The Time Has Come
This is indeed a time like no other time, nor shall there be a time like it again. For the past week, there has been much going on within me, more in the spiritual realm than in the physical.
Faith is being tried like never before, yet so is love, not only for others, but the very love for the Lord Himself. I know for a fact and beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am not alone in this. The demonic realm is warring against the saints.
We have all gone through tests of faith and trials of our love before, yet what is going on now is with the intensity of power, such as has not been before, as at this time. The force of this testing is shaking the very foundations of faith, as the violence of the winds pushes strongly against the houses said to be built upon the Rock.
I realize that what I am going to write is understood by most believers, but I needed the reminder and perhaps others do also. A few days ago, I had intended to write a post on faith. However, there was an unexpected (sudden) turn of events that happened. As a result, I did not even want to write anything! This will be understood here, as I continue writing.
There is a two-fold purpose to what is happening. On one side, the trials that the accuser of the brethren brings on are not only increased, but intensified.
He wants to halt us, to steal our hope, kill our destiny and destroy our faith, so that some would even be lured away through enticements, so that they will depart from the faith.
He wants to keep us from ever fulfilling the destiny that the Lord planned for us before we were in the womb, if we obediently and willingly follow what He commands.
He will try to take us down from our cross to save ourselves, knowing that such an action would cause us to lose our lives, rather than save our lives. Worse yet, he will endeavor to entice us with seducing and lying spirits, to draw us into various sin, as they deceive and lie to us through the illusions of temptation.
Satan and all his crew (principalities, powers, spiritual rulers and lower ranking demons) are all working in unity. They are working hard to cause us to rebel and become disobedient.
The accuser is bringing forth every kind of temptation that would satisfy the appetites and lusts of our eyes and flesh and puff us up in pride. He is bringing forth every wind of doctrine, every possible distraction and every kind of disruption or hindrance to bring us to sin, destruction, death.
One might say that God will protect us and glibly carry on. Yet we must not forget that the Lord will allow trials to prove our faith. There has been more than once that I have shared about how we all have ideas and determinations about how we will act in critical situations.
Yet there is an adage that says: “You never know what a person is made of until they are in crisis because that is when their true character is revealed.” It is true. There have been situations that have risen in my life where I was surprised by my reaction.
Sometimes I was greatly disappointed at the emotions that overtook me; other times, I was quite surprised at how well I handled the situation. Once we become born-again, Spirit-filled believers, we tend to think that we will always do or say the right thing in any given situation.
Those of us who have been believers for awhile know that that is not always the case. Sometimes flesh rises up and we react in ungodly ways; other times we remain disciplined and unmoved. It has been a process of learning. Yet, the days are upon us now that we must truly walk by faith and not by sight, keeping the flesh and all of its desires crucified.
We must keep on the full armor of God, being instant in prayer and abiding in Christ, following the lead of the Holy Spirit. The Bible tells us that we not only war against principalities and powers, spiritual wickedness, thrones, dominions and ruler of darkness, but also warring against flesh.
The Lord already knows where we stand in our faith and what we will do in situations of great duress, but He wants us to know where we are in these things. We must know where our weaknesses are; know where we can fall short and overcome these things. Jesus Christ (Y’shua) will help us, by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Now I have spoken of this before in my articles, but the Lord brought it back to remembrance. We all know that it was not the eating of an apple that caused the fall of mankind.
It was disobedience to the word of God, as well as the commandment, (spoken) to Adam. The serpent was subtle and seduced the woman with the lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh and the pride of life.
To this day, our arch enemy Satan, (which means adversary), appeals to our flesh in order to tempt us, to cause us to doubt God and His word and to lead us into disobedience (a rebellious act).
We have heard it said repeatedly that the battlefield is the mind and it is true, but the Holy Spirit added to that long ago. The Lord said to me that the battlefield is the mind, but the target is the heart, for therein lies our will, faith, hope and love. The serpent targeted Eve’s mind by indirectly challenging God’s word.
Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, has God said, You shall not eat of every tree of the garden? [Gen 3:1]
The first thing the serpent did was to cast a seed of doubt into the mind of Eve about what God said. Paraphrased: “Really Eve, HAS God said or did you totally misunderstand what He said?” The temptation begins in a most subtle and clever way indeed, seemingly innocently, simply asking a question.
Satan planted a seed of doubt. Confusion was introduced, even as Eve told the serpent what God had said about being able to eat from any tree that she and Adam desired to eat from, except for the one tree in the midst of the Garden.
She informed the serpent (who already knew what God had said) that they would die on the day that they ate from the tree. Adam and Eve believed and trusted God and the word He spoken, up until that fateful day.
Deception and Falsehood
A deception is trickery (delusion, fraud); a falsehood is untrue (lies, fallacy, misconception, error). The serpent employed both of these tactics in his next words.
And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
For God does know that in the day you eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and you shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
[Gen 3:4, 5]
The first thing the serpent does is directly call God a liar. He then deceives Eve by twisting God’s words. The deception goes deeper as the serpent not only appeals to her flesh, but gives her clearer understanding or ‘revelation knowledge’, so that she may understand why God forbid both Adam and her to eat from the tree.
In the crafty way that the serpent twisted the word of God, he implies that God’s commandment was not given out of love for their good, but instead to thwart a blessing that would further benefit them.
With his words, he calls God a liar, twists what God says by adding to God’s words and then goes on to explain why God kept the truth hidden from them […will make one wise…you shall be as gods].
Illusion or Delusion
An illusion is defined thusly: a false mental image produced by misinterpretation of things that actually exist. Delusion is defined as: persistent false belief
And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. [Gen 3:6]
Although the Bible does not detail timing, it can be surmised that Eve had many thoughts racing through her mind, as she considered the words of the serpent versus the words of Almighty God. Undoubtedly she struggled within. Whom should she believe? Did she really trust God, her Creator, who loved her and Adam?
She allowed the seed of doubt to grow. Confusion clouded her thinking. Instead of rejecting the thoughts that were produced as a result of the serpent’s words, Eve entertained and received them. Her thoughts led to her actions. She was free to make a choice and she did.
The serpent was a seducing spirit to Eve, deceiving her thoughts and tempting her to sin by disobeying God. He appealed to her flesh. In verse six of Genesis three, the words that stand out reveal that the tree appealed to the lust of the eyes (pleasant to the eyes), lust of the flesh (desired, did eat) and pride of life (make one wise).
He clearly deceived her by presenting an illusion (they would be as gods). He charmed (enchanted [beguiled] in a deceptive way) her, literally seduced her by twisting God’s words, thus creating a lie and convincing her that it was truth.
The illusion seemed very attractive to Eve, alluring and pleasing to the flesh. She gave into his seduction; the serpent was the seducing spirit. The serpent planted a seed of doubt (has God said?), which brought confusion. He told her that they both would be as gods, knowing good from evil (wise), and that they would not die.
For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. [1Jn 2:16]
A Seeds of Doubt
When Satan is dealing with the children of God, he wants us to doubt that we are hearing from God (Yhwh). He already knows that the majority will not willing depart from their faith in God.
Seducing spirits lure with temptations that will cause us to pull away from the faith, as we give in to the sins that can so easily beset us. Since we are all individual and have had different upbringings, experiences and frailties, the temptations, distractions and hindrances vary, targeting each individual’s weaknesses.
Individually, we have varying degrees of strengths and weaknesses. What may be a weakness to me may be your strength and vice versa. The battle does begin in the mind and we must do as we are instructed by God, in order to defeat the enemy.
The word of God helps us:
And you, Solomon my son, know you the God of your father, and serve Him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the Lord searches all hearts, and understands all the imaginations of the thoughts: if you seek Him, He will be found of you; but if you forsake Him, He will cast you off forever. [1Chron 28:9]
Because that, when they knew God, they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. [Rom 1:21]
Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. [2Cor 10:5]
With some, the trials and testing of the faith may come more in the physical realm. The temptations could be distractions, to rob us of our time with the Lord, prayer and the reading of the Word. We may be distracted to spend more time with entertainment (TV, movies, games, sporting events, computer time etc), longer hours at work and play, or a plethora of other activities.
Or the trials may come as hindrances or obstacles, such as physical illness, a slowing down or a halting of finances, downsized or end of employment, difficulty find work, sudden termination of security, disinheritance, increased debt and financial responsibilities, strained or broken relationships, misunderstandings, lack of communication etc.
The trials may come as temptations to cause us to sin and fall into every work of the flesh, such as that which is found in Galatians, chapter five.
Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance (disagreement, dissention, inconsistent),
emulations (jealous rivalry, to equal/excel especially through imitation), wrath, strife, seditions (conduct/speech to cause people to rebel), heresies (belief/opinion contrary to right and true doctrine),
Envyings (malice, resentment, covetousness), murders, drunkenness, revellings (excessive and boisterous intemperance; lustful indulgence), and such like:
of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. [Gal 5:19-21]
Most of us would reject even just the thought of the above, yet the subtlety of our arch enemy should not be underestimated. We must be on guard against any sin, every weakness, lest we fall.
We all must abide like never before, allowing the Lord to deliver us and help us in overcoming anything not of Him. We have to work with the Lord, by stepping out in faith (yes, I’m talking to myself too) and daily picking up our cross.
If we stumble, we repent and rise back up, pressing toward the mark of the high calling of God, in Christ Jesus.
Satan and his minions are not just satisfied with buffeting us or sifting us as wheat, but Satan has upped the ante, since he is a gambler at heart and a rebel from the beginning.
He is sending forth seducing spirits and lying spirits in an onslaught, particularly against the children of God, His sons and daughters. We must stay in the word of God (Yhwh) and cling to Jesus, casting down all vain and impure thoughts, and ever-ready to pray.
Satan Tempts Us, Not God
There is a tendency to say that God ‘allowed’ something to happen, such as meeting a person or to be in a certain place at a certain time. It is true that I do not believe in coincidences, but at the same time, I am very careful about what I place at the feet of my Father.
The meeting of someone may not necessarily be God’s will for you because Satan can have someone just ‘happen’ along the way also. He knows our weaknesses because his demons have been reporting in to him all along. Temptation is always from Satan and ultimately the choice to give into temptation is ours.
Most of us already know that temptation itself is not a sin, as Satan also tempted Jesus (Y’shua) in the desert wilderness. It is acting on the temptation that is a sin. Lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh and pride of life are something we all have to fight.
Satan still tempts us so that our sin will lead us away from God, away from our faith and into death. We cannot blame God for tempting us, for God does not tempt us. Satan infiltrates our thoughts and if we allow the temptation to be conceived and pay heed to it because of our lusts (appetites, desires), we will sin, but we can turn to God to help us.
We stand on the word:
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For Yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen [Mt 6:13]
There has no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above what you are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that you may be able to bear it. [1Cor 10:13]
In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. [Romans 8:37]
Watch and pray, that you enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. [Mat 26:41]
Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempts He any man:
But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
Then when lust has conceived, it brings forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, brings forth death.
Do not err, my beloved brethren. [Jam 1:13-16]
Wearing Down of the Saints Bit by Bit
The inspiration for this message came from events that have occurred in the past week. It began suddenly with something that beat upon the very foundation of my faith and what I believe.
Three days later, when I was praying to the Lord, I was listening to what the Lord had to say to me in the quiet. Something occurred and when it did, there was a pause in what the Lord was saying, howbeit brief.
Then I heard the Lord speak again, telling me what was going on, and when I went to check out that which had occurred, it turned out to not be what the ‘Lord’ had said.
To rewind a little, I should share that as I was getting ready to pray and just before I began, the Holy Spirit brought to remembrance a dream I had back in 2006. I thought about the dream. In the dream was a part where I was to filter a question to 'two Christs' through the blood of Jesus (Y'shua).
I thought that was what the Holy Spirit was leading me to do, so I prayed that everything I say and hear come through the blood of Jesus. Then, I put the dream on the back burner, so to speak, and proceeded to pray.
However, when the incident occurred and I heard the Lord say one thing and it turned out be different, confusion fell upon me. “Lord, you don’t make mistakes”, I cried out to Him.
Seeds of doubt were being placed into the soil of my mind. I began to question if I ever heard from the Lord or had I deceived myself. I began to wonder if things I had spoken came from the Lord, the enemy or flesh.
A battle was ensuing. Truly, things that the Lord has given me to share did not come from me because it is beyond my wisdom or knowing. It was by His Spirit alone.
For it is not you that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaks in you.
There is not any demon or Satan himself who would ever tell anyone to pick up the cross and die to self, repent or many of the other messages that the Lord has spoken through this vessel.
So, yet another battle in this long war was ensuing and the enemy was fighting hard. I went to scripture and even the scriptures I was turning to seemed against me, speaking of those who prophesy lies etc and scriptures of rebuke.
I closed the Bible and wept. “Oh my God, am I a fraud? Am I false, have I deceived myself …and oh Father, have I misled others?”
That thought made me feel ill inside and a spirit of heaviness was upon me. It is one thing to deceive myself or be deceived, but the thought of deceiving others, even if it was unknowingly, crushed my spirit man.
Although I had gathered all the scriptures about faith and had intended to write about it, I could not even lift a pen or type a single letter. In fact, I thought that I should and shall never write again. Better to be silent than to be a stumblingblock or an instrument in Satan's hand, a vessel unto dishonor.
I continued to pray and seek God, yet He was being silent, which only added to my heaviness and confusion. I am sure now that it was by the leading of Holy Spirit that I sought out scriptures again, praying to the Lord.
It was with great apprehension that I opened the Bible, wondering about scriptures. I pleaded with the Lord to sovereignly lead me in His word. I bound all lying spirits and deception; also casting out all doubts.
For years now, I have prayed that the Lord would not let me be deceived, that I would only hear and speak truth, even if the truth hurt. I would always pray for strength to receive the truth and the boldness to speak and act on it.
The Lord will not let us be deceived when we earnestly seek truth and sincerely desire truth no matter what. He may allow us to wonder about things for a season, a time when we are unsure, so that we press into Him and search His word, even to try our heart to see what we will do, but He is ever faithful to led us in all truth. His word says so.
Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth is come, He will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will show you things to come.
He is Truth
At the end of a long night and day, I went to my emails and there was an email from a brother in Christ. The timing and message could only have been by the leading of the Lord. He had no idea what I had just been going through. He was addressing another matter.
There were scriptures that he had selected that when I read them, the peace of Christ Jesus completely washed over me. Even the underling of words are this brother's doing. The scriptures were:
Mar 4:24 And he said unto them, Take heed what ye hear: with what measure ye mete it shall be measured unto you; and more shall be given unto you.
Further down, the brother shared scriptures that spoke about Peter.
Mat 16:15 He saith unto them, But who say ye that I am?
Mat 16:16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
Mat 16:17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jonah: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father who is in heaven.
Then the brother went on to show how Peter went from a revelation from God to being an instrument of Satan by the words Peter spoke. The Lord Jesus (Y’shua) had just told His disciples how He had to go to Jerusalem, where He would suffer many things and be killed.
Now Peter (who had just had a revelation from God) spoke these words next:
Mat 16:22 And Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall never be unto thee.
Mat 16:23 But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art a stumbling-block unto me: for thou mindest not the things of God, but the things of men.
I literally wept in gratitude. Then I was led to re-read the dream of the two Christs that I had posted four years ago, even though the dream had occurred over six years ago. It is a short article, but it can be read here: http://crossinthewilderness.blogspot.com/2008/12/the-two-christs.html
The Wisdom of God
After I read the dream, coupled with the scriptures that the brother had sent me about taking “heed in what you hear” and how Satan even spoke through Peter, I understood what the Lord was saying.
It is true that Satan cannot do anything that the Lord God does not allow, but that does not mean that he always asks permission. He is a rebel from the beginning (Lucifer fell from the glory of God) and he does not have a set of rules.
There are many things that the Lord has kept forefront in my mind these days, but two of them are the words that Daniel prophetically spoke. He said that in the latter times, there would be a ‘wearing out of the saints’.
And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time. [Dan 7:25]
This has been happening to the saints, but we know that even the wearing out that we are experiencing now is only a precursor of what the enemy intends. It shall get increasingly worse.
The other thing that the Lord has kept fresh upon my mind pertains to Daniel once again. Daniel had an incredible open vision by the river called Hiddekel. Even though he was with other people, only he saw the vision because the quaking of the earth sent the men fleeing.
Daniel sought to understand more regarding the vision, so he began to fast and pray and to seek God for an answer. However, three long weeks of fasting passed before an angel appeared to Daniel to give him understanding of the vision.
The Lord sent the answer to Daniel’s prayer the very first day he was fasting and praying, but Satan and his evil princes withstood the angel who was sent to Daniel with the answer.
There was a battle between God's holy angels and satan and his unholy angels, just over Daniel receiving the answer to his prayer for understanding. Michael, a chief prince in Yhwh’s kingdom was sent to help the other angel fight.
Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that you did set your heart to understand and to chasten yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I am come for your words.
But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia. [Dan 10:12, 13]
Satan and his princes (chief principalities) did not ask the Lord for permission, as he did when he wanted to interfere with Job. Instead, Satan and his princes immediately went to battle to stop the messenger sent to Daniel. The battle was so intense that Michael was sent in as reinforcement.
How much more will Satan do likewise to the saints of God in these last days? I have been writing off and on over the years about different times that there were attacks coming against the body of Christ. Yet recently, I had written about it again.
Now once more, I endeavor to encourage the saints not to fear what is happening, but rather to understand and to press in closer to our Lord. He will direct us.
Yes, there will be times that we are met with silence and may even become confused, but keep trusting that the Lord will be victorious in truth and answers coming to us.
There is a battle going on to wear us all out and down, to shake our faith, to seduce us away. The Lord may so that we may be proved. The trying of our faith will also help us to become aware of where we are weak and where we are strong. Our very faith is being tried. Hold fast! Keep on the full armor of God that we may be able to withstand in these evil days, and having done all, to stand! [Eph 6:13]
Yes, it is true that God (Yhwh) is not the author of confusion, but remember this also:
For every battle of the warrior is with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood, but this shall be a burning and a fuel of fire. [Is 9:5]
And said, O man greatly beloved, fear not: peace be unto you, be strong, yea, be strong. And when he had spoken unto me, I was strengthened, and said, Let my lord speak; for you have strengthened me. [Dan 10:19]
Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
Wherein you greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, you are in heaviness through manifold temptations:
That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: [1Pet 1:5-7]
Hold fast, brethren. We can trust the Lord. We have to go through this now so that we can be strong to go through the great tribulation. If we cannot endure the battles now with Satan and his demons, then how will we evil stand in that which is to come...persecution and great tribulation?
As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the Lord is tried: He is a buckler to all them that trust in Him. [2Sam 22:31]
The Lord gave me understanding and peace, bless the Lord! Just last night, as I was beginning this article (saving the one on faith for another time, Lord willing), He led me to listen to a recording that absolutely blessed me.
I am going to transcribe it and present the teacher’s words here to share with readers.
It will definitely be a blessing to those who read it. I will explain more in the next article. Keep strong and keep abiding, beloved brethren. Our Lord is God and He is Sovereign.
for His glory