Our Lord warned us that in the last days the devil would do his best to deceive as many as he could. To be forewarned is to be forearmed, if we know what is coming we can prepare for it.
Mathew 7:15 Beware of false prophets which come to you in sheep costumes, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. You shall know them by their fruits.
Christians appear to have a dilemma, we are told not to judge and then we’re told to look at fruit. So, what do we do? We judge the fruit of anyone making claims to Christiandom, but we don’t judge the person. Judging one’s fruit is not an option, if we don’t live soberly, we will be subject to deception. The devil is like a cat that prowls around in the darkness, but the truth exposes him. False prophets project themselves to look like everyone else, so we cannot trust our vision of the outward appearance. If a person gets offended because “you want to get to know them better”, that’s a red flag warning. A legitimate believer has nothing to hide, they will welcome scrutiny because their new life in Christ is a testimony.
Titus 1:16 They profess that they know God; but in works they deny Him.
A man is not accepted solely based on his word, anyone can make himself appear more honest than he truly is. No man can hide his fruits, they become a matter of public record. When Saul became the Apostle Paul, the Christians didn’t believe the account, all they knew about him was his hatred for the church of Christ. Paul’s words were not enough, the people wanted to see the fruit of his conversion. Occasionally a celebrity will publicly declare themselves to be a Christian, this is an invitation to observe their fruit.
Romans 16:17 Take heed brothers, mark them which cause divisions and offenses contrary to sound doctrine, and avoid them.
The devil is constantly looking for a place in the churches of Jesus Christ, his motive is division. True believers come to church to be conformed to the image of God, some come to turn the church into their image. As a baby pastor I put people in positions that did not belong in those callings, I made huge mistakes. God protected the church and myself because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. Kenneth Copeland taught me a very important lesson, don’t be moved by flattery nor by criticism, just obey God.
1 John 4:1 Believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they be of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
It doesn’t sound like the devil is having any problem finding “prophets” to represent him. Don’t get into a hurry, a demon can “fake legitimacy” for only so long and then he will show his true colors. The devil is wily, crafty and cunning but he cannot conceal himself from the Holy Ghost. The ministry of a false prophet is to spread lies and deceit, he cannot neglect his calling. The prophet will eventually expose himself to the believer who has a discerning heart. He will be put on trial, found guilty and banished to a dry and barren place.
One of the most controversial subjects in the churches is the claim some make that they can hear God speaking to them. Some Christians rely on hearing God’s voice while many others do not believe it is possible to hear God’s voice.
Exodus 33:11 And the Lord spoke unto Moses face to face, as a man would speak unto his friend.
God spoke to Moses with an audible voice, He had to because Moses was spiritually dead. Spiritually dead people are separated spiritually from God’s Spirit, they couldn’t recognize His voice because they don’t know His will. God communicated with His prophets through visions and dreams. The kings, the leaders and the people relied on the prophets to hear from God for their lives.
Hebrews 1:1-2 In times past God spoke to the fathers by the prophets. Now in these last days He spoke to us by His Son.
Jesus spoke only what He heard His Father say. His words would lead men to eternal life but only after He returned to Heaven. The people were so spiritually dead they did not understand the Word of God and God will not alter it for anyone. God will not change for anyone, we must change in order to conform to Him and His ways. God ordained men to record everything He said whether they understood it or not. They couldn’t fully comprehend it at the time but a new generation of believers was coming and they would discern the Word of God.
John 16:13 When the Spirit of truth is come He will guide you into all truth, whatever He will hear, that will He speak to whosoever.
Whosoever will invite the Holy Spirit into their lives and listen to Him, they will have an intimate relationship with the Father God. Now you can clearly see why the devil does his best to keep the Holy Spirit out of the churches. The devil constantly discredits the Holy Spirit and His present day ministry. The men who wrote the New Testament did not understand their writings until the Holy Ghost came and revealed God’s will to them. The Apostle Paul was not a disciple of Christ like the twelve were, Jesus revealed to him what the disciples did not understand. How important is it for man to communicate with their Savior?
Hosea 4:6 My people are destroyed (cut off) for a lack of knowledge (a clear perception of what exists).
Isaiah 5:13 My people are gone into captivity because they have no knowledge.
Men who do not hear God for themselves live in a world of ignorance, the devil can bend them into whatever shape he chooses. Step back and take an overview of the world, people are aligned with the vision of the devil. The ignorant fools are protecting the very thing that is killing them. They stand by the wayside ridiculing those who claim to hear the voice and will of their Savior. One day they will hear the voice of God but by then it will be too late. The Father will ask one question: What did you do with My Son? Not one of them will have a valid excuse, either you accept Him as your Savior or you reject Him.
Sometimes a new convert is told that life will be good with Jesus as their Lord. This statement is true but it will require some explaining because problems are on their way.
John 10:10 A thief is only there to steal and kill and destroy. I came so you can have real and eternal life, more and better life than you ever dreamed of.
Jesus came to give us life so good, we can’t even dream about it because it is not confined to the soulish realm. No man can imagine how good life with Jesus can be, no one will know it until they live it.
Romans 8:32 He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things.
Why is God so generous with all the free stuff? Because we are His kids and He loves us. This is how it was in the beginning. God put His son Adam in a beautiful garden, then gave him dominion and gave him seed. Adam could have whatever he wanted and as much of it as he wanted. Poverty, sickness and lack was never part of God’s plan for man. When Adam disobeyed and let the devil into our world, he immediately began to kill, destroy and steal. Adam released the curse into our world and the curse makes life hard and most times unbearable. As long as the curse has a place in our lives, we will struggle to live the life Jesus died to give us.
Galatians 3:13 Christ redeemed us from that self-defeating, cursed life by absorbing it completely into Himself. As the Scripture says, cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.
God would not stand by and let the devil rob His children of all the things He gave them. As Jesus hung on the cross, the Father had no choice but to put all the curse on His Son. God did what any loving Father would do, He laid down His life for His children. Now if we believe Jesus redeemed us from the curse, then we can accept the life Jesus died to give us. Life can be better than what we have imagined but we will need to resist the devil. The devil hates God and he hates us because God loves us and wants to give us the good life. The devil was created in Heaven and he will never see the place ever again but we will. The devil is not content unless he is making us miserable.
James 4:7 Submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
The word submit means to obey. If the devil is made to know that you are sold out to God, he will move down the road. How do we resist the devil? We submit (obey) to God and do nothing the devil tells us. People everywhere are saying how glad they are that 2020 is gone, they are saying it was the worst year ever. I don’t know what they are talking about, I enjoyed the blessings of the Lord all year long. I tuned the devil out and did everything the Lord said to do. Most of the time I wasn’t even aware of the devil. The devil was active in the political arena, in the sinners camp and among the unbelieving believers. I gave him no place, no invitation. If we are going to live the life Jesus made for us, then we must be willing to contend for it. When we fight the good fight of faith we win.
When the disciples asked Jesus for the signs of His return, the first thing He said was take heed no man deceive you. The world today is in chaos because most men are deceived. People who are deceived are not aware of it, they will fight to the death for what they believe.
Revelation 12:19 The old dragon, the ancient serpent called the devil or satan, the one deceiving the whole world was thrown down to the earth with all his angels.
The devil is so good at his craft, he convinced one third of the angels in Heaven to follow him right into hell. We are surrounded with people who are totally deceived. How do we protect ourselves from the lies of the devil? We must hear from God, the Lord speaks only truth and the truth keeps us free.
John 18:37 Then Jesus answered Pilate, everyone that loves the truth will hear My voice.
For most folks the truth is not a priority, they are content with whatever they are told by alleged authorities. God has published the truth and made it plain to whosoever wants it. There is not one good reason to be deceived, yes the devil is a deceiver, but God gives light and the light is greater. All of us have an obligation to search out the truth, some folks won’t because they are lazy! Eternity is a very long time to regret not searching for the truth.
Acts 17:11 The men in Berea were noble, they received the Word with readiness of mind and searched the Scriptures daily, whether those things were true.
When a group of people search for and know the truth, they become an institution, a place anyone can go for truth. The truth becomes the foundation for a house of faith, a place where God is pleased to abide in. The ignorant and unlearned can only sit back and criticize because they know no better. Folks who know the truth love the truth and you can’t change their mind. God is not willing that any should perish, that’s why Jesus went to hell and back. Catholicism introduced me to God for which I am grateful, but they did not know how to help me draw near to Him. After my new birth I began to read my Bible, I didn’t know it right away but I was studying Jesus. Jesus is the Word and He became flesh, He reveals Himself to us in His Word.
Luke 11:9 And I say unto you, ask and keep on asking and it shall be given you; seek and keep on seeking and you shall find; knock and keep on knocking and it shall be opened.
What Jesus says in this text is the basis for a personal relationship with Him. Asking, seeking, and knocking is an opportunity to a sit down one on one meeting with Jesus. God’s calendar is open, we can visit with Him any time of the day or year. I cannot recall a time where God did not answer my request for advice, it didn’t always come quickly, but it came. Go talk to your Heavenly Father, He is waiting for you and looking forward to your visit. We cannot avoid deception without Him, He is the truth and the way. Now I must warn you, when you pursue the truth the devil is not going to like it, but don’t worry, Jesus overcame him and so will you.
Prophets were introduced to us by God in order to speak to those who would follow Him. There were only three offices in the old covenant that were anointed of the Holy Spirit to serve God’s purpose. The prophet, the king, and the priest had a measure of the Holy Ghost to carry out the will of God. All the people from Adam to Jesus were spiritually dead, they had to rely on the ministry of the prophet in order to know God’s will.
1 Kings 22:7 King Jehoshaphat said, is there not here a prophet of the Lord, that we might inquire of him?
The prophet was vitally important to the stability and survival of Israel. The prophet told the people how to be successful and gave them the strategy to defeat their enemies. When they believed the prophets, they prospered and when they refused to listen they went into captivity. If a prophet spoke a word and it did not come to pass, no one was obligated to respect them. Prophets did not have a long life span, every one who foretold the coming of Messiah were stoned. What happened to the ministry of the prophet after the resurrection of Jesus?
John 16:13 When the Holy Spirit of truth is come, He will guide you into all truth: He will not speak of Himself, but whatsoever the Father tells Him, that shall He speak.
The Holy Spirit is our Prophet and we must learn His voice and trust Him with our lives. Wherever He leads us, the Lord will provide for us in that place. We cannot be moved by what we see or hear, we must trust our Prophet. There are prophets in the land that are foretelling some pretty amazing events coming to our world. Some are saying that many politicians will leave office and some will die. What should our attitude be? Hold your peace, don’t speak against them because it doesn’t make sense to you. On the other hand you don’t have to agree, just watch and pray. The authenticity of the prophet will be proven one way or another.
Do not place the direction for your life into the hands of a prophet. The New Testament prophet is ordained to tell you what you already know. Prophets are first and foremost human so they can miss God and speak things that are not true. An honest prophet will take responsibility for his error and therefore maintain his integrity. If a prophet gives out words that prove consistently false, we have no obligation to respect that person. We are not obligated to order our lives to the “word” of another man unless we have the inward witness.
1 John 5:10 He that believes on the son of God has this witness within himself.
The inward witness of the Holy Spirit, our Prophet, is the greatest gift we have to navigate through this life. Far too many people do not want the responsibility of hearing from God for themselves, they want someone to hear for them. The problem is, some of the people who hear God for others become manipulative. Pray and submit your life to your Lord Jesus. He will bear witness with your spirit and lead you to the God kind of life.
The bible has much to say about fruit, it tells us that we can know the heart of people by their fruit. A man can make all kinds of claims concerning his association with the Lord, but his fruit will tell the real story.
John 15:5 I am the tree, you are the branches: he that abides in Me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit: for apart from Me you can do nothing.
Now you can readily see that a man is not known by his word but by his fruit. What is this fruit Jesus is talking about? All Bible fruit originates with Jesus. He is the tree trunk and we are the branches. If we produce good fruit, it comes from the tree, it comes directly from Jesus.
John 15:4 Abide in Me, as a branch cannot bear fruit of itself.
If the life of God does not flow through us, we cannot produce right fruit. Relationship is everything. We cannot observe a person and know anything about their connection to the Master. When folks come to church they are so sweet and spiritual but that is not the evidence of a solid connection to Jesus.
Luke 6:26 Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! For so did their fathers to the false prophets.
If any man is highly regarded by the whole world, that man is compromising. He is telling everyone what they want to hear. If you are totally committed to living for Jesus, some people will hate you because they first hated Jesus. The only people who will respect you are those who respect Jesus. If it’s important to you to be loved by everyone, you will never get close enough to the tree to bear its fruit. Jesus would never compromise the Word, it cost Him some of the disciples and ultimately His life. What is this fruit that the Master wants us to bear?
John 14:12 Truly I say unto you, he that believes and trusts Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go to My Father.
The fruit God wants us to produce is the supernatural works of Jesus. They come from the tree, through the branches and into the world so the world can see the glory of God. I have several apple trees, some branches never produce any apples, some branches produce a few and others are full of fruit. If I take the nonproducing branches and prune them, they will begin to have apples. We are God’s branches and He wants us to produce His fruit, so He prunes us of the things that are detrimental to our capability.
Some of our branches have some things attached to us that impede our potential, so the farmer (God) trims us of all the unproductive growths. Early on it is unpleasant to lose things we habitually held near and dear. But when we see how much more God can use us to produce, we can’t help but to praise Him. It is always the season for the God kind of fruit, we need not wait for the ideal season. Time for all the branches to bear fruit!
I believe every one of us have had occasions where we didn’t think God cared about our predicaments. When we find ourselves in these situations, we get all kinds of bizarre thoughts courtesy of the devil. Can the devil overwhelm us with more thoughts than God will offer us? The devil’s success depends on his ability to fill our minds with imaginations that are contrary to God’s will. After ten years of marriage, a wife asked her husband why he doesn’t tell her he loves her. The husband then says to her, I told you I loved you when I married you and I have never changed my mind. God is that way, He loves us so much that He sent His Son to die for us and He never changed His mind.
Mathew 28:20 ...and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.
We will be presented a choice every day. Are we going to believe God or will we be moved by circumstances? We can only have one master. We will hate the one and love the other, or we will hold to the one and despise the other. This one thing I am sure of, God is with us every day whether you “feel” Him or not. I believe God has fully equipped us to stand up to anything the devil throws at us. I don’t always “feel” the presence of God but I always “feel” the power of His Word. The Word has assured me that God takes pleasure in watching us use His Word to defeat the devil over and over again.
Psalm 2:4 He that sits in the Heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in confusion.
We ought to take pleasure in demonstrating the devil’s defeat, it’s very humiliating for the devil when his former seed turns to him and thwarts his plans. We can do nothing apart from God, it’s the Father in us who does the works. We don’t need any signs to know that God is with us, but we know He is or else we could not defeat the devil.
2 Corinthians 12:9 And the Lord said to me: My grace is all you need, for My power is greatest when you are weak. I am most happy when I am weak, because God’s power will come and enable me.
The Apostle Paul was on assignment and the devil was doing everything he could to hinder him. Paul knew it was the devil sending men to harm him and he couldn’t take any more. He asked God to get the devil off his case but God gave him His grace and the devil could not get passed it. Everything the devil threw at Paul bounced off, he could not stop Paul because God was with him. I can only imagine how the devil must have felt, he threw his best hell at Paul and it never fazed him nor disturbed him. The devil’s failure was recorded in a book called the Bible and it has been read by more people than any other book.
Hebrews 13:5 I will never leave you, nor will I ever forsake (desert) you.
If God be for us, who can against us? Allow me to rephrase this passage of Scripture, if we believe God is for us, then who can successfully be against us? Where is God when I need Him? He is sitting on His throne of Grace waiting to confirm the Word, I believe with signs and wonders. My God loves me and He never changes His mind.
As you well know the devil is a thief and a killer. His ministry is to spread as much misery as he can. The world is ignorant of his devices so they spend billions of dollars learning how to live with open oppression. The Jewish people were well aware of the wiles of the evil but could do nothing to stop him. The devil loves to put hell in people’s lives and then pass the blame on to some innocent bystander.
Acts 10:38 God anointed Jesus with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with Him.
The Word oppress means to exercise dominion over. Jesus had dominion over the devil so he had no problem casting him out. Jesus did not have dominion over the devil as the Son of God, He had authority because He was born a righteous man. Any born-again believer is a righteous man and has dominion over demons. But we have two problems, most Christians have no revelation of their righteousness, nor can they discern the presence of devils. On account of such ignorance, the devil had been swiping every good thing that Christians have. If it’s good, if it’s a blessing, the devil is after it and whatever he takes means nothing to him. The devil finds pleasure in making people’s lives as miserable as possible, he is loyal to no one and he will even attacks his own subjects.
Mathew 6:20 Lay up for yourselves treasures in Heaven, where moths nor rust can corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal.
Every time you choose to live by God’s Word and every time you move in love, you make deposits in your heavenly account. Making deposits in your heavenly account is the safest place in the world. God protects them and the devil has no access into Heaven. You will absolutely know when you make a deposit, nothing is there by accident.
Mathew 6:21 For where your treasure is there will your heart be also.
We can make deposits every day and so we can come to expect to have those treasures now and forever.
Mathew 7:12 Do unto others what you would want other to do to you, this is a spiritual law.
When we operate in this law, we can make withdrawals from our heavenly account. On account of the law of supernatural increase, we can withdraw more than what we put in. The devil can manipulate the laws of man but not the laws of God. No matter how intricate man’s security is, the devil will find a way to get his hands on it.
Proverbs 6:31 If a thief be caught, he must restore sevenfold; he shall give all the substance of his house.
If the devil steals from you, that’s not the end of it. You can use your authority to make him pay you back seven times more than what he stole. God wants us to make the devil’s last days just as unproductive as possible. If the devil can’t get anything from you, he will just move to the next guy and get back to you later. We need to make disappointing the devil a habit. He must come to know that we don’t tolerate devils. The devil is a thief but not to us, we don’t accept him as a thief. We treat him as the loser he is. No devil, no swiping.
The world has always hated Christians and in the last days their hatred is becoming more pronounced. The obvious reason for the hostility is we don’t agree with their doctrine and we won’t conform with their image. However there is a more pressing reason they hate us but you will never hear them voice it. They hate us because they fear us, no matter how hard they try they cannot defeat the Christian. This has been the norm ever since God made a covenant with Abram. The devil has made war with everyone who called Jehovah their God.
Exodus 1:8-10 Now the king of Egypt said: the children of Israel are mightier than we: so we will make them serve us.
Egypt feared the Jews so they oppressed them and kept them wanting every day of their lives. They manipulated the system where Israel would have to depend on the government of Egypt for their welfare. Egypt maneuvered themselves in a place where they would be Israel’s god, they would make Israel dependent of them. Egypt ordered a population growth plan, they ordered the Jewish midwives to kill every male baby born in Israel. If you haven’t made the connection yet, stop and see, look around, the Egyptian system is still at work. The midwives would not obey the king of Egypt, they chose rather to obey God.
Exodus 1:20 God dealt favorably with the midwives: and the people multiplied, and waxed very mighty.
What is more important, obey God or the King? What would have happened to Israel if they would have compromised the choice they had? My guess is that they would have remained in Egypt longer than what God intended, waiting for the nation to grow. Compromise will always put you out of God’s will and cause delays in your blessings. God cannot bless a lot of people until they repent and get back to His will. Israel left Egypt right on schedule, four hundred and thirty years in a foreign land. They left Egypt and went into the wilderness for a forty day trip to the promised land, but they compromised and never reached their home for forty years. Often times we do more damage to ourselves than our enemy does. When you know how much God loves you, all the hate in the world will not affect your life.
John 15:18 If the world hate you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you.
Luke 6:26 Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you!
The world hates us because we align ourselves with the doctrine of Christ, something the world can never do. If we live our lives in such a way where all men speak well of us, we are compromising. If you choose to live the Christian lifestyle, there will be people you know and meet that will not approve of your decision. My friends and family had no problem with me being a drunk and a Catholic. But when I became a Christian and quit drinking, they were sure I was in a cult. As long as I know God loves me, all the hatred in the world will mean nothing to me. Truth is, God’s love for me is so real I can love my enemies. I can love all those people who hate me and there’s nothing they can do about it.
Every born-again believer is offered burdens every day of the world. Who is in charge of handing out all these burdens? None other than the ruler of darkness, the devil. The devil lives just to get as much hell as he can into our lives; misery loves company. I think the only relief the devil ever gets is when he is harassing some otherwise peaceful saint of God!
Hebrews 12:1 Seeing that we are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which does so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.
The Scripture tells us that there are two things that can hinder us from remaining in God’s will, weights and sin. I believe most Christians have taken the grace of God and dealt with sin. What are these weights? Weights are burdens, these come in the form of pressure, stress, discouragement and they are all the plots of the devil. For instance, when you are believing for a healing, you were healed two thousand years ago where God is concerned. God is not withholding anything from you, the devil is doing everything he can do to keep you from receiving because he knows you will give your Lord the glory. Let me put this in perspective for you, the devil is a jerk, a very heavy jerk! Jesus went about healing people who were oppressed of the devil. Oppress means push down or put pressure on someone who wants to arise.
Mathew 11:29 Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest for your souls.
Jesus is telling us how to deal with the works of the devil, stop going it alone first of all. Tune the devil out, he has nothing to say that will help you. Look up with Jesus He has your answers and He knows the way. If you focus on what the devil is doing and that’s what he wants you to do, he will weigh you down and you will lose your spiritual energy. We need to train ourselves to consider Jesus every time the devil comes to steal, kill or destroy. The devil is after our lives and his number one starting place is our imagination.
Isaiah 26:3 You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind (imagination) is stayed on Him: because he trusts in you.
We can imagine what the devil says he wants to do to us or we can imagine what Jesus died to give us. When you consider the devil long enough, you will crawl through life with a heavy ball chained to your leg. When you consider what Jesus did, you live a free life with no weights to hold you back.
Proverbs 23:7 For as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.
A mind is a terrible thing to waste thinking about all the ways the devil says he’s going to do to you. May I remind you that the devil is a liar and the father of all lies. God is not a man that He should lie, if He has said it He will make it good. Victory and defeat begins in the mind and we can choose whatever we want, so you will always be where you think you ought to be. When you yoke up with Jesus, you will plow in a constant state of hope. Jesus does not know what defat is, so He cannot even offer it to anyone. You are a winner looking for a place to celebrate.
The devil is a thief,
he has come to kill, destroy, and steal.
The devil has a word,
but my Lord has the final Word.
I choose to ignore the devil,
I don’t believe what he says.
I love the Word of my Lord,
He speaks only the truth.
His Name is greater than the thief, so I will be blessed.
YEAR OF THE LOCAL CHURCH
PRAYERS FOR OUR NATION
Protection for: People who are innocently being lured to America with false promises from our leadership. Lord, protect those people especially the children. Protect them and our nation from the flood of drugs, cartels, terrorists, traffickers and all the diseases that now have access to our cities and citizens. Post angels along our southern border. Expose the evil. Praying for our law officials and National Guard on the front lines. Give them protection and wisdom.
We pray in agreement with your Word: Luke 8:17 “Nothing is secret that will not be revealed, nor anything hidden that will not be known and come to light”. Truth cannot be hidden. The truth sets us free. Jesus is the Way, Truth and Light! Give the Righteous leaders boldness, wisdom and strength as they fight on the front lines. Give them every tool they need to carry out your will Father. Every person who is in a place of authority that does not have a legal “God right” to be there will be transformed or removed.
ALL LEGAL MATTERS: We pray for those legally gathering up and exposing the enemy’s lies. Protection for them and their families. All cover-ups and deeds done in darkness against the United States of America will have complete exposure. God’s plans and purpose for America will prevail.