Meet the Authors.

Sarah Burlingame is passionate about Biblical truth. Her diverse church background has taken her through Mainline Methodist, Evangelical, Assemblies of God 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) . 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 youngest son. Her older sons reside in northeastern Pennsylvania and upstate New York. 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 . Joanne has danced and taught at Christian conferences and various churches in PA and VA. She currently lives in Florida and attends church at Coastal Family Church in Flagler Beach, FL.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Casualties of War

It has been said that the FIRST casualty of war is TRUTH.  That is why we believe the entire subject of spiritual authority has been left out of most churches today.  Therefore, Christians are becoming ‘casualties of war’ and the enemy of our souls (satan) is winning in many areas of our lives.  We need to understand and implement the ‘whole armor’ of God, both the offensive and defensive weapons at our disposal, to remain on victory ground.  The finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross has given us this authority. 

Ephesians 6:11 (NKJV) Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

The wiles of the devil are vast, and he has been studying our every move. However, our focus should not be on his wiles, but on our victorious savior, Jesus!
In previous blogs, we have outlined some of the finished work of Christ and how we overcome the enemy in our lives.  February 23, 2017: “Delivered from Darkness;” March 8, 2017: “Bought with a Price… Redeemed;” March 28, 2017: “How We Overcome By The Blood Of The Lamb;” and April 7, 2017: “Spiritual Armor – a drawing.”
There are many scripture references in the Spiritual Armor drawing that you can read and study.  The answer to the question: WHY is there a difference between our offensive and defensive weapons is in the totality of the finished work of Christ on the cross.  Jesus disarmed the enemy offensively and defensively, so that we can enforce (offensively or aggressively) our victory through Christ, and so that we will always be ready to resist the enemy’s attacks (which is our defensive posture).  We do not actually “put on armor” like the knights of old, but with our mouths, we speak the truth of the scriptures.  “It is written,” were the three most powerful words spoken by Jesus to the devil in the wilderness. (Matthew 4:4-11)

WHEN do we need to “put on the whole armor of God”? Should we do this every day?  The devil is not taking any vacations from trying to cause havoc in our lives.  HOW we are to “arm ourselves” against the enemy, yet “walk in love” will be discussed in another blog.  For now, and each day, we want to be strong in the Lord and the power of His might. (Ephesians 6:10).  When we recognize that our enemies are not “flesh and blood” but “principalities, powers, rulers of darkness and spiritual demons of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12), we can STAND against the wiles (schemes) of the devil. Multiple times the words: “STAND, WITHSTAND, STAND, AND STAND therefore”, all precede the actual listing of our spiritual armor.  A song verse, “standing on the promises of Christ our Lord” comes to mind.  That’s right!  The battle is won in our minds!  What are you putting on in your minds daily?

“Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7b) The way to resist the devil is by SAYING and BELIEVING the truth of the scriptures.  He will flee – run away from you and all that pertains to you!   

1 Peter 5:8-9 (AMPC) Be well balanced (temperate, sober of mind), be vigilant and cautious at all times; for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring [in fierce hunger], seeking someone to seize upon and devour. Withstand him; be firm in faith [against his onset—rooted, established, strong, immovable, and determined], knowing that the same (identical) sufferings are appointed to your brotherhood (the whole body of Christians) throughout the world.

~ Joanne and Sarah

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Spiritual Armor ..... a drawing

Several years ago, as I (Joanne) was studying the scriptures on “armor,” I put together the drawing below.  Notice the listings of the various offensive and defensive weapons from the Word of God. I put the drawing away like any good fastidious organizer suspecting I would need it again in the future. Recently, I rediscovered this drawing when looking over my study notes for the purpose of writing for the Herald of Hope. I showed this drawing to Sarah who suggested we share it with our readers. She wanted to share with you all a bit of the process that goes behind our work here. As we have mentioned before, the Herald of Hope is truly the Holy Spirit working through us. That may sound ethereal or perhaps even a bit haughty; but in truth, all believers in Jesus have the Holy Spirit in them and He works through them for God’s glory.

Now, back to the drawing. Several questions arose in my mind when I originally drew these “notes”. The answers, of course, have always been there but they are unfolding more clearly in these last days:

WHY was there a difference between our offensive and defensive weapons?
HOW are we to “arm ourselves” against the enemy, yet “walk in love”?
WHEN do we need to “put on the whole armor of God”?
WHAT did Jesus mean when He said, “be wise as serpents and harmless as doves”?
WHO gave us this authority is Jesus Christ, and His finished work on the cross has sealed the devil’s fate.  We simply need to “initiate the promises to be fulfilled” in our lives.

Matthew 10:16 (NKJV) “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves”

Jesus’ statement seems to be a paradox, or a contradiction.  Yet the Lord gave us the “keys of the kingdom of heaven” so that “whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” (Matthew 18:18)

Matthew 16:19 (AMP) I will give you the keys (authority) of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind [forbid, declare to be improper and unlawful] on earth will have [already] been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose [permit, declare lawful] on earth will have [already] been loosed in heaven.
Again, Jesus said that he gave us the authority to trample on ‘principalities and powers’ and over all the power of the enemy, and that nothing would hurt us!

Luke 10:19 (NIV) I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.

Since “God raised us up and seated us in the heavens with Christ Jesus,” (Ephesians 2:6), and Christ is seated at His right hand, “far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come,” (Ephesians 1:21) then we have authority over the enemy.

In the following few blogs, we will discuss the use of this spiritual armor and answer the questions that formulated along with the drawing below.

~ Joanne and Sarah

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Our Passover Lamb

This year (2017 – Gregorian Calendar) Holy Week coincides with Passover (5777 – Hebrew Calendar). Perhaps there is no coincidence that the most holy week for Christians and Jews is the same. The Jewish people are focusing on the story of Israel’s freedom from slavery in Egypt. Christians and Messianic believers are focusing on the redemption we received from Jesus Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. 
Jesus is our Passover Lamb. John the Baptist was preparing the way for the Lord. When he saw Jesus coming toward him, he said:  
… “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” 
(John 1:29 NKJV) 

The Jewish faith knows of the lamb’s sacrifice on the altar in the temple each year, and the verse in Isaiah 53:7 describes how Jesus willingly became the sacrificial lamb for all who believe that He is the son of God. This ‘lamb’ is the same in the Old and the New Testament. Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. 

Isaiah 53:7 (NKJV)
He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
Yet He opened not His mouth;
He was led as a lamb to the slaughter,
And as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
So He opened not His mouth.
Jesus came to earth as our substitute.  He is our Advocate. (Advocate:  one who pleads the cause of another; specifically :  one who pleads the cause of another before a judicial court)

1 John 2:1 (CEB) My little children, I’m writing these things to you so that you don’t sin. But if you do sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous one.

If you have ever needed a lawyer to represent you in a court of law, your hope is that the lawyer (advocate) will plead your case and you will get the desired, favorable result. Our hope as believers in Jesus Christ is that when we come to Him we can have confidence that our prayers will be answered. 

1 John 5:14-15 (TLB)
 And we are sure of this, that he will listen to us whenever we ask him for anything in line with his will.  And if we really know he is listening when we talk to him and make our requests, then we can be sure that he will answer us.

We understand from reading in Romans 8:34 that Jesus sits at the right hand of God the Father. Therefore we can know He is listening. 

“It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.”

As we move through Holy Week, our Passover Lamb (Jesus) should be our focus. Our perfect redemption includes: health, provision, favor, opportunity, and success in every category of our lives.  HE IS RISEN is our refrain.  Let us rejoice and remember His sacrifice for each one of us. 

Psalm 97:12 (NKJV) Rejoice in the Lord, you righteous,
And give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name

For further reading on Jesus’ perfect sacrifice, please see our posts from last year.

Have a blessed, Passover, Holy Week and Easter (Ressurection Sunday).
~ Sarah and Joanne