Meet the Authors.

Sarah Burlingame is passionate about Biblical truth. Her diverse church background has taken her through Mainline Methodist, Evangelical, Charismatic and Roman Catholic circles. Her calling as an intercessor led her to receive a certification in Advanced Spiritual Warfare from LMCI (Liberating Ministries for Christ International) lmci.org . Sarah has served as a small group leader, worship planner, liturgical dance leader and online ministry coordinator. She holds a M.S. degree in Education and lives in northeastern Pennsylvania with her husband and their sons. They attend North Rome Wesleyan Church.

Joanne Reinhart asked Jesus Christ into her heart at the age of nine in a Sunday school classroom in Maryland. Her journey with the Lord took her through various careers, colleges, and universities. She holds Bachelor’s degrees in Art/Dance, Theology, and Education, and a M.S. degree in Educational Administration. Her passion for the Lord is evidenced through worship, dance, and teaching. She was liberated into her spiritual gifts and callings through the teaching resources of LMCI lmci.org . Joanne has danced and taught at Christian conferences and various churches in PA and VA. She currently teaches classical ballet and coaches dance for gymnastics. Joanne attends Lighthouse of Faith Church. She and her husband live in northeastern Pennsylvania.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Overcoming Darkness



Do you feel as if there is a constant battle going on around you and that you alone have to contend with all these issues coming at you from every side?  Health, finances, family situations, work ethics, the government encroaching upon your liberty, society in general? If so, the only way to overcome the prevailing darkness is to remember the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ at the cross.  He is our Advocate with the Father and intercedes in prayer for us, His righteous called out ones.  Do not let the enemy of our souls condemn you.

Romans 8:34 (AMP)
Who is the one who condemns us? Christ Jesus is the One who died [to pay our penalty], and more than that, who was raised [from the dead], and who is at the right hand of God interceding [with the Father] for us.

We need to remember that the battle is not with people, but with the spiritual principalities, powers, and rulers of darkness of this age. The accuser of the brethren, satan, is at work manipulating his hosts of wickedness in the second heaven to cause as much havoc to God’s people as possible.  We can overcome this darkness by the shed Blood of Jesus Christ (Revelation 12:11) and by putting on the whole armor of God.  [Writers’ note:  we are giving no ‘place’ to satan by not capitalizing his name.  He is Lucifer, a fallen angel, who poses as an angel of light to deceive mankind. 2 Corinthians 11:14]

Therefore, we are told to:  “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 
Therefore take up the whole armor of God that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”  (Ephesians 6:11-13 NKJV)

No doubt you have heard or read this passage from Ephesians many times. It seems to be a favorite to be proclaimed from the pulpit or dissected in theology books. We, too, could expound upon the layers of truth here, but for the sake of being concise, let’s just look at the words heavenly places. Really, what are heavenly places? Where are heavenly places located? Are heavenly places something which we, on earth, need to be concerned about? Understanding the certainty of heavenly places will help to take you a long way in overcoming the powers of darkness. First, there are three heavens which we should understand. The 1st heaven is the earth where we all live. The 2nd heaven is often thought to be just outside of our physical reality. It is a spirit realm with both holy and unholy angels. The 3rd heaven is where the throne of God is. Our spirits can have access to all of the realms if we are saved with the Holy Spirit dwelling inside of us. Therefore, the principalities and powers we “wrestle” with are part of the 2nd heaven reality. But here is the cool part! …. We don’t have the whole armor of God on us in a physical sense in this 1st (earth) heaven. We put it on in the 3rd heaven when we are seated with our Heavenly Father. It is from this vantage point we bring the light of our Lord into this dark world. Yes, we understand that this may sound difficult to grasp but please meditate on this concept until God helps to make it a reality in your life! 
2 Corinthians 12:2 (KJV)
I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth ;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.

The apostle Paul wrote the above verse when he experienced a vision of Paradise. Before we became followers of Jesus Christ, we lived only in this world, or 1st heaven, which is influenced by the “Prince of the power of air”, satan. But now, we are seated with Christ in the heavenly places. 

Ephesians 2:2 (AMP) “…in which you once walked. You were following the ways of this world [influenced by this present age], in accordance with the prince of the power of the air (satan), the spirit who is now at work in the disobedient [the unbelieving, who fight against the purposes of God].”
Ephesians 2:4-6 (ESV)
But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—  and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus

Heavenly (places) is the Greek word meaning: what pertains to or is in heaven; the celestial, heavenly realm. This realm is what is called the 3rd heaven.  The 1st heaven is on this current earth, and the 2nd heaven is what is between the earth’s atmosphere and the 3rd heaven where the throne of God exists.  
The truth is, when we stand and speak the truth of God’s word, the scriptures, into every area of our lives, we are giving testimony to the truth of God’s LIGHT vs the darkness that is around us on this present earth.
  
2 Corinthians 4:6 (NASB) “For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.”
When we spiritually “sit” with God in the 3rd heaven through praise, worship, prayer and declarations we are agreeing with Him that His light and glory can be released in our environment. We are taking an action which literally brings heaven to earth. We leave you with the promise from 1 Peter 2:9 (NKJV)
But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;
How do you overcome darkness?..... by being the light. Praise be to God! 
~Sarah & Joanne


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