The last writing (linked above) mentioned some of the deception that has taken place in regards to our history - “HisStory”; especially about the Dutch Revival. This write-up, is a follow-up to the deception that has been taking place from the beginning. It started in the Garden: -
Genesis 3:1-5 (NIV)
1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden'?"
2 The woman said to the serpent, "We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,
3 but God did say, 'You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.'"
4 "You will not surely die," the serpent said to the woman.
5 "For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."
The enemy has wanted us to be in the “dark” and he has deceived from day one. He has used his deceptions to pervert the truth and separate us from God. The enemy deceives us to do harm. The world lies in darkness. When the serpent is allowed to lead people, they are lead into greater darkness. Jesus is the Light.
John 8:12 (NIV)
12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."
We are to walk in the Light. It sounds easy - if you are in darkness - the Light will be bright and you should be able to walk towards it. In a dark room it is easy to head towards the light, but alas it is not that easy in our Christian walk. We start off in darkness and so, bright light actually hurts; and so we are tempted to remain in the amount of light we can bear. Too strong the light, too soon; is painful.
2 Corinthians 4:4 (NIV)
4 The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
We start off in darkness, then; when we receive the Lord as our Saviour - His Light shines into our soul and we begin to see. We start to change our way of “walking” and head towards the Light. But as we go, the darkness tries to re-ensnare us. The enemy wants to blind our minds again and so the battle continues. When Saul, who became Paul saw the Lord on the Damascus road; he received a powerful revelation of who our Lord is. Paul received the light given to him and he walked in it.
Most of us get a measure of Light and as we are faithful to that measure, we receive more. One time the Lord came close as I was asking for more of Him; and He cautioned me that I would have a hard time walking out the Word that I received so far.
Luke 12:48 (NIV)
48 .... From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.
1 Corinthians 13:12 (NIV)
12 Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
We see through the glass darkly. Sometimes it is difficult to see things as they really are - to see the “Way it Is”.
Years ago, there was a course taught in work places that had an illustration of the “Way I see it and the Way you see it.” It was to help people understand that different people can look at the same thing or hear the same thing and come to different conclusions. It was a model to help people to work better together in the workplace. There are truths in the model. In counselling couples, quite often we have seen where the message that came out of one mouth is not the same message heard by the ear of the other person. Due to different upbringings, we can hear things differently than what the originator intended. And then if we add in the “deceiver”; things can go off track. If we think of the words coming out of a mouth and then going through a dark cloud and then into the ears of the other; we can see where distortation can occur. Many times this the cause of turmoil in relationships.
In this model, one of the solutions was to get the receipent to summarize and explain what they heard.. Most often the originator would state that was not what they intended. With more conversation, peaceful resolution could occur. Today the enemy manipulates the cloud between the speaker and the receiver.
We see it time and time again in our news - it is even called “fake news”. After the Dutch Revolution there were those who wanted to rewrite the history and remove the part the Lord played. I wonder who would want to do that……? Today that same deceiver (who has had a whole history of experience), is at it again.
Back in 2011, when we were in Europe; we visited the Nazi Museum in Nuremberg, Germany. On the tour, they explained how subtlety the Nazis deceived the German people; I actually wondered if I would have been taken in as well. Their propaganda machine was second to none and their use of doctored photos to make it look like everyone was participating. When the Nazi party started, it seemed innocent enough. The teachers were encouraged to join the Nazi party to assist the children through after school extra cirricular activities. Other Nazi groups were set up to do good works for their neighbours. It was all for good works to help everyone , so many joined. If you wanted to do good and help your neigbour; you would want to join the Nazi party because they were helping their fellow man - that is how it seemed when it started. But then it changed, slowly and subtlety. I am not sure if we have seen as good a propaganda machine as the one they used to deceive a nation.
Today the deceiver is still on the loose and wrecking havoc. When I hear stories of how terrible someone is or how wrong their beliefs are; my ears pick up. Why is someone wanting to put down this person or that belief? I remember I was warned off a belief. “Stay away from those people - they believe in……” (You can fill in the blanks). When I got to know them better - I asked about that belief and found that I had believed it before i even had heard of it. In times past, I have found people that were to be important in my life; were ones whom the enemy had tried to get me to think badly about, before I even knew them. When I am hearing disparging stories about someone; then I want to find the truth. Cause if someone is saying all kinds of uglies about someone - usually it means there is some light that the darkness does not want us to find.
1 John 2:26-27 (NIV)
26 I am writing these things to you about those who are trying to lead you astray.
27 As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit--just as it has taught you, remain in him.
The Holy Spirit will help you to determine the Truth. Here is a story of what happened to one of our friends. He became a new Christian and had to go away for a season (jail). A friend gave him a warning about a group called - the Children of God. They were a cult during the time of the Jesus People Movement that looked good. When my friend got out of jail, he was hungry for Christian fellowship and he met this group of young people who took him to a bus where they were providing fellowship. Inside his spirit he heard - “Children of God”. Remembering the warning he received, he asked if they were and when they looked guilty - he fled. The Holy Spirit preserved him. Thank you Lord!
There are times when it is not easy to determine the truth. Remember the story from 1Kings 13, where the prophet went to Bethel to prophesy and after as he was returning, an old prophet met him and entreated him to come and sup with him. Even though the Lord had told him not sup with anyone till he returned home. The old prophet lied to him and got him to disobey the directions of the Lord. Even when an old prophet talks to us - we need to listening inside for the Voice of the Holy Spirit.
Also there is the story of the “lying spirit” from 1 Kings 22:19-23 (NIV) -
19 Micaiah continued, "Therefore hear the word of the LORD: I saw the LORD sitting on his throne with all the host of heaven standing around him on his right and on his left.
20 And the LORD said, 'Who will entice Ahab into attacking Ramoth Gilead and going to his death there?' "One suggested this, and another that.
21 Finally, a spirit came forward, stood before the LORD and said, 'I will entice him.'
22 " 'By what means?' the LORD asked. " 'I will go out and be a lying spirit in the mouths of all his prophets,' he said. " 'You will succeed in enticing him,' said the LORD. 'Go and do it.'
23 "So now the LORD has put a lying spirit in the mouths of all these prophets of yours. The LORD has decreed disaster for you."
I do not understand how that came about, but it says to me that we need be on our guard when we are discerning the truth. There were 400 prophets saying one thing and one prophet saying the other. Because many believe a thing to be true - does not make it so. Only He who is Truth can help us to stay out of the swamp.
Many years ago we were in Florida and we saw in the paper some very disparging reporting about a candidate in an upcoming election. They were quoting terrible words that he had said at a meeting. But something did not ring true, so the hunt was on for more “facts”. As it turned out the other paper reported on what he said at the same meeting; but this time they did not cut and paste his comments - they reported the whole story. The first paper was “correct” in that he had said those words. The first half of the sentence they quoted was from something he said at the beginning of his talk and the second half of the sentence was something he said at the end. By taking part of a sentence from one part and putting it together with a part from end of his talk - they were able to report that he had said these words; that were in complete opposite to his talk. This was reported in the newspaper as “news”. But was totally twisted to mean the opposite of what was said. Most news today comes from one bias source or another bias source. The truth is out there and we need to find it. It is often not what we are being fed. The Holy Spirit can and will help us, if we will allow Him.
I was with a fellow in Florida, while we were wating for our cars to be serviced. The conversation turned to the upcoming election and pros and cons of the candidates. He has very polarized (noun- a sharp division, as of a population or group, into opposing factions). I asked him if he received his news from one source, as it appeared that he was only hearing one side of the story. He nodded his head and then stated he probably should look for the other side. We need to do that. Most of the news sources are no longer reporting news but are propaganda sources and they have an active bias they are promoting. The Lord can help us, if we listen to the news and ask the Spirit to help us filter out the garbage.
Another incident occured where the Holy Spirit helped me out, in regards to a Church teaching. A dear friend was sharing a Christian belief to me that was near and dear to his heart. As he would share it, my mind would embrace it; but when I tried to swallow it, to get it into my heart - it would get stuck in my throat and I could not get it down. I would tell my friend that I just could not accept it - could he please try harder. So he would share more scriptures and I would try harder to accept this truth - but the Holy Spirit would not let it be accepted. Did my friend believe it? - for sure; did I want to believe it - oh yes! It was dear to my friend and it sounded so good - but the Holy Spirit was saying no; and I was given the grace to be taught by the Spirit. He will lead us into all truth, if we will let Him.
I truly believe that this world is covered in darkness - gross darkness
Isaiah 60:1-2 (NIV)
1 "Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you.
2 See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the LORD rises upon you and his glory appears over you.
We have an obligation to
1 Corinthians 2:15 (KJV)
15 “But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, ….”
We can not accept everything we read, see or are told. We must have our spiritual radar engaged so that we can rightfully divide the truth. How bad is it in our hour?
I saw where “Gina McCarthy, former EPA Chief under the Obama Administration, just conceded that “climate change has become a religion,” Very interesting. Note: when you have such polarazation on issues - you know there is deception at work. Our job is to rightfully divide and determine the truth so we can walk in it. Sometimes there are things that “stick in our craw” and we can’t get them down, even though we want to. They are not good for us. Let us walk in the Light as He is in the Light.
We are not to accept anything blindly, but we need the wisdom of the Holy Spirit to help us.
Matthew 10:16 (KJV)
16 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.
Hebrews 5:14 (NIV)
14 But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.
One of the tools that we use to help us to determine the truthfulness of a matter is to “bring it into the Light”. What we do, is to discuss the matter with other Christians and analyze it with Light shining on it. When we analyze things in our minds, most of the time; it is in darkness and it is hard to see it clearly. If it is truth, it will stand scrutiny. It is okay to inspect and check out matters. If they are true, discerning them out will reveal that.
Another area in which we are deceived is in our own minds. For whatever reasons, we have allowed preceptions of who we are; to become walls that limit our progress. We tend to think, subconsiciously - that we can go no further. We have allowed walls in our minds to limit how far we go. It is our belief system that determines who we are and what we can be. I am quite taken with the idea of the limits we place upon ourselves. I almost see us as having “walls” in our minds that limit our growth and ability to see Jesus as He is. We need to become more and more aware of ALL He has done for us and is doing for us. There are many who have written about changing our belief system so that we can grow and be all that we are meant to be. There is a nugget of truth there, but caution is also needed. We need to grow into all we are to be in Jesus - not in ourselves. We need Him to be charge of our comings and goings and to be lead by His Spirit. There is a tale from C.S. Lewis’s Narnia Series from the book “The Last Battle”. It is at the conclusion of the Narnia Series and the scene is of how they have passed over from Narnia to the “Real Narnia”. This world only being a shadow of that which is to come. In the real Narnia, they are to go up further. There is a group of dwarfs who have just passed over, but they are imprisoned by their mental limits. Aslan provides them succulent food and drink and they “believe” they have been given hay and water from the animals trough - even though the Lord provided fine meat and drink. Their mind would not allow them to accept that they were getting food fit for kings and queens. Today, we do not comprehend who we fully are in Jesus.
Many times in counsel, we ask - “Who are you?” “Who are you?” We have not realized, accepted that; we are sons and daughters of the Most High. That we are seated in heavenly places.
Ephesians 2:6 (NIV)
6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,
Ephesians 1:17-19 (NIV)
17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.
18 I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints,
19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength,
We need to press on in the Lord so that He can reveal to us who we are in Him. As we get more revelation of who He is, The Most High, The Almighty - we start to get glimpses of who we are in Him. We can never do any good thing apart from Him, but in Him - well the sky is the limit.
Mark 11:22-25 (NIV)
22 "Have faith in God," Jesus answered.
23 "I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him.
24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”
Many times in counsel, we hear, “I am not worthy”; It is almost like the dwarfs in the Narnia Series, who were unable to accept what Aslan had done for them. Receiving from the Lord on High is what we need. We love to give and as “good Christians”, we have got very good at it, but we are weak on the receiving end. But we need to receive His Love, His Gifts and His Strength for ourselves. Oops, that almost sounds selfish. As we receive His Gifts, we are able to give. To receive all that the Lord has for us can be hard. Because we think we are so unworthy. A dear friend was getting married and it appeared he was not getting all the Blessings he could from the Lord. I knew the Lord wanted to Bless his marriage, but when we looked at the event, the “super” blessing of the Lord was absent. Oh, there were blessings, but just not the “super” ones. In asking the Lord what was happening, he brought a picture to mind. My friend came to Jesus and asked for His Blessing for his marriage. The Lord then used a big scoop shovel (like the ones used to scoop grain on the farm), and put it into a mound of blessings. He lifted it up and started to pour it out on my friend. But my friend held up a little pail (like the ones used by kids at the beach) and said “Fill it up”. The Lord questioned him and when he said that is all he wanted, the Lord tipped his overflowing shovel, just a bit and filled up his little pail and put the rest of the blessings back onto the pile. My friend was satisfied, but the Lord had wanted to give him so much more. The Lord wants to give us so much more, but our mind “limits”, prevents us from receiving ALL that He has for us. Our Lord wants to continue His giving to us. He already gave His life and now he is interceding for us!!
Hebrews 7:25 (NIV)
25 Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.
Another story - we were in prayer and the Prescence of the Lord got quite strong. One of the attendees wanted to wash the feet of another person. He got a bucket of water and started washing the person’s feet. As he was washing, there was Jesus washing as well. Our Lord was on His knees washing the person’s feet. Oh, how strong is the Love of Jesus for His people. Oh, how much we limit His love. Oh, that we would throw off the limits we place on Him!!
As we realize who we are in Christ Jesus, we break down the limits we have placed upon ourselves. In Christ, we are kings and rulers and we need to start accepting it. Taking authority in Jesus name over the comings and going of this Age. Hearing His Voice in prayer, and then praying in His Strength for this Age to be righted.
Amen and Amen