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Pop Culture

My “Turning Red” Banned Video

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Available only here on my site, this is the video that was blocked and banned globally online. Please consider sowing financially to help me continue to speak the truth in these times of crisis. Let’s not let them silence us! 

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Should Christians Drink Alcohol?

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What does the Bible say about alcohol? If you were to read every single scripture that talks about alcohol in the Bible, you may end up more confused than you were before reading this blog.  The Bible seems to give contradictory messages about alcohol. I’m going to give you many scriptures that point to both positive and negative aspects of alcohol, and then share with you what I feel God is saying to His people on this subject.  

Man with bottle of whiskeyPositive Biblical Perspectives on Alcohol

I’m going to start by giving you some scriptures that give a positive perspective on alcohol:  

Ecclesiastes 9:7 (ESV)
Go, eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a merry heart, for God has already approved what you do.

 

Psalm 104:14-15 (ESV)
You cause the grass to grow for the livestock
    and plants for man to cultivate,
that he may bring forth food from the earth
    and wine to gladden the heart of man,
oil to make his face shine
    and bread to strengthen man’s heart.

 

Amos 9:14
I will restore the fortunes of my people Israel,
    and they shall rebuild the ruined cities and inhabit them;
they shall plant vineyards and drink their wine,
    and they shall make gardens and eat their fruit.

 

Isaiah 55:1
“Come, everyone who thirsts,
    come to the waters;
and he who has no money,
    come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
    without money and without price.”

Biblical Warnings About Alcohol

Now, I’m going to give you warnings from the Bible.  

Isaiah 5:11 (ESV)
Woe to those who rise early in the morning,
    that they may run after strong drink,
who tarry late into the evening
    as wine inflames them!

 

Provers 20:1 (ESV)
Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler,
    and whoever is led astray by it is not wise.

 

Deuteronomy 29:6 (ESV)
You have not eaten bread, and you have not drunk wine or strong drink, that you may know that I am the Lord your God.

 

Numbers 6:3 (ESV)
he shall separate himself from wine and strong drink. He shall drink no vinegar made from wine or strong drink and shall not drink any juice of grapes or eat grapes, fresh or dried.

 

Leviticus 10:9 (ESV)
Drink no wine or strong drink, you or your sons with you, when you go into the tent of meeting, lest you die. It shall be a statute forever throughout your generations.

 

Proverbs 23:29-35 (ESV)
Who has woe? Who has sorrow?
    Who has strife? Who has complaining?
Who has wounds without cause?
    Who has redness of eyes?
Those who tarry long over wine;
    those who go to try mixed wine.
Do not look at wine when it is red,
    when it sparkles in the cup
    and goes down smoothly.
In the end it bites like a serpent
    and stings like an adder.
Your eyes will see strange things,
    and your heart utter perverse things.
You will be like one who lies down in the midst of the sea,
    like one who lies on the top of a mast
“They struck me,” you will say] “but I was not hurt;
    they beat me, but I did not feel it.
When shall I awake?
    I must have another drink.”

So What Is It?

We have both types of scriptures – those that seem to encourage or confirm a decision to drink, and those that forbid drinking among certain groups of people within the nation of Israel.  Then we have scriptures that give major warnings against drunkenness.  I want to break these scriptures into a few categories.  It seems they fall into two sets of instructions:

  1. Drink but don’t get drunk
  2. Certain people should not drink at all

There are people who have a genetic and biological predisposition to alcoholism.   Does that mean that they have a demon?  Does that mean that they need deliverance? Many times, yes! Generational curses are real!  Demons are real. Many times people will deceive themselves for years and say, “I can drink and not get drunk.”  But that’s a lie.  People drink to forget.  They drink to lower anxiety or fears.  They can’t sleep without a buzz.  As somebody who was in addiction counseling, many people will say they are not addicts, but meet every single descriptor of an addict.  

Wine in Biblical Times Vs. Now

The Bible is clear that it is possible to drink and not get drunk.  I want to give you the historical context. In New Testament times, the water was not very clean.  Two thousand years ago, sanitation was poor and water was filled with bacteria and contaminants and considered dangerous to drink. People two thousand years ago would often drink wine because it was far less likely to be contaminated. 

1 Timothy 5:23
(No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments.)

Paul instructed Timothy to stop drinking the water exclusively, which was probably causing him stomach problems.  He instructed Timothy to drink wine!  Now in that day, wine was fermented.  It contained alcohol, but not necessarily to the degree it does today.  I have done historical studies on the fermentation process for wine going back to Jesus’ times.  It is very difficult to know for sure, but many historians agree that the wine that Jesus drank and the wine that Paul was instructing Timothy to drink would have taken 22 to 23 glasses to equal the alcohol content of one current-day glass of wine.  

Christian Liberty

I used to be an alcoholic.  I was also a pastor, prophet, Christian, and worship leader. I used to do “Theology on Tap” and go to friends’ houses to drink and read the Bible.  We used to say that we had Christian liberties, but we were getting drunk while we said it.  We used to tell people we could drink and not get drunk, but we were drunk while we said it!   If you are one of the two percent of people that can drink without getting drunk, praise God for your Christian liberty. 

If you can drink and not get drunk, God bless you!  There is a very small percentage of the population who can!  But I have met very few people like that in life. Many more of them drink to get drunk or a buzz. The Holy Spirit examines our motives and we cannot lie to Him.  Paul told Timothy to drink, but he was telling him to drink something that would have taken 22 to 23 glasses to add up to one of what we have today. So, I caution you against convincing yourself that you can drink without getting drunk or using your Christian liberty as an excuse to sin.  

Everything In Its Place

Everything has its rightful place.  If you have a fireplace in your living room and you put the wood in the fireplace, it will warm and comfort you through the winter. But if you take that same wood and fire and move it two feet forward into your living room, out of the fireplace, it will burn your entire house down. This is what drinking is like.  In its proper context, man, it tastes great. It maybe even has some medicinal benefits. But if bring it just one or two feet outside of the jurisdiction it should be in, and it will burn your house down.  Sexuality is the same way.   Sexuality and the boundaries of marriage are amazing, incredibly powerful forces that produce life, intimacy, and bonding.  But if you take sexuality and put it outside the bounds of marriage, it will destroy you. Yes all things are lawful, but not all things are expedient.

1 Corinthians 6:12
“I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but I will not be mastered by anything.

Some of you are such control freaks you don’t want to be dominated by anybody or anything.   You don’t want your boss to control you, you don’t want your spouse to control you, and you don’t want the government to control you. But yet you let alcohol control you.  You need it to calm your nerves. You can’t live without it.  God wants you to be free from all control and domination!

My Testimony

Over 14 years ago, my wife left me and took our newborn daughter with her because I couldn’t get my alcoholism under control. It was dominating me. At the height of my alcoholism I would lay down in my bed all alone at night and I would hear demonic voices calling out my name.  It was very dark.  In every country I’ve been to, they call hard alcohol spirits.   Why? Because demonic activity is connected to the consumption of alcohol that leads to drunkenness.  

When I got free from alcohol, everything else in my life changed. Every other sin decreased dramatically.  As a matter of fact, when I was drinking, there were so many sins that I would have never committed in my sober mind, so I would wait until I was drunk to do them. My conscience was so strong.  I knew the Word.  I knew God’s will and ways.  But I would have to get drunk because I knew I could never commit those sins sober. I never cheated on my wife sober – I always did it drunk.  And we talk about our story openly today.. When I sinned, alcohol was the gateway.   

Trading Good For Great

Many are called but few are chosen.  If you are a chosen one, act like it. If you are a chosen one, there are things that you will have to give up. Oftentimes the road to greatness is giving up what is good for what is great.  The Bible says there’s nothing wrong with wine.  As a matter of fact, it’s us that’s the problem.  We come from backgrounds of trauma, abuse and multigenerational curses. Is wine evil? No, we are evil. We’re full of wounds, hurt, pain, and rejection.  But when you pour wine into a wound, it doesn’t heal it.  It creates an infestation of other sins.  The Lord wants to heal you of your wounds, rejection, and trauma.  God is trying to give you wisdom. The Holy Spirit may be telling you that it’s time to let it go.  

I believe that all you’ve got to do is to make up your mind and say I’m giving up something good for something greater.  When you read Acts chapter 2, these common every day men were not ivy-league educated. They didn’t know hundred-dollar words, they only knew five-dollar words.  These men were filled with the Holy Spirit and it was like being filled with new wine. In the book of Acts, the Holy Spirit would begin to fill believers and they would speak in new tongues. They would begin to speak with wisdom and profound knowledge beyond their own education. 

God never removes without replacing. He isn’t trying to take anything away from you that he’s not going to give you something better.  I gave up being drunk off of miller light, craft beer, and whiskey and traded it for being drunk in the holy spirit.  I gave up Jack Daniels so I can hang out with Jesus Christ. It is so much better! You never wake up with a hangover or regrets.  When I used to get drunk on alcohol, I would wake up and my marriage was worse. But now, when I get drunk on the new wine of the Holy Spirit, I wake up and my marriage is better.  

Should You Stop Drinking?

Here’s the best gauge to determine whether you should stop drinking alcohol or not.  Stop for a pre-determined amount of time and then see how much better your life gets. Do a comparison of life with alcohol and life without.  If life is better without it, then consider abstaining permanently.  Here’s another gauge – ask your family whether or not you should stop drinking.  Ask your children, “Should I stop drinking?”  Ask your wife. See what she says.  If your family says yes, consider abstaining permanently.    

God wants to give you something better than alcohol. He wants to trade what’s good for what is great, and he wants to give you something so much better than you can imagine.  He wants to give you his Holy Spirit.  

 


If you have been involved in the occult or witchcraft, I encourage you to check out my blog “How to Cleanse Your House from Evil Spirits.” 

My Breakthrough Community is full of people just like you who are hungry for more of God. If you are interested in learning more, consider joining the Breakthrough Community!

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Pastor sitting on altar

Why Do Pastors Keep Cheating?

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Why do pastors keep cheating?  We have seen it all over the news recently – affair after affair by high-profile mega-church pastors.  I myself am a local church pastor of a multi-site church with locations in Brooklyn, Long Island, and Northwest Indiana/Chicago area, named one of America’s fastest-growing churches. When I see these stories unfold in the news, it breaks my heart, so I want to speak about it from the heart and perspective of a fellow pastor.  

Man being photographedIn my perspective, there are two conditions that create the context for infidelity among lead pastors, especially those who pastor large churches:  

1. An Extreme Need for Comfort  

When you’re a pastor, every single thing you do and say is scrutinized, judged, criticized, and gossiped about. Then when you go home, you talk about church and church people with your wife and family. There’s no relief from the pressures of church life.  Therefore you create a situation where 100% of your life is the work of ministry.  This causes depletion.  Therefore you are in extreme need of comfort. The high demands can mean don’t ever have an off day because you don’t ever “clock out.”  Now hear me – this does not excuse sin.  It only explains explain the context for how sin happens.  

2. The First Class Experience

First ClassThe second factor is what I like to call “the first-class experience.” Pastors who are in celebrity positions can create a false reality where eventually they start to think that the world is afirst-class experience. If you’ve ever flown first class before, you know that it’s a high-level experience.  The seats are larger and more comfortable, and the section is in the front for quick on and off access. In the back, everybody eats peanuts, but in first class you get a full hot meal.  There are two different sets of rules – a set for first-class and a set for everybody else.  

Many churches have a deeply ingrained honor culture. In trying to honor the pastor, they give him a preferred parking spot, seat him and his family in front, they feed him between services, and all manner of “first class” experiences.  It can all be a good thing, because their pastor’s life is more difficult and the honor culture seeks to alleviate some of the pressure and pain. Conversely, this first-class treatment can be blown out of proportion.  This preferred experience can plant a seed of exemption where a pastor begins to believe that the rules that apply to everyone else don’t apply to him.  

Proverbs 4:23 says, “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.”  When a pastor does not guard his or her heart and there’s an extreme need for comfort, it is an explosive combination. Then, combine it with the first-class mentality that exempts you from normal life.  Eventually, you feel exempt not just from normal life, but from the commands of God.

In John 14:15, Jesus says, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (ESV).  A lot of pastors who are in sin have learned how to confess their sin but never repent of it.  Even though they may have the honor of the crowds, a special parking spot, a special seat, and first-class plane tickets, they’re not exempt from Jesus’ commandments.  

Pastor sitting on altarJohn 14:16-17 (ESV)

And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.

God has promised a helper, the Holy Spirit, to abide with us forever.  You can have an accountability partner and still sin.  It is possible to be in the same hotel, even the same hotel room, as your accountability partner and still sin. But you can’t deceive the Spirit of Truth or lie to the Holy Spirit.  

A lot of pastors in sin are ministering out of a gift and not out of a relationship with Jesus.  Preaching is a gift.  Teaching is a gift.  But a relationship with God will cause you to not want to grieve the Holy Spirit.  Because even if an accountability partner doesn’t find out about your sin, the Holy Spirit knows and will be grieved.  

As I think about all of the recent pastors in the news, my heart is heavy. As a pastor myself, I want to walk in humility.  I have to worship.  I have get before God and depend on the Holy Spirit. I have to feed the poor (without taking a photo of it for Instagram).  All of that plays a part in humility. The higher you go, the more you have to decrease.  


My Breakthrough Community is full of people just like you who are hungry for more of God. If you are interested in learning more, consider joining the Breakthrough Community!

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How To Defeat the Jezebel Spirit

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Today we are talking about how to defeat the spirit of Jezebel.  In the Old Testament, Queen Jezebel was the wife of King Ahab, the king of Israel. Ahab “did evil in the sight of the Lord, more than all who were before him” (1 Kings 16:30, ESV).  The two of them were responsible for promoting the worship of false gods and creating a culture that was completely anti-God, where evil was celebrated and righteousness was abhorred.

ControlThe Fight Against Jezebel

The Bible does not give us permission to fight people – not your spouse, your boss, your siblings, or your mama.  But it does say, “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:10-11, ESV).

The Open Door

We’ve been given battle-ready armor so that we can fight principalities, powers, and spirits.  Now, there are behaviors and attitudes that are sometimes just flesh, not a demon.  But unrepentant sin can turn into the demonic.  Unrepented sin opens a door.  If I leave the front door open to my house for a little bit, a squirrel or a dog might come in.  But if I leave the door open for a long enough period of time, something even worse will come in.  

Generational Curses

If you persist in sinful, prideful, narcissistic, controlling, haughty behavior, you will open a door to the demonic.  Some have generational curses and have inherited a Jezebel spirit.  If you’ve always been domineering and controlling, perhaps it is due to a generational curse.  And this spirit is not relegated to a male or a female – anyone can have a Jezebel spirit.  

Regardless of how the Jezebel spirit arrived, we have the authority to defeat it.  This is a spiritual battle.  Based on 1 Kings 18, here are three ways to defeat Jezebel.  

1. Come out of hiding.  

The spirit of Jezebel will cause you to go into hiding.  Those who are under the influence of someone with a Jezebel spirit will often feel like they can’t tell anyone what is happening to them.  They are in abusive, toxic, narcissistic relationships and yet keep it secret.  

hiding1 Kings 18:13 

Has it not been told my lord what I did when Jezebel killed the prophets of the Lord, how I hid a hundred men of the Lord’s prophets by fifties in a cave and fed them with bread and water?

Expose the Jezebel Spirit

In this verse, we hear how the prophet Obadiah tells Elijah how he began to hide other prophets because they were scared of Jezebel.  The spirit Jezebel will cause even people who know God’s ways to go into hiding.  This applies to people under the influence of spiritual leaders who have Jezebel spirits, as well as those in abusive marriages.  Most people who suffer under a Jezebel spirit refuse to believe that their suffering is even real because they hide behind an illusion that all is well.  A Jezebel spirit can turn someone’s good intentions into accusations.  Wrongdoing needs to be exposed, and a Jezebel spirit does not take kindly to exposure.  

A common tactic of someone operating under a Jezebel spirit is to turn the wrongdoing back onto the person who is trying to expose it.  This person will make the innocent party feel dirty, guilty, or as if they were the offending party.  When the enemy is exposed, he tries to silence you and make you go into hiding.  The only way to find freedom is to come out of hiding.  

2. Reclaim your identity. 

1 Kings 18:17

When Ahab saw Elijah, Ahab said to him, “Is it you, you troubler of Israel?” And he answered, “I have not troubled Israel, but you have, and your father’s house, because you have abandoned the commandments of the Lord and followed the Baals. Now therefore send and gather all Israel to me at Mount Carmel, and the 450 prophets of Baal and the 400 prophets of Asherah, who eat at Jezebel’s table.”

There’s a battle over identity.  Ahab tried to call Elijah a troubler.  Elijah had to respond back and say, “Wait a second, I’m not the troubler, you’re the troubler.”  If you’ve been under the influence of a Jezebel spirit for very long, you will forget who you really are.  Has your spouse in your abusive marriage called you stupid when you’re not stupid?  Have you gone to a church that said you couldn’t sing even though you can sing? Have they said you couldn’t preach even though you can preach? Have they said you couldn’t prophesy even though you can prophesy? 

Your True Identity

Jezebel will try to tell you you’re nothing, you’re no one. You have to respond back to that spirit with a firm knowledge of who you are in Christ:

  • No longer a slave, but God’s child and an heir (Galatians 4:7) 
  • God’s special possession (1 Peter 2:9-10) 
  • Seated with God in heavenly realms (Ephesians 2:6) 
  • A new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17)
  • Complete in Him (Colossians 2:10) 
  • Set apart (Hebrews 10:10) 
  • Set apart and appointed (Jeremiah 1:5) 
  • More than a conqueror (Romans 8:37) 

These are just a few of the things God has called us that define our identity.  You need to write down your true identity and put it on your mirror so every morning when you go to the bathroom you’re reminded of who you are.  

Don’t Forget Who You Are 

Controlling, narcissistic people will make you forget who you truly are.  Their influence will distract you from the things you love, the things that make you uniquely you, and the gifts and talents that God has placed inside you to be shared with the world for His glory.  Jezebel is a seductress and will try to make you forget who you really are.  A Jezebel spirit is so manipulative and controlling, that it will even affect the way a person dresses, the way they wear their makeup, and style their hair.   

3. Stick with your choice no matter the consequence.  

1 Kings 19:20

So Ahab sent to all the people of Israel and gathered the prophets together at Mount Carmel. And Elijah came near to all the people and said, “How long will you go limping between two different opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him.” And the people did not answer him a word.

Stick with your choice.  People will begin to come to my church and tell me they go to their old church for one service and then my church for another service.  Why is that?  Because they have been made to feel guilty for leaving.  This is an example of a Jezebel spirit at work.  They are stuck between two choices.  

Someone under the influence of a Jezebel spirit fears the opinions of that person.  They are afraid of the consequences and what will happen when Jezebel finds out.  A toxic, controlling, narcissistic person can make the life of the people under their control a living nightmare.  So it’s natural that the person being controlled would fear the repercussions of their choice.  You’ve got to be willing to stick with your choice, no matter what happens. A Jezebel will be critical of your choice and even discredit it. Jezebel’s criticism of your choice is a confirmation that you made the right choice! 

In Conclusion

Defeat Jezebel by coming out of hiding, reclaiming your true identity, and sticking with your choice.  You cannot serve two masters – you have to serve the Lord. 


My Breakthrough Community is full of people just like you who are hungry for more of God. If you are interested in learning more, consider joining the Breakthrough Community!

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