Wednesday, November 16, 2011

How is Man Created in God's Image?

Are we physically created in God's image or are our spirits patterned after His? If created physically after His image then what about those born with physical or mental defects?

Bible says that both males and females are created in the image of God. Unless God were a hermaphrodite (having both male and female sexual organs),this phrase could not refer to physical characteristics.

The Bible has a lot to say about the nature of God. God is personal and emotional. God is neither male nor female, since He is not a physical, but a spiritual being.

Let me explain what is the difference between "Soul" and 'Spirit" :

The soul is best described as the characteristics that make up the advanced brain, including mind, will and emotion. Only birds and mammals exhibit these characteristics, which is why humans can form mutual relationships with birds and mammals.

The spirit is that part of humans that is able to love and experience God directly. It is found in no other animal species, since no other species can experience God or form a relationship with Him

Paul's ability to appeal to reason demonstrates a way that man is made in the image of God. God by His nature is a rational being. He operates by the laws of logic. He is not constrained by them because they are some kind of "higher force", but they are the natural outflow of His will; they are His nature. He is as much a rational being as He is a loving being. Because only man has the true capacity for rational thinking, he is in this way also made in God's image. Also, man is intelligent; aware of his surroundings and capable of changing them. He does not act on instinct, but should be able to control his natural drives for higher purposes.

So "in the image of God" refers to the characteristics of the human spirit and the ability to make moral judgments - things that are not found in any animal species, even those to whom we are said to be closely related.

It's not true that those people who have mental or physical deficiencies are somehow not created in the image of God Because some of the aspects we associate with God's image may not be operating properly, it doesn't mean the person is devoid of God's image. Rather, it shows that the image is somehow skewed or distorted. Every person who is aware, no matter how slight his mental faculties, lives by some ethic, some moral code, and some decision-making processes. This re-emphasizes importance of our Redeemer's work in the lives of men, for only He can create a heart in man that is not distorted and seeks His will.


Monday, November 14, 2011

How do I know if I'm saved?

The question of the "eternal security of the believer" is often raised in letters we receive. This subject has been the cause of much controversy in the church for centuries- and still creates conflision and distress for many Christians. It is too much to expect to dispel this problem completely for everyone in a brief tract, but perhaps we can at least help in that direction.

Those who believe in "falling away" accuse those who believe in "eternal security" of promoting "cheap grace." The latter in itself is an unbiblical expression. To call it "cheap" is really a denial of grace, since it implies that too small a price has been paid. Grace, however, must be absolutely free and without any price at all on man's part; while on God's part the price He paid was infinite. Thus for man to think that his works can play any part in either earning or keeping his salvation is what cheapens grace, devaluing this infinite gift to the level of human effort.

To speak of "falling from grace" involves the same error. Since our works had nothing to do with meriting grace in the first place, there is nothing we could do that would cause us to no longer merit it and thus "fall" from it. Works determine reward or punishment-not one's salvation, which comes by God's grace. The crux of the problem is a confusion about grace and works.

First of all, we must be absolutely clear that these two can never mix. Paul declares, "...if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work" (Rom 11:6). Salvation cannot be partly by works and partly by grace.

Secondly, we must be absolutely certain that works have nothing to do with salvation. Period. The Bible clearly states, "For by grace are ye saved... not of works" (Eph 2:8-10). True to such Scriptures, evangelicals firmly declare that we cannot earn or merit salvation in any way. Eternal life must be received as a free gift of God's grace, or we cannot have it.

Thirdly, salvation cannot be purchased even in part by us, because it requires payment of the penalty for sin-a payment we can't make. If one receives a speeding ticket, it won't help to say to the judge, "I've driven many times within the 55 mph limit. Surely my many good deeds will make up for the one bad deed." Nor will it do to say, "If you let me off this time, I promise never to break the law again." The judge would reply, "To never break the law again is only to do what the law demands. You get no extra credit for that. The penalty for breaking the law is a separate matter and must be paid." Thus Paul writes," the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight..." (Rom 3:20).

Fourthly, if salvation from the penalty of breaking God's laws cannot be earned by good deeds, then it cannot be lost by bad deeds. Our works play no part in either earning or keeping salvation. If it could, then those who reach heaven could boast that while Christ saved them they, by their good lives, kept their salvation. Thus God would be robbed of having all the glory in eternity.

Fifthly, salvation can be given to us as a free gift only if the penalty has been fully paid. We have violated infinite Justice, requiring an infinite penalty. We are finite beings and could not pay it: we would be separated from God for eternity. God is infinite and could pay an infinite penalty, but it wouldn't be just because He is not a member of our race. Therefore God, in love and grace, through the virgin birth, became a man so that He could pay the debt of sin for the entire human race!

In the Greek, Christ's cry from the cross, "It is finished!" is an accounting term, meaning that the debt had been paid in full. Justice had been satisfied by full payment of its penalty, and thus God could "be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus" (Rom 3:26). On that basis, God offers pardon and eternal life as a free gift. He cannot force it upon anyone or it would not be a gift. Nor would it be just to pardon a person who rejects the righteous basis for pardon and offers a hopelessly inadequate payment instead-or offers his works even as "partial payment."

Salvation is the full pardon by grace from the penalty of all sin, past, present or future; eternal life is the bonus thrown in. Denying this cardinal truth as Jehovah's Witnesses, for example, reject salvation by grace and insist that it must be earned by one's good works. They accuse evangelicals of teaching that all we need to do is to say we believe in Christ and then we can live as we please, in the grossest of sins, yet be sure of heaven. Evangelicals don't teach that at all, yet a similar complaint is made by those who believe in "falling away." They say that "once saved, always saved" encourages one to live in sin because if we know we cannot be lost then we have no incentive for living a holy life. On the contrary, love for the One who saved us is the greatest and only acceptable motive for living a holy life; and surely the greater the salvation one has received, the more love and gratitude there will be. So to know one is secure for eternity gives a higher motive for living a good life than the fear of losing one's salvation if one sins!

While those who believe in "falling from grace" are clear that good works cannot earn salvation, they teach that salvation is kept by good works. Thus one gets saved by grace, but thereafter salvation can be lost by works. To teach that good works keep salvation is almost the same error as to say that good works earn salvation. It denies grace to say that once I have been saved by grace I must thereafter keep myself saved by works.

Such teaching, says Hebrews 6:4-9, rather than glorifying Christ, holds him up to shame and ridicule before the world once again for two reasons: if we could lose our salvation, then (1) Christ would have to be crucified again to save us again; and (2) He would be ridiculed for dying to purchase a salvation but not making adequate provision to preserve it-for giving a priceless gift to those who would inevitably lose it. If Christ's dying in our place for our sins and rising again was not sufficient to keep us saved, then He has foolishly wasted His time. If we could not live a good enough life to earn salvation, it is certain we can- not live a good enough life to keep it! To make the salvation he procured ultimately dependent upon our works would be the utmost folly.

"Falling away" doctrine makes us worse off after we are saved than before. At least before conversion we can get saved. But after we are saved and have lost our salvation (if we could), we can't get saved again, but are lost forever. Hebrews 6:4 declares, "If [not when] they shall fall away... it is impossible (v.4) renew them again unto repentance." That "falling away" is hypothetical is clear (v.9): "But beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak" So "falling away" does not "accompany salvation." The writer is showing us that if we could lose our salvation, we could never get it back without Christ dying again upon the cross. This is folly! He would have to die an infinite number of times (i.e., every time every person who was once saved sinned and was lost and wanted to be "saved again"). Thus, those who reject "once saved, always saved," can only replace it with, "once lost, always lost!"

John assures us, "These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know [present knowledge] that ye have [present possession] eternal life..." (1 Jn 5:13). To call it eternal life, if the person who had it could lose it and suffer eternal death, would be a mockery. On the contrary, eternal life is linked with the promise that one cannot perish-a clear assurance of "eternal security" or "once saved, always saved." John 3:16 promises those who believe in Jesus Christ that they "should not perish, but have everlasting life."

John 5:24 again says, "hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation...." One could not ask for clearer or greater assurance than the words of Jesus: "I give unto them [my sheep] eternal life; and they shall never perish" (Jn 10:28). If, having received eternal life, we could lose it and perish, it would make Christ a liar.

If sin causes the loss of salvation, what kind or amount of sin does it take? There is no verse in the Bible that tells us. We are told that if we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness-so apparently any sin can be forgiven. Even those who teach falling away rarely if ever say they got "saved again." Rather, they confessed their sin and were forgiven. Hebrews 12:3-11 tells us that every Christian sins, and that instead of causing a loss of salvation, sin brings God’s chastening upon us as His children. If when we sinned we ceased to be God's children, He would have no one to chastise-yet he "scourgeth every son whom he receiveth." Indeed, chastening is a sign that we are God's children not that we have lost our salvation: "if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons."

Some teach that one must be baptized to be saved; others that one must "speak in tongues." Both are forms of salvation by works. Some people lack assurance of salvation because they haven't "spoken in tongues," others are confident they are saved because they think they have. Both are like those who say, "Lord, Lord, have we thy name done many wonderful works?" (Mt 7:21-23) They are relying on their works to prove they are saved, instead of upon God's grace. Nor does Jesus say, "You were once saved but lost your salvation" He says, "I never knew you."

Here is an important distinction. Those who believe in "falling away" would say of a professing Christian who has denied the faith and is living in unrepentant sin, that he has "fallen from grace" and has "lost his salvation." In contrast, those who believe in "eternal security," while no more tolerant of such conduct, would say of the same person that probably Christ "never knew him"-he was never a Christian. We must give the comfort and assurance of Scripture to those who are saved; but at the same time we must not give false and un-Biblical comfort to those who merely say they are saved but deny with their lives what they profess with their lips.

Are we not then saved by our works? Indeed not! In I Corinthians 3:12-15 every Christian's works are tried by fire at the "judgment seat of Christ" before which "we must all appear" (2 Cor 5:10). Good works bring rewards; a lack of them does not cause loss of salvation. The person who hasn't even one good work (all of his works are burned up) is still "saved; yet so as by fire" (1 Cor 3:15). We would not think such a person was saved at all. Yet one who may seem outwardly not to be a Christian, who has no good works as evidence (if he has truly received the Lord Jesus Christ as his Savior), is "saved as by fire" and shall never perish in spite of his lack of works.

Do we then, on the basis of" once saved, always saved," encourage Christians to "sin that grace may abound?" With Paul we say, "God forbid!" We offer no comfort or assurance to those living in sin. We don't say, you're okay because you once made a "decision for Christ." Instead, we warn: "If you are not willing right now to live fully for Christ as Lord of your life, how can you say that you were really sincere when you supposedly committed yourself to Him at some time in the past?" And to all we declare with Paul, "Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves" (2 Cor 13:5).

In John 15:1-6, Jesus says "I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.". Obviously, Those who abide in Jesus and have Jesus abiding in them are true Christians, the saints, and they persevere. Who are those who are only "in" the Vine and are removed for not bearing fruit? Since they are dead branches fit only to be burned and do not have Jesus abiding in them, they cannot be true Christians. These branches are Christians only in outward appearance, names on church registers, spiritual corpses sitting in pews.

It is impossible that those who are implanted into Christ by a true faith should not bring forth the fruits of faithfulness.

We are not saved by works; we are saved for works.

Anyone who, believing his salvation is sure must live a repented life of sin. A truly regenerated christian wants to please God. Though he may sin, It's no longer his way of life. A saint will not use his christian liberty as a license to lead a sinful life. Instead his liberty motivates him to want to obey out of gratefulness and frees him to try to obey without fear. That's he wants to do what is right but he can be assured that even if he slips up, he will not lose his salvation.

Our confidence for eternity rests in His unchanging love and grace and the sufficiency of God’s provision in Christ-not in our worth or performance. Only when this is clear do we have real peace with God. Only then can we truly love Him and live for Him out of gratitude for the eternal life He has given to us as a free gift of His grace- a gift He will not take back and which He makes certain can never be lost!"


Saturday, November 12, 2011

How can a loving God send people to Hell?

The greatest misconception about hell is that it doesn't exist. Just as we believe scientists when they tell us there is such a thing as gravity, so should we believe God when he tells us there is such a place as hell. Many people wonder how a merciful and caring God could send people to such a terrible place. The truth is that It's like the natural law of gravity, If you choose to jump from a high place, you will break your legs. You don't say God broke your legs..The same idea for Hell.God does not send anyone to Hell. People send themselves to Hell and choose to be against the natural moral law by refusing God's gift of salvation. People choose to go there by their own rebellion, and God respects their choice.

God says in Deuteronomy 30:19, "Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!".

God gave man a free will to choose his destiny. His will for us is to be with Him for eternity.

God is a loving God.You are always on His mind. He knows how many hairs you have on your head. He knows your thoughts before you think them. That's pretty awesome.

However, God is also just. Sin cannot enter Heaven. And so He made a way for us to get there. That way is through faith in His son, Jesus Christ. Not just believing in Christ but "receiving" Christ into your heart and be true disciple to him.

Good works will not get us into heaven, Adam and Eve not only had to admit their guilt and disobedience, they also had to acknowledge their inability to make things right through their own efforts. They could not cover, or atone, for what they had done. The account goes on to say that God had to take the initiative to adequately clothe them. He killed some animals and made garments from their skins for a covering. All philosophy, philanthropy, asceticism, religion, ethics, and all other systems which seek to gain the approval of God through human self-effort are the "fig-leaf" approach.

Hell is the natural consequence (like gravity) of our life without  God, it is what life looks like separated from love, from life, from hope. Hell is looking our own lostness straight in the face. Just like we have glimpses of what Heaven will be like through our experiences of God's salvation here, we also have glimpses of what Hell will be like through the lostness and despair and hopelessness around us. Hell is the total seperation (the absence) from God. God won't send us there. God's job is to show us danger signs along the way but He also respects our choices !

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

God's Sovereignty and Man's Responsibility to Choose

God's sovereignty can be under-emphasized and diminished or it can be overemphasized. One over-emphasis, or misunderstanding, is that sovereignty means that God can do absolutely anything conceivable. Another way of stating this is that God has no limits in regard to who He is or what He can do. But the Scripture never teaches this, and in fact teaches that God is limited in some ways and there are some things God cannot do.

"in the hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised long ages ago" (Titus 1:2).

"When tempted, no one should say, 'God is tempting me.' For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone "(James 1:13, NIV).

God cannot do anything that is against His nature. He cannot lie. He cannot do evil or even be tempted by evil. Since He is always righteous, He cannot be unrighteous. Since He is always wise, He cannot make a mistake or act unwisely or foolishly. If He is always faithful, then He cannot be unfaithful.

God could employ a very "hands-on," top-down" management style and originate or actively control every single event that occurs, making His creatures no more than robots. Or He could choose to use a more "hands off," "inclusive" management style and at times listen to the opinions of His creatures and give them a degree of freedom to make their own decisions, even if those decisions are not according to His nature and desire.

Does the idea that God allows humans to make moral choices that are contrary to His will nullify the sovereignty of God and make man sovereign (the supreme authority)? Not in the least. The fact that God has granted a degree of ruling authority to men does not decrease God's supreme authority whatsoever. He is the one who granted it, and He can withdraw it at any time or in any particular situation that He so chooses.

God puts limits on our power and ability to choose to do what we might want. For instance, men cannot choose the day of their birth, or seldom the day of their death. Men cannot choose the political or economic society that they are born into. No one can control the weather, or fully control his own health. And, ultimately, I am not free to take another breath unless God allows it. So, when we talk about "free will," we must realize that we are never totally free to do whatever we want whenever we want.

Each of us has a system of values that we have developed through the reasoning process that God has given us. Sometimes we reason well and sometimes not so well. And sometimes our desires are so strong that they overcome our reason and we do things that we know aren't good for us, or that we really wish we wouldn't do.

But God can use the evil choices of men (which He does not originate or encourage) to further His purposes and accomplish His ends.

The fact that God foreknows the future may not make the future any more unchangeable than it already is. For if we define the future as what will happen, then no one can change the future. By definition the future is set. It is what will be. And if it were to be any different than it is, then it would no longer be what will be. But the fact that no one can change the future does not mean that our choices don't affect what the future will be. For if we were to choose differently than we do, the future would be different than it will be. So the fact that God knows the future would not seem to make it any more certain than it already is by definition. Neither does God's foreknowledge in any way hinder or restrict man's ability to make real choices. The only way God's foreknowledge could restrict a man's choice is if God were to decide to overrule that choice, which He has every right to do, and sometimes does do-yet not always.

Why should we love our enemies, according to Jesus? Because our heavenly Father loves His enemies. We are to follow His example. He causes the sun to rise and sends rain upon not only the righteous, but the wicked. Certainly He sends rain on both the elect and the non-elect, implying that He loves them both.

We cannot ascribe the meaning "elect" to the word "world" in John 3:16 for it makes no sense that some of the elect would believe and some not believe and be condemned. Nor does it make sense that some of the elect would come to the light and some hate the light and be judged. Nor does it work that the Son came into the elect, for He did not come into the elect, but into the world of men, elect and non-elect alike.

God gave His Son and sent Him into the world as the light of the world to save the world. But there is a condition-men must believe. Some do and come to the light. Some hate the light and won't come to the light. Salvation is not automatic with the giving and coming of the Son. A response of faith is required.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Forgiveness: A Path to Healing

In our journey to inner peace and healing, both guilt and forgiveness of self and others have a profound effect on this process. Guilt is defined as a feeling of culpability especially for imagined offences or from a sense of inadequacy; a self-reproach; and forgiveness as the act of forgiving or the ceasing of feeling resentment against an offender. Guilt and lack of forgiveness of self and others, burdens many people with the heavy weight of inappropriate shame and the destruction of deep-seated resentments. In recent years, much has been written about the destructiveness of repressed emotions and particularly anger and resentment in contributing to life-threatening illnesses.

The belief that feeling emotion means we are weak is a dreadful legacy to burden people with. Teaching people that strength means not feeling or denying our feelings is tantamount to creating illness. Beliefs such as 'big boys don't cry' and 'good girls don't get angry' has resulted in men and women who are unable to get in touch with what they actually feel. Depression is thought to be caused by anger turned inward and is only one of the symptoms of the need to protect ourselves from the scorn associated with expressing feelings. Many other illnesses and particularly the addictions are theorised to be expressions of a deep level of emotional pain.

Why won't we forgive? I believe it starts from our unwillingness to forgive ourselves. We believe that we are undeserving of love, respect, acceptance, appreciation, and the right to live a life where we walk in peace, joy, harmony, and abundance. Somewhere along the line, we started to believe that all the rules and regulations of the society in which we live defined who we were supposed to be. We stopped trusting and believing in our own inherent worth and came to believe that we were 'not good enough.' Messages such as 'you failed' or 'you should' became a litany for us to abuse ourselves with guilt. I call it abuse because it is just as painful when we do it to ourselves as when others do it to us. We became judge and jury and found ourselves guilty of our perceived offences. When the primary caregivers such as parents, teachers, and other societal influences are unable to love themselves unconditionally, this 'learned attitude' is passed on to the next generation as shame in an attempt to control behaviour.

Self-forgiveness is that regular maintenance that keeps us on the road. The self-forgiving person is not as many believe, or at least fear - a selfish person. It is the person who remains stuck in self-doubt and self-condemnation who will lead the more selfish, less productive life..

Practice loving yourself. We hear lots about loving our neighbor but forget that most of the great religious leaders of the world also urge us to love ourselves. Evaluate how you treat yourself in body, mind, emotions, and spirit.

Pure happiness is achieved because when you forgive a person who has done you harm, you detoxify yourself of all negative energy, free your mind, and purify your soul and body. Perhaps that's why Martin Luther said: "Forgiveness is pure happiness."

"How often do you forgive one person? Up to seven times?" Jesus Christ was asked by his disciple Peter. Jesus replied: "I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven." Jesus even asked God to forgive those who had crucified him: "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." In The Lord's Prayer, Christians pray: "And forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us."

Forgiveness has great power. It is a glorious and selfless act that could radically transform the lives of both the forgiver and the forgiven - for the better.


Friday, November 4, 2011

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or OCD

OCD or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is known to bring about racing thoughts in a person's mind. Those thoughts can be completely against the real person's personality, and though they bitterly hate the thoughts being there, they continue to pop up in their mind and compulsively force themselves through. The person often feels very fearful or shameful about thinking such things, when it is not even them thinking along those lines in the first place, although it seems like it. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, commonly referred to as OCD, is not a mental disorder or disease... it is a spiritually rooted bondage in the person's mind that needs to be uprooted.

What is OCD or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder? Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is basically demonic torment brought on by a person's bondages to fear and shame. The person affected may experience thoughts being 'pushed' through their mind that they would normally never think (completely against their true nature), or they may experience a strong pulling on their thoughts in a certain direction. They may even hear voices inside their mind or in some other way sense that something isn't right. A great way to describe it, is to imagine a magnet in your mind that is pulling your thoughts a certain direction, despite the fact that the real you hates those thoughts. It feels like you're sharing your mind with another spirit that you totally disagree with! These 'voices' or compulsive thoughts are NOT caused because of a chemical imbalance (which the secular world cannot explain anyways); they are there because of a spiritual bondage in the person's life. I suffered from AWFUL bondage to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and there's NO way anybody can convince me that a downright evil spirit wasn't behind those thoughts that were rushing through my mind. I would experience compulsive blasphemous thoughts against the Holy Spirit, then fear would sweep over me as the demon(s) would work on making me feel as if I've just committed the unpardonable sin. The torment was unspeakable, it has to be one of the single worse feelings a person can experience.

It is not an uncommon scenario when a person experiences blasphemous thoughts against the Holy Spirit, then the demons work to convince the person that they've committed the unpardonable sin. They continually plant 'what if' questions into the person's mind, and try diligently to make the person feel absolutely hopeless and convinced that they've lost all hope. Furthermore, they make the person feel all alone in the matter, as if they are the only person in the world that such a thing has happened to. The truth is that there is almost a countless number of cases of this type of torment taking place around the world today. Anybody who has been in the ministry of deliverance for a length of time will agree that there are many out there being tormented over the fears of the unpardonable sin.

If you have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), you will have likely been asking yourself these questions: "Why can't I stop thinking like this? Where are these thoughts coming from? What has happened to my mind? Can't I think for myself for a change??" If this sounds like you, then keep reading!

For the most part, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is generally caused by two things...
- A shameful identity; usually stemming from something shameful or a certain sin in the person's past
- Bondage to fear; quite possibly caused by a spirit of fear
A shameful identity

Shame plays a big role in Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). When a person has done something embarrassing or shameful in their past, and they choose to meditate (or think often upon) what they have done, it programs their minds with a shameful identity. Guilt, when meditated upon, brings shame. Guilt is when you see the problem, but shame is when you feel as if you are the problem. Shame causes a person to beat themselves up mentally, and this can be an open door for tormenting spirits. Shame is when a person hasn't forgiven themselves, and is a symptom of unforgiveness. Unforgiveness is an open door to demonic tormenting spirits:
Matthew 18:34-35, "And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses."

Just as it's important for us to forgive others, it's also just as important that we forgive ourselves. Both types of unforgiveness can attract tormenting spirits. I found in my own struggle against Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) that the more I thought about shameful things in my past, the stronger and worse the compulsive thinking came upon me. It was a clear pattern that I've seen in action many times before I was set free.

Shame brings a 'beat yourself up' mentality, which the enemy (working through demons) utilizes to bring an OCD patient much torment. Shame is a spiritual root that needs to be uprooted before the person will be able to experience complete spiritual freedom.

Bondage to fear

Fear is the motivating bully behind Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). The person fears that they are thinking such things, or begin asking themselves, "What if that was me who thought such a thing? Would I be guilty of the unpardonable sin?" Such thinking stems from fear, and fear is an open door to mental torment.
1 John 4:18, "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love."
In the Bible, we find that having a sound mind (the opposite of OCD) is the enemy of fear, and visa versa... the two do not mix and are opposites of each other:

2 Timothy 1:7, "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."
Fear can cause a person to eventually become a lunatic because it drives them 'out of their mind'. Fear, combined with shame, creates a favorable environment to spawn Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and racing thinking patterns.
Curing Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Generally speaking, there are a few basic things that need to be addressed when bringing a person out of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), they include:
Deal with any strongholds that exist. Behind shame is a stronghold. The person is not perceiving themselves correctly if they have repented of the sins in their past, and are still seeing themselves through the eyes of shame. See teachings on Dealing With Guilt, Defeating Guilt and Shame and Tearing Down Strongholds for more information.
There are some great books that I highly recommend for tearing down strongholds; here are two of them:
Victory over Darkness by Neil T. Anderson (Learn of who you are in Christ)

Blessed Beyond Measure by Gloria Copeland (Learn of what a good God we have)

Dealing with underlying fears. One common concern with an OCD patient, is that they are petrified that they are the source of such evil or absurd thoughts. If a person truly hates the thought(s), and they run contrary to the person's true personality, then it is clear that they are not the source of such a thought. I would experience horrible blasphemous thoughts rushing through my mind, yet the real me would never ever in a million years even THINK of such things! It is important that the person realizes that they are not thinking such things, and that it is a demonic spirit that is pushing such garbage at them. There are often other fears that need to be addressed as well. Fears are usually caused by strongholds, and many times demons at found working under the scene to either fuel strongholds and/or directly cause the person to be fearful. When a fear is gripping and very hard to overcome, then it's usually a combination of both strongholds and demons at work.

When a person sees God as a cruel taskmaster, it causes them to have a very unhealthy fear of God, which causes them to go crazy over topics such as the unpardonable sin. Reading books such as Blessed Beyond Measure by Gloria Copeland is one of the best ways to quickly break down such strongholds. They need to stop worrying about God being "after them", and start to meditate on His goodness and His loving nature towards them. It is also quite possible for a person to have a spirit of fear which needs to be driven out before they will be set free. More information on strongholds can be found in the teaching Tearing Down Strongholds.

It is 100% vital that (a) the person learns of the goodness of God, and what a loving and merciful Heavenly Father that they really have - they cannot see Him as a cruel taskmaster, and (b) they must learn of who they truly are in Christ Jesus. They must know in their heart that their pasts have been washed away (providing they have repented of their sins), and no longer a part of them. I usually find one or both of these strongholds affecting those with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Either or both of these strongholds must be dealt with before the person can enjoy complete and lasting freedom from OCD.

It is very important not to overlook any underlying spiritual bondages when ministering to somebody with OCD. I would look into the person's family heritage for generational bondages/spirits that were handed down and I would not overlook the casting out of demons. Casting out demons can play a very important role in setting a person completely free from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and this step should never be overlooked. Some of the spirits I would look for is fear, shame, guilt, etc. I like to tackle the strongholds and legal rights (if any) first and then go after the spirits.

Bad soul ties also need to be broken in certain cases. Many times a person first becomes worried about the unpardonable sin after breaking their virginity outside marriage. Bad soul ties, especially with people who struggle with fear or are involved in the occult can bring a tremendous amount of spiritual torment to a person. I've ministered to people being physically visited by demons at night, all because of an ungodly soul tie with somebody involved in the occult!
The good news is, there is a working cure for OCD, and it's deliverance in Jesus Christ combined with the tearing down of strongholds in spiritual warfare! God does NOT want His people mentally unstable! He has made available unto us freedom and wholeness in every area of our lives, but it's upto us to take hold of it! God's Word clearly states that it is not Him who gives or wants us to have an unsound mind:

2 Timothy 1:7, "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."

The voice of condemnation

And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: forthe accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.

Revelation 12:10

This is another one of those common tactics of the enemy that we see literally all the time in the ministry of deliverance. The accusing spirit is an anti-Christ spirit, because it approaches people with no love, but a tone of condemnation. It works through a voice; the voice of condemnation. It constantly tells you how much of a failure you are. It tells you how your heart is not right with God. It tells you that if you don't read your Bible every day, that you aren't serious about your relationship with God. It basically tells you that you're never good enough. This is the exact opposite nature of God. It tears down rather than builds up. The accusing spirit uses the letter of the law to lay heavy burdens and crush it's victims, just as the Pharisees would do:

For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.

Matthew 23:4

Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.

2 Corinthians 3:6

The accusing spirit works hand in hand with the family of religious spirits and strongholds, including legalism.

The accusing spirit will manifest in a variety of ways. It can cause accuse a person directly, it can cause them to accuse others around them, or it can accuse God in a person's mind.

Anytime the enemy brings up your past failures, that is the work of the accusing spirit. This spirit feeds on past mistakes, in order to justify how that person is supposedly a failure, even though the Blood of Christ has washed away those failures and cast them into the depths of the sea! In this way, the accusing spirit is an anti-Christ spirit, because it deliberately writes off the work of Christ and the shed blood of Jesus.

A while back, I wrote a teaching which I highly recommend reading, it's on how to discern Condemnation versus Conviction. Who speaks the voice of condemnation? The accusing spirit! Even when the accusing spirit seems to be pointing to the answer, the burden that it lays on the person is overwhelming or irrational. For example, it may tell a person that they must go back to everybody that they have ever wronged, and apologize... then they can be forgiven. That is not only unBiblical, that is salvation by works, and God's Word tells us that if we try to be made right by works, then we have fallen from grace:

Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.

Galatians 5:4

And getting us to fall from grace, that is, to stop trusting God's mercy and grace for our salvation and justification, is exactly what the accusing spirit wants to do.

As I said earlier, the accusing spirit is a voice. It speaks to us. It may even sound righteous, because it speaks of how failures are bad. It's true that failures are bad, but what Christ has done for us the a remedy to our failures. What the accusing spirit wants us to do is overlook or even discredit God's remedy for our failures! Sound like a Satanic mission? That's right! This spirit has all the makings of being righteous, even a minister of righteousness, but inside is a raving wolf seeking whom he may devour. He's busy carrying out the work of his father, the devil.

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. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

2 Corinthians 11:13-15

The whole motivation behind this ugly demon spirit is to discredit the work of Christ in our lives. We failed, Jesus forgave, but this spirit keeps pointing to the mistake, as if Christ did nothing to erase it! Isn't that terrible? It is SATANIC!

The fruit of the accusing spirit is widely varied. Self-hate almost always involves the accusing spirit. Guilt, and fear resulting from guilt (when you feel ashamed, you'll be afraid like Adam and Eve were when guilt drove them to hide from God). Doubt, unbelief, hate, judgementalism, critical spirit, resentment towards God, feelings of hopelessness, shame, etc. The list goes on and on.

What does the accusing spirit really want to do? Tear apart your faith and wear you down spiritually. He wants you to walk in guilt, condemnation, and never feel worthy of God's glorious plan for your life. It's goal is to wear you down, and make you weak as a child of God.

The accusing spirit thrives on repeated failures or bondages, or iniquities.Pornography or lust, for example, is a perfect example. A person can keep failing, but have their heart right before the Lord. They feel terrible each and every time they fall into that sin. Paul told us in Romans chapter 7 that he struggled with repeated failures in his own life as a Spirit-filled believer! A person who doesn't understand their bondage may have no clue that pornography is usually a bondage with roots that need to be ministered to. The accusing spirit, however, is right there to tell them how dirty and sick their mind is. This is, again, the work of the accusing spirit.

The accusing spirit is a finger-pointing spirit. It is a blaming spirit that specializes in digging up the past, and blaming somebody for it. That somebody could be you, others, or God. It works hand-in-hand with a critical spirit, or judgementalism.

Bottom line, the accusing spirit will always point to the problem (even if it's been washed away by the work of Christ), while the Holy Spirit will always point you to the solution. If there is a case of true guilt from un-repented sin, then once the person confesses it and is forgiven, the guilt should be an issue of the past. If the person continues to struggle with guilt, then (a) they have not mentally accepted the fact that their sin has been washed away, or (b) the accusing spirit is at work. Once a sin is confessed and forgiven, the Holy Spirit stops convicting, but the accusing spirit doesn't stop, but continues to badger the person over their failures. The accusing spirit will also work in conjunction with spirits of guilt, shame, condemnation, hopelessness, etc.

How do we combat this deceitful spirit? For one, we need to fill our mind with the voice of God's Word (concerning the forgiveness of sins, God's love and mercy, etc.). We need to learn to recognize the voice of the accusing spirit and cast it down.

Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.

2 Corinthians 10:5

Being that this is a spirit which builds strongholds in our minds, we need to be diligent in renewing our mind with God's Word, in order to undo the damage that it has done to our thinking patterns.

It's also possible that the accusing spirit, along with other related spirits such as religiosity, legalism, shame, etc. need to be driven out as well. You can tear down strongholds all day long, but if a spirit needs to be driven out, it will keep working against you to rebuild those strongholds.


Can a Christian have a demon?

First, let's expose the most common argument against believers having demons... they say that light cannot dwell with darkness. This is merely an assumption with no real Biblical basis. The verse most often used to back up this theory is 2 Corinthians 6:14, and it's speaking about believers marrying unbelievers. Is it saying that light 'cannot' dwell with darkness? No, it's asking what communion (partnership) light can have with darkness. In other words, is a non-believer going to have the same spiritual goals in life as a believer? No. How can they partner if they don't have anything in common spiritually? Are demons and God going to work together in a person's life? No. Can the two coexist? Yes!

Another good question is, can a Christian be in bondage to pornography? Lust? Is a Christian capable of even committing sin at all? If so, then how can that kind of darkness (sin), which God absolutely repels, dwell in a body where the Holy Ghost is? Or how can the Holy Ghost remain in a human being who is capable of committing sin, and does so from time to time?

Another point is that the Holy Spirit covers the earth (Jeremiah 23:24), so if the Holy Spirit covers the earth, then how can darkness (demons and sin) freely roam this earth if the Holy Spirit is covering it? And if Satan will not approach the presence of God, then how come did Satan tempt Jesus in the desert? And visit heaven to talk with God concerning Job?

We are composed of three parts; a body, a mind (soul) and a spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:23). The spirit of a man belongs to God, and their spirit is united with the Holy Spirit, but their bodies and minds (souls) can still be afflicted by evil spirits. Just like you can turn a light on in one room, and the next room in the house can be dark, the same is true in the spirit realm.

The soul versus the spirit: The spirit of a man is where the Holy Ghost dwells, but the soul or mind of a man is where dirt can still remain long after he or she accepts Christ. We are told to be transformed by the renewing of our minds (souls) through the Word of God. Our spirits are instantly made new the moment we are saved, but our souls can take time to renew and 'clean up'.

Where demons do their work: I do not believe a demon can touch the spirit of a man after he's accepted Jesus, but where demons do their work is in the soul or mind. How do you see demons affecting people in the Bible? Through their mind (the lunatic boy, the man with the legion, etc.), and their physical body (the woman with the spirit of infirmity, the man who couldn't speak because of a demon, etc.). Demons can try to get our spirits overwhelmed, worn out, or tempt us to sin, but their way of operating in our lives is through our minds (souls) and by troubling our physical bodies.
Demonic bondage demystified

What do demons do to people? Many people believe that only the extreme cases of mental problems are caused by demons, or that you have to be heavily involved in the occult or Satanism in order to have demons, but the Bible is clear that this is not true. The Bible speaks of perfectly sane people who have been crippled by demons. It is perfectly normal to have absolutely no demons affecting your mind in any way, and still have a demon. The Bible speaks of people who were perfectly sane, who Jesus cast spirits of deafness or dumbness, even blindness or infirmities out of (Luke 13:11, Mark 9:25, Matthew 12:22)!

What it means to be possessed with a demon: Another misconception is that a person who is demon possessed is owned and fully operated by a demon. This is not true either. As I pointed out earlier, you can be perfectly sane, and yet have a demon. The word possessed in the NT Greek actually means to be under the power of a demon or to have a demon. This is like being under the power or influence of alcohol, the more you drink, the more you come under it's power. Same is true with demonic bondage, the more bondage you are in, the more you will come under that demon's influence or power. The Bible makes it clear that there are different kinds of demons that cause different problems the person to whom they dwell. Some demons cause blindness, others cause deafness, others cause madness (mental illness), others cause fear and depression (King Saul), others cause epilepsy (Matthew 17:15-21), and so fourth. Therefore, if a person is under the power of a spirit of blindness, they won't see (Matthew 12:22), if they are under the power of a spirit of infirmity, they will have some sort of physical infirmity (Luke 13:11), if they are under the power of a spirit of fear, they will be fearful, or if they are under the power of a spirit of anger, they will have uncontrollable anger.
Can a Christian be demon possessed?

If the word 'possessed' refers to ownership, then absolutely not! Can a Christian have a demon? Yes, but not be owned by one. I believe the meaning to this word has changed from those days, and the modern English version is not the correct term to use for somebody who has a demon. A Christian can have a demon, just as they can have a sickness or disease. Many sickness and diseases for that matter are caused by a demon.

Derek Prince (author of They Shall Expel Demons and a Greek scholar) does a good job at pointing out how the Greek does not suggest that a demon can 'own' a person, but rather a person can be under the 'influence' of a demon.

Saying that a Christian can be possessed, is like saying that a person's body is owned by an infection on that person's finger. The infection may "influence" the body, but it does not mean that it "owns" the body. The same is true here: while a Christian can have a demon and be in bondage (influenced), it does not mean that the person is owned by the demon.

Demons can invade the soul and body of a believer (if given the 'rights' of course), but not the spirit (the real you), because the spirit belongs to the Lord. The soul is where your thoughts, emotions, and thinking is done. Demons can cause fear, depression, lust, uncontrollable anger, and other iniquities in the soul, and sickness and diseases in the body.

To answer the question in a nutshell, it doesn't matter who you are (whether a believer or a non-believer), if you've given the enemy rights to your soul or body, then you are up for a spiritual infection that can result in demonic bondage. There are certain sins and things that a person can do, which can defile (make unclean) the person. When a person is defiled, they are unclean and therefore vulnerable to a spiritual infection, and the 'germs' in this realm are demons.
How do demons gain access into the believer?

Ecclesiastes 10:8, "He that diggeth a pit shall fall into it; and whoso breaketh an hedge, a serpent shall bite him." There is a hedge of protection around God's people, but if there's a hole in that hedge, it can open the door to the enemy and we can get bitten.

Paul warned the believers in Ephesians 4:27, "Neither give place to the devil." Also, 2 Corinthians 2:11 tells us, "Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices."
Either the demon(s) was there before the person came to Christ (past lifestyle, generational curse, bondages they previously came under, vows they made with the enemy, etc.), or it entered since they became a Christian. If the demon came into the person's life before they accepted Christ, then the demon is likely trespassing because he has no real legal right to be there, and simply needs to be cast out (as Jesus did in Matthew 8:16-17). The way demons gain access into a believer's life, is through open doors. There are certain sins and things we can do that will defile us (make us unclean). For example, having unholy sex can create unholy soul ties, which serve as demonic bridges, and can pass bondages from one person to another. Another example is being bitter or unforgiving; both those are closely related and can defile a person (Hebrews 12:15).

Either way, the open door (if any) needs to be shut, and the demons cast out. Just because the enemy may not have legal rights, doesn't mean he always leaves immediately. Even though Jesus paid the price for our iniquities (Isaiah 53:5), doesn't mean the demons won't want to hang around until they are actually kicked out. If demons left automatically when their rights were removed, then there would be no need to cast them out. Sometimes though, they do leave without being told, but that's not always the case. In Matthew 8:16-17, it tells us how Jesus fulfilled the prophecy of Him taking on our iniquities/infirmities... it was by the actual casting out of demons.

There are many verses in the NT where it talks about being defiled. What does it mean to be defiled? It means to become unclean, to become polluted or dirty. To become unclean means that the object must first be clean, or you couldn't make it dirty. You could make it more dirty, but you could not make it dirty because it was already dirty. To be defiled means to take something that was clean, and make it dirty. This is why Christians need to heed the warnings that Jesus gave, not to do those things which can defile a man. It can take a clean Christian and make him unclean, therefore vulnerable to spiritual infections (demonic influence).

A lot of people like to believe that we cannot be touched by the enemy, which if we keep ourselves clean and stick in God's ways, we can be "untouchable" by the enemy, BUT if we step outside the lines of protection and get ourselves dirty, we are practically begging for a spiritual infection which can lead to demonic influence and bondage.

The dangers of casting a demon out of a non-believer

Matthew 12:43-45, "When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation."

Jesus said that when a demon leaves a person, it likes to come back with 7 more even worse demons, and it is permitted if that person is part of the wicked generation (sinners/unbelievers). Casting a demon out of an unbeliever is not a wise idea. It is wise to first lead the person to Jesus, so that there is a protection upon them to keep the demon(s) from coming back.

Another thing to consider, is that trying to cast a demon out when he has 'legal rights' in that person's life can be very dangerous. Demons can manifest and physically get very violent and cause bodily harm to both the victim and the nearby people. It is a good idea to cut off the demon's legal grounds in the person before attempting to cast a demon out.

Some demons CANNOT get shed (or cast out) without prayer and fasting

Mark 9:17-29 tells us of a story of the disciples trying to cast a demon out of a child. They were unsuccessful, so the boy was brought to Jesus, and He cast it out, but also told us that this kind of demon (a very strong demon) ONLY comes out through prayer and fasting!

Mark 9:29, "And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by NOTHING, but by prayer and fasting."

If Jesus said that prayer and fasting is required, believe me, it ain't coming out with a quick nudge, much less when a person simply accepts Jesus!

Jesus was saying that it requires a lot of faith to cast these demons out... how you get such faith is through prayer and fasting... if His disciples didn't have enough faith to cast it out, what makes us think the average believer has enough faith (without prayer and fasting) to cast it out??

Deliverance is part of the atonement and New Covenant

Let's take a close look at Isaiah 53:5, where it prophecies about some of the things that Jesus will do for us, "But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities (this is for your deliverance): the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed." Do you think this verse was talking about things that Jesus did for unbelievers? Did He shed His blood for the sins of unbelievers (providing they stay in their unbelief of course)? Did His stripes pay for the healing of unbelievers? What about the chastisement of our peace being upon Him, was that for unbelievers? What should make us think that Him taking on our iniquities was for the unbelievers? Where does it say that Jesus took the iniquities of the unbelievers?

Once in a while, it's possible to come across a non-believer who was healed, but it was out of God's mercy that He healed them. Believers are healed out of the covenant, and therefore have something to hold their healing, whereas unbelievers are healed out of mercy and can lose their healing. The same is true with deliverance. Jesus made it clear that when a demon comes out of an unbeliever (wicked generation), it will only return with 7 more evil spirits even worse than itself (Matthew 12:43-45)!

Matthew 8:16-17, "When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying,Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses."

If deliverance was part of the atonement and new covenant, then it's meant for believers! But note that even though an iniquity can be forgiven, doesn't mean the demon automatically leaves. Jesus still 'cast' the demon out in fulfilling the prophecy in this situation.
Notice in Matthew 8:16 that Jesus fulfilled the prophecy that He paid for our deliverance, but also notice how He still had to 'cast out' the demon! It didn't leave automatically. The fulfillment of that prophecy was demonstrated by the actual casting out of a demon(s)!
We, as believers, are commissioned to do the same thing concerning demons: Mark 16:17, "And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues."

I strongly believe that deliverance is not for unbelievers, but for believers. It is not meant to provide relief to the world's problems, but to bring freedom to the believer who may be struggling with bondages from his past.

Some major flaws in opposing theologies

There are some people who recognize the reality of the demonic realm, and see the need for the casting out of demons, but they don't believe that Christians can have demons. They believe that only unbelievers need demons cast out. This sounds tickling to the ears, but doesn't hold up in reality. Some very simple logic will dissolve this false belief.

Demons like to return to the wicked generation (sinners/unbelievers) with 7 more even worse demons (Matthew 12:43-45), therefore it is very risky, dangerous and unproductive to cast a demon out of an unbeliever. The only way to be safe, is to first lead the person to accept Jesus, then there is a layer of protection there to help keep the demon(s) from returning. Otherwise your just sticking your hand in a hornet's nest and stirring up trouble. If a demon is interfering with the person coming to Jesus, then it's time to bind the demon (Matthew 16:19), minister to the person's need for salvation (bring them to accept Jesus), then cast the demons out.

There is an obvious need for casting out demons (Mark 16:17, Matthew 8:16-17), so who are we to cast them out of, if it's so risky and unsafe to cast them out of unbelievers? Not to mention, unproductive and detrimental if they don't come to Jesus shortly after they are delivered! And if people shed their demons when they became a Christian, then why worry about casting them out at all, if they will leave automatically? If people shed their demons when they accepted Christ, then why not just bring them to Christ? This would defeat the whole purpose of the deliverance ministry. Which would be saying that the early church (which was very active in the casting out of devils) was wasting it's time, and would make no sense that Jesus said that those who believe would 'cast out demons'!

Deliverance and healing was paid for in the same verses (Isaiah 53:5, Matthew 8:16-17), but a lot of Christians are walking around sick and many others are being tormented. Why? Because these two things are received by faith! The price was paid for us to be set free, but if we don't believe it and stand on it, we can miss out in the fruits of what Jesus did for us! The same thing is true with healing!
I have seen way too many Christians being demonically tormented and in bondage, to say that it can't happen. I myself have been a Christian since a young kid, was raised in a Godly home with two great parents, and yet I've experienced demonic bondage too.
Biblical example of Jesus casting a demon out of a believer

Before we begin, let's take a quick look at what Jesus considers a child of Abraham:

John 8:39-40 makes it very clear who are qualified to be called Children of Abraham in Jesus' opinion: "They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham. But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God:this did not Abraham." (In other words, if you aren't doing the works of Abraham, then you aren't really his child. He directly said that they were not Abraham's child because they did not share in the faith.)

Look at what Jesus called the man who became a believer in Luke 19:9, "And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham." To have Jesus call somebody a child of Abraham was quite an honor! It meant that the person was a child of Abraham by faith, which means they were a believer.

Also look at Romans 2:28-29, "For you are not a true Jew just because you were born of Jewish parents or because you have gone through the Jewish ceremony of circumcision. No, a true Jew is one whose heart is right with God. And true circumcision is not a cutting of the body but a change of heart produced by God's Spirit. Whoever has that kind of change seeks praise from God, not from people." (NLT)

Jesus said that the children of Abraham do what Abraham did (John 8:39). What did Abraham do? Galatians 3:6, "...Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness." To believe God means to believe in Jesus as well, because the two cannot be separated! If you reject the Son, you also reject the Father (1 John 2:22-23). Jesus made it clear that the true children of Abraham are full blown believers!

Now, in Luke 13:11, 16 it says, "And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself. And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day?"
A few things I would like to point out, first, she was in the church hearing Jesus' teachings just moments before He loosed her. When He called her a daughter of Abraham, He made it clear that she was a very special person. He rebuked the Pharisees for calling themselves children of Abraham, but He honored this woman for it. In His opinion, she was a true daughter of Abraham, which meant she shared in Abraham's faith. She was a believer.
Let me briefly summarize this:

(a) Jesus said that in order to be a child of Abraham, you must do as Abraham did. (John 8:39)
(b) What did Abraham do? He believed on God. (Gal 3:6)
(c) You cannot believe on the Father and reject the Son; it is impossible. (1 John 2:22-23)
(d) Jesus said that this woman was truly a child of Abraham. (Luke 13:16)

Jesus Himself told us of the requirements for what it takes to be a child of Abraham, so if He didn't judge her by those requirements, He would be contradicting Himself. Judged by His opinion (which is not just any opinion, but a FACT and TRUTH), He labeled this woman as a child of Abraham. To refute that she was a believer, would be trying to argue with Jesus, because that's what He said, and He made it very clear that those who don't believe, aren't really children of Abraham.

Biblical example of a believer being set free from a curse

Mark 5:25-34, "And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years, And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse, When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment. For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole. And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in [her] body that she was healed of that plague. And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes? And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing. But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth. And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague (curse)."

There was a woman who had an issue of blood as a result of a curse (the KJV refers to it as a plague, which is the same thing as a curse), and though she believed in Jesus, she was released from it when she acted upon her faith and touched the hem of His garment.
It is obvious that she didn't just believe Jesus for her healing/deliverance, but also for her salvation, because Jesus referred to her as a member of His family. Jesus referred to her as a daughter, which meant that they were related. It would have been impossible for her to physically be His daughter, because He was never married, and Jesus made it clear that those who do the will of the Father were members of His family (Mark 3:33-35).
Let me briefly summarize this:

(a) The woman was suffering from a curse (plague) that was affecting her physically. (Mark 5:29)
(b) She believed that if she came in contact with Jesus, she could be released from her curse. (Mark 5:27, 28) She was a believer in Jesus even before she was delivered.
(c) She was released from her curse because of her faith. (Mark 5:34)
(d) Jesus referred to her as a daughter, therefore making it clear that they were related. (Mark 5:34) This also proves that she didn't just believe Jesus could heal/deliver her, but she was also believing upon Him, and it made her a member of Jesus' royal family.
(e) Since it was impossible for her to be related to Him physically (Jesus was never married, so He obviously wouldn't have any physical daughters), the only other way she could be related to Him was spiritually.
(f) Jesus made it clear that the true members of His family were those who do the will of God. (Mark 3:33-35)

She did NOT just believe Jesus was a magical man with healing powers, or Jesus wouldn't have called her a DAUGHTER. She believed that He was the Son of God, which is what is required to be a member of God's family!!

Questions for the skeptics:

If this was a deliverance, why did they use the word "healed"? A lot of healings are actually deliverances. Verses such as Matthew 12:22 and Acts 10:38 tell us that Jesus 'healed' those who were bound by evil spirits. Healing and deliverance are very closely related. Healing is often the word used to describe the setting free of a demon spirit that was causing a physical infirmity.

How are you so sure that the word plague means a curse? If you look it up in the Greek, it lists three meanings, the first two use the word scourge, which means punishment (obviously more then merely a physical problem), the last one directly says misfortune or calamity, especially as a punishment. If you want to see for yourself, please click here.

How do you know she really believed in Jesus as the Son of God, and not just believed upon Him for her healing/deliverance? Because Jesus called her a daughter. Obviously, she could not have been a physical daughter, so this means she was a spiritual daughter. Jesus made it clear that those who do God's will are members of His true family.

This is a good example of a believer, who recognized and believed in Jesus, but wasn't released from that curse until she engaged her faith in Him by touching the hem of His garment. Only then did this believer receive her deliverance!

Biblical example where believers can be under an evil spell

First of all, bewitching is no light hearted matter. It's witchcraft to say the very least: Acts 8:9, "But there was a certain man, called Simon, which beforetime in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one:"

Galatians 3:1, "O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?" I like how the NLT words it, "Oh, foolish Galatians! What magician has cast an evil spell on you? For you used to see the meaning of Jesus Christ's death as clearly as though I had shown you a signboard with a picture of Christ dying on the cross."

If you read on into verses 2, it makes it clear that these people were Spirit filled believers: "This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?"
You might be asking, but how can somebody place a spell on a Christian? If that Christian opens the door to such a thing, it can happen. The Bible warns us that in the end times, some will pay attention to seducing spirits and doctrines of demons (1 Timothy 4:1), and therefore depart from the faith. What do you think happens when we pay attention to seducing spirits? Why do you think we are warned us not to do such a thing? Don't give the devil the time of day! That's why Paul referred to them as "O foolish Galatians," because they were giving heed to false teachings and it opened the door for them to be tripped up.

Other Christians who had demons in the Bible

In Mark 5:1-20, a story is told of a man with a legion of demons who saw Jesus, ran to Him and worshiped Him. Demons don't run to Jesus and worship Him. This man recognized that Jesus was the son of God, and therefore able to set him free, and of course, that would mean he believed upon Jesus.

Jesus didn't go seeking demons to cast out of people. He usually waited until people came to Him before He cast them out. If they came to Him, then I believe it can be easily argued that they 'believed in Him'.

I find it interesting that many times Jesus cast out demons, He did it for the people in the synagogues. Mark 1:39, "And he preached in their synagogues throughout all Galilee, and cast out devils." It's also interesting to note that Jesus didn't go 'looking' for people to cast demons out of, He waited until they came to Him, and many (if not all) of them referred to Him as Lord. This gives us a good indication that they were believers. Also, those who were in the synagogues were either hypocrites or sincere children of God. Where did Jesus EVER cast a demon out of a hypocrite like the Pharisees? Jesus said Himself that deliverance was children's bread, and therefore not fit to cast before dogs!

Satan HATES the deliverance ministry

As you can see, if deliverance isn't for the unbelievers, then who is it for? The believers! I can honestly testify from experience that Christians can come under demonic bondage and be tormented by demons. The reason the devil doesn't want people to think Christians can be in bondage, is because he wants his work to go un-exposed. This ministry is one of the most hated ministries by the devil, because it is directly stepping on his toes and ripping up his holds in the lives of God's children around the world.

The big test is how a minister would help a Christian who is in heavy demonic bondage break free. The problem is, those who bitterly oppose the idea that Christians can have demons are left clueless when faced with true believers who really do need a deliverance, and the bondage is undeniable. Often, demonic bondage (torment, etc.) is written off as spiritual warfare, or mental illness. I simply do not buy this bogus excuse to allow demonic torment to continue in the life of a believer. Jesus didn't allow demons to continue tormenting people who came to Him, did He? The Bible tells us that He healed (made whole, which includes casting out demons) ALL who were oppressed of the devil. This means even oppression should be dealt with, not written off and considered normal.

The Genesis Flood must be Local

Many Christians maintain that the Bible says that the flood account of Genesis requires an interpretation that states that the waters of the flood covered the entire earth. If you read our English Bibles, you will probably come to this conclusion if you don't read the text too closely and if you fail to consider the rest of your Bible. Like most other Genesis stories, the flood account is found in more places than just Genesis. If you read the sidebar, you will discover that Psalm 104 directly eliminates any possibility of the flood being global (see Psalm 104-9 - Does it refer to the Original Creation or the Flood?). In order to accept a global flood, you must reject Psalm 104 and the inerrancy of the Bible. If you like to solve mysteries on your own, you might want to read the flood account first and find the biblical basis for a local flood.

The Bible's other creation passages eliminate the possibility of a global flood

The concept of a global Genesis flood can be easily eliminated from a plain reading of Psalm 104,1 which is known as the "creation psalm." Psalm 104 describes the creation of the earth in the same order as that seen in Genesis 1 (with a few more details added). It begins with an expanding universe model (reminiscent of the Big Bang) (verse 2,1 parallel to Genesis 1:1). It next describes the formation of a stable water cycle (verses 3-5,1 parallel to Genesis 1:6-8). The earth is then described as a planet completely covered with water (verse 6, parallel to Genesis 1:9). God then causes the dry land to appear (verses 7-8,1 parallel to Genesis 1:9-10). The verse that eliminates a global flood follows: "You set a boundary they [the waters] cannot cross; never again will they cover the earth." (Psalm 104:9)1 Obviously, if the waters never again covered the earth, then the flood must have been local. Psalm 104 is just one of several creation passages that indicate that God prevented the seas from covering the entire earth.2 An integration of all flood and creation passages clearly indicates that the Genesis flood was local in geographic extent.

The Bible says water covered the whole earth... Really?

When you read an English translation of the biblical account of the flood, you will undoubtedly notice many words and verses that seem to suggest that the waters covered all of planet earth.3 However, one should note that today we look at everything from a global perspective, whereas the Bible nearly always refers to local geography. You may not be able to determine this fact from our English translations, so we will look at the original Hebrew, which is the word of God. The Hebrew words which are translated as "whole earth" or "all the earth" are kol (Strong's number H3605), which means "all," and erets (Strong's number H776), which means "earth," "land," "country," or "ground."4 We don't need to look very far in Genesis (Genesis 2) before we find the Hebrew words kol erets.

  • The name of the first is Pishon; it flows around the whole [kol] land [erets] of Havilah, where there is gold. (Genesis 2:11)
  • And the name of the second river is Gihon; it flows around the whole [kol] land [erets] of Cush. (Genesis 2:13)

Obviously, the description of kol erets is modified by the name of the land, indicating a local area from the context. In fact, the term kol erets is nearly always used in the Old Testament to describe a local area of land, instead of our entire planet.5

The "whole earth" often refers to the people not geography

However, there are many more examples of where kol erets is used without reference to any specific land, although the context clearly indicates a local area. For example, in Genesis 11 (the Tower of Babel) the text says, "the whole [kol] earth [erets] used the same language."6 We know that this reference is not really to the earth at all (and certainly not to the "whole earth"), but to the people of the earth, who all lived in one geographic location. It wasn't until later that God scattered the people over the face of the earth.6 There are many other examples of where kol erets actually refers to people rather than the geography of the "whole earth":

  • Shall not the Judge of all [kol] the earth [erets] deal justly?" (Genesis 18:25) (God judges the people of the earth, not the earth itself)
  • Now behold, today I am going the way of all [kol] the earth [erets], and you know in all your hearts and in all your souls that not one word of all the good words which the LORD your God spoke concerning you has failed; all have been fulfilled for you, not one of them has failed. (Joshua 23:14) (Joshua was going the way of all people in the earth, whose ultimate destiny is death.)
  • "I am going the way of all [kol] the earth [erets]. Be strong, therefore, and show yourself a man. (1 Kings 2:2) (David was going the way of all people in the earth, whose ultimate destiny is death.)
  • He is the LORD our God; His judgments are in all [kol] the earth [erets]. (1 Chronicles 16:14) (Judgments are done against people, not the planet)
  • Sing to the LORD, all [kol] the earth [erets]; Proclaim good tidings of His salvation from day to day. (1 Chronicles 16:23) (The people sing, not the planet)

The "whole earth" usually refers to local geography

Examples of where kol erets refers to a local area include the following verses:

  • "Is not the whole [kol] land [erets] before you? Please separate from me: if to the left, then I will go to the right; or if to the right, then I will go to the left." (Genesis 13:9) (The "whole land" was only the land of Canaan)
  • And the people of all [kol] the earth [erets] came to Egypt to buy grain from Joseph, because the famine was severe in all the earth. (Genesis 41:57) (The people from the Americas did not go to Egypt)

As can be seen above, in the majority of instances kol erets does not refer to the entire planet earth. In fact, of the 205 instance of kol erets in the Old Testament, it might refer to the entire planet just 40 times,9 and even some of those are questionable. About half of those instance occur in the books of Psalms and Isaiah. The Genesis flood narrative also uses the phrase "the face of the earth." This is the exact phrase used by Cain when he was banished by God (Genesis 4:14). Are we to think that Cain was banished to outer space? In addition, the flood narrative says that "the water increased and lifted up the ark, so that it rose above the earth" (Genesis 7:17). If "earth" really refers to the planet, this text would imply that the ark somehow levitated above the planet. Obviously, "earth" refers to the local land on which the ark was sitting, and not to planet earth.

How could the text have more clearly indicated a global flood?

I am glad you asked! There is a Hebrew word that always refers to the entire earth or the entire inhabited earth. The word is tebel (Strong's H8398), which is found 37 times in the Old Testament. Curiously, this word is never used to describe the flood, although it is used extensively to describe the creation of the earth and the judgment of the peoples of the earth.

The Local Flood - from the Genesis text

Erets revisited

Let's look at the actual Genesis flood passage to determine if it can be interpreted from a local viewpoint. As we determined above, the word erets, often translated "earth" can also refer to the people of the earth. Is it used this way in the actual Genesis flood passage?

  • Now the earth was corrupt in the sight of God, and the earth was filled with violence. (Genesis 6:11)
  • And God looked on the earth, and behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way upon the earth. (Genesis 6:12)
  • I set My bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a sign of a covenant between Me and the earth. (Genesis 9:13)

Genesis 6, verses 11 and 12 both tells us that the earth was corrupt, although we understand this verse to refer to the people of the earth. Likewise, in Genesis 9:13, the verse tells us that God made a covenant between Himself and the earth. However, later verses clarify that the covenant is between God and the creatures of the earth.10 The Genesis text clearly establishes (along with the New Testament11) that God's judgment of humans was universal (with the exception of Noah and his family).

Outside Genesis one (through Genesis 2:5), the entire Genesis account through the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11) specifically refers to local geography. All the place names mentioned are in the Mesopotamian flood plain. Therefore, all the instances of the word erets can and should be translated "land," instead of "earth," since it all refers to local geography. There is no reason to think that the flood account is any different from the rest of the Genesis account through chapter 11.

When "all" does not mean "all"

The flood passage uses many universal descriptions, which suggest global proportions. However, the universal text contradicts itself, if it is to be interpreted globally. For example, the Genesis text tells us that all flesh had become corrupted.12 However, the same passage tells us that Noah was a "righteous man, blameless in his time."13 It is clear from the text that "all flesh" did not actually refer to all flesh, since there was at least one exception.

Local perspective of the flood

Does the Genesis text indicate that the flood was local? If you read it carefully, you can determine that the perspective is local. Most English translations are actually interpretations that are intentionally skewed to favor a global flood interpretation. For example, Genesis 7:20 is usually translated as:

The water prevailed fifteen cubits higher, and the mountains were covered. (Genesis 7:20)

In reality, the Hebrew word ma‛al, translated "higher" really means "upward." So, in essence, the text is saying that the flood was 15 cubits (20 feet) deep, in total, not 15 cubits above the mountains. In addition, the Hebrew word har really refers most often to hills rather than mountains. See below.

The translators of most English Bibles use the word "earth," which to us means "planet earth." However, their mistranslation can clearly be seen in the following passage:

  • Gen 8:5 And the water decreased steadily until the tenth month; in the tenth month, on the first day of the month, the tops of the mountains became visible.
  • Gen 8:6 Then it came about at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made;
  • Gen 8:7 and he sent out a raven, and it flew here and there until the water was dried up from the earth.
  • Gen 8:8 Then he sent out a dove from him, to see if the water was abated from the face of the land;
  • Gen 8:9 but the dove found no resting place for the sole of her foot, so she returned to him into the ark; for the water was on the surface of all the earth. Then he put out his hand and took her, and brought her into the ark to himself.

We see that in the tenth month, the mountains became visible to Noah (Genesis 8:5). Some 40+ days later (Genesis 8:6), Noah sent a dove out of the ark (Genesis 8:8). However, the dove was unable to land because of all the water (Genesis 8:9). Then, the text tells us that water was "on the surface of all the earth." This is obviously a bad translation of kol erets, since we know that the water had not covered the mountains for at least 40 days. The context makes it clear that kol erets must refer to local geography and should be translated as the "all the land" or "all the ground." In fact, all our major English translations (NASB, NIV, KJV, etc.) make this same error. It is no wonder that people who read the English translation of the Bible "literally" come to the conclusion that the flood must have been global. However, it is apparent that our English "translations" of the Genesis flood text are more than just "translations," but actually interpretations (and probably incorrect ones at that).

There is another indication in the text that the flood did not cover the highest mountains. Again, from Genesis 8:

So he waited yet another seven days; and again he sent out the dove from the ark. And the dove came to him toward evening; and behold, in her beak was a freshly picked olive leaf. So Noah knew that the water was abated from the earth. (Genesis 8:10-11)

If the ark had come to rest on the top of Mount Ararat, this would be at 17,000 foot elevation. Olive trees (and every other tree) do not grow at 17,000 feet. In fact, you will not find olive trees growing much above 5,000 feet. Therefore, we know from the Bible that the ark did not come to rest on or near the top of Mount Ararat, but probably somewhere on the foothills of the mountain.

The method by which the flood ended also tells us that the flood was local. According to Genesis, the water receded and was dried by the wind.14 If the flood were global, there would be no place for the waters to recede to. Likewise, a wind would not significantly affect a global flood, further suggesting that the Genesis flood was local in extent.

Planet Earth became a desert after the flood!

Another problem for the global flood interpretation is what happened to the "earth" after the flood. Read the following verses and see if you can see why the word "earth" does not refer to the entire planet:

  • the water was dried up from the earth. (Genesis 8:6-7, NASB)
    After forty days Noah opened the window he had made in the ark and sent out a raven, and it kept flying back and forth until the water had dried up from the earth. (Genesis 8:6-7, NIV)
  • Now it came about in the six hundred and first year, in the first month, on the first of the month, the water was dried up from the earth. (Genesis 8:13a, NASB)
    By the first day of the first month of Noah's six hundred and first year, the water had dried up from the earth. (Genesis 8:13a, NIV)
  • and in the second month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, the earth was dry. (Genesis 8:14, NASB)
    By the twenty-seventh day of the second month the earth was completely dry. (Genesis 8:14, NIV)

If one were to interpret these verses from a global perspective, one would have to conclude that the entire earth became a desert after the flood. Obviously this interpretation is false, so the translations must be bad. In these verses, the dryness of the earth is obviously referring to the local land area and not the entire planet earth.

New Testament perspective

What does the New Testament tell us about the flood? As mentioned previously, the New Testament tells us that the flood was universal in its judgment.11 Besides this, there is an interesting passage from 2 Peter that gives some insight into the nature of the flood:

For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the land was formed out of water and by water, through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water. (2 Peter 3:5-6)

Peter, instead of just telling us that the entire planet was flooded, qualifies the verse by telling us that the "world at that time" was flooded with water. What was different about the world "at that time" compared to the world of today? At the time of the flood, all humans were in the same geographic location (the people of the world were not scattered over the earth until Genesis 11).7 Therefore, the "world at the time" was confined to the Mesopotamian plain. There would be no reason to qualify the verse if the flood were global in extent.

Early Jewish interpretation

Many Christian believe that a local flood interpretation is a recent invention of those who are trying to reconcile science with the Bible. However, the first century Jewish writer, Josephus wrote about other writers who indicated that the flood was local and that some inhabitants survived by seeking higher ground:

"Now all the writers of barbarian [Greek] histories make mention of this flood and of this ark: among whom is Berosus the Chaldean... Hieronymous the Egyptian.... Nicolaus of Damascus, in his ninety-sixth book, hath a particular relation about them, where he speaks thus: 'There is a great mountain in Armenia, over Minyas, called Baris, upon which it is reported that many who fled at the time of the Deluge were saved; and that one who was carried in an ark came on shore upon top of it; and that the remains of the timber were a great while preserved. This might be the man about whom Moses, the legislator of the Jews wrote'."8

Josephus does not seek to correct their narrative. So, the idea that the flood was a local event is not just a 20th century phenomenon.

Common objections to a local flood

Why didn't God send Noah on a long trip?

If the Genesis flood were local, why didn't God just sent Noah and his family packing. Once they were out of the Mesopotamian flood plain, God could have judged the unrighteous without making Noah go to all the trouble of building a huge ark. It is true that God could have done this, although there are some good biblical reasons why He chose not to do so. Why did God make the Israelites march around Jericho for seven days prior to the wall falling down? Why did God make the Israelite look upon the bronze serpent to be healed of snake bite in the wilderness? Why did Jesus make the blind man go to the Pool of Siloam to heal his blindness? Were any of these things actually required for God to do His work? No! God could have just wiped out all the evil people in the world, as He did later to the all the Egyptians' first-born. Maybe God had good reasons for Noah to build the ark? God has a purpose for each person of faith to join Him in preaching His message. God's plan will be accomplished regardless of our participation in it. However, God gives obedient humans the privilege of participating in God's plans. Likewise, God had a plan for Noah, part of which was for him and his sons to demonstrate their commitment and perseverance to the Lord.

One will notice in the judgments that God renders, He almost always gives a warning to those who are being judged. For example, God sent angels to Sodom before it was to be destroyed,15 sent Jonah to Nineveh to warn them of the judgment to come,16 and will send two prophets to warn the people of the earth of the final judgment.17 The building of the ark was a great testimony of the coming judgment, since it was preached for 100 years during the building of the ark. The New Testament states this idea directly, since it says that Noah was a "preacher of righteousness":

For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to pits of darkness, reserved for judgment; and did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a preacher of righteousness, with seven others, when He brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; (2 Peter 2:4-5)

If God had told Noah to just migrate away from the flood area, the people would not have been warned of the impending judgment. Ultimately, they were without excuse in their rebellion against God, since the impending judgment was proclaimed to them for 100 years before it happened. Likewise, God will send two preachers for 1260 days prior to the ultimate judgment of God.17 Those who get on God's ark (Jesus Christ) will be saved from the judgment and pass from death to eternal life.

God promised no more floods like the Genesis flood

What about the Genesis 9:11 and 9:15. If the flood was local, did God lie, since floods have destroyed local areas since the Genesis flood.

"And I establish My covenant with you; and all flesh shall never again be cut off by the water of the flood, neither shall there again be a flood to destroy the earth." (Genesis 9:11)
and I will remember My covenant, which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and never again shall the water become a flood to destroy all flesh. (Genesis 9:15)

The first part of the verse is a promise not to exercise universal judgment by means of a flood, "all flesh shall never again be cut off by the water of the flood." The flood, although local in extent, was global in judgment, since all humanity lived in the same locale. It wasn't until God confused the languages (Genesis 11) that people began to spread over the earth. So, God promised to never again execute universal judgment of humans by means of a flood. The second part, "never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth" can be explained by other verses found in the Genesis flood account.

Gen 6:11 Now the earth was corrupt in the sight of God, and the earth was filled with violence.
Gen 6:12 And God looked on the earth, and behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way upon the earth.

The passage in this instance refers to the people of the earth, since planet earth itself was not corrupt. Likewise, Genesis 9:11 is referring to the people of the earth rather than the planet itself. Ultimately, even if the flood were global, it did not "destroy the earth," but just the people on the earth. As stated above, "people" is often understood from the Hebrew word erets.

Why were birds on the ark?

If the Flood was local, why would birds have been sent on board? They could simply have flown to a nearby mountain range. Most birds (other than a few migratory birds) have a very localized territory. They would have been killed in the local flood, since they are not designed to fly long distances. Certainly archaeopteryx was not a strong flyer. Hummingbirds would drop dead in 20 minutes or less. One thing that you will notice when there is a strong rain is that birds do not fly. Flying in heavy rain is not easy. They would have sat on their perches until the water drowned them.

Why did God required Noah to take animals if the flood was local?

Some animals are indigenous only to the Mesopotamian area. More importantly, it would have taken hundreds of years longer to replace the fauna if everything had been wiped out and had to migrate back in. In addition, Noah would have had a huge problem replacing his herds.

How could the flood waters rise 15 cubits (8 meters) above the mountains in a local flood (Genesis 7:20)?

Didn't the flood cover the highest mountains? The Hebrew word "har," translated "mountains," occurs 649 times in the Old Testament. In 212 instances, the word is translated "hill" or "hills" or "hill country". In Genesis, it is translated "hill" in 10 out of 19 occurrences. Of course, 4 out of 9 times that it is translated as "mountain" is in the flood passage (the translators were wearing their global glasses when they did that translation!). In every instance in Genesis, the text could be translated "hill". Since no specific mountain range is mentioned in this verse, it is likely that the word refers to the hills that Noah could see.


This paper has shown that the Bible declares the Genesis flood to be local in extent, though universal in its judgment of humans (with the exception of Noah and his family). The evidence presented here is purely biblical, although a strong case could also be given for extra-biblical reasons. A global interpretation of the Genesis flood requires that certain non-flood-related verses of the Bible contradict each other. In addition, a global interpretation of the Genesis flood would require the Genesis text to contradict itself. The lack of global references in the book of Genesis through chapter 11 (with the exception of Genesis 1), reveals that all the early events of Genesis occurred in a small geographic area. In addition, an examination of the original Hebrew text of the Genesis flood passage demonstrates that the global wording of our English translations misrepresents the original intent of the account. Your assignment at this point is to re-read the Genesis flood text with the words "land" or "people" (depending upon the context) substituted where for the word "earth." When you are finished, you will discover a remarkably different flood account than what you have read before.