him as a pastor in Ephesus. Paul wrote two letters to Timothy and, in the second, he mentioned Timothy’s mother and grandmother.

“When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also” (2 Timothy 1:5).

Paul was aware of the strong faith of the two women who grounded Timothy in his faith. Many mothers today are the only Christian influence in their children’s lives. Those mothers need to be encouraged, because the influence of an unbelieving father can damage the faith of the children. Timothy was blessed to have Eunice for a mother and Lois for a grandmother.

Times are changing, and many women have placed a higher priority on working outside the home rather than doing the most important job they can do, being a wife and mother. Raising a son to be a God-honoring man and a daughter to be a God-honoring woman is the most important thing a woman can do. Circumstances or poor choices may have required her to be a single mother and work to support her children, but teaching them about Jesus and not to make the mistakes she has made will give the children a solid foundation on which to build their lives.

I was very blessed to have had a mother who was a beautiful Christian lady. She faced many tests of her faith but always came out stronger. Though she died over 40 years ago, she is still an influence over my life. Like Timothy, I also had a grandmother who found strength in her faith and is still an example to me. God has blessed me with three children whom I love very much and pray they see God’s love shine through my life.

None of us are perfect, not even our mothers. Take time to thank God for your mother, and say a prayer for her.

God bless you all,

Nathele Graham

twotug@embarqmail.com

www.straitandnarrowministry.com

ron@straitandnarrowministry.com

Ron and Nathele Graham’s previous commentaries archived at https://www.raptureready.com/featured/graham/graham.html

All original scripture is “theopneustos,” God-breathed.

If you’d like to be on my mailing list to receive the commentaries, just drop me an email and let me know.