by Frederick Hoehn, copyright 2013. |
General Ray Odierno, United States Army Chief of Staff, spoke recently on C-SPAN. He spoke on various topics, but one of them was regarding the many military suicides.
He spoke of suicide as "a perplexing problem," and as "a national problem." He spoke of trying to get them (those who might have a tendency toward suicide) "the proper help."
He said it was "a very concerning problem for us."
During the recent Memorial Day program carried by PBS, the two hosts, actors Gary Sinise and Joe Mantegna, did a little sketch where they acted out a supposed conversation between two actual brothers who had been in the military, one of whom later committed suicide.
Some of those family members were present as the program unfolded in Washington, D.C.
The soldier who eventually committed suicide apparently fell into a melancholy state where he would spend time at graveyards.
It is not wrong to honor the dead, nor to show respect for those who've given their lives fighting for our nation. But just about anything can be overdone.
It is unhealthy to spend too much time at graveyards. Life goes on. No soldier should blame himself if his buddies died in the war. Even if mistakes were made, they all took the same risks.
They knew there were risks when they signed up for the Army National Guard. They knew their unit might be activated. They knew that in wars, people die.
But you can dwell too much on the morose, on the negative side. Those soldiers who died--wouldn't they have wanted the survivors to pursue normal, productive lives?
Surely they wouldn't have wanted the survivors to mourn them for the rest of their lives.
There are demons of melancholy. There are demons of depression. They are to be resisted.
Philippians 4:8 tells us, "Finally brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are honest, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there's any virtue, and if there's any praise, think about these things."
You're disobeying Phil 4:8 if you're going to dwell on the melancholy, and on the "what might have been."
Phil 3:13,14 tells us, "...forgetting the things that are in the past, and reaching out to the things that are ahead, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus."
Forget what's behind, and reach out to what's ahead, the Bible says. If you think you have a better plan than the Bible, you're mistaken.
Unfortunately, many are ignorant of what God has told us in the Bible. That mistake can prove to be fatal.
"My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge." (Hos 4:6)
Suicide is a national problem, but it seems especially visible regarding the U.S. Military.
Of course, there are many pressures on military people. But then, there are also pressures on civilians.
Jesus compared two men. The one man built his house on a foundation, the other built his house on the sand.
The storms came, and the winds blew and beat against those houses, and the house with the foundation remained. The house on the sand came crashing down.
Jesus said if you hear his sayings and do them, you're like the man with the house on the foundation.
The storms of life come to all. But if you have a foundation on Jesus' words, you'll be OK.
A red letter edition of the Bible is helpful because the words of Jesus are printed in red ink (with the other words in black ink).
Sometimes, things that happen in the natural, visible world have their origins in the invisible, spirit world.
There are no doubt those who don't believe in a "spirit world." But we know there are such things as angels and demons from the Bible. Angels have been messengers to various people down through history.
An angel appeared to the parents of the very muscular Sampson, a Judge of Israel, before he was born. (Book of Judges) But most of the time, angels are invisible.
Demons are fallen angels who rebelled against God when Satan did.
We believe in atoms, don't we, even though we can't see atoms? If there are no atoms, then how could there be the atom bombs that pretty much destroyed the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War Two?
There's a lot of talk lately about preventing Iran from getting nuclear weapons. But how could there be nuclear weapons if there are no atoms?
Generally speaking, suicide has its origin in the spirit world.
God arranged that Rev. Howard Pittman be taught by an angel about the spirit world.
Pittman, of Foxworth, MS, had a serious health problem that would likely have killed him. His spirit actually left his body. Pittman said, "When my spirit left my body, I crossed a dimensional barrier." He crossed from the natural world into the spirit world.
God healed Pittman, and he came back to teach for several more years. In addition to our natural, three-dimensional world, there's at least one more dimension, the unseen, spirit world. But God can open someone's eyes to see into the spirit world, as he did with Kenneth E. Hagin, as I've mentioned before.
Pittman has revealed that demons are specialists, not general practitioners. That is, the demon that tempts someone to rob a bank is not the same demon that tempts people to commit adultery.
There are demons that go around tempting people to commit suicide. One approached me a while back, and I commanded him to go in Jesus' name.
I didn't see him, but I was aware that a thought of suicide was being presented to me.
Someone might ask, "Is it sin to commit suicide?"
If you want to go to heaven, Jesus said, "You must be born again." (John chapter 3)
If you don't care about going to heaven, it's no doubt because you are not aware that the alternative is a fiery hell, where there's crying and gnashing of teeth, and where their worms won't die, as Jesus said in the first four books of the New Testament.
You get born again according to Romans 10:9,10. "That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you're saved. For with the heart man believes for righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made for salvation."
And Jesus told his followers, "He that endures to the end shall be saved." (Matt 10:22)
And, "Be faithful until death, and I will give you a crown of life." (Rev 2:10)
Suicide is not the will of God, because that person would not be enduring to the end, nor being faithful until death, if they commit suicide. It means faithful until natural death, not death at your own hand.
We are told to "Resist the devil, and he'll run away from you." (Jas 4:7)
When the demon of suicide comes to tempt someone to commit suicide, they should resist.
But those who are not Christians (which is the majority of people), probably haven't heard that they should do that. Nor do they have the right to use Jesus' name to command that demon to go, if they're not Christians.
The Christian should command demons to go in Jesus' name.
Odierno spoke of trying to get them (those who might have a tendency toward suicide) "the proper help." And what is the proper help?
Is Odierno also a priest? But if he were a priest, wouldn't he be part of the Army Chaplain's Corps rather than Army Chief of Staff?
So, apparently he's not a priest. Why does this matter? Because the suicide problem is spiritual in nature.
But when we speak of priests, it matters, too, which religion the priest is of. Muslim clergymen, for example, would not be so good in dealing with the suicide problem since Muslims have no authority over demons.
Our authority, as Christians, over demons comes from Jesus in Luke 10:19, and in Mark 16:17,18. But when Jesus gave his followers that authority, it's not for Muslims. They are not Christian, and in fact, don't even know that Jesus is the Son of God.
Muslims say that Jesus was a good man, and a prophet, but not the Son of God. That statement is incorrect. Jesus is the Son of God.
Am I suggesting that Odierno was insincere when he spoke of getting them the right help? No, I believe he spoke sincerely, but since he's not a Christian priest, I believe he's a little short in the knowledge department regarding what kind of help is needed for military personnel with suicidal tendencies.
As a graduate of West Point, the Army's military academy, Odierno would no doubt be able to give a good answer to a question about some hypothetical battlefield situation.
But when we get into the area of suicide, I think he's somewhat lacking in qualifications.
He would probably think that the right help is counseling. Spending time with Psychologists or Psychiatrists.
But wait, wasn't Major Hasan an Army Psychologist? And didn't the Army provide his education so that he could hold that position? And didn't he proceed to become the perpetrator of the Fort Hood massacre, and a mass murderer? Yes, and Hasan also happened to be a Muslim.
So it rather looks like the Army's Psychology program is rather dysfunctional. Nor do I suspect the other branches of the U.S. Military are doing very much better, and I've served in both the Army and Navy, and was in Air Force R.O.T.C. in college.
Dr. Norvel Hayes, a Teacher, spoke of a Psychologist or Psychiatrist who said, "I've learned that there are such things as demons."
The man had apparently been in that profession for a while before discovering demons, and I'm glad he made that discovery.
But I'm quite sure there are many other Psychologists and Psychiatrists that haven't discovered demons.
Wouldn't it be rather difficult to deal with demons if you are not aware of their existence? Yes, of course.
When students preparing for the fields of Psychology and Psychiatry are studying for those future vocations, is one of their college textbooks the Holy Bible? I don't think so.
Which of their professors would give them an assignment of some chapters to study in the Bible for the upcoming quiz, the grade for which will affect their grade point averages?
But if the Bible is not a textbook for those vocations, then how will those professionals be properly prepared to deal with demons?
And if those professors are not giving study assignments in the Bible, how are those professors qualified to teach those vocations?
You're not qualified to deal with demons if you have no knowledge of the Bible, and if you're not a Christian.
Odierno may think, "Who better to deal with those who might have suicidal tendencies than the Psychologist and Psychiatrists?"
I'll tell you who, a born-again Christian Priest, with the Baptism with the Holy Ghost and the speaking in unknown tongues, who lays hands on the sick and they recover, and who casts demons out of people. That's who, Mr. General, sir.
Of course, that might be a rather rare breed, but Jesus did say, "Seek and you'll find."
In Navy boot camp, I was chosen, on the basis of my test scores, to be my company's Recruit Chief Petty Officer, under the company commander, Chief Machinist's Mate Seely.
One night, after lights out, MMC Seely wasn't around, but one of us recruits, Seaman Recruit Alejandro, as I recall, had a seizure. The lights came on, and the matter came to my attention.
Apparently, Alejandro had had problems prior to entering the Navy. I didn't know much about Epilepsy, nor about demons back then at age seventeen, but I went to Alejandro, as he was having the seizure.
As I massaged his hand, I kept repeating to him, "Relax, relax, relax."
God helped us at that time, and Alejandro came out of it. When the Medics arrived, he was pretty much back to normal.
But on a later occasion, Alejandro had another seizure, this time, during the day. A Navy Lieutenant who was present tried to administer some help.
Should I have approached the Lieutenant and said that I could probably handle the situation better than he could? I expect that would probably not have been well received, a Seaman Recruit telling the Officer that the recruit knew best.
Alejandro did not survive that incident, he passed away. How could it be known ahead of time that the Lieutenant would not succeed?
Perhaps the Navy should have been more careful about who it would accept into the Navy. An Epileptic is not the best candidate for military service.
But again, epilepsy has its roots in the spirit world, and there are demons of epilepsy that need to be cast out.
I believe it was Dr. Lester Sumrall, of LESEA Broadcasting, who said the deaf and dumb spirit is one of the easier demons to cast out, while the spirit of epilepsy is one of the more difficult to cast out. Perhaps the epilepsy spirit is one of those requiring prayer and fasting to cast out.
Scriptures quoted are from the Holy Bible, Hoehn Version and the New Testament, Hoehn Version, both available as ebooks for the Kindle reader at Amazon.com
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