"Bringing hope to the hopeless "


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In 2004, the Lord burdened my heart to meet the need of his people all across America. One of the main needs that I saw was that most Christians did not know how to deal with or help others overcome by addictions, depression, anxiety or guilt...



Sermons:

arrow Anger
arrow Forgiveness
arrow 4 Rules of   Communication
arrow How Do I Get Forgiven
arrow The Power of Faith
arrow Getting Power over Sin
arrow Worshipping the Christ
arrow Idolatry
arrow Grace and the Humble
arrow What is Hell

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arrow The Spiritual Battle
arrow God Meeting My Needs
arrow Stepping Stones I
arrow Stepping Stones II




 

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Table of Contents:

Introduction
Mission statement
Doctrinal statement
Counseling Philosophy Statement




Raphahelp Introduction

For the many years that I served as the Dean of Students at the Northeast Baptist Bible College, part of my responsibility was counseling students. During that time, I counseled students, their family members or both in the areas of eating disorders, parent alcoholism, depression, learning disabilities, anger and sexual abuse. In February of 2003, I began to do work in a secular sex offender treatment facility. During that time, the Lord was doing a work in my life. He showed me the futility of psychologically based treatment and burdened my heart with a vision of opening a Christ-centered facility for the restoration of troubled youth. In Psalms 41:4, David asks the Lord to be merciful to him and heal his soul. Whenever a person is out of fellowship with the Lord, their soul experiences a loss and during that time will be subject to the influences of the flesh. There are an untold number of people in America who, as a result of their own sin or the sin of another, are hurting in their soul and need for God to mend or repair them. With the Holy Spirit as Comforter (John 14:16), the Word of God as a tool (Ps. 119:50) and Jesus, The Balm of Gilead (Jer. 8:22), the healing of hearts can be accomplished. The Old Testament speaks of God as Jehovah-Rapha or the God that heals (Ex. 15:26). This and other passages have encouraged me to choose the name Raphahelp to describe the overall mission work and Rapha House as the name of the home for troubled youth. If the Lord delays his return, Raphahelp will reach out to hurting people so as to introduce them into a relationship with Christ as their savior or restore them into a walk of peace and restoration (Isa. 26:3).

Raphahelp Mission Statement

And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, the repairer of the breach, the restorer of paths to dwell in. Isaiah 58:12

The mission of Rapha House is to minister to those individuals who are overcome by the circumstances of life, to bring them to a knowledge of Christ as savior and an understanding of God’s perspective about the events of their lives and their sinful responses, to counsel the individuals with the goal of bringing them to repentance, to disciple them and encourage their faith to where they—as Spirit filled Christians—will be able to cast their cares on the Lord Jesus Christ and instruct them in Biblical principles for victory living.


Raphahelp Doctrinal Statement

    1. We believe in THE HOLY SCRIPTURES: Accepting fully the writings of the Old and New Testaments as the very Word of God, verbally inspired in all parts and therefore, wholly without error, altogether sufficient in themselves as our only infallible and authoritative rule of faith and practice (II Timothy 3:16-17; II Peter 1:19-21). We believe not only in the inspiration of the Holy Scripture as spoken forth in II Timothy 3:16, but also in the preservation of the scripture (Psalm 12:6-7). In the English speaking language, we accept only the King James Authorized Version as the only faithful and honest version of the Holy Scripture translated from the Masoretic Text and the Textus Receptus also known as the Received Text.
    2. We believe in THE ONE TRIUNE GOD: who is personal, Spirit, and sovereign; perfect, infinite, and eternal in his being, holiness and love, wisdom and power; absolutely separate and above the world as its Creator, yet everywhere present in the world as the Upholder of all things; self-existent and self-revealing in three distinct persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, each having a distinct ministry in God’s relation to his creation and people. (Genesis 1:1; I Corinthians 8:6; I John 5:7).
    3. We believe in THE LORD JESUS CHRIST: who is the second person of the Triune God, the Eternal Word and Only Begotten Son; without any change in his divine person, He became man by miracle of the virgin birth, thus to continue forever as both true God and true man, one person with two natures; that as man, he was tempted in all points as we are, yet without sin; that as the perfect Lamb of God, he gave himself in death upon the cross: becoming there the sin of the world, and suffering its full penalty of divine wrath in our stead; that he arose bodily from the grave and was glorified; that as our great High Priest, he ascended into the Heaven, there to appear before the face of God as our Advocate and Intercessor. (John 1:1-2; I John 5:20; Matthew 1:20; Luke 2:26-28)
    4. We believe in THE HOLY SPIRIT: who is the third Person of the Trinity, and the divine agent in nature, revelation and redemption; that he convicts the world concerning sin, righteousness and judgment; that he regenerates, indwells, seals and anoints all who become children of God through Christ. All children of God are baptized in the Holy Spirit at salvation. He further empowers, guides, teaches, sanctifies and fills believers who daily surrender to him. (II Corinthians 13:14; John 14:16-17; Romans 8:14-27)
    5. We believe ALL MEN ARE BY NATURE AND CHOICE SINFUL AND LOST: that man was the direct creation of God, made in His image and likeness; that by personal disobedience to the revealed will of God, man became a sinful creature, the father of a fallen race which is universally sinful in both nature and practice, thus alienated from the life and family of God, under the righteous judgment and wrath of God, and has within himself no possible means of salvation. (Romans 3:23, 5:12; Galatians 3:22)
    6. We believe in SALVATION BY GRACE THROUGH FAITH: that salvation is the free gift of God, neither merited nor secured in part or in whole by any virtue or work of man but received only by personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, in whom all true believers have as a present possession, the gift of eternal life, a perfect righteousness, sonship in the family of God, deliverance and security from all condemnation, every spiritual resource needed for life and godliness, and the divine guarantee that they shall never perish; that this salvation affects the whole man; that apart from Christ there is no possible salvation. (Ephesians 2:8-9; II Corinthians 5:21, 7:9-10; Romans 6:23, 10:9. 10:10,13)
    7. We believe in RIGHTEOUS LIVING AND GODLY WORKS: not as a means of salvation in any sense, but as its proper evidence and fruit; and therefore as Christians, we should obey the Word of our Lord, seek the things which are above, walk as He walked, accept as our solemn responsibility the duty and privilege of bearing the Gospel to a lost world; remembering that a victorious and fruitful Christian life is possible only for those who in gratitude for the infinite and undeserved mercies of God have presented themselves wholly to Christ. (Titus 2:11-14; Ephesians 2:10)
    8. We believe in THE EXISTENSE OF SATAN: who originally was created a holy and perfect being, but through pride and wicked ambition rebelled against God and his people, leader of all other evil angels and spirits, the deceiver and god of this present world; that his powers are vast, but strictly limited by the permissive will of God who overrules all his wicked devices; that he was defeated and judged at the cross, and therefore his final doom is certain; that we are able to resist and overcome him only in the armor of God, by the blood of the Lamb and through the power of the Holy Spirit. (Revelation 12:9; Ezekiel 18:14-17; Isaiah 14:12-15)
    9. We believe in THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST; that his return from Heaven will be personal, visible and glorious, a blessed hope for which we should constantly watch and pray; the time being unrevealed, but always imminent; that when he comes, he will first by the resurrection of the dead and translation of the living remove from the earth the saved, then pour out the righteous judgments of God upon the unbelieving world, afterwards descend with his church and establish his glorious and literal kingdom over all the nations for a thousand years. (Acts 1:11; I Thessalonians 4:13-17; Revelation 19:11-16, 20:6)
    10. We believe in FUTURE LIFE, BODILY RESURRECTION AND ETERNAL JUDGMENT: that the spirits of the saved at death go immediately to be with Christ in Heaven, that their works shall be brought before the Judgment of Seat of Christ for determination of rewards, which will take place at the time when Christ comes for His own; that the spirits of the unsaved at death descend immediately into Hell where they are kept under punishment until the final day of judgment, at which time their bodies shall be raised from the grave, that they shall be judged and cast into the Lake of Fire, the place of final and everlasting punishment. (John 14:1-6; I Thessalonians 4:14-17; II Corinthians 5:10; Philippians 3:20-21; Luke 16:19-31; Revelation 20:11-15)
    11. We believe in THE SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE: with each having definite and distinct spheres of responsibility. (Romans 13:1-7; Ezra 6:7; Matthew 22:21; Acts 5:29)
    12. We believe in THE PRIESTHOOD OF ALL BELIEVERS: that Christ is our Great High Priest and through him every born again person has direct access into God’s presence without the need of a human priest; that the believer has the right and responsibility to personally study and interpret the Scriptures guided by the Holy Spirit. (I Peter 2:5, 9)
    13. We believe in THE LORDSHIP OF JESUS CHRIST: that he alone is the head of the Body of Christ, of which all true believers of this age are members; that all members of this one spiritual body should assemble and identify themselves in local churches. (Matthew 23:10; I Corinthians 11:3)
    14. We believe in THE IMPORTANCE OF THE LOCAL CHURCH: that a New Testament church is a local assembly of born again, baptized believers united in organization to practice New Testament ordinances, to meet together for worship, prayer, fellowship, teaching and a united testimony, and to actively engage in carrying out the Great Commission. (Acts 2:41; 4:32; Matthew 26:26-30; 28:19-20)
    15. We believe in THE INDEPENDENCE AND AUTONOMY OF THE LOCAL CHURCH: that each New Testament church is free to govern itself without ecclesiastical interference, and should cooperate with other New Testament churches as the Holy Spirit leads; that it is responsible to follow the pattern of the New Testament church and is directly accountable to God. (Acts 6:1-6; Galatians 1:1-2)
    16. We believe THE ORDINANCES GIVEN TO THE LOCAL CHURCH ARE TWO – BAPTISM AND THE LORD’S SUPPER: that Baptism is by immersion of believers, thus portraying the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ; that the Lord’s Supper is the partaking of the bread and cup by the believers as a continuing memorial of the broken body and shed blood of Christ. (Matthew 3:13-17, 26:26-30, 28:19-20; Acts 2:41; I Corinthians 11:23-32)

Raphahelp Counseling Philosophy Statement

The following statement contains the counseling philosophy of Rapha House and is limited to the scope of dealing with troubled individuals and is not intended to include other groups of people nor is it exhaustive in its explanation. It is intended to provide a practical view of the philosophy of the organization.

Man cannot live independent of God (Acts 17:28). He was created in the image of God and for the purpose of glorifying him (Eph. 1:12; 2:10). According to Rom. 3:10-18, when man fell into sin, he was affected in his understanding, will, works, speech, relationships, heart, actions and emotional state. From this Scripture, we can conclude that sin has affected man in every part. Because of his sin nature, man is now a servant or is in bondage to sin (John 8:34; Gal. 4:3-5, 9). Because of this, man cannot live as God intended. This inability to live for God also causes him to be unable to handle life’s problems (I Peter 5:7). As a sinner, man will handle his problems with some manner of sin. Gal. 5:19-21 and Eph. 4:31 list some of man’s responses.

As a sinner, man may hide (Gen. 2:8), withdraw (Jer. 20:9; Jonah 1:3), cover up the matter (Prov. 28:13) or perform other behaviors, which are opposed to God’s manner (Prov. 6:16-19). Repeated actions of these types of deviate behaviors can become habitual (Prov. 5:22). Man may become engrained in his habitual sinful behavior for one of two reasons: the problem may be so severe that he may feel the need to continually perform a certain behavior or problems of a similar nature continue to arise to which man repeatedly responds with the same sinful behavior.

Man generalizes these habitual behaviors to other areas of his life that may not warrant such a response. An example of this would be when a wife, who is frustrated from financial stress, may on rare moments yell at her husband. If the sinful behavior is not addressed, the behavior will be manifested in other situations of frustration or distress, which are of a lower level. Generalization occurs when the wife responds to a vast array of life’s situations with a yelling response.

According to I Thess. 5:23, man consists of three entities: body, soul and spirit. Within fallen man, there is a conflict between these entities determining which part will dominate or rule the being. Because the flesh wars against the soul and spirit of man (Gal. 5:17: I Peter 2:11), it is an indication of God’s design that the flesh or body is to be in subjection to them. God’s appointed executive of man is his spirit (Gal. 5:16). Conclusively, we can determine that God’s design for man is that the Holy Spirit of God communicates with the spirit of man, then man’s directed spirit influences the soul—which consists of mind, will and emotion—and the spirit led soul leads the body in interaction with the world about him. In this paradigm, all actions incorporate the emotional part of man. The paradigm for fallen man is somewhat different. The flesh, which wars against the soul and spirit of man, is in dominion. As the flesh experiences interaction from the world, the soul of man—through the aspect of the mind—is influenced emotionally. Man, a flesh-soul driven being, interacts upon the world. In both instances, the soul of man is utilized or his actions are always coupled with an emotional state.

When man continually faces the same or similar emotional situations, he will perform his previously discussed habitual sinful response. These habitual responses will intensify his emotional state. Without God’s assistance, man’s emotional state will continue to intensify and may manifest itself as out of control.

At this stage, man is breaking down in his functioning. He needs a Christian to bear his burdens (Gal. 6:2), bring him into a proper relationship with God (Rom. 10:13; I John 1:9) and disciple him in spiritual sanctification (Matt. 28:20). As fathers were instructed to teach the next generation (Deut. 6:7; 11:18-19) and parents are told to train up their children in the Lord (Prov. 22:6), the Christian also needs to train this man.

Since Jesus is the preeminent one (Col. 1:18), he is everything that mankind needs for every situation. If in an attempt to help man, we only address behaviors, we will at best produce a conformed man instead of a reformed one. This individual needs to learn how Jesus Christ is the answer to the problematic area of his life, exercise faith in the Lord for that matter and perform by faith the actions that the Scripture teaches.

A man who is overcome by life’s circumstances and is emotionally out of control, usually has deep seated problems that have never been resolved and have carried over into every area of his life. For restoration to occur, the following needs to take place.

    1. Identify root problems
    2. Identify sinful behaviors used to deal with these problems.
    3. Bring the individual to the point of repentance for such behaviors.
    4. Confession for sinful behavior needs to be made to God.
    5. Put Off – Put On needs to take place (Eph. 54:22-24).
    6. Glorify God through thanks, praise, worship and living for him (II Cor. 5:15).

In order to determine the root problems of man, it may be necessary to identify the origins of the inappropriate sinful responses. This consists of researching a person’s life experiences to determine the initial trigger situations. If the initial triggers are not identified and only actions are addressed, either inappropriate sinful responses will continue or alternate sinful responses will be employed.

An example for this would be when a person struggling with relationship problems comes for counseling and his problem in relationships is a result of him being a perfectionist. Because of being driven to perform in order to be acceptable, the individual has strained his relationships with the use of sharp tones in speech, the pushing for perfection in other’s lives, the never being satisfied with the work or accomplishments of others as well as a host of other similar behaviors.

In order to help this individual, the counselor will need to determine the root motivation for the individual’s striving for perfection. He must repent of this goal or belief. However, he cannot repent until it is pointed out. He should then be discipled to where he, by faith, walks in the realm of living to please God (II Cor. 5:15) and not man. Once the individual understands the love of God and being accepted in the beloved (Eph. 1:6), he can then perform a labor of love by striving to do his best instead of being perfect.

However, if this approach is not taken and the individual is only instructed to stop wrong behaviors and practice acceptable ones, the new behaviors will only be short lived and the root of the flesh again will begin to yield its fruit.

Many times troubled people are told to rise above their problems or to let the troubling event go. This is not only dangerous, but also unscriptural. Heb. 12:15 instructs the Christian to be careful about a root of bitterness springing up in the heart of the believer as a result of interacting with other people. In this case, the bitterness would need to be addressed or put off—through repentance and confession—and then an appropriate behavior (Eph. 4:32) should be put on.

Restoration will be complete when the individual is no longer driven by his flesh to respond to the negative emotion of past or present experiences, but instead rises above these events as he lives a Spirit filled life of faith.






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